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Young scores 26 as Wizards halt eight-game skid

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall took a jet-setter’s trip to Lexington, Ky., and brought home some of that UK winning magic.
Nick Young got all flashy with a pair of highlight dunks, and JaVale McGee got the better of his head-to-head with Andrew
Bogut.

The
Washington Wizards
were finally winners again Wednesday night, snapping an eight-game skid with a 100-85 victory over the
Milwaukee Bucks
.

Wall had 15 points, six assists and seven rebounds one night after returning to his old school to watch Kentucky beat Tennessee.
Wall left Washington after Tuesday’s practice, sat courtside, got a standing ovation, spoke to the Wildcats in the locker
room, flew back home and tucked himself in at his usual wee-hours time.

“Seeing them play hard and seeing them win might have brought some excitement for me today,” Wall said. “I usually go to bed
about 2 or 3 (a.m.). I know some people were probably concerned and saying I might be tired or I shouldn’t have went to the
game, but I think I got back at a reasonable time. That’s the time I usually go to sleep. I took me a nap today. That’s the
thing I usually do.”

Young scored 26 points, McGee had 16 points and 17 rebounds, and Cartier Martin hit a career-high five 3-pointers and finished
with 15 points. The Wizards took the lead 5 minutes into the game and never lost it, leading by double digits for nearly the
entire second half.

The win kept Washington with a winning record at home (14-12), a welcome contrast to the team’s 0-25 mark on the road. The
Wizards have one more game in the homestand before they put their dubious streak on the line in a much-anticipated – at least
from a painful-to-watch standpoint – visit to last-place Cleveland on Sunday.

“We really need these wins,” McGee said, “so we can go on the road and get some wins, too.”

Young had a flying one-handed baseline dunk in the first half and scored 11 points in the 16-4 run that gave the Wizards a
20-point lead early in the third quarter. Among the highlights: Young picked off a pass, tossed the ball to Wall, then received
an alley-opp pass back from the rookie to finish off the fast break with another one-handed jam.

So which was his favorite?

“I’m going to say the flying one-hand,” Young said. “I haven’t done one of the those in a while.”

Brandon Jennings scored 20 points to lead the Bucks, who have lost five of six and fell 2 1/2 games behind the eighth and
final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee was hoping to build some momentum after a home win over Toronto on
Tuesday, but, as coach Scott Skiles said before the game: “We haven’t done a good enough job this year of beating teams around
or below our own record.”

“We needed this win tonight. It’s important for us to beat these teams that we’re capable of beating,” said Corey Maggette,
who scored 10 points. “We took a step back.”

McGee had his first double-double since Jan. 24, pulling down more rebounds than in his last four games combined (12) and
getting in the last word against Bogut. Bogut scored eight of Milwaukee’s first 10 points, but didn’t score again until 2
1/2 minutes to play in the game.

The Bucks were also outrebounded 51-39 and made only 5 of 12 free throws.

“They pretty much dominated us all over the floor,” Skiles said. “They outrebounded us. They went 10 for 16 from three. We
couldn’t get to the line. When we did, we couldn’t make our free throws. We tried to hang in there, but we just couldn’t.”

The Bucks are finally getting healthy after a season filled with injuries, but it’s going to take a while before everyone’s
back to form.

“I’m still struggling with my outside shot – no legs, a little bit – but just trying to get to the basket to do what I can,”
said Jennings, who was only 1 for 6 from 3-point range in his seventh game back from a broken foot.

Meanwhile, the Wizards were having fun, despite being undermanned in the frontcourt. Even guard Kirk Hinrich had a rare highlight
block, rejecting John Salmons’ drive into the seats. Hinrich has only seven blocks on the season.

The Wizards dressed only 10 players, and all the missing notables were forwards: Al Thornton (dislocated right middle finger),
Yi Jianlian (sprained left ankle) and Josh Howard (sore left knee). In addition Rashard Lewis played with stiffness in his
right knee and scored only three points in 29 minutes.

Several Washington played credited the win to a feisty attitude recently at practice.

“It’s been very competitive, a lot of guys getting into arguments, really just competing,” McGee said.

So who wins the arguments?

“Whoever’s right.”

Notes: Milwaukee F Chris Douglas-Roberts was suffering from an illness and did not play until the final 1:10. … Bucks F-C
Larry Sanders sat out with back spasms.

Continue reading here: Young scores 26 as Wizards halt eight-game skid

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Won’t Hire Nannies For Twins

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Won’t Hire Nannies For Twins

Thursday February 10, 2011

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Won’t Hire Nannies For TwinsMARIAH Carey and Nick Cannon don’t plan to hire nannies to help them look after their babies.

