After being swept by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series and posting some of the worst numbers of his career, the rumors started to swirl about the New York Yankees trading third baseman Alex Rodriguez.Earlier in the week Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he expected for Rodriguez to be back in 2013. This came after Rodriguez said he is not willing to waive his no-trade clause.Rodriguez reiterated not waiving the clause after the game.“That’s correct,” he said. “I will be back. I have a lot to prove and I will be back, on a mission. I love New York City and I love everything about being a Yankee. The highs are very high, and the lows are extremely low.”If he does decide to waive his clause the Miami Marlins could be a likely home.Rodriguez grew up and in Miami, Florida where he discovered at the age of 19. The Marlins are looking to get rid of some of the excessive contracts that they carelessly gave out last winter. The Yankees could trade Rodriguez for Jose Reyes, who signed a six-year $106 million dollar contract, while the Yankees would still be responsible for most of the $114 million owed to A-Rod over the next five years.There was also speculation reliever Heath Bell would be part of an A-Rod trade to Miami, but that changed Saturday. Bell was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three team deal along with the Oakland Athletics. Arizona got infielder Cliff Pennington and minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera from the Athletics for outfielder Chris Young and cash. The Diamondbacks sent Cabrera to the Marlins for Bell.The Marlins do not seem to be a suitable scenario now, but the Los Angeles Angels have also entered the trade discussion. The Angels already signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson last year, who are considering trading Vernon Wells.Wells is owed $42 million over the next two years, while A-Rod is scheduled to make $53 million over the next two years. There is an $11 million difference between the two contracts, which appears to be reasonable. No matter how the Yankees look at the situation they still would have to pick up most of A-Rod’s $134 contract.Rodriguez has a great relationship with Angels manager Mike Scioscia, but Los Angeles does not appear to be a likely destination for now. This could all change during the offseason.Rodriguez is hoping to revive his career after posting some of the worse number of his tenure. His numbers against lefties (.308/.410/.514) were outstanding over the last three years, but he struggled badly (.256/.326/.391) against righthanders.Even with Rodriguez having $134 million left on his contract, for right now it appears he will still continue to reside in his $6 million West Side in New York penthouse, but more importantly his is still a Yankee for now.
WeekOutcomeProbabilityCumulative Probability Miami beats Buffalo520.273042432 16Seattle loses to Dallas61%61% L.A. Chargers lose to N.Y. Jets4327.4512 To get the wild card, Chargers must win both and then pray Tennessee loses to L.A. Rams6050.4 Cincinnati beats Baltimore210.009377878 17Detroit beats Green Bay653.90156 L.A. Rams lose to Tennessee4024 Will the Lions make it? Hmm… WeekOutcomeProbabilityCumulative Probability 16Miami loses to Kansas City7676 Cowboys need a near-miracle to keep their season alive Baltimore loses to Indianapolis165.2288 Atlanta beats New Orleans4115.006 WeekOutcomeProbabilityCumul. Probability 17L.A. Chargers beat Oakland670.140783616 Seattle beats Dallas399.36 WeekOutcomeProbabilityCumulative Probability Detroit beats Cincinnati6036.6 17Buffalo loses to Miami522.28393984 Dallas beats Philadelphia270.31602636 With just two weeks of regular season left, the number of teams that can still make the playoffs — who haven’t already secured their berths — has been whittled down to 14. Out of those, five teams enter Week 16 with at least an 87 percent chance, and two teams with a chance of 3 percent or lower, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions. But the real fun lies with those teams in the middle that do not control their own destiny over the remaining two weeks.AFCThe AFC has three teams that have already made the playoffs: New England, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. Kansas City, which may have had the biggest roller coaster of a season of any team in the league, will join them with a single win against either Miami or Denver. Baltimore needs two wins to clinch a playoff spot but can also get in a few ways with one. Considering that they have an 84 percent chance of beating Indianapolis in Week 16 and a 79 chance of defeating Cincinnati in Week 17, let’s assume the Ravens are in. The rest of the AFC’s playoff picture is made up of three teams with at least a 15 percent chance and a couple of teams with next to no chance.Note: For the purpose of this article, we are going to ignore scenarios that involve ties. They are just too absurd, so we will spare you and ourselves. TennesseeTennessee probably shouldn’t be in this kind of mess, but after being torched for 381 passing yards by the new golden boy of the 49ers, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the Titans find themselves in a precarious position. Mike Mularkey’s men probably have the toughest remaining schedule of any AFC team trying to make the playoffs: In Week 16, the Titans welcome the L.A. Rams to Nissan Stadium, and they then host Jacksonville in Week 17. The easiest path for Tennessee is to beat the Rams and the