Mongalo sentenced for sexual harrassment as Lions’ problems mount

first_imgLions assistant coach Joey Mongalo will be appealing both his conviction and undisclosed sentence by an Australian court for indecent assault, The Citizen has confirmedThe 34-year-old was in the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on Wednesday, where Magistrate K Thompson sanctioned the franchise’s defence guru after he was found guilty on 12 April.Sordid details had emerged during the trail last year of Mongalo, who was on a Super Rugby tour with the team, of him forcing a hotel employee at Crown Plaza Hotel in Cogee to touch him in an untoward manner.The court also heard that CCTV footage revealed that Mongalo and the employee had interacted at least two times at a hotel counter before the incident.Mongalo has returned to South Africa and will be subjected to an internal disciplinary hearing as the franchise views the latest developments in a very serious light.“The Lions Rugby Company, in consideration of the court ruling handed down in the matter of Mr. Joey Mongalo, hereby confirms that it respects the judicial processes of the Australian Government and the subsequent court ruling in this matter,” the union said in a statement.“The Lions Rugby Company considers misconduct related to Assault with the Act of Indecency, particularly serious and a direct violation of Lions Rugby Company values and culture. The Lions Rugby Company will follow the normal internal disciplinary processes regarding the matter.”The union also stated that there will be “no further comment on the matter until the Code of Conduct process has concluded”.For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.last_img read more

NASCAR at Kansas: TV schedule, lineup, qualifying drivers for the Hollywood Casino 400

first_imgThe final race of the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs will be at Kansas Speedway on Sunday and Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick have to feel great about earning an automatic berth in the third round.All three already have a great chance to move on to the third round, but with this race being at a 1.5-mile intermediate track, there is going to be an extra level of comfort for these three drivers. (All times Eastern)Friday, Oct. 18TimeEventChannel3:05 p.m.Xfinity Series first practiceNBCSN/NBC Sports App/MRN4:05 p.m.Cup Series first practiceNBCSN/NBC Sports App/MRN5:05 p.m.Xfinity Series first practiceNBCSN/NBC Sports App/MRN7:05 p.m.Cup Series final practiceNBCSN/NBC Sports App/MRNSaturday, Oct. 19TimeEventChannel12:05 p.m.Xfinity Series qualifyingNo TV1:35 p.m.Cup Series qualifyingNBCSN/NBC Sports App/MRN3 p.m. Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300NBC/NBC Sports App/MRNSunday, Oct. 20TimeEventChannel2:30 p.m.Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400NBC/NBC Sports App/MRNNASCAR at Kansas starting lineupBelow is the entry list for the Hollywood Casino 400.StartingDriverNumberTBDLandon Cassill00TBDKurt Busch1TBDBrad Keselowski2TBDAustin Dillon3TBDKevin Harvick4TBDRyan Newman6TBDDaniel Hemric8TBDChase Elliott9TBDAric Almirola10TBDDenny Hamlin11TBDRyan Blaney12TBDTy Dillon13TBDClint Bowyer14TBDRoss Chastain15TBDRicky Stenhouse Jr.17TBDKyle Busch18TBDMartin Truex Jr.19TBDErik Jones20TBDPaul Menard21TBDJoey Logano22TBDWilliam Byron24TBDReed Sorenson27TBDCorey Lajoie32TBDMichael McDowell34TBDMatt Tifft36TBDChris Buescher37TBDDavid Ragan38TBDDaniel Suarez41TBDKyle Larson42TBDDarrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.43TBDRyan Preece47TBDJimmie Johnson48TBDJJ Yeley51TBDAustin Theriault52TBDJosh Bilicki53TBDJoey Gase66TBDTimmy Hill77TBDAlex Bowman88TBDMatt DiBenedetto95TBDParker Kligerman96 Truex is well-known for his prowess on intermediate tracks while Busch and Harvick have had great success on them as well. The only two drivers guaranteed a spot in the third round of the playoffs right now are Ryan Blaney after his win at Talladega and Kyle Larson following his win at Dover.Both of those men competed for a win at Kansas last season, but Larson has had his struggles at the track so he’ll be happy not to have to win this weekend to book his ticket into the third round.Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, and William Byron are on the outside looking in for the playoffs, but wins could earn them automatic berths to the third round as well.NASCAR at Kansas: What time does the race start?The Hollywood Casino 400 will take place Sunday, Oct. 20. Live coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET.What channel is NASCAR on today?The Hollywood Casino 400 will be broadcast nationally on NBC. The race also can be live-streamed on the NBC Sports App.NASCAR at Kansas TV schedule, how to watch Hollywood Casino 400Here’s a daily schedule of events leading up to the Hollywood Casino 400.last_img read more

