Baker Mayfield on fine for criticizing officiating: ‘Freedom of speech I thought’

first_imgOdell Beckham Jr. wasn’t the only Cleveland player fined in Week 7.Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield received a $12,500 sanction stemming from Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks for ripping the referees after the game. “As long as those guys are not hurting the team, it doesn’t matter,” Kitchens said. “My concern is the team, and I don’t want them hurting their team with comments — and neither one of them has.“As far as comments about officials and stuff like that, I’m going to stay away from that because I can’t control the officials. I’m not in their meetings. I’m not in their pregame deals and all that kind of stuff. I just want to control our team from the standpoint of putting them in the best position to win.”Expect Mayfield to appeal his fine. Panthers’ Eric Reid ready to face 49ers: ‘I just don’t forget’ Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said he understands the frustration his players feel and doesn’t mind the remarks as long as they don’t hurt the team. “Well, one, I wouldn’t say it’s complaining when it’s blatantly obvious,” Mayfield said Wednesday, per cleveland.com “I’d say that’s just stating facts. Freedom of speech I thought, but that’s OK, I get fined for it. It’s the league, that’s what they do. They fine you for some ridiculous things. That’s just how it is. There’s a reason that everybody is talking about it. It’s not just me.“It goes for every team. We’re not going to get a lot of calls, and we know that, especially going into this week. There’s no time to worry about it. No time to stress about it. Just play our game.” Related News Patriots’ Josh Gordon (knee) placed on IR, hopes to be cut, sign with new team NFL news and notes: Drew Brees anticipates Week 8 return; Patrick Mahomes throws at practicelast_img read more

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The Red King restored: Rory MacDonald looks to silence critics for good about his fighting desire

first_imgJoin DAZN and watch Bellator 232: MacDonald vs. Lima on Oct. 26But for now, watching MacDonald sit confidently as somewhat of a focused quiet storm marks a far cry from the way he looked in the cage following his quarterfinal majority draw with Jon Fitch in April. That’s when he shocked the mixed martial arts community and beyond with his brutally honest, yet refreshingly vulnerable comments in the cage.“I don’t have that killer (instinct) inside,” an uneasy MacDonald said after the bout. “It takes a certain spirit to come in here and put a man through pain. I don’t know if I have that same drive to hurt people anymore.”MacDonald did what he could to address those comments months later, telling Sporting News in June about getting the “clarity” he needed as a born again Christian to move forward from those feelings.At the time, pundits and fans alike still questioned the Canadian’s desire to fight — and rightfully so — prior to his semifinal matchup against the-then undefeated Neiman Gracie. However, MacDonald took the fight to the Brazilian as the aggressor and wound up winning the bout unanimously.Now, here we are, nearly a full six months removed from MacDonald’s comments. The performance against Gracie should have convinced you that his killer instinct is back.If it hasn’t, MacDonald is ready to prove that “The Red King” has been restored and is eager to impose his will onto Lima in their rematch.“I do believe people still have a thing like ‘Hmm … I don’t know, maybe he just wants to do the tournament and get out,’” MacDonald tells SN about how a segment of MMA fans might still perceive him after his comments. “I think you’ll see after this fight with my performance that those opinions were wrong. It’s just motivation, it’s more fuel for the fire.”He also believes that having his hand raised Saturday night will mark a full circle of his comments in April.“At first I was like ‘Ah, why did I say that publicly?’” the 30-year-old reveals. “But now coming full circle, it’s going to be a blessing because it’s going to be more in the public to witness the transformation that God could do and how he cares about what you worry about and how he could address those things if you press into them. So, it’s for the better.”While some critics may still require MacDonald to show and prove his fighting spirit in the cage this weekend, Lima says “The Red King” doesn’t have to prove his desire to him whatsoever.Lima saw more than enough in the Gracie fight to know that he’s getting the best MacDonald — so much so that he’s chalking up the champ’s comments to nothing more than being overcome by emotions at the moment.“Maybe after the (Fitch) fight, when the emotions were running, he said it, but I still believe he’s a killer,” Lima said. “I still believe he’s got that killer instinct; a great fighter that comes to fight. I’m expecting the best of him this Saturday.”MacDonald (21-5-1) scored a unanimous decision over Lima (31-7) to snatch the welterweight title in January 2018, although the victory took a painful physical toll on his body. Lima’s nasty leg kicks nearly finished MacDonald in the bout and he developed a massive hematoma in his left leg as a result of the onslaught. MacDonald vows that he’ll be better equipped to deal with Lima’s kicks in their rematch this weekend.“I’ve addressed it in my training and I’m looking to show the skills that I’ve learned from that,” MacDonald says. “I don’t believe it’s going to have an effect on me in this fight.”If he does have an answer for that barrage of kicks, “The Red King” will not only prove to be fully restored, but he’ll reign as arguably the best welterweight in the world … with a cool $1 million to his name. NEW YORK — Rory MacDonald sits just a few feet parallel to Douglas Lima during Bellator’s media day at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square looking every bit like a composed world champion. He tackles question after question from reporters systematically and stoically without ever once glancing at his opponent.Of course, the two will be in each other’s face Saturday night, when MacDonald puts his welterweight title on the line against Lima in the World Grand Prix final, with $1 million additionally up for grabs.last_img read more

