Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

News, Scores, Teams, Stories & More on Northeast OH Sports on

older | 1 | .... | 2615 | 2616 | (Page 2617) | 2618 | 2619 | .... | 2666 | newer

    0 0

    Mayfield is ready to be the savior that Browns' fans need him to be. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- Baker Mayfield knows that Cleveland is counting on him to be the Browns' savior, and he's got you.

    "It comes with the territory,'' he said Monday after being named the Browns' starting QB. "That's what I signed up for. I'm living my dream and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    "Without pressure, I don't think this would be very much fun. Without all the people watching and finding the joy in this game, I love this game, and without the competitive nature I wouldn't enjoy it.''

    Receiver Rashard Higgins believes it will happen.

    "It's the Baker Era,'' he said. "He might be on the LeBron wall.''

    Mayfield named Browns' starting QB

    A few other quick hits from Mayfield's 12-minute presser:

    * It's an honor. That's what I wanted to be. I wanted to be the starting quarterback. It's human nature. I wanted to play. I'm happy but it's just the beginning.

    * Success is so much more fun when you have to to work for it.

    * I didn't think it was that difficult (waiting). I had my role and I took pride in doing that. I wasn't stressing too much. They were very upfront about the plan from the beginning.

    * It's in my nature (to lead the team). It's who I am to be vocal, to express my feelings, my emotions.

    * On being No. 30 since 1999 and all that's gone on at QB: "It's 2018. I don't really care.''

    0 0

    Nick Bosa is out for a few weeks. His return is complicated.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Start with this, Nick Bosa wants to play for Ohio State again this year. That came straight from Urban Meyer on Monday.

    "That's between me and Nick and the family. But to answer your question, yes," Meyer said when asked if he's gotten the impression that Bosa wants to return to the Buckeyes at some point this season.

    Beyond that, the topic is complicated.

    First is the timeline for Bosa's return from the surgery he had last week for a core muscle injury. Recovery timelines for sports hernia surgery range from four to eight weeks depending on which expert you ask. One doctor told last week that successful returns from such an injury are typical, but everyone's personal timeline is different.

    That's straightforward. Bosa will be ready when he's ready.

    A source close to the situation told that Bosa's injury was "100 percent fixable" and that he'd be reevaluated by his surgeon in Philadelphia in November.

    The more nuanced conversation has to do with whether Bosa should play. Like it or not, in a world where players are sitting out bowl games to protect their draft stock, Bosa has considerations to make about his pro future when weighing whether or not to return this season.

    "We've already had those discussions a little bit," Meyer said. "But that's down the road when he becomes healthy again. You can't ask for a better family and people. I don't want to paraphrase John and Cheryl Bosa, but as they said, we trust our children to this program. And we will continue to do so. And so those conversations will be had, but absolutely. Not that you treat anybody different than another player. I want to make sure that's clear. But that's a real conversation that we're going to have."

    It's good for Meyer to say that, that they're not treating Bosa differently than they would treat any other player.

    It's also OK to acknowledge, from outside of the program, that he is different.

    Health concerns shouldn't be weighted based on how good a player is, but there isn't another player on the roster in Bosa's position. That's in the conversation for No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick next spring, and at worst looking like he's going to be taken within the top-10 picks.

    Nobody has pretended like Bosa will be back next year either way. But he's also been clear on his desire to win a national championship, and this is the best chance Ohio State has had of winning one since he's been here. Maybe that's enough and he'll be back on the field as soon as possible.

    This isn't suggesting that Bosa is thinking of shutting it down completely.

    This is just a reminder that any conversation about his return likely goes beyond the question of "is he recovered or not?"

    0 0

    Urban Meyer provided an injury update ahead of Ohio State's game against Penn State.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State football should have running back Mike Weber and defensive tackle Robert Landers back this week against Penn State, but will still be without junior defensive end Nick Bosa.

    Weber suffered a foot sprain in the second quarter against Tulane last Saturday, and didn't return to the game.

    "I just saw him this morning," Urban Meyer said Monday. "Yeah, he'll play this week."

    Landers was held out of the game against Tulane with an undisclosed injury. Meyer had said earlier last week that Landers was "probable" to play against the Green Wave. Instead they held him out, and Meyer said Monday that Landers will return against Penn State.

    Bosa, who had surgery last week for a core muscle injury, is still out.

    "Nick Bosa is still not ready," Meyer said. "It's going to be a few more weeks, but we expect him back."

    Ohio State and Penn State kick off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in State College, Pa.

    0 0

    Clemson switched starting quarterbacks Monday. What if the Buckeyes had done the same last year?

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Clemson switched starting quarterbacks Monday. Alabama switched starting quarterbacks in the National Championship Game.

    In with the young guy, out with the older quarterback who had won quite a few games for you. It's a thing that happens at big-time programs sometimes.

    So in the name of a discussion that will lead Ohio State fans nowhere, I will say, I think Dwayne Haskins could have done this last year.

    Ohio State fans need to get their minds right with the idea that Haskins will leave for the NFL Draft after this season. If he stays, celebrate with surprise. But assume you'll get a single season of the Dwayne Haskins experience. 

    It could have been two. 

    There was at least some possibility that J.T. Barrett would not return to Ohio State for a fifth season in 2017, and Haskins had some belief that he could have been starting a year ago.

    "I don't know what he's going to do, but whatever he does, I know it's going to be the best for him," Haskins told before the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson at the end of the 2016 season. "I just have a feeling he's going to leave. We'll see what happens." 

    Barrett, of course, did return.

    That created a situation I thought was possible while it was happening and I think is almost certainly true after watching Haskins throw 16 touchdown passes and complete more than 75 percent passes in his first four starts. Next up is No. 9 Penn State on Saturday. 

    Barrett last season was arguably the greatest quarterback in Ohio State history and simultaneously the second-best quarterback on his own team.

    "It's pretty tough to think about," Haskins, a redshirt sophomore, said when I asked him if he would have been this ready a year ago. "Just now, preparing to be the starter is a little different than wanting to be the guy last year."

    Haskins said the week before the Big Ten Championship against Wisconsin was the first time he ever prepared to start, as Barrett, injured against Michigan, underwent knee surgery in an attempt to get ready for the Badgers. Barrett made it back, threw for 216 yards, and ran for 60 as the Buckeyes held off Wisconsin 27-21.

    Ohio State was ranked No. 5 by the playoff committee and missed the College Football Playoff by a spot. Consider this ... what if Barrett had been unable to return from injury, Haskins had played and the offense with a healthy No. 2 instead of a hobbling No. 1 had dropped a bigger score on Wisconsin? 

    Could that have propelled the Buckeyes into the playoff, much like a 59-0 win over Wisconsin in the 2014 Big Ten Championship did?

    Yeah, I hadn't even considered that until now.

