City workers in the Durham chapter of United Electrical Workers Local 150, N.C. Public Service Workers Union, came together Feb. 21 for a “Workers’ Speak-Out” held at the historic Tobacco Workers Union Hall. They raised their voices against city government efforts to restructure their jobs and against the ongoing racist attacks they face. Recent job classification changes in December 2018 cut 450 jobs to only 203, while workers were given no additional pay. The UE workers understand this is a speedup — adding urgency to the struggle against racism in the city’s hiring, firing, promotion and discipline practices.The union brochure at the event explained: “This is a speedup, designed in the name of ‘efficiency’ to squeeze more work out of each worker. It’s one of many ways we feel the effects of a corporate-dominated state government that prioritizes tax breaks to the wealthy over the integrity of public services and the dignity of those who depend upon them and those who provide them.” The city workers brought four major demands: a fair grievance process; an end to arbitrary and racist hiring and promotional practices; an end to the merit pay system; and an end to austerity and speed-ups.Speakout emcee Nathanette Mayo said, “We demand an end to austerity and speed-ups within city departments, by fully funding and hiring for all currently open positions and a formula to ensure that the city’s workforce grows at the same pace as the city’s population.” Retired chemist in the Water Department and former UE150 president Mayo criticized the failings of some elected officials and then introduced over a dozen workers from five city departments to share the real story of their jobs.Workers speak truth to power about their jobsJohn Morris said, “I care about my job, and I care about everybody here and your safety.” He described the impossible task of on-call duty where workers in Water and Sewer Management work full days, yet are called back to work overnight for emergencies like water main breaks. After working continuously for 24 hours, they are required to clock back in for another work day, operating heavy machinery on no sleep. The only option for a day of rest is using vacation time. They earn no overtime pay.Workers are required to be on call more and more frequently — now up to 15 times a year from four times in the past. “Every three weeks,” Morris said, “we get penalized for making the safe choice to go home and get rest, rather than risk the lives of community members.” Racism is a major factor aggravating unsafe working conditions. Calinto Parker, a Water and Sewer crew chief, said of racist promotions: “[They’re] bringing [white bosses] in with no experience, no certifications, no nothing. And me — I actually have those things.”Marcus Smith, a Black worker in Parker’s crew, said, “He’s passionate about what he does [and] his passion keeps our city safe.” Smith mentioned that they both continue to get skipped over for promotions they deserve, which go to less-senior white employees.Racist white foremen order the largely Black workforce to use their own backs and bodies rather than allow use of available equipment; this racist treatment causes many injuries. Workers called out the injustice of all eight upper managers in the Water and Sewer department being white, while a majority of the frontline workers are Black. Community and worker solidarityThroughout the evening, city workers directed their concerns to a panel of community organizers, who responded about what could be done. “This will be addressed,” pledged Bertha Bradley, a fast food worker and member of Fight For $15. Bradley recalled how she had been fired without cause from her job at a Wendy’s down the street from the Public Works Department. The city workers then boycotted the Wendy’s until she was offered her job back. “We’ve got to keep fighting,” Bradley said. “Whatever we can do, we’re going to do.”Durham city workers are banned by law from collective bargaining, as are all public sector workers in North Carolina. UE150 has been leading a statewide campaign of city workers to demand a Municipal Workers Bill of Rights, including a repeal of the Jim Crow-era ban on collective bargaining. The Durham Workers Assembly helped mobilize community support for the forum. The aim is to bring together workers from all unions, unorganized workers and worker organizations to build Durham as “a union town” — a bold move in the largely unorganized U.S. South. DWA won passage of a Workers Rights Commission by the Durham City Council in January. Several worker leaders, including Bradley of Fight For $15, plan to serve on that commission to hear worker complaints and support worker organizing. “For years we’ve been out there doing an organizing blitz, 4:30 in the morning, passing out flyers: ‘Join the union!’” related Angaza Samora Mayo-Laughinghouse, a community-labor organizer and activist with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.At the speakout, with the union coming together powerfully, Mayo-Laughinghouse again directed attention to elected officials: “We as a people have got to be ready to put our hands — our political hands — on our elected officials … as a consequence of [them] doing our people wrong.”Workers vowed to continue to organize, build their union and speak out at an upcoming City Council meeting. Deutschbein is a rank-and-file graduate worker in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chapter of UE150.