10 April 2013South Africans owe it late SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani to work together on building the kind of country for which he fought and died, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.Zuma was speaking at a ceremony at Thomas Titus Nkobi Memorial Park in Elspark, east of Johannesburg to mark the 20th anniversary of Hani’s assassination.‘Selfless, fearless leader’Addressing a gathering that included members of the Hani family and leaders of the African National Congress (ANC), the SA Communist Party and trade union federation Cosatu, Zuma said that South Africa’s debt to Hani could only be repaid by an unwavering commitment to freedom and prosperity for all South Africans.Hani had proved on many occasions that he was a courageous and fearless leader, Zuma said. He never used his position for selfish gains, but “took his responsibilities very seriously in all structures”.Zuma said South Africans inside and outside the government needed to work towards ensuring that the ideals of economic and social freedom Hani fought for were realised.SA Communist Party General Secretary Blade Nzimande described Hani as not the kind of leader “who was hungry for wealth and positions … He was not about the arrogant display of wealth and ‘bling’, but a true revolutionary committed to the cause of liberating the people of South Africa”.Daughter’s tributeComrades, family and friends all described Hani as a “selfless revolutionary” who died for his political beliefs. But he was also a devoted family man who struggled to balance his political and family life.Hani’s daughter Lindiwe recalled a time “when we as his children were complaining that we did not see much of him. He convened a family meeting and he made us understand that he will never be happy doing anything else other than fighting for the liberation of his people.“I miss my father every day, just as the nation misses Chris Hani … We miss his courage and amazing leadership … As long as we hold on to his memory, he will always be with us.”10 April 1993On 10 April 1993, Hani was shot and killed in the driveway of his home in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, by Januzs Walus, an anti-Communist Polish refugee who had close links to the white nationalist Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB).Walus and Clive Derby-Lewis, at the time a Conservative Party member of Parliament, were sentenced to death for Hani’s murder, but ironically were saved from the gallows by South Africa’s new Constitution, which rules out the death penalty. They are both serving life sentences in Pretoria.Hani’s death came at a critical time for South Africa, with negotiators still busy hammering out the agreements that would enable the country to hold its first democratic elections a year later.It was Nelson Mandela, president of the African National Congress (ANC), who stepped up to prevent the widespread anger at Hani’s murder from spilling over into bloodshed.Appearing on state television, Mandela said: “To the youth of South Africa, we have a special message: You have lost a great hero. You have repeatedly shown that your love of freedom is greater than that most precious gift, life itself. But you are the leaders of tomorrow. Your country, your people, your organisation need you to act with wisdom. A particular responsibility rests on your shoulders.”An art and photo exhibition celebrating Hani’s life and work opened at the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct in Wattville, Benoni on Wednesday. The exhibition, open to the public free of charge until 10 May, aims to educate people about the role Hani played in making South Africa the democratic country it is today.SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.za
27 January 2014South Africa mounted a successful defence of their Las Vegas Sevens title, beating New Zealand 14-7 in the Cup final on Sunday to claim victory in the USA for the third time in the past four years.The victory was the Blitzbokke’s fifth successive win over the New Zealanders in Cup finals in the HSBC World Sevens Series.At half-time the teams were level at 7-7 after Scott Curry opened the scoring for the Kiwis and Branco du Preez replied for the Springbok Sevens.Werner Kok, who excelled in only his fourth tournament, scored the winning try soon after replacing the injured Justin Geduld in the second half.StandingsThe victory helped South Africa into a slender lead on the HSBC Sevens World Series standings. They trailed New Zealand by two points at the start of the tournament, but after taking out the title in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas the Blitzbokke top the log on 78 points, just one ahead of the men in black.With strong support from an appreciative crowd at the Sam Boyd Stadium, the Springbok Sevens team and management found themselves mobbed by jubilant fans on the field immediately after the final whistle had sounded.The key to the team’s success was their defence. They conceded only two tries throughout the tournament as they went unbeaten through the pool and knockout stages. They also overcame the loss of ace try scorer Seabelo Senatla, who was ruled out of action because of an ankle injury, while Geduld and speedster Sampie Mastriet both left the Cup final action early because of injury.