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Colorado Avalanche lose two coach’s challenges vs. Stars and we’re all a little confused about it

first_imgSN MAILBAG: Taylor Hall, John Carlson and the 2020 draftHowever, the call stood and Colorado went down a man on the PK. The Dallas Stars score 19 seconds into the game… and we already have a Coach’s Challenge for goaltender interference.Jared Bednar went 5-4 on challenges last year/2-3 on goaltender interference. The goal stands, the Avalanche go on the penalty kill pic.twitter.com/kcOKliVsog— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) November 6, 2019It wouldn’t take long for the same story to unfold in the second period. About halfway through the middle frame, Radek Faksa scored on the power play, but his stick appeared to break when it happened. There was a debate on whether or not he played the puck with a broken stick, or whether his stick broke on the shot. At any rate, Bednar used another coach’s challenge — but failed. Due to yet another failed challenge for the Avalanche, the team was issued a double-minor penalty, as per the NHL rulebook.Given this appears to be the first time in NHL history that one club has lost two challenges in one game, it’s easy to see why Bednar was so confused by the decision. And yes, his reaction is everything (and embodied a lot of us at the time, let’s be honest).“Why is it set at 4 minutes?”Jared Bednar had no idea his team would be given a 4 min penalty if they failed on a second challenge@seanshapiro @MikeHeika @OwenNewkirk @BruceLeVinePuck @Razor5Hole @JoshBogorad#GoStars pic.twitter.com/dVGV09AsON— Chris Rubio (@thatrubesdude) November 6, 2019In the end, Colorado ended up killing off the four-minute penalty. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Avs had won all three coach’s challenges they had used this season. Amid two controversial goals while facing the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, the Colorado Avalanche used a pair of coach’s challenges in one game — and struck out twice. As a result, things got a little confusing for the Avs.About 19 seconds into the game head coach Jared Bednar challenged for goaltender interference when Jason Dickinson struck first for the Stars, arguing that Joe Pavelski’s stick interfered with Philipp Grubauer as he failed to get across the net and stop Dickinson’s shot.last_img read more

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Utah Utes football notebook: Team in ‘game week’ mindset

first_img Related SALT LAKE CITY — Although it seemed like a Saturday morning, as far as coach Kyle Whittingham and the Ute football team were concerned, it was a Tuesday afternoon practice at the McCarthey practice field as the team prepares for Thursday night’s opener against Pitt in Rice-Eccles Stadium.The Utes are in a regular practice routine with the scout team wearing different colored jerseys (yellow) as the Ute offense works on specific plays and the scout team offense tries to mimic the Pitt offense. They’ll take today off as usual, then Monday will be like a Wednesday practice, Tuesday like a Thursday and Wednesday’s walk-through, like a normal Friday.”We have the right mentality and work ethic, and now it’s a matter of going out the making the right plays Thursday night,” Whittingham said. “We’ve had good focus and concentration all throughout fall camp.UTE PLAYER TRIVIA: A few things you may have never known about Ute players, revealed in the Ute football media guide …— The father of freshman safety Damian Payne played college football at Pitt.— Although he played high school football in Michigan, Neli A’asa grew up in a village in Pago Pago, Samoa.— Lamar Chapman dedicates every game to his brother Raymar, who was a victim of violent crime at age 16.— DeVonte Christopher’s father played basketball for Southern Utah in the mid-1990s.— Sealver Siliga has 10 siblings: five brothers and five sisters.— Westlee Tonga’s brother-in-law is former BYU running back Reno Mahe.— Trevor Reilly, whose younger brother, A.J., played for the Utah basketball team in 2007, set a world record in 2004 for onion eating.— Kapua Sai, who seems to have the second-shortest name on the team (behind Nai Fotu), actually may have the longest. His full name is Klayton Kapuaa Keanu Ki’ilaweau Sai.— Chaz Walker once won the state karate championship.— Dres Anderson’s father, Flipper, played in the NFL for 10 years.— Star Lotulelei’s full name is Starlite, and he is named after his father.— Offensive lineman Daniel Bukarau is the only player on the team who began his career at Utah in 2003, Urban Meyer’s first year.INJURY UPDATE: Whittingham said the Utes are on an “uptrend” on the injury front with only a handful of guys still working out in the injury pit. Two players, receiver Sean Fitzgerald, and backup guard Ron Tongaonevai, returned to action Saturday.Whittingham also said backup running back Sausan Shakerin is out “indefinitely” with a concussion and starting linebacker J.J. Williams is “50-50 at best” to play Thursday night. Whittingham stressed Williams is one player the Utes would really like to have ready for Thursday.e-mail: sor@desnews.com Y., U. one last drive through MWClast_img read more

