Dedmon declares for NBA Draft

first_imgThe “Dunk City” era at USC will now have to begin with a new starting center.On Wednesday, junior 7-footer Dewayne Dedmon announced that he is leaving USC to declare for the NBA draft.“It’s just my time to chase my dream and go to the NBA,” Dedmon said in a statement released by USCTrojans.com. “I had a great time at USC and it was a good experience. I had some ups and downs and learned a lot and believe it is best for me to turn professional at this time.”NBADraft.net projected Dedmon to go 47th overall in its 2014 mock draft but did not have him getting picked in the 2013 draft. The draft site DraftExpress.com does not have Dedmon being drafted in its 2013 or 2014 mocks.Dedmon played two years at USC after transferring from Antelope Valley College, averaging 7.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 51 career games for the Trojans.Dedmon’s high-flying athleticism and ability to run the floor would have fit well with new head coach Andy Enfield’s frenetic “Dunk City” playing style. Enfield was hired on April 1, and Dedmon attended the first team meeting on April 3 and had reportedly been present at some offseason team workouts over the past few weeks.Junior center Omar Oraby is expected to take over the full-time starting role, as 6-foot-7 redshirt junior forward Ari Stewart and 6-foot-9 freshman forward Strahinja Gavrilovic should see increased playing time with Dedmon gone.Dedmon led the Trojans with 7.0 rebounds per game in 2012-13 to go with 6.7 points per contest. After struggling to score in the early part of the season, Dedmon had the best stretch of his career towards the beginning of USC’s conference slate, averaging 10.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and three blocks per game in a five-game stretch.He scored a career-high 18 points against Washington on March 6 but was suspended indefinitely on March 12 following a reported Saturday night incident in downtown Spokane between USC players and local bar patrons. Spokane police are still investigating the case.USC lost 69-66 to Utah in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament two days after the suspensions were announced, with Dedmon and also-suspended senior center James Blasczyk not making the trip to the tournament. The Trojans finished the season with a 14-18 record.Dedmon averaged 2.1 blocks per game in 2012-13, good for second in the Pac-12 and the sixth-best single season total in USC history, and finishes ninth in program history with 85 career blocks. He also led the Trojans with 1.1 steals per game.Turning 24 in September, Dedmon is the oldest early entrant into the draft. Because of religious reasons, he did not play organized basketball until his senior year of high school in 2007-08 at Lancaster High in Lancaster, Calif.He played in 2009-2010 for Antelope Valley and transferred to USC the next year. He was proclaimed a surefire first-round pick by then-head coach Kevin O’Neill in 2011 but struggled to develop an offensive game and also missed the last 11 games of the 2011-12 season after injuring his left knee.last_img read more

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Inside the Dodgers: Winter Meetings preview: are free agents expensive again?

