One of the reasons Stephen Curry’s 2015-16 season has been so magical is that it has been about more than just dominance — that’s more LeBron James’s turf — it has been about doing things in basketball that we didn’t really know were possible.Last week we published “Stephen Curry Is The Revolution,” in which I discussed how Curry’s unique skill set — particularly his seeming immunity to defensive pressure — suggests that this historically great Warriors team could be even better if it let Curry take even more shots, with the upper limit for just how many he should take still completely unknown.But the idea that “you can never have too much Curry” was pretty much true even before this season. The 2015-16 Curry is on another level. Not only has he gotten better at the things he was already good at, he has also started dominating at things that add new dimensions to the analysis. For example, as my colleague Kirk Goldsberry has written, Curry is now one of the most efficient shooters close to the basket, after struggling from that range early in his career.But the most dramatic change in Curry’s game is his suddenly impossible-seeming range. If you’ve spent more than 30 seconds watching “SportsCenter” in the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard about Curry’s newfound affinity for ridiculous bombs — like that time he scored three baskets from 29-plus feet in 90 seconds.And it’s true, Curry’s long-range shooting has been off the charts. Here’s how he has done from various ranges in the past two seasons1For this analysis, I used the shot-tracking data from NBA.com, current through Dec. 7 (though it may miss a game or two here and there for technical reasons). I then added in Curry’s shots through the Warriors’ game on Dec. 8, and his shots that had been missing because their Nov. 12 game against the Timberwolves wasn’t in the data.: So Curry is taking a lot of last-ditch threes from long distance and has been hitting them at the second-best rate of any player in the past three seasons, despite taking about five times as many shots as the player with the best rate, Damian Lillard, did in 2013-14 (the dot in the upper left).Shooting 38.5 percent in these circumstances is, of course, ridiculous — the league average is just 12 percent, and Larry Bird’s career 3-point average (from regular distances and under regular conditions) was 37.6 percent — not to mention it supports the idea that, for Curry, no number of shots is too great, regardless of how they come.Perhaps more importantly, Curry is taking a lot of these shots “voluntarily” — that is, even when there’s enough time left on the clock to try to set up a normal shot, he’s still tossing the bomb: Last season Korver beat Curry at virtually every distance — yet his distance drop-off was normal (perhaps even a little steeper than the league as a whole), as was Curry’s.This season, of course, Curry has blown past Korver in efficiency as well as volume. Curry’s 13 makes from 28-42 feet (“bomb range”) this season are more than he and Korver had combined last season (12).So what’s going on? On the face of it, these don’t look like big numbers. Most of the hullabaloo is over 13 made shots in 31 attempts, which is not outside the range of luck. But it would take a lot of luck: Curry made shots from bomb range about 17.3 percent of the time in the previous two seasons. If that were his true rate, he would make 13 of his first 31 shots about once every 500 years. One-in-500 events aren’t impossible in sports, but with all the ways that Curry has defied basketball norms already, it behooves us to look for nonrandom explanations. For example, an interesting segment of ESPN’s Sport Science recently broke down Curry’s unusual shot mechanics on these bombs:Normally I’d take those kinds of stats as just fun trivia, but the observation that most NBA players generate velocity for their long shots by changing how they jump, while Curry does it entirely with his wrist, is exactly the kind of thing that could explain how Curry is doing things that previously seemed impossible.Another thing we’d like to do is compare how big Curry’s phenomenon is relative to other hot long-range-shooting seasons. But to do this we have to break things down a little bit further. Not all bombs are created equal. Most NBA players are smart enough NOT to take these kinds of shots unless they’re necessary. About 68 percent of shots from 28 to 42 feet come with the shot clock turned off or with time about to expire (less than four seconds remaining). We’ll call shots taken under those conditions “involuntary.” Here are all the player-seasons for such shots over the past three seasons: His shooting improved basically across the board. For the most part, he is still shooting worse when he’s farther away. You can beat other humans, but you can’t beat science. (I think.) But relative to the league, as well as to his own recent history, his distance curve this season is incredibly flat: He’s shooting 43 percent on shots taken 26 to 28 feet from the basket and 42 percent on shots from 28 to 42 feet. (The 42 feet corresponds roughly to half-court, though most of his shots are much closer to the bottom of that range.)Not only is this not normal for Curry, it’s nowhere close to the norm for anyone, even other great 3-point shooters. For example, Kyle Korver is one of few players who, on a shot-by-shot basis, could brag about being more efficient than Curry last season — albeit with a significantly smaller shooting burden. Here’s how he stacks up to Curry, then and now: The NBA as a whole has seen about one voluntary shot from 28-plus feet every two games over the last three seasons. This relative scarcity has been wise. Even though these are “voluntary” shots — where players presumably thought they had good looks — they’ve been made at a rate of only 25.4 percent (corresponding to 76 points per 100 attempts, well below the efficiency of the worst offenses in history). The undisputed king of the long shot over the last few years — indeed, the only other player to take a substantial number of such shots over full seasons — is Lillard, who has taken 98 voluntary bomb range shots in the past three seasons and has made 32.7 percent of them (corresponding to a respectable 98 points per 100 shots). Curry, on the other hand, had not shown any inclination for these shots and hit them at an average rate — before this season. Now he is averaging just less than one such attempt per game and has hit 47.1 percent — corresponding to 141 points per 100 attempts — far beyond what any offense has ever managed in overall efficiency. In other words, Curry’s typical voluntary shot from more than 28 feet is worth more than most players’ layups.Moreover, note that Curry’s break from his own precedent is also stunning: He is attempting these shots at three times the rate that he used to, yet he’s making them twice as often!This is a thrilling development, but its lack of precedent makes its consequences unknown. If Curry is now a legitimate threat from 30 feet, it will do more than just give defenses fits, it will disrupt the balance of the game in unanticipated ways. And my half-joking argument that he should be taking “all the shots” would drop to more like a quarter joking.But as much as I admire Curry’s skills, this simply MUST be too good to be true. Consider the fact that the game has never seen it, and that Curry himself hasn’t shown anything like it before, and it seems like a prototypical case of a thrilling phenomenon destined to come back down to earth.Then again, the more absurd things we see from Curry, the more they corroborate each other. All is possible. Either this narrative or the game itself will unravel.Check out our 2015-16 NBA Predictions.
The Atlanta Braves, long criticized locally for the lack of African-American players on its roster, traded Thursday to acquire former Arizona Diamondbacks Justin Upton, which pairs him in the outfield with older brother B.J. Upton, who signed as a free agent in the summer.Throw in right-fielder Jason Heyward, and Atlanta has an all-black outfield, something not seen since the 1996 opening day lineup featuring Marquis Grissom, David Justice and Mike Kelly.The trade brings to Atlanta Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson, while the Diamondback receive pitcher Randell Delgado, infielder Martin Prado and minor league prospects Nick Ahmed, Brandon Drury and Zeke Spruill, according to ESPN.The deal is pending physicals of players involved.After signing, B.J. Upton said he wanted to play with this brother in the same outfield. Matched with Heyward, the Braves have built one of baseball’s best outfields. Heyward won his first Gold Glove in 2012, when he hit .269 with 27 homers and 82 RBIs.The Diamondbacks once viewed Justice Upton as a player they would build around for years to come. At age 21, he hit 26 homers, scored 84 runs and drove in 86 runs. In March 2010, Arizona signed Upton to a six-year, $51.5 million deal. The D-backs made the playoffs in 2011, and Upton finished fourth in NL MVP voting.But the Diamondbacks started discussing possible Upton trades that fall, and after he got off to a poor start in 2012, Arizona owner Ken Kendrick criticized Upton and other players in a radio interview.Arizona again looked into trading Upton before the July 31 deadline last summer and continued to have discussions once this offseason began. It became increasingly apparent that the relationship between the Diamondbacks and Upton had been damaged.The Diamondbacks had agreed to a deal to trade Upton to Seattle earlier this month, but the player vetoed it. Seattle was among four teams on Upton’s contract that he could nix. Atlanta was not on that list.B.J. Upton signed a five-year, $75-million contract with the Braves, the richest in the team’s history. In August, he and Justin made history when they reached 100 home runs for their careers an hour apart.
