18 April 2012 South Africa and Italy are to work together in tackling international criminal syndicates following the signing of an agreement on police cooperation between the two countries. The agreement covers cooperation in combating trafficking in transnational organised crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, firearm trafficking, terrorism as well as crowd management and event security. Speaking after signing the agreement with Italian Interior Minister Annamaria Cancellieri in Cape Town on Tuesday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the agreement would enable law South African and Italian enforcement agencies to work together against increasingly sophisticated global syndicates. It would also allow for the sharing of expertise and exchange of information, as well as exploration of further possible areas of cooperation. Cancellieri said the agreement paved the way for intensified collaboration in the fight against “cybercrime, organised transnational criminality, illicit drug trafficking … trafficking of migrants, arms trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism”. On the issue to terrorism, South Africa and Italy agreed to cooperate in preventing and suppressing terrorist acts in accordance with each country’s domestic law and international obligations. Both ministers agreed that the cooperation would include an ongoing exchange of information on crime and criminal organisations, as well as information relating to specialised anti-crime techniques and training. State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele and Italian Ambassador Vincenzo Schioppa were also present at Tuesday’s discussions. Source: BuaNews
Use Remote Grades is a simple but powerful feature that remains a bit hidden in Resolve’s current form. Let’s learn how to access and use it.Some Clarification First: Use Remote Grades is different than Remote Grading. Use Remote Grades allows us certain workflow shortcuts that will make grading many projects quicker. Remote Grading allows you to control a Resolve suite in another part of the world, enabling your clients to tweak from afar. In this article we’ll be talking about the former. Yes, it’s confusing that both features share the same name yet refer to two different things inside the same software.Utilizing Use Remote GradesStep One: Load a sequence. In the Color tab, right-click any shot and select Use Remote Grades. It’s important to do this at the beginning of the session before performing any grading. If you don’t, any grades you’ve performed will seem to disappear. They haven’t. You’ve just been working in the local grading mode which will not ripple to any other sequences. If you right-click a shot again and select Use Local Grades, your local work comes back.Right-click any shot in the timeline to access the remote grading feature.When you enable remote grades, the timeline changes in subtle ways. You may have gotten used to grouping clips together that share the same setup. In remote grading, some grouping has already been done for you. This may or may not be what you want based on how tightly the material was shot.For an indoor interview, you may be fine if the shooter hasn’t tweaked the exposure during the shot’s duration. If shooters were running and gunning around the set of a reality show, the grade you have for one section of a clip may not apply to another. When you want to apply different grades to shots that have been rippled together, you can unlink the dailies by creating a new version of the shot you want to treat differently.Remote grades are denoted with “(R)” below the thumbnail. You can see when several clips share the same dailies by the red box arrow icon above the shot’s thumbnail. When grading one of these clips, the thumbnails for all joined dailies update like grouped clips. I’ve used this feature for longer-form projects to reduce the number of shots needing grading.Shot 09, 10, and 11 share the same piece of media, denoted by the red arrow icon. The same grades will ripple to the other two shots when one is graded. You can tell you’re in remote mode by the “(R)” underneath the shot’s thumbnail.Remote grades can be powerful in a commercial workflow. It’s common to work on a 30-second ad and a 15-second cutdown of the same material. The client may ask you to play the :15 once the :30 has been graded. Even though both ads exist in different timelines, the grades will ripple across and the :15 will be graded and ready to play. Grouping doesn’t work across multiple timelines, so managing grades would otherwise be a manual process when addressing the cutdown.Remote grades can speed up workflow and grade management. Applying the steps found in this tutorial will allow you to focus on the more interesting creative aspects of the job. Looking for more Resolve tips and tricks? Try these links:Color Grading: Bleach Bypass Looks in DaVinci Resolve Sunkissed and Sepia Looks in DaVinci ResolveThe Isolated Color Look in DaVinci ResolveGot any obscure DaVinci workflow advice that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comment section.