Mayor throws down planning gauntlet in London

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Pass-happy Cougars present new challenge

first_imgAfter three tough losses this season, it would be understandable for the USC football team to give up on the season. This group of Trojans, however, showed up at practice on Wednesday ready to work and improve as they prepare for their game against Washington State and the Cougars’ pass-heavy offense.New role · Redshirt sophomore linebacker Scott Felix returns to the starting lineup this week, replacing injured senior J.R. Tavai. Felix was relegated to a backup role after sophomore Su’a Cravens moved to outside linebacker. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanYou Shall Not PassThough last week the Trojans had to embrace a stop-the-run mentality, this week they’re trying to stop the pass. Washington State is a high-octane passing unit led by record-setting gunslinger Connor Halliday.“They might throw the ball 85 times Saturday. We’re going to have to live with that,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “If you throw the ball 85 times — I don’t care if it’s the ’85 Bears out there — you’re going to complete some passes.”Knowing that the opponent is going to come out passing the ball the majority of the game, the Trojans are embracing that style of play and gearing up to stop the aerial attack. One of the players who has been able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks so far this season is sophomore outside linebacker Su’a Cravens, who recorded two sacks against Utah.“It’s easier to know that they’re going to come out trying to pass the ball,” Cravens said. “We know what they want to do. We just have to execute.”Another player that will be expected to step up is redshirt senior safety Gerald Bowman, who is returning from injury this week.Bowman is embracing his role, and he knows that the secondary has to do its job against the Cougars.“We’re coached to not let anyone get behind us,” Bowman said. “We all know what the secondary means to the defense.”Getting to the Finish LineA main problem that the Trojans have run into in their losses this year has been their play at the end of games. These close, last-second losses could easily affect the team in a negative way. Still, Sarkisian has been impressed with the attitude of his players and is looking forward to their next opportunity to close out a game.“We escaped at Arizona. We escaped at Stanford,” Sarkisian said. “There’s going to have to be a game where we do it the right way, and we finish the game the way we’re capable of finishing the game.”Sarkisian also noted that his team has played extremely well at times.“I’ve just tried to challenge the guys on continuing to embrace their attitude on coming out here with a great attitude with great energy, and to their credit, they did it again,” the first-year coach said. “I’ve made it a real clear point to them about actually how well we’ve played, but we have to finish better and we have to be confident in our ability to finish — to make the plays at the critical moments — because we’re plenty capable of doing it.”Shining StarsSarkisian praised the leaders on his team for working hard at practice day in and day out and motivating the rest of the players through this rocky patch. One player Sarkisian specifically praised was junior defensive end Leonard Williams.“The attitude [Williams] brings is really cool,” Sarkisian said. “It’s really refreshing that a megastar in this day and age can really maintain that work ethic and that desire and that passion every single day.”Sarkisian also mentioned junior wideout Nelson Agholor, redshirt junior tailback Javorius “Buck” Allen, freshman wideout JuJu Smith, freshman cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and Cravens for also embracing the leadership mentality and inspiring their teammates.“They probably practice harder than anyone else,” Sarkisian said. “That sends a great message to their teammates, and I think it’s shifting the culture of how we attack every day.”The head coach wants his team to start believing in themselves, and he believes that will help their game on the field.“We’re all at our best when we play with belief and not hope,” Sarkisian said.Quick HitsFreshman Toa Lobendahn will fill in at left tackle for redshirt sophomore Chad Wheeler, who  tore his ACL against Utah.last_img read more