‘Very intense’After clinching the title, a jubilant South Africa Sevens coach, Neil Powell said: “It was very intense and what a gutsy performance that was from the guys. They all played for each other. Just the way they showed the commitment was tremendous.“There is still a long way to go to keep us at the top,” he added, looking ahead.Under the guidance of Powell, who took over the coaching duties from the long- serving Paul Treu at the beginning of the season, South Africa have now reached three Cup finals in a row this season, and won successive titles in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas.WinsEarlier, South Africa crushed Argentina 36-0 in the quarterfinals before seeing off a strong Samoa team 14-0 to book their place in the final against New Zealand.In their group games, they thumped Wales 43-0, beat eventual third place finishers Canada 29-0, and ran out 19-7 winners over Kenta.The next round of the HSBC Sevens World Series takes place in Wellington, New Zealand, on 7 and 8 February at the Westpac Stadium. The Blitzbokke have been drawn in Group A with England, Wales and Portugal.SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby
OSU 40-Yard DashBraxton Miller’s throwing arm is yet to reach full strength – the Ohio State senior quarterback is working his way back from a torn labrum – but his legs appear to be good-to-go. Saturday afternoon, the two-time Big Ten MVP accepted on Twitter a fan’s challenge to a race. We’re not sure if Miller is joking or serious. Hopefully he’s the latter. @BraxtonMiller5 you ready to race big dog— Alex Gies (@AGies3) April 11, 2015You think u gonna win? https://t.co/KlFfvFomED— BRAXTON MILLER (@BraxtonMiller5) April 11, 2015Next Saturday? https://t.co/idlmES3Gi0— BRAXTON MILLER (@BraxtonMiller5) April 11, [email protected] I’ll give you a 10 yard head start pic.twitter.com/VizcXE35Dt— BRAXTON MILLER (@BraxtonMiller5) April 11, 2015Please let this happen, Ohio State. The Buckeyes spring game is set to occur next Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
APTN National NewsOne of the front runners for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives used a covert email address to avoid public scrutiny.Ted Morton used his first and middle names for an email address he used for internal communications while he was in government to discuss hot button issues.The “Frederick Lee” pseudonym was used to discuss controversial new land use legislation. In one of these emails, from November 2008, Morton wrote about Metis settlements in Alberta, stating that their lands are not considered private lands in the conventional sense.“If the Metis suddenly want to share in some of the potential benefits of private land ownership, do they also want to be subject o all other restrictions and duties that attach to private land ownership in Alberta? I doubt it. They cannot have their cake and eat it took,” wrote Morton in the email.Morton was not available to comment on the emails.
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde told Justin Trudeau on Friday “it is incomprehensible that, in 2019, we can allow the legacy of Residential Schools and the 60s Scoop to continue through nothing more than another colonial practice.” APTN/file photo.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsAssembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde has personally asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to table a bill that would give jurisdiction over child welfare to First Nations.In a letter dated Feb. 7, but sent to Trudeau on Friday, Bellegarde says Trudeau should consider his promised child welfare bill a “litmus test of your political will to finally break from generations of colonial policies.“Such policies, both federal and provincial/territorial, have torn generations of First Nations families apart. It is incomprehensible that, in 2019, we can allow the legacy of Residential Schools and the 60s Scoop to continue through nothing more than another colonial practice.”The letter follows recent public letters and comments from First Nation leaders in B.C., Saskatchewan and Ontario, who say the last draft bill they were privy to did not include the full transfer of jurisdiction over child welfare to First Nations.Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Vice Chief David Pratt told APTN News Thursday that former Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott said giving First Nations jurisdiction was “doable”.But Pratt said the Saskatchewan government told FSIN leadership that they weren’t willing to relinquish jurisdiction over Indigenous children in state care.On Friday Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief for Manitoba Kevin Hart told APTN he believes the Manitoba government is also resisting the legislation.