Jaguars and then hope Buffalo loses to either the Patriots OR the Dolphins in Week 17. If the Titans lose to the Rams but beat the Jags and Buffalo somehow manages to win both of their games, the Titans will need one loss from the Ravens. But fear not, Titans fans: You still have options even if your team loses both games: Baltimore loses to Cincinnati210.057338911 WeekOutcomeProbabilityCumulative Probability Miami beats Kansas City248.208 Oakland beats Philadelphia182.17728 17Carolina beats Atlanta361.080432 The Dolphins need a straight flush L.A. Chargers lose to N.Y. Jets4325.8 16L.A. Rams beat Tennessee6060 Dallas beats Philadelphia270.030630247 L.A. ChargersAfter starting the season 0-4, L.A. had just a 1 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to our projections. Philip Rivers and Co. then reeled off seven wins in their next nine games to jump right in the middle of the playoff conundrum in what was perhaps the best turnaround of any team this season. That season will end if the Chargers don’t win out. Assuming they do that, however, the Chargers can still win the division if Kansas City also loses its two remaining games. But let’s imagine that Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt turn it on for at least one of those games — because we’re not in this for simplicity. The Chargers’ path to the final AFC playoff spot then gets really complicated: Oakland beats L.A. Chargers330.025029635 Tennessee can make the playoffs even if it loses both games OaklandThe disappointing 6-8 Oakland Raiders are still mathematically alive. Raiders fans, we will indulge your fantasies. But we really think you should focus on the Warriors’ chances at winning another title. Here it is: With multiple permutations still on the table entering the final couple of weeks, the end to the regular season has the potential to be a memorable one. Be sure to follow along for yourself with our simulation model and play along with our NFL prediction game to see all the different combinations for yourself.Check out our latest NFL predictions. L.A. Rams lose to San Francisco130.064831104 17Jacksonville beats Tennessee530.5250816 Kansas City beats Denver610.085878006 Buffalo beats New England160.2101248 Carolina beats Atlanta360.4987008 Miami beats Kansas City2412.096 17Seattle beats Arizona741.38528 Baltimore loses to Indianapolis160.3483648 New Orleans loses to Tampa Bay301.170468 Buffalo loses to Miami520.044656563 Miami beats Buffalo520.075847378 Baltimore loses to Indianapolis164.392192 NFCWhile a 9-7 record might be enough to make the cut in the AFC, teams in the NFC won’t be so lucky — and there are even some scenarios that a team with 10 wins doesn’t get in. The Eagles and Vikings already have their berths secured, and a single win will be enough for both the Rams and Panthers to make the playoffs. Where it becomes less certain is in the game between the Saints and Falcons: The winner will secure their berth, and the loser will need a win in Week 17 to secure theirs. But let’s assume the loser of the Atlanta and New Orleans game loses its next game – because chaos is great. This will open the door for Dallas, Detroit or Seattle to sneak into the dance.DallasDallas has largely been overrated for much of the season but has pulled off three straight wins to keep hope alive in Jerry World. The Cowboys must win their Week 16 virtual elimination game against the Seahawks, with the losers’ path ended and the winners surviving another week. Dallas must then beat Philadelphia, which will be without star quarterback Carson Wentz and may have already secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs by then, and rely on the Lions losing to the Packers, which becomes even more unrealistic if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t play. Still, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Buffalo can still make it at 8-8 New Orleans loses to Tampa Bay300.11344536 Tennessee loses to Jacksonville530.145860342 Miami beats Kansas City246.192 Atlanta beats New Orleans4115.006 Tampa Bay beats Carolina203.0012 WeekOutcomeProbabilityCumulative Probability Indianapolis beats Baltimore161.31328 L.A. Chargers beat N.Y. Jets5734.2 17Baltimore beats Cincinnati790.275208192 SeattleSunday’s demolition at the hands of the Rams, coupled with Monday’s victory by the Falcons over the Bucs, left the Seahawks with a very simple to-do list to make the playoffs: They must win both of their remaining games, against Dallas and Arizona, and then pray that Atlanta loses again and Detroit slips up against either Cincinnati or Green Bay. All eyes will be on what Russell Wilson has left in him and whether his MVP-caliber season will go to waste. Assuming they do win their two games, here’s the longest shot we found: 16L.A. Rams beat Tennessee6060 17Baltimore loses to Cincinnati211.098048 16Detroit beats Cincinnati60%60% L.A. Chargers lose to N.Y. Jets4332.68 Indianapolis beats Baltimore160.99072 Tampa Bay beats Carolina201.872 …and the Raiders need a royal flush BuffaloLike Tennessee, Buffalo is in decent shape if it wins its remaining two games. With a 10-6 record, there would be a couple of ways to get in, but the most likely would involve a Titans loss to the Rams in Week 16. The bad news there, however, is that the Bills in Week 16 face the Patriots, against whom they’re just 5-30 since 2000 and have just a 16 percent chance of beating on Sunday. If they fall to the Pats, the Bills still have a decent chance as long as they beat the Dolphins in Week 17. The