Charity work empowers girls abroad

first_imgSaint Mary’s junior Mileva Brunson hoped to bring global education from the halls of the College to women in need around the world. As president of the Saint Mary’s College chapter of She’s the First, Brunson is now able to do just that. She’s The First is a non-profit organization that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world through social media and student leadership so they can be the first in their families to graduate from secondary school, Brunson said. “I found out about She’s the First through my women’s studies course last year,” Brunson said. “For my final paper I researched girls’ education in developing countries which is how I learned about She’s The First.” After conducting research, Brunson said she wanted to get Saint Mary’s involved with the organization. “Notre Dame already had a chapter so I knew it was possible for Saint Mary’s to create a chapter with She’s the First where students would be very interested,” she said. “While I was abroad in Rome last spring, I began the process of creating a chapter on campus.” Speaking with the Student Involvement Office at Saint Mary’s led Brunson back to her women’s studies professor, she said. Brunson said her professor helped her to find an advising faculty member for the club while Brunson worked on getting together a small team comprised of herself as the president with a vice president and secretary to assist her while she was abroad. “I had sent out a school-wide email through the Student Government Office on campus and received such a great response from the students here,” Brunson said. Every semester, the Saint Mary’s chapter of She’s the First will hold an event to raise funds for the girls they sponsor, Brunson said. “Our first fundraiser will be a cupcake bake-off, much like the one that Notre Dame’s chapter holds, in October,” she said. “Lindsay Brown, the president of the chapter at Notre Dame, began the cupcake bake-off which has become a national campaign for She’s the First.” Brunson said she and Brown have been in contact with hopes to combine efforts with She’s the First to create larger events between the two campuses. Tammy Tibbetts, founder and president of She’s the First, said she was impressed by the work Brown and Brunson have done on their campuses. “I’m so proud of the global impact students in Indiana are making through She’s the First. Both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, led by Mileva Brunson and Lindsay Brown, respectively, are using social media (and creative fundraising ideas, like cupcakes) to collectively change girls’ lives around the world,” Tibbetts said. “They are using their own access to higher education to pay it forward to girls who are simply striving to complete a basic education – an idea we hope continues to spread across their campuses and the state.” Brunson said she wants to see her chapter succeed. “With this being our first semester, I hope to have a good response from the girls so we can create a strong club foundation,” Brunson said. “My goal for She’s the First is to raise campus-wide awareness for our cause.” If even one girl can receive a chance for education, the boundaries are limitless, Brunson said. “Not only [is She’s the First a] great opportunity to reach out to global students, but to take the opportunity of our education at SMC and educate other girls around the world,” she said. For more information on She’s the First, contact Mileva Brunson at [email protected],Editor’s Note: This article has been edited to correct an incorrect quote about Brown’s work to establish a girls’ soccer team in Cambodia. The next cover girl for Seventeen magazine might be a familiar face. Senior Lindsay Brown has been named a finalist for Seventeen’s second-annual “Pretty Amazing Contest,” and the winner will be put on the cover of the magazine’s October issue. Brown said the contest rewards girls who have been doing exceptional work. “Each year Seventeen puts a real girl on the cover to celebrate the accomplishments of one of the readers that has done something that they say is ‘pretty amazing,’” Brown said. “It can be anything from … charity work or an athletic accomplishment or dance.” In addition to appearing on the cover of Seventeen Magazine, the winner also receives $20,000 toward her work and tours the world giving speeches on behalf of Seventeen, Brown said. Brown said she found out about the contest from the president of the non-profit She’s the First, an organization that sponsors girls’ tuition in impoverished areas; she was working for She’s the First at the time. “My friend in New York City who’s the president of She’s the First found out about it on Twitter …. and she forwarded it onto me,” she said. “It was due April 30th, and I never really got around to it until the last day.” Brown said she started working for She’s the First her sophomore year by running a simple bake sale with the help of her then-teammates on the Notre Dame women’s soccer team to raise money for tuition at a girls’ school in Nepal. “I went on the Nepal website and emailed the founder,” she said. “It was really cool talking to her and telling her, ‘Oh, my soccer team helped me raise the money,’ and she used to play soccer. We instantly hit it off.” This experience led Brown to start her own non-profit, the S.E.G.W.A.Y. project, which stands for “Soccer Empowering Girls Worldwide and You.” “It kind of worked out that it stands for that because when I got to Nepal, the girls … were just so timid, reserved and shy,” Brown said. “I was telling my mom, ‘What good is it to have them in the classroom if they’re not leaders in the community?’ That’s when I realized soccer can be used to teach confidence and leadership so they can segue into community leaders.” Brown said she was amazed by the impact the soccer team had on that Nepali village. “The boys really started respecting the girls when they realized, ‘Oh, they can play soccer,’” she said. “It was weird. [These are] things we don’t think about, but in their community it’s ground-breaking.” So far, the S.E.G.W.A.Y. project has launched three girls’ soccer teams in Nepal and is expanding to other countries, Brown said. “I’m creating one in Cambodia,” she said. “We’re also partnered with a team in Kenya. Our goal is to help them fund their team trip to a tournament in Minnesota next July.” Brown said she hopes the Pretty Amazing Contest will create publicity for her organization and inspire other girls to make efforts to perform service. “I hope girls can realize that something as simple as a bake sale can make a huge impact on a girl’s life,” she said. Brown said the contest’s results should be announced within the next two weeks.last_img read more

