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Townsend: I took a dive

first_img Explaining his thought process when he cut inside Lampard and fell to the turf, Townsend said: “It goes so fast, I came inside and I saw (Lampard’s) leg and I went over and he pulled (his leg) out at the last minute. “I didn’t have time to react to that. It’s sort of instinct. People said I dived against Swansea, but if you are running that fast, with any little touch you are going to go over.” Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas did not feel the need to talk to Townsend about the dive, and what the onlooking England manager Roy Hodgson made of the matter is unknown. With Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both sidelined through injury, there is a chance that Townsend could make his England debut against either Montenegro on October 11 or the World Cup qualifier which follows it against Poland four days later. Mindful of Townsend’s probable selection, and his young age, Lampard tried to play down the incident after Saturday’s game. “I don’t want to criticise too much,” the Chelsea midfielder said. “He’s so quick that I was just pleased he fell over rather than carry on running. “Maybe he was waiting for contact and it didn’t come and he fell over…but you get a yellow card and carry on. “We don’t need to turn it into a diving campaign because that would get legs very quickly. “He’s a great talent and he’s going to be a big player for Tottenham and for England.” Hodgson is likely to have been impressed by Townsend’s overall performance against the Blues. The winger gave Ashley Cole a torrid time down Spurs’ right flank and he would have had an assist had Paulinho beaten Petr Cech rather than rattle the frame of the Chelsea stopper’s goal in first-half injury time. Villas-Boas feared Townsend’s international career could be a flash in the pan, but Hodgson gave the midfielder some words of encouragement after his first call-up last month, and all being well the player looks to feature heavily in the England manager’s plans. “He said to me that he had been watching me not only this season, but when I was on loan at QPR last season,” Townsend said. “He told me that if I continue what I am doing I will get in the squad so that is what I am going to try to do. “But I’m just concentrating on Spurs at the moment. It’s hard enough getting in this team!” Press Association Townsend played superbly in Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Chelsea, but he blotted his copybook in the first half when he feigned being tripped by Frank Lampard. Dean rightly booked Townsend and the 22-year-old admitted after the game that he was wrong to dive. “It was definitely a yellow card. I deserved it,” the Tottenham winger said. “You make mistakes and that dive was a mistake. I apologised to the ref. I said to him at half-time that I thoroughly deserved it and hopefully I won’t do that again. “I have got to kick it out of my game.” Given that so many players refuse to acknowledge that they actually dive, Townsend’s words are refreshing to hear. The midfielder was accused of simulation when he won a penalty against Swansea earlier this season, but the youngster insists he is not a prolific diver. Townsend says that just like Bale, he sometimes has to go to ground because of his express pace. Gareth Bale’s superb season was tainted by accusations of diving last year, and Townsend – one of the men charged with filling the void left by the Welsh star – also found himself at the centre of a play-acting storm this weekend. Blues boss Jose Mourinho also criticised Townsend’s Spurs team-mate Jan Vertonghen for what he claimed was an over-reaction to an aerial collision with Fernando Torres which led to the Chelsea man being sent off for what was deemed a second bookable offence. Andros Townsend has vowed to cut diving out of his game after revealing that he apologised to referee Mike Dean for taking a fall during Tottenham’s derby with Chelsea.last_img read more

Notebook: Geno Thorpe debuts, other notes from Syracuse’s 84-59 exhibition win over Southern Connecticut State

