Category: usbmpdpiaogy

  • West Islip Teen Killed in Car Crash

    first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A teenager was killed when she crashed her car into a truck in her hometown of West Islip early Tuesday morning.Suffolk County police said 19-year-old Julia Schweers was driving a Toyota Camry northbound on Higbie Lane when her car hit a Mitsubishi box truck that was turning left turn onto Union Boulevard at 5:55 a.m.The victim was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where she was pronounced dead.The truck driver, a 45-year-old New Jersey man, was not injured.Third Squad detectives impounded both vehicles, are continuing the investigating and ask anyone with information on this crash to call them at 631-854-8352.last_img read more

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  • Concussion Issue Hasn’t Slowed Down Long Island’s Interest in Youth Football

    first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Nick PascoA federal appeals court this week approved a nearly $1 billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit thousands of retired professional football players filed against the National Football League, a ruling that came one month after an NFL executive admitted a link between a devastating brain disease and repeated blows to the head.The court said the settlement was imperfect but fair, overruling a challenge by some players who argued that the deal didn’t cover potential victims of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which some researchers say is caused by concussions. Yet despite the debate over the safety of football regularly making national headlines, parents on Long Island are increasingly allowing their children to playing at the introductory level.“Of course, concussions and CTE is a serious deal,” said Benjamin Carey, president of the Long Island Youth Football Association (LIYFA) and vice president of the Northport Youth Football Club, who’s seen record enrollment over the past four years. “But the media blows it way out of proportion.”He said the LIYFA has seen a 4-percent increase in enrollment in 2013, a 15-percent increase in 2014, another 4-percent increase in 2015 and the group is projecting another increase this year.That’s because, Carey believes, parents are not unaware of the health risks but they appreciate football’s positives—“the life lessons the sport teaches”—such as promoting teamwork and helping kids overcome their fears. To mitigate health concerns, his organization, in partnership with the NFL, has implemented a “heads-up football culture,” he said, which “teaches kids the proper way to tackle, and also teaches coaches signs of concussions, and when it is necessary to pull a kid out of a game.”He cites a study conducted by Datalys Institute on behalf of Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides youth football in 42 states for children from ages 5 to 16 years old, that found “in youth football there is an absence of catastrophic head and neck injuries and disruptive joint injuries found at higher levels.” The study suggests that youth football has fewer injuries than soccer, bicycling or skateboarding.“At the pro level, of course, it’s a dangerous game,” Carey conceded. “They know what they’re signing up for, and they get paid a lot of money to play this game. At the youth level, we are teaching these kids how to play the game the right way, and I am hoping to continue to spread this message across the Island to other clubs.”Dr. Karl Friedman, a consulting physician who’s worked for 30 years with the Nassau County Safety Committee, which advises the county’s Athletic Association on its high school football rules, first wrote the concussion guidelines in 1990 and later revised them in the mid 2000s. He’s also a school doctor at five Nassau school districts as well as a high school football official. He cautioned against a rush to judgement on the concussion issue.“There needs to be more research done before we jump to conclusions like we know everything about CTE,” Friedman said. “You look at ex-players like Troy Aikman, Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms—all who had multiple major concussions and yet all three you see and hear on Sunday broadcasting games. None seem to have any effects of CTE; Aikman is one of the smartest announcers out there.”Friedman is aware of the sport’s dark side, too.“Then you look at the tragedy with Junior Seau, and it just does not match up,” said Friedman, referring to Seau, the NFL All Pro who committed suicide in 2012 by shooting himself in the chest. The former linebacker had his brain donated to science, and researchers at the National Institutes of Health subsequently confirmed that it tested positive for CTE.“How could there be so many extremes between the two?” asked Friedman. “This is why we need to continue to do more research and find out more.”At present, Friedman believes that high school football has responded well to the concerns raised.“With the numerous rule changes and limiting the practices on how much you can hit, you can see the intent to make the game safer,” he said.Friedman has experience on the national level with the National Federation of High School Sports Medicine Advisory, where the concussion topic is not ignored.“Everyone is aware of the issue,” he said. “And they are doing all they can with what they have to adjust and make the game safer. Still we need to learn more about the disease in order to continue to make strides.”But there’s only so much doctors, referees and coaches can do to prevent injuries, considering the violent nature of the sport. In 2014, Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old Shoreham-Wading River High School football player, died of traumatic brain injury after a John Glen High School defender hit Cutinella with an illegal helmet-to-helmet tackle. Cutinella was one of three high school football players in the nation to die in a one-week time-span.The death sparked changes in local high school football, including stiffer penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits, pre-game safety announcements and new safety coaches. Cutinella’s parents are also speaking out to change the culture of celebrating hard hits.“What made me say that the culture of football is wrong, having watched my son’s death live and first hand, was watching it on video,” Cutinella’s father, Frank, told ABC News. “The [John Glenn] player fist pumps like he had just done something good. I could hear some of their fans cheering. … You can check every rulebook out there from youth leagues to the NFL, and every one states you can’t lead with the crown of your helmet, or target another player, and five referees missed that play. It wouldn’t have brought my son back to life, but no flag was thrown.”Despite the changes aimed at making high school football safer, some parents remain reluctant to let their kids play football.“When you wrap players with protective padding and scream at them to perform for their team, they are going to throw their entire heart and soul into moving the ball down the field,” said Stefanie Baranek, a mother of three from East Islip. “Their fear of injury is minimized by the protective gear. Right up until they see stars and have a headache and/or nausea for days. Then it’s too late.”If a player is fortunate enough to get back on their feet, there’s a good chance they’d head straight to a local hospital. In 2010, a Centers for Disease Control official testified before the Subcommittee on Health Committee on Energy and Commerce in the U.S. House of Representatives that emergency rooms treat an estimated 135,000 sports-and-recreation related traumatic brain injuries each year among children ages 5 to 18. No sport was singled out.Despite injury concerns, local athletes seem satisfied with procedures meant to limit the risk of serious head injuries. Jack Brown, a junior varsity coach at Seaford High School, supports the rule that a player who’s had a concussion during a game can’t take the field, let alone practice with the team, until he’s been cleared by a qualified medical authority.“I believe we’re taking the right steps to prevent more concussions in the future with our protocols before a student athlete can return to play,” he said.last_img read more

