Sports

NU men’s basketball freshmen add depth, talent … hope (Video)

By Benji Cohen

Northwestern’s three freshmen are expected to have an immediate impact on the men’s basketball team.

Chris Collins plans to include Aaron Falzon, Jordan Nash and Derek Pardon as part of a 10-man rotation that can give the third-year coach the depth he lacked in his first two seasons.

Coming off back-to-back 6-12 finishes in the Big Ten, tied for 10th both times, Collins sees three players with different strengths. Together, he said, Tuesday at the team’s Media Day, the three comprise the most talented freshmen class he’s had in Evanston.

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Video: Northwestern’s Chris Collins ‘upset’ by death of mentor Flip Saunders

By Lena Blietz

Chris Collins said he “really got upset” when he learned that longtime mentor, Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders had died.

The Northwestern men’s basketball coach briefly played for Saunders when Collins attended Timberwolves training camp after college. Despite being cut, Collins and Saunders remained close throughout their coaching careers. Collins credits Saunders with teaching him some of his coaching techniques.

Collins remembers Saunders as a person who truly loved teaching and coaching the game, and refused to let the little annoyances get in his way. Saunders died from  Hodgkin’s lymphoma on Sunday.

Collins’ other mentors include his father, former Chicago Bulls coach Doug Collins; Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski; and Harvard coach Tommy Amaker.

At the Northwestern Basketball Media Day in Evanston on Tuesday, Collins and some of his players talked about the mentors and other influential people in their lives.

Northwestern’s Chris Collins talks at Northwestern Basketball Media Day on Oct. 27. (Lena Blietz/Medill)

Bulls-Cavaliers season opener: What you need to know before tip-off

By Shane Monaghan

T

he Fred Hoiberg era begins tonight, as the Bulls take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the regular season opener.

Joakim Noah is pumped. There are even rumors of an apperance by President Obama.

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Isaac scores on 2 kick returns in Loyola win over Mount Carmel

By Maddie Lee

Mount Carmel had just tied the game 7-7 when Loyola Academy kick returner Jonah Isaac caught the ball at the edge of the end zone. He saw his hole open up. He darted through it. He flew.

Touchdown.

“It was unreal,” said Isaac.

With less than two minutes left in the first half, the senior did it again. After Mount Carmel pulled within a touchdown of Loyola, Isaac scored on a 97-yard kick return. Loyola led 28-14 at halftime en route to a  49-21 home victory Saturday. The Ramblers finished the conference season undefeated.
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Cubs’ postseason run not all fun and games for South Side bar

Story by Shane Monaghan
Video by Lena Blietz

Before the final Cubs game of the season, McNally’s bartender Amanda Stratton said she was ready for the frenzy surrounding the bar’s controversial signage to be over.

“We had to take the phone off the hook for nearly a week because we were receiving so many calls,” Stratton, a manager at the Morgan Park bar, said Wednesday afternoon before the final game of the National League Championship Series between the Cubs and the New York Mets. “I am ready for it all to go away.”

McNally’s Irish pub drew the ire of many Cubs fans throughout the team’s postseason run for openly displaying anti-Cubs sentiment. Continue reading

Despite security, crimes occur along Chicago Marathon route

By Kayla Daugherty

Security was exceptionally tight along the Chicago Marathon route on Oct. 11 thanks to the combined efforts of the FBI, Illinois State and Chicago Police Department, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service.

Despite the heightened security, crimes still occurred along the route and in neighboring areas.

There were 24 crimes along the route between midnight Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday, the most common of which was theft from retailers and buildings, followed by battery (mostly domestic battery). There were single incidents of deceptive practice, narcotics, robbery and a liquor law violation. Continue reading

Mark made at Evanston, Michigan State next for Naquan Jones to tackle

By Brooke Rayford

Evanston Township’s senior defensive tackle, Naquan Jones, is looking forward to his 2016-2017 football season. Growing up in a Big-Ten town, Michigan State has always been the school of his dreams.

Jones said being a committed prospect will not keep him from finishing hard his senior season.

“When you’ve committed, you’re held to a higher standard … people know about you, that kind of puts more pressure on you and coaches expect more from you. So I just want to go out there and play as hard as I can, that is what pushes me to play as well as I do,” Jones said.

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The UFC is embracing analytics, but are the fighters?

By Nick Zazulia

HOUSTON – Hop on UFC.com during any fight and you’ll see live-tracking of strikes, knockdowns, submission attempts and time-in position figures all courtesy of Fight Metric. Log on to a fan forum or reddit’s MMA hub and you’ll find people discussing the statistical edges possessed by their favored fighters. Pop over to Amazon Books and you might purchase Fightnomics: The Hidden Numbers in Mixed Martial Arts and Why There’s No Such Thing as a Fair Fight if you fancy a read.

It looks like MMA has gone the way of MLB, with teams, managers and athletes spending portions of their training camps examining the results of quantitative analyses to maximize their game plan.

Look again. Continue reading

College commitment makes a lane for Evanston seniors to savor final season

By Maddie Lee

Naquan Jones’ mom wouldn’t stand for it anymore. She snatched his phone from his hands. Homework first. Jones could talk to college coaches later.

“I was so attached to it, with coaches calling and messaging [me],” he said. “It took me away from my school work a little bit, and even having a social life.”

The end of the recruitment frenzy allows Jones, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle for Evanston Township High School, and teammate Matt Little, a 6-4, 230-pound quarterback, to approach the rest their senior year like regular high school athletes. They have verbally committed—Jones to Michigan State and Little to Western Michigan—and plan on signing their letters of intent in early February.

Together, Jones (No. 2) and Little (No. 26) made Evanston the only Chicago-area school in Illinois with two top-30 recruits in the senior class, according to 247Sports composite ratings. Separately, when they talk about the current stage in the recruiting process, each mentioned first his relief that the chaos is over.
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Video: Northwestern men’s basketball Big Ten media day

By Benji Cohen

The Northwestern men’s basketball team is entering its third season under coach Chris Collins. Seniors Tre Demps and Alex Olah said this is the most talented they have been a part of at Northwestern. The Wildcats finished 6-12 and tied for 10th in the Big Ten Conference in each of Collins’ first two seasons. The coach and the two seniors talked about their expectations for this season recently at Big Ten Media Day.

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