Kentucky vs. Michigan State takeaways: Wildcats’ additions start strong at 2019 Champions Classic

first_imgNEW YORK — The game started Tuesday night and ended Wednesday morning, and felt longer than a six-part miniseries.But No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Kentucky was a show worthy of the best programs in that genre. And like “Rich Man, Poor Man” launched Nick Nolte’s career four decades ago, Kentucky’s 69-62 victory over the Spartans gave Wildcats freshman guard Tyrese Maxey an opportunity to shine. MORE: Don’t overreact to Champions ClassicThree takeaways from UK’s first win of the season:Tyrese Maxey can catch-and-shootThat may seem like it’s grammatically incorrect. In everyday language, it would be better contracted as: Tyrese Maxey can catch, and he can shoot. Or, to be more succinct: Tyrese Maxey can catch, and shoot.But in basketball, the catch-and-shoot is a specific skill that is essential to the way the game has evolved in the 21st century.Maxey arrived at Kentucky this summer having played mostly point guard, but UK already has a returning starter at that position. There seemed little doubt John Calipari would play Maxey together with Ashton Hagans in his base lineup. For that to work best, though, Maxey needs to be more than a second dynamic ball-handler and high-level defender. Both will get plenty of opportunities to handle the basketball, but Calipari won’t always want to take the offense from the control of a player with a full year of experience at the point position.To function effectively while playing off the ball, Maxey could generate points in a variety of ways. He is that dangerous off the dribble. But if he can make deep shots off the catch, he can excel. And that’s what he did against MSU. He scored nine of his 26 points at the foul line because of his ability to stress opposing defenses. But his first two 3-pointers were both off the catch, not the dribble. That will be an essential weapon as the season advances.Michigan State will miss Joshua Langford for a whileA 15-point scorer last season before a foot injury ended his season, Langford was expected to return to the Spartans’ starting lineup and provide an elite complement to All-American point guard Cassius Winston.With Langford out until at least January, and possibly much longer, MSU has no clear answer at shooting guard. Coach Tom Izzo started freshman Rocket Watts, and he played with confidence and aggression. But he didn’t score. Sophomore Gabe Brown provides much more size at 6-7, but he must shoot better than 3 of 10 to justify his developing — to say it nicely — defensive game.Kyle Ahrens is one of the most valuable reserves in the college game, but not suited to a starter’s offensive load.There is no obvious answer to Langford’s absence. There is a lot of talent on the MSU roster that Izzo will find a way to turn into a terrific team. But the team that was a unanimous No. 1 pick by the various polls and publications had a no-doubt double-figure scorer as its starting two-guard. This team does not.Nate Sestina can play at this levelA graduate transfer from Bucknell, Sestina joined Kentucky’s program after 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds last season. No one is expecting him to match the numbers he achieved mostly against Patriot League competition in the SEC, but he showed against the reigning Big Ten champions and the preseason No. 1 team that he can play the biggest minutes in the biggest games. He was on the floor down the stretch in a tight game against the Spartans. He finished with seven points and six rebounds, including two big defensive rebounds in less than a minute midway through the second half, the second followed by a 3-point shot that opened UK’s biggest lead at 54-41.Sestina showed off a rugged side when he threw an elbow into a defender’s chin and then tossed in a jump-hook in the first half.He also was an important part of an excellent defensive job against Michigan State power forward Xavier Tillman, who finished with only 7 points on 3-of-8 shooting.last_img read more