“Our children have been commodified and used as leverage by provincial governments” for economic purposes, he said.“The child tax benefits that are generated by kids in care are put into the general revenue of the province of Manitoba to basically stimulate the very economy here when it comes to child and family services,” he added, referring to the federal transfers to provincial governments.Cheryl Casimer of B.C.’s First Nation Summit told APTN this week the two “deal breakers” for most First Nations is the jurisdiction issue, and adequate funding for transition and implementation of child welfare.AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart says his province is among those resistant to handing jurisdiction over Indigenous children in state care to First Nations. APTN.Leaders say the matter is urgent, because Parliament doesn’t sit next week, and with each day that passes the chances of passing federal legislation before the fall election grows slimmer.“The criticisms of the draft Indigenous Family Unity Act are simple and straightforward and have been echoed by First Nations leadership from coast to coast to coast,” Bellegarde wrote in his letter to Trudeau.“The legislation must affirm our jurisdiction and responsibility over our children and families, under our own laws. Further, to effectively implement jurisdiction, a clear commitment of adequate and sustainable funding is imperative.”Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan has declined to comment on the substance of the legislation but has said his department is working to address the concerns raised by First Nation leaders.In December, Trudeau promised the Liberals would table the long-anticipated Indigenous languages and child welfare bills by the end of January.Only the language legislation has been introduced, but without the support of Inuit.Hart said the language legislation is meaningless if First Nations can’t regain jurisdiction over their children.“We cannot protect and preserve our languages if we don’t have our children to teach those very languages to.”[email protected]@JustinBrakeNews
As things stand coming out of the All-Star break, the Warriors will probably catch Michael Jordan’s 1995-96 Bulls, which own the record of 72 wins, and are a little better than a coin flip to pass them.Last time we checked in on Golden State’s run to 73 was back in December, when the model gave the Warriors a 54 percent chance of getting at least 72 wins and a 44.1 percent chance of at least 73. A little more than two months later, the Warriors are 48-4 and those chances are 69.8 percent to hit 72 and an even 54 percent to reach 73. From where we sit, at least, the Warriors now appear likely to break the ’96 Bulls’ record. WINSSIMSCHANCE OF EXACTLY THIS MANY WINSCHANCE OF AT LEAST THIS MANY WINS 57880.299.9 593940.899.3 64530.199.9 72785715.769.8 68631712.631.2 591<0.1%100.0% 7112182.43.3 7028075.68.9 676341.398.9 6223724.794.0 64502210.082.2 611<0.1>99.9 75575411.520.9 582030.499.7 The Warriors are shooting 46.3 percent from three on “wide open” (defender more than 6 feet away) threes, best in the league. They also lead the league in “open” threes at 41 percent and “tight” coverage threes at 37.3 percent. They do fall to fourth in “very tight” threes (36.1 percent) but have taken only 36 of those all season. Curry’s 646 3-point attempts last season were more than those Miller and Bird seasons combined — and he’s on pace to demolish that number this year. 6321<0.1>99.9 7632076.49.3 782430.50.5 50,000 CARM-Elo simulations of the Spurs’ season with data through Feb. 18Before Thursday night’s loss, the Spurs’ chance for 70 wins was 19.4 percent. With the loss, it fell to 8.9 — still absurdly high, but well back of the Warriors.Andrew Flowers and Jay Boice contributed research. 723790.80.9 According to nbaminer.com, Curry has scored 10 straight points for his team 10 times, the most in the league (James Harden is second with nine); he’s scored 15 straight team points three times (Harden is second again, two) and 20 straight once (only Paul George has also done that this season). Curry has scored five straight unanswered points 55 times (Harden is second with 47, followed by George and Klay Thompson at 30).2Reggie Jackson is the only player to score 15 unanswered points this season. Only three players have done it since the 1996-7 season — Jackson this year, Jamal Crawford in 2013-14 and Brandon Jennings in 2012-13.Probably the most alarming thing about the Warriors this season is how thoroughly they are outpacing the Spurs, another omega-level team stalking around the league. Also according to nbaminer.com, the Warriors’ average first-quarter margin is +6.04. The Spurs are second at +2.98. The Spurs remain ahead of the Warriors on the overall marks, +12.7 to +12.5, but this difference is more than accounted for in the fourth quarter, where the Warriors are -0.12 and the Spurs are an NBA-best +2.56. The Warriors’ average margin per overtime period is +4.0, best in the league.And here’s the same display of possible records we generated for the Warriors above, but for the Spurs. 