The couple — who are expecting twins together, a boy and a girl, later this year — plan to be hands-on parents.

“Nah. We’re not for all of the nannies and stuff,” Nick told America’s In Touch Weekly magazine.

“Nothing against anyone who is, but my wife wants to be as hands-on as possible.”

Nick recently revealed that Mariah has come up with a unique way to deal with her pregnancy cravings.

“I think she’s figured out brilliantly that when she craves stuff she doesn’t necessarily have to eat it,” he said.

“When she cooks, she cooks everything from scratch and then the cravings go away. So I get stuck with eating all the food. I’ll be gaining weight during this pregnancy.”

Nick, 30, also revealed he is in awe of his wife and admitted she is handling expectant parenthood much better than he is.

“She’s holding up beautifully,” he said. “To see this strength! It’s a different type of strength to carry around two babies. She’s not even concerned with her aches and pains which I’m sure are great. She’s so nurturing right now. It’s wonderful. It’s amazing to see.

“I’m extremely excited about bringing new life into the world. It’s a journey every single day. It’s something new. I’m nervous. I’m excited. We’re just taking it one day at a time.”

Tags: mariah carey, nick cannon

Continue reading here: Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Won’t Hire Nannies For Twins

Lindsay Lohan Pleads Not Guilty At Arraignment, Bail Set At $40,000

Lindsay Lohan Pleads Not Guilty At Arraignment, Bail Set At $40,000

Lindsay Lohan showed up to court today for her arraignment on charged of felony grand theft wearing a blinding white, up-to-there mini-dress, seemingly confident that she would post bail of $20,000 for the theft charges against her and go from court to, who knows, H-Wood or wherever. Lohan pleaded not guilty to the charges against her for theft of a necklace from a Los Angeles jewelry store, but she might get jail time for violating parole even if she swings a plea bargain. The judge in the case, Judge Keith Schwartz, told Lindsay somewhat harshly that now that she faced a felony, things were about to get a whole lot more serious. “You’re in a different situation now that a felony has been filed against you,” he told her. “If you violate the law, I will remand you and set no bail and your attorney won’t be successful this time. … You need to follow the laws just like everybody else … You’re no different than anyone else, so please don’t push your luck.” Lindsay undoubtedly had some choice words for the judge; she just couldn’t fit them all on her nails.

Lohan was also ordered by Deputy D.A. Danette Meyers not to come into contact with the store after the store owners reported that they received flowers from Lohan after the incident. Uhh, this is the law, not the prom, Lindsay. What? “A good probationer doesn’t pick up a new case,” Meyers snarked when Lohan’s lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley mentioned Lindsay had been dutifully reporting to her probation officer. According to the LA Times Lohan’s bail was eventually set at $40,000 ($20,000 for the felony charge and $20,000 for violating parole) and she was remanded into custody. Even after she posts bail, she’ll have to return to court on February 23. Ugh, think of all the extra necklaces she’s going to have to steal now to make up the difference! We mean…

[Photo: Splash News Online]

Continue reading here: Lindsay Lohan Pleads Not Guilty At Arraignment, Bail Set At $40,000

‘Bag: UNC-Duke, Jimmer and the bubble – ESPN (blog)

Each Wednesday, your humble college basketball hoops blogger (er, me) will respond to your questions, comments and nonsensical rants in this here Hoopsbag. To submit a query, visit this page by clicking the link under my name in the upper righthand corner of the blog. You can also e-mail me or send me your entries via Twitter or Facebook. Per the usual, we begin in video form.

Grant Christensen from Tulsa writes: Jimmer puts his shorts on just like the rest of us: one leg at a time. Except once his shorts are on, he breaks records.

Suzanne from Provo writes: I KNEW you’d get that Jimmer Facebook thread on the blog. Good to see your man-crush is still going strong.

Peter from Orange County writes: Eamonn, excellent work in making the world aware of BYU’s recent Jimmer-gate. I’ve also just spent the last 15 minutes of my life busting a gut over that Facebook thread, and if I had another 30 minutes to spare, you know how I’d spend it. The best part is, the casual non-LDS and non-BYU-alumni reader probably doesn’t even get a third of those jokes. So imagine how over-the-top hilarious it is to those of us who’ve lived where the Jimmer now liveth. Epic. Thanks again.

Eamonn Brennan writes: Believe it or not, BYU fans are still keeping JimmerThread 2011 going strong. The comments on this post — which explains the whole JimmerThread thing in the first place, in case you missed it — are still coming in, and plenty of people like Grant have assaulted my inbox with Jimmer-related facts, scripture passages, and other various forms of cheery fun.