first_img“The market” is different. It’s a lazy shorthand for the demand teams hold for free agents. But then, when we talk about the free agent market, we don’t really talk about the entire group as one body. Nobody is using the demand for, say, non-tendered catcher Kevan Smith as a proxy for the health of the market writ large. Someone used the demand for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper as a proxy for the health of the market writ large a year ago. These players all belong to the subset of the baseball-playing populace that we use to define “the market.”How should we talk about “the health of the free agent market”? It doesn’t have to be one way (an injustice to Kevan Smith is an injustice to free agents everywhere) or the other (Bryce Harper sets a record and all is right with the world). It can be a both-and. That’s a more accurate way of assessing what’s happening.It’s also more difficult. Smith and Harper are very different baseball players. For purposes of this discussion, the one thing they had in common (besides a beard and a skin tone) is a contract status. But that doesn’t give us a lot to go on, right? Making broad generalizations about a small but diverse group of players is dangerous at best and impossible at worst.Each offseason, the market holds players who play different positions. Some years the pool of available talent at a particular position is shallow. Other years it’s deep. And it’s always better to measure quantity of talent relative to demand, rather than as a raw number.Think about second base. Mike Moustakas finally broke the bank in Cincinnati. Howie Kendrick just re-signed with the Nationals. I count seven serviceable-or-better second basemen still on the market: Brian Dozier, Starlin Castro, Cesar Hernandez, Neil Walker, Eric Sogard, Brock Holt and Jonathan Schoop. None are likely to receive a multi-year deal, so they’ll be on the market again next year with Kendrick, D.J. LeMahieu and Kolten Wong. There simply isn’t that much demand around baseball for serviceable second basemen in any year. Schoop was a 1.6-WAR player last year and just turned 28. If his market never emerges, it doesn’t mean the entire system of free agency is broken. It likely means a) contending teams who need a second baseman can afford to be patient, since there will still be a serviceable second baseman available in a week or two, b) non-contending teams know the same group of players will be available in a year, along with two even better players at the same position, when they might be more willing to spend. Editor’s note: This is the Friday, Dec. 6 edition of the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.I wanted to do something a little different with today’s newsletter. The Winter Meetings commence Monday in San Diego. The story of baseball’s hot stove season so far is that the stove is unequivocally hot. With free agents getting paid more than expected, for the most part, and good players being traded among contending teams, talk of an offseason trade deadline has been silent. I haven’t heard the word “collusion” mentioned since MLBPA executive director Tony Clark called out Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos for comments he made on a conference call more than a month ago. (Who’s been the most free-spending general manager in baseball since then? Anthopoulos, naturally.) The market is robust, people are wondering why, and you might be wondering what that means for the Dodgers’ chances of signing or trading for a really good baseball player.We’ll get there. Promise. First I wanted to take a step back and take stock of what’s happening – and what isn’t happening – around baseball this offseason. It’s easy to overreact to the flurry of pre-Winter Meetings transactions, to conflate trade talk and free agent contracts, and assume the cost of every player is higher to teams than it would have been a year ago. I don’t think that’s quite accurate.Let’s begin by defining some terms. The phrase “hot stove,” applied correctly, refers to all transactions. Trades. Free agent signings. Arbitration tenders and non-tenders, which turn formerly employed players into free agents. Any internal discussions that result (or might possibly result) in a player switching teams, is what we call the “hot stove.” A prominent complaint among players and agents last year: the scale by which teams evaluate talent is more homogenized than ever. This is only one variable in a complex equation. Let’s say Scott Boras is telling teams that Anthony Rendon wants a five-year contract. These days the Dodgers, the Nationals, and every interested team might project Rendon to provide between 30 and 32 wins above replacement over the next five seasons. A decade ago, the same teams might have valued the same player between 20 and 35 wins. Hopefully, you can see why that makes it more difficult for an agent to generate demand for his client.But then, so does the qualifying offer. It might not have affected the demand for Harper a year ago, at least not significantly. Yasmani Grandal is a different story. He took a one-year deal with the Brewers in Jan. 2019, and a four-year deal with the White Sox in November. Grandal aged 10 months in the meantime, but the cost of draft picks certainly made him a less valuable player as a 30-year-old than a 31-year-old. Kendrick was one of 19 free agents this year who was ineligible for the qualifying offer. Would he have signed already if teams had to surrender a draft pick to sign him?Here are a few other variables I’ve heard discussed recently:1. The National League possibly adopting the DH rule. I wouldn’t use the Reds signing Moustakas as hard evidence that Dick Williams believes he can shift Moustakas or Joey Votto to DH in two years. But it makes you wonder how alluring a selling point this was on Moustakas’ side of the negotiating table.2. The threat of a strike after next season. It’s a big can of worms, hard to boil down to a paragraph. Let’s just say if you’re an owner who might possibly have no product to sell for all or part of 2021, it should affect how you spend today. This wasn’t a threat three years ago, the last time the free agent market saw such robust activity.3. The proposed three-batter minimum for pitchers. This affects an extremely small subset of free agents – relief pitchers, predominantly lefties – but its ripple effect is wide. If Oliver Perez can’t come out of a game after he pitches to a single left-handed hitter, and this affects his market value as expected, we should expect an opposite reaction elsewhere. Take Scott Alexander. He was able to retire lefties and righties almost equally before he encountered arm troubles last season. If the Dodgers only believed Alexander was a reliable play against left-handed hitters, he’s a non-tender candidate. Instead, he signed a guaranteed deal for $875,000. Perez (among others) might not even get that.4. Windows of contention, and how teams choose to maximize them. This is the big one, and it’s what will most heavily affect the market for Rendon, Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and any other new player you most want to see in a Dodger uniform in 2020.Some of the teams bold enough to set the early market prices – the Reds for second basemen, the White Sox for catchers, the Braves for relief pitchers – were not the most aggressive spenders last year. Now, their window for playoff contention has widened. The White Sox carried a 2019 Opening Day payroll of $88.9 million, according to Cots. They’ve already committed $78.6 million to 10 players for 2020. Increasing the pool of teams trying to contend, if only by three, is good for the labor force as a whole. And fans.Zack Wheeler was perhaps the best free agent starting pitcher in a middle tier that includes Ryu, Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel and Rick Porcello. The Phillies gave Wheeler a five-year contract worth $118 million total ($23.6 million per year, on average). If you want to see Ryu back in Los Angeles in 2020, pay attention. Both he and Wheeler debuted in 2013. Both have appeared in 126 regular-season games in their MLB careers, losing time to major injuries along the way. Ryu’s 2.98 career ERA is almost a full run lower than Wheeler’s (3.77). And while he’s two years older than Wheeler, Ryu can plausibly demand a contract at a higher average annual value that would take him to age 35 – like Wheeler. That would mean three years.This comparison relies on 100-year-old statistics, but I believe it describes the stakes accurately: The market for starting pitchers, good ones at least, looks strong. Teams looking to sign Ryu, Bumgarner, Keuchel, Porcello, Cole or Strasburg in San Diego have an approximate baseline for negotiations in this year’s market. If the cost is higher than expected, they might turn their focus to trades. I don’t know how much any of this affects, say, Edwin Jackson, but some unexpected teams are already rewarding high-end talent. At certain positions (starting pitcher, third base, maybe right field to a lesser degree) you can expect to see this rising tide lift many boats in the week (and weeks) to come.— J.P.Editor’s note: Thanks for reading the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.More readingBobby Abre-who? ― A talented former Dodgers outfielder, once called “Tony Gwynn with power,” is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.‘Not your grandfather’s park’ ― Dodger Stadium is a huge construction site, and resident architect Janet Marie Smith discussed the renovations with SportsNet LA.Southern roots ― The Giants’ new manager said he was a “very average” baseball playerin high school in Woodland Hills.Number one ― I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this graphic, but it says the Dodgers are California’s most popular sports team.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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USMNT cancels Qatar camp because of Middle East security concerns