Coming of age: Reid looking forward to Senior Tour

first_imgLast week was a typically busy one for Mike Reid.When he wasn’t staying late at board of directors meetings for Riverside Country Club, he was making trips to Park City to watch his 17-year-old son Daniel play in a junior tournament, attending movies and going hiking with his daughters or spending a couple of days in the mountains on a father-and-son’s outing with his younger son.As much as he loves doing those things and enjoys spending time with his wife, Randolyn, and their six children, Reid is looking forward to a new phase of his life, which begins this week.Reid turns 50 on Thursday, which makes him eligible for what has been called golf’s ultimate mulligan — the PGA Champions Tour. It’s an opportunity for professional golfers to play competitively for outrageously generous purses during a time when many folks their age are figuring out a way to retire.The former BYU all-American and two-time PGA Tour winner has been preparing for this new adventure for the past couple of years and is rarin’ to go.”I feel like I did when I was a rookie on the PGA Tour,” Reid said. “I’m curious to see how my game stacks up against these guys.”Reid feels he’s ready to take on the guys he used to play against on a regular basis for most of the past 25 years. He knows he can’t compete against Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson or even some of the “kids” who play on the Nationwide Tour. But he’s ready to go against the players of his generation — people like Peter Jacobsen, Ben Crenshaw and Craig Stadler, not to mention the older guys such as Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino.He had Lasik surgery on his eyes six months ago and said it’s been great for his game and enabled him to discard his trademark glasses. He’s been working hard on his game, playing often at Riverside when he’s in town or against the young bucks on the Nationwide Tour to get warmed up.He looks as rail thin as ever, but Reid confides that while he still only weighs about 160 pounds, his weight has redistributed and he’s had to go to a 34 belt from his usual 32. Poor guy.Reid has always been known as a soft-spoken, thoughtful man who lives a well-balanced life. His two oldest daughters are married, and his other four children are old enough that he has no qualms about going back out on tour on a regular basis.”I still have a great love for tournament golf, and I’ve always loved the challenge,” he said. “I feel like I still want to be competitive, and I want to win. I like the idea of teaching (at clinics), the fan interaction and rekindling a lot of old friendships. I like the whole package.”Reid is a little frustrated by the timing of his birthday in relation to the Champions Tour schedule. Unfortunately he won’t be able to take advantage of his senior status and play an official event on the Champions Tour for more than a month.He can’t play this week at Long Island because his birthday doesn’t fall “prior to his first tournament obligation,” which includes pro-ams before the actual tournament. Nor can he play the following week at the Ford Seniors Players Championship, which has a select field of current seniors. The week after that, the Champions Tour takes a week off during the British Open, and the next two tournaments are non-PGA Tour events, the British Senior Open and the U.S. Senior Open.Finally, the first week of August, Reid can play in an official Champions Tour event at the 3M Championship in Minnesota. Actually, Reid will play in a senior event before then as he plans to fly to Northern Ireland in mid-July to compete in the Senior British Open, which gained “major” status last year. He and his wife will be accompanied by his old college teammate John Fought, who recently turned 50.Then if Reid can qualify this week at the Salt Lake Country Club, the day after he turns 50, Reid could play in the U.S. Senior Open in St. Louis the final week of July.Before the end of the year, Reid plans to play in about eight senior events. Then starting next year he hopes to play in 20 to 25 senior events per year, the same number he did for most of his career on the PGA Tour.Right now, Reid is right on the borderline of being an exempt player. He can get into most tournaments because he ranks in the top 70 of all-time money winners with more than $4.5 million earned on the PGA Tour. But since he ranks around No. 67 or 68, it’s a tenuous standing, and he needs to add some winnings to stay exempt.He’s also No. 6 on the list for career wins, and four players get into tournaments based on that exemption. That category is open only to players between the ages of 50 and 52, so he’ll move up next year when a couple of players are over 52, but he’ll lose that exemption in a couple of years. If he doesn’t stay in the top 70 on the all-time money list, he loses that exemption.”My access looks good to play in about 20 to 25 tournaments next year,” said Reid, who knows he needs to be fairly successful right out of the gate.Reid’s best years on the PGA Tour were in the late 1980s when he won two tournaments, including the World Series of Golf in 1988 and nearly won a major, at the PGA, before losing a late lead to Payne Stewart in 1989. He showed his tremendous consistency as early as 1980 when he made 27 of 28 cuts, ranked first in driving accuracy and greens in regulation and ranked No. 9 on the money list.As late as 1999 when he earned just under a half million dollars, Reid was still playing well, but as he reached his late 40s, he gradually played less and less until he played in 13 events in 2002 and four in 2003, missing the cut in all four.Last year he started playing on the Nationwide Tour, the “Triple-A” PGA Tour, which features up-and-coming professionals along with those past their prime. After missing the cut in his first four, he “started playing better” in the last two where he made the cut, in late May.”I would have played more, but I don’t want to go out there (on the Champions Tour) burned out,” he said. “I want to be enthusiastic and well-prepared.”When he played the PGA Tour, Reid used to annually rank in the top 10 on the tour in fairways hit and greens in regulation, which is where he earned his nickname, “Radar.” However his length was always a concern, and he would rank somewhere around No. 175 in the driving distance category.But now that he’s playing on courses that are set up shorter for the older fellows, he hopes length won’t be an issue.”I won’t know until I get out there,” he said, “but I hope that’s what I find.”Reid said he tried some new equipment recently in an effort to better his game and perhaps increase his distance but abandoned the experiment.”I bought into that temporarily,” he said. “But I’ve gone back to everything I used to use.”No, he’s not using persimmon driver, but he is using his driver from about eight years ago, a Titleist J, and fairway woods from 10 years ago. His irons and wedges are more recent, just 4 or 5 years old.”You’ve got to dance with the one that brung you,” he said.As for how long he’ll play on the Champions Tour, Reid said it will depend on his health. He doesn’t plan to be a Dana Quigley, who will be playing in his 250th straight Champions Tour event this week. Nor will he just play occasionally like Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson have done.”I don’t want to play so much that I feel like the game owns me,” he said. “I don’t ever want to get like I feel like I have to play.”Reid says he’ll try to play in no more than 25 events per year for the next five or six years and see where it takes him. If he’s doing well, then he’ll continue on until he turns 60.”My youngest daughter will be 18 when I’m 60,” he said. “I’ve always targeted that date to do something different with my life.”Reid joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was 19, soon after coming to BYU on a golf scholarship. Because he never had a chance to serve a mission, he’d like to do that with his wife a decade from now.In the meantime, Reid will find out if he has the game to make headlines again on the Champions Tour. “I’ve always been driven by curiosity to see if what I have is good enough to get to the top level,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it.” E-mail: sor@desnews.comlast_img read more