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, right, leaves after speaking to the media at State House in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Kenya’s electoral commission has announced it has moved the date for a fresh presidential election to Oct 26. The electoral commission had earlier set Oct 17 as the date for the fresh poll after the Supreme Court invalidated President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August re-election and ordered a rerun within 60 days. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)ACCRA, Ghana — Kenya was stripped of the right to host the 2018 African Nations Championship because of delays in its preparations and the Confederation of African Football opened a new bidding process on Sunday, giving itself just a week to find a new country.The Confederation of African Football cited “accumulated delays” in Kenya’s preparations for CHAN early next year, the continental championship for players playing in their home leagues. It’s the No. 2 tournament for national teams in Africa behind the African Cup of Nations.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary No Mercy: Lesnar retains Universal title in toughest test yet Kenya’s preparations for the 16-team tournament were already troubled before its presidential elections held in August were nullified and a re-vote was ordered. That re-vote is scheduled for next month, and the political instability has meant preparations for the soccer tournament have been further undermined.Only one of the stadiums meant to host games has been deemed ready and Kenya’s government only approved a $40 million budget to host the tournament last week, with just four months to go until kickoff.Also at its meeting Saturday, CAF decided to open a tender process to recruit an audit firm to examine Cameroon’s preparations for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, Africa’s top soccer event.Like Kenya, Cameroon’s readiness to host the Cup of Nations has been under scrutiny. CAF said it needs to examine the state of Cameroon’s “infrastructure to host the tournament,” with the 2019 Cup of Nations the first to be expanded from 16 to 24 teams.CAF president Ahmad, who goes by just one name, said that Cameroon would remain 2019 host for now.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Read Next Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Africa has had a succession of problems with host countries for its tournaments.South Africa had to step in to host the 2013 African Cup of Nations after Libya conceded it wouldn’t be able to. Equatorial Guinea took over the 2015 African Cup after Morocco withdrew over fears of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Libya again withdrew as host for this year’s edition and Gabon was given the tournament on short notice.The next three hosts for the African Cup were all decided by the former leadership of CAF: Cameroon in 2019, Ivory Coast in 2021 and Guinea in 2023.CAF was forced to re-open the bidding process for the 2020 Women’s African Cup of Nations after no bids were received on time. The 2019 under-23 African Cup was given to Egypt because it was the only country to submit a “complete” application, CAF said.The poor quality of African candidates to host soccer tournaments reflects badly on Morocco, which is challenging the joint North American bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada for the 2026 World Cup. CAF made the decision to take the tournament away from Kenya at an executive committee meeting in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday.“With an overwhelming majority of the members present, it was decided to withdraw the hosting rights of the competition from Kenya in the light of accumulated delays from reports of the various inspection missions conducted in the country, the last of which took place from 11 to 17 September 2017,” CAF said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCountries seeking to step in as replacement host must submit applications by next Sunday, said CAF, which was forced into a fast-tracked bidding process with the tournament scheduled to be played from Jan. 12-Feb. 4.Morocco, which is bidding to host the 2026 World Cup, has been touted as a possible replacement host because of its relatively established infrastructure. 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Huddersfield midfielder Hogg pleased with leadership roleby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town midfielder Jonathan Hogg is pleased with his leadership role.Hogg has stepped in as skipper when Tommy Smith has been unavailable.He told the Terrier: “Obviously when you first break into a first team and you’re a young lad it takes a bit of time to settle down because you’ve got a lot of players older than you.”The older you get, the more experienced you get – that’s what’s helped me.”The experience of being in the game for a long time compared to some of them that are coming through now allows me to take this role to a new level.”I think you need one of those players. Every team needs someone like that to keep everyone on their toes and make sure they’re doing their jobs right.”Obviously you’ve got your head coach on the sideline, but I think you need someone on the pitch who is vocal, dishes out orders and makes sure people are at it.