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Feeling very grateful… Thank you to my parents, Brett, Chloe, Madison, my coaches Mihai & Silvie, my teammates, Octagon, and everyone else who supported me. It takes a village to get to the Olympics, and I am so appreciative of every single person that helped me along the way. A huge thank you to my fans – your support has meant everything to me. I am very lucky to have been able to do something I love for so many years & I’m excited for what’s next!A post shared by Alexandra Raisman (@alyraisman) on Jan 14, 2020 at 9:42am PST FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailJoe Faraoni/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman will not compete in the 2020 Olympics.The U.S. gymnast took to Instagram Tuesday to confirm rumors that she will not be competing in her third straight Summer Olympics. The Tokyo games are set to kick off in July.“The past 10 years have been such a whirlwind that I haven’t really processed all that has happened, and sometimes I wonder whether I ever will,” wrote the 25-year-old Massachusetts native. “I’ve live a pretty fast-paced life and sometimes I have to remind myself to slow down, unplug from technology and take the time to appreciate what I’ve experienced and learned.” Raisman reflected on watching the 1996 Olympics as an 8-year-old, memorizing the gymnasts’ routines and dreaming of representing the U.S. at the Olympics one day.“One of the best things about being a kid is the belief that anything is possible, and that no dream is too big,” she wrote. “I suspect I keep going back to that time because I now know the power of that little girl’s dream.”Raisman — one of the dozens of gymnasts who spoke out about the rampant sexual abuse by disgraced doctor Larry Nassar — goes on to describe what she’d tell her younger self now, including how she’d handle the “ups and downs.”“I wonder if I would tell her that life will be filled with ups and downs, and that there are people in the sport who will fail to protect her and her teammates,” she wrote. “It would be so hard to tell her that, but I would make sure she knows she will get through it and she will be OK.”“And I would tell her that it is often in our darkest hours, when we feel most vulnerable and alone, that we realize our greatest growth,” wrote Raisman, who has become an outspoken advocate for sexual abuse survivors.Raisman, who also shared a video of herself as a young girl doing gymnastics, ended her note by confirming she plans to continue her work to make the sport of gymnastics safer.“As a little girl, I thought what mattered most was making it to the Olympics, but I’ve learned that my love for gymnastics is more important,” she wrote. “It is this love that fueled my Olympic dreams, and it is this love that now inspires me to do everything I can to make it safer for the many wonderful people in the sport and all the little 8-year-olds out there who will be watching the gymnasts in Tokyo, dreaming of one day making it to the Olympics themselves.”The gymnastics legend did not give any other details on her future plans other than saying in the caption of her Instagram post, “I am very lucky to have been able to do something I love for so many years & I’m excited for what’s next!”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved View this post on Instagram Beau Lund Written by January 14, 2020 /Sports News – National Aly Raisman confirms she will not compete in 2020 Tokyo Olympics
VMware introduced vSphere 6.7 on April 17, 2018. vSphere 6.7 is the latest release of VMware’s industry leading virtualization and cloud platform. vSphere 6.7 provides improved performance, management, security and cloud extensibility compared to vSphere 6.5.In fact, based on VMware’s testing, vSphere can handle up to 2X vCenter operations, delivers 3x reduction in memory usage and delivers 3x faster DRS-related operations. It also provides enhanced security for hypervisor and guest operating systems and protects application running on virtualized and cloud environments with VMware AppDefense.vSpehre 6.7 also introduced vCenter Server Hybrid Linked Mode, which makes it easier for organizations to uniformly manage vSphre environments running on-premises and in VMware Cloud on AWS, continuing VMware’s goal of providing a seamless experience as IT environments continue to transition to the Cloud.Dell EMC – Unmatched data protection for VMware environmentsDell EMC works closely with VMware to deliver data protection solutions that are simple to manage and deploy, while providing powerful performance at a low cost to protect.Architected from the ground up for the software-defined data center, Dell EMC data protection solutions provide automation for all aspects of VMware data protection, comprehensive application coverage, and native VMware integration. They deliver high performance and low cost to protect with industry-leading deduplication and bandwidth usage. And, they enable the extension of VMware data protection to the Cloud for each phase of our customers’ journey to the cloud – long-term retention to the cloud, disaster recovery in the cloud and VMware Cloud workloads running on AWS.Dell EMC and VMware Virtual VMUG PresentationCharlie Sevin from Dell EMC and Dennis Lu from VMware recently gave a presentation at a Virtual VMware User Group event on Dell EMC data protection for VMware environments. Their presentation focused on the latest advances from VMware in vSpehre 6.7 and from Dell EMC in protecting VMware environments, both on premises and in the Cloud. You can see this presentation below:ResourcesLearn more about Dell EMC Data Protection for VMware.Learn more about VMware vSpehre 6.7.Find out more about VMware User Group Events, live and virtual.