Read More →

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant misses practice with “flu-like” symptoms

first_imgKobe Bryant has overcome his share of injuries and various illnesses, but following Friday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs, he referred to what the Lakers called a viral infection as one of the worst things he faced in his career.He was not at Lakers practice on Saturday and skipped a charity event he was supposed to attend in the morning. Yet despite pondering his future and questioning his battle with Father Time, he is expected to play today when the team hosts the Golden State Warriors.“You would have to amputate his leg for him not to play tomorrow,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “If he feels 20 percent better than he felt last night, he’ll say ‘I’m good.’ I never scratch him out of anything except practice.”Scott added that athletic trainer Gary Vitti said Bryant had “flu-like symptoms” that got progressively worse during the game. Bryant finished shooting 1 for 14 from the field and finished with only nine points after missing his first 10 shot attempts. “As the game went on he started feeling worse and that caught up to him as well. It catches all of us,” Scott said. “But in the same breath, he has a lot left in that tank. He’s playing at an unbelievable level.”Bryant is third among NBA scoring leaders with 25.4 points per game. However, over the past five games he has averaged 37.6 minutes, prompting some concern about his workload. He played the entire first and third quarter of Friday’s game before being taken out for the final 6 1/2 minutes.“I think he can handle the 30-40 minutes handle very easily,” Scott said. “He hasn’t shown any signs of letting down when it comes to that. That’s the least of my worries right now with his minutes and trying to keep them to a minimum.”With the Lakers trudging through a 1-8 start, Scott knows that Bryant’s health is of paramount importance. But unless the illness is more serious than expected, it will be business as usual come today’s game.“When it comes to playing, he’s the one guy I know that if he can walk, he’s probably going to play,” said Scott. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Young’s debut approachingNick Young was in great spirits after completing his first full practice with the Lakers on Saturday. The jokes were flying as he said he felt comfortable putting up shots and going through the motions for the first time since injuring his right thumb in October.If all goes to plan, Young said he should make his season debut Tuesday when the Lakers travel to Atlanta. He announced the news with typical flair.“The Defensive Player of the Year is here today and he’ll be here Tuesday,” Young said.Saturday’s will be his only full practice before then. The Lakers’ plan is to have him go though shoot-around today before traveling to Atlanta on Monday. The team will evaluate him Tuesday after shoot-around and if he is cleared, he will be in uniform.Young was anxious to be back on the floor and said watching the team struggle on the court ate him up inside.“I love the game and to see them struggle, I wanted to be out there with them. If we lose, we lose together,” he said.As for that defense talk, Scott’s focus is to see Young improve his weakside defense. He feels Young is willing to show commitment to being a good on-ball defender but can work on rotating over to his man away from the ball.“During training camp, he was getting better at that and starting to understand that and it’s something we’ll continue to emphasize with him,” Scott said.Jordan, Henry recalledThe Lakers sent Jordan Clarkson and Xavier Henry to the D-Fenders so they could play in Saturday’s game against the Texas Legends. The team plans to reactivate them today against Golden Statelast_img read more

Read More →

Cattlemen and Cattlewomen’s annual winter dinner is set for Saturday

first_imgRed Bluff >> The Tehama County Cattlemen and CattleWomen are hosting the 65th annual Winter Dinner and the 14th annual Ag-Scholarship Fundraiser set for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Tehama District Fairground Auditorium. Proceeds from the auction and a wine glass sale for tasting local wineries will go toward benefiting the Agriculture Scholarship program of the Tehama County Cattlemen and CattleWomen associations. In the 14 years of the Ag-Scholarship program, the dinner has raised more than …last_img