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  • Harley-Davidson Serial 1 electric bike is designed similar to the brand’s first motorcycle » Gadget Flow

    first_img– Advertisement – Could your next eBike be a Harley-Davidson? It sure can be when you have the Harley-Davidson Serial 1 electric bike, the iconic brand’s first foray into eBikes. The name Serial 1 harkens back to the company’s oldest known motorcycle built in 1903. So the bike’s white tires, leather handgrips and saddle, and shiny black frame all harken back to that first Harley-Davidson design. And the result is nothing short of gorgeous. For now, we know that the Serial 1 has a mid-drive motor, a belt drive system, and an integrated battery. Frame-integrated headlights and taillights also make this bike worthy of the brand. Moreover, the eBike is from Harley-Davidson’s eBike division, a separate company called Serial 1 Cycle. Best of all, a Harley-Davidson eBike makes electric transportation cooler than ever.last_img read more

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  • The summer toll collection tariff is starting

    first_imgTwo years ago, the Summer Toll Tariff was introduced, which brought a 10 percent increase in prices on motorways under the jurisdiction of the state-owned companies Hrvatske autoceste (HAC) and Autoceste Rijeka – Zagreb (ARZ). So this year too, the Summer Tariff will start to apply from June 15 and will last until September 15, and brings a 10% more expensive toll.  Charged 160 million more last year On the motorways under the jurisdiction of the state-owned companies Hrvatske autoceste (HAC) and Autoceste Rijeka – Zagreb (ARZ), a total of HRK 2,87 billion was collected from VAT in the past year, excluding VAT, 6% or 160 million more than in 2017.center_img The A6 motorway generated HRK 879,7 million in revenue last year, 4,7 percent more. Dalmatina and A1 are in third place, with revenues of HRK 710,2 million, an increase of 5,3 percent. According to HAC data, the growth of toll revenue was accompanied by an increase in traffic, so last year there were 58,56 million vehicles on their highways, five percent more than in 2017. And the most significant revenue in 2018 was realized on the A3 motorway – 946,9 million kuna without VAT. Last year, a total of 17,8 million vehicles passed through this highway, almost a million more than in 2017. last_img read more