This Netflix original series relies on vertical cell phone footage and animated social media conversations, giving us a glimpse of future documentaries.All images via Netflix. In a mockumentary investigation series about spray-painting genitals on cars, Netflix somehow manages to show us the future of documentary films and docu-series. American Vandal is a true-crime spoof series that investigates the whereabouts of teenagers during a high school prank.I just finished binge-watching every episode. Not only was it incredibly funny in the most juvenile ways, the series is very well done. The fact that they could stretch the premise to eight episodes and keep me captivated was astonishing. Not only that, the show is beautifully shot, edited, and colored, capturing the purest form of adolescence: acting like an idiot with your friends.I can go on and on about the show, but I’ll let you dive into that yourself. You can watch the (NSFW) trailer here.What I want to break down is how the mockumentary perfectly makes fun of the true-crime drama while making a legitimately well-crafted series. From subtly poking fun at the overuse of sliders and drones to using vertical cell phone footage and social media, this series has it all. I’m also going to show you ways you can create social media interfaces, so you can animate conversations and use these techniques as well.In the show, I found myself relating most to the high school students shooting, editing, and narrating the series. In what may come as a shock to you, I also was not very cool in school, was not good with girls, and spent way too much time with a camera in my hands.The reason I bring this up is that cinematographer Adam Bricker perfectly captured the series in the way a high schooler would, though in a much more professional manner. High school filmmakers would use mirrorless cameras, and in the series it looks like a Sony a-series body inside of their camera cage. In addition, the students would have captured b-roll with sliders and establishing shots with drones.(If you haven’t already watched our video tutorial on not overusing drones, by Zach Ramelan, I highly recommend checking it out. He makes some great points about the overuse of drones and sliders in today’s filmmaking world.)Above is a glimpse of episode six, in which we see the feaux-filmmakers prepare to shoot undercover by using an iPhone camera placed in a shirt pocket — a trick that obviously isn’t very sneaky. You can also see the camera rig they used to capture most of the other footage in the show.In reality, American Vandal was mostly shot in 6K on the RED WEAPON DRAGON. Bricker lensed the series with the Leica Summicron-C primes and a Fujinon Cabrio zoom lens. But that’s not all. Too keep up an authentic teenager scenario, the crew really did use the mirrorless camera, iPhones, and GoPros to capture party footage and prank videos.As for the aerial footage in the show, that is the work of the very talented crew over at Drone Dudes.Over at The Verge, Megan Farokhmanesh interviewed American Vandal co-creator and director Tony Yacenda. During their conversation, you see how the focus of the show shifted by examining the modern teenager.The common threads were that high school kids don’t use Facebook much … Certainly not with their own friends. They use a lot of Snapchat. Instagram is the main one. But I guess you learn that kids have their public Instagram, and then they’ll have a private Instagram for just their close friends, so they can post memes or whatever.By understanding the apps these characters would actually use, this subtle use of real interfaces actually goes on to show what a real documentary film would look like in another ten years. Think of the modern news segment, bloated with random tweets from viewers or live footage of massive storms shot vertically on cell phones.In that same Verge interview, Yacenda went on to say the following:We always wanted to have logic of why a high-school kid would be shooting a video in the first place. Maybe it’s somebody taking a selfie in the foreground, and something’s happening in the background.American Vandals other co-creator and writer Dan Perrault develops that idea further,We wanted a ton of B-roll from the iPhone … And so we would clear the crew out of the room and basically play out the party as it naturally would go, and just give separate kids iPhones to get footage from that.With the large amount of footage shot by individuals on their phones, American Vandal makes you think about the future archive of footage. This is literally the way the world works now, and with the mass amount of media that will be available to future documentary filmmakers, they will struggle to make the various media formats work together cohesively.That said, American Vandal already nailed it. Even though everything in the show is scripted, editors Ali Baron, Andrew McAllister, and Jessica Brunetto seamlessly made everything work. Not only does it work, it’s incredibly compelling. Viewers will relive moments in school or at parties through many angles and various times through cell phone