OSU junior forward Marc Loving attempts a shot in a game against Rutgers on Jan. 13. OSU won, 94-68. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe Ohio State men’s basketball team’s’ road woes continued in the worst way possible Saturday, as the Buckeyes were blown out by No.3 Maryland 100-65 in College Park, Maryland. The loss ties the school record as the worst in school history, matching a 35-point loss vs. Indiana in 1928.OSU now falls to 12-7 (4-2), further damaging its case to make an appearance in the NCAA tournament this upcoming March.The game featured one of college basketball’s premier players in Maryland’s sophomore guard Melo Trimble. The shifty point guard’s passing dissected the OSU defense from the start, as he dished out five first-half assists, burying the Buckeyes in an 18-point hole by halftime.But, in the second half, the Maryland star really wasn’t needed to the same extent, as the Terrapin lead, at one point, ballooned to an unsurmountable 44 points in the second half. Trimble finished the game with 8 points and 9 assists in only 27 minutes. Maryland showed why they are considered to be one of the most efficient offensive teams in the nation, shooting 63 percent from the field for the game. It also shot extremely well from deep, shooting 11-of 21 from 3-point land (52 percent).After throttling OSU, Maryland’s record improves to 16-2 (5-1). Leading the Terrapins in scoring was junior forward Robert Carter. In only 23 minutes, he gashed OSU’s defense for 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Senior guard Rasheed Sulaimon also poured in 23 for Maryland, including 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.Pacing the Buckeyes in scoring was sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop, who had 15 points and 5 rebounds. Sophomore forward Jae’Sean Tate also chipped in 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the floor. Freshman point guard JaQuan Lyle, coming off of a triple-double in the 94-68 win over Rutgers, only had 9 points on 4-of-12 shooting, including 0-of-4 from 3-point range. The Buckeyes couldn’t buy a bucket in the second half, shooting a miserable 30.8 percent from the field in the second frame. Overall, the Scarlet and Gray shot a paltry 37 percent from the field, making this a game everyone will soon want to forget.The loss is OSU’s third on the road, each by, at least, 20 points. The first came against Connecticut by 20, followed by a 25-point defeat at the hands of Indiana, and then Saturday’s 35-point drubbing. With a young team, playing on the road can be a tough task to tackle and that is certainly the case for coach Thad Matta’s squad. The game marked the first Big Ten trip to College Park for the Buckeyes, as Maryland’s basketball program joined the Big Ten in the 2014-2015 academic year. OSU still leads the all-time series 5-3. The Buckeyes now can only hope for a better performance in its next matchup against Purdue. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. Thursday in West Lafayette, Indiana.
OSU junior forward Nick Schilkey (7) during a game against Minnesota on Feb. 12 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Evan Szymkowicz | Sports DirectorThe Ohio State men’s ice hockey team looked to send off its seniors in style as it welcomed the Wisconsin Badgers for the final series of the season at the Schottenstein Center, and it delivered by earning points in both matches.The Buckeyes drew 4-4 on Friday before losing the ensuing shootout 1-0, but they were able to bounce back the next night to earn maximum points in a 6-5 regulation victory.The Buckeyes would strike quickly in the first encounter. Junior forward and co-captain Nick Schilkey collected a pass and took the puck down the left wing before slotting it past freshman goaltender Matt Jurusik.Wisconsin replied with a swift counterattack. A little passing play between sophomore forward Cameron Hughes and freshman forward Will Johnson allowed freshman forward Luke Kunin to find a centered pass and fire the puck behind junior goaltender Christian Frey.OSU senior forward Tyler Lundey would rapidly get a goal of his just under a minute and a half later. Freshman Tommy Parran launched a shot from just over the blue line, which Lundey deflected in, restoring the Buckeye lead.It was a solid night for the defenseman Parran, who had two assists and a block on the night.“Our forwards do a heck of a job. I chip in when I can,” Parran said. “It’s good to move the puck and kind of get up in the rush, create better and more opportunities for us in the backend.”The Badgers would equalize with less than a minute remaining in the first period. Freshman forward Seamus Malone rounded the netminder Frey and shot the puck off the left-side pipe and into the net, evening the score at 2-2.“We started off well, obviously, but I think there was a time period from maybe late in the first (period) into the beginning of the third (period) where we just kind of lackadaisical,” Schilkey said.Wisconsin grabbed its first lead of the night when freshman forward Jarod Zirbel fired a long shot which Frey saved, but he fumbled the puck into the path of sophomore forward Matt Ustaski, who promptly put it into the back of the net.“They popped a few and we were clawing back once again,” Schilkey said. “Luckily we came out with one at the end there, but at the end of the day we shouldn’t put ourselves in that situation. We’ve got to work on that.”The Badgers’ penalty-kill prowess was illustrated when the Buckeyes failed to take advantage of a four-minute penalty on Luke Kunin for hooking and elbowing.“They were sitting back, three back pretty deep on their forecheck and we just couldn’t really get control on the rush,” Schilkey said. “That is something we’ve definitely got to go back and look at.”Freshman forward Matthew Freytag doubled the Badgers’ advantage with a wraparound shot that found its way underneath Frey and into the Buckeye goal.Yet the Scarlet and Gray would not go away. Freshman forward John Wiitala received a centered pass from senior defenseman and co-captain Craig Dalrymple and fired the puck behind Jurusik, putting the score at 4-3 with seven minutes remaining in the period.“One of those games that seemed to start to slip away there in the third (period). Got the bad bounce, goes in the net, and you’re down two,” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said. “I thought our guys started to play our best hockey, again, once we’re down there and started to play desperate.”With Frey pulled from the net to accommodate an extra man on offense, the Buckeyes were able to find the equalizing goal with 48 seconds left in regulation. Schilkey would strike once again for the home team, this time collecting the puck off a faceoff.“I think the characters in our room, we’ve just got to continue to learn to play 60 minutes instead of part-time,” Rohlik said. “It was a battle there and it was nice to see us score one there at the end to tie it up.”Overtime would end scoreless, meaning the crucial Big Ten point would be decided by a shootout.After five scoreless rounds, sophomore forward Ryan Wagner was able to net the first and only goal of the shootout to give the Badgers the extra point.“At that point I think we had four opportunities there to win the shootout. In a row, three or four. You’ve got to think one of those guys is going to put one in,” Rohlik said. “When it goes eight or whatever shooters it went, and only one goal goes in, both goaltenders did their job.”On Saturday, OSU’s three seniors were recognized in a pregame ceremony. Forward Anthony Greco, Dalrymple, and Lundey were joined by their parents on the ice as they bade farewell to the crowd at the Schott“I don’t know what to say. You know after four years you start to get used to coming to the Schott. Being here, it’s tough to believe that was my last game,” Lundey said. “It’s good to win, go out and win. We might have made it a little harder on ourselves, like coach was saying, but again we won, so best possible outcome.”OSU had plenty of opportunities against Jurusik in the first period of the match, but it would be the Badgers who got on the board first.The puck appeared to have crossed the goal line before a scuffle in front of Frey’s goal knocked the net off its place. Originally ruled no goal, further review confirmed alternate and junior forward Grant Besse pushed the puck past Frey before the goal was displaced.The Buckeyes were able to reply on the power play just a minute and a half later. Junior defenseman Drew Brevig found a centered pass from junior forward David Gust and fired the puck past Jurusik to level the score at one apiece.Wisconsin would regain and double their lead with just over a minute left in the first period. Grant Besse laid the puck off for Luke Kunin, who launched the puck from long range and into Frey’s net. Just 55 seconds later, sophomore defenseman Jake Linhart was the recipient of an almost identical play from Johnson and fired the puck behind Frey.“We thought we played a decent first period. We found ourselves behind three to one. You saw a couple of mistakes at the end of the period. What I like the most was our attitude in the locker room after the first sight of these guys,” Rohlik said. “We’re going to be okay, let’s just keep going. That’s kind of the character we have in our room.”The high scoring would continue into the second period.Freddy Gerard cut the Badgers lead to one goal two and a half minutes into the second period. The freshman received a pass from behind the goal line from sophomore forward Matthew Weis and shot the puck beyond Jurusik.Johnson restored the Badgers’ two-goal lead after firing home from close range, courtesy of a Seamus Malone assist. Then, just 37 seconds later, freshman forward Miguel Fidler notched his third goal of the season, bringing the score to 4-3.The Buckeyes managed to find the equalizing goal with a little over two minutes left in the period after a shot by junior defenseman Josh Healey from the blue line was tipped in by Schilkey.Sophomore forward Luke Stork would then give the Buckeyes the lead to open the scoring in the third period, but Cameron Hughes tied it up with just under six minutes left in the contest. Then with just under three minutes left in regulation, the puck fell in front of John Wiitala in a skirmish in front of Jurusik’s net, and the freshman pushed the puck behind the goal line, restoring the Buckeyes’ lead for good.“I think every night we want to win. We got the bounce there and it was good to finish it,” Wiitala said on his game winner.OSU is set to be back on the ice on Friday in Ann Arbor to face Michigan at Yost Ice Arena. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:35 p.m., with a return to Columbus to Nationwide Arena two days later at 3 p.m.
