2.) Andrew from Sarasota Springs, Florida, suggests:The bottom three teams would be relegated to English League 2 Football where they would have to play a year of soccer in towns like Accrington and Morecambe. Upon their return from a year in the (lovely) English wilderness, they would be guaranteed picks 1-3 based on their finishing order in League 2.Pros: hilarity of seeing NBA players play soccer; more media attention for League 2 matches; arguably players would gain new forms of fitness and stamina; Carmelo Anthony adopting an affected English accent; more demand for Brazilian players in trades.Cons: may stunt development of early career players; Maroon 5, Keith Urban, and Billy Joel would each need to play approximately 75 more stadium shows a year to make up lost revenue. Andrew has thought it all through perfectly. That’s the only con I can think of, too. Seeing Daryl Morey on a trampoline would be pretty fun. By Jody Avirgan If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed 4.) Bruce from Maryland suggests:The first 10 picks are assigned by placement in an essay contest for basketball fans in ~4th grade to ~8th grade. 500 words or less on an appropriate subject (not necessarily sports related) that would be announced at the All-Star break. All teams eligible, regardless of standings. The rest of the picks are in the order of finish from worst to first.The kids send their essay to a judging panel along with which team they would like to have the draft pick if they win (so no team gets more than one of the picks). The chosen 10 kids are invited to the draft order revealing show that replaces the lottery show, and they all have envelopes revealing their favorite team (not necessarily by geography). They are all called up in reverse order of finish, which they do not know at the time, and reveal the team they chose.I’m still unsure whether this is an earnest proposal or not. I choose to believe that it is. This would be wonderful. For the last 10 days, our sports podcast, “Hot Takedown,” has been running a crowdsourcing project, soliciting ideas for ways to change the NBA draft and prevent teams from deliberately tanking their seasons in pursuit of better picks. Almost 7,000 people have submitted their ideas thus far, and I am slowly working my way through them. It’s pretty intense.We’ll announce our winner on next week’s podcast — a winner chosen from among the many very serious and thoughtful proposals. This is not an article about those. This is an article about our six favorite weird ideas.The proposals, in reverse order of how much we like them: 6.) Aaron from Spokane, Washington, suggests:To fix the tanking problem, I propose a system where the GM of every NBA team participates in a round-robin HORSE tournament. The GM with the most wins gets the first selection in the draft, followed by the GM with the second most wins, and so on. If more than one GM finishes the tournament with the same score, the tie will be broken by a trampoline dunk contest judged by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.Pros:Removing the teams’ regular season performances from the equation eliminates tanking.GMs would have an incentive to become ballers. Also, there would be a great incentive for former players to become GMs.Whoever picked up the TV rights to this event would enjoy a ratings bonanza. Cons:Larry Bird and Magic Johnson might be busy. Embed Code 1.) Bob in New Orleans, Louisiana, suggests:Each team is required to bring a fish to the lottery ceremony. Each one has to be a different species (salmon, tuna, etc), and release it into a pool. Then, Adam Silver will ride a bear into the pool, and the fish that the bear eats first wins the lottery. If the bear eats Adam Silver, then it goes by worst-record first.I would watch what should be called The Tank Tank in an instant. It’s simple, it’s elegant, it has a hint of danger. Bob doesn’t even mention that some bears would be ravenous, having recently emerged from hibernation. But has he really considered all the implications? What kind of bear? Who gets what fish? Do teams get to select or is it randomly assigned? If Silver is riding a grizzly, the team with the river salmon would have a much better chance of winning. But if your team is represented by an Arctic char or fourhorn sculpin, everyone knows you’ll want Silver to be riding a polar bear.Keep listening to “Hot Takedown” for updates, and next week we will announce our (real) winner! 3.) Adam from Madison, Wisconsin, suggests:If you miss the playoffs 10 years in a row your team moves to Seattle. 76ers fans would definitely start getting nervous after about year 5. Forces teams to attempt to be good or at least plan on being good quickly. Oh, man, I hope Seattle gets a team back sooner than this. But I like the idea of fans in the Emerald City actively rooting for a random team to be awful. 5.) Dave from Toledo, Ohio, suggests: Get rid of the draft. Actually, get rid of the NBA. Boom. No more tanking.It’s been right in front of us this whole time!