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow recently returned to her hometown of Kennett, Missouri, to surprise the teachers at her alma mater, Kennett High School, with a $21,600 donation for classroom supplies.During an all school assembly that was featured on The TODAY Show’s “Show Heart Today” series on Feb. 8, Crow announced that she was “adopting” all of the school’s teachers through Adopt-A-Classroom with a $600 donation each. Farmers Insurance provided the financial backing as part of its Thank America’s Teacher program, which has donated more than $2 million to teachers across the country since 2014.“I know first-hand how much hard work goes into being a teacher, but I also know how big of an impact teachers have on the lives and futures of their students,” said Crow, a former teacher in St. Louis, Missouri. “Thanks to AdoptAClassroom.org and the financial support of Farmers Insurance, we were able to make a meaningful difference for the amazing teachers at Kennett High School while also showing viewers of The TODAY Show just how easy it can be to do the same for teachers in their own communities.”Representatives from AdoptAClassroom.org and Farmers Insurance joined Crow and Jenna Bush Hager, a correspondent for The TODAY Show and a former teacher, to present each teacher with an AdoptAClassroom.org gift card for $600, which is equal to the amount that, on average, teachers spend out of their own pockets each year to ensure they have the materials needed to teach their students. AdoptAClassroom.org is a national nonprofit that offers individual donors the ability to search, select and “adopt” an individual teacher, or donate to a general fund that supports teachers from higher-need schools.“Most people are shocked to hear teachers spend so much of their own money each year to equip their classrooms and students,” said Bob Thacker, executive vice president with AdoptAClassroom.org. “Thanks to the commitment of people like Sheryl, and the generosity of our corporate partners like Farmers Insurance, we adopted every teacher at Kennett High School. Our hope is to help all teachers throughout the country who still lack the resources for their students to learn and succeed.”Farmers Insurance has a long history of supporting education and partners with AdoptAClassroom.org to facilitate donations to teachers from its Thank America’s Teachers program, which launched in 2014 to rally the country to show its gratitude for America’s educators who make a difference in their classrooms, schools and communities.“We were thrilled to join Sheryl and AdoptAClassroom.org in recognizing the tremendous work of all the teachers and faculty at Kennett High School,” said Kelly LaMar, managing lead of Thank America’s Teachers for Farmers Insurance. “Any of us can think of a teacher who made a difference in our lives, but today we’re able to make a difference in the lives of 36 special teachers and inspire everyone who watched at home to do the same for teachers across the country.”To make a donation to AdoptAClassroom.org or find classrooms to adopt in your community, click AdoptAClassroom. Individuals are also invited to visit www.ThankAmericasTeachers.com to share their thank yous and to vote for their favorite teacher proposals throughout the year.
D. MertensNapoli24893515 Kane is Europe’s best pure scorerThe top goal scorers in the five major European leagues this season 1H. KaneTottenham261506123 L. SuárezBarcelona20763816 C. ImmobileLazio21753720 The stage has never been bigger for Tottenham Hotspur’s star striker Harry Kane. On Saturday, Spurs defeated Arsenal 1-0 in the North London Derby, one of the Premier League’s most storied rivalries. Now it’s off to Turin, Italy, where they’ll take on Juventus, one of Europe’s most storied clubs, in the Champions League round of 16. And there will never be a better moment than now for Kane to demonstrate, in front of the entire soccer-loving world, that he just might be the best pure striker alive.Kane won himself a place in history when he notched his 100th English Premier League goal on a controversial stoppage time penalty two weekends ago against Liverpool. It’s an incredible achievement for a player who, at 24 years old, is only just now hitting the prime years of his career. Kane is not the fastest ever to the century mark, but only Alan Shearer managed it in fewer appearances than Kane’s 141, and only Wayne Rooney, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen did it at a younger age. The milestone also just happens to come during the best season of Kane’s young career. If anything, his league-leading 23 goals undersells just how good Kane has been.The top of the Premier League scoring table is increasingly split between traditional forwards, like Kane, Sergio Aguero and Romelu Lukaku, and more hybrid attacking wingers, like Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling, which makes it difficult to define what the center forward role looks like in modern soccer. The same problem crops up around the rest of Europe. Calling Lionel Messi a center forward undersells all the things he does for Barcelona, especially considering that he’s playing next to, behind and generally all around a truer version of a center forward in Luis Suarez. At Paris-Saint Germain, Neymar might be the best attacking player in the world, but he’s also a winger while Edinson Cavani occupies the center forward position. The line between forward and winger is increasingly blurry, and a list of the most productive scorers in Europe is littered with goal-scoring wingers. But Kane still sits atop that list. I. AspasCelta Vigo22653015 S. AgüeroManchester City22883921 R. LewandowskiBayern Munich21873519 Harry Kane isn’t a complete forward. His job isn’t to facilitate play, or bring wingers into the game, or create holes in the defense for his teammates to take advantage of. Tottenham Hotspur’s star striker does one thing: He scores. But that goal scoring has Tottenham challenging for a top-four place in the Premier League and has gotten Spurs into the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Nobody scores as much while accounting for as high a percentage of their team’s scoring. He’s the ultimate scoring forward, and at only 24 years old, he’s likely to be a dominant force for years to come. 9M. IcardiInter Milan22683818 12N. FekirLyon22703816 3E. CavaniPSG23814121 17F. ThauvinMarseille25923414 2M. SalahLiverpool261034922 MarianoLyon24703214 PlayerTeamGamesTotalon goalgoals 14R. SterlingManchester City25632615 5L. MessiBarcelona231326120 *Recently transferred from Borussia DortmundThe five leagues are the English Premier League, Serie A (Italy), La Liga (Spain), Ligue 1 (France) and the Bundesliga (Germany).Source: Espn Stats & Information Group G. HiguaínJuventus23753014 Kane posts tremendous numbers in many scoring measures. Looking at goals from open play (so removing penalty shots and direct free kicks), Kane is scoring 0.8 goals per 90 minutes. That’s the third-best rate in Europe’s big five leagues,1Among players who have played at least 1000 minutes. behind only Salah and Cavani. Kane has the second-most shots per 90 from open play as well, with 5.30. Only Cristiano Ronaldo, who is mired in a terrible shooting season, takes more shots, with 5.71 per 90. Only five other players are even over four shots per game: Roma’s Edin Dzeko, Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne, Messi, Salah, and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.2In fact, if Kane stays on pace and finishes the season with more than five shots per 90 minutes, he’ll be one of only three players to do so in the last five years, joining Ronaldo (who did it four times) and Gonzalo Higuain, who managed it with Napoli in 2015/16.Kane is similarly at the top of the list when it comes to expected goals per 90 minutes. His 0.78 expected goals per 90 tracks pretty closely with his actual goals scored and is good for fifth best among players with at least 1,000 minutes, trailing only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who just transferred to Arsenal, Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City, Ronaldo and Lewandowski. The fact that Kane’s finishing is roughly in line with his expected goals is an important marker of how he has developed from last season to this year.His scoring on shots from open play actually remains essentially unchanged from last year, going from 0.81 to 0.80, but his expected goal rate last season was much lower, only 0.48. Finishing more chances than expected, as Kane did a year ago, is a real skill but it’s also almost impossible to do consistently, and players’ numbers are incredibly noisy and undergo wild fluctuations. Some of Kane’s goal scoring last season came on the types of wonderful finishes that typically fly over the bar, or on contested headers that usually glance just wide. In other words, if Kane’s current season were similar to last year, it’s very likely that his goal scoring would have gone down. Instead, Kane has upped his game, creating and taking more shots and better shots. Last season, Kane scored like a great striker, but he played like a very good one. This year, he’s both playing and scoring like one of the best in the game.The case for Kane as one of the world’s best strikers is easy to make, but once you get up into the rarified air of players like Salah, Lewandowski and Aubameyang, differentiating between them becomes difficult. Where Kane stands out is in just how big a share of the team’s workload he takes on. Again looking at shots not including penalties and direct free kicks, there are 101 players in the top five leagues who have scored seven or more goals. Harry Kane takes 32.7 percent of his team’s shots when he’s on the field — none of the other 100 players are more involved. Ronaldo is second at 32.0 percent, Messi is third at 31.4. (Ronaldo and Messi, of course, both take a large number of direct