first_imgU.S. Soccer has canceled the upcoming USMNT camp in Qatar after tension in the Middle East region increased following the death of Iranian general Qasem Suleimani.A U.S.-led drone strike killed Suleimani in Iraq on Thursday. There are fears Americans will be targeted in the Middle East region as retaliation. The U.S. football governing body decided to scrap the camp Friday, releasing a statement through its official media channels.MORE: Goal.com’s World Team of the Decade for the 2010s”Due to the developing situation in the region, U.S. Soccer has decided to postpone traveling to Qatar for the Men’s National Team’s scheduled January training camp,” the U.S Soccer statement read.”In the meantime, we are working on alternative arrangements in preparation for the match against Costa Rica on February 1 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.”We are working with the Qatar Football Association to find an opportunity in the near future for our team to experience Qatar’s world-class facilities and hospitality.”[email protected] statement on the #USMNT’s 2020 January Camp: pic.twitter.com/zl15icyzex— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) January 4, 2020There is no official threat to Americans in the Middle East but the situation could change rapidly as the U.S and Iran continue to have conflict.The USMNT had planned to use the Aspire Academy training facility in Doha from Jan. 5-25 with the 23 U.S.-based footballers and two foreign-located players expected to attend the camp. Some staff and equipment had already been sent to Qatar for the initial event. The camp will now be held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., beginning Jan. 6, the USMNT announced late Friday. The USMNT also has an exhibition match scheduled against UEFA Nations League finalist the Netherlands on March 26 in Eindhoven.Having missed qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the USMNT is looking to build to make sure it is involved in Qatar 2022; however, it was beaten 1-0 by Mexico in the 2019 Gold Cup final and only just squeezed through the CONCACAF Nations League group following a 2-0 defeat to Canada.last_img read more

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Future bright for England as youngsters beat USA on Rooney farewell