71599612.081.7 73855917.154.0 67710514.245.4 50,000 CARM-Elo simulations of the Warriors’ season with data through Feb. 18 5511<0.1100.0 74803116.136.9 542<0.1100.0 (While we’re digging out old charts, get a load of Draymond in these.) 73680.10.1 If the Warriors completely gave up the 3-pointer and shot none of them per game from this point forward, the Timberwolves, who take the fewest threes per game, would need 50 games to catch up in attempts and 83 games to catch up in makes, pulling even right around the 137th game of the season. Steph Curry is 11 for 24 on threes from 30 feet or more, according to nbawowy.com. Six of those shots (and one of the makes) were from beyond half court, meaning he’s 10 for 18 between 30 feet and the center line. (The rest of the Warriors are 1 for 14 from 30-plus.) Consider this a reminder that Ben Morris dug into Steph’s imperious shot selection in December. 7712242.52.9 651380.399.8 625<0.1>99.9 6925855.294.9 In order to match the best 3-point-percentage season of Reggie Miller’s career (42.9 percent), Steph Curry (45.4 percent from three on 10.8 per game) would have to miss 31 straight threes; to match Larry Bird’s best (42.7 percent) he’d need to miss 34 straight; to match LeBron’s mark this season (27.4 percent) he would have to miss 354 straight 3-point shots. 66715314.359.7 Oh, here’s a scatter plot of 3-point attempts vs. 3-point percentage since the 1979-80 season, the first year of the 3-pointer: 532<0.1100.0 This foolishness: The Warriors create 70.4 points per game through assists. The rest of the league has a fairly linear progression from the bottom on up — the Lakers are the worst, at 43.2, and the figure creeps up team by team until it stops with the Hawks, in second place, at 60.3. That isn’t adjusted for tempo (the Warriors play at the second-fastest pace in the league), but the Dubs are also comfortably in first in percentage of passes that are assists, are secondary assists or lead to free throws. 6114502.996.9 WINSSIMSCHANCE OF EXACTLY THIS MANY WINSCHANCE OF AT LEAST THIS MANY WINS 6335447.189.3 65622812.572.1 608091.698.5 56360.1100.0 7040088.089.8 Our colleagues at ESPN Stats & Info once again have a less optimistic outlook, today giving the Warriors a 37 percent chance of hitting 73 or more wins. The explanation for the difference in the two models is the same as it was in December, when we were also more bullish than our colleagues: We devised a different rating system, called CARM-Elo, which allows good (or bad) runs of play in the simulations to inform a team’s simulated strength through the rest of the simulated season. Basically, this means that it allows for extreme performance to be reflected in the results, and the Warriors are certainly extreme.Still, all of the back-and-forth over exactly how good the Warriors are is more than a little backward. Any serious debate over whether Golden State is an all-time team dried up months ago; all that’s left now is the dreary accounting of decimal points next to the team’s name. Screw that. NBA nerds slapfighting over some grandiose meaning of the Warriors is boring — it’s the spectacle that matters, the crossovers and no-looks and nonsense transition threes, and how those feats of skill translate to the stat sheet. That in mind, here’s a bunch of Warriors facts aimed at appreciating the wild mess they’re accomplishing this season, rather than simply measuring it.The Warriors would have to miss their next 545 3-pointers to bring their team mark of 42.4 percent down to the level of the league-worst Lakers, at 31.5 percent. 6813682.797.7 663140.699.6 521<0.1%100.0% 601<0.1>99.9 6947919.618.5 Remember that two-month stretch in the summer of 2009 when Steph Curry might have gone to the Knicks, before Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni went around telling anyone who would stand still long enough to hear it exactly why Curry would be a superstar? And remember how disappointing it was, then, when Curry landed on a Warriors team that didn’t use him at all in the way fans dreamed he might be used by the Pringles ‘stache? Well, Curry found his way into the seven-seconds-or-less offense anyway. By NBA.com’s count (which can lag a game or two behind), the Warriors have taken 299 threes in the first seven seconds of the shot clock and made 48.5 percent of them. The next closest by percentage is Indiana, at 42.5 on 167 attempts; Houston, first in attempts with 301 (in four more games than Golden State) has made 38.9 percent of its own; and the Thunder have found a way to make just 31.6 percent on 171 attempts. On all field goals in the seven-seconds-or-less window,1NBA.com doesn’t have free-throw data for these, for some reason. the Warriors have a 68 percent effective field-goal percentage — the next closest is the Cavs, at 63.4 percent. The Knicks, meanwhile, are last in the league at 51.4 percent.
