Charleston, W.Va., April 8 — Many in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky were dismayed when news came that notorious Massey coal baron Don Blankenship would face only a maximum of one year in prison for his role in the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster. Blankenship was not even charged with the murder of the 29 miners, but rather “conspiracy to willfully violate mine health and safety standards.” (more at “Coal Mine Boss found guilty of conspiracy”)Don BlankenshipCritical observers have expressed doubt that he would see any jail time, due to the long history of a lack of punishment for capitalist coal barons who put profit ahead of human well-being. However, Blankenship’s crimes and cavalier attitude toward the lives of workers were so egregious that he was, in fact, sentenced to a full year in prison and forced to pay a $250,000 fine. The federal prosecutor recommended this sentence, which is the maximum possible for this misdemeanor.The day after the verdict, Blankenship’s million-dollar attorneys filed a notice of appeal on his behalf. They say they are confident that the decision will be overturned. Currently, it is not known when he will be required to report to prison.After the verdict, Blankenship told the Charleston Gazette-Mail: “There was no direct evidence I committed a crime. I am not guilty of a crime.” Instead of owning up to his crime and being eternally grateful that he’s getting off easy, Blankenship continues to mock workers and their families.Capitalism: a law for rich, another for poorIt’s a scathing indictment of the capitalist system, and the state that protects it, that a millionaire who killed 29 people was given a mere slap on the wrist while Black and Brown youth are being locked away for decades over minor drug offenses — and when released, cannot get a job due to their record. Blankenship has no such difficulties ahead of him. He has amassed a fortune robbing the working class of the products of their labor. His net worth is rumored to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. In West Virginia, even in the rare instances where the federal government might consider a criminal coal boss liable, the barons can get away with mass murder if they write a big enough check.Outside the courtroom, the people let Blankenship hear their righteous indignation. “That man has no remorse,” said Tommy Davis, who lost his son, nephew and brother in the explosion.“He’s standing up there, and he’s hugging them people. I don’t hug nothing but a damn tombstone. I hold a picture. I don’t get to hold no grandchildren.”“I miss my family. He hugged his, and all he gets is a year,” local media outlet WSAZ reported Davis as saying. “They need to be stricter, more harsh penalties for people like that who puts greed — money — over human life.”Union member and organizer with the Appalachian Workers Alliance, Ethan Young, commented: “I pray that Blankenship’s cellmate is one of the countless miners who broke his body in those mines and became addicted to pain pills while trying to cope with the painful existence he endured for the profit of the Coal Baron.”That Blankenship is able to walk away from this with his pockets only a little lighter is an indictment of the system, proof that the political establishment and their courts can’t deliver justice for West Virginia’s working class. The only way forward is the seizure of state power and the means of production by the working class. We must build a new system — a democratically planned economy where all property is collectively owned by the working class and all labor is directed at fulfilling people’s needs, instead of making profits for a small minority of millionaires and billionaires.For more on the struggle, follow the Appalachian Workers Alliance blog at bit.ly/1MZ9Mhi, on Facebook at fb.com/appalachianworkersalliance and on Twitter @AWAworkers.Stephen Pearson, an organizer with the Appalachian Workers Alliance, contributed to this article.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Linkedin Facebook Previous articleLynch will give Clare the ‘utmost respect’ as the counties open the Munster ChampionshipNext articleBREAKING — Gardai begin investigation into claims of fraud involving substantial Limerick Council funds David Raleigh TAGSKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick PostUHLuniversity hospital limerick Twitter Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener WhatsApp LimerickNewsLimerick hospital group closes field hospital as extra bed capacity comes on streamBy David Raleigh – October 23, 2020 2421 Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Print Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Email RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Cleaners prepare the Intermediate Care Facility at University of Limerick. Photo: Cian ReinhardtA temporary field hospital built last June on the grounds of the University of Limerick to alleviate pressure on the overcrowded University Hospital Limerick (UHL), as the coronavirus pandemic swept the country, closed today, after the hospital decided it no longer required the facility.Ninety-eight new beds are coming on stream at UHL between now and the end of the year, said local Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell, who welcomed today’s decision to transfer patients from the ICF within the hospital group and reassign staff to support the phased opening of a new COVID-19 fourteen-bed ward at UHL.