footage — both horizontal and vertical.Like I mentioned before, American Vandal already makes use of footage shot on iPhones and GoPro cameras, but it also uses footage and images captured in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Twitch, and YouTube.The presence of social media and online platforms in this series is staggering, and I don’t mean this in the way other films and shows have made minor references to sites like YouTube. Each different site in American Vandal plays a different role, and it may be one of the most accurate representations of online life I’ve ever seen.If you’re interested in recreating and animating social media platforms, we’ve recently put together a series of After Effects tutorials showing you how to create the user interfaces for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Create and Animate the UI of Instagram with Adobe After EffectsCreate and Animate the Facebook UI in Adobe After EffectsLearn How to Animate Twitter Conversations in After EffectsCreate and Animate the YouTube UI in Adobe After EffectsEven if this series isn’t your type of comedy, it’s well worth the research, so at least watch the first episode. It’s likely you will experience what the future of documentary film has in store.Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in more piece like this, I’d suggest checking out some of the following articles:How Editor Paul Machliss Cut Baby Driver in Real Time on LocationA Look Inside the Post-Production Process Behind “It”Inside Atomic Fiction: An Exclusive Interview With a VFX PowerhouseThe Media Machine Behind the Dallas StarsInterview: Director of Photography Behind HBO’s The Defiant OnesInterview: Director of Photography Jake Swantko of Netflix’s Icarus
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd in talks to find new shirt sponsorby Paul Vegas15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United are in talks to find a new shirt sponsor.The current Chevrolet deal, which started in 2014, is worth more than £450m over seven years and remains the biggest sum paid to a football club for shirt sponsorship.Sky Sports says industry sources are confident a new deal will see United match or even surpass their current agreement.The current Chevrolet deal equates to £47m per year and was more than double the previous sponsorship with AON.AON still sponsors the United training kit and training ground – a deal which nets the club £17m a year alone.The Chevrolet deal expires in 2021.
Story Highlights Miss Gooden said the project was inspired by a member of the task force, who studied computing at UWI, and recognised the need for technology graduates to have practical experience for the global market. Twelve software engineering students are receiving practical job experience by working with international companies over the summer.This is under the ‘Calico Open Source Software Development Project,’ which is being undertaken by the Diaspora Technology Task Force in the United States in partnership with the Palisadoes Foundation.Task Force member, Kimone Gooden, told the JIS News that the initiative, introduced in 2016, pair students in Jamaica with a Diaspora mentor. Seven students benefited during the first year.She explained that the body works with the University of the West Indies (UWI) Computing Society to select students each summer, and give them a stipend to work on an open source software development project.Miss Gooden noted that the students stay in Jamaica while they work on these projects.“The Diaspora Technology Task Force is trying to emphasise that there is no need to try to go through migration and get a visa, as you have the resources here in Jamaica to support clients overseas,” she pointed out.Miss Gooden said the project was inspired by a member of the task force, who studied computing at UWI, and recognised the need for technology graduates to have practical experience for the global market.“When they go to school and learn the coding, we realize they do not have any experience to match that,” she pointed out, noting that the taskforce member “understood what it was to go overseas without that experience.”Miss Gooden told JIS News that the most successful students at the end of the summer receive internships and sometimes job offers from Diaspora-owned technology companies.She explained that sometimes these offers allow the new employees to stay in Jamaica, while in some cases it requires migration, noting that there was a recent participant in the project, who was required to be in Sri Lanka.Applications for the project usually open in March of each year to university students, and selection takes place in May and June.Meanwhile, Miss Gooden is inviting other technology professionals across the Diaspora to join the task force. Task Force member, Kimone Gooden, told the JIS News that the initiative, introduced in 2016, pair students in Jamaica with a Diaspora mentor. Seven students benefited during the first year. Twelve software engineering students are receiving practical job experience by working with international companies over the summer.