Read More →

9 months ago​Liverpool’s Robertson says Fabinho ‘different class’ at centre-back

first_img​Liverpool’s Robertson says Fabinho ‘different class’ at centre-backby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAndy Robertson has admitted his admiration for his teammate Fabinho.The Brazilian was drafted in for centre-back duty given the injury crisis the Reds are experiencing in that position.He turned in a top display alongside Virgil Van Dijk, helping his side to a 1-0 win away to Brighton. And Robertson was very impressed with what he saw.”For somebody playing out of position, he covered so well, he cleared away and had so many good blocks,” Robertson reflected to the club’s official website.”So credit to him because it can’t have been easy for him playing out of position. I’m sure Fabinho would have preferred to play as the No.6 but that’s the attitude we have in the squad, we are all willing to play in different positions if we have to.”I’m sure the manager just told him early doors and he embraced it and I thought he was brilliant. I thought he was different class.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Read More →

GasLog Partners to Buy LNG Carrier Solaris

first_imgzoom Greece-based GasLog Partners has entered into a deal to purchase 100% of the shares in the entity that owns and charters the liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier Solaris from GasLog Ltd.The aggregate purchase price for the 155,000 cubic meter tri-fuel diesel electric carrier will be USD 185.9 million, which includes USD 1 million for positive net working capital balances to be transferred with the vessel.GasLog Partners expects to finance the acquisition with cash on hand and the assumption of USD 117 million of Solaris’ existing debt.The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.Built in 2014, Solaris is currently on a multi-year time charter with a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell through June 2021. Shell has two consecutive extension options which, if exercised, would extend the charter for a period of either five or ten years.“Solaris represents the ninth LNG carrier the Partnership will have acquired from GasLog since our IPO, and its multi-year charter to Shell will provide incremental visible cash flows,” Andy Orekar, Chief Executive Officer of GasLog Partners, said.“The acquisition will expand the Partnership’s fleet to 12 wholly owned LNG carriers, increase our contracted days to approximately 90% for 2018 and 72% for 2019, and significantly grow our contracted EBITDA,” Orekar added.last_img read more

Read More →

Cops open up closed case in Sioux Lookout after family testifies at

first_img[email protected]@katmarte Audrey Anderson (left) and her sister Norma Anderson in 1972.Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsWhen 19-year-old Audrey Anderson was found dead in 1972, Sioux Lookout, Ont., police thought she’d been involved in a motor vehicle accident.But now they aren’t so sure.“There is a lack of clarity in our minds about the way that the death occurred,” said Dr. Dirk Huyer, chief coroner for Ontario.“So I’ve reclassified the death from accidental to undetermined.”That means police can reopen their investigation. And Det.-Insp. Gilles Depratto said they need help to fill in the blanks.“We are appealing to the public for information in relation to what could have occurred if this wasn’t a traffic collision,” he said from Sioux Lookout.“The two, male parties involved may have told friends, family or acquaintances additional information that may be crucial to determining what really occurred.”The special tipline for the case is 1-807-738-5926.Depratto said the men left Lee’s Café in downtown Sioux Lookout in a pick-up truck before Anderson’s body was found on the shoulder of Drayton Road at 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 11, 1972.He declined to reveal the make, year and model of the truck. He also hesitated to declare the men, who were interviewed as part of the original accident investigation, potential suspects in the new probe.“I’d rather not comment on that,” Depratto said, noting the men are still living in the community.“If there is any information about the two individuals – any of the family members of those or friends of those individuals – then that information would be of great value,” added Huyer.Huyer and Depratto were at a news conference Tuesday at the OPP detachment in Sioux Lookout with members of Anderson’s family.“This was very difficult for the family,” her niece, Jolene Banning, said afterwards.“It was not long after they packed up and moved to Thunder Bay.”Huyer said the same autopsy results would have been found today.But photos from the scene didn’t age well so they have to rely on help from the public.“The main purpose of this is to provide some information that we can look at these individuals differently than as part of a motor vehicle collision,” Depratto added.Banning said questions persisted about what happened to Audrey and in 2017 they contacted the Family Information Liaison Unit, which was established as part of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).“My grandpa never stopped trying to find answers and going to the local police,” Banning said of Audrey’s dad who died in 2016.She and others testified at the inquiry in Thunder Bay before FILU put them in touch with Depratto, who is the OPP’s liaison to the inquiry.Depratto said he and Huyer have met with more than 20 mmiwg families that have questions about their loved ones’ cases.“As a result of that…we’re looking at three separate cases …that we’ve started re-looking at,” he said.Audrey had several jobs and was known as a hard worker.Her death shattered her family, Banning said, and haunted her parents“Her and my grandpa split up. It was really rough,” she said.“I remember being a little kid and my grandma still crying about it.”last_img read more