Alicia Herron’s heroic day catapulted regional host Ohio State to a Sunday showdown against No. 11 California. The Buckeyes were down 2-1 in the top of the sixth inning when Herron hit a line drive home run over the left field wall to put the team up 4-2. The home run was her second of the game and her third of the day. “I was just trying to step up, lead my team and help my team succeed,” Herron said. OSU won 5-3 as Herron provided four RBIs in the rematch against Kentucky. Senior Megan Miller received two wins on the day, one for five scoreless innings against Bucknell and than another in a seven-inning performance against Kentucky.“Megan had great command and was in control,” coach Linda Kalafatis said.The sun was shining over Buckeye Field Saturday as the Buckeyes played two-and-a-half games. They lost their first game in a thrilling 6-5 loss to Kentucky. The Buckeyes were down 6-1 with two outs in the seventh when Vanessa Spears hit a three-run home run. After loading the bases, Courtney Pruner was hit by a pitch to put the team within one. Whitney Cooper then fouled out to third, stranding the bases loaded.“I wish we would have started (the game) the way we ended it, but we missed our opportunities early,” Kalafatis said. After a 6-0 victory over the Bucknell Bison, OSU was able to notch the win against Kentucky to send them into the regional championship game.Freshman Melanie Nichols did not pitch at all Saturday, as she is day-to-day with soreness in her arm. She pitched three innings Friday night and received the loss against Kentucky.“Hopefully we will be able to throw her in one of the games tomorrow,” Kalafatis said. The only other pitching options for OSU are junior Karisa Medrano, who pitched a combined six innings in both games giving up three runs, and Miller. “I’ll pitch 14 innings (Sunday) if I have to,” Miller said. The Buckeyes must beat California twice Sunday to advance to the Super Regional tournament.OSU will play California Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Buckeye Field. If a second game is necessary, it will be played at 5:30 p.m.
Zach Boren has been training for this upcoming football season since he was a kid. Since he was 4 years old to be exact. The Ohio State senior fullback comes from a family of athletes. His parents, Mike and Hope Boren, played football and ran track, respectively, at Michigan in the early 1980s. His older brother, Justin, is an offensive guard for the Baltimore Ravens – as well as a former Buckeye – and his younger brother, Jacoby Boren, is a freshman offensive lineman at OSU. Everything the Pickerington, Ohio, native, and his brothers did growing up was a competition. So, when OSU coach Urban Meyer came to Zach Boren last winter and explained to the fullback what he wanted from him in terms of intensity and leadership, he was ready. “The way my parents raised me, it was kind of easy,” Zach Boren said of his transition from being a three-year veteran to becoming a senior leader. That competitive drive – the one Meyer said helps make Zach Boren “the best fullback in the country” – has been instilled in the 6-foot-1, 240-pounder from the first time he began playing football. Zach Boren started tackle football at 4 years old, the same year Justin Boren, who was 7, started. Every practice after stretching, the two would take a lap around a nearby baseball field to get warmed up. And any time Zach Boren tried to beat his older brother back to the field, he hit the ground. “Every time I would try to pass him, he would just throw me down in the dirt,” Zach Boren said. “When I was four and he was seven, we were competing on who would become first in a lap around the field before practice.” Zach Boren said his parents emphasized to him the importance of leadership throughout his childhood. The example he set for his teammates this offseason resulted in him being voted a captain of the 2012 Buckeyes. He’s had some help leading along the way, most of which came from his fellow captains: senior defensive lineman John Simon, redshirt senior linebacker Etienne Sabino, senior nose tackle Garrett Goebel and senior running back Jordan Hall. “We want to be those leaders,” Zach Boren said of himself and his fellow captains. “We want to set an example for the rest of the guys out there. It’s something that, ever since coach Meyer was here, he kind of told us what he expects.” Not only has Zach Boren fulfilled Meyer’s request, he has gone a step further. “We just took it and ran, and said, ‘All right, if you expect this, we’re going to do this and more, and bring other guys with us.’” Boren did bring other guys with him. Literally. Starting shortly after the Buckeyes season ended in January in a Gator Bowl loss to Florida, Zach Boren and Simon began taking younger players with them to their lifting sessions. Zach Boren usually brought sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, redshirt sophomore running back Rod Smith and junior running back Carlos Hyde. They did it because Meyer told them they were not allowed to be in the weight room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center unless they were with a younger player, but more so, Boren said, to motivate the players that will be taking their spots as leaders on the team in future years. Spending time with younger players meant Zach Boren and Simon were around each other less than they had been their previous three years at OSU. For the two seniors, who are likely as close as any two Buckeyes, it was a bit of an adjustment. “It’s weird. We always used to lift together and stuff from years past. But now, we kind of don’t lift with each other any more,” Zach Boren said. Their relationship, which, outside of football, consists mainly of poker nights, video games and joking around, hasn’t seemed to suffer, though. At Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, Simon and Zach Boren were each sitting at a roundtable, surrounded by a sea of reporters and photographers. Simon, glancing at Zach Boren, told a member of the media to go ask the fullback who is stronger. Zach Boren responded to the question, “I am,” with a smile. Simon had anticipated his friend’s answer, and told the reporter, jokingly, “go ask him again.” Boren laughed and said, “Tell him I have bigger arms than him.” The two often tease each other, but Meyer praises no one on the Ohio State roster more than Zach Boren and Simon. Meyer said of the two, “That’s why I got back into coaching.” As Boren’s role off the field has been praised and expanded, his responsibility on it is likely to increase, too. During his first three seasons at OSU, Boren had just one carry for two yards. He was a blocker, paving way for others to gain yards. That is likely to change this season. Since January, Zach Boren has lost 25 pounds, going from a 265-pound bruiser to a 240-pound playmaker. He’s lighter, faster and, Meyer said, will see action in a variety of ways. “He’s an athlete, but I didn’t know that. I wanted to evaluate him during the spring, and I did. He’s a guy that will touch the ball,” Meyer said. Zach Boren said he is excited to see what his role really is once the season starts this Saturday against Miami (Ohio). “I think I’m going to be used in a lot of different ways this year – like a hybrid, doing a lot of things,” Zach Boren said. “I don’t think my role will truly come out until Sept. 1 against Miami (Ohio) when we see what I’m doing on a regular basis.” Zach Boren said he might even see time in a wildcat formation, receiving snaps in the shotgun close to the goal line. “Maybe I’ll meet up with Tim Tebow one day and get some pointers from him. I’ve never met the guy, so I’m looking forward to meeting him whenever I do and get some pointers,” Zach Boren said of the former Florida and current New York Jets quarterback and jump-pass extraordinaire. In the same competitive mindset Zach Boren has had since he was 4 years old, when he tried to beat his older brother in a lap around a baseball field before pee-wee practices, the fullback said he is not going to settle for mediocrity in his final season as a Buckeye. Not even when it comes to the naming of his special formation. “Maybe you guys (reporters) can think of something, like wild tiger or something. Something that’s manly,” Boren said. OSU is set to open its season Saturday against Miami (Ohio) at noon at Ohio Stadium.