A new study estimates that 83 percent of gay male youth athletes in the United States are keeping their sexual orientation hidden from some or all of their teammates. Lesbian athletes in the same age group (under 22 years old) were more willing to be public about it — 63 percent said they were hiding their orientation.The reason for the secrecy — even in an age when polls show that acceptance has been increasing — is often fear. Nearly half of gay men and 44 percent of lesbians around the world who kept their sexual orientation hidden said they did so in order not to be bullied. In addition, fear of discrimination from coaches or officials was mentioned by 32 percent of gay men and 28 percent of lesbians.The survey found that 80 percent of the respondents, both gay and heterosexual, had witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports.Titled “Out On The Fields,” the report was based on a survey of nearly 9,500 gay, bisexual and heterosexual people and claims to be the largest-ever study on homophobia in sports. (The questions only related to sexual orientation, not gender identity, so the study offers no information about transgender athletes.)After publicizing the anonymous online questionnaire through various media outlets,1 They included Outsports, Gay News Network, Star Observer, Same Same, Fairfax Media, The Guardian, ESPN, EILE Magazine Ireland, Gay NZ, GayStar News, Daily Xtra and Pink News UK. the researchers received answers from several English-speaking countries. The highest numbers of responses came from Australia (3,006), the United States (2,064), the United Kingdom (1,796), Canada (1,123), New Zealand (631) and Ireland (501).The United States received the lowest overall “inclusion score” of all the countries analyzed, with a high number of respondents saying the U.S. was not accepting of gay athletes. (Though because of the small sample sizes for respondents from New Zealand and Ireland, it isn’t necessarily fair to say that the U.S. ranks worst.)In a phone interview, the survey’s lead author, Erik Denison, said attitudes about privacy among athletes are often related to the perception of homophobia in sports.“I made that decision myself when I kept in the closet,” he said. “Implicitly it is about discrimination, though. The straight men can talk openly in conversations about what you did at the weekend, the women they met. If you’re gay though, you either have to make up stories or be excluded. It’s not the same.”The large scale of the survey, though, doesn’t mean that it is the definitive word on homophobia in sports. Even in countries that had a high number of respondents, it can be difficult to tease out more detailed trends because the subgroups are far too small. Responses were split into youth and adult sports (i.e. under age 22 and over age 22) but also broken out by sports played and the sexual orientation of the respondents.What’s more, not everyone even said they played sports — among U.S. respondents, for example, 81 percent of gay women and 75 percent of gay men said they participated in youth sports, while 63 percent of gay women and 42 percent of gay men said they participated in adult sports. As a result, the finding that 83 percent of gay male youth athletes keep their sexuality hidden from teammates is based on just 114 individuals.Denison and his co-author, Alistair Kitchen, both members of Australia’s first gay rugby team, said they were are aware of those limitations. Their international approach was partly informed by the fact that past smaller-scale studies on homophobia in sport have been dismissed for being too limited in scope. The final methodology and findings were reviewed by seven academic experts prior to publication.Overall, these results should be treated as estimates in an under-researched area filled with speculation, rather than definitive numbers about gay athletes.Gay respondents were more likely than heterosexual ones to say that homophobia was more common in team sporting environments than in general society. But LGB athletes also related positive reactions to revealing their orientation to their teammates. In its write-up of the report, the gay sports site Outsports.com acknowledged many of the issues cited by respondents but added that “people in sports behave very differently when an athlete actually comes out,” often welcoming the LGB athlete and apologizing for language used in the past.Denison also described what he called “the snowball effect” — the notion that the more LGB athletes there are who are open about their sexual orientation, the more accepted gay athletes will become in sports. As evidence for that, Denison pointed to the higher share of lesbian athletes in the U.S. who are open about their sexuality with their teammates and the fact that lesbian athletes around the world are more likely to say teams offer them a “supportive and safe environment.”Because of their visibility, LGB professional athletes are likely more influential than amateurs in getting the snowball effect rolling, but few seem comfortable speaking publicly. The survey allowed respondents to submit detailed stories about themselves — around 1,600 did so. Denison said that about three dozen of those who provided narrative accounts were professional athletes, including at least two on their respective countries’ national teams.Last year, after the professional football player Michael Sam told ESPN and The New York Times that he is gay, he said he received messages from many fellow athletes who “had the courage to tell me that they were also gay, but they do not have the same courage as I do to come out.”So far, Sam’s decision has not created a snowball effect in the U.S. — partly because there will need to be other outspoken gay athletes before the sport reaches what Denison describes as “a critical mass.”
