If LeBron James seems different, it’s because he is going about things differently. Last year’s defeat in the NBA Finals changed him. For the better, he says.“Obviously, up until the Finals last year, he was having an amazing playoffs,” Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade said. “He had a game where he struggled, and he kind of let that get into his mind a little bit, and he was thinking too much. Now he’s playing; he’s on attack and being very aggressive. . . That’s the difference, obviously, from last year to this year, and the difference in our team.”For sure, James has been brilliant in leading the Heat to a 2-1 series lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder going into tonight’s critical Game 4 of the Finals in Miami. The Heat were in the same spot last year — and lost the next three games to the Dallas Mavericks, who won their first NBA championship.James has other intentions this year.“I’m focused and determined to bring another championship here to Miami,” James told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. “It takes a lot of out of me, but at the same time I have that fun package in there, as well.”He has abandoned Twitter, instead spending some of his free time reading books, including the Hunger Games, even right before games. He and Wade hang out with their sons. It has been a formula, he said, that has kept him balanced.On the court, James seems more free, more confident and purposeful. Coach Erik Spoelstra has called on James to do it all, including guarding all positions on the court. James defense on OKC’s Kevin Durant helped limit him to just four points in the fourth quarter of Game 3.“I’ve coined his nickname ‘one through five,’ ” Spoelstra has said, meaning James can defend every position.What James really has guarded is Miami’s championship ambitions — and against another Finals flop.“Each game is its own challenge,” James said. “And I have to be better.”
After two quality wins, and an impending matchup with No. 11 West Virginia, some might have thought that the Ohio State men’s basketball team could overlook Northwestern. That clearly was not the case.The Buckeyes dominated the Wildcats Tuesday night, 76-56, using the game as more of a warm-up session than a real contest against a Big Ten opponent.OSU started with a 9-0 run, then responded to Northwestern’s first bucket with another eight-point spurt.Before the sweating even started, the game was practically over.Leading 40-17 at halftime, the Buckeyes used an attacking mentality to break down a good Northwestern defense.“I thought we were able to get out to a good start, especially on the defensive end,” coach Thad Matta said. “It opened some things up to us offensively and in transition. I thought we did a pretty decent job.”Junior guard Evan Turner, who was recently awarded his fourth Big Ten Player of the Week honor, was again the lightning rod for Ohio State.Turner was two assists shy of his third triple-double of the season. He scored 20 points and added 13 rebounds.“I thought in practiced we attacked [Northwestern’s] 1-3-1 [defense] pretty well,” Turner said. “We figured we’d attack instead of retreat or wait for them to attack us and we’d be fine.”Turner said this week that he believed he was about 90 percent healthy but wanted to get back to the triple-double form he was at before his injury. Although he was a few assists short, it looks as if he has again reached that level.“I thought he got a little bit tired down the stretch,” Matta said. “He is getting back, there is no doubt about that.”Jon Diebler chipped in 17 points, while center Dallas Lauderdale had 14.It seems long ago that OSU was struggling to get wins early in the Big Ten, but with a quick three-game turnaround it looks as if the Buckeyes are back.Matta stopped just short of saying OSU was on a roll, however. Instead he turned his attention to the Buckeyes’ next opponent.“We’re rolling to West Virginia next,” he said.