Five hundred and eleven Buckeyes were honored as Ohio State Scholar-Athletes Monday at the 46th Annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner at Archie Griffin Ballroom in the Ohio Union. The Big Ten Medal of Honor, given annually to the graduating male and female athletes who have shown the most proficiency in both academics and athletics, was given to senior fencer Max Stearns and senior softball player Alicia Herron. There were 10 finalists: senior women’s soccer star Tiffany Cameron, senior Katarzyna Dabrowa of the fencing team, senior volleyball player Mari Hole, senior synchronized swimmer Caitlin Stewart, Herron, senior football player Ben Buchanan, senior wrestler C.J. Magrum, redshirt senior tennis player Devin McCarthy, senior volleyball player John Tholen and Stearns. Fourteen student-athletes received honors at the dinner for having 4.0 cumulative GPAs, including Stearns. “This is my fourth (time receiving the 4.0 GPA honor) and it’s honestly a huge honor … some of the people here are just the best in their field both athletically and … academically,” Stearns said. “I’m just excited to be recognized for all of these awards.” Senior swimmer Kelsey Moran received the Leann Grimes-Davidge Award, which is given to a female reflecting the level of athletic performance, scholarship, leadership and character as Grimes-Davidge, a four-time state and Big Ten title winning women’s tennis player who graduated from OSU summa cum laude. Senior swimmer Lauren Massey received the M/I Homes Foundation Award, one of the first awards to specifically recognize and promote women’s achievements in intercollegiate athletics at OSU. The Woody and Anne Hayes Award went to graduated gymnast Nicole Krauter, McCarthy and senior soccer player Aly Walker. The award provides athletes with a minimum 3.0 GPA and leadership qualities with financial assistance for postgraduate studies. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to celebrate the greatness that we have across all the sports and in the classroom,” Walker said before the ceremony started. “We all get recognition for what we do on the field or on the court and I think this is great to see how smart we are at Ohio State.” Senior rower Julie Dick was presented with the Pierce Phoenix Award, for excellence in academics, athletics and personal growth through perseverance and hard work and is to be used for postgraduate studies at OSU. “This is great to be recognized for these awards and being appreciated is a good feeling,” Dabrowa said. “I want to succeed at everything I do and I have all these great people around me, like my teammates, family and coaches, who support me and motivate me every day.” The John Dana Cole Award was presented to Dabrowa. The award provides a one-time stipend for postgraduate studies at OSU and has a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0. The Corwin A. Fergus Memorial Award, given to student-athletes who have excelled in athletics, received at least a 3.0 GPA, demonstrated positive qualities of character and citizenship and shown potential for success in postgraduate studies, was awarded to four athletes: baseball’s redshirt senior David Fathalikhani, women’s track and field’s graduated Kelcey McKinney, Dick and Stearns. The award is given in the memory of Fergus, a former OSU football player, graduate of the OSU School of Law and a successful businessman. Each scholarship is worth $5,000 to be applied for postgraduate studies at OSU. Women’s gymnastics was recognized for having the highest GPA among the women’s teams, and women’s track and field was recognized with the most improved GPA, presented by Men’s Varsity O. For men’s sports, men’s golf took home recognition for having the highest GPA, and men’s rifle had the most improved GPA. The Varsity O graduate scholarship award was given to senior swimmer Andrew Spurling. The ceremony opened with remarks from OSU President E. Gordon Gee, athletic director Gene Smith, associate professor of law and chair for the OSU Athletic Council Charlie Wilson and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board Billy Gehring, a redshirt senior on the men’s track and field team and five-time scholar-athlete. The MC for the evening was Columbus Blue Jackets announcer Bill Davidge. Men’s basketball junior guard Aaron Craft, who was attending his third Scholar-Athlete Dinner, said he was honored to be invited again. “It’s fun to be around all of these people and it means a lot,” Craft said. “I came here to play basketball and everything, but to get an education that’s above a lot of other places and be successful, and be recognized for it means a lot.”
Senior guard Shannon Scott looks to score during a game against Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. OSU lost, 76-67. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorCHICAGO — It was a familiar tale for the Ohio State men’s basketball team Friday night at the United Center.The Buckeyes fell behind quickly, trailing by as many as 16 in the first half, as they were bounced from the Big Ten Tournament, 76-67, in the quarterfinals, marking the first time OSU failed to make the semifinals since 2009.The deficit swelled to as many as 17 in the second half for the Buckeyes, many of whom said the loss was due to not “staying within the system.”OSU coach Thad Matta said deviating from the system is the reason the Buckeyes dug themselves such a big hole.“The biggest thing I told our guys, you’ve got to trust the system more in terms of what we’re doing,” Matta said. “We deviated some, especially early, and it got us.”OSU’s leading scorer was once again freshman guard D’Angelo Russell, who echoed his coach’s words, adding that despite inching their way back, the Buckeyes can’t afford to keep putting themselves in the same type of situations.“When everything’s getting tough we always run away from our system instead of trusting it, and we always end up with a loss,” Russell said. “We always kick, scratch and claw back and cut it within six, five, whatever it is, but we always run away from our system and it shows at the end with a loss.”But what is the system?Another freshman, forward Jae’Sean Tate, said the system is as simple as each player executing their individual assignments.“Intensity on offense. Just doing your job. Setting screens, running the floor, just being prepared and playing hard. That’s the system,” Tate said. “We got to come out with intensity and we have to trust the system. When we do that, we are a whole completely different team. When we don’t, we come up short.”Tate, who will likely make his first NCAA Tournament appearance next week, said the Buckeyes remain confident they can make a run.“Every time we have trusted our system starting off the game the way we’re supposed to, with Ohio State basketball, we’re a pretty tough team,” Tate said. “I think that this week in practice, we are going to have to stay focussed and be ready.”Senior guard Shannon Scott, who scored 13 points to go along with nine assists in the loss to Michigan State, said he will need to be a more of a leader for the young Buckeyes as the season winds down.“I don’t call them freshmen anymore, but I definitely have to be more vocal,” he said. “They haven’t been in the NCAA Tournament. I’ve been fortunate to get to the Final Four, but also lose in the first round so I’ve been on both ends of the stick.”Ultimately, Scott said the Buckeyes need to relish the moment, while also keeping their intensity.“You got to enjoy it. It’s the best time of your life, but no one is going to step down,” Scott said. “It’s the NCAA Tournament. everybody feels like they can be a Cinderella team, no matter who it is.”The Buckeyes are set to find out their NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday night after the final conference tournament comes to a close.