Here are five pressing questions regarding No. 15-ranked Ohio State football (1-0) as it prepares for its Week 2 matchup against the Toledo Rockets (1-0), which opened its season with a 58-22 win against New Hampshire of the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision. 1. Four previously-suspended players return for the game against the Toledo. What role will these players have in the game? Ohio State coach Luke Fickell confirmed Tuesday that junior running back Jordan Hall, sophomore defensive back Corey Brown, junior defensive back Travis Howard and redshirt sophomore linebacker Jordan Whiting will be available for Saturday’s game. Expect each of the players to see game action, but don’t expect them to play a significant role in the contest. Not in the first half, anyway. For starters, OSU running backs coach Dick Tressel said Wednesday that sophomore Carlos Hyde will start Saturday’s game. Hyde rushed for 93 yards on 19 carries during the Buckeyes’ 42-0 win against Akron. Redshirt freshman Rod Smith also rushed for 74 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown. Considering all that, Hall might find himself as OSU’s No. 3 running back at the start of this weekend’s game. In attempting to earn his job back, Hall will also be competing with sophomore Jaamal Berry who, according to Tressel, is 100 percent recovered from a hamstring injury and will see an increased role as the weeks pass. Sophomore defensive back Dominic Clarke isn’t likely to relinquish the starting job to Howard, either. “(Clarke) competes everyday,” senior linebacker Andrew Sweat said. “I think he’s a great player. He got an opportunity on Saturday and took advantage of it.” The four previously-suspended players will take the field on Saturday, but it might not be early and it might not be for extended periods of time. Keep in mind that these players are returning from punishments, not injuries. They’ll have to earn their jobs back. 2. Who is Toledo and how do they compare with Akron? Both Toledo and Akron are members of the Mid-American Conference, but that’s about all they have in common. The Rockets are 10-time MAC champions and are expected to be at or near the top of the conference again in 2011. Toledo also returns 22 seniors and is looking to extend its streak of five consecutive seasons with a win against a team from an automatic BCS qualifier conference. Don’t expect this Rockets squad to be awed and intimidated by the sight of a sold-out Ohio Stadium either — members of this team have enjoyed road victories at Michigan in 2008 and at Purdue last season. 3. Which Toledo players could hurt OSU on Saturday? Let’s start with Rockets’ senior running back Adonis Thomas. Thomas rushed for 115 yards and one touchdown on just 15 carries last weekend against New Hampshire. There’s a tendency to roll your eyes when you hear that an FBS player put big numbers up against an FCS team, but he did what you’d expect a talented player to do against less-skilled players. Thomas also rushed for 1,098 yards in 2010 and earned second-team All-MAC honors. He is legitimate talent at running back that could burn the Buckeyes if they don’t give him his due respect. The most dynamic player on Toledo’s roster is junior Eric Page, a dual threat at both wide receiver and kick returner. Page, whose name is already littered throughout Toledo’s football record book, caught more than 1,100 yards in each of his first two seasons with the Rockets while also grabbing 16 touchdown receptions in his 26-game career. As a kick returner, Page has collected 1,389 yards, three touchdowns and averages 28.9 yards per return in his career. The Buckeyes could have their hands full with both Thomas and Page on Saturday. 4. Who is the most important OSU player or coach going into the Toledo game? Luke Fickell. Toledo is a talented team that travels well and, with a trip to play the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium on the horizon for the Buckeyes, this weekend’s contest is a classic “look ahead” game. Fickell will need to keep OSU focused its present task — beating a Toledo team that it should beat. The Buckeyes are bigger, faster and stronger than the Rockets. The difference between a blowout win, a tight game or a loss will be how focused Fickell has his team. “We’re definitely nit-picking,” Fickell said at a Tuesday press conference. “We’re definitely going to make sure (our) guys know we’re never satisfied with where we are. We have to find ways to get better.” 