    A year ago, I would have made the move from Barrett to Haskins after the Oklahoma loss. But it wasn't a surprise Urban Meyer stuck with Barrett. It also wasn't a complete shock when Barrett's rough day throwing the ball against Iowa helped doom the Buckeyes to the second loss that their playoff resume couldn't shake.

    "Having Coach Day, having Coach Meyer definitely would have helped me prepare last year if I was playing," Haskins said, "but I just wasn't playing a lot last year."

    He actually played a fair amount for a backup, getting action in seven of the first 11 games last year. He threw for 228 yards in game four against UNLV, then aggravated Meyer with a fumble in the rain against Illinois in game 11.

    Haskins was not this Haskins in his 2017 flashes. But when he was needed in game 12 against Michigan, he was ready. And if he had been prepped as a starter, I think he would have been ready.

    On the other hard, his body has changed. Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day made that point before the season.

    "He's worked on his athleticism, strength, power," Day said. "So you saw at the end of the season last year when he had to step into a role, he stepped right in there and he was ready to go. But now being a starter, that's different. You have to prepare different, you have to be ready. Teams have film on you and they start to see some of your tendencies. So it's going to be a week to week process as we get going."

    The process has gone well. It's likely only a one-year process. 

    Monday, Clemson announced that freshman Trevor Lawrence is replacing fifth-year senior Kelly Bryant as the starting quarterback. Bryant is 16-2 as a starter and led the Tigers to the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff last season. But he was less effective this season, and after Lawrence threw four touchdowns in relief Saturday, the move seemed obvious.

    Barrett was far more accomplished than Bryant. Remember his 33-of-39 performance in a 39-38 win over Penn State that included a 15-point fourth-quarter comeback? So there was nothing about a move last year that would have been obvious for the Buckeyes.

    But in a world where Lawrence is in, and where Alabama freshman Tua Tagovailoa relieved full-year starter Jalen Hurts in the title game last year, some segment of Ohio State fans may always wonder.

    I think Haskins could have done it. And Ohio State may have been even more successful than a 12-2 record and No. 5 rankings.

    The question would have been if Ohio State was ready. The Buckeyes have changed their offense for Haskins' arm this year, and it has worked. A drastic switch in offensive style in the middle of last season would have been far more difficult. Plus, this is Haskins and Day in year two together. Maybe it took a year for them to get here together.

    "I think it's the relationship with their position coach," Meyer said to that point. 

    He said Haskins would not have been ready as a true freshman in 2016. 

    "And last year he was getting closer and closer, but he didn't see it. You saw him throw the ball nice but that's one-third playing quarterback. It's toughness and leadership," Meyer said. "So I just think it's the maturation of a gifted player."

    At Clemson and Alabama, they asked their young quarterback talents to mature more quickly. If Barrett had left Ohio State, Haskins in 2017 could have done what was necessary. But with Barrett here, a change in 2017 was never going to happen.

    So you get a year of Haskins. But probably not two.


    0 0

    Urban Meyer has a pass-first team, and that's a new world for him. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Urban Meyer has a pass-first offense at the moment. His words.

    That's a bit of a new reality for Meyer's Ohio State (and OSU in general if we're being honest and looking at the program's record books).

    "When you watch the film, it's like I said, it's not the same -- it's a very different offense right now," Meyer said Monday. "One was a run first, pass second. This is a do what they give you. So it's a very different -- I don't think we've ever had a team average over 300 yards passing in a game either. So it's different. But the one thing that Ryan (Day) and Kevin (Wilson) have done is utilize the skill set we have of the offensive personnel."

    Ohio State has the No. 6 passing offense in the country, behind three Air Raid teams (Texas Tech, Washington State and West Virginia), North Carolina State and Boise State.

    The Buckeyes are averaging 365 passing yards per game, and only 233 rushing yards. "Only" being relative to what Ohio State has had traditionally. A lot of teams would kill for "only" 233 rushing yards per game.

    That's fine, because Ohio State is winning and the offense has been exciting. It's just different.

    It's definitely taking Meyer a bit out of his comfort zone. And it does feel a bit like he hasn't totally wrapped his arms around the way the Buckeyes are attacking teams with quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

    Doug Lesmerises and Bill Landis discussed that more in the video above.

    There appears to be a couple of things at play. One, Meyer seems very keen on tamping down the hype surrounding Haskins, which makes sense with him still being a young quarterback and there being a lot of season left.

    "I called him Saturday night," Meyer said. "I was driving home after the game. I called him just with that message to stay focused. And we've had some pretty high-profile guys around here and I've seen it. I've seen it, you know, go both ways where -- one thing about Columbus, Ohio is this is the show, and they become bigger than life and we've got to really ... but he's a very humble guy. He's a very conscientious guy, comes from a great family. He's been great so far."

    But Meyer is also very much about proof of concept.

    He talks about theory vs. testimony all the time. Outside of Ohio State it seems proven that you need to be able to throw a little bit to win a national championship. See what Alabama did last year, what Clemson was with Deshaun Watson and how Ohio State's offense changed when Cardale Jones took over in 2014. 

    But run-oriented offenses with dual-threat quarterbacks have been very good to Meyer throughout his career.

    Perhaps it's a matter of Meyer needing to see it in real time. He wasn't on the sideline when Haskins threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns against TCU. And Tulane wasn't a test, just more proof that Haskins can sling it and these receivers can make plays when put in the right spots.

    There's plenty of evidence that this is working, but with a big test looming this Saturday night at Penn State, perhaps Meyer is waiting one more game to be turned into a true believer.

    It's not that he doesn't have faith in Haskins, Day, Wilson and the rest of the offense.

    It's just that change can be hard.

    0 0

    Higgins is all in on Mayfield as the next King of Cleveland. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- Browns receiver Rashard Higgins is all in on Baker Mayfield as next King of Cleveland.   

    "I keep saying this is The Baker Era and stuff,'' Higgins said Monday after Mayfield was named the starter. "If it pans out how it's supposed to be, Baker might be the next big thing. He might be on the LeBron wall, what I like to call it. I'm excited to see what he can bring to the team. Nothing but good things for him."

    Higgins was referring, of course, to the LeBron James' iconic mural across from The Q, on the Sherwin Williams building that was taken down shortly after he signed with the Lakers in July.

    "Just the work ethic he brings, the desire he has, the confidence he comes out in the huddle with - it only excels us in the huddle,'' said Higgins. "That's what we look for in a quarterback - somebody to pick us up when we're down and to tell us, 'Hey, man. I'm the leader. I got  y'all. Let's do this."

    Mayfield made a star out of Higgins in training camp and rescued him from the possible scrap heap. Instead of getting cut again, he's a valuable member of the receiver corps.