first_img Published on November 6, 2017 at 10:54 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langer Geno Thorpe’s introduction for his graduate season at Syracuse involved an untucked jersey. As Thorpe entered SU’s second and final exhibition game, an 84-59 win Monday night over Southern Connecticut State, he lightly jogged out to midcourt five-and-a-half minutes into the game. He fidgeted with his white jersey, then tucked it in before scurrying to find his defensive assignment as the Orange trailed by eight to a Division II opponent. The untucked jersey epitomized Thorpe’s play Monday night in his Syracuse debut: He was slightly off, a step or two slower than he would prefer on drives and one-on-one matchups, but he tacked together a few plays to cap off a fairly productive outing. Within his first few minutes at SU, he forced a pair of steals and dropped in a layup, helping the Orange begin to claw back from an early deficit. Thorpe, who turns 23 on Wednesday, is Syracuse’s most experienced player. In his first SU game, he scored six points, dished out four assists and grabbed four steals across 22 minutes on the floor. Yet head coach Jim Boeheim said Thorpe is still healing from an ankle injury that decelerated his progression into the SU backcourt. “He just doesn’t have his push off of his ankle yet,” Boeheim said. “He’s just has a couple of days of practice really, in the last 14, so I think it will take him a while.”A year ago, Thorpe led South Florida in scoring. His 15.1 points per game would have placed second on SU, though he did not play in Syracuse’s first exhibition because of his ankle injury. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAgainst the Owls at the Carrier Dome, four days before Syracuse’s season opener against Cornell, SU needed life early. In the first half, Syracuse swapped out of its half-court 2-3 zone into a full-court press for the second consecutive game. What resulted was a Thorpe steal that produced a layup at the other end. Later, he showed that he is not at his full self. On a left-handed drive from the left wing, the ball slipped out of Thorpe’s hands and drifted out of bounds. He clapped his hands. He then missed three of his four 3-point attempts, as well as a layup. “Physically, I feel pretty ready,” Thorpe said. “Right now my ankle is still working back to 100 percent.”Backcourt mate Frank Howard, who scored 19 points, said Thorpe can create his own shot, get to the basket in one-on-one situations and “help me get off ball a little bit.” Howard acknowledged that Thorpe’s ankle is clearly preventing him from being at full strength, though he said Thorpe played well given his status. Thorpe knocked down one second-half 3-pointer, shot 2-for-6 from the field and earned one trip to the charity stripe. By the time his early jitters faded, he flashed a few smiles. He perked up from the SU bench several times amid SU’s 60-point second half. When freshman forward Bourama Sidibe blocked a shot around the 3-point line, causing the ball to float up and land in the SCSU bench, Thorpe giggled with Howard. “He’s good with the ball,” Boeheim said. “He doesn’t have his explosiveness and he needs that. It will probably take some time.”Paul Schlesinger | Asst. Photo EditorOnly the center rotation is setAll nine scholarship players played at least 12 minutes in the game, with no player eclipsing Tyus Battle’s team-high 29 minutes. Boeheim is still looking for the right group to emerge.“We just have to keep giving everybody an opportunity and see,” Boeheim said. “I think our centers are set. We know what we’re going to do there. Now we’ve got to figure out what else we’ve got. And it’s (going) to take a little bit of time I think.”Boeheim was largely happy with how his centers played in the exhibition. After men’s basketball media day Boeheim said he wanted the two centers, Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe, to split the minutes at center. They did basically just that with Sidibe playing 20 minutes and Chukwu 18.Chukwu got the start but was subbed out after the Owls made two 3-pointers from the same spot in the left corner. Boeheim said that Sidibe is better than Chukwu at closing out in the corners. Despite that, the SU head coach was happy with what he saw from his sisters. “Paschal and Bourama are doing a pretty good job inside,” Boeheim said. “I think they had about 19 rebounds tonight between them. Blocked some shots, I think they’re doing what we would like them to do.” SU better equipped for press this yearBoeheim hasn’t had the most straightforward relationship with pressing on defense. Two years ago in the Elite Eight, it fueled Syracuse’s improbable second-half comeback against Virginia. But the Orange didn’t use it much last year, as Boeheim said that he thought good teams would figure out how to crack it. Syracuse used the press to get back in the game after a slow start in the first exhibition matchup against Southern New Hampshire. SU deployed it again early and often throughout this second preseason game. “We couldn’t score,” Boeheim said. “So we might as well try and get a turnover and see if we can get something that way, that would help.” Even though the offense’s struggles were the initial cause for the press to be used, Boeheim said he does think that the Orange will be able to use the press more because it has two capable shot blockers. The only player who averaged more than one block per game last year was 6-foot-9 Tyler Lydon. Sidibe and Chukwu are both taller and better shot blockers. Twice, Sidibe played center field on the press. When the inbound pass would go over the top toward halfcourt, Sidibe stepped up and broke it up. On one play SCSU was throwing in from midcourt. The Orange was caught cheating into the backcourt and Owls player Luke Beesley slipped past the SU defense. He went up for the dunk but Chukwu hustled back, met him at the top of his jump and swatted the ball away.“We’ve been working on it, we’ve spent a lot of time on our press,” Boeheim said. “Just think of all those plays they either stopped or went back. Or we got a block. Or they missed a shot. And we didn’t have that last year.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

NBA free agency rumors: 76ers could make major play for Malcolm Brogdon

first_img NBA free agency rumors: Jazz showing ‘significant’ interest in Bojan Bogdanovic NBA free agency rumors: Clippers exploring pairing Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler It appears like Philadelphia is looking to sign a point guard.The 76ers could make a big play for Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon this summer, according to a report from the Journal Times. Especially if sharpshooter JJ Redick leaves Philadelphia as an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Several NBA officials contend the 76ers will make the biggest play in free agency for Bucks Malcolm Brogdon, especially if Jonathan Redick bolts. New Orleans has shown an interest in the veteran sharpshooter. The Bulls are also Brogdon suitors.— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) June 30, 2019Brogdon, 26, has just finished the third year of his first NBA contract — a three-year deal worth just less than $4 million. However the 2017 Rookie of the Year could be approaching a big pay raise.The Virginia product was a second-round pick in 2017, but has quickly become one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA. Brogdon joined the illustrious 50-40-90 club in 2018-19 while averaging career highs of 15.6 points and 4.5 rebounds.  Related Newscenter_img Brogdon missed significant time dealing with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot last year and only played 64 games in the regular season. But he was an important contributor to Milwaukee’s 60-22 record — which was good for the best mark in the Eastern Conference.Brogdon checks all the boxes. He’s a capable defender, has good length at 6-5 and can excel as a spot-up shooter alongside dominant post forces like Joel Embiid, similar to the way he did with the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo.The 76ers are lacking depth at the guard spots, as Ben Simmons and Zhaire Smith are likely the only backcourt players locked in to be on Philadelphia’s roster once its season-opener rolls around. But Smith saw limited action in 2018-19 after an unexpected allergic reaction sidelined him for a large portion of 2018-19. Philadelphia fielded what was arguably the second-most talented starting five in the NBA last season, but if Butler, Tobias Harris and Redick move on, the team could look drastically different. Securing Brogdon would likely help the young team continue toward more success in the future.Brogdon is a restricted free agent and Milwaukee has his Bird rights since they drafted him, meaning the Bucks can exceed the salary cap to keep him on board. Teams like New Orleans and Chicago could reportedly be willing to offer as much as $16 million per year, and the Bucks have already committed $70 million to Eric Bledsoe and have yet to pay 2019 All-Star wing Khris Middleton.The 76ers finished third in the Eastern Conference in 2018-19 and lost to the eventual champion Raptors in a seven-game series in the second round of the playoffs. That could be hard to replicate given the amount of talented players they could be parting with this summer.last_img read more