strange thing about how all of this works out is that, presuming Buffalo does beat Miami, a win for the Titans over the Rams in Week 16 would actually benefit the Bills, and then a Jacksonville victory over Tennessee in Week 17 would secure Buffalo’s spot in the postseason. (That’s because the NFL’s tie-breaking criteria is different depending on which team the Bills are being compared with.)However, even if the Bills lose both games, they aren’t dead. Buffalo can end its 17-year playoff drought at 8-8 — which would be a very Bills move. But they would need a lot of help: Detroit loses to Green Bay350.3781512 Miami loses to Kansas City7663.84 DetroitAtlanta’s win over Tampa Bay on Monday made Detroit’s seemingly tough task all the more unlikely. The Lions’ playoff chances currently stand at just 14 percent, and they must win both of their remaining games against Cincinnati and Green Bay to have any chance. They’ll also need Atlanta to lose to Carolina and the winner of the Seattle-Dallas clash to lose its next game. Again, assuming the Lions do win both of their remaining two, here’s the weirdest path we found for them to make the cut: 16Buffalo loses to New England8484 MiamiWith eight losses, Jay Cutler and the Dolphins have no business being in the playoffs this year, but yes, it’s still in the realm of possibility. Here’s how it could happen: Detroit beats Cincinnati6036.6 L.A. Rams lose to Tennessee406.0024 16Buffalo loses to New England84%84% Russell Wilson can’t do everything WeekOutcomeProbabilityCumulative Probability 16Dallas beats Seattle61%61% WeekOutcomeProbabilityCumulative Probability
1M. Trout919592.9C. Bellinger999596.6 Baseball’s best at combining homers and stealsThe top players in 2018, 2019* and all-time according to Bill James’s Power/Speed Number (PSN) PlayerpowerspeedMean*PlayerpowerspeedMean* Jose Ramirez36.3A. Mondesi30.2Alex Rodriguez199843.9 6T. Hernández948588.9N. Goodrum909089.9 8A. Altherr849287.9J. Báez928487.4 7S. Ohtani978188.1H. Pence918587.8 Who combines the best Statcast power and speed metrics?2018 and 2019 MLB leaders in percentile ranks for both power (by average exit velocity) and speed (by average sprint speed) 3T. Story889892.5R. Acuña889892.3 2R. Acuna889892.5B. Buxton9110095.5 * Harmonic mean of the percentile ranks for exit velocity and sprint speed2019 numbers through April 18Source: Baseball Savant Tim Anderson22.6Javier Baez23.8A. Soriano200240.0 C. Yelich27.3Mookie Betts24.8Jose Canseco198841.0 2018 Leaders2019 Leaders*All-Time Leaders Mookie Betts31.0Ronald Acuna27.4Eric Davis198742.5 4C. Yelich958891.4J. Alfaro939091.4 * Projected full-season Power/Speed Numbers (as of April 18, 2019) according to FanGraphs’ depth chartsSources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs 2018 Leaders2019 Leaders Javier Baez26.0Jonathan Villar24.0Barry Bonds199040.4 Trea Turner26.4C. Yelich24.0Bobby Bonds197340.9 9Y. Moncada869087.6T. Story789886.9 Baseball has always prized players who can hit the ball a country mile or run like the wind. And when the same player can do both of those things, he becomes the stuff of legends — like when Willie Mays hit 36 home runs and swiped 40 bases in 1956, or when Jose Canseco inaugurated the 40-40 club in 1988.So, who is today’s version of Mays or Canseco — the best mix of both power and speed? There is the traditional way of measuring it, but we can do a better job using MLB’s new Statcast metrics, which track the exact velocity of a ball off a player’s bat and the speed of his body around the basepaths.Bill James originally captured a player’s combination of slugging and running by inventing a statistic called the Power/Speed Number, introduced in his 1980 “Baseball Abstract.” The formula is simply the harmonic mean of home runs and stolen bases: two times home runs times stolen bases, divided by the sum of home runs and stolen bases. “It is so crafted that a player who does well in both home runs and stolen bases will rate high,” James wrote, “and his rating is determined by the balance of the two as well as by the total.”According to this basic accounting system, the best combo of power and speed in any single season belonged to Alex Rodriguez in 1998, when he hit 42 home runs and stole 46 bases — just the third of four 40/40 seasons in MLB history.1The most recent was Alfonso Soriano’s in 2006. The best Power/Speed Number last season belonged to Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians, who hit 39 home runs and stole 34 bases; that season is tied for 31st all-time in James’s metric.For this season, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson led baseball on April 18 with a 4.8 Power/Speed Number (four homers and six steals) — though that’s not really comparable to full-season numbers because the metric is a mean of two cumulative stats, meaning that it grows as the season goes on.2The career leader in Power/Speed is Barry Bonds with a mark of 613.9 — gargantuan relative to the single-season record of 43.9. A better way to get numbers that resemble full-season stats is to combine actual results from the first few weeks of the season with rest-of-season projected homers and steals from FanGraphs’ depth charts. After we did that, the top projected Power/Speed player of 2019 was Adalberto Mondesi of the blazing-fast Kansas City Royals — he’s on pace for 48 stolen bases and 22 home runs. Trevor Story31.2Mike Trout27.8A. Soriano200643.4 5T. Pham978590.5M. Trout919090.4 PlayerPSNPlayerPSNPlayerYearPSN F. Lindor30.2Trevor Story27.4R. Henderson198642.4 