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Lakers’ Lonzo Ball gets thrust into fire against Clippers’ Patrick Beverley

first_img USC gets rare win at UCLA Wife feared her husband Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Even with a smaller sample size, Walton said Ball “keeps showing more and more of what can make him really special.”“When he is on the court, his team is better,” Walton said. “The ball is moving, they are getting good shots, he is in control, he loves the moment.”Walton and the Lakers saw that regularly throughout the summer and the limited preseason.“It is just good to see it happen more and more,” Walton said, “and it is more of who he is rather than random coincidence.”Every star needs a heel, however, and in the opener that will be Beverley. A first-team all-defensive guard last year in Houston, Beverley was part of the Clippers’ return in the Chris Paul trade.“Pat Beverley hounding him all over the floor is going to be a great learning experience for him,” Walton said.Of course, Lakers fans won’t be tuning in on Thursday because they want to see great learning experiences. They want to see Ball excel from the start of his career.And if he doesn’t?“You just learn from it,” he said. “It’s 82 games, you can’t dwell on one game or you’re going to have a bunch more bad games in a row. After it happens, learn from it and just move on.”Walton said Ball would not be on a minutes restriction in his debut, at least not because of his sprained ankle. The Lakers researched what range of minutes other high lottery picks have played in recent years and developed a target range.“Most young top picks aren’t playing more than 30-35 minutes,” Walton said, “and that is the elite of the elite top young players so that is kind of where we are trying to keep our young guys in at a maximum.”It remained unclear who else will start next to Ball in the backcourt with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suspended for the first two games and the starting power forward spot allegedly still up for grabs despite a strong sense around the team that Larry Nance Jr. will open the season ahead of Julius Randle on the depth chart.“Everything’s always on the debate table,” Walton said. “I have a good idea of who’s starting but that can change.”NOTESThe Lakers signed Vander Blue to their remaining two-way contract. The D-League MVP last season with the L.A. D-Fenders, Blue was on the Lakers training camp roster and also starred on their Summer League entry. … Randle (intercostal strain) was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice and is listed as probable for Thursday. … Josh Hart was diagnosed with bursitis in his left Achilles tendon and is questionable. EL SEGUNDO — He dazzled in a practice uniform during summer league, playing against other NBA neophytes. There were those hoping to hang on, to break through, or, for his real peers, show off what made them high draft picks.At UCLA, it was other college kids.For Lonzo Ball, the matchups have never been like they will be starting on Thursday, when, with just 57 minutes of preseason experience under his belt, the point guard makes his long-awaited Lakers debut in the season opener against the Clippers.Related Articles “He has never played in this type of game before,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said, “where the guards and the players are this good and this strong, and he is going against grown men. A team full of them.”center_img Dogs at Wilson Park Pet of the Week Family has unique solution to gas prices AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThat doesn’t mean Walton is worried.“He will be fine,” he said. “I think he will rise to the challenge like he has his whole life.”The first weeks of Ball’s rookie season will be full of tests both large and small. A debut matchup against Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley could easily be characterized as rookie hazing.“I have been watching the NBA for a long time,” said Ball, 19. “He definitely picks up full court and plays hard. It is going to be a lot of fun.”The sprained ankle that kept Ball out of the final four exhibition games also reduced the number of opportunities the coaching staff had to evaluate Ball.last_img read more

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Stephon Marbury becomes coach of Beijing team in CBA

first_imgStephon Marbury will continue his basketball career in China, except this time he’ll have a permanent spot on the sidelines.Marbury, who retired from the Beijing Fly Dragons in 2018, will now coach the Beijing Royal Fighters of the Chinese Basketball Association. There was speculation Marbury would take over the role and Monday’s announcement made it official.”Thank you for the opportunity. I will give everything I have on the sidelines just like I gave everything inside the Lines,” Marbury wrote on his Weibo social media account. “The end is another start, I am back, are you with me?”Marbury seemed to have planned on staying overseas for some time.In 2016, Marbury, who led Beijing to three Chinese Basketball Association titles in the past four seasons, became a permanent resident of China. He first moved to China in 2010 and joined the CBA after 13 seasons in the NBA.Marbury began his American professional career in 1996-97 with the Timberwolves. He also spent time with the Nets, Suns and Knicks before his last NBA stint with the Celtics.last_img read more

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