5. Will Toledo be the first in-state opponent to beat OSU in 90 years? The Buckeyes’ last lost to an in-state opponent in 1921 when Oberlin College upended OSU, 7-6. Toledo will have a better chance of ending OSU’s unbeaten streak against in-state rivals than Akron did, but by game’s end, it won’t have accomplished the feat. Toledo has the athletes and the experience to make a game of it at the ‘Shoe this weekend, but do not expect an upset win. OSU is still too focused on proving its doubters wrong — one win against Akron won’t change that. Final prediction: Ohio State 49-10 Toledo
They may be nothing quite like sweeping a mid-season tournament to keep momentum rolling for the Ohio State women’s volleyball team.OSU (5-1) took the Maryland Invitational tournament by storm, defeating both Binghamton and Seton Hall, 3-0, before clinching a tournament sweep in come-from-behind fashion by defeating Maryland, 3-2, on Saturday. While the Buckeyes swept their first two matches over the weekend, they struggled early in its third match against Maryland. The Terrapins took the first two sets, but the Buckeyes fought back and eventually won.“After the (first) game, everyone was just kind of frustrated, but we wanted to stay optimistic and be fired up,” senior outside hitter Emily Danks said. “We realized that we are in this for the long haul and that this game wasn’t over. We weren’t going to go down without a fight.”OSU coach Geoff Carlston said he understood that trailing on the road isn’t an easy obstacle to overcome. So, when his team refocused its energy in the last three sets, he said he was very proud of the way it handled adversity.“It takes a lot of energy and a lot of concentration to come back down 0-2 on the road,” Carlston said. “It’s not easy to do. I’m very, very happy for our team that we were able to come back.”Danks, senior outside hitter Mari Hole and junior defensive specialist Davionna DiSalvatore were named to the all-tournament team, with Danks being named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.“Emily was a stud tonight, an absolute stud,” Carlston said. “Mari also played very well for us tonight. They are our senior leaders. They are the ones who we look to, who the team looks to and they’re vital. If they don’t play or keep their head up, there is no way we come back and win tonight.”Danks and Hole said they were honored by their awards, but gave most of the credit to their teammates.“Oh yeah, it was a huge honor, there were a lot of talented players at this tournament,” Danks said. “I’m so proud of this team, I can’t even tell you. I look around at every player and I wouldn’t pick anyone else to be on my team in terms of talent, leadership and work ethic.”Hole agreed.“It’s always an honor to be recognized,” Hole said. “This is a confidence booster to our team because three of us got recognized, and without our teammates, we wouldn’t have gotten this honor.”Danks had 24 kills to lead all attackers against Maryland, which is a career-best, and contributed three blocks and eight digs. Hole had 13 kills and 13 digs, as she recorded her first double-double of the season.Next weekend, the Buckeyes will compete in the Western Kentucky Tournament, where they will face in-state rival and No. 10 Dayton, along with games against IUPUI and host Western Kentucky.Hole said the team’s 5-1 start gives it confidence for its upcoming tournament and the rest of the season.“We all know that Coach scheduled a tough season because we are such a strong team,” Hole said. “So coming up with such a great start and getting this fifth win is such a confidence booster.”Danks also credited the team’s success because of the Buckeyes’ bench, which consists of sophomore middle blocker Anna Faul and freshman outside hitter Katie Mitchell.“We had great help off the bench, and they set the world on fire when they came into the game,” Danks said. “It just kind of shows how good our team is with so much depth at every position.”