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  • Joseph Mariathasan: The importance of Africa’s demographic dividend

    first_imgWhether sub-Saharan Africa is able to extract a demographic dividend will be a key challenge both economically and politically for Europe, as well as Africa, over the coming decades. What are the key factors that create economic growth? It has become popular now to talk about the world now entering a fourth industrial revolution in the form of artificial intelligence and scientific advances such a genome editing and robotics.But there is another factor that is often overlooked when it comes to economic growth: demographics. Ageing populations with reducing workforces will eventually experience the impact in terms of reduced GDP growth – Japan is the poster child of this phenomenon.The world is ageing everywhere, with the notable exception of sub-Saharan Africa. According to World Bank statistics , the total births per woman in Japan is 1.43, while Italy and Spain have an even lower figure of 1.34, far lower than the UN Population Division report ’s required replacement rate of 2.1. Even India has a figure of 2.3, barely above replacement level, and it has been declining for decades as its population gets richer and more educated.Sub-Saharan Africa, though, is the exception. Niger has a figure of 7.2, Somalia 6.2, and the Congo and Mali both recorded 6 births per woman, according to the World Bank. The average is 4.68 for the region as a whole. Cape Town, South AfricaThe banks, the brewers and the telecoms companies that have shown tremendous growth over the past 10-15 years, and now dominate their local economies, are only accessible through public equities. They also give a route to gaining exposure to the consumer environment in less developed markets: Shoprite and Nampak, South African listed stocks, are the only way of playing the consumer environment in Angola, while Kenya’s Equity Bank is expanding operations in neighbouring markets.The reality, however, is that liquidity is not always there in Africa’s local listed markets. In addition, while public markets are interesting, they typically represent the “older economy” with banks, telecoms and consumer staples dominating.Private companies can focus on the theme of Africa’s young and growing population. It is underbanked and underresourced in key areas including healthcare and education, with a fragmented retail distribution. Yet consumers are also sophisticated in terms of the internet accessed via smartphones, which enables certain businesses to be disrupted. These key themes are long-term sources of investment opportunities for any investor.The importance to EuropeGerman chancellor Angela Merkel attracted both praise and opprobrium when she allowed a million Syrian refugees into Germany a few years ago. It is unlikely that Europe will continue to allow significant numbers of refugees, whether economic or humanitarian, to cross the Mediterranean if African countries are unable to create and sustain hospitable environments for their own populations. That is both a threat and an opportunity for Europe.In an age in which ESG issues are increasingly seen as fundamental to institutional investment strategies, creating environments that can sustain and enrich populations in a region that has seen more than its share of troubles represents not only an investment opportunity but also a moral requirement. It is also very much in Europe’s own interest.As Smith concludes his book: “The massive migration of Africans to Europe is in the interest of neither Young Africa nor the Old Continent.” He adds that Africa has far more to lose than to gain from the large-scale “exportation” of its youth through immigration.For European investment institutions, it makes sense politically as well as economically to set aside prejudices over emerging market risks and invest more in identifying investments that can help create stable, prosperous societies in sub-Saharan Africa. The failure to do so is the greatest risk Europe may face. Cairo, EgyptWhile generalisations of Africa are not appropriate, there are clear geographic regions within it with common cultural and economic links. Analysis firm RisCura has identified nine distinct areas :The Maghreb region in north Africa, including Tunisia and Morocco.Egypt and Sudan have a significant commonality of trade facilitation through transport on the Nile River.French-speaking West African nations have a common history as French colonies. As well as language they also share similar legal and socio-political systems.“Other” West African countries outside of the former French colonies, including Ghana.Nigeria is on its own given its size – comparable to the entire Maghreb region on an aggregated-GDP basis.East Africa, with Kenya as a hub together with Uganda and Tanzania. Ethiopia, with a population of over 100m, could become more interesting as it becomes more investor friendly.Central Africa, centred around the Congo region.Southern Africa excluding South Africa.South Africa, which has the largest GDP per capita of all the regions identified by RisCura, and represents the most advanced investment destination on the continent.For investors, a key issue is the choice between public and private markets. Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya have the largest stock exchanges. Uganda has a number of companies cross-listed in holdings with Kenya, and there is a West African Exchange. Ghana also has a reasonable stock exchange, while Botswana and Namibia are very closely correlated to South Africa.Public versus private A market in Lagos, NigeriaStephen Smith, in a recent book entitled The Scramble for Europe , points out that Europe had a population of 275m (excluding Russia) in 1885, at the conclusion of the Conference of Berlin at which the European powers carved up Africa. Africa’s population at the time was 100m.Yet, Smith says, current demographic trends imply that, in 35 years’ time, there will be an estimated 450m people in Europe and 2.5bn in Africa. The UN’s latest data forecasts Africa’s population will hit the 2.5bn mark in 2050, and 3.5bn by 2075.Understanding AfricaThe biggest challenge for most African countries is to increase their standards of living and social stability in the face of rapid population growth. For Europe, facing the dilemma of refugees dying in their thousands trying to gain entry, it is a moral, social and economic imperative to help create sustainable societies. As experience has shown in Asia, and China in particular, it is the private sector that holds the key to a transformational growth in living standards.  last_img read more