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The 68 bed Intermediate Care facility (ICF) which was located at the UL Sports Arena, catered for a total of 188 non Covid-19 patients who would otherwise have been blocking beds within the UL Hospitals Group.A spokeswoman at University of Limerick said “the decision to close the Intermediate Care Facility at the UL Sport Arena was made by University Hospital Limerick” and not UL.“UHL had the scope to use the UL Sport Arena up until the end of November and they did not seek an extension on that timeline,” she said.“Work will commence shortly on re-establishing the UL Arena for use by UL once Government COVID 19 restrictions ease in the future but it will remain closed under Level 5 restrictions.”Five of the last remaining ICF patients were transferred for ongoing care within the UL Hospitals Group.Seven of fourteen new beds were opened at UHL today, and the remaining seven will be “opened over the coming days” said a hospital spokesman.The two-storey 14 single en suite room ward block was a “rapid build construction” developed as part of the Government’s national action plan for the pandemic and will treat COVID-19 patients.The ICF was “developed as a contingency solution to the patient flow and crowding challenges experienced in the region’s hospitals during the pandemic” the spokesman went on.Management at UHL informed local politicians of the closure in a zoom call that the ICF was unlikely to be used again, despite its success.Nphet (the National Public Health Emegerncy Team) announced there were 83 new cases of covid-19 in the region (Limerick 37; Clare 30; Tipperary 16).University Hospital Limerick was today the most overcrowded hospital in the country withy 56 patients on trolleys.In response to the ICF closure, Margaret Gleeson, Chief Director of Nursing & Midwifery ULHG, said she was “immensely proud of the way all staff redeployed and embraced a new and challenging situation in a way that delivered enormous benefits for the patients we cared for”.Yvonne Young, ICF Assistant Director of Nursing d it had been “more than a mere unit, it was something truly special—a hospital without doors, with the patient at the centre of a multidisciplinary team in which everyone had a voice, I’m hopeful that we can learn from this model of care for the benefit of all our hospitals”.The ICF allowed for the clinical placements for 33 students.Professor Paul Burke, Chief Academic Officer of UL Hospitals Group and Vice Dean of Health Sciences at UL, who was executive lead on the ICF project, said the ICF was “a hugely positive experience for all involved, with tangible benefits for all”.UL Hospitals Group CEO Colette Cowan said the ICF had been “a vital strategic element in our efforts to manage patient flow at this unprecedented and challenging time”.Local Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell welcomed the decision and said there was “one COVID patient in the Intensive Care Unit” at UHL.He explained that hospital managers told him they have “sufficient capacity” at the moment.Deputy O’Donnell said a “60-bed block is due to open at the UHL in November”.He said that 20 extra beds have opened at UHL “on a phased basis since August” and four more were due to open up in the next week.“I’ve pushed for extra capacity at UHL for a long time now and I welcome the additional capacity coming on stream, and I think it makes sense to have extra capacity at UHL and not at UL.”A 24 bed block is under construction at Croom Orthopedic Hospital, also under the ULHG umbrella, while additional 96 bed unit has been proposed at UHL.UL Hospitals Group has been asked for a response. 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FEATURES: A Tractor run and Charity Auction Presentation night has been organised to celebrate the memory of Shane Brolly – who tragically lost his life in a road traffic accident.Shane Brolly who tragically lost his life in June 2013.Shane tragically lost his life when the car he was a passenger in crashed on the Glenfin Road, just outside Ballybofey in June, 2013. However, friends and family of the popular teenager have organised a number of events and initiatives over the years in memory of his life.They organised a sky dive in 2013 – and last year held a hugely successful tractor run with ALL proceeds going to the wonderful service provided by the Donegal to Galway cancer bus service.This year organisers have gone one better, they’ve retained the tractor run, but they’ve also arranged a charity auction presentation night with music by The Whistlin’ Donkeys!The event takes place on Sunday, October 25th at The Villa Rose Hotel. Tickets are €10 and ALL money raised on the night will go to the Donegal to Galway cancer bus service. TRACTOR RUN IN MEMORY OF DONEGAL TEENAGER KILLED IN TRAGIC CAR ACCIDENT was last modified: October 15th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FeaturesmemorialnewsNoticesShane Brolly