Utes’ winning streak likely won’t end soon

first_imgE-mail: sor@desnews.com Following Monday night’s four-point victory over UNLV, Utah coach Ray Giacoletti was mostly relieved but also happy that his team had played and survived a close game.”It’s good for us,” he said. “Let’s see what our true colors are going to be through a little adversity and having to go through some tough times.”The (20-3) Utes were able to see that Monday night after they seemingly were cruising to another double-digit victory thanks to one of their usual second-half rallies.They pushed a two-point halftime lead to 11 early in the second half and still led by 10 with eight minutes left. That’s when the Rebels fought back and the Thomas & Mack Center crowd suddenly came alive.A couple of Ute turnovers led to quick baskets by the Rebels, and with a little more than two minutes left, the Ute lead was cut to just one.However, the Utes stayed poised and never lost the lead amid the din.They held off the Rebels thanks to some key rebounds by Bryant Markson and Justin Hawkins and with four free throws in the final 30 seconds.”Our perimeter players did a great job of going to the glass,” said Giacoletti. Hawkins (6), Richard Chaney (6) and Markson (5) each outrebounded Ute center Andrew Bogut (4) Monday night.So now that they’ve experienced their first close game since December, the question is “When will the Utes ever lose?”It’s been nearly two months since Utah lost, Dec. 11 at Arizona.Since then, the Utes have reeled off 15 straight wins, the fifth-longest streak in school history and longest since 1998-99 when the Andre Miller-Utes won a school-record 23 straight games.That team, which also featured Alex Jensen and Hanno Mottola, went more than three months without losing before being upset by Miami of Ohio in a second-round NCAA game in New Orleans.Looking at the Utes’ remaining schedule, it’s possible they could duplicate the feat of six years ago and extend their winning streak to the NCAA Tournament, in which case they would shatter the record set in 1999.With six more MWC wins, the streak would reach 21, and three wins in the MWC Tournament would break the mark at 24. Then the Utes would be in the NCAA Tournament, likely as a No. 4 seed or better.OK, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves, and Giacoletti would be the first to put a stop to such talk. He’s a typical “one-game-at-a-time” coach, and he’s trying not to look at the whole picture until after the season is over.The Utes will be favored to extend the streak to 17, which would match the third longest in history, with home games coming up against last-place Colorado State Saturday night and Wyoming Monday night. The Utes are unbeaten in 12 home games this year. The two toughest remaining games will be next week at New Mexico (Feb. 19) and at Air Force (Feb. 21). After those two games, the Utes close the regular season with home games against BYU (Feb. 26) and San Diego State (March 5). STATS ‘N STUFF: The Utes are ranked in the top 10 in five different categories in the latest NCAA statistics. They’re tied for 10th in win-loss percentage and No. 6 in scoring defense at 56.6. Utah still ranks No. 3 in rebound margin (10.7) but fell to No. 2 in field goal percentage (53.3) behind in-state rival Utah State (54.0). The Utes are No. 1 in one category — fewest fouls. After getting whistled for just six fouls against UNLV, the Utes’ average dropped to 13.9 per game on the season . . . Bogut has dropped to No. 2 in the nation in rebounding after getting just four boards at UNLV, behind Duke’s Shelden Williams, with 11.7 per game. He’s also third in field goal percentage at 64.9 percent and is 27th in scoring at 19.5 ppg . . . In his seven-year career as a head coach, Giacoletti has never even won 20 games in a season, winning 18 games twice . . . Utah’s No. 15 ranking is the highest since the Nov. 14, 2000, when the Utes were ranked No. 12 . . . Saturday’s game will be at 7 p.m., not at 6 as was published in the Utes’ media guide. last_img read more