free kicks that aren’t getting counted here, while Kane gets credit for all the shots he accumulates on set plays that aren’t direct free kicks. So Kane has some advantage that comes from how we’re defining the center forward role.)Kane is similarly dominant when it comes to expected goals from these shots. When he’s on the field, he accounts for a whopping 41.7 percent of Spurs’ expected goals, the third most of this set of players. Only Antonio Sanabria of Real Betis, who is having an improbable season with seven goals in six substitute appearances, and Cristhian Stuani of the surprisingly competent Spanish side Girona are responsible for a higher percentage of their teams’ expected goals. This is the primary argument for Kane. While some players have scored more goals, and some players may have slightly higher underlying expected goals numbers, no strikers in the world have put up the gaudy numbers Kane has while accounting for as high a share of their team’s shooting and finishing. P. DybalaJuventus19753014 7NeymarPSG18823719 10R. FalcaoMonaco20593017 P. Aubameyang*Arsenal18612914 Shots F. QuagliarellaSampdoria23863817
Columbus City Council unanimously passed the construction bid for Ohio State’s new boathouse Monday.The boathouse, which will cost the university more than $5 million, will be built on the west side of the Scioto River in Duranceaux Park and be capable of accommodating the rowing team. The OSU rowing team previously used a trailer as a changing room and piled their boats in an old steel shed. The rowers will now change and store their equipment in a state-of-the-art facility.Over the summer, the latest construction bid was passed by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department Commission, and on Sept. 21, the council had its first reading of the bid, said Lynn Friedman, co-chair of Friends of Duranceaux Park.The project, which had been prolonged due to strong opposition over the past 19 months, was clearly on the minds of nearly every spectator in the gallery. Both sides were able to speak their thoughts to the council. Nearly half the spectators were young, concerned rowers.“I don’t think any of us arrived at this decision easily,” Councilman Hearsel Craig told the gallery after casting his vote. “The simple fact is that we would not have been here if we did not have concerned citizens.”The Friends of Duranceaux Park group has opposed the construction of the boathouse since the community found out about it in March of 2008. They are concerned about increased traffic and worry that the overall aesthetic of the park will be diminished. In a previous interview with The Lantern, Friedman said the new facility would be a “party house” for OSU.The group has asked OSU and the city of Columbus to consider building the boathouse on the east side of the river, and has been vocal at committee meetings, going as far as meeting with OSU Board of Trustees members this summer.“We’re very appreciative, it’s been a joint project,” said Ben Jay, senior associate athletics director for finance and operations. “More importantly, it will fulfill the mission for the Columbus Department of Recreation of Parks of moving youth rowing programs to a new facility.”OSU and the CDRP have both continued to emphasize the benefits to the community that the boathouse presents.The boathouse would allow OSU’s rowing team to be more competitive with other schools, they say. It would also provide Columbus more access to the river, better lighting and a public dock, said Mollie O’Donnell, planning director of CDRP, in a previous interview.The city of Columbus will also be able to rent out the main room of the facility for events, which will help balance the costs of maintaining the facility.“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Jay said.With contracts currently underway with Robertson Construction Services Inc., Jay hopes to have the project completed by next year. Related articles:Ohio State boathouse ignites controversyBoathouse debate surgesBoathouse delayed, will cost $561k more
CLEVELAND — First, cover Jared Sullinger; second, Jon Diebler. That was No. 8 seed George Mason’s plan, heading into its third-round matchup against No. 1 seed Ohio State. It didn’t work. OSU forward David Lighty, who GMU was praying would have an off night, ended up with a record-setting performance in his final collegiate matchup in his hometown. The future looked dim for the Buckeyes after they fell behind George Mason, 11-2, less than four minutes in. But then, after missing three of their first four shots, the Buckeyes came alive. They connected on eight of their next 10 field goal attempts, including four 3-pointers from Lighty, to take a 24-18 lead about midway through the first half. “Lighty was on fire,” GMU forward Ryan Pearson said. “He just didn’t miss.” OSU’s relentless offense continued, as it entered halftime on a 50-15 run, doubling the Patriots’ score. Lighty, a Cleveland native, led that run with 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting, including a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc. Lighty, who