     "I'm excited,'' Higgins said. "Me and Baker and the timing that we got, it's unbelievable to have something like that with another guy, it's pretty well worth it. I hang out with Baker all the time. We live at Crocker Park and I'm always at his house. I'm always asking him, 'Hey, man, do you need anything to eat? Anything?' All jokes aside, I'm very excited for him. I'm happy he's here."

    Tight end David Njoku, who caught two passes from Mayfield for 36 yards in the come-from-behind victory over the Jets, agreed it could be the start of something big for the Browns with Mayfield at the helm.

    "The sky's the limit for him,'' said Njoku.

    Higgins said Mayfield has nothing to prove to his teammates when he makes his first NFL start Sunday in Oakland.

    "Not at all,'' he said. "He does it in practice. Even if he's going against the look squad, he's still making those acrobatic throws, those tight spiral throws and getting it in between two defenders. In a quarterback, that's what you look for. He came into the huddle, it was nothing big. It was like, 'Guys, let's do this. It's just like practice."

    For Higgins, Mayfield gave him something he hadn't had in 635 days.

    "He came in and performed and got me my second W since I've been in the NFL,'' he said. "Wonderful feeling. Can't describe it. The energy in the stadium was unbelievable. I'm glad it came."

    0 0

    Defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi and Chris Smith talk about the league's rules on hitting the quarterback in the wake of another flag on Clay Matthews.

    BEREA, Ohio -- Browns defensive lineman Chris Smith is in agreement with his former Bengals teammate, safety George Iloka, about the league's new rules regarding roughing the passer.

    Iloka, now with the Vikings, tweeted on Sunday night, "They should just change the name of the penalty to 'tackling the passer' instead of 'roughing the passer' #smh"

    The tweet came on the heels of a roughing the passer call against Packers linebacker Clay Matthews. He has been on the receiving end of a number of flags related to the rule changes, in this instance the rule that states "a defensive player must not unnecessarily or violently throw him down or land on top of him with all or most of the defender's weight. Instead, the defensive player must strive to wrap up the passer with the defensive player's arms and not land on the passer with all or most of his body weight."

    "The hit Clay Matthews had on Alex Smith, it was a clean hit," Smith said. "What is he supposed to do? I don't understand."

    Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi isn't a fan, either.

    "For Clay Matthews to be called three weeks in a row for roughing the passer when he's just trying to put his team in position to win is unfair to me," he said, "because defensive players, we play football, too. We get paid to help our team win."

    Matthews has been the center of attention for the rule because of the hit Sunday against Smith and a hit on Minnesota's Kirk Cousins the week prior. The hit on Cousins wasn't due to the body weight rule, but instead a rule stating a player can't lift the quarterback up and throw him to the ground.

    That, too, caused ripples as replays made their way around social media.

    Ogunjobi pointed to a play by Packers lineman Mike Daniels in the Vikings game when he pulled up thinking Cousins had released the ball, only to have Cousins get away and scramble for a yard.

    "He knew if he grabbed him and fell down, they probably would have flagged him," Ogunjobi said, "so you've got guys playing a little more timid because it's like, Do I hit him? Do I fall on him? How do I got to fall on him? How do I adjust my body? Because if you do adjust your body, you may end up missing a tackle entirely."

    One player who tried to avoid a flag, Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes, tore his ACL while sacking Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

    "I always ask my coach, (defensive line) coach Clyde (Simmons) and (defensive coordinator) Coach (Gregg) Williams, how are we supposed to do this?" Smith said. "They have no answer, just go out there and play and see what happens, but it's very frustrating."

    Linebacker Joe Schobert, who spoke out about the rule a few weeks ago, took to Twitter in response to Hayes' injury.

    "Can they make a rule change now for this? Should be a penalty on QB and a fine because defender is trying to avoid putting weight on him and tears his AClL!! This just proves how dumb the rule is and how little NFL cares for position players..."

    Schobert made it clear in a later tweet he was being sarcastic about flagging the quarterback, of course, but his point still stands.

    "You've been taught to tackle a certain way and now you've got this one protected player on the field," Ogunjobi said. "When you're rushing the passer, you fall into sacks, you get pushed into sacks, you clean up, sacks happen in all sorts of ways so it's hard sometimes to adjust your body to make sure that you don't get that kind of penalty, so you've got to be careful."

    Both Smith and Ogunjobi acknowledged they can't think much about flags when they're going full speed in a game. Smith said he hopes this is just a case where the league is going heavy on enforcement now and will back off later, but, if not, that an agreement can be reached to fix the issue.

    "I feel like there needs to be a change," he said. "I might be a little biased because I'm a (defensive) end, but I feel like there needs to be a change in what roughing the passer is."

    Ogunjobi agrees.

    "It's a rule that they'll probably have to make some adjustments to to get better clarification on and flag it better that way," he said, "so you're not taking away from the sport entirely."


    "We might as well just treat it like practice," Smith said, "where the quarterback, he's off limits and take the sacks out of the game."

    0 0

    Korver was in a dark place by the end of the season. He left the locker room immediately after Game 4 of the NBA Finals and didn't speak to anyone, something he apologized for during his session with reporters on Monday. Watch video

    INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Kyle Korver said he contemplated retirement this summer following an incredibly difficult few months on and off the court. 

    "I was done," Korver said Monday afternoon at Media Day. "I was just done. I took a good chunk of time and kind of got away from the game and really evaluated a lot of things and tried to decide if I still had the desire to play. Talking to my wife, my family, look at my kids, you know, we didn't really talk it through anything yet, but just tried to get a good feel for where they're at in life and after doing all that, I wanted to come back and I still wanted to play, still love the game and so I'm excited to be back." 

    Korver was in a dark place by the end of the season. He left the locker room immediately after Game 4 of the NBA Finals and didn't speak to anyone, something he apologized for during his session with reporters on Monday. But it was easy to see the pain on his face. His hurt didn't stem from getting swept either. It wasn't even about a rocky season that tested everybody.

    It was deeper than that. Much deeper. 

    In late March, his brother, Kirk, passed away suddenly, leading to Korver stepping away from the team briefly. He returned for the final few games of the regular season, getting back in time to help the Cavaliers' championship chase. Only he was never really himself.

    On the court he was still bombing 3-pointers and providing a lift off the bench. But each day was an emotional battle. 

    After some heart-to-heart chats with his family, Korver determined he was ready to come back, ready to take on this new challenge. 

    "I think really I needed to have the blessing of my wife and family," Korver said. "You guys hear this too, surely, you're schedules are tough as well and the older I get, there's a family cost to continuing to play. It's a real thing. So once I felt like my family was in a spot where, even though we went through what we went through, we're good, we can keep going, that gave me the freedom to really decide for myself if I still love the game or not, if I wanted to put the work in. I don't want to just come here and just be around. I want to come here and work, play well, make shots, win games. It's a lot but once my family was good, shortly after that, I still have the desire." 