Slump keeps Miller out of NCAAs

first_imgE-mail: sor@desnews.com Cougar golf team playing at NCAAs Relatedcenter_img PROVO — This week was supposed to be the pinnacle of Todd Miller’s collegiate golf career at BYU. The Cougars are competing in the NCAA Golf Championships in Maryland with perhaps their best chance to challenge for the title in years and Miller is one of the team’s senior leaders.However, Miller won’t be playing alongside his teammates this week and instead will spend the week in Provo with his wife, Shannon. It’s not that he’s injured or sick or suspended or anything like that. He’s just not quite good enough right now.After being a regular for Bruce Brockbank’s team for his first three seasons and an honorable mention all-American as a junior, Miller wasn’t able to crack the top five in BYU’s lineup this spring. So his college career is over, while his teammates play on.The youngest child of Johnny and Linda Miller, Todd, like his three older brothers, has played golf his whole life and competed at high levels as a junior player. At one time, Johnny, who won 24 events on the PGA Tour, said Todd had the potential to be the best golfer of his four sons. And he still may be.But this has just been one of those frustrating years for the 25-year-old Miller and no one from his dad to his coach to his teammates have been able to help him get back on course.”I’ve played poorly all year,” said Miller. “Coach has wanted me to play, but you can’t keep someone in there if they’re not playing well and I haven’t played as well as I should.”It’s hard for me to stay home, but I know the best team is playing right now. The guys that are playing the best are there. If I felt like I was playing better than one of them, I’d feel like I should be there.”So what happened to Miller’s game? He said it’s mainly a matter of confidence and his coach concurs.”I’ve lost a lot of confidence,” Miller said. “I don’t think it’s a big deal with my swing or anything. I just think I’ve lost confidence and that’s the game we play in golf. Maybe I put a little more pressure on myself to play well my senior year and maybe that’s hurt me. But I don’t know. I don’t have the answer. If I did I’d fix it real quick.”Brockbank echoes Miller in saying, “He’s lost his confidence. He’s been trying too hard and it’s been frustrating for him. Sometimes in golf the harder you try, the worse it gets.”Some whisper that Miller’s game went downhill soon after the furor of last summer’s Utah State Amateur when Miller refused to play in the Sunday final, although Miller dismisses that thought.”No, that didn’t affect my game one way or another,” he said. “It bothered me that people criticized my character when they didn’t know who I am. But if you’re going to make decisions about your life, people are going to criticize you one way or another so you’ve got to be willing to take it. I understand that.”The State Am was in mid-July and Miller made it through medal play and four matches and was scheduled to play Clark Rustand in the finals.However Saturday afternoon after winning his semifinal match, Miller declared he wouldn’t play in the finals on Sunday because it was against his principles.Miller was praised by some and roundly criticized by others for the timing of his intentions and he later publicly apologized for it.”I understand the position I put the Utah Golf Association in and I understand the position they held to have me play on Sunday,” he said.”I understand it both ways. I see (UGA executive director) Joe Watts all the time around Riverside and we don’t have any hard feelings or anything.”In the fall, Miller played in all five tournaments for the Cougars, but shot over 80 as many times as he broke par. This spring, Brockbank gave Miller every chance to play with the top five, but had to go with recently returned missionary Nick Becker, who came on strong in the spring and won the Mountain West Conference individual title, as his fifth man.While some players might be upset and think they deserve to play based on their past play, Miller said he harbors no bitterness.”No, not at all,” he said. “Coach Brockbank has always made good decisions. I’m excited for the team. They’ve had a lot of mediocre last rounds this year, but they’re ready to have a good final round. I look for them to do well at nationals.”Miller showed what kind of teammate he is by what he did when the team left for Baltimore Sunday morning. Miller showed up at 7:30 to see the team off to the NCAA Tournament and handed each of his teammates a personal letter.”That tells you what kind of kid he is to be there waiting for the team to give them each a motivational letter,” Brockbank said. “He’s one of the finest people I know. If every coach had a chance to coach someone like Todd Miller they’d think they’d died and gone to heaven. He’s as good as it gets.” Brockbank has already invited Miller to return in the fall and be a graduate assistant coach. This summer Miller will work at Riverside Country Club under head pro Robert McArthur. Miller decided years ago not to be a competitive professional golfer, although he may become a professional later this year and work in the business. last_img read more