Read More →

BC Agricultural Critic visits Peace Region to hear farmers concerns

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – B.C. Agricultural Critic MLA Ian Paton joined local MLA Dan Davies on a two-day visit to tour the agricultural scene of the Peace Region.During Paton’s visit, they attended the B.C. Grain Producers’ Annual General Meeting, and a crop tour on Thursday, July 25, followed by a visit with local farmers on Friday, July 26.Being a farmer himself, Paton shares similar concerns with farmers when it comes to the Agricultural Land Commission; more specifically land rights. Paton feels that in order for the industry to thrive into the future, the Government needs to give farmers their land rights back in order for them to make the decisions as to what is best for their own land.According to Paton, the NDP Government has introduced a couple of bills that prevent farmers from making land decisions.“The NDP Government has brought two bills forward, last Fall Bill-52 and this was Spring Bill-15. What they’re doing is they’re giving way more control and power to the State, where the Agricultural Land Commission is now controlling what you can do on your farm, the size of house you can build on your farm. They’re starting to turn away the opportunities for farmers to have a second home on the farm… I’m a believer that if you want the next generation to take an active role in the farm, you’ve got to give the family members an opportunity to live on the farm.”Paton says Bill-15 has taken away the opportunity for landowners, within the Agricultural Land Reserve, to have the ability to go directly to the ALC to make an application to exclude land.Paton also suggests that Regional Panels need to be reintroduced in order to get an “on-the-ground” look at farming across the Province.last_img read more

Read More →

Climbing the success ladder

first_imgOver the last two-to-three decades, the major success story of the Indian economy has been the stellar growth of its IT industry. But as the dividends from the sector reach the eventual inflexion point, India needs to build similar competencies in other industries to ensure sustained growth and prosperity. It is not acknowledged as often but the biotechnology industry seemed poised to take over the mantle. In the span of a decade beginning in 2007, the industry has grown exponentially in size from about $2 billion to over $11 billion in terms of revenue. By 2025, it is targeted to touch $100 billion. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe biotechnology industry, however, has been impacting Indian lives long before it grew so much in size. Back in the mid-1960s, advancements in biotechnology drove the Green Revolution, which enhanced farm yields and made the country self-sufficient in food production. A similar contribution from the sector was witnessed in the White Revolution when India became a milk-surplus nation and improved the nutrition level of its citizens. More recently, the meteoric growth of the Indian pharmaceutical industry is a result of process innovation that has given the country a cost advantage in the manufacture of drugs. Further, the growing energy needs of India’s rural areas have been increasingly met by biomass fuel. Also Read – Insider threat managementThese outcomes have been the result of years of concerted efforts by the Indian government to enable the growth of the industry. As early as 1986, Rajiv Gandhi, recognising the potential of biotechnology in the country’s development, set up the Department of Biotechnology, making India one of the first countries in the world to have a government department solely dedicated to biotechnology. Over the years, the Department of Biotechnology has set up 17 Centres of Excellence at higher education institutions across the country and has supported the establishment of eight biotechnology parks across different cities. The biggest contribution of the department has been in setting up the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in 2012, which has successfully supported 316 start-ups in its six years of existence. Due to these efforts, the Indian biotechnology industry has flourished over the years. As of 2016, India had over a thousand biotechnology start-ups. To put matters in perspective, Australia has a total of 470 biotechnology companies. More than half of these start-ups are involved in healthcare – drugs, medical devices and diagnostics – while about 14 per cent is in agricultural biotechnology and about 18 per cent in biotechnology services. The Indian economy also has a distinct advantage with respect to its demography that can ensure sustained growth for the sector. More than half the Indian population is below the age of 25. On a global scale, the median age in India (26.5 years) is much below that of China (35.9 years) and the US (37.1 years). Effective utilisation of this demographic advantage will provide India competitive edge over all other emerging economies in the advancement of biotechnological research and development. However, a few challenges need to be addressed if India is to fuel the growth of its biotechnology industry and achieve its target of making it a $100 billion industry by 2025. First, India’s research and development expenditure is quite low at 0.67 per cent of GDP, not only compared to mature biotechnology economies such as Japan and the US (which stands at around 3 per cent) but also in comparison to emerging economies like China (which is at around 2 per cent). Second, and more specifically to the biotech pharmaceutical sector, there are a few India-specific challenges with the country’s IP regime. There are two main areas of contention for the industry in India’s approach to intellectual property. The first issue lies in Section 3(d) of the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005, which sets a higher standard for patentability than mandated by TRIPS. The industry argues that India’s stricter standards for patents discourage innovation and dampens foreign investment. The second issue is that of compulsory licensing, which gives the government power to suspend a patent in times of health emergencies. Although India has used this option only once, the industry feels that such regulations keep investors clear of Indian markets. A third challenge lies in the risk involved in the Valley of Death, that is, the risk of failure in the transition of innovative products and services from discovery to marketisation. Most of the early research funding, often provided by universities or the government, runs out before the marketisation phase, the funding for which is mostly provided by venture capitalists. It becomes difficult to attract further capital between these two stages because a developing technology may seem promising but it is often too early to validate its commercial potential. This gap has a huge impact on the commercialisation of innovative ideas. Thus, the Indian government needs to act on these challenges facing the biotechnology sector. An increase in investment towards research and development and building human capital is the most crucial point of action. These initiatives have shifted the growth trajectories of countries like China away from India. As for the challenging IP regime, the government needs to come together with the biopharma industry and chalk out a middle ground that recognises the value of innovation and does not hurt its investment attractiveness. Finally, for the Valley of Death concerns, the government can build a mechanism where funding can be provided to select innovative ideas based on their national importance. Only such action-oriented steps can make biotechnology the next success story of the Indian economy. (Amit Kapoor is chair, Institute for Competitiveness. Chirag Yadav, a senior researcher, has contributed to the article. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Read More →