Pau Gasol has been the object of at least to teams seeking to make a trade to acquire the 7-foot all-star big man of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to multiple reports.General manager Mitch Kupchak rebuffed Minnesota and Toronto, according to cbssports.com, because he wants to see the Lakers at full strength over a period of time to determine their potential. Gasol missed Wednesday’s victory at New Orleans while resting sore knees.Reportedly, the Lakers were offered a package that would include perimeter shooting big man Andrea Bargnani, point guard Jose Calderon and veteran Linas Kleiza. Meanwhile, Timberwolves general manager David Kahn has been aggressively pursuing Gasol to pair him with fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio and all-star forward Kevin Love.rickKahn would be willing to part with last year’s No. 2 overall pick, forward Derrick Williams of Arizona and center Nikola Pekovic.CBSSports.com reported Wednesday that there’s a growing belief among rival executives that Toronto has emerged as the most likely landing spot for Gasol, given Bargnani’s potential as a floor-spacing frontcourt partner to Dwight Howard and the boost Calderon could give a thin backcourt. Steve Nash, 38, has only played a game and a half this season because of a fractured fibula, and his projected backup, Steve Black, will miss the next six to eight weeks after abdominal surgery.Gasol has underperformed so far in coach Mike D’Antoni’s up tempo system that minimizes low-post play. Kobe Bryant said this week that Gasol has to put on his “big boy pants” and adjust.Bargnani is only 27 and is a deadly long-range shooting that would help space the floor for Howard in the low post, Bryant one-on-one or pick-and-rolls with Nash, when he is healthy.The Atlanta Hawks have also been frequently mentioned as potential trade partners in a Gasol deal, most notably by Lakers legend Magic Johnson on an early season episode of “NBA Countdown.” But ESPN.com reported earlier this month that the Hawks, on schedule to have major salary-cap space in July 2013, currently have no interest in parting with free agent-to-be Josh Smith.This much is certain: Until Gasol emerges as a force, rumors about his exit will abound.
Photo by USA Today.Had Cam Newton not led his Carolina Panthers on a game-winning drive Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, what he did last week in igniting a last-second victory over New England would have been nullified to some extent. But Newton repeated himself, and the Panthers won their seventh straight game, 20-16, on Newton’s short touchdown pass to Greg Olson with 43 seconds to play.And so, Newton continues to build his reputation as an elite quarterback. Backing up the late-game win over the Patriots on Monday Night Football with another heroic effort in the clutch shows his continued development.The Panthers (8-3) overcame a 16-3 first-half deficit by giving Newton the freedom to use his diverse skills after limiting him in the pocket much of the ugly first half.“It may not be pretty,” Newton said, “but at the end of the game we get that three-letter word, and that’s gorgeous.”Down by 3 with just one timeout, their winning drive began at their own 20 with 4:13 left. On fourth down early in the drive, Carolina went for it instead of punting, and Newton rifled a pass to Steve Smith for a 19-yard gain and a first down.“That’s when the tide shifted in our favor,” Newton said.And the Panthers rode the tide to the game-winning score. Coupled with the drive to knock off the Patriots and his overall solid play all season, Newton used Sunday to elevate his status among the league’s top quarterbacks. So much talk the last year has been about Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Colin Kapaernick. Meanwhile, Newton has played better than them all, and his attitude certainly seems to be on point with continuing his success.“It’s about the next game,” he said.