first_img“It has been a brilliant year no matter what happens on Sunday. We’ve had real shoots of progress and achieved some outstanding results,” said Southgate.“But everybody wants to get to a semi-final out of a very tough group so it would be a really big step forward.”As Rooney and Kane watched on from the bench for the first 45 minutes, Wilson was handed his chance to impress on his international debut, while Jadon Sancho was given his first start.England quickly put the game to bed with two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half as firstly Lingard received Dele Alli’s pass before curling high into the far corner.Sancho has quickly made a name for himself at Borussia Dortmund and the 18-year-old built on his fine Bundesliga form by teeing up Alexander-Arnold to drill his first international goal into the far corner.As planned, Rooney got the chance to add to his 53 international goals and was handed the captain’s armband one last time when he entered on 58 minutes.He didn’t get the fairytale ending as Brad Guzan made a fine save to the crowd’s dismay in stoppage time.However, Wilson did get his goal to cap a dream debut for the Bournemouth striker, who has battled through the lower leagues and two cruciate ligament injuries in both knees to make it to the international stage.Wilson got ahead of his marker to turn Fabian Delph’s cross in at the near post 13 minutes from time. Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Wayne Rooney believes the future is bright for England as a youthful Three Lions eased past the United States 3-0 at Wembley on his international swansong on Thursday.Jesse Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and debutant Callum Wilson grabbed the goals in a dominant England display despite Gareth Southgate fielding a very inexperienced side.Should England avenge their heartbreaking World Cup semi-final defeat by Croatia on Sunday at Wembley, Southgate’s men can build on the progress made by surpassing expectations in Russia this summer by qualifying for the semi-finals of the inaugural Nations League.“It’s my opinion that England are in very safe hands from what I’ve seen this week,” said Rooney.“The way they are being coached is brilliant, it’s a great group of young players who have a bright future.“They will go close to being the next team to bring a trophy back for England.”The decision to honour Rooney with a first cap for two years divided opinion.However, the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for the introduction of England’s greatest ever goalscorer just before the hour mark on his 120th international appearance.“It will live with me for a long time,” added Rooney.“It is something which created debate because it was the first time something like this happened, but it is the right thing to do for the players if you achieve and leave your mark on the England team.”England’s former captain was also honoured before kick-off with a guard of honour and the presentation of a plaque bearing a golden Three Lions badge by current skipper Harry Kane.“I asked Harry Kane to present me with the award because I believe he will beat my goalscoring record and I look forward to presenting him with the trophy,” added Rooney.Kane didn’t get the chance to add to his 19 international goals as Southgate prioritised keeping most of his key players fresh for Croatia’s visit on Sunday.last_img read more

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Alvarez’s two monster blasts power Pirates over Brewers 5-2

first_imgPedro Alvarez hits a two-run shot into the right field upper deck during the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, May 25, 2013, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)by Mark KassMILWAUKEE (AP) — Pedro Alvarez hit two home runs, Andrew McCutchen also went deep, and Jeff Locke pitched six shutout innings to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.Neil Walker added a solo home run for the Pirates, who won for a second time in Milwaukee this season, but for only the ninth time since 2007 at Miller Park — against 47 losses.Locke (5-1) gave up three hits and struck out a season-high seven, to win his fourth straight game. It was the second straight game he didn’t give up a run.Mike Fiers (1-3), starting in place of Kyle Lohse (elbow), lasted four innings, giving up four runs, including three home runs, and five hits.Carlos Gomez homered twice for Milwaukee.Milwaukee is 5-17 in May and has not won back-to-back games since April 29-30 at home against Pittsburgh.The Pirates grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning as McCutchen hit his seventh home run. It was McCutchen’s fourth home run off Fiers during his career.last_img read more

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Little Red Schoolhouse, Mixx 96.1 Back-to-School Supplies and Fund Drive

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Little Red Schoolhouse As part of the Little Red Schoolhouse Project, Mixx 96.1 (96.1 FM radio) is holding a Back-to-School Supplies and Fund Drive Friday, August 15 from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.Drop by their broadcast site at the corner of State and Washington in downtown Olympia with school supplies (such as lined paper, 3-ring binders, rulers, markers, child-size scissors, pencils, and backpacks), coats or new socks and underwear, or cash to buy calculators, backpacks, and school supplies in bulk. Used clothing, aside from coats and jackets, will not be accepted this year.Checks can be made out to Little Red Schoolhouse and mailed to: P.O. Box 6302, Olympia, WA 98507.Supplies, backpacks, socks and underwear will be distributed FREE to all Thurston County families in need at a new location, Komachin Middle School, 3650 College St. SE, Lacey (IT route #64) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, August 21.The Little Red Schoolhouse Project is under the umbrella of TOGETHER!. Partners include Junior League of Olympia, Sound to Harbor Head Start/ECEAP, Community Action Council, The United Churches, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Michael’s Parish, Independent Order of Oddfellows, Olympia-Lacey Church of God, Garden Courte Memory Community, and Mixx 96.1 KXXO.For more information or to volunteer your services, please call Community Action Council, 360-438-1100 extension 1143 or see www.redschool.orglast_img read more

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