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  • Childless couples tell of slights and judgments

    first_imgNZ Herald 20 March 2012Money-hungry, career-obsessed and selfish – such is the stigma surrounding child-free couples. A book by Theresa Riley has given an insight into the lives of those who have opted not to have children – and the Auckland PhD student told the Herald she was fascinated by her findings. Her thesis and book, Childfree in New Zealand: How couples who choose not to have children are perceived, explores the experiences of 10 couples aged from their early 20s to their 50s. Some were happy just to have other people’s children in their lives, while others enjoyed the freedom to pursue their careers.….A Statistics New Zealand report predicted one in seven of people born around 1965 would not have children, and one in three would have at least one child who would themselves be childless. Ms Riley estimated the childless rate among New Zealand women was 10 per cent, although many of these were unable to have children and available data did not make a distinction between the two groups.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10793201last_img read more

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  • Driven into the wilderness

    first_img Share 11 Views   no discussions LocalNews Driven into the wilderness by: – February 27, 2012 Share Tweetcenter_img Photo credit: joewalker.blogs.comThe gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness before undertaking his public ministry. Mark is the shortest of all the gospels generally, and in his account of Jesus’ wilderness experience his abbreviated style is even more directly in evidence, with one important and dramatic exception as to detail. He does not say that Jesus simply went into the wilderness. He writes instead, “The Spirit drove him into the wilderness.”What’s the significance of being driven? It could hardly be that Jesus was reluctant and the Spirit overcame his reluctance and prevailed upon him to go. The significance of the expression refers instead to the imperative status the wilderness had in Biblical experience. Jesus had to go into the wilderness because it was primordially the place where prophets and pilgrims achieved spiritual clarity.This was not something verified only in Biblical experience. In the spiritual tradition of Native Americans, the wilderness is where shamans periodically went to renew their availability to divine powers. In the Bible, it is the place from which prophets such as John the Baptist emerged with particular messages. The wilderness was a place of revelation and nurture.More to our purposes in the context of the time Jesus spent there, the wilderness was a place of in-depth clarification of purpose and spiritual preparation for a special task. Thus, the Israelites had to sojourn in the wilderness of Sinai for forty years before they could enter the promised land, that is, before they were fit to enter. And Jesus too goes there to be clear about how he must proceed with his representation and mission, and what his priorities must be. The rebuttal of Satan’s suggestions gives us an idea of what his agenda entailed. In actual experience the wilderness is hardly a place of positive connotation. It’s an environment of barrenness and terrible extremes –torrid heat during the day and biting cold at night. After they left Egypt, the Israelites complained to Yahweh: why have you brought us out here to die? Why couldn’t you leave us with our fleshpots in Egypt? They saw the positive side only later, when they looked back. Which is also how it tends to be with us. At the time of any wilderness period we go through, what we feel is how awful the actual experience is. Only in looking back do we ever see positive value. At that moment we say things like: I learnt this, or I came to see that, or the experience made me a different person. The value of the wilderness is always a retrospective discovery.The reason for the wilderness’ positive valuation is that it facilitates the possibility of undistracted encountner between the self and God. Wilderness, of course, need not be the Sahara. It could mean, and means more often, a place or a time of one’s own choosing, where there’s the likelihood of little or no distraction. We go there to listen, to learn, and to be simply available to God.It is retrospective attention that discloses the beneficial side of the wilderness. This is why the language of the experience is always couched in terms of paradox. The wilderness blooms, the prophet Isaiah writes. The environment of starkness and barrenness comes to flower – but not with the help of rain or irrigation. It blooms and blossoms on its own. The reason then that we have this time in the life of Jesus as our annual introduction to Lent is obvious. We are invited to embrace voluntarily a wilderness of our own, for the benefits it will afford our lives. The promise is of clarity, purpose and strength for the challenges of faith and discipleship. May this time then not pass us by, as it so quicly can, but may it once again be the occaion of abundant grace and benefit.By: Father Henry Charles PhD Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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  • Eagles Victorious In Tri Meet With Indians And Hilltoppers