    Korver will be looked at as one of the veteran leaders now. His non-stop movement will give the Cavaliers a new dimension on the offensive end as they attempt to steer away from the isolation-heavy approach that was so successful the last four seasons.

    It's hard to know exactly how long it will take. Korver and the players won't put a timetable on it. But with a clear mind and a fresh perspective, Korver is back to play his role, one that may be even bigger than it's been in past years. 

    "I don't want to like point fingers at why someone is not something or why someone wasn't what they were before and it's just a bad thing to get sucked into," Korver said. "I think things are invented when there is a need. We come up with stuff when we need that thing. I think we're going to need to find scoring, we're going to need to find playmaking, we're going to need to find how we are going to score in the last two minutes of the game and we're going to to need to find all those things. When you have that need to find it you figure it out.

    "I think there are several guys who are obviously, when there was one of those moments the last few years, we went to LeBron because we were supposed to go to LeBron and because anyone with LeBron on their team would go to LeBron. Now there is an opportunity for new and think there are definitely guys who haven't had any experience that LeBron has had in those moments. But are capable. No one is LeBron, but we get create a new identity and expand our games because there is a need. For us as players that's exciting."

    0 0

    The Browns named Mayfield their starting quarterback on Monday. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- Browns head coach Hue Jackson officially named Baker Mayfield the Browns starting quarterback on Monday. He will make his first NFL start on Sunday afternoon against the Raiders in Oakland.

    Mayfield becomes No. 30 on the Browns list of starters since their return in 1999. Browns fans are hoping he will be the last name added to the list for a long while.

    Mary Kay Cabot and I talked about the decision to start Mayfield following practice and availability on Monday. We talked about what it means for the Browns moving forward and if this is finally the quarterback the team and its fans have been waiting for.

    0 0

    The Mid-American Conference and Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will add the 2024 NCAA Women's Final Four to the list of NCAA events on the local calendar.

    Cleveland, Ohio -- The Mid-American Conference made an impact on the NCAA Women's NCAA Tournament this past March, and that impact will extend to 2024 when the MAC and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will host the Division 1 Women's Final Four at Quicken Loans Arena.

    The NCAA announced its latest round of hosts for the women's championships Monday afternoon. This announcement is indicative of successful past and future partnerships between the MAC, GCSC and The Q.

    The three have previously served as host to the NCAA Women's Final Four in 2007, which included Tennessee, LSU, Rutgers and North Carolina. Tennessee won its seventh Division I Women's Basketball Championship with a 59-46 win over Rutgers.

    The MAC, GCSC and The Q also hosted the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional, the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and will host the upcoming 2020 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds on March 20-22, 2020.

    In a release, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said: "We learned from the NCAA that we have been selected to host the 2024 NCAA Division I Women's Final Four.

    "We are so proud to bring the pinnacle of women's basketball back to Cleveland and to showcase our great city and vibrant downtown to another generation of basketball fans," said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference.

    "The Mid-American Conference has been aggressive in pursuing NCAA championship events. We have a great team in Cleveland and northeast Ohio which includes the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Quicken Loans Arena, a long track record of successfully hosting NCAA events, and a great and supportive fan base that is passionate about intercollegiate athletics."

    The Q and the MAC have a long-standing working relationship. For 19 years, The Q has served as host venue for the MAC Men's Basketball Tournament (since 2000) and the MAC Women's Basketball Tournament (since 2001). The Men's Basketball Tournament at The Q is the second longest running neutral site men's tournament in the nation.

    "Due to the outstanding efforts of the Mid-American Conference and Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, the opportunity to successfully host another prestigious NCAA Championship event and the positive impact it will have on our city cannot be understated," said Len Komoroski, Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena CEO.

    "We are thrilled to welcome the NCAA Women's Final Four back to Cleveland in 2024 to a newly renovated and modernized arena, and look forward to providing the student athletes and college basketball fans across the region and country with an incredible tournament experience."

    Last season a pair of MAC women's teams, Central Michigan and Buffalo, both pulled NCAA Tournament upsets. No. 11-seed Buffalo defeated No. 6 South Florida and No. 3 Florida State to advance to the Sweet 16. Central Michigan, also a No. 11-seed, defeated LSU and Ohio State to also advance to the Sweet 16.

    Both teams are expected to receive votes in the Top 25 polls when they are announced for the upcoming 2018-2019 season.

    The 2007 title for Tennessee was the first of two straight, and eight overall, for the late and legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.

    "After hosting this Championship in 2007, Cleveland is again looking forward to embracing the NCAA DI Women's Final Four with open arms and continuing to champion women in sports and business," David Gilbert, President and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission said in a release.

    "This announcement would not have been possible without the hard work and support of our partners at Mid-American Conference and Quicken Loans Arena. Our organizations are committed to expanding Cleveland's footprint by showcasing this national event to continue to inspire our community's growth."

    0 0

    Mary Kay Cabot and Dan Labbe talk about Baker Mayfield being named the Browns starting quarterback.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Once the Baker Mayfield train started rolling on Thursday night, there was no turning back for the Browns. So it was no surprise when head coach Hue Jackson named Mayfield his starting quarterback on Monday.


    So, with the benefit of hindsight, did the Browns handle their quarterback situation correctly?

    In this edition of the Orange and Brown Podcast. sponsored by Sibling Revelry Brewing, Mary Kay Cabot and I talk about that, plus:

    • What to expect from Mayfield moving forward?
    • Does this change the expectations for the team the rest of the way?
    • Could this finally be the guy for the Browns?

    Want our podcasts delivered directly to your phone? We have an Apple podcasts channel exclusively for this podcast. Subscribe to it here. You can also subscribe on Google Play and listen Spotify. Search Orange and Brown Talk podcast or click here.

    You can also use our podcast's RSS feed in your podcast player of choice.

    You can download the podcast here.

    Get the best Browns news and perspective in your inbox at lunch time every weekday. Sign up for our Browns newsletter.

    0 0

    Corey Kluber will try to win his 20th game of the season when he faces the White Sox on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

    CHICAGO -- Here are the starting lineups for Monday night's game between the Indians and White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m.


    CF Greg Allen.

    3B Yandy Diaz.

    RF Melky Cabrera.

    DH Edwin Encarnacion.

    1B Yonder Alonso.

    C Yan Gomes.

    LF Brandon Guyer.

    SS Erik Gonzalez.

    2B Adam Rosales.

    RHP Corey Kluber, 19-7, 2.93.


    2B Yolmer Sanchez.

    LF Daniel Palka.

    RF Avaisail Garcia.

    DH Omar Narvaez.

    C Kevan Smith.

    1B Nicky Nelmonico.

    SS Tim Anderson.