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Utah Utes football notebook: Utes have difficult time on third downs, containing UCLA QB

first_imgPASADENA, Calif. — Overall, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham was happy with his defensive effort against a potent UCLA offense that came into the game ranked eighth in the nation in total offense with more than 500 yards per game. The Utes limited the Bruins to just 354 total yards and held Johnathan Franklin, who ranked seventh in the nation in rushing to just 79 yards, 54 yards under his season average.“Defensively I thought we played well,’’ Whittingham said. “We gave them an easy touchdown early in the game, but we settled in and played very good. The secondary, defensive line and backers all played hard for 60 minutes.’’However, there was one glaring problem the defense had and that was containing quarterback Brett Hundley. Time after time, the freshman QB broke containment and ran for first downs, several times on third down. For the game, the Bruins converted on 10 of 17 third downs and more than half came on runs by Hundley.“We gave them a few too many third downs and let their quarterback out of the cage a few times,’’ Whittingham said. “We missed a lot of tackles, but a lot of that is a credit to their athleticism in the open field. They’re going to make you miss some tackles.’’ For the game, Hundley rushed for 68 yards after coming into the game averaging just 28.7 yards per game.CLEAN GAME: The Utes and Bruins came into the game as two of the most penalized teams in college football. UCLA ranked third in the nation in penalty yards with 86 per game, while Utah was 10th with 79 per game. However, each played a fairly clean game, either that or the officals didn’t feel like throwing flags Saturday. UCLA finished with just seven penalties for 43 yards, while Utah was whistled for just four penalties for 30 yards. Also, the Bruins had just one turnover, the first quarter muffed punt after giving up six the week before in a loss to Cal. Utah also had just one turnover, a first-quarter interception on a tipped pass from Travis Wilson.EXTRA POINTS: Former Utah wide receiver Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers attended the game . . . The national anthem was performed by “Blue Man Group” . . . The announced crowd Saturday was 66,303, above the season average at the Rose Bowl of 59,963 . . . UCLA came into the game 8-2 vs. the Utes, but had lost the last two games by wide margins both in Salt Lake, 44-6 in 2007 and 31-6 last year . . . UCLA has played 25 freshmen this year — 12 true freshmen and 13 redshirt and started three freshmen on the offensive line . . . Utah punter Sean Sellwood, who came into the game ranked No. 2 in the nation in punting, averaged 54.3 yards on three punts.Contributing: Dirk FacerEmail:sor@desnews.comlast_img read more

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Player of the Week Wright is dominating Pac-12 stats