VANCOUVER — After 16 years, the U.S. women’s national team is again the world champion. On a sunny late afternoon here, the U.S. defeated reigning world champs Japan 5-2 and became the first country to win three Women’s World Cup titles.The Americans didn’t waste any time getting there, either, scoring four goals in less than 20 minutes — scoring those four goals faster than any one goal had ever been scored in a Women’s World Cup final. Carli Lloyd was deservedly tonight’s player of the match, scoring the first-ever hat trick in a Women’s World Cup final (only England’s Geoff Hurst has done it in a men’s final, in 1966) and also the earliest-ever hat trick; all three of her goals came in the first 16 minutes. Lloyd’s goals were representative of the U.S. team’s play; as soon as the whistle blew, the U.S. pressured Japan all over the field, not allowing the Japanese to settle the ball and play the technical soccer they prefer.But just when it looked like it might be another blowout like the Germany vs. Brazil match we saw last year at the men’s World Cup, Japan was on the board in the 27th minute with a nice turn and shot by Yuki Ogimi.Just after halftime, Japan scored again, and the 4-2 scoreline made it look like a game again. But the U.S. didn’t let up, and Tobin Heath’s goal (the U.S.’s fifth) in the 54th minute became the last of the highest-scoring Women’s World Cup final ever.Soccer is boring, right? No one ever scores?
OSU freshman golfer Caden Orweiler stares down a putt in competition for OSU. He was raised in Waldo, Ohio. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsBorn and raised an hour north of Columbus, in Waldo, Ohio, freshman golfer Caden Orewiler’s journey to golfing for Ohio State is a story of family, overcoming unforeseen circumstances, and using tragedy to turn lifelong ambitions into realized realities.The par-four fifth hole at Kings Mill Golf Club in Waldo is overrun by rows of pine trees running down the left of the fairway. Orewiler stepped to the tee box as the evening sun peered overhead, providing his favorite scenery before teeing off. This, he said, has been his favorite hole at his local course for as long as he can remember.Golf has been an integral part of his life before he was old enough to play. Orewiler has worked tirelessly to get to this point – playing major Division I collegiate golf. The steps he took to get there and the people who stood by his side make Orewiler’s journey to OSU all the more notable.Orewiler’s introduction to the world of golf was headed by his father, Chuck Orewiler, an avid golfer who took it upon himself to preach the game that he loved to Caden and his older brother, Alec. Their mother, Amy, dutifully supported the boys along the way. She was there after tough finishes or when Chuck would become disappointed in the way the boys were carrying themselves on the course. She even swings the clubs too.Before the final round of the 1994 U.S. Amateur Open, Earl Woods pulled his young son Tiger Woods aside and said to him, “Let the legend grow.” That day, Tiger Woods came from five strokes back to become the youngest golfer to win the U.S. Amateur Open, at the age of 18. Caden said that bond between Earl and Tiger Woods is the type of relationship that his own father wanted to have with him. After Caden won his first Heart of Ohio Junior Golf Association tournament as a 9-year-old, Caden’s father – like Earl Woods to Tiger – said, “Let the legend grow.” Caden used that momentum and got progressively better through the years. As he grew older, playing college golf became a reality to both of them. Caden’s father, an avid OSU fan and alumnus, wanted his son to golf for the hometown Buckeyes. On the other hand, Caden entertained the idea of golfing for college golf powerhouse, Oklahoma State University.However, Caden did not get to complete the recruiting process with the person who had been there through the entire journey. In Nov. 2013, after Caden had completed his sophomore golf season at River Valley High School, Chuck Orewiler died in a single-automobile accident. He was 50 years old.The wretchedness of losing a parent is one of the hardest times to go through, but through golf, Caden had something to remember his father by.“The relationship we had was definitely centered around the golf course. We talked about life on the golf course, how I was doing in school. We talked about family – everything. We even talked about dying,” he said. “It’s a crazy thing and God works in weird ways in that we would talk about what he wanted to have happen when he passed away.”Those conversations and that bond allowed Caden to be able to speak up when the family was discussing how they were going to lay its patriarch to rest. Chuck was cremated, and his ashes were spread in the section of the Olentangy River that runs through the backyard of the Orewiler household, flowing south to Columbus, past Ohio Stadium and the campus that has meant so much to the both of them.After losing his father, Caden never gave up, but instead became more focused. His mother stepped up right where Caden’s father left, more heavily involving herself in his tournaments and overall game.“She has really been able to play both roles,” Caden said. “She picked up a huge responsibility and role and has just blown it out of the water. Without her support, it would be hard to keep going when things do get tough.”Before his death that fall, Caden’s father said something to him that he said stays with him to this day. During the district tournament practice round in the fall of 2013 at River Greens Golf Course in West Lafayette, Ohio, his father handed Caden a golf ball at the seventh tee-box and simply said, “Let’s finish what we started.” At that point in time, Chuck meant winning a state championship. While his son did not end up accomplishing that goal after finishing tied for fourth in 2014 and losing in a playoff to finish second at districts in 2015, he was able to accomplish the ultimate goal they had set. Caden committed to golf for the Buckeyes.“I still hear him talking to me sometimes on the course,” he said. “Telling me to never give up and to keep fighting.”In the early collegiate golf season that stretches from the beginning of fall semester until, potentially, the end of May, Orewiler has contributed in one event thus far for OSU. He finished tied for 27th at the Carmel Cup, which was played Sept. 2-4 at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, CA. OSU’s next scheduled match is at the Quail Valley Intercollegiate, Oct. 24 and 25, in Vero Beach, Florida.