10 December 2010Risk management and insurance brokerage firm Aon South Africa, a subsidiary of US company Aon Corporation, has made an offer to acquire JSE-listed Glenrand MIB for approximately R523-million.The transaction will make Aon South Africa a leading risk broker the South African financial services market, as well as a leading global broker in Africa, with offices in 32 cities and towns throughout the continent.“The proposed acquisition will elevate Aon’s position in the local market and provide our clients with a global network and top talent while offering additional economies of scale in certain of our niche segments,” Aon sub-Saharan Africa CEO Anton Roux said in a statement this week.“Glenrand MIB’s strong presence in the South African market is a natural complement to Aon’s established Africa footprint.”Commitment to AfricaGlenrand MIB will add around 15 000 corporate and commercial clients to Aon – including many of the JSE’s blue-chip companies – as well as over 60 000 personal lines clients. Glenrand MIB’s existing operations in sub-Saharan Africa will strengthen Aon’s network, which together span 14 countries across the region.The combined entity will also increase the number of offices nationally to 17.“This acquisition brings together two premier organisations and reinforces Aon’s strong commitment to the African continent,” said Aon Risk Solutions CEO Steve McGill. “Combining the best talent between our two organizations enhances our ability to deliver world class solutions to our clients.”Access to global expertiseIf the acquisition is approved, Glenrand MIB’s clients will have immediate access to Aon’s global network spanning more than 500 offices in 120 countries across all business lines, including access to Aon’s global broking centres in London, Singapore and Bermuda and its reinsurance markets via reinsurance intermediary Aon Benfield.Meanwhile, Aon Hewitt will provide the full suite of human capital consulting and outsourcing services.In terms of the black economic empowerment (BEE) structure of the new entity, Aon envisages that at least 25% of the new shareholding will lie with BEE shareholders.Glenrand MIB shareholders are expected to vote on the acquisition in due course and once all approvals are obtained, Glenrand MIB will delist from the JSE.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Letran hiked its record to 5-3 while San Sebastian, which rallied from an early double-digit deficit, dropped to 3-4.Calvo wound up with 12 points and eight assists.Jerrick Balanza sealed the game by hitting two free throws with 26.9 ticks to go.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Alapag confident of Gilas’ chances in another PH-Korea duel UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village FILE PHOTO by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLetran continued its winning ways after surviving San Sebastian, 79-75, in overtime in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday night at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Rey Nambatac posted another double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds while JP Calvo hit the go-ahead free throws, 77-75, with 1:20 left and made a crucial steal off the inbound pass as the Knights chalked up their fourth straight victory.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games NCAA Season 93 Preview: San Sebastian Stags PLAY LIST 01:53NCAA Season 93 Preview: San Sebastian Stags02:11NCAA Season 93 Preview: Letran Knights02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9301:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Jeo Ambohot added 11 points and eight rebounds before going down with a right wrist injury following a nasty fall at the 5:48 mark of the third quarter. for the Knights, who blew a 12-point lead in the first half,“All credit to the boys. Their character showed when Jeo was out and everybody stepped up,” said Letran head coach Jeff Napa.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Four [straight] wins is nothing. It’s not our main target. Our focus is to win as many games as we can,” Napa added.San Sebastian forward Michael Calisaan scored 18 points, including the game-tying triple, 71-all, with 1:14 remaining in regulation. View comments Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago
“I think I can do multiple things, so take one thing away from me I can do other stuff,” he said. “I think we did a good job of recognizing their coverages, using that to our advantage.”Markkanen was 12 for 20 from the field in his 10th game since missing the start of the season with a right elbow injury. The 7-footer also went 4 for 6 from beyond the arc.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefRobin Lopez had 14 points for Chicago. Kris Dunn added 12 points and seven assists, and Justin Holiday finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.Orlando lost for the fifth time in its last seven games. Evan Fournier scored 24 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 19 rebounds after missing a game for the birth of his son. The Magic posted their second-lowest point total of the season while shooting just under 33 percent. They didn’t exactly help themselves on defense, either.