Ohio State sophomore pitcher Connor Curlis delivers a pitch in the top of the second inning against North Carolina Greensboro on April 22 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Lantern reporterEven before they were Ohio State’s top two pitchers, Ryan Feltner and Connor Culis were friends.The pair atop the Buckeyes’ starting rotation has known each other since playing on Ohio Elite’s under-17 summer travel baseball team following their junior years of high school. Feltner committed to play at Ohio State just before Curlis did, before they both joined the travel team.“Knowing that I was gonna play [on Ohio Elite] with a guy I was going to be with in college was a good feeling,” Curlis said. “We got close that summer and then took it here.”The Ohio State coaching staff said Feltner and Curtis are practically inseparable during workouts. “They’re always working together, whether they’re playing catch, they’re long-tossing, whether they’re throwing bullpens the same day or the day after for the last two or three years,” pitching coach Mike Stafford said.Curlis steadily became one of Ohio State’s more reliable starters after flipping back and forth between the rotation and bullpen last season, leading the team in wins with five and maintaining an ERA of 4.02. Feltner saw a great deal of action throughout the 2017 season, but struggled at times with a 1-5 record and a 6.32 ERA. But he then dominated in the Cape Cod summer league, allowing zero runs in 15.1 innings with 15 strikeouts and seven walks en route to being named the Cape Cod’s outstanding relief pitcher.There has been plenty of offseason development to pin down the top two spots in the rotation this year. Senior reliever Seth Kinker said he hasn’t seen anyone work as hard as Feltner. Stafford agreed with that statement.“I do feel like he doesn’t leave anything behind, from a preparation standpoint,” Stafford said. “Ready to go, arm healthy, pitches ready, body, getting the [right] amount of sleep, food, no question.”Stafford also said Feltner’s slider has developed over time, a pitch that has been a point of emphasis for the duo in the off-season, in particular for Curlis.Feltner feels Curlis’ slider has really come along, essentially becoming his strikeout pitch now, which is impressive considering he just added it to his repertoire late last year. Curlis and Feltner often turn to each other for assistance in developing that specific breaking ball.“I feel like we’re both helping each other with that in our flat-ground work, throwing program every day, just to get that to our ‘A’ pitch,” Curlis said.Working together is nothing new for the pair. Curlis and Feltner have been workout partners since they first arrived on campus. That work has started to pay off with both Feltner and Curlis firmly entrenched in the top of Ohio State’s rotation.The two have taught each other a lot in that time. More than anything else, Curlis said, it’s helped them learn how to compete.“We have our strengths and our weaknesses, but just to attack and not pitch away from the bat,” Curlis said. “We’re not gonna strike out everyone.”
OSU coach Urban Meyer prepares to lead the Buckeyes onto the field before the OSU- Army game on Sep. 16. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignThere is an independent board group that will be working on the investigation surrounding Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer around the information he knew about the domestic abuse by wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith, according to a statement made by the university.“The special working group will direct the work of the investigative team and be available to provide consultation and advice and assist with communication to the full board on the matter,” the statement said.The group consists of six members: current trustees Alex Fischer, Janet Porter and Alex Shumate, former Ohio House speaker Jo Ann Davidson, former acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford and former U.S Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart.The group is looking into allegations that Meyer knew about incidents of domestic violence in 2009 and 2015 by Smith on his ex-wife, Courtney Smith. In a report by former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy, he said that Courtney Smith exchanged text messages with wives of all the Ohio State coaches, including Shelley Meyer, Urban’s wife.The football team announced on Thursday they were closing all practices to the media until further notice.
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Parveen from Rochdale, who admitted benefit fraud charges pleaded not to be jailed saying her Pakistani ex-husband was a jailbird drug addict, her daughter had been in an abusive arranged marriage and claimed another was so poorly, she had check on her at night to establish “she is still breathing”.But to sobs from her three children in the public gallery Judge Jonathan Foster QC jailed Parveen for eight months and told her: “This is not the first time this has happened and the long and short of it is you haven’t learnt your lesson from last time.”Benefit fraud is a prevalent offence and people think they can get away with it because they will only get a slap on the wrist.”This money is intended for the provision of community services and paid for by every citizen like me and all the other people in court. You must know that not only from your conviction but also from your background. “I have been asked to look at your case with compassion and mercy. You say you were under financial pressure due to your husband who was a drug addict and a criminal. Your children visited him in prison when they were young – but that must have been the case then in 2004 and yet you still didn’t learn.”It’s said that short prison sentences don’t do any good to the offender – however one of the purposes of them is punishment and the purpose of that is not only punishment to the individual but the reduction of crime.”The public must know and the public would expect that someone who defrauded more than £79,000 would expect no less than an immediate prison sentence.”The most important thing is for you to realise and for the public to realise that these offences will be punished by immediate imprisonment, whatever the mitigation.”The court heard Parveen had started claiming benefits in 2000 over a string of medical complaints including angina, high blood pressure, arthritis, high cholesterol and depression.In 2008 she got a job at the school – which helps pupils with learning difficulties – but failed to notify DWP that there had been a reduction in mobility restrictions and care needs.From Dec 21, 2007 to Sept 7, 2012 she made false representations in relation to Income Support, where she failed to disclose she was working and between September 2012 to October 2015 she pocketed Employment Support Allowance.From April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2013 she was working in relation to obtaining Council Tax. The fraud by failing to disclose information runs from April 1 2009 to March 21 2013 when she was working in relation to Housing Benefits. I hope the court will see the anguish it has caused her and also her daughterWilliam Staunton, defending A mother who stole almost £80,000 in welfare handouts has been condemned by a judge for taking money from “people like me”.Teaching assistant Maliha Parveen, 65, was already a convicted benefit cheat – having been freed by a court over a decade ago despite scrounging £12,000 from the taxpayer.But just three years after her conviction she began pocketing a new range of welfare payments including Income Support, Disability Living Allowance, Employment Allowance, Council Tax and Housing Benefits by falsely claiming she was out of work.She was caught after investigators from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) discovered she had been working at Redwood secondary school in Rochdale, Greater Manchester since 2008 and was previously a local authority civil servant.The total overpayment of benefits over an eight-year period between Dec 27, 2007 to Nov 2, 2015 amounted to £79,286.85.Inquiries revealed Parveen had been given a community order for her previous benefit fraud back in 2004. Maliha Parveen, 65, stole almost £80,000 in welfare handoutsCredit:ANTHONY MOSS/Cavendish Press Income Support fraudulently obtained was £13,852.75, Disability Living Allowance was £14,908.20, Employment Support Allowance was for £12,781, Council Tax benefits was for £2,424.97 and Housing Benefits totally £35,319.93.Julian Goode, prosecuting said: “Claims forms have tick box questions and she ticked ‘no’ to confirm she was not in employment.”Yet she was working for Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council since 2004 and since September 2008 she was working as a teaching assistant at Redwood school which is for students with learning disabilities.”Between 2008 and 2009 she was working 10 hours a week and between October 2009 and September 2015 she was working 15 hours a week. She was on average £8.43 per hour.”The duration of the fraud was 409 weeks and four days. She was interviewed and accepted the claims were dishonest, claiming she did it due to the financial pressure she was under at the time.”In mitigation, defence counsel William Staunton said his client had passed British citizenship tests and her family were paying back the stolen money at £150 per week.He added: “Her family know that their father was a cruel and nasty individual and a complete criminal who became addicted to drugs. There were times when drug dealers came and go at her door and make threats.”Although their father was sent to Pakistan, their childhood would have been extremely difficult with a man who left drugs around.”I hope the court will see the anguish it has caused her and also her daughter – a lady that suffers from brittle asthma which is so chronic it’s almost untreatable.”Some night she gets up to check that she is still breathing. There are others entirely dependent on their mother. This money is intended for the provision of community services and paid for by every citizen like me and all the other people in courtJudge Jonathan Foster QC The duration of the fraud was 409 weeks and four days. She was interviewed and accepted the claims were dishonestJulian Goode, prosecuting “Her daughter found herself in an arranged marriage which turned out to be abusive and it was only found out when she wore makeup in broad daylight to hide the bruises. The mother intervened and supported because she wanted to protect her family which has a very tight bond.”As someone who is looking at the gates of custody, she knows the reality of the situation but I hope the court could exercise a degree of mercy in these circumstances. A lot has changed since then, her husband is now out of the equation.”The family know the position she is in but one of her family pointed out the fact they as children had to visit their father in custody, it was a deeply troubling time for them.”They would find it difficult going to see their mother in custody”One of the prisons recently rioted – were she to be sent to jail would she be leading the charge throwing herself about or would she be in her room regretting what she had done, writing a letter to one of her beloved children?”It’s something the whole family have looked at. One of them is a teacher, one works in a solicitors office and one is an account manager.”She has failed in the eyes of her family. She had the shame of being in a relationship with a man who was nearly spat at in the street. That shame he brought on the family she now feels she has contributed to all of that.