first_img Utes take their crowd back to ’90s Utes have now beaten 10 of 11 conference foes since joining Pac-12 SALT LAKE CITY — After not having any players worthy of Pac-12 Player of the Week honors in its first two years in the league, the Utah basketball team has had two already this season, with junior Delon Wright earning this week’s honor.Wright averaged 17 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in the Utes’ two victories over USC and UCLA last week. He joins teammate Jordan Loveridge, who won Pac-12 Player of the Week honors in December.Over the course of the season, Wright has shown how valuable he is to the Utes by the way his name is all over the Pac-12 statistics.Wright ranks in the top 10 in seven different categories, more than any other player in the league, and is just 0.3 rebounds away from being in the top 10 in rebounding.In the latest stats for all games played, Wright ranks first in field goal percentage, second in steals and minutes played, fifth in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio, sixth in blocked shots and 10th in scoring.If you think Wright just padded his stats in the soft preseason schedule, think again. He also ranks in the top 10 in seven conference-only stats — first in steals and minutes played, fourth in blocked shots, sixth in scoring, seventh in field-goal percentage, eighth in assists and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio. He’s also 12th in rebounding.NEEDS IMPROVING: Coach Larry Krystkowiak was thrilled with Saturday’s victory over UCLA, but came out of the game concerned about a couple of things in particular — rebounding and turnovers.The Utes were outrebounded for the fourth time in six Pac-12 games, this time 35-31, and they had their highest turnover total of the season with 15.Krystkowiak said his team had too many turnovers that were their own fault rather than the opponent doing anything unusual.“We had a lot of them that weren’t imposed upon us,’’ he said. “We had a bunch that were just crazy. It’s like the free-throw line where it gets a little contagious. Their zone press wasn’t really a situation where they came and trapped you. We’ve got to make plays where we don’t put ourselves in a predicament like that, and obviously our passing needs to improve.’’As for Utah’s work on the boards, he said, “Rebounding is an area where we’ve been a little deficient in. We’re heading into some territory where we’re playing some good rebounding teams, and it has to be a better focal point.’’BETTER OFFENSE: The Utes went from averaging 52 points a game on their Washington trip to averaging 79 in two wins over the weekend.So what was the difference?Krystkowiak said it basically came down to aggressiveness on the offensive end.“You have to play hard on offense,’’ he said. “We were sloppy getting open, then we’d make the pass and jog through, a defender might knock us off, and that would lead to a sloppy screen and the timing would be a little off. We weren’t engaged and ready to pass or receive the pass, so we had a lot of errors to keep us from getting a good shot. Then when we were presented with good shots, we didn’t make them. It was almost the perfect storm of how bad can you be on offense.’’UTE NOTES: Utah’s only senior on the team, Renan Lenz, who sprained his ankle at Washington State, was working out on the bicycle during practice Monday morning and is listed as “day-to-day” by the Ute training staff, meaning he could play later this week. … Thursday’s game at Arizona State starts at 7 p.m. MST, while Sunday’s game against No. 1 Arizona begins at 6 p.m. MST. … Utah center Dallin Bachynski will play against his older brother, Jordan, for the second straight year at ASU, although he isn’t expected to start Thursday night. … Utah is still No. 2 in the conference in attendance behind Arizona with 9,711 per game.center_img Relatedlast_img read more

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High school boys golf: Behind Kai Ruiz, Maple Mountain storms back for 4A title

first_imgRIVERTON — Just like a day earlier, Timpview and Bonneville ended up tied in the 4A prep golf tournament. As a result, they had to go out and compete in an eight-person playoff to determine the trophy winner.The only thing was, it was a silver trophy the two teams were vying for because Maple Mountain, behind the outstanding play of senior Kai Ruiz, came from 12 strokes back to leapfrog the other two schools and capture the 4A golf championship Tuesday at Riverbend Golf Course.Ruiz, who will play for BYU next year, fired a 6-under-par 66 in the second round, which, after a 67 the day before, gave him a six-shot victory over three other golfers for the individual title and catapulted the Golden Eagles to their second 4A title in three years.Maple Mountain fired a team total of 293 Tuesday for a two-day total of 591, four shots better then Timpview and Bonneville. Although the two teams tied for second, the T-Birds earned the second-place trophy with a score of 17 in the playoff to the Lakers’ 19.“Kai was incredible today,’’ said Maple Mountain coach Johnny Averett. “It’s weird to say, but he could have gone so much lower. He was amazing.’’Ruiz played the front nine in 5-under-par 31 and added birdies at 11 and 12 to go to 7-under. Then at 14, he three-putted, missing a 2 1/2-footer, and double-bogeyed 16 when he hit his drive out of bounds.That could have cost his team the title, but he came back with birdies at the last two holes, sinking a 12-footer at 17 and two-putting from 25 feet at 18.“It was awesome, so sweet,’’ said Ruiz. “It was way fun to win the team title. I took it one shot at a time, was keeping to my game plan today, staying aggressive.’’Besides Ruiz, Maple Mountain counted a 72 from Alex Crandall, who rebounded from an 83 the day before, and a 73 by Mark Mortensen. The fourth score for the Golden Eagles belonged to Tait Erickson, who shot an 82, while Kal Ruiz (83) and Zach Roylance (92) were the non-counters.It didn’t seem likely the Golden Eagles would have a chance to win Tuesday, starting the day a dozen shots behind two teams that finished one-two in last year’s state tournament. But on the way to the course, Averett urged his players to “be aggressive” and they took heed.The Golden Eagles also needed both teams ahead of them to falter a bit and both did, as the T-Birds’ best scores were 76s by Josh Lillywhite and Spencer Lillywhite, while the Lakers got a 74 from Kaige Schuler, but also had to count a 77, 78 and 80.It marked the third-straight year that the second-place team from Region 8 came away with the state title after Timpview won last year and Maple Mountain the year before.Finishing in a tie for second individually at 139 were three golfers, East’s Hayden Banz, Corner Canyon’s Rhett Rasmussen and Timpanogos’ Tyler Holmes. Three more golfers, Orem’s Brock Stanger, Skyline’s Blake Tomlinson and Timpanogos’ Aaron Yeates, tied for fifth at 141.In the team standings, East took fourth at 603, followed by Timpanogos at 608, Spanish Fork at 616, Corner Canyon at 617 and Woods Cross at 621. Lone Peak dominant in 5A boys golf Relatedlast_img read more