OSU redshirt junior defensive end Jalyn Holmes (11) celebrates with the Big Nut and other Buckeye fans following the Buckeyes 62-3 win over Maryland on Nov. 12. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorESPN’s “College Gameday”, the long-time running college football pregame show, will be in Columbus on Nov. 26 for No. 2 Ohio State versus No. 3 Michigan. The rivalry week edition of College Gameday will air for five hours instead of the usual three-hour programming, from 7 a.m. to noon. The four-man panel of Desmond Howard, Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso are returning to OSU for the first time since Nov. 21, 2015 for the OSU-Michigan State game. Last year, the show was broadcasted from The Oval.“College Gameday” was last at a Buckeye game on Oct. 15 in Madison, Wisconsin, where Corso picked the Buckeyes and donned the Brutus headgear.OSU and Michigan kick off at noon. It’s likely to be the highest ranked matchup in The Game since 2006 when OSU was No. 1 and Michigan was No. 2.
Then-freshman goaltender Kassidy Sauve (32) defends the net during a game against Mercyhurst on Nov. 11 at the OSU Ice Rink. She had 43 saves on Saturday.Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State women’s hockey team claimed victory against No. 9 North Dakota on Saturday, after settling for a tie in Friday’s match.The Buckeyes (8-8-2, 4-8-2) were outshot 44 to 18 by the Fighting Hawks (7-6-5, 5-5-4), but coach Nadine Muzerall saw her team remain calm and collected throughout the game.“I didn’t want the girls to feel like they were panicking,” Muzerall said. “You know, this team isn’t used to winning, and so I want them to have that relentless pursuit of perfection, to feel confidence and poise when (they) have it.”The Buckeyes were on the defensive from the second the puck dropped, with North Dakota outshooting OSU 10-0 in the first five minutes of play. Halfway through the period, OSU had only registered one shot on net.The Scarlet and Gray, however, were determined to get on the board. With less than 30 seconds left to play, freshman forward Rebecca Freiburger found an opening around North Dakota’s defense and scored the first goal of the game and her third of the season.The Fighting Hawks were quick to cut OSU’s lead in the second period, scoring their first goal of the game less than two minutes into the period.The Buckeyes countered later in the period with a goal from freshman forward Samantha Bouley. Redshirt freshman defenseman Jincy Dunne and junior defenseman Liv Halvorson had the assists. OSU took a 2-1 lead into the final period.“The first goal late in the first period really set the tone (and) it really built into the second period,” Bouley said. “We didn’t get down after they scored their tying goal, so that’s what led us to winning.”It was a defensive battle through much of the final period. Each team had just one shot in the period through the first five minutes.With one minute remaining, North Dakota removed its goaltender from the net for an extra skater, but OSU stood tall.When the final buzzer sounded, the Buckeyes skated off the ice with the win, as well as some newfound confidence.“It’s really a big boost for our team, especially beating a ranked opponent,” Bouley said. “It gives us confidence for when we play Wisconsin, who’s ranked number one right now.”Muzerall said that she hopes the win will energize the team to play two competitive back-to-back games and dig up its untapped potential.“I was told once that Ohio State is known to be a sleeping giant and I’m really thinking that is true,” she said. “I’m just looking for some consistency in the girls and that’s what I challenge them. I need two full games from them, so I think we’re going to take that going into Wisconsin, instead of only playing pieces of the game or one full game.”