Why The Warriors And Cavs Are Still Big Favorites

1959-60Boston Celtics1,1051of8 1995-96Chicago Bulls2,0691of29 1984-85Los Angeles Lakers2,0332of23 1966-67Philadelphia 76ers1,0843of10 Los Angeles Lakers-2.8-3.4-0.6– 2014-15Golden State Warriors72915of30 1952-53Minneapolis Lakers8521of10 2001-02Los Angeles Lakers1,8303of29 2011-12Miami Heat1,7255of30 1982-83Philadelphia 76ers1,7781of23 2012-13Miami Heat2,7782of30 2008-09Los Angeles Lakers1,9763of30 1989-90Detroit Pistons1,8343of27 2005-06Miami Heat1,9103of30 Golden State Warriors+9.1+10.8+1.7– Los Angeles Clippers+2.2+2.1-0.1– Sacramento Kings-5.7-5.8-0.1– 1955-56Philadelphia Warriors598of8 2006-07San Antonio Spurs2,3631of30 1988-89Detroit Pistons1,4913of25 Brooklyn Nets-4.4-5.0-0.6– Show more rows* Average number of career playoff minutes, weighted by each player’s share of regular season minutes played.Source: BASKETBALL-REFERENCE.COM 1951-52Minneapolis Lakers4922of10 Charlotte Hornets+1.4+1.4-0.1– Memphis Grizzlies-1.9-2.0-0.1– 1965-66Boston Celtics1,7141of9 1991-92Chicago Bulls1,6844of27 Philadelphia 76ers-0.7-1.3-0.6– SEASONCHAMPIONSAVG. PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE*LEAGUE RANK 1994-95Houston Rockets1,3925of27 1954-55Syracuse Nationals6783of9 1996-97Chicago Bulls2,6181of29 1987-88Los Angeles Lakers2,8442of23 1998-99San Antonio Spurs1,4596of29 1985-86Boston Celtics2,2043of23 1981-82Los Angeles Lakers1,4363of23 1983-84Boston Celtics1,3813of23 New York Knicks-4.2-4.7-0.5– 1993-94Houston Rockets78312of27 Minnesota Timberwolves+3.4+3.3-0.1– 1957-58St. Louis Hawks9881of8 You might be wondering if we’re confusing cause and effect. For instance, Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls were really great; as a result of being great, they made deep playoff runs every year and won six NBA titles, accumulating lots of playoff experience along the way. Playoff success causes playoff experience and not the other way around, you might say.We’ve found, however, that there’s predictive power in accounting for playoff experience above and beyond other measures of team quality. In particular, playoff experience provides information beyond a team’s Elo rating, which accounts for its record, strength of schedule, and margin of victory or defeat in recent games. In the NBA postseason since 1980, the team with the higher initial Elo rating has won 74 percent of playoff series. But if a team has both a higher Elo rating and much more playoff experience,4A difference of at least 1,000 average lifetime playoff minutes played. that win percentage shoots up to 86 percent. Conversely, teams with the higher Elo rating but much less playoff experience have won just 52 percent of playoff series. These differences are highly statistically and practically significant.Based on past research on the topic, we were expecting to see teams reap some benefit from playoff experience, but we were surprised that the effect was this strong. What we’re less sure of is why this effect exists. Playoff basketball is a different beast than regular-season basketball, with much tighter defensive play, among other stylistic changes. It may simply be that nothing predicts playoff success quite like past playoff success. Or it may be that some players really are “clutch” — or can learn to be clutch with experience — and have the psychological skills to thrive under postseason pressure. It’s also possible that teams like LeBron James’s Cavs aren’t overachieving in the playoffs so much as they’re underachieving — or pacing themselves — in the regular season. The NBA season is exhausting, so it’s probably a good idea to pace yourself if your goal is to maximize your chance of a deep playoff run rather than to accumulate gaudy regular-season statistics.All we know for sure is that playoff basketball is different from regular-season basketball — different enough that it makes sense to maintain what amounts to two sets of ratings for each team, one for the playoffs and one for the regular season. And that’s essentially what our new system does: It keeps two sets of ratings. Below, you’ll find each team’s projected margin of victory or defeat against a league-average opponent in the regular season and the playoffs, respectively.5These margins of victory differ slightly from the average projected point differential on the “CARM-Elo” interactive graphic because those “CARM-Elo” point differentials account for the strength of a team’s schedule, whereas my calculations for this article do not. Note that the most experienced teams, like the Cavaliers, project to be 2 or even 3 points better per game in the playoffs than in the regular season, which is similar to the magnitude of