“They’re a scrappy team and they play hard,” said Aaron Gordon, who scored 14 points for Orlando on 4-for-17 shooting. “But this is a game that we gave away. We didn’t do what we need to do on offense. We didn’t take care of defense. We just came out there, I don’t know what we were thinking. Obviously, we weren’t ready to play the game and that’s a disappointing loss.”Markkanen hit the 30-point mark for the third time in his career. He shook off a slow start after taking just six shots in a 96-93 loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday.He had the crowd roaring in the third quarter when he drove for a hard dunk on Vucevic.The Bulls led by as many as 15. Vucevic’s turnaround jumper got Orlando within five with 1:37 remaining, but Markkanen hit a jumper and two foul shots to help seal the game for Chicago.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion “Well, I just think he was aggressive,” coach Jim Boylen said. “I think we tried to move him around a little bit, get him to his spots. He’s a great kid, he’s coachable. He wants to do the right thing. He’s coming back … so it’s gonna be a process. He’s still a young player. But he was competitive and he was aggressive. And if you’re that big and that skilled and you do that, you got a chance to have a good game. And he did. I’m really proud of him.”TIP-INSMagic: F Jonathan Simmons was sidelined by a sprained right ankle. He was injured Wednesday against San Antonio. … Orlando scored 76 in a loss to Dallas on Dec. 10. … The Magic hit 8 of 33 3-pointers.Bulls: The 80 points were the fewest allowed by Chicago this season. … F Jabari Parker (stomach illness) hopes to return Sunday at Cleveland after missing his fourth straight game. He was still experiencing fatigue and believes he would benefit from another practice before rejoining the rotation. “When I come in, I want to contribute,” Parker said. “I hold myself to a high standard, and I’m gonna try to do my best to contribute to the team.” … F Bobby Portis said it’s “not tough at all” to remain patient as he works his way back from a sprained right ankle. He also dismissed the idea that the banged-up Bulls are snake-bitten. “I wouldn’t say that,” he said. … G Cameron Payne sat out with a strained calf.UP NEXTMagic: Host Miami on Sunday.Bulls: Visit Cleveland on Sunday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Cristiano Ronaldo trial for tax fraud set on Jan. 21 View comments SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (24) goes up for a dunk over Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Chicago. The Bulls won 90-80. (AP Photo/David Banks)CHICAGO — Whether it was driving inside for a poster-worthy dunk or burying 3-pointers, Lauri Markkanen did exactly what the Chicago Bulls needed him to do.Markkanen scored a season-high 32 points and the Bulls won for just the third time in 15 games, beating the Magic 90-80 on Friday night.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? LATEST STORIES LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño
About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Burnley manager Dyche tips Taylor for England futureby Ansser Sadiq15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley manager Sean Dyche says Charlie Taylor could become an England international.The left-back has struggled for game-time this season as Erik Pieters has made the left-back spot his own.But Dyche sees enough potential in the 26-year-old for him to become a future member of the Three Lions.”I still think there’s a lot of room and time for Charlie Taylor to go into that thinking, along his development line,” said Dyche speaking ahead of the weekend win over Everton.”Erik’s doing well at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got a lack of belief in Charlie.”He added: “He had such a strong season last season.”And funnily enough I’ve just had a chat with him about it, getting him back to where he was, which he isn’t a million miles from.”But Erik has come in and laid down some really strong performances and he did as soon as he came in.”
In the roughly seven decades since the NHL started handing out the Art Ross trophy to the league’s top scorer, only three recipients have spent at least some of an award-winning season as a teenager. Two of those players are on the short list of all-time best: Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby. The other? This season’s winner: Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.McDavid was impressive as a rookie last season, but 2016-17 was when he announced his official superstardom to the world. In addition to leading the NHL in points, he was the league’s best at generating quality scoring chances. And although McDavid has been held to 2 points in the Oilers’ four first-round playoff games against the San Jose Sharks, the series is tied, and McDavid is driving possession the way he did during the regular season. Plus, he’ll probably be honored as the most valuable player in the game regardless of how his postseason goes.McDavid’s rise to the top of the NHL is hardly unexpected — as a child in Newmarket, Ontario, he was already being compared to Gretzky and Crosby. Comparisons with legends bring loads of pressure and expectations, and assuming that an 18-year-old who’s only played against other teenagers will turn into an all-time great is almost always silly.1*Cough, Alexandre Daigle, cough* But even the most optimistic hockey fan might be astonished by how valid McDavid has made those analogies look, and how quickly he’s done so.To say a great deal of hype