Then, there was the issue that the Thrashers were my second-favorite NHL team, after the Blackhawks, of course. There were a few justifications for this. There was Byfuglien. He helped bring the Cup home to Chicago and then he brought my heart to Atlanta with him. Second, there’s the fact that my hometown Chicago Wolves were the American Hockey League affiliate of the Thrashers. Since the move, the Jets became affiliated with the Manitoba Moose, also owned by True North, leaving the Wolves to find a new team to affiliate with. I understand that the Thrashers needed to do something. They were in financial trouble, and they needed a change. I just don’t think they’re going to find their solution in Winnipeg. From a more rational, less-biased angle, I don’t get why True North decided to try its luck with a failing franchise in Winnipeg of all places. This is not Winnipeg’s first attempt at a professional hockey team. The original Winnipeg Jets joined the NHL in 1979, but the team moved to Phoenix and became the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996 due to financial issues in Winnipeg. I’m not sure what True North plans to change, but in my opinion, if it didn’t work out in Winnipeg the first time, it’s not going to work this time either. The Wolves found their new team in the Vancouver Canucks, an organization which I love to hate. I don’t really have a reason for my hostility toward the Canucks (I hated them before the insane rioting after last year’s Stanley Cup Final), but it’s hard to cheer for the Wolves knowing that they’re affiliated with a team I despise. My initial concern was that a few of the former Blackhawks from my beloved 2010 Stanley Cup Championship team were playing on the Thrashers when the move was announced. Dustin Byfuglien, who is perhaps my favorite Blackhawk from the 2010 Chicago team, and Andrew Ladd will forever hold a special place in my heart, and to see them banished to the middle of nowhere was painful, to say the least. When the NHL preseason kicked off last night, the Columbus Blue Jackets took on the Winnipeg Jets in a split-squad contest that, in my opinion, never should have been the schedule. Then there’s the issue that the NHL is more than likely going to have to shift its divisions to accommodate the move. For the 2011-2012 season, the Jets will remain in the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division, the same division they played in as the Thrashers. But next season, the league will likely realign the conferences rather than shifting Winnipeg alone. This could mean that long-standing rivalries will be split and that teams which have played each other for years may no longer do so, or do so less frequently. I don’t like it. When the Atlanta Thrashers franchise was purchased by True North Sports and Entertainment and relocated to Winnipeg earlier this year, I took it personally. Not only do I not understand the move from a business standpoint, but as a Chicago hockey fan, I was outraged when I first heard about it.
Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell talks in his headset during a game against Illinois Nov. 16 at Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 60-35.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorWhen a team — or any part of a team — does not perform up to the standards that are set for it, typically the coach who leads the unit comes under fire.The Ohio State defense finished 47th in the nation after last season, giving up an average of 377.4 yard per game. It allowed an average of 268 yards per game through the air, a dismal figure that placed the group at 112th in the country (out of 125 Division I teams) in the category.Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell addressed the topic of what was wrong with the defense, possibly bringing into question whether or not he was the right man for the job.Fickell gave a lengthy answer Thursday after the Buckeyes’ second spring practice on if he felt his job was in jeopardy after last season’s poor performance by the defense — particularly late in the season.“Statistics, at the end of the year you really look back and do you really want to dive into statistics and say where were you in scoring defense? What’s the most important? You can always find something that you gotta get better at, you gotta find something that you can hang your hat on. But the reality is, you go on. You go on battling. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen,” Fickell said.If the Fickell thought his job was in jeopardy after back-to-back losses in which his unit gave up 438 and 576 yards to Michigan State and Clemson, respectively, he never specifically said it did. But he did go on to describe how even if he did think about it, it wouldn’t be worth fretting about.“But what are you going to do, live your life worried about everything? How would that be? How much excitement — what would that do for you?” Fickell said. “So you know what, you’re confident in what you do, you believe in what you do.”Fickell added that above all, he wants what’s best for OSU — and coach Urban Meyer knows that.“If that’s what that plan is, that’s what the plan is. I want what’s best for this place. Coach Meyer knows that, and we talked about that from day one,” Fickell said. “If something’s better for this place, then so be it. Because I want what’s best for my alma mater and my university.”Aside from what happened last year, Fickell described his relationship and the transition with recently added co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash as “great,” but said it has been a bit of an opportunity for him to grow.