home-court advantage in the NBA. So when an experienced team plays an inexperienced team in the playoffs, it has the equivalent of home-court advantage — more experienced teams don’t always win by any means, but the breaks tend to go their way. 2010-11Dallas Mavericks2,1534of30 1980-81Boston Celtics35913of23 1975-76Boston Celtics2,0881of18 2015-16Cleveland Cavaliers1,9072of30 1973-74Boston Celtics1,5662of17 2004-05San Antonio Spurs1,4811of30 NBA champs almost always have a lot of playoff experience 1967-68Boston Celtics2,2451of12 1990-91Chicago Bulls1,2456of27 1960-61Boston Celtics1,3791of8 2007-08Boston Celtics86610of30 2009-10Los Angeles Lakers2,5091of30 Milwaukee Bucks+0.8+0.4-0.4– Atlanta Hawks-5.8-6.3-0.5– Portland Trail Blazers+0.3+0.0-0.3– Indiana Pacers-3.5-3.9-0.3– Orlando Magic-1.7-2.3-0.6– 1992-93Chicago Bulls2,1342of27 Detroit Pistons-2.8-3.3-0.6– Cavs are boosted most by accounting for playoff experience 1999-2000Los Angeles Lakers1,7295of29 1986-87Los Angeles Lakers2,4962of23 1971-72Los Angeles Lakers2,4711of17 Oklahoma City Thunder+5.2+6.0+0.8– 1953-54Minneapolis Lakers1,0621of9 2003-04Detroit Pistons71513of29 2002-03San Antonio Spurs1,1956of29 Denver Nuggets+2.5+2.2-0.4– EXPECTED MARGIN OF VICTORY AGAINST A LEAGUE-AVERAGE TEAM 1970-71Milwaukee Bucks6267of17 1969-70New York Knicks6496of14 Boston Celtics+1.6+1.7+0.1– Phoenix Suns-3.5-4.1-0.6– Cleveland Cavaliers+5.0+7.6+2.6– 1976-77Portland Trail Blazers15222of22 Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are favorites to win their respective conferences and reach the NBA Finals.That’s according to FiveThirtyEight’s “CARM-Elo” projections, which we’ve just launched for the 2017-18 NBA season. The Warriors and Cavs project to be the best regular-season teams in their respective conferences, although the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder — and perhaps the San Antonio Spurs — could represent formidable rivals for the Warriors in the West. Cleveland has less competition in the East. (Our projections are bearish on the Boston Celtics.) But Cleveland and Golden State could have an even larger advantage in the postseason.Apart from one new wrinkle, our methodology for making these projections is essentially the same as it has been for the past two seasons. So I’ll spend the bulk of time here discussing what has changed. The new wrinkle: Our forecasts account for the amount of playoff experience on each team’s roster. Throughout NBA history, teams with extensive playoff experience have often found a higher “gear” in the playoffs. Put more precisely, they have a tendency to win more playoff games than you’d expect from their regular-season performance. This group of teams includes the Cavs, a team that our forecasts have often underrated once the playoffs began — and that won 12 of its first 13 playoff games last year after a mediocre regular season.Indeed, it’s extremely rare for teams without at least an average amount of playoff experience to win the NBA title. We calculate a team’s playoff experience by averaging the number1Only playoff games from previous seasons count toward the calculation; we don’t give a player credit for the experience he’s accumulating in the current season’s playoffs until the next season. of career playoff minutes played2Minutes played aren’t available before the 1951-52 NBA season; for the earlier seasons, we estimate the number of minutes played based on the number of playoff games played. for each player on its roster, weighted by the number of minutes the player played for the team in the regular season.3For our 2017-18 projections, we use projected minutes based on our depth charts. (Teams don’t get any credit for signing a playoff-experienced veteran if they never play him.) For instance, last season’s NBA champions, the Warriors, entered the playoffs with a weighted average of 1,966 career playoff minutes, which ranked third in the league after Cleveland and San Antonio. By contrast, the Portland Trail Blazers — the Warriors’ first-round opponents — averaged just 493 minutes of playoff experience.Each of the past 36 NBA champions have ranked in the top half of their respective leagues in playoff experience. So have 62 out of the past 66 champions; the lone exceptions were the 1980-81 and 1956-57 Boston Celtics, the 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers and the 1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors. San Antonio Spurs+3.5+5.1+1.6– TEAMREG. SEASONPLAYOFFSPLAYOFF EXPERIENCE BONUS 1997-98Chicago Bulls2,7521of29 Houston Rockets+6.2+7.0+0.8– 2000-01Los Angeles Lakers2,2583of29 2013-14San Antonio Spurs2,4362of30 1977-78Washington Bullets1,3832of22 Washington