graduated before the matchup, ended the game on 100 percent shooting from deep, connecting on all seven 3-point attempts. His performance was the best single-tournament-game 3-point shooting without a miss in program history. “My teammates did a good job of finding me,” Lighty said. “They did spot me and gave me room to knock down shots.” OSU coach Thad Matta said he’s witnessed Lighty evolve as a player over the years. “You go back to his freshman year, I remember he made a three at North Carolina. Then he went like three months without making one,” Matta said. “For me to see the progression that he’s made as a player … I’m just excited for him.” But the fifth-year forward wasn’t the only Buckeye hitting threes that night. Diebler and junior guard William Buford added four 3-pointers apiece on 4-for-8 and 4-for-7 shooting from deep, respectively. “Every time I looked up, everybody was hitting a jumper or a three or something,” Lighty said. “Everyone was clicking on high cylinders tonight. And when that’s happening, it’s pretty hard to beat us.” The Buckeyes broke single-game program records in NCAA Tournament games for number of 3-pointers made, and 3-point shooting percentage, sinking 16 from deep on 61.5 percent shooting. They set the previous 3-point record at 12 in their win against Texas-San Antonio on Friday. Freshman point guard Aaron Craft led OSU in assists with 15, a career high for him and single-game record for a Buckeye. But, as Lighty attributed his shooting performance to his teammates’ ball placement, Craft deferred the praise to OSU’s offense. “Like most of the assists today, I mean, they knocked down threes for me,” Craft said. “That’s basically how it happened.” Every single player on OSU’s roster put up points against the Patriots on Sunday, including senior walk-on guard Eddie Days, who recorded his first and only point of his career on a free throw with 1:17 to play. “I’m so happy for Eddie and what he’s meant to this team,” Matta said. The Buckeyes (34-2) will proceed to the Sweet 16 in Newark, N.J., where they will tip off against fourth-seeded Kentucky (27-8) at 9:30 p.m. Friday. OSU proved against the Patriots that, in order to beat the Buckeyes, a team can’t focus all of its defense on two players and hope the others do poorly. “We have so many weapons,” Lighty said. “The defense pretty much has to pick their poison.”
Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. (32) flies to the hoop for a score during a game against Bryant Dec. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 86-48. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorIf the Ohio State Buckeyes felt any added pressure to recently becoming one of the top-ranked teams in the country, they certainly did not show it against Bryant University.The No. 3 Buckeyes (9-0, 0-0), led by a stellar effort from senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., dominated Bryant (6-5, 0-0) from start to finish, winning 86-48 Wednesday at the Schottenstein Center.“That was one of the things we talked about in shootaround and really coming out of the Central Connecticut State game. Trying to sustain intensity, trying to sustain effort, keep the focus on the things we need to get better at,” OSU coach Thad Matta said after the win. “I thought we did a pretty decent job with that.”Smith Jr. opened the contest by swooping to the hoop for a score on the game’s first possession, and he — and his team — never looked back.Solid ball movement, timely shooting and an advantage in size against the Bulldogs allowed OSU to shoot 53.6 percent from the field in the first half, as Smith Jr. scored 12 points in the opening 20 minutes to help his team to a 43-23 lead at the break.“As a senior, I put a lot of work into my game offensively over the summer and my confidence is off the chart,” Smith Jr. said after the win. “My teammates are able to find me wide open. A lot of teams, for some reason, teams are helping off of me and I’m able to get great looks at the basket.”Matta said he thinks the senior is “playing at a very, very high level” so far this season.“He’s a really good demeanor about him in terms of being a senior and knowing that this is kind of (his) last crack at it,” Matta said. “I love the way he’s playing right now … the fact that he’s shooting the ball the way he is makes us a better basketball team.”Each of the 10 players who saw action Wednesday night scored, as Smith Jr. and junior center Amir Williams led the way with 19 and 12 points, respectively. The Buckeyes finished shooting 52.5 percent for the game, including 40 percent from three.“We’re making great finds, we’re reading each other, we have great guards on the perimeter,” Smith Jr. said about the offensive output. “We’re able to attack the defense on every side and penetrate and kick the ball out. Our offensive shooting has increased over these past three or four games. We just want to keep rolling.”Bryant coach Tim O’Shea was not short of good things to say about OSU after the game, stating that the Buckeye team has the potential to contend for the national title.