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Jazz point guard Trey Burke apologizes for lewd photos

first_img Ranking the starting point guards in the NBA from the 2013-14 season: Where does Trey Burke land? Questions aplenty as Jazz begin training camp Ranking the best point guards in the NBA heading into the 2014-15 season Relatedcenter_img Jazz still don’t have the leader they need Publicly I want to first and foremost apologize to my family, apologize to the Miller family, as well as my teammates. We already talked about it in the locker room and from this day forward it won’t happen again. – Jazz point guard Trey BurkeSALT LAKE CITY — For 90 minutes Monday afternoon, Jazz players, coaches and executives took turns parading in front of several dozen media types on hand for the franchise’s annual media day. The largest crowd formed around Jazz second-year guard Trey Burke.Why Burke? Earlier in the day, he was the subject of unwanted national publicity after news came out that nude photos of him, which he shared privately, had been made public.It caused embarrassment to the Jazz and Burke, and both the organization and the player addressed the issue.“Publicly I want to first and foremost apologize to my family, apologize to the Miller family, as well as my teammates,’’ Burke said. “We already talked about it in the locker room and from this day forward it won’t happen again.Burke said the pictures were “old” and “meant to be kept private.” He added: “From this day forward my actions and my judgment will be much better.’’Both Jazz president Randy Rigby and coach Quin Snyder deflected questions about Burke, leaving general manager Dennis Lindsey to answer questions about his point guard.“We were made aware of the situation this morning and we’ve collected some of the facts and we still have some things to collect and a couple of people to visit with,’’ Lindsey said. “Its safe to say that we are disappointed in what we’ve learned so far, but we’re going to move forward,’’ said Lindsey.“Those were my actions. I want to own up to it and I want to move past it now,’’ added Burke. “I’m learning to gain the trust back from the community.’’TEAM USA HELPED HAYWARD: Gordon Hayward was looking more muscular than ever as he talked to the media about his experience of working out on the USA World Cup team in August before being let go on the final cut.“It always helps to play on a national team and step away from your NBA team,’’ he said. “Being with other guys and being competitive helps you mentally, giving you a little bit of a break while still being in a competitive mode.’’Hayward said he was thrilled to be able to play with many of the top players in the NBA.“Being on the Team USA was all about being with the best players in the world and the best coaches in the world,’’ he said. ”Just being around those guys helped me out a bunch. I was able to be a sponge and I absorbed a lot of knowledge, listened to the coaches a lot, and built some friendships and some rivalries.’’As for signing a four-year, $63 million contract in the summer, Hayward said, “When you do sign, it takes the burden off a little bit, it just gives you a little relief. But it doesn’t affect the way you play. You should go out and play your best, regardless of outside circumstances.’’TURK POWER: Enes Kanter was all smiles, saying he’s recovered from offseason knee surgery and vowing to play better defense as well as shoot some 3-pointers this year.Kanter was also thrilled about the news of fellow Turk Mehmet Okur joining the Jazz as a “team ambassador.’’“I’m really excited,’’ Kanter said. “First to have another Turkish guy on the team, I’m going to speak some Turkish, might go to some Turkish restaurants. I really excited for a Turkish legend like Mehmet Okur who can show me some stuff that he experienced before. So I’m really excited and blessed.’’As for shooting 3-pointers this year, Kanter said he has the blessing of new coach Snyder to shoot the long ball this year.“Absolutely man,’’ he said. “I was rehabbing in Chicago and I saw Coach and he said, ‘You know you’re going to shoot some 3’s this year.’ I was shocked that he would give me that confidence, so I’m working on it. It means a lot to me.’’Kanter said Okur, one of the top 3-point shooters in Jazz history, is already helping him on his long-range shooting.“He said, ‘You need to use your legs more,’ so that really helped me,’’ Kanter said..SLIMMER FAVORS: Derrick Favors came into camp leaner this year — about 10 pounds lighter — saying, “I worked on my conditioning and my body and tried to lose a lot of body fat and get myself into shape.’’However, he said he wasn’t trying to copy NBA stars such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, who dropped some pounds in the offseason to get leaner.“I don’t why they did it. … I did it for my own personal reasons,’’ Favors said. “I knew coming in I had to play a lot more minutes and be in better shape and take more of the offensive load.’’last_img read more