“I know that we haven’t had the real stressors and the things of the reality of a season, but I tell you we’ve battled through a lot of things in the last month or so,” Fickell said.“It’s been a great growing experience for me. Always had a little bit of a comfort level since I’ve been here with the the people that I’ve known … It’s been a great growing experience for I think all of us. And I think it’s going to show.”A player who showed some promise and ability to possibly help the Buckeye defense was sophomore safety Vonn Bell, who earned his first start of his career against Clemson. Against the Tigers, he recorded seven tackles as well as an acrobatic interception at the goal line, but he is expected to miss the rest of spring practice after having surgery Thursday to repair an MCL knee sprain, according to an OSU spokesman. Bell is expected to be at “full speed” in May.Fickell and Ash are not the only coaches going through a transition, as OSU must replace four departed offensive linemen who paved the way for a rushing attack that finished second in the nation in total yards. Offensive line coach Ed Warinner does not have to work with a new coach as Fickell and Ash does, but he is in the process of preparing a group of younger players to fill the void.“We do have some good young players, some of them are older that haven’t played much, but what we lack is experience,” Warinner said of his unit, with the lone returning starter being junior Taylor Decker. “I think we’re going to have enough talent. I know we have a good work ethic, I know they’re tough, they train hard so they had a really good offseason in terms of their training and their development.”One of the players who is likely to earn a starting spot is redshirt-sophomore Pat Elflein, who filled in for the suspended Marcus Hall at right guard during the Michigan game and again at the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State. Elflein echoed his position coach and said the talent is there.“There’s some guys that are inexperienced, but we definitely have enough talent to get the job done,” Elflein said. “So we just have a good spring, work hard and get better every day and get these guys ready to go … show them the way because some guys are lacking experience and we just have to bring them with us and show them the ropes and get everyone on the same page and build that chemistry in the room and continue to roll and get better.”Decker said there’s a “different feeling” on the offensive line without the departed seniors, which adds a sense of intensity to practice.“There is a definite sense of urgency and guys are flying around trying to give great efforts to make impressions on the coaches, which that’s good to have,” Decker said. “Guys working hard, giving all they have every single play.”Warinner was brought on when Meyer took over prior to 2012, and he said the group he is working with now is “way ahead” of the line he overtook then.“We don’t have anybody that has a ways to go, so there weights are good, their strengths are good, their demeanor,” Warinner said. “So it’s a fun group to coach, we just lack experience but we’ll be OK.”
OSU senior midfielder Zach Mason (7) prepares to kick the ball during a game against Penn State on Sept. 20 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU tied 1-1. Credit: Ed MomotThe Ohio State men’s soccer team earned its second victory of the 2015 regular season against Dayton in front of a home crowd on Friday night. The Buckeyes came out of the gates firing shots immediately at the Flyers.OSU earned the first corner kick of the half in the seventh minute, but OSU senior defender and co-captain Liam Doyle’s shot was cleared away.Following Doyle’s kick, a header by senior midfielder Kyle Culbertson went high over the bar.In the 15th minute, OSU junior forward Yaw Amankwa dribbled in but his shot was blocked. Freshman midfielder Abdi Mohamed followed up Amankwa’s shot with a 25-yard kick, but barely missed the near post.The battle between both squads then became extremely physical.A yellow card was issued against Dayton junior goalkeeper Justin Saliba after he committed a hard foul against OSU junior forward Christian Soldat in the 21st minute. Doyle attempted the subsequent penalty kick for the Buckeyes, but Saliba blocked his shot. Soldat popped out with the rebound, but his shot flew high above the net.In the 30th minute, Amankwa sent a pass to Mohamed for a good look at the net, but Mohamed’s shot hit right off the crossbar.With one minute left in the first half, Amankwa headed in a loose ball in front of the goal, giving the Scarlet and Gray a one-point lead over the Flyers. Amankwa’s shot was his first career goal as a Buckeye.“Being in the right position at the right time, I was fortunate enough to be there and score a goal,” Amankwa said.OSU led Dayton 1-0 at the end of the first half.The Buckeyes came out in the second half looking to add some insurance, and got it when Soldat knocked in his first goal of the year with an assist by Culbertson in the 67th minute, increasing OSU’s lead to 2-0.“I know I’m a small guy so I’m not going to be the one getting up and challenging for it,” Soldat said. “Kyle’s pretty consistent with his throwing, so I just try and get it right where I think it’s going to drop and hopefully get a tap in.”As frustration arose among the Flyers, yellow cards were issued to Dayton, allowing the Buckeyes to earn a free kick in the 72nd minute. Doyle’s 35-yard kick was missed, keeping the score at 2-0.The Flyers continued to try and tally their first goal, as they fired a shot in the 77th minute, but OSU redshirt senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer, who played his first three collegiate seasons at Dayton prior to transferring OSU, came across with the diving save.The Buckeyes managed to keep the Flyers off the board for the remainder of the game, sealing the home victory.Amankwa and Soldat made huge impacts for the team in Friday’s game.