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Maryland basketball vs. Minnesota preview: Terps look for 2nd straight win over Gophers

Maryland basketball has four regular season games left. The first of those comes Wednesday at home against Minnesota. The Terps will host the Gophers in a relatively late matchup at 8:30 on BTN. Maryland won the teams first matchup this season, 85-78, in Minnesota. The Gophers are in the midst of a five-game winning streak, having just topped Michigan in double overtime. Maryland just finished its hardest week of the season. The Terps beat Northwestern on the road on Wednesday, then fell at Wisconsin on Sunday. They re still holding on strong to the No. 3 spot in the Big Ten, while Minnesota is two spots behind.

This won t be Maryland s first game without Michal Cekvosky, but it ll be the first where Mark Turgeon knows he won t have his Slovakian center for the rest of the season. Just as the Terps appeared to have him back at full strength for the first time this season, Cekovksy fractured his left ankle against Wisconsin[1]. He s out for the rest of this season, meaning Damonte Dodd and Ivan Bender will stay as Maryland s primary centers.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (20-7, 8-6 Big Ten)

2015-16 record: 8-23

Head coach: Richard Pitino. He s 71-58 as Minnesota s head coach, and could lead the Gophers to their first NCAA Tournament bid in his time at the helm.

KenPom ranking: 39 (Maryland is 32)

Players to know

Nate Mason, guard, junior, 6 2/190, No. 2. Mason is a high-volume shooter, scoring 15 points per game on 37 percent shooting from the field, but Minnesota needs him. He s got the team s best offensive rating on KenPom at 109. Mason also adds a team-high 5.3 assists per game with only 1.7 turnovers.

Amir Coffey, guard/forward, freshman, 6 8/195, No. 5. Coffey was a heralded local recruit (the No. 7 shooting guard in the country), and he s paying dividends for Pitino. He averages 12 points per game on 36 percent shooting, along with 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

Jordan Murphy, guard, sophomore, 6 6/240, No. 3. He s just as powerful a scorer as Coffey. Murphy is shooting 20 percent better than he was last season, chipping in 11 points per game.

Strengths

Defense. The Gophers have the 15th-best defense in the land, by KenPom s adjusted efficiency metrics. Their opponents have an effective shooting percentage of 45, the 12th-best mark of any defense in the country. With the fifth-best block percentage, they also make things tough inside.

Ball security. Minnesota only turns the ball over on 16 percent of its possessions, the 37th-best mark in the country. The team s offense isn t explosive, but doesn t give its opponents too many extra possessions.

Weaknesses

Shooting. This is the one clear area in which the Gophers fail. Their effective shooting mark is 48 percent, 266th in the country. They re especially bad at two-pointers. Their mark of 47 percent from inside the stripe ranks 280th, an especially putrid number.

Prediction

KenPom s prediction: Maryland 73, Minnesota 68. Terps have a 66 percent chance of victory.

Ryan s prediction: Maryland 76, Minnesota 66.

References

  1. ^ Cekovksy fractured his left ankle against Wisconsin (www.testudotimes.com)

Santa Ynez Valley celebration planned to mark arrival of new swimming pools

Residents from throughout the Santa Ynez Valley are invited to welcome two U.S. Olympic Trials swimming pools when they arrive by truck Friday, March 3, to become the cornerstone of a new aquatic, wellness and sports medicine facility. A convoy carrying the pools in modular pieces will roll into Buellton on Friday afternoon following a two-day, 1,700-mile journey from Omaha, Nebraska, where they ve been stored since being used in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials. The convoy is scheduled to leave Buellton about 2:45 p.m. and travel along Highway 246 to Solvang, where the welcoming celebration will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Old Mission Santa Ines east parking area at 1720 Mission Drive.

The event will include food and refreshments as well as remarks by a number of notable participants, including Kami Craig, a three-time Olympic water polo medalist and Santa Ynez native; Gary Hall Jr., a 10-time Olympic swimming medalist; and retired U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Timothy Sullivan of Mission: Readiness. A national security nonprofit organization of more than 650 retired admirals, generals and other retired senior military leaders, Mission: Readiness promotes smart investments in America s children and is part of the Council for a Strong America. Also participating in the celebration will be officials from the cities of Buellton and Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, where the pools will eventually be installed for use not only by students but also by clubs, organizations and individual residents from throughout the Valley.

Also scheduled to attend are representatives of the LA84 Foundation, an organization created with a share of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games surplus to support youth sports programs and public education through grants. The arrival of the pools marks a major milestone in fulfilling the vision for a much-needed aquatic and sports medicine education complex for the Valley and Central Coast, said a spokesman for the Santa Ynez Valley Community Aquatics Foundation, a nonprofit organization that purchased the pools, manufactured by Myrtha Pools, and is raising funds for the installation of the aquatics complex. Once it s complete, it will be the only facility of its kind between Paso Robles and Long Beach, the spokesman said.

I m thrilled to be a part of bringing these pools to the Santa Ynez Valley, said Craig, a water polo Olympic gold medalist in 2012 and 2016 and an honorary member of the Santa Ynez Valley Community Aquatic Foundation committee.

As a young girl, the time spent participating in the Santa Ynez Valley aquatic programs is where my Olympic dreams were born, Craig continued. “I hope that these pools, filled with so much Olympic heritage and spirit, will inspire athletes and community members of all ages.”

Her sentiments were echoed by Hall, a member of the SYVCAF s executive committee.

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This new, state-of-the-art complex means our athletes and community will have the aquatics and sports medicine facilities they ve so long deserved and make our Santa Ynez Valley a health and wellness destination for world-class athletes, special needs athletes and sports tourism,” Hall said. The proposed complex at the high school will include an Olympic-size pool and support facilities and a second, smaller pool for fitness, wellness and therapeutic programs as well as recreational swimming. A joint-use agreement will allow concurrent community and school use of the facilities to maximize the pools benefit for everyone, a Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District spokesman said.

The timing of the SYVCAF-funded aquatic complex is ideal given the implementation of our broader Measure K and Proposition 51 high school campus facility improvements, district Superintendent Scott Cory said.

We will be able to integrate all the renovation and improvement projects to achieve cost savings and minimize campus and community disruption, Cory said.

SWAT team clears scene of incident in Avalon

Updated: Feb 20, 2017 – 11:13 PM

AVALON, Pa. – Police, paramedics and an Allegheny County SWAT team responded Monday evening to an incident in Avalon, investigators told Channel 11 News. The police activity began around 5:45 p.m. in the 700 block of California Avenue. Channel 11’s Catherine Varnum reported that residents were told to stay in their homes. Authorities barred anyone from walking along California Avenue near Avalon Elementary School from just before 6 p.m. until about 9:30 p.m. when the SWAT team cleared out.

Scene is now clear @WPXI[1]

Catherine Varnum (@WPXIVarnum) February 21, 2017[2]

The borough of Avalon s police chief and mayor both declined to provide any details Monday night about what prompted the heavy police response.

Avalon Police refused to give me information about the swat situation. @WPXI[3]

Catherine Varnum (@WPXIVarnum) February 21, 2017[4]

Stay with WPXI.com and watch Channel 11 Morning News, starting at 4:30 a.m., for updates.

2017 Cox Media Group.

References

  1. ^ @WPXI (twitter.com)
  2. ^ February 21, 2017 (twitter.com)
  3. ^ @WPXI (twitter.com)
  4. ^ February 21, 2017 (twitter.com)