The rivalry between the Ohio State and Michigan football teams received a breath of fresh air on Wednesday when Michigan officially introduced its new coach, Brady Hoke. Speaking for just more than 40 minutes, Hoke did not once refer to OSU by its official name, instead referring to his new rival as “that university in Ohio.” A native of Dayton, Ohio, Hoke said although he’s never been a fan of OSU, he still respects the university — even if he can’t bring himself to say its name. “I have great respect for Ohio,” Hoke said. “I had a lot of respect for Coach (Woody) Hayes. I was not a fan of ‘that university in Ohio’ because my buddies were, so I had to be different.” Hoke is no stranger to the rivalry, as he spent eight seasons in Ann Arbor, Mich., as the Wolverines’ defensive line coach from 1995-02. In those seasons, Michigan went 5-3 against the Buckeyes. “I think it’s a great hire for them,” OSU President E. Gordon Gee told The Lantern. “I think Michigan needed a Michigan man.” Things have changed since Hoke left Michigan for head coaching jobs at Ball State and San Diego State; since Hoke left Ann Arbor, the Buckeyes are 7-1 against Michigan. OSU has also won six straight Big Ten titles. Hoke said his No. 1 goal is to develop a similar streak for the Wolverines. “The expectation is to win the Big Ten championship,” Hoke said. “That’s where it starts. And if we don’t do that, we’ve got to retool it, re-fix it, do whatever we have to do, because we’re going to do that for Michigan.” Hoke made it clear how seriously he takes The Game, which he at one point described as “personal.” Pounding his fist on a podium in-synch with each word, Hoke said, “It is the most important game on the schedule.”
Normally, one of the few things that is wild and unpredictable in Ohio is the weather. But Sunday afternoon, fans at Bill Davis Stadium were in for a surprise. The Ohio State baseball team defeated Northwestern, 15-14, in walk-off fashion after a Northwestern error on a sacrifice bunt attempt allowed the winning run to score all the way from first. The game, which lasted nearly 3 1/2 hours, was a wild slugfest in which both teams combined for 37 hits and six errors. “This is my 18th season in coaching college baseball,” OSU coach Greg Beals said. “There’s been some crazy games, but this one’s up there.” It was a fitting way for the Buckeyes to kick off Big Ten conference play, as they won their weekend series against the Wildcats. The Buckeyes won the first game of the series behind a strong effort from sophomore catcher Greg Solomon, and shutdown pitching helped lead OSU to a 7-2 win on a frigid Friday night. The game’s first six innings saw senior Drew Rucinski and the Wildcats’ Luke Farrell locked in a pitchers duel as the Buckeyes held a 1-0 lead. After Northwestern took a 2-1 lead in the seventh, the Buckeyes responded with four runs, and added two more in the eighth en route to the victory. Solomon went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, and freshman Josh Dezse added three hits along with an inning pitched in relief for the Buckeyes. Saturday afternoon proved to be a different story for OSU when wild pitching and missed opportunities were costly as Northwestern rebounded for a 7-3 win. OSU starter senior Dean Wolosiansky started the game with three walks and a wild pitch as Northwestern jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first. After OSU cut the lead to 3-2, Northwestern scored two runs in each the sixth and seventh inning as it was able to hold the Buckeyes to only two runs despite nine hits. Junior second baseman Ryan Cypret had four hits for the Buckeyes, but the 1-2 hitters went a combined 1-for-9 on the day, taking away several RBI chances from Cypret. The rubber match of the series started off similar to Saturday as the Wildcats put two runs on the board before the Buckeyes even came to bat. But unlike the previous game, OSU answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first, and followed with four more in the second as it chased Wildcats starter Francis Brooke. After the Wildcats scored three unearned runs in the fourth to cut the lead to one, the Buckeyes answered with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth, courtesy of senior shortstop Matt Streng’s two-run home run. “I thought it was going to go foul and told myself to not even look at it,” Streng said. “But I rounded first base and saw the umpire wave his hand signaling home run, so I was definitely happy that ball stayed fair.” Northwestern