“We learned tonight that Yaw is a great center-forward,” OSU coach John Bluem said. “He is strong, physically, and is difficult to deal with.”Bluem also expressed how much the team missed Soldat after he went down in the game against Navy because of an ankle injury. Bleum said the team struggled without Soldat because of his absence. “He is a very smart attacking player that opens up a lot of space for other players because of his runs,” Bluem said about Soldat.OSU improves to 2-4-2 overall, while the Flyers fall to 5-4-1.The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Tuesday to take on Louisville at 7 p.m.
Welcome to The Best Damn Pod in the Land, where we bring you hot takes instead of hot tunes. This is a bi-weekly podcast about Ohio State football that comes out with a recap show on Monday and a preview show on Friday. This week we give our five takeaways from the game against Maryland, which we call our leaflets, our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week along with our general thoughts on the team moving forward.
I didn’t think twice about jumping into the water when I saw it was a young girlSamuel Pozo Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
A large number of people are affected by anxiety and its potential effects on health are substantialOlivia Remes, Cambridge University Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) affects around 5 per cent of the adult population and is characterised by excessive and uncontrollable worry about many areas of life.While the European Prospective Investigation research is not able to prove that anxiety causes cancer, experts say the findings support speculation that bodily stress caused by mental stress in GAD patients goes on to weaken functions such as the immune system.The fact that the male correlation between anxiety and cancer deaths is not shared by women is also unexplained.However, lead research Olivia Remes, of Cambridge University, said the reason could be because women are more likely to seek swift treatment for anxiety, whereas men tend to wait longer before seeking help, or not get treatment at all. Men who suffer from anxiety are more than twice as likely to die from cancer than those who do not, a major new study has found.A survey of nearly 16,000 people over 15 years found that the correlation held true regardless of other factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity, however the association was not shared by women.Scientists involved in the research have now called for doctors to treat anxiety as a major physiological health risk and “more than just a personality trait”. Previous studies have looked at whether anxiety is associated with death from major causes of disease, but the findings have been mixed.Professor David Nutt, of Imperial College London, said the new findings did not surprise him.“The intense distress that these people suffer often on a daily basis is usually associated with a great deal of bodily stress that is bound to have a major impact on many psychological process including immune supervision of cancerous cells,” he said.
Scotland Yard said Das was arrested in the Hackney area at 7.15pm on Sunday.He has been taken to an east London police station where he remains in custody.The girl remains in a critical condition in an east London hospital. The Metropolitan Police had been trying to find Das throughout Sunday, releasing an earlier statement saying: “Detectives are urgently trying to trace a man who was at the flat shortly before the injured children were found, but left before emergency services were called. The man has not been seen since this time.”He is Bidhya Sagar Das, 33, of the address in Wilberforce Road where the injured children were found.”If any members of the public see this man or know his whereabouts, they are urged to contact police via 999 immediately.”The incident is believed to be domestic. There has been no arrest at this stage and enquiries continue.”The National Police Air Service helicopter tweeted that it was assisting “officers searching Finsbury Park for a suspect”.A woman living opposite the building, who gave her name as Gui Gui, said she heard a woman shouting late last night and opened the window to offer help.”I was watching TV,” she said. “I heard someone was shouting.”She kept on shouting. I do not know what she was shouting.”I opened the window and I asked her ‘Can I help you, can I call the police for you?’She added: “I said what has happened and she just shouted ‘my kids, my kids’.” A mother was heard screaming “my kids, my kids” after a one-year-old boy was killed and a girl of the same age left fighting for life in an alleged hammer attack. On Sunday night arrested a man, believed to be the mother’s partner, after a major search.Scotland Yard said Bidhya Sagar Das, 33, was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a one-year-old boy and the attempted murder of a girl of the same age at a flat near Finsbury Park, north London.Das was at the property where the children were injured but left before police and ambulance crews arrived.Both toddlers were discovered with critical injuries at the address on Saturday night and were taken to an east London hospital, where the boy died in the early hours of Sunday morning.Police said that the suspected murder, at a flat in north London on Saturday night, is believed to be domestic.