Wizards+1.5+1.5+0.0 1958-59Boston Celtics8492of8 Chicago Bulls-5.1-5.8-0.7– Toronto Raptors+1.0+1.1+0.2– Utah Jazz+1.9+1.7-0.2– Miami Heat-0.8-1.3-0.5– 1972-73New York Knicks1,8092of17 1962-63Boston Celtics1,6891of9 1963-64Boston Celtics1,6371of9 Dallas Mavericks-3.6-3.3+0.3– 1974-75Golden State Warriors5989of18 2016-17Golden State Warriors1,9663of30 Finally, just some general background on these projections. We call these “CARM-Elo” forecasts because they combine our CARMELO projections for individual players, which are used to set the initial ratings for each team, with our Elo-rating based method of simulating out the rest of the season. As part of this process, we’ve built depth charts for each team to estimate playing time over the course of the regular season. There is unavoidably some guesswork involved in creating the depth charts, which reflect a rough consensus of depth charts from RosterResource.com, ESPN.com and CBS Sports and account for injuries. However, CARMELO projects an expected amount of playing time for each player, and when building our depth charts, we usually stick fairly closely to this recommendation for a team’s rotation players. In fact, our model punishes players who are “forced” to play substantially more than their CARMELO-forecasted playing time by lowering their efficiency rating. For example, Doug McDermott of the New York Knicks is projected to play 20 minutes per game in our depth charts when CARMELO recommends that he only plays 15 minutes per game, so our forecast assumes that he’ll become somewhat less efficient as a result.Our CARMELO projections themselves underwent some changes earlier this year, which you can read about here. In particular, we’ve switched back to a system that rates players based on a combination of Real Plus-Minus and Box Plus/Minus instead of solely using BPM, as we did last year. Both RPM and BPM have their weaknesses, though: Neither is especially accurate at accounting for defense; both can struggle with players with extremely high usage rates (say, Russell Westbrook or DeMar DeRozan); and they don’t take much advantage of the NBA’s new wealth of player-tracking data. If it sounds like I have strong opinions about this stuff, it’s because I do; we’re working on our own player-rating metric, which we hope to unveil in the relatively near future.In the meantime, good luck to the 28 NBA teams hoping to knock off the Warriors and the Cavs. It’s never easy, and it won’t be easy this year, especially once the playoffs come around. 1956-57Boston Celtics5655of8 New Orleans Pelicans+1.1+0.9-0.2– 1979-80Los Angeles Lakers1,0785of22 1961-62Boston Celtics1,3941of9 1968-69Boston Celtics2,8051of14 1964-65Boston Celtics1,7071of9 Overall, the Warriors — who have the second-most playoff experience after the Cavs — have a 38 percent chance of repeating as NBA champions, according to our projections. If you’re not sure whether that is low or high, consider that the New England Patriots had only an 18 percent chance of repeating as Super Bowl champions at the start of this year’s NFL season, according to our NFL Elo projections. But 38 percent is somewhat lower than where Vegas odds have the Warriors, which imply more like a 45 percent or 50 percent chance that they’ll repeat.6The combined probability of the 30 NBA teams winning the NBA title is 132 percent, according to the odds listed at VegasInsider.com. Obviously, this can’t be right — the odds must add up to 100 percent exactly — but the inflated numbers reflect the house’s cut. The Warriors’ probability of repeating is 62 percent taken at face value but falls to 47 percent once you correct for this. The competition is a bit deeper this year, and the Warriors are no longer a young team. Still, the playoff bonus helps them — without it, their chances would be 34 percent.The pecking order behind the Warriors changes as a result of the playoff adjustment. In the playoff version of our ratings, there’s a fairly clear second tier after Golden State that consists of the Cavs, Rockets, Thunder and Spurs. The Cavaliers, who benefit from playing in the Eastern Conference, have the easiest path of this group, with a 21 percent chance of winning the title. (Without the playoff bonus, the Cavs’ chances would be 13 percent.)After that, there’s a pretty big gap before you get to anyone else. Teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves might not be that far behind teams like the Spurs and even the Cavs in the regular season. But because of their relative inexperience, they’re less likely to take advantage of their playoff opportunity and make a deep postseason run. 1978-79Seattle Super Sonics9977of22 read more