answered with a two-run shot of its own in the top of the sixth, but the Buckeyes would take advantage of two more Wildcat errors and a wild pitch to plate five more and lead, 14-7. Even with a seven-run deficit, it never seemed like the Wildcats were out of the game. Northwestern used timely hits, along with a Buckeye error, to score three runs in the seventh. In the ninth, the Wildcats were able to overcome a base-running blunder and score four runs off of Dezse (3-1), thanks to a two-out, three-run home run from pitcher Jack Havey, silencing the Buckeye crowd. Beals said the team had been talking about adversity and that he would not let his team be defeated by the stunning rally. “That was our adversity right there,” Beals said. “I told them to deal with it and let’s go win the ballgame.” After senior outfielder Brian DeLucia led off the ninth with a walk, freshman outfielder Tim Wetzel laid down what is normally a routine bunt to move the runner into scoring position. But the Northwestern reliever made a poor throw, and the ball sailed into right field, allowing DeLucia to score in dramatic fashion and give the Buckeyes the win. “I thought the right fielder had the ball right in front of him,” DeLucia said. “When I saw coach Beals was sending me, I couldn’t believe it and just ran as fast as I could.” DeLucia also said adversity was important, emphasizing how big this win was to the team. “Every win is important,” DeLucia said. “Even though we didn’t have our best game yesterday, there is nothing you can do but bounce back, and that’s what we had to do.” The win improved OSU to 10-11 (2-1), while Northwestern dropped to 8-15 (1-2). The Buckeyes next will face off in an exhibition matchup against the Columbus Clippers at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Huntington Park.
Ohio State then-freshman third baseman Conner Pohl bats in the bottom of the seventh inning against North Carolina Greensboro. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Assistant Sports EditorFresh off a series victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers and a 22-hit, 15-run offensive explosion Sunday, the Ohio State baseball team travels to Iowa to play the Hawkeyes in a three-game weekend series. The Buckeyes (19-8, 2-1 Big Ten) have kept the offensive fire stoked with hits throughout the batting order.“It’s not very common for the bottom of the lineup to be hitting extra-base hits, home runs,” redshirt junior designated hitter Nate Romans said. “It just shows how hard it is to pitch to this lineup one through nine.” On the flipside, the Hawkeyes (16-9, 3-2 Big Ten) have relied on a productive starting rotation to carry them deep into games. With the series pushed back a day due to weather, Friday night starter Nick Allgeyer will take the hill Saturday for Iowa. He’s posted a 2.45 ERA over 44 innings.Following Allgeyer on Sunday will be junior Brady Schanuel, who has recorded 37 strikeouts and a 4.06 ERA. Closing out the weekend rotation is junior Cole McDonald, who has an ERA of 3.52.“We’re just now digging into the scouting report [for those pitchers],” head coach Greg Beals said. “But the game plan’s gonna be driven primarily around what our strengths are and us trying to match-up the strengths of our ball club.” Once the starter has exited, Iowa loves to hand the ball to junior reliever Zach Daniels. After 20 innings of work, opposing hitters manage only a .176 batting average against him.Then again, even the best pitching staffs in the country would face an uphill battle against Ohio State right now. Seven of the nine starting hitters for the Buckeyes hit above .260, with five above .300 and two above .380. As a team, their batting average ranks 13th in the nation.Iowa’s batting order is nothing to scoff at either. Senior catcher Tyler Cropley and junior right fielder Robert Neustrom both bat above .340 with a combined eight home runs. Redshirt junior designated hitter and 2017 Big Ten tournament MVP Chris Whelan returned from injury in March and has been on a tear since, batting .383.“We’re gonna stick to our game plan,” senior relief pitcher Kyle Michalik said. “We’re just gonna keep attacking hitters.”Junior Connor Curlis takes the hill first for Ohio State, looking to improve upon a 4-1 record and 3.52 ERA. Fellow junior Ryan Feltner (3-1, 5.18 ERA) follows on Sunday looking for a fourth consecutive quality start after a rocky beginning to the season. Redshirt senior Adam Niemeyer (2-2, 5.85) rounds out the weekend rotation.