Starling Marte24.9Tim Anderson24.0Eric Davis198640.4 Mondesi certainly is fast — he ranks second in all of baseball (behind Minnesota’s Byron Buxton) in Statcast’s sprint speed metric, which tracks a player’s velocity on running plays in which he is theoretically hustling. His pop is also impressive for a speedster. If Mondesi were to hit his projections, he would be in great company: The 40/40 club’s lesser cousin, in which a player has 20 homers and 40 steals, has been done only 50 times in history and not at all since 2013. But according to Statcast, the average exit velocity of Mondesi’s batted balls is 88.9 miles per hour, which puts him in the bottom half of all qualified hitters.3Minimum 25 batted-ball events.Homers and steals are proxies for power and speed, but they’re imperfect ones. If we use Statcast’s rankings as the basis for a new conception of James’s old Power/Speed Number — measuring power with exit velocity and speed with sprint velocity — it turns out that there are hitters who do an even better job than Mondesi of combining these two facets of the game.I took every player who had at least one batted-ball event and one running event in every 1.8 games through April 184Which worked out to about 10 so far this season and about 90 over a full season. and calculated his percentile rank in each category. Then, like with James’s original metric, I took the harmonic mean of those two values for a combined score that rewards high rankings in both power and speed.Last season’s top power-speed player was — who else? — Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, who ranked 31st in exit velocity and 17th in sprint speed.Of course, Trout also ranked fifth on our original Power/Speed leaderboard … but where is Ramirez in this updated version? Surprisingly, the Indians’ MVP candidate was only 85th in the new ranking, despite leading MLB in James’s metric. He had a lot more steals and homers than we would have expected from his raw physical tools. As my colleague Travis Sawchik documented last season, Ramirez made up for a lack of pure power with a concerted focus on lifting the ball in the air to his pull side, particularly to right field as a lefty hitter. (Ramirez hits from both sides of the plate.) He was also smart about picking his spots as a base-stealer, ranking seventh in stolen-base percentage with an 85 percent success rate.But this version of the Power/Speed Number is more about measuring the skills that help lead to home runs and steals — rather than the homers and steals themselves — so players like Ramirez are out in favor of those like the Braves’ great young left fielder Ronald Acuña Jr., who consistently hits rockets off the bat and is one of the fastest runners in the sport. Mike Trout29.7Jose Ramirez26.9Barry Bonds199641.0 10M. Chapman987987.2J. Martin898486.2 Acuña was second last year and is third so far in 2019, coming up on the heels of Buxton (who might be the anti-Ramirez — he has one of the league’s highest average exit velocities despite zero home runs this season or last). But neither player ranks No. 1. That honor belongs to Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers.The power part isn’t shocking. Bellinger already has 11 home runs this season, second in the majors behind Christian Yelich. He’s leading the majors in an absurd array of stats, including wins above replacement, batting average, slugging percentage, hits, runs, total bases and on-base plus slugging (OPS). Through April 18, Bellinger ranked sixth in average exit velocity at 95.9 miles per hour.But speed? According to FanGraphs, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Bellinger was rated by scouts as a “45” in the category back in 2017, with average at 50. And yet, Bellinger was up to 16th in Statcast sprint speed at 29.0 feet per second, tied with Kansas City speed-merchant Billy Hamilton (!). In just the first three weeks of the season, Bellinger already had 27 of what Statcast classifies as “competitive runs,” which contribute to his average, so it’s unlikely that the radar-trackers merely picked up a few aberrant readings. That’s particularly the case since Bellinger also ranked 35th overall in sprint speed last season, with a 28.8 feet-per-second average over 224 competitive runs.Interestingly, the power component might be the more likely area of regression for Bellinger. Although he exploded for 39 home runs in his first 132 major league games in 2017, his power dipped last season, with an average exit velocity that didn’t rank among the top quarter of MLB hitters. He appears to have made adjustments after a classic sophomore-slump campaign, blistering the ball early this season, but Bellinger has the longer track record of having an elite sprint speed than having elite batted-ball metrics.Bellinger is simply surprisingly fast in terms of in-game speed. And that works in concert with his crazy mashing to make him MLB’s best power-speed player in the early part of this season.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