    3B Jose Rondon.

    CF Ryan Cordell.

    RHP Dylan Covey, 5-13, 5.33.


    H Manny Gonzalez.

    1B Andy Fletcher.

    2B Jeff Nelson, crew chief.

    3B Laz Diaz.

    0 0

    Seattle lost an NBA team in heartbreaking fashion, but have a basketball-hungry fan base that would welcome the league back.

    The NBA's popularity has never been higher and the league has been looking at other cities to expand. Two cities in many fans' minds stand out as ideal candidates for the next NBA franchise: Las Vegas and Seattle. Vegas has a great stadium in the T-Mobile Arena and locals are starving for more professional teams. Seattle lost an NBA team in heartbreaking fashion, but have a basketball-hungry fan base that would welcome the league back. What do you think?


    Las Vegas already hosts the NBA Summer League every year that brings in thousands of fans and hosted an NBA All-Star Game. The league and the city obviously have a great relationship and it would be a mistake for the NBA to ignore one of the most iconic cities in the United States. Vegas has proved it's a passionate fan base by rabidly supporting the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights and bringing in the NFL's Raiders to the city. They earned the privilege of having an NBA team.

    Kevin Durant, James Harden and Paul George Support an NBA Franchise in Las Vegas

    Seattle had it an NBA franchise only to have it callously stolen from them by greedy businessman and a clueless mayor. The Supersonics were beloved by the fans and it's only right that the NBA correct this travesty by giving them an NBA team. Seattle rallied behind the WNBA affiliate Storm and showed they are still just as passionate about basketball as they were when the Sonics left. There's a glaring hole in the NBA and the league would be making a mistake not having a franchise in a top-15 market.

    Seattle still hungry for NBA as preseason game tickets sell fast

    The Tylt is focused on debates and conversations around news, current events and pop culture. We provide our community with the opportunity to share their opinions and vote on topics that matter most to them. We actively engage the community and present meaningful data on the debates and conversations as they progress. The Tylt is a place where your opinion counts, literally. The Tylt is an Advance Local Media, LLC property. Join us on Twitter @TheTylt, on Instagram @TheTylt or on Facebook, we'd love to hear what you have to say.


    0 0

    For the first time since 2014, the championship talk has been silenced, replaced with a new credo that head coach Tyronn Lue unveiled to his team hours after the practice courts cleared in preparation for the team's first official get-together on Tuesday morning.

    INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The reigning Eastern Conference champions officially turned the page and started penning the next chapter of Cavaliers basketball on Monday afternoon.

    LeBron James is gone. So, too, is the luminous spotlight that followed him and the Cavaliers daily. Media day, an annual event that used to be chaotic and overwhelming, was more mellow. The roster has fresh faces -- an ideal blend of champions, veterans and hungry youngsters that are eager to usher in this new era and, yes, prove the naysayers wrong.

    For the first time since 2014, the championship talk has been silenced, replaced with a new credo that head coach Tyronn Lue unveiled to his team hours after the practice courts cleared in preparation for the team's first official get-together on Tuesday morning.

    "It's not about wins and losses, it's about wins and lessons," Lue said. "I think we can continue to get better every single game, every single night and that's what we are going to do."

    Lue's message comes on the heels of the organization pointing to a shift into player development mode. But don't be mistaken. That doesn't mean the goals are changing.

    Shortly after James' departure in July, Cavaliers brass weighed everything. They conducted studies on tanking teams, trying to determine how they found success and how long it took to crawl out of that dark hole. They weighed those results against teams stuck in the middle. Knowing that their draft pick is likely headed to Atlanta because of the Kyle Korver trade, the Cavs dug deep into the 2019 NBA Draft class to determine how much they would rue losing their first rounder if their fight for the playoff spot ends with them outside the Lottery top 10.

    In the end, the Cavs decided on this path. One of competitiveness.

    "No tanking," Lue said firmly. "I think start from what we had and build from that. You see that with Dan and giving Kevin Love the extension. Having older guys and vets to help the younger guys as we move forward so not a rebuild at all. I think it's a challenge for all of us and it's something different with LeBron gone. But we're up for the challenge. I think that challenge started this summer when all of our coaching staff went out to these guys and helped these young guys work on passing, ball-handling skills, shooting and different things we have to do this season to make us good. It's a new challenge. But we want to compete for the playoffs. That's our motivation, that's what we want to do and we're going to put a product on the floor to do that."

    There are still remnants from the LeBron years. The banners hang inside Cleveland Clinic Courts. The lessons learned during his four years, the best stretch in franchise history, aren't forgotten. The winning culture he helped cultivate remains. Even those recognizable signature Nikes were seen Monday afternoon -- laced up on Love's feet, sort of a passing of the baton to the new Cavaliers leader.

    Before James returned to Cleveland in 2014, there was little hope, little belief that the Cavaliers would ever recover from years of losing.

    Avoiding that fate without him won't be easy.

    "When you have the best player in the world who has dominated this game in the last 12 or 13 years it's always tough to lose a player like that," Lue said. "But moving forward, and talking to LeBron a lot this summer, moving forward and talking to Dan and how he sees us building and approaching this season of being a playoff team.

    "That's our goal and that's what we want to do. We know we have one of the best owners in the game and he's going to spend money and do whatever it takes to get us to that point. LeBron gone, the media circus I think it calms down but as far as what we want to do as a team, my coaching staff and players, that doesn't change. We want to win, we want to continue to get better, continue to develop our younger players while winning games and while having a chance to experience things in games to help them get better. Player development, guys think it's working out on the court before the game and after the game, but most of the player development comes from playing meaningful games. I think our young guys will have a chance to do that this year and I'm very excited about that."

    Lue expects to take a more hands-on approach to coaching. Heck, he's already done it this summer. Normally seen wearing sweats and other Cavaliers workout gear, one member of the organization joked about Lue tossing on a pair of shorts for his personal workouts with Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson.

    The days of trying to just grind through the regular season and skipping forward to the playoffs are over.

    Practices are important. The regular season will be meaningful. Lue must instill belief in a team that many are doubting. And teaching will become more prominent.

    "We have to teach for the whole season," Lue said. "Quote from Doc Rivers: Never assume they know. We have to start from the bottom and build up. Our coaching staff has been doing it all summer, they are up for the challenge now so we will see."

    It's not just coaches who need to adjust either. Love, who signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension this summer, is back to being the No. 1 option. He willingly took a step back for the betterment of the team. This season, they need him to be more than a third wheel. They need him to be the alpha, the guy he was in Minnesota before a blockbuster trade brought him to Cleveland in 2014.

    "I'm 30 now, so I don't know if he's still there," Love said when asked if he could play like the younger version of himself. "Will there be nights when my stats are gaudy? It's very, very likely. This will be a new chapter for all of us, and I think we've very excited."