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? 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West Brom centre-forward Jeff Astle challenging for the ball in 1968, whose daughter now says brains of former footballers should be donated for research Credit:PA Jeff Astle died of a degenerative brain condition aged 59Credit:PA Today’s research will be a spur to the growing campaign to force the Football Association to focus more on the dangers of heading.Critics say the sport’s governing body has been slow to recognise the issue, despite the long list of famous players who have suffered from dementia.These include the former Tottenham captain Danny Blanchflower, Bob Paisley, who played made 253 appearances for Liverpool, and Jeff Astle. They found evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can be caused by repeated blows to the head and is a condition known to lead to dementia.The rate of CTE in the footballers’ brains was greater than the 12 per cent average found in the general population.The players had also developed dementia around their mid-sixties, an average of ten years earlier than most people afflicted with the incurable disease.Dr Helen Ling, the UCL scientist who led the research, said this was the first time CTE had been confirmed in a group of retired footballers.“These players had the same pathology as boxers,” she said.“The most pressing question now is to ask how common dementia is among retired footballers.“If we can demonstrate that the risk is higher than the normal population then we would need to look at putting preventative strategies in place.” Astle’s daughter Dawn, who lost her father in 2002, welcomed the new UCL study, but said she was not surprised by its conclusions.“I think that’s what is so very frustrating, the fact that it’s nearly 15 years since my dad died and the fact that nothing from any footballing authorities has been done.“It is really indefensible and disgraceful.” Professor Huw Morris, a consultant neurologist at the Royal Free Hospital, said footballers may not only be damaging their brains from heading, but also from rapid decelerations while playing and impacts with other bodies.He cautioned, however, against extrapolating the new findings to the wider football playing public, and emphasised that retired footballers have a lower mortality rate than the general population because of the general fitness benefit.“At the moment we don’t know the extent of the problem,” he said.“Clearly more research needs to be done.”Last December the Professional Footballers’ Association called on the game’s authorities to consider banning children under the age of 10 from heading the ball, following research by the University of Stirling which found players suffered memory impairment after heading.The FA’s head of medicine, Dr Charlotte Cowie, welcomed the new study, which is published in the journal Acta Neuropathalogica.She said a 2015 panel had decided research was needed into whether degenerative brain disease is more common among former footballers.“The FA is determined to support this research and is also committed to ensuring that any research process is independent robust and thorough, so that when the results emerge, everyone in the game can be confident in its findings,” she said. Professional football is as risky as boxing in causing brain damage that can lead to dementia and early death, a major new investigation warns.Scientists at University College London say years of heading the ball can cause the same type of progressive damage as suffered by heavyweight prizefighters.They have called for “urgent” widescale research to establish whether repeated sub-concussive head impacts caused by heading may also be prompting dementia in the amateur game.Meanwhile, the daughter of the former England striker Jeff Astle, who died of a degenerative brain disease aged 59, criticised the football authorities’ “indefensible and disgraceful” response to the issue.Researchers conducted post-mortem examinations of the brains of five professional players, and one “committed” amateur, who had played for an average of 26 years and who had all suffered from dementia. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Laura Kenny, the four-time Olympic champion, said “all I do is ride a bike” as she spoke of the “huge honour” at being made a CBE alongside her husband Jason during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace yesterday.The 25-year-old cyclist, who is expecting her first child, said “nothing compares” to being given the award, despite announcing her pregnancy, getting married and winning two gold Olympic medals in the last 12 months.”I almost feel like I don’t deserve it”, she said. “There’s service people and it’s such a huge honour, but I feel like all I do is ride a bike.” Showjumping champion Nick Skelton, who became Britain’s second-oldest gold medallist with victory at Rio 2016, was also be honoured. The Warwickshire rider, 59, retired from the sport earlier this month.A number of Paralympians were also honoured at the ceremony, including archers Joanna Frith, John Walker and Jessica Stretton. Credit:Yui Mok/PA Wire Mrs Kenny said she was still “doing bits and bobs – I’m doing about two hours of exercise a day” but admitted that she was enjoying having some time off from training.”It’s actually nice – me and Jason are spending a lot more time together. We’re doing things we never really did, like going down to my parents’ house, for example.” Speaking after the ceremony, he said: “I’m still training, just ticking over, just relaxing, letting the dust settle. Obviously we’ve got an extra family member coming at the end of the year.”He said he was “excited” but “a little bit worried” about juggling being a father with training for another Olympic Games.”If it fits, it fits, and if it doesn’t then I’ll do something else.” Credit:John Stillwell/PA Wire Laura Kenny is awarded a CBE for services to cyclingCredit:Yui Mok/PA Wire The two arrived to pick up their CBEsCredit:PA/JULIAN SIMMONDS FOR THE DAILY TELEGRAPH She said the Princess Royal, who led the investiture ceremony, asked her “what it was like to have a break, to have a bit of time off – because obviously she’s from a sporting background herself so she knows what it’s like. “So that was nice for her to say and actually realise that I haven’t had a break since 2010.”Mr Kenny, who was also made a CBE for his services to cycling,described the day as “mega”, and said he was still considering whether to aim for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Rachel Morris, who has won gold medals in cycling and rowing, will also receive an award.Olympic sailor Hannah Mills and England footballers Alexandra Scott and Karen Carney are among the other athletes to be recognised.Rowers Scott Durant, Paul Bennett, Matt Gotrel, Phelan Hill and Pete Reed will also be honoured after their team struck gold in Rio. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Ian McKellen as King Lear Credit:Johan Persson Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “So it is just possible that he got up to no good somewhere in the East End of London and caught that.” Prof Bate said it could explain the “outbursts of anger and also outbursts of sexual disgust” in the play. “It’s painful to read, especially so nowadays where we’re so attuned to misogyny.”Sir Antony added that there was also “a belief that [Shakespeare] was actually gay, which of course doesn’t mean that he was anti-women but can be added to the literature”.Syphilis arrived in England at the end of the 15th century and was known as “the pox” or “the French disease”. By 1548 around a quarter of patients treated at St Bart’s were reported to be syphilitic. Prof Bate said: “I have to be very wary about speculating and projecting Shakespeare’s autobiography on his plays but I do think you’re on to something around that.”There are just little bits of circumstantial evidence: a couple of the late sonnets have reference to the mercury baths which is where you went when you caught syphilis. There’s a whiff of scandal around Shakespeare in the end of King James’s reign. His hair falls out; it’s also the case it seems that he wasn’t at court much with the actors and there was a law that if someone was suspected of being infected with syphilis, which was endemic at the time, they weren’t allowed within 400 yards of the monarch. Shakespeare used vile language about women in King Lear because he was bitter about contracting syphilis, a leading scholar has suggested.The play is peppered with derogatory lines about women and Lear rages that beneath the waist “there’s hell, there’s darkness, there’s the sulfurous pit”, while wishing sterility on his daughter, Goneril, ad calling her “a plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle, in my corrupted blood”.In a discussion with Sir Antony Sher at the Cheltenham Literature Festival about Shakespeare’s misogyny, Professor Sir Jonathan Bate, Oxford academic and authority on the Bard, said syphilis could be the explanation.Sir Antony said the anti-female language in the play is “startling” and “graphic”. “I don’t believe that in a modern play you could write that now. And there’s something so visceral in the way Shakespeare has Lear saying it, that I began to wonder if there was some autobiographic stuff there – whether he had some problem with women,” he said.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Previous studies have shown that a history of pre-eclampsia is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment, but those studies had several limitations and results have been inconsistent.To overcome the limitations, researchers at the Statens Serum Institut in Denmark set out to compare the risks of dementia among women with and without a history of pre-eclampsia.Using national medical registers, they analysed data from more than 1.1 million women in Denmark who gave birth at least once between 1978 and 2015 and had not been diagnosed with heart disease, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, or dementia before first birth.After taking account of age and previous births, the researchers found that women with a history of pre-eclampsia had more than three times the risk of vascular dementia later in life compared with women with no history of pre-eclampsia.Researchers said that the association seemed to be particularly strong for late onset disease – 65 and older – than for early onset disease.The study was observational, so could not prove cause and effect. A common complication of pregnancy could triple the risk of some forms of dementia, new research suggests.Pre-eclampsia is a serious disorder suffered by up to one in 14 pregnant women.Now a new study has shown that it is associated with an increased risk of later dementia, particularly vascular dementia, caused by reduced blood supply to the brain due to diseased blood vessels.The findings, published by The BMJ, suggest that asking about a history of pre-eclampsia could help physicians to identify women who might benefit from early interventions, such as reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition where abnormally high blood pressure and other complications develop during pregnancy. It is dangerous for both mother and child.