Ohio State freshman forward Samantha Bouley skates toward the puck against Minnesota in Minneapolis on Jan. 21. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe Ohio State women’s hockey team put up four goals — three back-to-back in the second period — to defeat conference opponent Minnesota State 4-2 on Senior Day. Each of the Buckeye seniors, captain forward Katie Matheny and captain forward Breanne Grant, scored a goal in their swan song at OSU Ice Rink.“How poetic is that,” coach Nadine Muzerall said. “You couldn’t have designed that any better with our seniors.”The Buckeyes improved to 12-15-5 overall and 6-15-4 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while the Mavericks fell to 6-22-4 and 3-20-3-1.Also scoring for Ohio State was junior forward Julianna Iafallo, junior defenseman Jessica Dunne and Grant, all within six minutes of play in the second period. Matheny sealed the deal with a breakaway goal in the third.“Bree and Katie are the quarterbacks to our team…I leaned on them a lot,” Muzerall said. “It’s sad to see them go because they’re not just great hockey players but great people.”In spite of a scoreless first period, the home team dominated on the ice in the second.At 10:28 in the second period, Iafallo found the net off an assist from Matheny to put the Buckeyes up 1-0.Just a few minutes later at 14:04, Iafallo made an-across-the-ice pass to Dunne, who slapped a one-timer into the net to double the OSU lead.At 15:19, redshirt freshman defenseman Jincy Dunne was called for slashing and the Maverick’s Sara Bustad for holding which sent the two teams to four-on-four play. Shortly after at 16:40, Grant scored her goal off an assist from sophomore defenseman Lauren Boyle.By the end of the second period, OSU led 3-0 and had outshot Minnesota State 26-15.At 8:27 in the third period, Matheny broke away for her score that sent the Buckeyes up 4-0.Shortly after, the Mavericks avoided the shutout with a goal from Steph Keryluk, assisted by Sara Bustad at 11:28.Minnesota State scored one more time at 16:40 thanks to a goal from Hannah Davidson off a pass from Anna Keys.“The mission in the third period was just to let (the seniors) play every other shift,” Muzerall said. “We got up a little bit and we decided that we were going to make the game a little more about the seniors.”The Mavericks pulled the goalie in the final three minutes and opted for six skaters in hopes of making some offensive moves but were kept at bay by the Buckeye defense.“It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling,” Grant said of the Senior Day victory. “At the end of the game I was walking through the crowd of little kids and parents and grandparents and siblings and it hit me — this is Senior Day. This is the last day I’m going to walk through this amount of support from people. You never realize how lucky you are or how special something is until it is coming to an end.”After concluding the regular season home schedule, Ohio State will travel to North Dakota next weekend for two final WCHA contests before the conference tournament.
Ohio State boasts 65 athletes on the Winter Academic All-Big Ten team.Leading the charge are 27 members of the men’s swimming and diving team.Led by coach Bill Wadley, the team had the highest number of athletes from a single sport to make the Academic Team in the Big Ten.Individual honors go to Andrew Elliott, who received the inaugural Elite 88 Award, given out at each NCAA swimming meet to the athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average.Elliott, a sophomore studying finance, was the first ever to receive the award.Team members know what is expected of them in the classroom long before they hit the water. Wadley recruits athletes with academics in mind.“Academics are number one,” Wadley said. “Swimming is their fun while they’re here and it’s important that they spend their energy wisely.”The first matter addressed at the start of every quarter is setting academic goals.The men’s swimming and diving team set a goal in the winter to earn a 3.40 GPA.“The first thing we do is an honest evaluation of ourselves, to discuss what we did well and what we have to do better,” Wadley said.The team fell just short of its goal, earning a 3.20 GPA.“In our mind we want to do better,” Wadley said. “Even though we lead the Big Ten academically, we are always striving to be better because we are never satisfied with where we are.”The sole Buckeye to earn a 4.0 GPA didn’t come from the men’s swimming and diving team. It came as a shock to Buckeye center Kyle Madsen of the men’s basketball team that he was the only athlete with a perfect GPA.Madsen graduated in Spring 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. He returned to Ohio State to complete his master’s in sports management and to continue his career with the men’s basketball team.Although Madsen couldn’t remember the classes he took last quarter, he took 12 credit hours and managed a perfect GPA during the Buckeyes’ rigorous basketball season.Madsen said juggling his coursework and basketball schedule comes easy to him now.“I’m used to it at this point because I’ve been doing it for so long,” Madsen said.Seven Buckeye teams contributed to Ohio State’s league-high success.The women’s swimming and diving team honored 16 athletes; wrestling earned seven, men’s gymnastics took home five spots, women’s basketball earned four and men’s basketball and women’s gymnastics each earned three spots.Of 539 total athletes in the Big Ten on the Winter Academic All-Big Ten team, Ohio State had the most athletes.“Ohio State has topped the Big Ten for the past five consecutive years with the total number of Academic All-Big Ten selections for the entire academic year,” Senior Athletic Director Miechelle Willis said.Last year, the university recognized more than 400 scholar-athletes. This year it will honor more than 500.Athletes must be at least sophomore students, letterwinners and maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher to qualify.