    Ask around the NBA and there are very few that believe the Cavs can pull this off. Miami couldn't. Trying to balance competition with development isn't always easy. But the Cavs are determined. And they aren't willing to concede their East throne without a fight.

    "We haven't lost yet, have we," Lue quipped when asked about Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto as favorites. "We will see. There's a lot of expectations."

    Those expectations exist in Cleveland as well -- albeit a little less lofty.

    The past four seasons, there was just one thing that determined success for the Cavaliers: winning an NBA championship. That "c" word wasn't uttered on Monday afternoon. But another term was. That's right, playoffs.

    So what makes for a successful season in the aftermath of James leaving?

    Everyone has a different version of the same answer. Playing with the right attitude. Outworking the opponent. Earning the respect of the of the opponent. Getting better every day. Finding a new identity. Playing with joy. All the above.

    Then there's one more: Silencing the doubters.

    "We aren't in that rebuilding phase so I'm going to venture out there and say the playoffs," Channing Frye told "I've been on teams where someone had us like 10th in the West and we ended up winning 48 games or something.

    "How about this, how about enough success to tell the media doubting us f--- you."

    0 0

    Manager Terry Francona says the four off days between the end of the regular season and start of the postseason and disrupt a team's rhythm

    CHICAGO - When it comes to clinching a spot in the postseason early is always better for manager Terry Francona. But if it has to happen late, so be it.

    What concerns Francona the most is the downtime between the end of the regular season and the start of the postseason. He feels that baseball is such a sport of timing and rhythm that how the downtime is handled can determine the success or failure of a team when the postseason begins.

    To that end that's why the Indians will play an intrasquad game on Oct. 2 at Progressive Field. Francona is kicking around the idea of opening the gates to fans, having sideline reporter Andre Knott work the game and turn on the scoreboard. He wants to make it as close to a real game as possible.

    "We don't have it all (planned). I've got a lot of brilliant ideas," said Francina in a self-deprecating tone. "In my perfect world, you open the gates, let the people come in and maybe donate to a charity. Say they want to pay a dollar. I don't care, whatever it is.

    "OK, you've got to get people to work the game. You've got to get police. We'll see. Chris (Antonetti) is really on board with it. I'd like to have it as close to a game as we can. I don't know how we'll pull that off. One way or another, we're going to play a game. I might be quiet. I might be like that rain out in April."

    The regular season ends on Sunday in Kansas City. The Indians will hold an optional workout on Monday at Progressive Field, play a game on Oct. 2 and workout again on Oct. 3 After that workout they're expected to board a charter flight and fly to Houston where they'll workout at Minute Maid Park on Oct. 4 and face the Astros In Game 1 of the ALDS on Oct. 5.

    Last year the Indians played a similar intrasquad game in preparation for their ALDS matchup with the Yankees. Executives Antonetti and Mike Chernoff played the infield - wearing catcher's masks - and Indians' employees sat in the stands and cheered.

    "I think we had like 1,000 people there," said Francona. "They were cool. They were yelling and yelling. It was cool."

    Can we talk? The Indians' postseason roster should be close to set by Oct. 2.

    "We told the players that on Tuesday (Oct. 2), that would be the latest (they would be told if they made the postseason roster or not)," said Francona. "I'm going to talk to some guys on this trip, some of the younger guys just so they know. That way they can't stay to plan and do things.

    "Everybody is going back to Cleveland. But if we know, and I talked to Chris on Sunday, I don't think there is any reason why we can't sit and talk to them, especially when we're on the road. Rather than just bringing in nine guys real quick on Tuesday."

    Left out lefty: The Indians have four lefties in the bullpen in Andrew Miller, Oliver Perez, Brad Hand and Tyler. They're all pitching well, but it's unlikely all fours will make the postseason roster because the Indians need some right-handers to matchup late in games.

    Miller has a 2.70 ERA in his last 17 games. Perez has allowed just three of 41 inherited runners to score. Hand has converted eight of nine save chances with the Indians. Olson has struck out 14 and not allowed a run in his last 13 games.

    "If you call it a problem, it's a good problem," said Francona. "But I'd always rather have that."

    Speaking generally about the last couple spots on the roster, Francona said, "A lot of times the last couple of spots come down to fits as opposed to maybe who has the best ERA or something like that. I understand that's hard sometimes for players to understand - I get it. That's why we'll explain it to guys when it's time. But it's got to be a good fit, too."

    He's OK: Catcher Roberto Perez left Sunday night's game against Boston after getting hit by a foul tip in the shoulder. Francona said he's fine and could have stayed in the game, but they wanted to be careful and were anxious to get rookie Eric Haase into the game.

    "Whatever he experiences here is good for him," said Francona. "He such a good kid. He pays attention. He's always ready."

    Finally: Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez did not start Monday after playing in Sunday night's 4-3 win over Boston in 11 innings. . .The Indians started this series with a 12-4 record against the White Sox this season. . .The Indians have thrown 65 quality starts this year, tying Houston for the MLB lead. It's the most by the Indians since they threw 108 in 1968. . .Trevor Bauer will start Tuesday and be on a pitch count of 60 to 65 pitches. . .Yes, those were dogs you hear barking at Guaranteed Rate Field. Monday was Dog Night at the ballpark.

    0 0

    Josh Tomlin, in what may have been his last appearance at Progressive Field with the Indians, earned the win in the Tribe's 4-3 victory over Boston on Sunday night.

    CHICAGO - Josh Tomlin pitched the final two innings in the Indians' 4-3 win over Boston at Progressive Field on Sunday night. He was credited with the win when Greg Allen brought a long night to a close with a game-winning single in the 11th inning.

    Tomlin, 33, tried to enjoy the moment as much as possible because he understood what it meant. He's had a poor season, there's no guarantee that he'll be on the postseason roster and he's a free agent after the World Series. He knew it could have been his last home game in an Indians' uniform.

    "Yeah, I tried to," said Tomlin, when asked about soaking in the moment. "I knew it was going to be like an emergency situation if I got in the game. It ended up happening that way."

    Tomlin was scheduled to start Wednesday against the White Sox, but because he pitched Sunday night, he'll start Thursday against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

    "When I got out there," said Tomlin, "it was just one of those times where it's like, this is the last regular season game here at Progressive Field. Enjoy it and try to get ready for the playoffs in case you're on the roster. You can go out there and try to perform and put yourself in the best position going forward."

    The Indians drafted Tomlin in the 19th round in 2006. He was the 581st player taken in the draft that year and he'll soon be finishing his eighth full season with the Indians. Cody Allen recently said that Tomlin and Corey Kluber have set the tone with their work ethic for Tribe pitchers over the last several years.