    first_imgJac-Cen-Del Varsity Track hosted a 3 way meet with Shawe Memorial and Milan.   Congrats to Cloey Simon on setting the NEW record in the 300H at 48.8 beating Kelsey Bowling’s old record by 1.3 seconds.Final ScoreLadies  JCD 85 / M – 62 / SM – 8Men JCD  65/ M – 56 / SM – 30JCD top performersC Simon 1st 100H/ 1st 300H / 1st LongJump/ 1st 4×400K Simon 2nd 100H/ 2nd 300H/ 2nd LongJump/ 1st 4×400A Mullins 3rd 100D/ 3rd Long JumpA Martinelli 4th 100D/K Sizemore 2nd 1600MA Hammond 4th 1600ME Newhart 3rd 400D/1st 4×400/1st 4×100E Schmiedel 4th 400D/ 3rd 3200ML Dilk 2nd 800M/ 4th Long Jump/1st 4×400/1st 4×100D Hughes 3rd 200D/ 4th High Jump/1st 4×100J Dodge 2nd 3200MS Volz 1st Shot/ 2nd DiscA Brinson 2nd Shot/ 1st DiscL Newhart 3rd Shot/ 3rd DiscT Wilhoit 2nd High JumpA Weston /2nd 4×800E Ertel / 2nd 4×800M Struckman / 2nd 4×800M Berry / 2nd 4×800MenN Hoffman 2nd 100H/ 1st 300H/ 4th High JumpZ Stewart 3rd 100H/ 4th 400DT Dilk 3rd 100D/ 2nd 200DN Laswell 2nd 1600M/ 1st 4×800J Phole 3rd 800M/ 1st 4×800/ 3rd 3200MS Phole 4th 3200M/ 1st 4×800A Rohls 4th 800M/ 1st 4×800Bl Simon 1st Shot/ 3rd Discus/ 3rd High JumpA Peetz 2nd Shot/1st High Jump/ 1st Long JumpL Comer 4th High Jump/ 1st Discus/ 2nd High JumpCourtesy of Eagles Coach Larry Hammond.last_img read more

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  • Year in Review: Talk of the Town

    first_imgWhen it comes to college athletics, the University of Wisconsin hasn’t received its due on a national level time and time again. Is it location? Is it history? Is it a lack of big names? The problem still persists and hasn’t lost its precedence even heading into 2007.But if there ever was a Year of the Badger, 2006 would be it.The UW men’s basketball team is one great example of how Wisconsin came up in national conversation more often this year than it has in the past. The Badgers constantly struggle, regardless of sport, to gain notoriety in preseason rankings, but Bo Ryan’s squad returned four starters from last year’s team, including Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year Alando Tucker. The polls consistently started UW inside the top eight, and some pundits were even discussing Wisconsin as a potential Final Four team down the road.And the greatest evidence of UW’s national repertoire came in the form of the Badgers’ first Sports Illustrated cover in any sport as the featured subject. Brian Butch and Alando Tucker’s participation as part of an SI college basketball preview proves UW basketball may finally be getting the respect it deserves.On Jan. 2, the No. 21 Badger football team upset No. 7 Auburn in the Capital One Bowl. The 21-10 victory moved Wisconsin up to No. 15 in the final postseason poll. But with Barry Alvarez retiring, and only three offensive starters returning for the 2006 season, Wisconsin was nowhere to be found in this year’s preseason polls.No problem, thought first-year head coach Bret Bielema and his Badgers. Away from the spotlight, without grabbing many headlines, UW systematically rolled off a school-record 11 wins coming to its grand return to the Capital One Bowl. Wisconsin, now ranked No. 7 in the BCS rankings, is actually the underdog against No. 12 Arkansas, most likely due to the slight home field advantage going to the Razorbacks.But Wisconsin became the center of debate in America, when they were “shut out” of the BCS games by that pesky two-teams-per-conference rule. Many writers roared that Wisconsin has the talent to match up with the best teams in the country and should have been granted a chance to play with the likes of USC or Oklahoma in a BCS bowl match-up. It goes to show Bielema and his Badgers are here to stay as a team making noise in the national forums.Of course, there were the men’s and women’s hockey teams sweeping their respective national championships in March and April. The men’s hockey team was featured in an SI article in mid-April and both teams held on to the No. 1 ranking coming into this 2006-07 season.Individuals were not forgotten on either team. Sara Bauer became the first Badger to win the Patty Kazmaier Award as the best women’s college hockey player in the land, and men’s goaltender Brian Elliott was a Hobey Baker finalist, making the top three in the voting for best men’s college hockey player.The UW volleyball team is consistently one of the best attendance draws in America in its sport. Pete Waite and his team were awarded, thanks to the Badgers’ top 10 ranking and their fans’ support, the host site for the 2006 AVCA College Volleyball Showcase. Wisconsin participated in the four-team tournament alongside defending champion Washington, as well as top 20 teams Texas and Ohio.UW has apparently done a great job in hiring its coaches. Bielema won Big Ten honors for his rookie year effort; women’s hockey coach Mark Johnson was National Coach of the Year after winning the championship and was selected in July to coach the 2007 U.S. Women’s National Team; Waite was the coaches’ pick for Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2006; and men’s cross country coach Jerry Schumacher was named Great Lakes Region Men’s Coach of the Year on Nov. 16.The University of Wisconsin still may not receive enough credit for its outstanding athletic programs. But 2006 was certainly a big step in the right direction.last_img read more