Senior Jon Diebler tied an Ohio State record with nine 3-point field goals against the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those nights, I guess,” Diebler said. “It just feels like you can throw the ball in the ocean and it’s going to go in.” The nine baskets from behind the arc match Jay Burson’s effort against Florida in December 1988 at Madison Square Garden. Diebler finished with a career-high 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting. All of the senior guard’s 14 shots were from 3-point range, tying his own OSU record for 3-point attempts set in 2007 against North Carolina and again last season against Illinois. Diebler connected on his only two foul shots. He deferred much of the praise to his teammates. “Tonight we did a good job of moving the ball, and these guys did a great job of getting me the ball in open areas, and all I had to do was make shots,” Diebler said. “They did a great job of drawing double-teams.” The open space came largely from the Eagles’ zone defense and focus on double-teaming OSU’s post players. “We focused on trying to keep that ball out of the paint. … You realize you are giving up something, and Diebler tonight was the guy that benefitted from that,” said FGCU coach Dave Blaza. Junior William Buford attributed his teammate’s historic night to the Buckeyes’ willingness to take what the defense gave them. “We really go with what’s hot, and Jon had a hot hand tonight,” he said. “He’s one of the best 3-point shooters in the country, so he was feeling good and they were leaving him open.” Despite being left open, Diebler did not get off to a fast start, missing his first two attempts. “Coach (Thad Matta) told me I wasn’t ready to shoot, and just to get ready, get your feet set, and I did and they just started falling for me,” Diebler said. Matta’s message might have been simpler than that. “Obviously I told him the standard company line of, ‘Keep shooting,’” he said. Diebler kept shooting and kept converting. After misfiring early, the senior hit nine 3-pointers in a row, matching the record with 6:15 left in the game. Teammates were aware that Diebler was approaching history. “When I found out he was trying to get the record, I was going to try to get him the ball,” Buford said. After tying Burson’s mark, Diebler had chances to take sole possession of the record but couldn’t connect on any of his final three attempts. With the game well in hand, Matta gave the guard one final shot. “Coach told me I had one more chance and he was going to take me out,” Diebler said. “I told them I’m sorry I couldn’t get it.” Diebler received a standing ovation as he left the court with 1:52 remaining. Though tying the OSU record might have been the most prestigious mark set during the game, it was not the only one. Diebler set a Schottenstien Center record for threes in a game, passing the previous mark of seven. He also reached 291 3-pointers made in his career, good for seventh place all-time in the Big Ten. “He probably shot 90,000 in the off-season to make those nine,” Matta said. “To see him shoot the ball like this is, in my opinion, rewarding for him because the work is paying off.” Though proud of the accomplishment, Diebler said there is little time for reflection. “I guess we celebrate it when we get home for about a night, and that’s about it,” Diebler said. “It’s something that I will think about probably when I get older.”