Toledo24244328%<1%<1% UCLA2321225%1%<1% Wisconsin—18245%<1%<1% USC—20530%4%1% Iowa9122925%7%<1% Utah12152118%6%<1% Stanford1161346%19%3% Michigan1722187%6%<1% Oklahoma1516315%14%5% Clemson17756%51%12% Alabama42614%41%11% Mississippi18171020%8%2% Florida1091241%18%4% TCU84237%31%11% Read more: Our preview of this week’s college football games Oregon—2532<1%<1%<1% Penn State—2741<1%<1%<1% Oklahoma St.14111415%6%1% The first College Football Playoff rankings are out, and the selection committee ranked Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Alabama as the top four teams, in that order, worthy of the playoff were it held today. But we at FiveThirtyEight want to look into the future. Our model (outlined in the table below) simulates the rest of the season to project which teams the committee will let into the playoff when it releases its final selections on Dec. 6. It expects that Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama and TCU, in that order, are most likely to make the cut. If you want to read more about how the model works, here’s Nate Silver’s explanation of its methodology. If you just want to get to the rankings, here they are: Memphis13143621%6%<1% Florida State16131513%5%<1% Notre Dame589—25%5% Michigan State731915%22%3% Houston25233330%2%<1% LSU25822%30%8% North Carolina—262323%<1%<1% Baylor610132%31%13% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Northwestern214257<1%<1%<1% RankingProbability of … Texas A&M193016<1%<1%<1% Temple22324541%<1%<1% Ohio State31447%61%16% Mississippi St.201917<1%3%<1% Arkansas—3926<1%<1%<1%
Most reporters flocked to players like sophomore foward Jared Sullinger and senior guard William Buford during the men’s basketball team’s media day Thursday, Oct. 13. But some players were left alone, with only the occasional reporter stepping forward to ask questions. The man behind the Jordan Sibert name tag was one of the loners until finally, one reporter came up. “Hey Jordan,” the reporter said. “You mind if I ask you a few questions?” The man smiled. “Um, I’m actually J.D.,” he said. The name tag was wrong and the man who was sitting behind it was actually sophomore forward J.D. Weatherspoon, not sophomore guard Jordan Sibert. Weatherspoon hasn’t been the most recognizable face on the OSU basketball team. He joined the team last year, but was declared academically ineligible for Winter Quarter and missed much of the season. It was an experience Weatherspoon said was difficult to deal with, but his teammates never abandoned him. “They showed me so much love and they were always there to support me so that really helped,” he said. Weatherspoon was reinstated for Spring Quarter and was able to travel to OSU’s 62-60 loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 of the Men’s NCAA tournament. He’s been a full-time member of the team ever since. “It feels good being back with the team,” Weatherspoon said. “Just a minor setback for a major comeback. That’s my mindset.” This year, Weatherspoon hopes his “major comeback” will find him a spot in OSU’s rotation. Although he lost almost a year of game experience, Weatherspoon is confident he can fit in with the chemistry of the team. He’s been playing with some of his teammates since grade school. “(Sullinger and I have) been playing with each other since we were in fifth grade,” Weatherspoon said. “And then me, (sophomore guard Aaron Craft) and Jordan Sibert played AAU together with Sully, so, I mean, the chemistry was still there.” Former OSU guard David Lighty, who is now playing professional basketball in Italy, has been talking to Weatherspoon on a regular basis about the role he can play for OSU this season. Weatherspoon tries to model his game after Lighty and said he thinks he can help replace Lighty on the defensive end of the floor. “I’ve been talking to (Lighty) a lot,” Weatherspoon said. “He’s been a big brother to me as soon as I came here. We are both athletic. We play the same position, built similar. So it really helped out a lot.” Coach Thad Matta has noticed a change in Weatherspoon. He said Weatherspoon has come a long way in the past year and could definitely play a role for the team. “I think J.D. has learned maturity,” Matta said. “He’s got a very good work ethic about him. His maturity level has improved. He’s a very, very good athlete and from that perspective, he’s understanding what his role is going to be on this team. “What he needs to do is defend and rebound for us.” Who knows, maybe if Weatherspoon fills his role, they’ll give him his own name tag for media day in 2012.