Chris SkaifeCredit:Geoff Pugh I just wanted to share with you this incredible bit of video. Every time I stop stroking Merlina she nips at my hand for more attention. pic.twitter.com/9utpu7Okjm— Ravenmaster (@ravenmaster1) March 3, 2017 Previously they were fed with food scattered around the Tower’s grounds, and slept in a box indoors, but now they have new freedom to stay out overnight and sleep on a perch. To keep predators away from the birds Mr Skaife also leaves a cache of leftover food elsewhere in the Tower for foxes to eat. The new regime also includes a more specialised diet. The ravens still have some of the Smithfield Market offcuts which they lived on before, but also eat mice, rats and chicks, in an effort to prevent them from scavenging from bins. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “She doesn’t go far but I do have to go and collect her. She always comes back,” Mr Skaife said.”As far as I’m aware, until now the same methods had been used for over a century. It’s very much down to the individual raven master and what he prefers to do.”Mr Skaife clips around a third less than his predecessors did from the ravens’ wings, leaving some of the birds’ secondary flight feathers as well as primary flight feathers. He decides exactly how much to trim from each bird depending on its size.The move leaves the birds freer to fly properly and means they can reach the roof of the Tower. Before they were able only to hop or glide for short distances. It is said of the ravens in the Tower of London that if they ever leave, Britain will fall.But now their master has a radical new policy which allows the birds greater freedom – and one is even allowed to regularly fly away. Chris Skaife, Raven Master at the Tower of London, has been trialling a new method of clipping the ravens’ wings which allows one loyal favourite to leave the tower.The bird, named Merlina, goes as far as the nearby wharf next to the river Thames. Unusually, she is “bonded” to the keeper – meaning she always returns.It is believed to be the first time a raven has been allowed to leave since the birds were first kept to guard the Tower more than a century ago. Mr Skaife’s new method is meant to keep the birds happier and healthier – and it also allows them to escape from the urban foxes which increasingly frequent the Tower’s grounds. Two ravens were killed by a fox in 2013, prompting Historic Royal Palaces to upgrade security. Mr Skaife said: “I allow them to have a little more freedom of movement because it makes them healthier. It just ensures that they have as much ability to enjoy their lives as possible. “I haven’t had any fly away as yet. After two years of trials I am just getting to the stage now where it’s going really well. We’ve perfected our ability to keep them here,” he said.”Aesthetically they look better for the visitors as well.”Despite their clipped wings, some birds have managed to fly away in the past. One raven named Grog who made his escape in 1981 was last spotted outside an East End pub called the ‘Rose and Punchbowl’.The birds also have new enclosures, installed a year ago, where they are fed and can sleep. New birds are all ravens that had been bred in captivity. The Tower must keep six by Royal Decree, but seven is the ideal number for the space available. Ravens are highly territorial. They are creatures of habit and mate for life. The role of raven master is taken on by one of the Beefeaters, or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London, who staff and guard the Tower. They are all ex-soldiers, and must have served 22 years, have reached the position of Warrant Officer and have a good conduct medal.Mr Skaife served for 24 years and became a machine gun specialist.