For now, I’m going to let the JimmerThread die; there’s nothing worse than keeping an Internet joke running a day too long. But I just want to congratulate everyone on a truly hilarious and altogether well-handled Internet mini-meme. It remains truly impressive how non-obscene and non-threatening all of those Facebook messages were, especially considering the vitriol you’ll find on any college hoops message board or comment section pretty much anywhere else on the web. BYU fans get this week’s gold star. Great stuff, kids.

And now, on to the more bubbly portions of the Hoopsbag. I have a feeling this is going to become a theme.


Chris Hill from Greensboro, N.C., writes: Liked your article about the “soft-bubble” today. Michigan is a team that has an easy schedule this week and should merit being added to your list if they can get two wins. Darius Morris is turning into a bonafide star and Tim Hardaway Jr. is going to make people forget about his Dad before all is said and done. My question: If Michigan closes with an 8-10 conference record and gets at least one victory in the Big Ten tourney, will their two close losses to OSU, three-point loss to Syracuse and OT loss to Kansas figure into the selection process? Go Blue!

Brennan writes: Chris, I don’t really disagree with you on any of your assessments: Darius Morris is having a great season, and Tim Hardaway Jr. certainly looks promising. (Though his unfortunately intolerant dad was really, really, REALLY good at basketball. Let’s not forget that.) But I’m not sure two wins this week (over Northwestern and Indiana) gets Michigan fully into the bubble picture. A 6-7 record in the Big Ten is fine, but it’s not great. Nor do I think an 8-10 record in the league would be all that impressive to the committee, and having your only top 50 RPI win come against the Michigan State Spartans doesn’t help much either. The Wolverines aren’t dead by any means, but they have a lot of work to do before they merit bubble consideration.

As for those losses: maybe. It really just depends on the committee. If they consider those games to be accurate predictors of Michigan’s true ability, then, sure, perhaps the committee takes them as a sign Michigan is better than its rsum. But I tend to doubt it. Best thing Michigan can do is win — not play close, but win — their remaining marquee opportunities and hope to ride the soft bubble into contention. But I have my doubts.


William Williams from Nashville writes: Eamonn, just read your piece on mid-major teams that may not make the tourney. I continue to be puzzled why some sports writers refer to Memphis as a “mid-major.” Other than its non-BCS league affiliation, the program is major in every way: recruiting budget, attendance, facilities, players sent to the NBA, post-season success. It just seems that with some in the media, conference affiliation alone dictates if a program is “high-major.” With this approach, Northwestern and Oregon State hoops, for example, have been more “major” over the years than have Memphis hoops. Yes, I’m a Memphis fan, so I am a big thin-skinned about this topic.

Brennan: No, William, you’re right. Memphis isn’t a mid-major. I was wrong to refer to them indirectly as such in Bubble Watch; the point was that they were a non-power six conference team that, like many of the true mid-majors out there, were struggling to get an at-large spot and helped create this interesting bubble dynamic we’ve got going on right now. But no. Memphis is not a mid-major. Being a mid-major is about money, and the Tigers have plenty of that.


Thom Farr from South Williamsport, Penn. writes: The CAA, MVC, A-10, C-USA, and MWC certainly deserve multiple bids ahead of the 4th, 5th, 6th place teams from the Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, and PAC 10 this season. Their selection makes for a far better tournament with significant impetus to show the world how good these teams are.

Brennan: I’m all for more mid-majors in the NCAA tournament. I love me some mid-majors. But two issues here. One: The Missouri Valley and C-USA don’t, at this point, deserve more than one bid. None of the teams in either conference have performed well enough outside their leagues to warrant that sort of special at-large consideration. To me, both leagues are one-bid unless something changes in the coming weeks. But the rest of the leagues you mention likely deserve multiple bids, yes.

And two: The impetus thing smells fishy to me. Doesn’t every tournament team want to win? Don’t they all want to show the world how good they are? That’s a universal quality; it certainly isn’t exclusive to teams from mid-major conferences.


Pat in Cincinnati writes: As a Cincinnati fan, I have a question regarding how much you think strength of schedule factors into a team’s RPI and ultimate chances of making the tournament. For example, how much better would UC look if they went 15-0 against teams with RPI in the 150-200 range as opposed to the 300+ RPI teams they played? Seems like they could have gotten the same results without sandbagging so much.

Brennan: The RPI is, by its very definition, a measure of both strength of schedule and how you performed against that schedule. So, yes, if Cincinnati had a better nonconference schedule, its RPI would certainly have improved, and it could probably still have gotten the high nonconference win totals that put it in the NCAA tournament discussion in the first place. (You’ve seen teams get smarter and smarter about this recently, scheduling games against teams that almost are certain wins, but also aren’t sub-200 RPI squads that could eventually drag down an overall RPI figure. John Calipari has been especially good at this in recent seasons.)