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Even if it wasn’t pretty, Jazz pleased with fourth straight victory

first_imgJazz 101, Nets 89 // HIGHLIGHTS #UTAatBKN #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/mjTZ2rga75— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 3, 2017 Related To be honest, I don’t think we’re playing very well right now. I’d like to play better. The good thing is, we’re finding some ways to win games. – Jazz coach Quin SnyderBROOKLYN — The Utah Jazz won their fourth straight game Monday night, defeating the Brooklyn Nets 101-89 at Barclays Center, but coach Quin Snyder, who got his 100th win as a Jazz coach with the victory, wasn’t exactly doing cartwheels after the game.His team beat the team with the worst record in the NBA, but just like games last week against other NBA teams in the bottom five of the league, like Philadelphia, Phoenix and the Lakers, the Jazz had to scratch and claw right to the end to pull out a victory.“To be honest, I don’t think we’re playing very well right now,” Snyder said. “I’d like to play better. The good thing is, we’re finding some ways to win games. I don’t want to judge our team and overreact to things, I just want us to play better. I want to get our group and start to figure things out.”Once again the Jazz, who play at Boston Tuesday night, were playing with a discombobulated lineup after George Hill was ruled out after a collision with Alex Lin Saturday night that left him with 22 stitches in his chin and a concussion symptoms that mandated him from playing, and with Alex Burks joining the lineup for the first time in nine months.Gordon Hayward was his usual steady self with a game-high 30 points, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, while Rudy Gobert, Rodney Hood and Shelvin Mack each contributed 15 points, with Gobert adding 16 rebounds for his 24th double-double of the season. The Jazz trailed the majority of the game before making a fourth-quarter push with Hayward on the bench, much like they did last week against the 76ers at Vivint Arena. Snyder was happy his team “closed” another game, but gave credit to the defense. The Jazz broke away from a 70-70 tie with a 31-19 fourth-quarter run.“It’s about defense,” he said. “When you think of closing you often think of offense, but I think of defense, like baseball, shutting people down, not let people get on base, just getting outs. That’s what we’ve got to be, particularly when George Hill’s out. We’ve had a couple of games where we’ve done it on the offensive end. Sometimes you make or miss, but the defense is something you can count on.”While the Jazz scored 31 fourth-quarter points on 14-of-22 shooting, they held the Nets to just 35 percent shooting (7 of 20) and just 19 points. Former Jazzman Trevor Booker, who came into the fourth quarter with 17 points and 14 rebounds, was held scoreless in the fourth quarter and only got one rebound.Brook Lopez scored 14 for the Nets while guard Isaiah Whitehead added 12 and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson chipped in 11 off the bench.Nets’ coach Kenny Atkinson said he was proud of his team’s defensive effort, which held the Jazz to 41.9 field-goal shooting on the night, but lamented their offense, particularly in the second half when they went 1 for 15 from 3-point range.“They’re a top-five defensive team and Gobert, he changes thinks when you are driving to the rim,” he said. “It’s hard to beat a team, especially with Gobert in there.”As for Burks, who has been out since Dec. 26 of 2015 except for three brief appearances last April, there wasn’t much to talk about for him.Earlier in the day he spoke about finally returning to action after sitting out all summer and fall rehabbing his injured leg.“I’m very excited,” he said. “I know my leg’s strong, I made sure I’m ready. I didn’t rush back. I’m stable now. I love to play this game and I miss it, so it’s going to be a very exciting time.”Snyder had warned not to expect too much from Burks and said he wouldn’t likely play double-digit minutes.Burks came in late in the first quarter and promptly turned the ball over on the baseline. In the final seconds he brought the ball up and missed badly on a 3-pointer and then played just 90 seconds of the second quarter before being taken out for the night.Snyder blamed himself for putting Burks in a bad situation but said Burks was all right and it wasn’t because of injury that he didn’t return.As for his 100th victory, Snyder said, “Honestly I didn’t know until Shelvin told me. It’s a nice thing, however many it is. Doing it with these guys is pretty fun and I’m lucky to have that opportunity.” Ex-Jazzman Trevor Booker comes up big for Nets in loss to Jazzlast_img read more