Utes loss to UCF too familiar

first_img Utah game at a clange E-mail: sor@desnews.com Relatedcenter_img SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Utes came clear down here for THIS?The Utah basketball team traveled more than 3,000 miles to this Caribbean island only to lose Tuesday afternoon to a team that no more than a couple of people in Utah have likely ever heard of.The Utes dug their usual large hole in scoring a measly 15 points in the first half before losing 67-61 to UCF, also known as Central Florida, in the first round of the San Juan Shootout.At least the Utes won’t have to play another nameless team today after Appalachian State knocked off Virginia 80-69 in the final game of the opening round.The Utes and Cavaliers, who both expected to be playing in the semifinals, will tip it off today at 10 a.m. MST, trying to avoid the ignominious 7th-8th place game on the final day, very likely against host team Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, which lost by 43 Tuesday.For Utah, it was an all-too-familiar story.The Utes fell way behind early, found their rhythm in the second half in battling back from a double-digit deficit but couldn’t close the deal because they couldn’t stop their opponent from scoring down the stretch.Utah had pulled within two with 6:05 left, but UCF scored on its next six possessions after three straight before that, to make it a nine-point lead.UCF guard Josh Peppers finished with a season-high 26 points, including an incredible 16 points over the final six minutes after Utah had crept within two.Utah, which fell to 4-6 on the season, was led by Luke Nevill with 20 points and eight rebounds and Johnnie Bryant with 15 points and eight rebounds.No one on the Ute side seemed to have any answers after the loss.”It’s been the story all year long,” said Bryant. “We need to find a way to play 40 minutes.””We had a lapse in our defensive effort,” said Shaun Green. “We’ve got to keep it up all game.””You could see it from the start that they wanted it more than we did,” said head coach Ray Giacoletti. “I wish I had a magic solution. But until our mindset changes and we get a little tougher … “The Utes were flat from the start, scoring just four points in the first 11 minutes in falling behind 11-4. It was 23-10 with 1:33 left before Bryant hit a couple of shots to keep the Utes from their lowest-scoring half in about 80 years. The Utes barely had more first-half points (15) than turnovers (14).”We came out too tentative,” said Green, who had his poorest shooting night of the season, going 2 for 10. “It almost looked like we were scared out there. We need to take a deep breath and play like we know how to play.”The Utes seemed to do that in the second half when they started getting the ball into Nevill more and sinking some 3-pointers. When Lawrence Borha hit his second three from the top of the key with 6:05 left, it pulled Utah within two at 46-44. However, Peppers scored 10 straight UCF points, including two open 3-pointers to make it 56-49 with 3:45 left. The Utes still had a chance at 62-58 when Green sank his first three of the night with 1:08 left. But Peppers hit another three from the corner with 33 seconds left to ice the game. No wonder the P.A. announcer kept calling him “Red-hot” Peppers. GAME NOTES: Fewer than 100 fans were in attendance for the game in the Mario Morales Coliseum, which holds about 5,000 fans … The game featured only one media timeout per half, which allowed the game to be played in just 1 hour and 35 minutes … In the first half, Utah got into the bonus situation with 13 minutes left, but didn’t take advantage and shot just one free throw the rest of the half … Utah outrebounded UCF 32 to 19 … After 14 first-half turnovers, the Utes had just one the rest of the game … UCF shot 55 percent from the field, 52.4 from 3-point range … This was the first game ever between Utah and UCF … The Utes and Cavaliers have met once before, in Japan in 1982 … On Thursday, Utah will play either Northwestern or UPR-Mayaguez. last_img read more

Utah Utes football: Offense seeking to find rhythm

first_imgE-mail: sor@desnews.com When it comes to opinions about the Utah football team’s offense, it’s a matter of perspective.If you talk to your co-worker around the water cooler or your neighbor at church, or read some of the comments on Internet message boards, you get the impression there’s something seriously wrong with the Ute offense.Whether it’s offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig’s play-calling, quarterback Brian Johnson’s uneven performances, the offensive line’s inability to block or something else, there’s a level of frustration about Utah’s offense, despite the team’s perfect 7-0 record.On the other hand, if you ask the Ute coaches and players, they say things are fine offensively, while acknowledging it could always be better.In the eyes of the Utes, the offense glass is more than half full.The Utes are averaging 37.6 points per game, the second-best average in school history and 18th-best in the country this year. They rank in the top four in the Mountain West Conference and in the top 50 in the nation in every offensive category. Utah’s pass efficiency of 146.74 is the sixth-best in history.However, to many fans and observers, the offense looks disjointed, like a herky-jerky jalopy, running smooth at times but often sputtering along.Against Oregon State, the Utes struggled much of the game but came through when they had to, gaining more yards in the final two minutes than they had in the previous 28 minutes of the half. Against Wyoming, the Utes had to punt a season-high nine times, went just 4-of-17 on third-down plays and, aside from a 41-yard pass play, gained just 201 yards against perhaps the worst team in the conference.”It’s not like the offense has been nonproductive,” says coach Kyle Whittingham. “The offense has done a good job in a lot of areas. What we’ve lacked so far is we need to get that rhythm more so than we have to this point in the season.”Ah, rhythm. That’s the word everyone was using earlier this week while discussing the offense.”We’ve got to find a way to do something in order to get that rhythm and get guys in position to make plays,” said Johnson. “I feel like it’s really close, but football’s an 11-man game and you’ve got to have all 11 people on the same page. You’ve just got to keep playing.””I can’t pinpoint any one thing,” said starting left tackle Zane Beadles. “We definitely haven’t put together a complete game. It’s been something different every game, and trying to get in a rhythm is the biggest thing. … We need to get better production.”The fact that the Utes had no turnovers Saturday against Wyoming for the first time all season was a positive, according to Whittingham.The Utes are averaging more passing yards than last year but surprisingly are averaging fewer rushing yards, despite having the one-two punch of Darrell Mack and Matt Asiata.Whittingham acknowledges that perhaps the offense has been going in too many directions so far this year with direct snaps, the option, the use of backup quarterback Corbin Louks, etc. “One thing we’ve got to guard against is trying to do too much and end up not doing anything well,” he said. “That’s what we have to take a hard look at and make sure we don’t have too much in our offense. You don’t want to be a jack of all trades and a master of none.” Utah offenseGOODPoints per game2004 – 45.32008 – 37.6 (through 7 games)1985 – 36.81988 – 36.31994 – 35.5NOT SO GOODTotal offense yards per game1988 – 526.82004 – 499.71993 – 484.62005 – 473.02008 – 387.3 (through 7 games)EXTRA POINTS: Kicker Louie Sakoda and sophomore defensive end Paul Kruger have been named to the 2008 CBSSports.com Midseason All-America Team. Utah was one of five schools (and the only non-BCS school) represented by two players. … The Utes are fairly healthy heading into Saturday’s game (noon kickoff) with just two players, linebacker Kepa Gibson (knee) and tight end Neli A’asa (stinger) missing practice Wednesday. … Whittingham said he won’t watch much of Thursday’s BYU-TCU game because of a radio show and wouldn’t give any predictions about it, saying, “It should be an intriguing matchup.” … Whittingham will fly to Connecticut on Monday for a day of TV and radio appearances on ESPN. last_img read more

