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Backups get practice time as injured rest

first_imgThe bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Trojans.Like father, like son · USC coach Lane Kiffin and his father, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, have used the bye week to prepare for Oregon. – Mannat Saini | Daily Trojan Without the pressure of an impending game and the necessity to work out all the kinks by Saturday, the coaching staff can let players rest and recover from nagging injuries.The entire starting offensive line, beside redshirt sophomore Matt Kalil, sat out or was limited during practice. Senior center Kristofer O’Dowd rested what he called a “strained shoulder.”He was seen at the beginning of practice wearing a wrap around his shoulder, which was removed by the end of the practice session. He expressed no doubt he’d be ready for the game against Oregon on Oct. 30 and said he was expecting a Tuesday return. He called sitting out a preventative measure to ensure full health.Junior tackle Tyron Smith sat out with an ankle injury, and senior guard Butch Lewis sat out with an undisclosed injury. Redshirt sophomore guard Khaled Holmes was limited and sat on a training table during the second half of practice.“As we’ve said all along, hopefully we get these guys back by Monday, and be ready to go with a full week of practice,” said USC coach Lane Kiffin.—With all the injuries and the lack of depth on the team, the bye week functions as a training ground for the younger players to earn playing time and demonstrate to the coaching staff whether their talents can translate to the collegiate level.The Trojans spent significant time in a four wide receiver set from the shotgun to simulate the style of play of the highly touted, high-scoring Oregon offense.Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley was hurrying the team to the line and coaches were emphasizing quickness and speed on both sides of the ball.During a receivers and defensive backs drill, Kiffin told his players to ask themselves, “How am I going to tackle the fastest team in the country?”It was a common line from the coaching staff during the moments when the team was working on full-speed drills, especially during the scrimmage at the end of practice.—Freshman running back D.J. Morgan got a number of carries during Thursday’s practice, even with the first-team offense.He broke one of his carries for a touchdown and was picking up a number of yards on each attempt.Kiffin praised Morgan on his ability and said that it was promising that the freshman was able to show off his skill set in practice.“This is the first week that we’ve been able to see a lot with him,” Kiffin said. “He looks very explosive, even though he’s not 100 percent yet.”last_img read more

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Awal Mohammed recovers from injury to face Super Sport

first_imgBlack Stars defender Awal Mohammed returns from injury to face Super Sport on Wednesday Evening.The 25-year-old sustained a light injury whilst on duty for his club Maritzburg United in the Nedbank Cup win over Platinum Stars last week Saturday in the South African League.The experience defender had to be pulled off in the 45th minutes and replaced by Mario Booysen after suffering  the injury midway through the game.The ex Asante Kotoko center half has however been given the all clear to play against Super sports by his team after a doctor review session on Monday.News of Mohammed’s recovery serves as a massive boost for Ghana’s coach Kwesi Appiah who is looking to have all of his players fit and ready to play when the 2014 World Cup kick start in June.Maritzburg United lie 13th on the PSL table with 24 points out of 23 games playedlast_img read more

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On further review, John Calipari might be wrong about basket interference replay being ‘easy’ fix

first_imgThe most amazing thing about Tuesday night’s college basketball action, even more incredible than Duke’s comeback from a 23-point deficit, was that everyone watching on television got the identical picture of doom for “the Commonwealth’s” two top-25 teams.A television camera affixed to the top of the goal at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena showed everyone how LSU center Kavell Bigby-Williams scored the game-winning tip-in to beat the No. 5 Wildcats by knocking the ball into the goal as it rested on the rim from teammate Skylar Mays’ original attempt at the decisive basket. Bigby-Williams’ goal was not a legal play, but neither was it reviewable under NCAA basketball’s instant-replay rules. MORE: SN’s March Madness bracket projectionsSome 76 miles away, another TV camera on top of the backboard at KFC Yum! Center showed how Louisville guard Ryan McMahon’s left foot rested on the no-charge line as Duke freshman Cam Reddish barreled into him. Officials initially called it a charge, because McMahon clearly was in legal guarding position in advance of being contacted by Reddish. But the play can be reviewed using replay, and McMahon’s foot on the line allowed them to overturn the call to a block and award free throws to Reddish. He converted, and No. 1 Duke won, 71-69.It seemed incongruous, that one of these plays could be reviewed by replay and one could not.Because just as a defender’s presence inside the no-charge zone is not a subjective call but an objective one, so are the concepts of goaltending (when the defense blocks a shot that is directly above the goal or on its downward path) or basket interference (when an offensive player touches the ball as it rests on the rim or floats directly above the goal).The rim and the imaginary cylinder extending above it are as identifiable on video as the no-charge zone. As well, so is the moment when the ball begins its downward path on a shot attempt.When SMU was eliminated from the 2015 NCAA Tournament by UCLA on a disputed goaltending call, it was believed that controversy might spark the NCAA men’s basketball rules committee to use replay to establish whether the ball is inside or outside that cylinder in such circumstances.J.D. Collins, the NCAA’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, told Sporting News the members of the rules committee discussed this situation at its meeting two years ago and decided against it — and not without reason. There may be unintended consequences to making such a rule change.“Let’s say someone takes a shot, the ball’s in the air and the official says, ‘That’s goaltending.’ Then they review, and it wasn’t goaltending,” Collins said. “Now it’s a loose ball, so we go to the possession arrow, and the wrong team might get the ball. There are some outcomes to that, that are not intended outcomes.“I think everyone just said, ‘Why don’t your referees get it right?’”MORE: Kentucky star PJ Washington making up ground in All-America raceCollins said he expects the issue will be discussed at the committee’s meetings this spring. This is what is known as a “rules-change year”; the committee generally tries to make significant changes only biannually so that those new regulations that are put in place are given sufficient time to demonstrate their value. But it still might not make sense to make goaltending/basket interference reviewable.UK coach John Calipari reminded reporters after the LSU game that the NCAA changed the rule about whether a shot-clock violation was reviewable after the Wildcats were beaten in the 2015 Final Four with the help of a basket scored by Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes that might/might not have been released before the shot-clock expired.“They said it was not reviewable, and then they changed the rule to say: Why would you want to lose a game on a shot-clock violation and it’s easy to go check?” Calipari said. “Well, this one’s easy to go check, too. Just go check it. Why would you not? Why would that not be reviewable? So we’re like Wilt Chamberlain. We change rules.”It’s as easy as Calipari says — in the right circumstance. In the case of the Kentucky-LSU game, there would have been no problem. On review, Bigby-Williams’ play would have been overturned as an offensive basket interference call, and the Tigers and Wildcats almost certainly would have gone to overtime.But if an official blew the whistle in another game to signal for offensive basket interference without a goal being scored and a subsequent replay review showed the call to be incorrect, the same problem of establishing possession would arise. The possession arrow might point toward the defense at that moment, which would get the ball back even though the offense had done nothing wrong in its attempt to score.“It feels like what we have right now isn’t complete, but even if we change the rule, we might not complete everything and there’d be outcomes where it would be backward,” Collins said. “I think it’s complicated.”last_img read more

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