surrounded McDavid as a youngster would be an understatement. In 2012, Hockey Canada waived its normal eligibility rules — which dictate that players can’t suit up at the major junior level until they’re 16-years-old — and allowed McDavid to enter the Ontario Hockey League draft at age 15. It wasn’t long before McDavid was torching the best junior-level competition in the world: In his three OHL seasons, he scored 285 points, or 1.7 per game. By the time his junior career was over, McDavid had won the most individual silverware in the history of the OHL.In his first two NHL seasons — the first of which was cut short because of an upper body injury that gave the entire city of Edmonton a brief, but acute, panic attack — McDavid scored 148 points over just 127 games.How does that compare with the legendary company McDavid is often mentioned in? Crosby’s scoring rate through his first 127 games was a bit higher than McDavid’s — he tallied 181 points — but there are also a few factors at play that put McDavid at a disadvantage in terms of raw numbers. After adjusting for those, McDavid ends up looking very similar to Sid the Kid.For one thing, Crosby’s first two seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07) were also the two highest-scoring NHL campaigns since the 2004-05 lockout. During those two seasons, teams averaged 9 percent more goals per game than in the two years since McDavid entered the league. 2007 might not seem like very long ago, but the game has changed. And part of the scoring gulf between then and now can be explained by a huge disparity in power play opportunities: In 2005-06, teams played with the man advantage a whopping 5.85 times per game on average. This season, that number was 2.99. (Theories abound as to why.)That matters for scoring: In his first two seasons, Crosby scored 108 of his 222 points (49 percent) on the power play. By comparison, McDavid has scored just 41 of his 148 points (28 percent) on the power play. If Crosby took advantage of whistle-happy referees, McDavid hasn’t had that luxury. Taking into account shorthanded stats as well, McDavid has scored 71 percent of his points at even strength. Crosby, by comparison, scored just 50 percent of the points in his first two seasons while playing at even strength. Because the vast majority of the game is played at even strength, points scored when teams are playing at five on five are arguably more valuable than contributions on special teams.Crosby also benefited from inferior goaltending during his first couple of seasons, relative to what McDavid has faced. According to save percentage — a good benchmark for goaltending performance — netminders were 11 points worse across the league during Crosby’s first two years than they have been during McDavid’s. From 2005-06 to 2006-07, the league’s average save percentage was .903; from 2015-16 to 2016-17, it’s .914.Add it all up, and after adjusting for the league’s scoring environment, Crosby’s 33-point lead in the raw stats gets cut roughly in half: Crosby had 179 adjusted points in his first 127 games; McDavid had 164.2Hockey-Reference.com’s system of adjusting statistics takes a player’s raw numbers and normalizes them to a league where six goals and 10 assists are recorded per game.As for Gretzky … well, he notched an insane 240 points per 127 games in his first two seasons,3Hockey-Reference.com doesn’t have individual game logs dating back as far as the early 1980s, so we’ll have to base the comparison on Gretzky’s points per game in his first two seasons. although it’s worth noting that Gretzky built his case as the undisputed GOAT in an NHL that barely resembles today’s league. McDavid could be the second coming of the Great One, and he’d never have a chance to touch Gretzky’s raw production. But if we run the same adjusted scoring formula as above for Gretzky’s first two seasons, he produced 190 adjusted points per 127 games in his first pair of NHL seasons — 26 more than McDavid and 11 more than Crosby. (This just in: Gretzky was amazing.)So McDavid may be running a bit behind the Great One, but he’s pretty close to Crosby’s level. None of this is to say McDavid is guaranteed to match what Crosby has accomplished; Sid the Kid is probably still the best player in the world (at least according to that Gretzky guy) and is one of the best players to ever take the ice. But when you consider that McDavid is performing roughly as well as Crosby was at the same stage of his career, you get the sense that we’re all lucky to witness his ascent.Of course, while McDavid has asserted himself as one the game’s most prolific scorers, that doesn’t mean Edmonton fans should expect immediate returns in the form of a Stanley Cup. Gretzky himself didn’t lead the Oilers to a championship until his fifth NHL season (those early-1980s New York Islanders teams were notoriously tough to beat), and Crosby didn’t deliver a Cup to Pittsburgh until his fourth season. But with his Art Ross season, McDavid is already living up to the hype on an individual level, and the Oilers seem to have found the franchise cornerstone they’ve been looking for since Gretzky left town for sunny Los Angeles.So even if this season doesn’t end with a parade through Edmonton, the future looks exceedingly bright for the Oilers — and their boy wonder.