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Future looking bright for Utah Utes golf team after strong finish in Pac-12 tourney

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — After finishing dead last in the Pac-12 Golf Championships for seven years running, the University of Utah golf team made a giant leap late last month when it finished in a tie for fifth place among the 12 teams in one of the premier golf conferences in the country.In doing so, the Utes beat out three teams that are headed to the NCAA Tournament next week and tied another that is a No. 2 seed in its regional.Alas, the Utes still weren’t able to get their first invitation to the NCAAs in over 30 years because of a couple of poor performances this spring that dropped their season ranking. Still, it was a season to remember for the Utes, who are building a strong program that could be making regular NCAA appearances before long.“This finish for us was great,” said Utah golf coach Garrett Clegg. “We played really well and even exceeded our own expectations.”With seven straight 12th-place finishes in the Pac-12 tourney, including one in 2016 when the tournament was played at the Salt Lake Country Club, the Utes had a psychological obstacle to overcome before playing at the Eugene Country Club in Oregon.“We all knew our history, but everybody was excited,” said Clegg. “We knew we weren’t going to finish last. This year we weren’t scared at all and we came in and played awesome.”The Utes were led by senior Kyler Dunkle, who finished second overall and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament as an individual golfer in the regional at Stanford May 13-15. Dunkle, who transferred from Colorado State to Utah three years ago, had a terrific senior season as he won two tournaments and was named to the all-Pac-12 second team.Dunkle finished second in the Pac-12 tournament behind Cal’s Collin Morikawa, who earned Pac-12 Player of the Year honors. Even though he called it a “fun week” and one of the highlights of his collegiate career, Dunkle was disappointed he didn’t win.“I was kind of upset I didn’t finish it up,” he said. “I had a good chance to finish the tournament. I played really well when I shot 64 in the second round. The other rounds I played smart, but didn’t really capitalize. I was upset I didn’t get the win.”Clegg couldn’t have been more proud of Dunkle, whose low scores moved the Utes up a couple of spots in the team standings.“The conference is so strong individually,” Clegg said. “He was probably No. 15 or 16, so for him to finish second was awesome, really great.”Dunkle has already earned his card on the Canadian Tour and will start playing there after the NCAA Tournament is over later this month when he turns professional. He won’t be able to play in the State Amateur, where he finished second last year, but hopes to return for the Utah Open in August. He was the only senior on the Ute team and as much as he’ll be missed, the Utes’ future looks bright.“Our core is young still,” said Clegg. “Kyler is our only senior, a big loss, but we have a lot of guys returning and are optimistic we will be improved. We have some talented recruits coming in and kids that redshirted should make an impact next year. As a whole, we should have a stronger, deeper, better team.”The other “starters” from this year’s team who are eligible to return next year are local standouts, Blake Tomlinson of Salt Lake City and Mitchell Schow of Ogden; two foreign players, Tristan Mandur of British Columbia and Axel Einarsson of Sweden, who were both freshmen last year; and Jordan Costello of Pinedale, Wyoming, who will be a senior next year.The Utes have several local players who could make an impact next year. Oscar Maxfield (Highland) and Dylan Chugg (Fremont) both redshirted this year and Peyton Hastings (Woods Cross) and Colton Tanner (Park City) played in a few tournaments.Two international recruits who could help the Utes next year are Spain’s Javier Barcos and Jesper von Reedtz of Sweden.last_img read more

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