This is the moment a man suspected of carrying out a sex assault rampage across the country leapt through strangers’ gardens a short time after his final alleged abduction. Joseph McCann, 34, was arrested in a tree near Congleton in the early hours of Monday after allegedly abducting and raping victims, including children, over the past fortnight. Cheshire Police said that two 14-year-old girls were snatched from the street around 6.30pm on Sunday in Congleton, but nearby officers were quickly alerted and gave chase. Driving a black Fiat car, the suspect allegedly smashed into a vehicle at a roundabout and continued driving until he reached a cul-de-sac on Obelisk Way. He was forced to abandon…
London Mining is expanding into coal. With a 2,360 Mt portfolio of iron assets supplying, and being developed for, the global steel industry, London Mining believes that an expansion into coal extraction can deliver significant value. Both the iron and coal divisions will be overseen at group level with the possibility of mutually beneficial funding, development and off take agreements being made for the complementary projects. Experienced technical and operating management teams shall operate at project level. London Mining believes that its multi asset approach to supplying the steel industry with raw materials will enable it to establish favourable partnering agreements with steel producers and realise benefits from geographic and development stage diversification. With production and late stage development already successfully realised by the company, replicating that success in its coal division, as well as further building its base of iron ore assets, is the next strategic step. The Iron Division:Strategic review of Brazilian iron ore operations continuing as planned, with review process expected to conclude before end of Q3 2008, at which stage London Mining will update the marketMexico development underway with first production expected early 2009Sierra Leone infrastructure program and port negotiations in progressSaudi Arabia and Greenland co-development assessment near completionFor the Coal Division, London Mining has reached agreement with Delta Mining Consolidated (DMC) to subscribe for up to 50.5% of DMC Energy, a subsidiary of DMC, for a total of up to $120million in staged payments, with the first such payment subject only to receipt of regulatory approvals in South Africa. Following completion of an internal reorganisation by DMC, DMC Energy will own the following interests in South African mining assets:70% of Ashante Mineral Resource, which holds the Rietkuil coal project (Inferred In-Situ Resource of up to 288 Mt of coal). Rietkuil is situated 13 km from Eskom’s Kendel power station and 43 km from Eskom’s refurbished Grootvlei power station. Road, rail and power infrastructure is all available on site30.35% (to increase to 69.65% upon completion of London Mining investment and DMC Energy reorganisation) of DMC Coal Mining, which holds the Limpopo coal project and the Pixley Ka Seme (PKS) coal and torbanite project. The potential resource of the Limpopo project is 426 Mt of in situ metallurgical and thermal coal. The PKS project includes a coal deposit in excess of 234 Mt in situ as well as 73 Mt torbanite (high yielding oil shale) with estimated yield of 1 barrel of synthetic crude per tonne of shale. Coal deposits include anthracite, steam coals and metallurgical coalDMC has also secured an irrevocable 40 Mt/y port allocation through the future Porto du Bella Vista port in Mozambique and is in the process of acquiring additional coal exploration assets in Botswana (70%), Zimbabwe (65%) and Swaziland (70%). These assets will be transferred to DMC Energy after registration is complete and all coal projects developed by DMC shall be developed through DMC Energy. Under the terms of the subscription and loan agreement, London Mining has agreed:to acquire, through a wholly owned subsidiary, for an aggregate cash consideration of US$16.5million, 39.3% of DMC Coal by acquiring the entire issued share capital of Torbanite One, a company whose sole asset is a 39.3% holding of DMC Coal ;subject to regulatory approval, to make a secured loan to DMC Energy in the sum of $18.5million, to be drawn down as to $4.5million immediately upon receipt of South African regulatory approvals. This funding will be sourced from London Mining’s existing cash resources upon receipt of South African regulatory approvals, and following completion of the internal reorganisation by DMC, to acquire 21% of DMC Energy, such subscription to be satisfied by way of the contribution of Torbanite One shares or the 39.3% interest in DMC Coal to DMC Energy and by conversion of $4.5 million of the loan to equityupon receipt of regulatory approvals and the parties having entered into a shareholders’ agreement in relation to DMC Energy, to increase its interest in DMC Energy shares to 28%, such further subscription to be satisfied by the conversion to equity of the balance of the loan, being $14 million, by the end of September 2008.This funding will be used by DMC Energy for the following purposes:To complete a Bankable Feasibility Study on the Rietkuil project and carry out preparation stages for the commencement of mining at Rietkuil targeted for late 2009To acquire the shares in Rietkuil for DMC energy which are not already held by DMC GroupTo extend the exploration programme on LimpopoAcquisition of assets in Botswana and other areasProject and support costs for existing projectsAcquisition of outstanding warrants in relation to DMC Coal sharesFunding of DMC Energy’s restructuring costs and certain transaction costs.