When the Purdue men’s basketball team learned in the preseason that senior forward Robbie Hummel would miss the entire season with a knee injury, there were doubts about the team’s ability to live up to its lofty expectations. Through 20 games, however, the Hummel-less Boilermakers have more than held their own. As it arrives in Columbus to play No. 1 Ohio State, No. 12 Purdue sits at 17-3 and 6-1 in Big Ten play. Led by senior forward JaJuan Johnson’s 20 points and eight rebounds per game, the Boilermakers are just one game behind the undefeated Buckeyes in the conference standings. Though it’s early, tonight’s game could have significant Big Ten regular-season title implications. Battle of the big men As good as Johnson has been for Purdue, freshman forward Jared Sullinger has been equally good for the Buckeyes. Though OSU coach Thad Matta said it will be a collective effort against Johnson on the defensive end, both Johnson and Sullinger figure to play a big role in their teams’ success tonight. “The alarming thing about JaJuan is he makes such difficult shots,” senior guard Jon Diebler said. “I mean, if you watch film and watch the games he’s played, there are times where he’s got a hand or two hands in his face and he’ll just turn around and shoot it in. He’s a great player.” If Sullinger’s performance in the Buckeyes’ first 20 games is any indication, however, this game’s importance won’t intimidate him. In OSU’s four games against ranked opponents, Sullinger has averaged nearly 20 points and 13 rebounds. Sullinger’s success results from meticulous preparation, Matta said. And though he wouldn’t give many details, Matta said Sullinger might have picked up something that will help tonight. “Jared is one of those guys who is very tuned in to scouting,” Matta said. “He asked a question (Monday) night that kind of blew my mind when he was listening to the film session.” But Matta didn’t divulge any secrets. “I can’t elaborate,” he said. “It’s double-secret information.” Familiar foes Much like the Buckeyes, Purdue plays several upperclassmen who have been with the program for at least three years. OSU senior forward David Lighty said playing against Johnson, as well as Purdue senior guard E’Twaun Moore and others for so many years has bred a sense of familiarity between the two teams. And with that familiarity, Lighty said, comes highly competitive basketball. “There have been close games since day one, since everyone’s been here and since I’ve been here playing against them,” Lighty said. “We expect the same thing (tonight).” Diebler said the teams should know what to expect. “We’re both very familiar with each other just from the past years with the guys who’ve returned and the guys that have been around,” Diebler said. “I think that’s all it comes down to is who’s going to be able to execute their system both offensively and defensively.” Another test for Craft Buckeye freshman point guard Aaron Craft has been developing a reputation for his defense all season. In two of OSU’s last three games, Craft has been matched up against two of the best point guards in the Big Ten and perhaps two of the best in the country. Though Illinois’ Demetri McCamey and Penn State’s Talor Battle are much more experienced than Craft, the two seniors struggled against the Buckeye freshman, going a combined 7 of 28 from the floor. Tonight, against the Boilermakers, Craft will have his hands full again. Moore, who averages 18 points per game, will be joined in the backcourt by junior guard Lewis Jackson, who is coming off a career-high 19 points in Saturday’s win against Michigan State. Though Matta referred to Jackson as one of Purdue’s several “X-factors,” he is confident in his own point guard. “He’s got great feet, and he’s really, really strong — probably stronger than most people think,” Matta said of Craft. “You couple that with his mind and he’s a guy that loves to watch film and really zero in on anybody that he could be guarding. … But probably third and the most important thing is he wants to play defense, and that’s something that I think is unique.” The Buckeyes’ and Boilermakers’ tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. tonight at the Schottenstein Center.
Gerard Pique believes that just trying to win the Champions League would be ‘suicide’ for Barcelona.Barcelona have not won the Champions League since 2015 and Pique says they can’t afford to concentrate only on the European trophy. Barca Blaugranes reports.“To only try and win the Champions League would be suicide. In the way we operate, we’re stronger when we don’t let everything ride on a single match,” Pique said.“If we concentrate on LaLiga, it’s better, because it’s the measuring stick we use to see where we currently stand.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“Barça have never won the Champions League without winning LaLiga too. If we focus on LaLiga, we’ll win the Champions League.“Barça’s style of play doesn’t lack anything. We become very strong in regular competitions, where we play a lot of matches and not a single final where it’s a coin flip.”There are teams who base their season on the opposite to us and it could serve them well, but it’s different playing in LaLiga than the Champions League. It’s been shown that if we perform well in LaLiga, we’ll perform well in Europe too.”