Utah Utes women’s tennis: Finally winners with perfect MWC record

first_img U. softball holds on for sweep of Ags Related SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been a long time since the Utah women’s tennis team has won any sort of championship.That last time it happened, coach Mat Iandolo was about to graduate from Weber State, the Utes belonged to a conference that most folks have never heard of, and none of the current team members were even alive.You have to go back to 1983 to find the last time the Ute women hoisted a championship trophy when they won the now-defunct High Country Athletic Conference.While the Utes had some good teams in the 1990s when current assistant coach Ruth Ann (Stevens) Allen played, they haven’t come close to winning for over a decade. And they weren’t expected to win this year, coming off a sixth-place finish a year ago.However, the Utes blitzed though the Mountain West Conference this spring, beating every team in the league to finish on top with a perfect 8-0 record.”It’s been so fun to be a part of this,” said Erin Monson, a Skyline High graduate and one of two seniors on the team. “We always thought we could do it, but to actually do it is a whole different thing. Beating (MWC favorite) UNLV in one of our first conference matches was huge because we realized we were capable of winning it all.”The Utes may not be the most talented bunch of players in the MWC, but Iandolo, who came to Utah after coaching at Purdue for 16 years, has gotten his players to work hard and embrace the team concept to the max. Iandolo has molded a diverse group that includes a couple of players from Russia, one from Ireland, one from California and two from Utah among the top six.”We’ve recruited the talent here,” he said. “But we build confidence through working hard and bringing a sense of purpose to practice every day.”The players give their coaches a lot of the credit for their mindset on the court and say their closeness as a team helps them help each other to succeed.”Mat brought more experience to the program,” said senior Andrea Maughan of Ireland, who has been in the program for four years. “We’re a lot closer and have bonded a lot more. We’re good friends off the court.””He’s taught us how to win, even if we’re not playing our best,” adds Monson. “That’s the way he coaches us. We all fight. No one’s going to give up. Everyone’s going to give it everything they have.”Anastasia Putalina, a sophomore who plays No. 1 for the Utes, is one of two Russian players on the team along with Evgenia Kryuchkova and one of several dozen Russians who dot the women’s college landscape. She said tennis is the biggest women’s sport in Russia, due in part to the success of professional tennis players going back a couple of decades and continuing with such players as Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova.Putalina has loved her experience at Utah and credits the coaches and a close-knit team for the MWC title this year.”Winning conference is definitely a highlight,” Putalina said. “It’s all about coaches. They taught us how to win and play well and how to behave on the court. We are all very close to each other and we all wanted it.”Iandolo came to Utah in 2007, looking for a change after 16 years in West Lafayette, Ind. He knew about the potential for the Utah program from his days at Weber State and calls former Utah men’s tennis coach Harry James one of his idols.He was determined to build his team with local talent and was happy to get Monson when she decided to transfer from Utah State. He added Paige Miles from Juan Diego High this year and has signed Ashley Tanner of Alta for next year. But he’ll continue to keep foreign players in the program.”I like having the international influence on the program for sure,” Iandolo said. “My model is to get the best players from the state of Utah to come here, but we recruit California hard and recruit internationally.”Kryuchkova, Utah’s No. 2 player, is 25-12 in singles play and currently has a 13-match winning streak. Sophomore Lisa Johnson of San Diego is 17-5, playing primarily at No. 5, while Maughan, who plays No. 6, is 20-10 on the year.The Utes will try to earn the automatic NCAA berth this week by winning the MWC tournament this week in Las Vegas. However, Iandolo feels the Utes could earn an at-large berth because of their No. 39 ranking in the country, even if they don’t win this week.The Utes will take on the winner of the 8 vs. 9 match between Colorado State and New Mexico on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Fertita Tennis Complex on the UNLV campus. Semifinal matches will be Friday at 2 p.m. with the finals set for Saturday at 2.e-mail: sor@desnews.comlast_img read more