Some of Cincinnati’s scheduling woes aren’t really its fault. When it was scheduled, the Oklahoma game in Oklahoma City probably looked like a pretty good nonconference test. But the Bearcats also have a load of patsies on their nonconference slate, which itself makes a certain amount of sense: Why not get as many wins as you can before the Big East meat-grinder chops you up? The only problem is that Cincinnati now has to perform well in that meat-grinder to stay in bubble contention. And even then, that nonconference RPI and SOS could really end up hurting its chances. But it also depends on the committee’s specific whims and, like we’ve said a thousand times already, this bubble is nice and soft.


Adam from Chicago writes: Call me an overly hopeful fan, but I’m confused as to why Northwestern is not even a long shot for an NCAA bid. If NU can pick up one road win (not unfeasible, since they’ve got Michigan, Penn State and Indiana left) and win home games (also feasible: Iowa, Penn State, Minnesota), the ‘Cats are 8-8 in the conference (according to your stats folks, the second best conference). A couple of wins in the Big Ten tourney and it’s a 20-win season (also not out of the question if John Shurna stays healthy). Sure, another quality win or two is a must, but the way some of these bubble teams are playing lately … shouldn’t we at least remain in the discussion? Penn State and Michigan State are still clinging to the bubble and they barely have winning records.

Brennan: Adam, if there’s one thing the Hoopsbag loves, it’s overly hopeful fans. Never lose your childlike sense of wonder and optimism, sir.

That said, don’t lose sight of reality, either. Keep in mind that a 20-win season means nothing to the NCAA tournament committee these days. It is the Latin of bubble languages. The committee doesn’t use it anymore.

Second, the difference between Penn State, Michigan State and Northwestern right now is that Penn State and Michigan State actually have some quality wins to their name. Northwestern doesn’t. A home win over Illinois last weekend is their best victory. Fortunately, there are no bad losses on that rsum, either, but with such a low RPI (No. 76) and strength of schedule (No. 86), Northwestern would almost have to win out or take down Wisconsin in Madison to get anywhere near bubble consideration going forward. The Wildcats scheduled horribly in the nonconference this season and put all their faith in their ability to finish the job in the Big Ten season. That hasn’t happened so far.

Let’s just say this: It will be very, very difficult for Northwestern to get in the tournament. If they win, say, six of their last seven, then the chances are much better. But they’d still be borderline. Make sense?


Nate in Kansas City writes: I suspected that K-State was overrated this year inspite of being a big fan, but I never thought they would be much closer to the bottom of the Big 12 than the top. I agree that off the court issues are a problem, but what could have happened to make their on the court play this frustrating?

Brennan: I think you have to look at the loss of Denis Clemente as one of the main factors here. The Wildcats still defend and rebound pretty well. What they’re missing is last year’s exciting, uptempo offense, an offense that was largely initiated by Clemente in the fast break. I thought Jacob Pullen was more than skilled enough to play that combo-role this season, but he hasn’t been able to get his offense going, and that’s hurt the Wildcats on the floor. Throw in all the confusion and off-court nonsense, and it’s no wonder this team is barely clinging to a bubble spot on Feb. 9.


Jason Steed from Raleigh writes: NC State Coach Sydney Lowe is on his way out the door. I think that’s pretty obvious. Who do you think State should start looking at to replace him?

Brennan: As much as I’m loathe to bury a coach before he gets the pink slip, I think it’s pretty fair to argue that Sidney Lowe is probably done after this season. This year’s recruiting class probably saved his job last season, but this year has been a massive disappointment, especially in recent ACC play, where the Wolfpack have lost seven of their last eight by an average margin of 14 points. Ugly stuff.

In terms of a replacement, I thought Andy Katz and Doug Gottlieb made a good point on their ESPNU College Basketball podcast this week. The NC State job is a tricky one right now. For one, you have the very high expectations of the fan base to contend with. For better or worse (and why shouldn’t fans expect their team to win?) that sort of pressure-cooker can scare prospective coaches off. So can the notion of competing for players and wins with the likes of Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski. Given all that, it seems likely that NC State is going to struggle to land a really sexy hire this season. If you were a hot name coach, and you were looking up and down the college hoops landscape, would you want to tangle at NC State right now? You might. After all, you can win at NC State. But even if you’re ambitious, as long as you already have a good gig, you might be inclined to wait a few years and see what else pops up.

Continue reading here: ‘Bag: UNC-Duke, Jimmer and the bubble – ESPN (blog)


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