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the China Industry Research and Investment Analysis: Iron Ore Mining Industry, 2008 report to its offering. The unprecedented growth seen in China, India and Russia has created strong demand for iron ore. China itself consumes over 50% of the world’s iron ore production. The shortage of iron ore will continue until 2011. With China’s ongoing construction of infrastructure it neeeds more iron ore in the coming years. The rapid increase in its steel consumption and production has created extra demand for iron ore. China’s crude steel output this year is forecast to rise about 10% to 550 Mt. Chinese steel-makers have bought stakes in Australian iron ore miners, as they are anxious to secure supplies of an essential raw material that is in short supply. The supply growth is slower than expected. Iron ore prices are booming, driven by the global appetite for steel in developing countries. Increased Chinese demand for iron ores and continuous rise of international sea freight pushed up the iron ore price sharply by 86% in 2007, and have raised prices fivefold since 2001 to a record, spurring Vale, Rio and BHP Billiton, and others, to expand mines. The price of iron ore imports will increase by 96.5% in 2008, by 20% in 2009, and could jump further should there be delays in output.China’s domestic iron ore producers have not been able to meet demand, which has led to China’s import of iron ore doubling between 2003 and 2006, increasing by 70 Mt from a year ago, and will double imports in the next six years, making China the largest importer of iron ore. By 2010, China’s import of iron ores will increase from 275 Mt in 2005 to 540 Mt, and its dependence on imported iron ores will also be raised from 52.5 to 62.9% in the same period.China Industry Research and Investment Analysis: Iron Ore Mining Industry, 2008 says it provides in-depth analysis and detailed insight into China’s iron ore mining industries, market drivers, basic industry indices, competitive landscape, key enterprises and their strategies, as well as technologies and investment trends.This report is divided into nine parts (a total of 19 chapters):1. Industry overview2. Basic indices3. Economic operation4. Competitive landscape5. Key enterprises6. Business strategy7. Market investment8. Technology9. Developments and trendsThere are also 152 figures and tables in the report.Data source: national statistics, market research and monitoring, industry associations and institutions, import-export statistics, and others.Key Topics Covered:– Iron ore mining industry definition and development– Macroeconomic environment for the iron ore mining industry and its impact– International market for the iron ore mining industry– Domestic market for the iron ore mining industry– 2003-2007 scale of the iron ore mining industry– Asset analysis for the iron ore mining industry: 2003-2007– Gross output value of the iron ore mining industry: 2003-2007– Sales revenue of the iron ore mining industry: 2003-2007– Gross profit of the iron ore mining industry: 2003-2007– Import and Export of the iron ore mining industry in 2007– Competitive landscape of the iron ore mining industry– Competitiveness comparison of key enterprises in the iron ore mining industry (top ten enterprises)– Economic index comparison of key enterprises in the iron ore mining industry– Bottleneck for the iron ore mining industry and strategies to cope with it– Business strategies and recommendations for the iron ore mining industry– Comparative analysis of the investment activity coefficients and investment returns of the iron ore mining industry– Investment environment and risks for the iron ore mining industry– Application of the newest technologies in the iron ore mining industry and its trend– Development trends and operation capability of the iron ore mining industryCompanies Mentioned:– Magang (Group) Holding Co., Ltd.– Shandong Beijin Group Co., Ltd.– Hanxing Metallurgical Mining Administration– Shandong Jinshunda Group Co., Ltd.– Laiwu Iron & Steel Group Lunan Mining Co., Ltd.– Zhejiang Litie Association Co., Ltd.– Hainan Iron & Steel Company– Guangdong Dading Mining Co., Ltd.– Kunming Iron & Steel (Group) Co. Ltd.– Tangshan City Rongmao Holdings Co., Ltd.– Zunhua City North Mining Co., Ltd.– Shanghai Meishani Mining Co., Ltd.– Chongqing Steel Group Mine Co., Ltd.– Fujian Anxi New Field Mineral Development Co., Ltd.– Chengde Kuanfeng Mining Co., Ltd.– Qian’an City Malanzhuang Nanshan Iron Ore Company– Zibo Wangda Shares Co., Ltd.– Zibo Hualian Mining Co., Ltd.– Shandong Jinling Iron Ore Mine– Liaoning Jinchang Mining Co., Ltd.For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4bcf1d/china_industry_res
Meeting strict government air emission regulations while maximising productivity and profitability is a problem many mines are currently facing. One solution to this is Bestech’s AQMTM (air quality monitoring), a system designed to monitor SO2 emissions, surface and air temperatures, solar radiation, and the speed and direction of the wind. It then delivers this data through a web-based platform to mining companies and the Ministry of Environment, helping determine ambient SO2 concentrations and quality assurance.In 2005 Inco (now Vale Inco) and Falconbridge (now Xstrata) approached Bestech to create an innovative air quality monitoring system to replace their existing outdated system. This request formed the AQM, which is made up of the largest SO2 monitoring network operating in Canada with 17 active SO2 monitoring sites, two meteorological stations, and one SO2 mobile unit operating in Greater Sudbury.The two mining companies and the ministry all have very large and different information technology architectures for the collected data. The Ministry of the Environment requires accurate third-party historical data to monitor industry emissions, and uses the information for long-term studies. “Just as important as the AQM system is the service that Bestech provides us,” says Frank Javor, Manager of Environment Air for Vale Inco. “Bestech operates and maintains the system, interfaces with the Ministry of Environment and performs the legal reporting necessary.”The information is received by Vale Inco’s smelter emission reduction program (ERP) operators, who run dispersion models based on numerous pieces of meteorological and AQM data to accurately manage the smelter’s production levels. “The AQM data collected helps our ERP operator make better decisions in a shorter time frame,” says Javor.Xstrata’s smelting operations receive real-time data to allow them to react and adjust production levels, further ensuring control and legislative emission compliance. It feeds the data from AQM directly into its smelter’s SO2 modelling systems, which allows it to predict what its emission levels will be for the entire work day with a high degree of accuracy. “The ability to rely on the real-time data and know that it’s accurate, reliable and that we can increase or reduce output at different times of the day’s production is very valuable,” says Marc Butler, Superintendent of Environment, Xstrata.Due to extreme environmental conditions the system operates under, the AQM system was designed using a solid-state PLC collection solution in order to weather out power interruptions and fluctuations that usually cripple PC based systems. The system has been designed with multi-level security access and several data redundancy levels in order to provide 98% data collection and retrieval 24 h/d, seven days a week. Large volumes of data are delivered simultaneously through redundant communication channels that range from cable Ethernet, wireless, dial up or RFH networks managed by the Bestech servers and delivered to the Ministry of the Environment and the operational control centres of each mine site. All data is simultaneously archived using three different types of recording mediums further increasing the system’s capabilities. Should an emission exceedance occur, the system can alert stakeholders through SMS, email or telephone. Instantly, a series of co-ordinated processes occur notifying managers, operators and support technicians to verify their respective operational system settings.Most recently, the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) purchased the AQM system for its Labrador City operations. “We will be providing a turnkey AQM solution which should be commissioned in June 2010”, says Pat Dubreuil, Manager of Bestech’s Technical Support Division. It will provide IOC with a SQL view interfaced by an OSI PI RDMS solution, further improving IOC’s data capture and historical emission performance and compliance.“We are seeing an increase in demand for Bestech’s AQM system from various smelting sites and municipalities operating waste disposal sites. These groups are attracted to AQM’s scaleability, its unlimited user licences and full service management options. There are more queries now from other industries who see the flexibility and versatility of AQM’s capability to track data collection for waste water meter flows, piezometer fluctuations and land and geophysics data,” says Dubreuil.The AQM system is now being incorporated into another of Bestech’s products called NRG1-ECOTM. NRG1-ECO is a minewide energy management solution which provides system control strategies such as ventilation-on-demand (VOD) that dramatically reduces a mine’s energy consumption while maximising productivity, profitability and worker safety. AQM will play an important part within the system in collecting and reporting air quality data within the mines.“With Bestech’s AQM system and our company’s attention to due diligence and established processes, we feel better prepared to prevent air quality exceedances because AQM is reliable and effective as it feeds data seamlessly into our systems,” says Marc Butler, Xstrata. “In fact,” adds Butler, ‘since working with Bestech and implementing the AQM solution, my involvement with emission-related issues has nearly disappeared.”In 2010, Xstrata is hoping to exceed its production tonnage from previous years and despite this, Butler feels confident that the smelting operation will further reduce emissions with the help of AQM and Xstrata’s other internal systems. www.bestech.com
A collaboration has been announced between one of the world’s great copper mines, Palabora Mining Co (Palamin), the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) and technology development company, Iron Mineral Beneficiation Services (IMBS) to explore the establishment of an iron-making facility Phalaborwa. IMBS technology would be used to beneficiate Palamin’s magnetite reserves.“While continuing to investigate all options to extend the copper operation at the Phalaborwa site, Palamin has been investigating opportunities around the company’s 240 Mt magnetite stockpile as a means to extend life of mine,” said Managing Director, Matt Gili. IMBS has developed the Finesmelt™ technology, which allows the reduction of super-fine iron ore to a highly metallised iron product. This product can be briquetted as a feedstock for electric steel-making or can be further beneficiated by melting to produce steel products.Gili said a number of synergies could be explored with IMBS. “These include brownfield site establishment and diversification within the existing Phalaborwa Industrial Complex. This long-term project will not only lead to significant job creation opportunities but will also have the environmental benefit of removing the substantial magnetite stockpile.”IMBS chief executive officer John Beachy Head: “The IMBS technology has evolved to a stage where the next step is the establishment of a commercial-sized production unit. We have conducted considerable test work and analysis on various site options, both internally and with specialist advisors, and an operation at the Phalaborwa site is a logical choice. Our technology is imminently suited to the ore resource and our pilot plant test work shows excellent results using Palamin magnetite.” A project team has been put in place and is expected to deliver a detailed feasibility study by the end of 2010 for a 500,000 t/y ironmaking opportunity at Phalaborwa.