Utah Jazz notebook: C.J. Miles enjoys his return to Energy Solutions Arena

first_img Related SALT LAKE CITY — C.J. Miles said he didn’t know what to feel about coming back to his old hometown for Saturday night’s game.“It’s definitely different — I really don’t have any words,’’ he said just prior to the game. “I can’t really put my finger on how I feel; I’m trying to keep it as much as I can like a regular basketball game.’’Miles first came to Salt Lake when he was just 18 and “pretty much became a man both on and off the court,’’ he said, as he played seven seasons with the Utah Jazz with varying degrees of success.However, after last season when the Jazz weren’t eager to re-sign him, he signed a free-agent contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.Miles said he was looking forward to his only appearance in Utah this season and didn’t think it would be a big deal until he arrived at the EnergySolutions Arena for Saturday’s game, and then it became more emotional.“It’s great to see people around the arena — a lot of fans, security, people you develop small relationships over the years who come to every game,’’ he said. “Driving around today and seeing the mountains — it’s a good feeling. At the same time, it’s a business trip.’’Miles received a nice ovation from the Jazz crowd when he was announced as a starter before the game.”It surprised me a little bit,” he said. “It was a bit louder than I thought it was going to be. I’m glad the fans still have love for me here. It was cool.”Once the game began, Miles looked comfortable, scoring 10 first-half points to lead his team in scoring in the opening half.However, in the second half, he looked to be forcing it and missed all three of his shots, finishing with 12 points.Miles came into the game averaging 11.2 points on 39.5 percent shooting. After a slow start, he’s earned a starting role with the Cavs, including a 33-point game and a couple of 28-point efforts.“He’s been a true professional,’’ said Cleveland coach Byron Scott. “He got off to a slow start because of the offense and I expected that. Any time you’re in one system for seven years, it’s going to be difficult to switch it off and go with a whole different system. He’s got a great work ethic and is a terrific young man.’’LEBRON COMING BACK?: A recent report in the Akron Beacon Journal discussed the possibility of LeBron James returning to his former team in 2014 when he can become a free agent.“As fans in Northeast Ohio continue to howl and remain divided about the possibility of his return, more and more people around the league believe there is a strong possibility James will indeed return to Cleveland after next season.’’In order for it to happen, the Cavs would have to keep their cap space open for two more years so they could sign James to a max contract and not sign anyone to a big contract before next year. They would also have to make sure Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters are happy and willing to stick around and be young stars for James to play with.MAKING A MOVE: While the Jazz were enjoying most of the past week without any games, they were moving up in the Western Conference standings. The five teams directly ahead of Utah in the West combined to lose 10 games since Monday, allowing the Jazz to move into seventh place in the West and closer to the teams just above them in the standings.The Rockets lost three games to stretch their losing streak to five games before Saturday night’s game against Minnesota, when they lost again. Denver lost two games during the four days the Jazz had no games, while Portland also lost a pair of games, as did Golden State.JAZZ NOTES: Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was in the arena Saturday night and received a loud ovation when he was shown on the Jumbotron in the first half. … While C.J. Miles was playing in Salt Lake, his younger brother, Cameron, was playing down the road in Provo for the University of San Diego. The senior guard, who averages 5.6 points per game for the Toreros, went scoreless in 15 minutes. … The Jazz get three more days off before playing Washington on Wednesday night. Then it’s off to Los Angeles for a game with the Lakers on Friday before a game against Indiana on Saturday night at home. Utah Jazz basketball: Jazz maintain narrow lead over Cleveland in first half, 53-48 Utah Jazz basketball: Jazz outscore Cleveland in 3rd quarter, beat Cavs 109-98 (+video)center_img Utah Jazz basketball: Jazz cruise to victory over Cleveland Cavaliers, 109-98 Utah Jazz instant analysis: Big 3rd quarter carries Jazz past Cleveland Cavalierslast_img read more