    Tomlin, 2-0 in his last four appearances, is 2-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 31 appearances this year. He's made eight starts, while allowing 24 homers and 47 earned runs in 65 2/3 innings.

    He's 61-53 with a 4.78 ERA in 182 games, including 143 starts, in his career with the Indians. Is he long shot to make the postseason roster, certainly. But he doesn't look at it that way. He's thinking about staying prepared.

    "That's the whole mindset behind it all," said Tomlin. "You don't know what's going to happen. So, you go out there and try to compete and perform the best you can in case your number is called. You saw it in 2016 when guys went down very quick and you have to make adjustments, you have to be ready on the fly."

    Several players who have been a part of the Tribe making the postseason four times in the last six years are eligible for free agency after the World Series. Tomlin will be joined by Allen, Michael Brantley, Lonnie Chisenhall, Andrew Miller and Brandon Guyer, who has a club option for 2019.

    "I think we all kind of know that this could be the last time we play together as a unit," said Tomlin. "I think we're all pretty self-aware of the situation. We've had good times here and we want to finish on a high note. That's what we've talked about for the past five or six years. We want to win a championship together.

    "We have the opportunity in front of us and it's about us - cliche, cliche - grabbing the bull by the horns and going out and getting it."

    0 0

    Corey Kluber became the first Indians pitcher to win 20 games Monday night since lefty Cliff Lee won 22 in 2008. He is the first Tribe right-hander to win 20 games since Gaylord Perry in 1974. Watch video

    CHICAGO - This is the time of the season when baseball players get into round numbers. For a starting pitcher there's nothing better than the symmetry of 20 wins.

    For six innings Monday it didn't look like Corey Kluber would get much of anything except another double-digit strikeout game and a no decision. Then Brandon Guyer ended the suspense with a leadoff homer in the seventh to give Kluber the only run he'd need as the Indians beat the White Sox, 4-0, at Guaranteed Rate Field.

    Kluber is the first Indians' pitcher to win 20 games since lefty Cliff Lee won 22 games and the Cy Young award in 2008. Kluber has already won two Cy Youngs and he was in consideration for a third this year even before he struck 11 in seven innings on Monday night.

    Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry was the last Indians' right-hander to win 20 games. Perry did it in 1974 so it's been a while.

    This year the only other pitcher in the big leagues with 20 wins is Tampa Bay's Blake Snell. The left-hander is 21-5 with a 1.90 ERA.

    Manager Terry Francona told reporters after the game that he was nervous because he wanted Kluber to get 20 wins. Kluber did not share his manager's case of nerves.

    "Twenty wins is cool. It's a nice round number," said Kluber. "But as long as we win the game, that's the main goal."

    Kluber (20-7, 2.83) allowed four hits and walked one. He is 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA against the White Sox this season, holding them to three runs in 28 innings with 39 strikeouts.

    "That's awesome," said Cody Allen, who made his first appearance since Sept. 7. "This guy has been close to 20 wins a few times the last few years. He's pitched his tail off for us the last few years. There's been quite a few games where I've blown a win for him or we haven't scored.

    "For him to put that on his resume. He's extremely deserving of it."

    When Kluber faces the White Sox, he's in a target rich environment. He is 9-0 in his last in his last 11 starts against Chicago and 13-4 in his career.

    The lineup Francona sent against Dylan Covey and the White Sox did not include regulars Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley, Josh Donaldson and Jason Kipnis.

    The Indians went 11 innings Sunday night in a 4-3 win over Boston. It was their third extra inning game in the last four and Francona turned to his bench on Monday night.

    Covey, who threw six scoreless innings against the Indians last week at Progressive Field, did it again Monday night. The Indians reached him for six hits, but couldn't score. He struck out seven and walked one.

    As soon as Covey left, Kluber and the Indians' fortunes changed. Guyer hit a 1-1 pitch from Ian Hamilton over the fence in left to start the seventh.  It was Guyer's first homer since Aug. 6 and his seventh of the season.

    The Indians gift-wrapped Kluber's 20th win with three runs in the ninth. Adam Rosales started the rally with a homer just inside the left field foul pole to make it 2-0. Brandon Barnes and Edwin Encarnacion singled home runs.

    Francona said before the game that he hoped Kluber won his 20th game Monday night. He added that he didn't need 20 wins to prove how much he means to the Indians.

    "There's a difference when you're kind of the work horse of the staff," said Francona. "When you're the guy that anchors it. You go up against a lot of number ones, there's a little extra load there. He handles it, he has grown into it. I hope he wins 20 because it looks good. But other than that, he's got my vote for all the other stuff."

    The Indians are 13-4 against Chicago this season.

    Andrew Miller and Allen relieved Kluber with a scoreless inning each to complete the Tribe's 17th shutout of the season.

    What it means

    Rosales circled the bases on his first homer as an Indian in 16.23 seconds, according to Statcast. It's the fastest over-the-wall homer this season.

    On April 2 against the Angels, Encarnacion circles the bases in 18.86 seconds on an inside-the-park home run.

    "I've been doing it since I was a kid," said Rosales of his home-run sprint. "Since I was a kid I always promised myself, 'Hey, as far as I can go, I'm always going to play this game the same way I did when I was 10, 12 years old.'"

    Told he had the fastest time in a over-the-wall home-run trot, Rosales laughed and said, "I was super excited to hit my first home run as a Cleveland Indian."

    The pitches

    Covey threw 96 pitches, 62 (65 percent) for strikes. Kluber threw 108 pitches, 75 (69 percent) for strikes.

    Thanks for coming

    The Indians and White Sox drew 18,217 fans to Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday night. First pitch was at 8:10 p.m. with a temperature of 70 degrees.

    There was also 1,260 dogs in attendance. Ruff, ruff.


    Right-hander Trevor Bauer (12-6, 2.21) will make his second start since coming off the disabled list on Tuesday. He'll face the White Sox and right-hander James Shields (7-16, 4.48) at 8: 10 p.m. SportsTime Ohio, WTAM and WMMS will carr the game.

    Baur will be limited to 60 to 65 pitches.

    0 0

    Check here for the TV schedule for Ryder Cup 2018 this week in France.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Team USA faces Team Europe in Ryder Cup 2018 this week in France. Competition unfolds at Le Golf National outside Paris, Sept. 28-30. Team Europe seeks to avenge a 17-11 loss at Hazeltine in Minnesota in 2016.

    Team USA

    USA.jpgTeam USA for Ryder Cup 2018. 

    Earned spots on points: Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson.

    Captain's picks: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau.

    Team Europe

    europe.jpgTeam Europe for Ryder Cup 2018. 

    Earned spots on points: Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Olesen, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose.

    Captain's picks: Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson.