“We’re a good team, we’re going to contend for a championship in our league. They’re going to contend for a national championship,” O’Shea said. “Just athletically, they’re an extraordinary bunch … This is the best of the best. There are few teams in the country that’ll contend for the national championship legitimately and Ohio State is one of them.”The final player to enter the game for the Buckeyes was junior forward Jake Lorbach, a walk-on who hit all three shots he took from the field, punctuated by a breakaway dunk that brought a multitude of cheers from his teammates on the bench.“He works on those moves all the time in practice so we weren’t surprised when he made those shots,” junior center Amir Williams said about Lorbach after the game, then raising his hand jokingly after he and Smith Jr. were asked if they were worried about losing their starting spots. “He did look good. I got to take lessons from him from now on.”Even Matta was impressed with Lorbach’s efforts.“I’m happy for Jake, the ball went in for him. He’s been in this program now for a year and a half. Every single day he comes in, he works. Those moves that he made, he’s working them every single day,” Matta said. “That is exciting for him and it’s exciting for the guys because they know how hard he works.”From the starting five all the way to the end of the bench, the Buckeyes took care of business Wednesday.“For our guys, they had great respect for Bryant and knowing the caliber of basketball team they are. I thought we did a good job of sticking with the focus that we needed to,” Matta said.OSU is next scheduled to take on North Dakota State Saturday at 8:15 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
OSU senior forward Sam Thompson (12) attempts a layup over Purdue defenders during a game at the Schottenstein Center on March 1. OSU won, 65-61. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorOhio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta has never lost a game at home in the month of March.And he doesn’t seem to care.“We got what, one more left at home? What’s my road record, because we have one on the road before that?” Matta asked after a 65-61 comeback win over Purdue on Sunday night.The Buckeyes, despite falling behind by 12 points in the first half, polished off the comeback at home in front of 15,978 at the Schottenstein Center.The win puts OSU in a three-way tie for the fourth seed in the Big Ten Tournament, which is set to begin March 11 in Chicago. If the season was over, tiebreakers would make the Buckeyes the sixth seed in the tournament, keeping them from the double-bye rewarded to the top four teams in the conference.But with two games remaining to close out the regular season — one against Penn State on the road and the other against Wisconsin at home — Matta said he hasn’t paid any attention to where his team is seeded.“For a million dollars, I couldn’t tell you who we are in a tie with, that’s how much I follow it,” Matta said. “I’ll be honest with you, 15 years as a head coach, I’ve never thought about the conference tournament and I won’t think about it till Sunday when the season is over. My focus is on getting these guys ready to go on Wednesday night.”While Matta might not know, OSU is in a tie with the Michigan State Spartans and Iowa Hawkeyes. The Buckeyes put up a combined 0-3 record against the two teams this season.However, Matta said coming back to beat Purdue on its home floor was a big step in the right direction heading into the home stretch.“You’ve got to find ways to win basketball games, you have to make plays, and I think guys did a good job of that,” Matta said. “We were fortunate to get back in it.”Playing a huge part in Sunday’s win was freshman guard D’Angelo Russell, who said he is excited about the way the Buckeyes are playing as they close out the regular season.“I could get used to this. This is great. Coach preached in shootaround, ‘It’s March, and it’s here,’” Russell said. “Every win counts and any win can trigger a run, and just getting this win on our home court is great going down to Penn State.”Senior forward Sam Thompson, who scored nine of his 14 points in the second half in the win over Purdue, agreed with his younger teammate.“This is the type of win we need to get, especially in the month of March,” Thompson said. “This is a step in the right direction, so we need to have a good day of practice and take care of business on Wednesday.”The Buckeyes defeated the Nittany Lions on Feb. 11 by 20 points at home, but fell in State College, Pa., last season, 65-63, marking Matta’s second loss to Penn State in his career at OSU.After the one-game road trip, the Buckeyes are set to return home for senior day and take on Wisconsin on Sunday. The Badgers currently sit at No. 5 in the country and have lost just two Big Ten games this season, against Maryland and Rutgers.Russell, who has not yet experienced March Madness, perhaps summarized the Buckeyes’ position in one sentence as he left the postgame podium.“We’re making our strides forward, and there’s no room to go backwards,” he said.