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  • This group of Trojans has shot at postseason

    first_img“The Fifth Quarter” runs every other Wednesday. If you would like to comment on this story, visit DailyTrojan.com or email Alex at ajshultz@usc.edu. On Sunday, the USC men’s basketball team took on No. 23 San Diego State. It was a tale of two halves for the Trojans, who looked absolutely abysmal in the opening 20 minutes of action before coming all the way back and nearly winning the game. Ultimately, the Aztecs pulled out a 66-60 victory at the Galen Center.The Trojans fell to 3-3 with the loss to SDSU, and have generally failed to impress early in the season. They easily disposed of the clearly less talented teams they’ve faced —Coppin State and Long Beach State — and squeaked out an overtime win against an undermanned Texas squad. But the University of Illinois blew out USC by a final score of 94-64, and Marquette also had their way with the Trojans in the consolation bracket of the Maui Invitational. There are plenty of red flags popping up over the Trojans’ relatively slow start, making USC coach Kevin O’Neill’s hot seat even hotter. But I’d maintain patience with this team, which has shown some flashes of being a possible contender in the Pac-12 this winter.USC’s schedule isn’t going to get any easier—in fact, it looks even more difficult now than it did before the season started. Its next game is a road matchup against 4-1 University of Nebraska. Then it’s two straight battles against top 25 schools — No. 25 New Mexico and No. 21 Minnesota. After a few filler games, Pac-12 play kicks off on Jan. 3.In the end, though, that tougher schedule will aid the Trojans if they hope to muster any sort of run at the NCAA tournament. Quality wins against top 25 schools would be a huge lift to a March Madness resume, however unlikely that might appear now. USC surely gained some confidence after hanging tough with SDSU in what was practically a neutral court thanks to a large and vocal turnout of Aztec fans. The Trojans are still meshing together lots of new pieces, but they’re more than capable of taking down a borderline ranked squad.It’s also important to remember the Trojans, especially senior point guard Jio Fontan and junior guard J.T. Terrell, just haven’t shot the ball well. Terrell leads the team at 12.5 points per game but is shooting just 31 percent from the floor, nearly identical to his 3-point percentage. Fontan, meanwhile, is putting up 7.7 points per game on an incredibly low 23 percent of his attempts. Two years ago, he knocked in 41 percent of his shots. That number is going to stabilize sooner or later, even if the point guard struggles to totally make it back to his pre-2012 numbers (he missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament). Terrell, on the other hand, is trying to adjust back to Division 1 competition after a year at the junior college level.“For the most part J.T. has been taking some of his shots, shots that he makes on a consistent basis,” Fontan said after USC’s loss to San Diego State. “They just haven’t been falling. As for myself, I just have to play better. It’s been a rough couple of games, I just have to make more shots. I just have to be a better player.”It’s very possible expectations for USC’s backcourt — Terrell especially — might have been slightly overblown. But if Fontan and Terrell can muster anywhere near solid shooting nights, the Trojans will be awfully tough to beat with an inside game featuring three 7-footers and talented senior forward Eric Wise. Wise in particular has been an unexpected bright spot for USC, averaging 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He’s also second on the team in assists and has generally been the only consistent performer on the roster.Regardless of what you think of O’Neill’s coaching tenure at USC, the one thing he constantly preaches is strong defense, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Illinois annihilated the Trojans to the tune of 94 points, but it was an anomaly of a shooting performance, as the Fighting Illini shot nearly 70 percent in the first half and knocked down 13 3-pointers for the game.For the most part, USC has put out a solid interior defensive unit and seems to be improving in the rebounding department. The only thing missing is more consistency scoring the ball, plain and simple. This isn’t last year’s roster — there are legitimate division-one options who just aren’t making shots right now. When those players do start converting, the Trojans can begin molding together a possible March Madness resume.last_img read more

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