    TV schedule

    Friday, Sept. 28

    • Golf Channel, 2 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Saturday, Sept. 29

    • Golf Channel, 2-3 a.m.
    • NBC Sports, 3 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Sunday, Sept. 30

    • NBC Sports, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Woods, 42, is on the short list of greatest golfers ever. His remarkable comeback this season from multiple back surgeries includes a victory at the Tour Championship and two Top 10's in majors (T-6 at The Open, 2nd at PGA Championship). He ranks No. 2 all time with 80 PGA Tour titles. He is 13-17-3 in seven Ryder Cups.

    Mickelson, 48, is the second-best player of his generation. He ranks No. 9 all time with 43 PGA Tour titles, including one this season. He is 18-20-7 in 11 Ryder Cups.

    0 0

    Samantha Davis, 17, a senior at Union Pines High School in Cameron, N.C., suffered an apparent seizure Saturday morning.

    CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- A 17-year-old girl died at a hospital early Sunday morning after collapsing during a cross country meet hours earlier, according to reports.

    Samantha Davis, 17, a senior at Union Pines High School in Cameron, N.C., suffered an apparent seizure Saturday morning at about the 4K mark while running in the Hare and Hounds Invitational, The Pilot reports.

    Davis was taken to Novant Presbyterian Medical Center while in cardiac arrest but died shortly after midnight on Sunday.

    The death of Davis has hit the community hard, reports say. The senior was a member of the cross country and track teams, and she participated in marching band, Runners World reports.

    "Sam made us all want to be better," Union Pines band director Robert Hill tells Runners World. "She never complained about anything and always had a huge smile on her face." page set up for Davis' family had raised more than $18,000 as of early Tuesday morning.

    0 0

    Once overshadowed by a pair of dominant personalities in his own locker room -- Kyrie Irving and LeBron James -- Love is all that remains from that once-menacing Big Three.

    INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Back in 2014, following a game during his first year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love sat at his corner locker and stared down at the floor while answering questions.

    That became a typical sight. Love often wore the look of a player who was uncomfortable, attempting to get familiar with new teammates while also trying to find happiness as the third wheel.

    How quickly things change.

    Overshadowed in the past by a pair of dominant personalities in his own locker room -- Kyrie Irving and LeBron James -- Love is all that remains from that once-menacing Big Three.

    Beyond his obvious role change, morphing back into the offensive focal point, Love is taking on a new role this season, one that seemed implausible four years ago. It's his team. He's the leader now, even called "captain" by one of his teammates Monday afternoon.

    "I'm 30, so I don't know if he's still there," Love said when asked if he could play like the younger version of himself. "My game has changed." 

    Yes, Love is a different player these days. He's lighter and there's some gray mixed into his dark hair. He shifts from power forward to center in small-ball lineups. There are fewer post-ups and more outside shots. He hasn't reached 20 points in a season since leaving Minnesota. 

    He's also a different person. Love spent a bulk of his summer championing mental health awareness. He even started the Kevin Love Fund.

    Since a letter revealing his battle with anxiety and panic attacks appeared in The Players Tribune, Love has been spearheading the NBA's role in that initiative.

    That openness, lifting that weight off his shoulders, has led to him being more comfortable. It's empowered him. It's given him the confidence to use his voice more than ever.

    "The idea started organically just knowing and seeing what my father's side of the family, including him, had gone through and just knowing what I have dealt with for many years on the anxiety and depression side of things to now facing all this stuff head on, writing the article, being very vulnerable and being able to help all demographics and knowing this thing doesn't discriminate," Love said. "To see where we are now, that's what probably what I'm most proud of. Knowing that this thing has legs and we're going to be able to help so many people with this and this thing is universal, worldwide and being able to help that next man and pay it forward, it's going to be special."

    The Cavs will be looking for that same kind of command on the court. They will need multiple players to take on that leadership role in the post-LeBron era. But Love's voice need to be the loudest.

    Love spoke Monday about the lessons learned from James. Love learned the importance of building camaraderie, having hangouts on the road, mixing in some fun activities, drinking wine together and creating a family environment that can carry over to the floor.

    Love heeded James' advice, gathering most of the team in Miami recently for the same pre-camp workouts that LeBron used to organize.

    "My first six years having played on a very young team, having not made the playoffs, went through a number of different situations on and off the floor to being traded to a team where we were expected to compete for a championship each and every year, I had to follow," Love said. "Now keep taking the steps in order to lead this team. I think between the lines, being more vocal and leading by example and trying to be an extension of the coaching staff. I'm not saying I have to grow up, but I'm going to have to take the next step in my evolution as far as leadership goes."

    Channing Frye, one of Love's best friends and the player that snagged James' locker inside Cleveland Clinic Courts, will be one of Love's lieutenants. That's where he will likely make the biggest impact. Tristan Thompson, one of the few holdovers from the 2016 title team, will also take on that role. Head coach Tyronn Lue and others inside the organization have talked about the numerous things Kyle Korver can teach the youngsters as he enters Year 16.

    Every player takes a different approach. While Love plans to be more vocal, Frye believes Love's leadership will resonate in a different way.

    "Kevin is definitely going to lead by example," Frye told "I think one thing Kevin has shown me and the rest of the people and why he got that bag (of money) he got is he goes to work. He works so hard. Every day he is doing so much. He's here five or six hours per day.

    "He wants to win and he challenges himself to get better. Sometimes he's a little tough on himself because he holds himself to such a high standard, but I think now he's going to see where he was maybe the mac and cheese with bacon to LeBron's steak now we're the mac and cheese and he's the steak. We're the side dishes, appetizers and we're here to complement him because he's the one that's going to get this engine going."

    Is Love truly ready for that? Can he handle the pressure and criticism that comes with it?

    "For 130 million he better be," Frye said with a smile. "I think he is. And he's going to have people that are going to constantly be positive with him, but also keep it real with him. Guys that are going to be there for him when things don't go right. It is a team. It's not just Kevin. He's here and an integral part of us. But at the same time we are a team and I think Kevin likes that. It's not all him, but he's the one that's going to get this going."

    Frye -- and others -- have seen Love change over the years. He's no longer that quiet, introverted player that jumped two feet into a chaotic pool and nearly drowned.

    He's more open, more trusting. There were times when Love needed to take a backseat to James and Irving. But he also showed he's still capable of taking that wheel.

    "I think it was overshadowed because he was playing with LeBron," Frye said. "People never really understood what (Scottie) Pippen could do because (Michael) Jordan was doing crazier things. They will understand now when Kevin is doing his thing just how good he is."

    The canvas belongs to Love. After years of sacrifice for the betterment of the team, he's the one holding the brush. And the All-Star has already begun working on that masterpiece -- the chance to lead a team to the postseason in the first season without James.

    "We're going to be a team that surprises a lot of people," Love said.

older | 1 | .... | 2615 | 2616 | (Page 2617) | 2618 | 2619 | .... | 2666 | newer