Two undefeated teams tipped off at the Galen Center on Sunday: the No. 16 Texas A&M Aggies (5-0) and the No. 10 Trojans (4-0). The matchup was heralded as USC’s biggest non-conference test, a rematch against an Aggies team that returned all its starters from a year ago and added five more scholarship players. Last year, the Trojans won in College Station 65-63 after some last-second De’Anthony Melton heroics. This year, the hero sat out due to eligibility questions (he has yet to play this season), and USC missed him sorely throughout in a 75-59 loss.“It was a little different (without) De’Anthony,” head coach Andy Enfield said. “He played great last year. We just didn’t play as well as they did.”The game was supposed to be a barometer for the two teams, both national championship contenders, but USC, despite being the higher-ranked team, looked like David facing Goliath — if David forgot his slingshot.“I thought our defense was good enough to win,” Enfield said. “Our offense was not.”The Trojans trailed for most of the game, but they managed to square the score at 42 with 14:15 to play in the second half. Then, Texas A&M embarked on a 19-3 run over the next 7:41 that sucked the energy out of the Galen Center. With 8:34 remaining and the Trojans trailing by 16, Enfield called a full timeout. The team initially responded well; junior forward Bennie Boatwright, still scoreless, notched 5 points in under a minute. Then, senior guard Jordan McLaughlin pocketed a 3-pointer to cut the Aggies lead to 10. The score was 63-53 with seven minutes to play with plenty of time for a comeback. But the Trojans could not shoot well enough to overcome another deficit. For the game, USC shot 20-of-71 (28.2 percent) and 7-of-27 (25.9 percent) from 3-point range. Enfield said it was the worst shooting performance a USC team has had in his five years with the program.“It just deflates you,” Enfield said about missing so many shots. “We kept missing easy shots — shots the that we normally make.” McLaughlin, the captain, kept urging his teammates to shoot, but nothing was falling. “We know we have a lot of fight in us,” he said, “(but) it kind of was a little deflating.”Texas A&M’s length interfered with the Trojans’ offense. The Aggies, anchored by reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year center Robert Williams, blocked seven shots and disrupted several more plays at the rim. McLaughlin thought he missed a few floaters he otherwise would have made against a team with shorter players. USC, which has four starters who average double-digit points, is supposed to be built to win these sorts of contests. When one player goes cold, another player is expected to heat up. Against a team with great post-defense, the Trojans are supposed to compensate with more 3-pointer makes. Yet, on Sunday, every starter struggled and the offense was ice cold. Sophomore forward Nick Rakocevic did his best to spark the team off the bench — in 12 minutes in the first half, he had 11 points and six rebounds, but in the second half, he did not score.“Everyone just needs to do their job,” McLaughlin said. “Tonight, Nick did his job.” But, for USC, not enough players did.
The Blast Pro Series will return to Copenhagen’s Royal Arena in November 2018. While CS:GO team Astralis has been confirmed as the first team to join the series.The series has also secured a partnership with TV 2 Denmark to broadcast all BLAST Pro Series events in 2018.CEO and Founder of RFRSH Entertainment, Nikolaj Nyholm, had this to say: “Our goal with BLAST Pro Series is to create the most important and interesting esports tournament from a live perspective, the viewer experience and for everything we create around the events and tournament.”“We are constantly developing the tournament and digital content around it and working with a national broadcaster and digital powerhouse and provider like TV 2 is yet another step in reaching our ambitions to develop and present the best and most engaging esports product out there!”TV 2, a Danish-based subscription channel will host the event on national TV. TV2 Sport, Editor in Chief, Allan Hvid had this to say about the move:”Esport and Counter-Strike is already an established media product, and it is no longer a matter of teaching the viewers or explaining the game to the audience. We strongly believe in the product and the format of BLAST Pro Series, and we will be bringing the Danish audience full coverage on both our Flow TV Channel and digitally. “Talking about how the Pro Series will differ from traditional sports coverage he said: “We’re going to treat the product the same way as any other competitive entertainment and sports; with the same professional standards, respect and level of entertainment as any other major production. We are looking very much forward to including BLAST Pro Series in our portfolio of content and to present esports at it’s best.”Esports Insider Says: BLAST Pro Series clearly feels at home in Copenhagen so it’s great to see it return. The Royal Arena is a great venue for esports and the TV 2 deal will get more esports events into more homes, which is never a bad move.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares November 18, 2014; St. Louis Post-DispatchThree hundred people applied to be on the “Ferguson Commission” created by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to do something—what, exactly, isn’t clear—about the social and economic conditions that have been linked to the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and the subsequent protests against Ferguson’s nearly all-white government and police departments, the militarized police response to the protests, and perhaps the cluelessness of some of the region’s political leaders about the racial tensions occurring under their noses.Yesterday, Nixon swore in the 16 people he selected for the commission:Source: St. Louis Post-DispatchThe Post-Dispatch provided the list of members, as well as excerpts from their statements of why they wanted to serve:Rev. Starsky Wilson (@ReverendStarsky), co-chair of the commission, president and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation: “The work of this commission aligns with the work of Deaconess Foundation, which I lead, to advance the health of the region and its people through effective alignment of philanthropic, social service and governmental resources and policies.” Rev. Wilson, as readers may remember, was one of a group of national foundation leaders who issued a statement recently to government officials on how to respond to protests in the wake of a grand jury decision.Rich McClure, co-chair of the commission, former president of UniGroup, chair of the St. Louis Regional Board of Teach for America: “I am deeply committed to making St. Louis a stronger and fairer place for all”Rev. Traci deVon Blackmon, pastor, Christ the King United Church of Christ; coordinator of faith-based initiatives for BJC HealthCare: “I believe in the inherent good of all people and, although there are many systemic and structural challenges that must be addressed, commitment, collaboration, and authentic conversation will lead us toward the Ferguson that some residents experience and other residents only imagine.”Daniel Isom, director, Missouri Department of Public Safety, former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department chief: “As a former police officer, police chief, father, and lifelong resident of this area, I want to make sure we seize this opportunity to make St. Louis a better place for everyone to live and achieve their dreams.”Scott Negwer, president, Negwer Material: “I am passionate about enabling those who are disadvantaged to succeed, and I am passionate about the well-being of North County.”Bethany A. Johnson-Javois, CEO, St. Louis Integrated Health Network: “Bottom line, it’s time to address the systemic inequities in our municipalities, in our region and in our great state.”Gabriel E. Gore, partner, Dowd Bennett: “My hope is that the end result of the events that have led to the recent social unrest in our community will be that we grow stronger and more connected as a community.”Brittany N. Packnett (@MsPackyetti), executive director, Teach for America in St. Louis: “Since August 9th, I have worked to intensively listen to the needs of the community, especially our students and young people, to represent their voice and our collective truth through multiple outlets to establish tactical solutions like Teach For Ferguson, and to coordinate peaceful protests to promote the value of our children’s lives.”Rose A. Windmiller, assistant vice chancellor, government and community relations at Washington University: “The question we must face is this: are we actively engaged with members of our community who are, by virtue of visible and invisible barriers, less able to take full advantage of the educational, healthcare and economic benefits that many of us accept as standard?”Rasheen Aldridge Jr. (@SheenBean32), student, Forest Park Community College; director, Young Activist United St. Louis; student co-chair on Missouri Jobs with Justice: “I want to get to the root of the issues in Ferguson, Shaw and the whole city on why individuals feel like they are targets to the police and the whole system…I work with all different ages, races and religions and understand the importance of how all people work and play together. I hope with the Commission we will be able to solve and come up with real solutions of the problems that are affecting people of all colors and how to make St. Louis a place that people love and feel like they belong in their own city.”Grayling Tobias (@GraylingTobias), superintendent, Hazelwood School District: “This situation is more than just about North St. Louis County, it is about improving relations between all races, creeds ethnic and social economic backgrounds.”Becky James-Hatter (@BeckJamesHatte), president and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri: “(W)ith courage, fair minds and persistence, we can face our region’s toughest challenges, build more trusting relationships and ensure greater opportunities for our children, teens and young adults”Felicia Pulliam, Development director, FOCUS, the region’s executive leadership program: “I am not one of the usual participants, whose perspectives and agendas are recycled over and again in nearly every situation.”Kevin Ahlbrand, 31-year veteran St. Louis police officer and deputy commander of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis: “I look forward to being part of the process to identify issues and seek solutions which will build trust and bring our communities and law enforcement closer together in our efforts to keep our citizens safe.”Patrick Sly, Manager, Emerson Charitable Trust: “I want to join the Ferguson Commission to help support and heal the community and to represent Emerson which has a vested interest in supporting our ‘home town.’”T.R. Carr, Professor and former chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, former mayor of Hazelwood: “It is important to effectively communicate with the law enforcement community as strategies are developed for this region. I can help serve as a bridge in this area.”It may be due to the excerpts chosen for publication by the Post-Dispatch, but the printed statements of the members other than Aldridge, the obviously youngest member of the commission, don’t specifically address race as one of the underlying issues to be understood and confronted. The statements from Windmiller and Johnson-Javois suggest that the inequities that some people in metropolitan St. Louis experience aren’t simply happenstance, but systemic, and both overt and covert in their causes. Their comments also suggest an awareness of the structural racism issues that were reflected in the Ferguson dynamics.We’ve included in this newswire some of the Twitter handles for members of the commission, which we presume that the Post-Dispatch printed so that its readers could reach out to them with ideas and suggestions. We suggest the same: Tweet these members and tweet NPQ as well (@NPQuarterly) to let them and us know what you think the commission could and should do.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares