No. 3-seeded Texas Longhorns women s basketball will face off with two-seeded Stanford in a Sweet 16 match-up on Friday at 8 p.m. CT in Lexington, Kentucky on ESPN. The Horns will need to rely on junior point guard Brooke McCarty to remain competitive against a stout Stanford defense. McCarty scored 23 points on 7-13 shooting in the Longhorns round of 32 84-80 victory against North Carolina State. The 5 4 guard has averaged a team-high 14.3 points per game on the year. Another Horns player who will need a big game is freshman Joyner Holmes, who provided 16 points for Texas and added nine rebounds against North Carolina State. Holmes will need to continue her season long offensive output (she averages 12 points per game). She also leads the team with 90 turnovers, and added five to that total in the round of 32, so displaying better ball security would help the odds against a Stanford team that has accumulated 7.4 steals a game.
Stanford (30-5) is coming off of a closer-than-expected 72-64 first round victory against New Mexico State, followed by a convincing 69-48 blowout of Kansas State in the round of 32. The Cardinal are led by Erica McCall, who averages 14.3 points per game. The senior center also leads the team in rebounds with 306. At 6 3, McCall s size will pose challenges for the Lady Horns, but Texas has many athletes who can match-up with her. 6 5 senior center Kelsey Lang and the 6 3 forward will look to hit the boards for the Horns and limit McCall s productivity inside. The Longhorns (25-8) have had a solid season under Karen Aston s tutelage which has been highlighted by a 85-79 February 6th victory over then No. 2 Baylor in Austin. However, the team had lost four of its last six games heading into the NCAA tournament.
This team can play with anyone, but can also lose to anyone too, as evidenced by the 70-66 home loss to Iowa State in February. It s clear that Aston has the program on the right track and the North Carolina State game was thrilling, if imperfect. This team may not be among the best eight in the country right now, but it is fun to watch and worth cheering for. So whether the season ends tonight, on Sunday, or in the Final Four, the head coach and her players should be proud of what they ve accomplished.
HARRISBURG — Randy Butler’s path to the world of professional photography is not a traditional one.
He started his work career as a cycle mechanic at the former Jerry’s Honda, and later became court security officer for Saline County. In fact, it’s not uncommon for visitors to the county courthouse to see Butler at the metal detector at the building’s public entrance, ensuring prohibited items like firearms don’t make it inside. When he’s not protecting the courthouse, though, he spends a good deal of time shooting — a camera, that is.
“I’ve always been kind of interested in the photography business, so here a couple of years ago, I decided to get a professional-grade camera and lenses and take as many pictures as I could,” Butler said.
He said using the camera lets him take advantage of travel locations, whether they be as close as the Shawnee National Forest or in the western United States.
“This year, I’m going to be taking a trip that will include Arizona, as well as time at Lake Tahoe,” he said. “I should have a lot of opportunities for great photos.”
He also plans to participate in Shutterfest, a photo seminar in St. Louis sponsored by the publisher of Shutter magazine. Butler’s body of work largely consists of landscapes or natural photographs, though he has a talent for taking a well-known and often-photographed landmark like Garden of the Gods’ Camel Rock and making the viewer feel like he or she is witnessing it for the first time. More recently, Butler said he has taken portrait sessions using models, and there are different challenges.
“With a landscape, if there’s something that could be better about a picture, usually I can just move a little here or there and that makes the difference,” he said. “When you are photographing a live model, you need to know how to be able to tell them to move things like their hands or their head. If the model is experienced with modeling, it makes it much easier for a photographer. You can concentrate on operating the camera.”
Most challenging, he said, can be night photography, especially with a subject like the moon. Though a large, warm-toned harvest moon hangs in his living room, taking such a picture can be much more work that the end result shows, he said.
“It is difficult when it’s dark all around a very bright object,” he said. “Those are the kinds of photos you sometimes have to work at to get right.”
Butler, a self-professed “tech geek,” said instead of traditional photo training, he learned his craft online.
“There are a lot of videos on YouTube that show you how to shoot in certain lighting situations, what to do with the shutter,” he said. “I watched every one I could find, and learned the best way to use my camera.”
He said when he started, many of his first images were not the glossy magazine quality of his current portfolio.
“I destroyed a lot of photos,” he said, laughing about his early experiements. “I turned every manual setting on my camera and learned to use it like that. I still shoot everything manually. It takes longer to learn how to do it, but it makes you a better photographer.”
It has been a while since Michigan Basketball s last loss, seven games to be exact. Winners in 12 of their last 14 games, Michigan is a very dangerous team. The road to the Final Four will not get any easier from this point on. With a maximum of four games left, several of the tournaments top seeds still remain on the chalk-filled right side of the bracket. Awaiting the Wolverines Thursday are the Oregon Ducks. Think back to early January. Michigan was no where close to playing at the level they are now. They could not get a defensive stop to save their lives. Derrick Walton Jr was one of the worst guard in the Big Ten when shooting inside. Zak Irvin went on a stretch where he scored two points in four halves of basketball. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman was settling for contested threes rather than taking the ball inside. Message boards were filled with posts calling for John Beilein s job. Now the talk is about how lucky the Wolverines are to have a coach like Beilein. He has developed two outstanding big men and has got a contribution from a former Division III shooter, turning him into an adequate defender and a valuable bench piece.
The anger with the coaching staff was somewhat reasonable early in the season. Beilein had failed to recruit a big man who could play valuable minutes. He had really failed to get anything out of his freshman. Even his seniors, all ESPN 300 recruits, were producing next to nothing. As his resume sits right now, John Beilein may be the best coach the program has ever seen. He is the winningest coach in Michigan basketball history. He has taken the Wolverines to the big dance seven times including this season. He has won three Big Ten titles, made an NCAA National Championship appearance and is currently playing in his third Sweet Sixteen. A win Thursday would give Beilein his third Elite Eight appearance at Michigan. Michigan will not keep winning forever. Even if their miraculous run continues an they somehow win the National Championship, Michigan will likely lose a game next year. They will take a bad loss to a middle of the pack Power Five school and the Beilein detractors with reemerge. They will almost undoubtedly be reminded of this run. Turning this team around may be Beilein s biggest feat at Michigan and beating Oregon would put this postseason run in the same conversation as the 2013 National Championship run and the 1989 National Championship run.
Michigan has an incoming recruiting class with a lot of potential. In coming is Mr. Basketball Michigan award winner Isaiah Livers. He is accompanied by Jordan Poole and Eli Brooks. While a win against Oregon would mean a lot for the resume of head coach John Beilein, it may mean just as much to his recruiting profile. Michigan still has a spot available on their 2017-2018 roster. The proposition of a graduate transfer has been thrown around by fans, something the Wolverines have not utilized in recent years. Another option would be consensus top five forward Mohammed Bamba, who has shown interest in Michigan. Bamba, almost surely a one-and-done type player, has visited both Kentucky and Duke. While those may be the obvious choice to get NBA exposure, Bamba reached out Michigan personally with interest in their academic programs. Duke is no slouch academically, but an Elite Eight run could sell Bamba on Michigan athletically, a place where he obviously sees an academic fit.
The fact that Michigan has made it this far should not be taken for granted. Beyond solidifying job security for Beilein or boosting Michigan s recruiting presence, fans should recall the mantra around this team only a few months ago. A win against Oregon would mean a ton for the program, but just as much for Michigan s Final Four chances.