It didn’t take long for Deshaun Thomas to point out the reason behind the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s 71-45 victory against Minnesota. The junior forward, known for his prowess on offense, credited the Buckeyes’ tenacious effort on the defensive end of the court. “We played great defense,” Thomas said after Wednesday night’s game. “That’s what Ohio State basketball is all about.” “Great” might be a fair way to describe the Buckeyes’ defensive performance against the Gophers. In all, OSU held Minnesota to 29 percent shooting, as the Gophers limped to their second-lowest scoring output of the season. The Buckeyes’ energized defense looked completely different from the lethargic one that was annihilated by Wisconsin the game before. In OSU’s 71-49 loss to the Badgers on Feb. 17, the Buckeyes were picked apart on the defensive end, looking unprepared and even disinterested at times. “I think against Wisconsin we were just out there, we weren’t doing our job,” said sophomore guard Shannon Scott. “This game we came out with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and we were able to feed off that.” The phrase “defense wins championships” is an age-old idiom. Whether OSU is a championship-caliber squad has yet to be determined. But one thing seems to have become clear in recent weeks, and it was confirmed against Minnesota: giving a great effort on defense helps OSU stop opponents, but such an effort also affects the Buckeyes’ ability to score. Part of OSU’s need for strong defensive efforts can be attributed to its deficiencies on offense. Though the Buckeyes have Thomas, the Big Ten’s leading scorer averaging 20.1 points per game, no other player averages double figures. So when the Buckeyes are forced to execute their offense in the half court – where defenses are able to key in on Thomas – OSU sometimes produces fairly ugly results. “They are talented, but they don’t shoot the ball well,” said former Buckeye Jerry Lucas, who was honored as one of the top 75 players in NCAA Tournament history on Wednesday. “That seems to be the thing that lacks the most in this team, they just aren’t consistent shooters.” The Buckeyes might not have the most proficient shooters, but players like Scott and sophomore forward Sam Thompson appear to thrive in fast-paced games when they can race up and down the court. Fast break opportunities seldom happen when a team is taking the ball out of the net after their opponent scores. But when a defense can get stops and steals, then they will likely also receive a chance to run. OSU did just that against Minnesota, forcing 21 turnovers and scoring 20 points in transition. “I think when our defense is really rolling, it helps our offense get going,” said Scott, whose three steals proved to be a catalyst in OSU’s ability to turn defense into offense against the Gophers. “We knew we wanted to pressure them the whole game, but we didn’t want our defense to speak for itself,” he said. “If they turned the ball over, we were going to execute off of that.” The Buckeyes will now turn their attention to a bout with No. 4 Michigan State on Sunday at 4 p.m. The Spartans (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten) beat OSU by three points earlier in the year and are a game behind Indiana for the top spot in the Big Ten standings. No. 18 OSU (19-7, 9-5 Big Ten) is in fifth place, trailing Indiana by three games. The top four teams in the conference receive a bye in the Big Ten tournament, which tips off on March 14. Despite the gravity of the upcoming game against Michigan State, Scott said the team will treat it like any other. If the Buckeyes are to pull off the upset, they will likely need to treat the Spartans with the defensive effort seen against Minnesota.