Read More →

Ohio State defense strives to be best in America

As the Buckeyes football team put spring practice behind them, players and coaches know they have much to improve upon in the coming months before the 2012 season kicks off. Although the team was ruled ineligible for a bowl game this coming season and have no championships to chase, players said that hasn’t made them any less motivated. “All we’re thinking about is beating everybody that comes into the ‘Shoe and wherever we go,” sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby said. “We just want to win every game. That’s our plan.” Players said the initial news of their team’s ineligibility was frustrating, but when word came that new coach Urban Meyer was taking the reigns, their focus began to shift. “Everyone was pretty down about the whole thing,” sophomore cornerback Doran Grant said. “We thought first all that stuff (from the previous season), now this? But Coach Meyer came in and gave us a plan and we just took off with it.” And that plan, according to players, involved winning. One of the newest addition to Ohio State football practices has been the winner and loser days, where every drill is either counted as a win, or a loss for the offense and defense. “It’s really competitive out there,” senior cornerback Travis Howard said. “Our goal is to compete every practice and win every play.” And the increased competition has made an impression on the defensive players, who want to get back to the hard-nosed “Silver Bullet” defense OSU has been known for in years past. “We kind of fell off a bit last year,” Howard said. “But everybody has come back strong, has the right mentality and the right attitude. We’re ready to take on that role of a ‘Silver Bullet’ defense again at Ohio State. It’s definitely our time this year.” Roby said he is confident that will be the case in 2012. “We’re going to be so much better this year, it’s going to be crazy,” he said. “We just have to take in the competition and work on making plays.” But in order to achieve that “Silver Bullet” title, cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said the team needs to “tighten up the details.” “It’s the small things,” Coombs said. “We’ve got to tighten up our fundamentals. We’re getting a lot of plays at game speed, and when that happens, a lot of fundamentals get exposed. We need to overcome that and sharpen the sword a little bit.” But despite those mistakes, Coombs said he couldn’t be happier with his team. “Nobody is practicing harder than we are,” Coombs said. “I think (the team) just individually and collectively wants to be the best they can be, and that’s just very impressive to me. It makes it very exciting to come to work everyday.” Grant and his teammates have the bar set high. “We’re just trying to be B.I.A.,” he said. “Best in America.” read more

Read More →