Freshman outside hitter Sean Ryan (10) attacking the ball against Loyola on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Credit: Kaycie Golic | For The LanternAfter splitting a home series with McKendree this past weekend, the Ohio State men’s volleyball team heads to Los Angeles having brought back a few key players in preparation for weekend matchups against No. 5 UCLA and No. 11 USC. The Buckeyes (6-12, 2-6 MIVA) enter the road trip having reinserted sophomore outside hitter Jake Hanes into the lineup. Hanes has accrued 47 kills in his first two matches since coming back from injuring his foot in the Jan. 26 match against Ball State. Also back for the Buckeyes are junior setter Andrew Hillman, who returned on Sunday from an injury he sustained in December during training, and sophomore outside hitter Martin Lallemand, who missed Sunday’s match against McKendree due to illness. Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson said trying to find consistency has been extremely difficult with a lineup that seems to change every weekend. “It’s been a real challenge, but I think the guys have handled it as well as they could,” Hanson said. “Not to let them off the hook and say, ‘Hey, it’s a real anomaly,’ but at the same point and time, we’ve also tried to tell them, ‘Hey, there aren’t many teams that are down three or four starters, let alone, sometimes just one starter,’ and that’s what we’ve had to deal with.” Among the starters still injured, junior outside hitter Reese Devilbiss is working through an undisclosed injury, while senior setter Sanil Thomas is working to return to the lineup after injuring his hand in late January. While the Buckeyes have struggled with consistency for much of this season, UCLA (14-4, 6-0 MPSF) has been drowning in it. The Bruins are on a four-match winning streak and their Jan. 19 loss to No. 1 Long Beach State is their only loss at home this season. Junior middle blocker Daenan Gyimah leads the Bruins offensively, totalling 234 points on 190 kills, 17 aces and 48 total blocks. Defensively, senior setter Micah Ma’a is a top contributor, providing 129 digs and 35 total blocks in support. On the other hand, USC (9-7, 3-3 MPSF) has had an up-and-down season thus far. After opening the year with a 7-4 record, three-straight losses to then-No. 9 Stanford, then-No. 8 BYU and then-No. 6 UCLA brought the Trojans even before winning their past two matches against Concordia and then-No. 4 Pepperdine. The Trojans are led by redshirt senior outside hitter Jack Wyett with 181 kills, adding 10 aces and 44 digs. Senior Ryan Moss leads the team defensively with 34 total blocks and 76 digs. Ohio State is hoping the offensive production from Hanes and Lallemand, with 180 kills and 137 kills, respectively, can power the Buckeyes to a couple of road victories. But to have success, they’ll have to get used to being set by Hillman, who has taken over as Ohio State’s full-time setter in the absence of Thomas. Despite the tough competition and the constant lineup changes, Hillman said the team will be ready to play this weekend. “We’re excited,” Hillman said. “We really have nothing to lose right now. We’re going to go out there and play as hard as we can.” Ohio State will face No. 5 UCLA at 8 p.m. Friday and No. 11 USC at 11 p.m. Saturday in Los Angeles.
New West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has now set his sights on Jack Wilshere for a summer move, reports the Daily StarThe English midfielder’s contract at Arsenal expires this month and it remains to be seen whether he will be retained by the newly-appointed head coach Unai Emery.After being announced as David Moyes’ replacement at the London Stadium for next season, Pellegrini has reportedly begun monitoring Wilshere’s uncertain future at Arsenal and is keen on making an attempt to sign him.Merson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.The Chilean is a known long-term admirer of the 26-year-old’s and had been interested in signing him during his time in charge at Manchester City.Wilshere is currently aware on holiday after being omitted from Gareth Southgate’s final 23-man England squad for the World Cup in Russia after a set of recurring ankle injuries ultimately cost him the chance to earn a place in the team.However, Wilshere did make 38 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal this season after enduring a difficult couple of years struggling for regular minutes due to his constant injury setbacks.