Senior forward Matt Johnson (26) chases an opponent during an exhibition against Guelph on Oct. 4 at the Shottenstein Center. OSU won, 7-1.Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographerGames between in-state rivals can make the penalty box a crowded space, but for the Ohio State men’s hockey team, that may not be a problem. The Buckeyes are perfect on the penalty kill entering a home-and-home series against No. 11 Miami (Ohio).During their season-opening series against then-No. 4 Providence College, the Buckeyes (1-1-0) held the Friars to five shots on seven power plays.“The bottom line is when there’s any breakdowns (on the penalty kill) you see guys blocking shots,” Buckeye coach Steve Rohlik said. “That’s the epitome of where our team’s at.”OSU’s early season special teams success is a welcome change from last season’s futilities. The Buckeyes finished last year tied for the ninth-worst penalty kill in the nation at 77.1 percent.Increased film sessions and instruction from OSU assistant coach Joe Exter have expedited the change, Rohlik said.“Joe’s done a fantastic job of breaking some things down and trying to simplify some things so everybody knows exactly what they’re doing,” Rohlik said.Senior forward Matt Johnson is a veteran penalty killer and said he takes pride in the role he’s filled since his time in the United States Hockey League.Johnson can measure that pride this year as he has lost 25 pounds since the start of last season.“I feel more energized, I feel faster, I even feel a little bit stronger on the ice,” Johnson said.The weight loss and physical improvements are products of a different workout program.“I got into CrossFit this summer,” Johnson said. “I think that it more translates to an overall (physical fitness) because it’s muscle conditioning, it’s cardio and it’s also strengthening.”OSU might be leaning on its conditioning this weekend against the RedHawks (1-1-0). Miami returns 19 players and its top eight scorers from last season.“They’re as explosive as any team in the country,” Rohlik said. “We know the way they want to play and we have to eliminate that.”For the RedHawks, this year’s focus is returning to the NCAA Tournament. Miami missed the cut last year for the first time since the 2004-05 season. OSU’s familiarity with the RedHawks has roots in the schools’ proximity and former affiliations. The in-state rivals were longtime adversaries in the Central Collegiate Hockey Conference that dissolved more than one full season ago.“I think our team is pretty familiar with most of the guys on their team,” junior forward Anthony Greco said of Miami. “It’s fun to compete against them.”In the past three seasons, the RedHawks have had most of the fun. Miami has gone 8-2-1 against the Buckeyes since 2011. “Coming into practice on Monday I think we had a little extra jump in our step knowing that we’re playing Miami,” senior captain and forward Tanner Fritz said. “We haven’t had the best success against them the last few years but I think this is our year to really turn that.”OSU is set to play the RedHawks on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center and on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio.Loose Pucks• OSU junior defenseman Craig Dalrymple and sophomore forward Nick Schilkey will not play this weekend, Rohlik said.• Dalrymple has not played since Jan. 17. Schilkey sustained an upper-body injury last Friday against Providence and there’s no timetable for his return, Rohlik said.• Miami is a member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference
It has long been linked to scandal among the middle classes, having been the handsome block where George Bernard Shaw set his sexual comedy The Philanderer.Now, wealthy residents at Ashley Gardens in Belgravia have found themselves at the centre of a new outrage. But this time, it is with their “exotic European” neighbour.Homeowners at the luxurious complex have complained that Linda Marinelli Landor, an 81-year-old Italian poet, has been using her £3million apartment as a bohemian bed and breakfast. I would hear wheelie cases going across the marble hall in the hallway as they come and goNeighbour Mary Drummond Italian economist, Irene Dell’Orto, said she had answered an advert on Spare Room for a room in the flat, where she stayed for several months in 2014.It listed a “room with a view” and suggested it would be suitable for “a very intelligent and careful person”, possibly a self-employed writer or musician.Miss Dell’Orto said she paid £950-a-month for her room and was told by Mrs Landor to tell any neighbours that she was a “cousin”, she said.However, she moved out almost immediately after one of the neighbours told her staying there was “illegal”, she said. One guest she met had found the room through Airbnb.Mark Warwick QC, defending for Mrs Landor, said: “Whether or not she was in breach in carrying on a business as at June 2015, she then ceased to do that on a date thereafter.”The mother-of-six had been advised to stop advertising for guests and to put up a notice, informing her neighbours of who was staying and when.”In order to do this, from about September 2015, she pinned to the outside of her front door a document headed: ‘With reference to custom in great country houses, notice of visitors is given,’ he said. “Below this heading, she would write in the name of visitors who stayed at the flat and the dates when they stayed.” Mary Drummond outside Central London County CourtCredit:Paul Keogh Ashley Gardens, in BelgraviaCredit:Paul Keogh Guests have been heard coming and going in the early hours and dragging their suitcases across the marble floors, it has been alleged, while a party involving a flamenco dancer is said to have set chandeliers swinging in the flat below.Mrs Landor has denied running a bed and breakfast in the apartment, claiming guests are Italian family or friends from the creative industry.But the row has reached such a pitch that she is now facing an application to forfeit her home by the freehold owners at the Central London County Court.On Wednesday, Michael Pincher, one of her friends, said it had become a battle between “the boring middle classes and exotic Europeans”. His comment came after the court was told Mrs Landor, who goes by the pen name Jessica D’Este, owns the lease on the 2,000 square foot flat, which has four bedrooms.But Kevin Pettican, the barrister for the freehold owners, Ashley Gardens Freeholds Limited, said she is in breach of a condition that it be used by a single family only. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Neighbours in Ashley Gardens are in a legal fight with Credit:Paul Keogh Mr Pettican told Judge Damien Lochrane that she previously advertised for guests on websites including Spareroom.co.uk and Airbnb, although the flat is no longer on those websites.Comings and goings have irritated some of her neighbours, principally Mary Drummond, 62, who lives in the flat beneath, the court heard.Giving evidence, Mrs Drummond said there had been a “constant stream” of guests to the block, which has previously been visited by Thomas Hardy and is said to have inspired W Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and the Sixpence.”The quantity is what we are complaining about,” she told the judge. “We are talking about changing guests in the same day.”In her defence, Mrs Landor claims that, whether she had run a commercial guest house at the flat in the past or not, she has not done so for 18 months or more.But Mrs Drummond, an interior designer, claimed the problem is an ongoing one. “We are still getting people walking above our heads at 4am,” she said. “If this was a flat with a single family occupancy, we wouldn’t have nearly so many problems.”I don’t spend my entire life listening for noise. I would hear wheelie cases going across the marble hall in the hallway as they come and go.”Frequent music recitals and arty late-night soirees have also caused disruption in the genteel block, which is located on a quiet street close to Victoria Station. One party, which Mrs Drummond said featured a flamenco dancer, had set the chandeliers swinging in her flat. Two guests who had been mentioned were in fact a Korean film maker and French actress and writer, who were working on a script with Mrs Landor’s daughter, he said.He added that Mrs Landor had remedied any breach of her lease by stopping taking strangers as guests and that the freeholders had waived any right to forfeit the lease by accepting her ground rent.To turf her out on her ear would be devastating for a pensioner with a rare neurological disorder which can incapacitate her for weeks on end.”Her occupation of the flat is integral to her lifestyle,” he said. “The flat is full of antiques and objet d’art. She regards the flat as itself ‘an art installation’. The flat has been her home for 43 years. She has nowhere else that she could live.”It would not be an exaggeration to say that a decision that required her to leave her flat would be a life-changing matter for her.”The case was adjourned until a later date.
Cooper with Rupert Lycett-Green, the Earl of Suffolk and Andrew Parker Bowles, who are the inspiration behind lothario Rupert Campbell-BlackCredit:Hugh Routledge/REX/Shutterstock However, it seems Cooper doesn’t always follow her own rules. Her new book, in which she abandons show jumping for football, will have a character named after Prince Harry. “You have to be very careful not to use real people’s names by mistake, as they might sue you if they behave badly in the story,” she said. “I find it safer to use local towns and villages for surnames.”Readers and critics alike have been trying to work out the inspiration behind Cooper’s infamous bonkbusters since the release of the first installment, Riders, in 1985.While she has admitted some, including her best-known lothario Rupert Campbell-Black, are influenced by real-life aristocrats, the origin of others have remained mysteriously vague.Basil Baddingham is one of the many characters that appears to have been named using Cooper’s “towns and villages” system. The talented polo player, who owns Bar Sinister in the novels, shares his name with Badingham, a small parish in Suffolk.Lysander Hawkley – known as the “man who makes husbands jealous” due to his outrageous exploits – and Dame Hermione Harefield, a single mother who has a number of dalliances, also share their surnames with spots on the map. Powered by Findmypast Harry Stanton-Harcourt will be a public school footballer. Discussing his name, Cooper said Harry was a good choice for him as it was a “cross between Prince Harry and Harry Kane and Stanton”.In another case, she mischievously used a writer’s full name after reading a bad review. “I named a naughty goat after her in the next book,” she said. Luckily for her, the writer took it “very well and said it was such a nice goat that she didn’t mind”. Elsewhere, Cooper turns to Shakespeare to name her horses.Campbell-Black is one of the few characters she has admitted the inspiration behind. The handsome stud, who, over the course of the series, charms stable girls and upper class wives before winning an Olympic medal, was revealed last year to be influenced by Andrew Parker Bowles, Rupert Lycett-Green and the Earl of Suffolk.Speaking about their role, Cooper said it was their style and their “aristocratic glamour” that was the inspiration for the character, not their bad behaviour.The author revealed her tricks while speaking to family history website Find My Past. Experts at the website have created a tool named You Called Me What?! that allows members of the public to find out information about themselves. It comes after Cooper revealed she had spent time with her local football team to research her new book. You have to be very careful not to use real people’s names by mistake, as they might sue you if they behave badly in the storyJilly Cooper The world of football is a significant departure from her previous novels, which have focused on the exploits of riders. In an interview about the novel, which she said she intends to call Tackle, she revealed she had taken inspiration from her local team, Forest Green. Her novels detail the hedonistic exploits of the super rich as they navigate the show jumping circuit, ravishing young women and ruining marriages.So it is perhaps unsurprising that Jilly Cooper has a tried-and-tested method for ensuring her characters are never accidentally named after someone in real life. The 80-year-old novelist has revealed that she uses English towns and villages as inspiration to avoid being sued.Admitting she fears legal action over her raunchy novels, she said she had to be “very careful” not to associate one of her badly behaved aristocrats with someone in the public eye. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.