James Harden’s 41 helps Rockets beat Thunder

first_imgIs Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Houston trailed by 4 after two free throws by George late in the third, but the Rockets scored the next six points, capped by a 3 from Harden, to take an 86-84 lead with less than a minute left in the quarter.The Thunder led 88-86 entering the fourth.TIP-INSThunder: Westbrook received a technical in the second quarter for yelling at an official when he thought he was fouled on a 3-point attempt. … Steven Adams had 17 points and seven rebounds. … The Thunder made nine of 30 3-pointers.Rockets: Rivers scored 10 in his Houston debut. … James Ennis missed his seventh straight game with a strained right hamstring. … Gordon had 17 points.THEY SAID ITCapela on his big rebounding day: “I just told my teammates I had to make a statement that we are going to win the rebound battle.”UP NEXTThunder: Visit Phoenix on Friday night.Rockets: Host Boston on Thursday night. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid Harden has scored 30 points or more in a career-high seven games in a row, marking the first time a player has done that since Russell Westbrook had eight consecutive 30-point games in November 2016. He has scored at least 35 in his last five, which is the longest such streak since Carmelo Anthony did it in six games in April 2013.The Rockets won just one of their first six games this season and were 11-14 after a three-game skid in early December. Since then, powered by Harden’s dominance, Houston has lost just once to improve to 18-15 and move a season-high three games above .500.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief“We’ve had that confidence all year,” Harden said. “Our record isn’t where we want it to be, but it’s getting there. And we’ve got to continue to work hard every day, continue to get better and grow. We’re preparing for a postseason. We’re not going to be at our tip top right now.”A 3-pointer by Paul George with less than two minutes left got Oklahoma City within 4 before Harden missed a 3. Westbrook missed a shot for the Thunder, but George stole the ball from Harden and was fouled by him. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Kyrie Irving scores 40, leads Celtics’ win over Sixers SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviñocenter_img MOST READ TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening “We’ve got a lot of guys playing at a high level right now,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “So many guys contributed (Tuesday).Clint Capela had 16 points and tied a season high with 23 rebounds.The Rockets were up by 6 with about four minutes left when Rivers, whom they signed on Monday, hit a 3-pointer to make it 107-98.Grant scored five straight points for the Thunder, highlighted by a 3-pointer, to get Oklahoma City to within 107-103, but Rivers made another 3 to push the lead to 7 with two minutes left.“Everybody here has welcomed me so it has been a very easy transition,” Rivers said. “So my whole focus has just been to play hard and just try to help them in any way I can.”Houston had a 1-point lead in the fourth when Harden re-entered the game and found Capela on consecutive possessions for dunks to make it 100-95. Eric Gordon had a layup seconds later to push the lead to 7.Harden continued the run after the timeout with a driving jump shot before the Thunder scored their first basket in more than three minutes on a layup by Grant to cut the lead to 104-97.The Thunder were up by 8 at halftime, but Houston scored the first eight points of the second half to tie it at 60 with about nine minutes remaining in the third quarter. Danuel House and P.J. Tucker made 3s in that stretch to lead the Rockets.Oklahoma City was up by 2 later in the third when the Rockets scored five quick points with a 3 from Harden to take a 73-70 lead.But George hit a 3 for the Thunder soon after that to tie it up again. That basket started a 10-2 run for Oklahoma City, which included another 3 from George that made it 80-75 with about three minutes left in the third. Houston Rockets guard James Harden, right, dribbles as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, in Houston. Houston won 113-109. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden is on a roll and it’s helping the Houston Rockets get on track after their terrible start to the season.Harden scored 41 points and the Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 on Tuesday for their seventh win in the last eight games.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. George made both free throws to get the Thunder within 2 with 43.6 seconds left. Harden then drove past George and into the lane for a layup to make it 112-108 with 20.4 seconds left.Westbrook made 1 of 2 free throws to cut it to 3 with 15 seconds left, and Austin Rivers made a free throw with 7.4 seconds left to secure the win.George had 28 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder, and Westbrook added 21 points with nine rebounds and nine assists.“We had some bad bounces which got them a couple of extra possessions which got them some open 3s,” George said.Harden became the first player to score 40 or more points on Christmas since Kevin Durant had 44 for the Thunder in 2010. Harden’s latest big game came as the Rockets played without Chris Paul, who missed his second straight game with a strained left hamstring. The 9-time All-Star is out for at least the next two weeks with the injury suffered Thursday night.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Analysis: NBA Finals will decide a champion, and much more

first_imgIt ALL comes down to this.The next four, five, six or seven games of the NBA Finals between Golden State and Toronto will not only decide the 2019 championship, but how this series plays out is inevitably going to affect how free agency unfolds starting in a month or so.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting So it’s not just a ripple effect.The finals may create a tsunami.“The latest I’ve heard from our basketball operations group is that, I believe, 40% of our players are going to be free agents this summer,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at All-Star weekend in February. “So it’s two sides of the coin. Some people could say, ‘Oh my God, look at all that player movement.’ On the other hand, that player movement could be very positive for a lot of teams.”Maybe, maybe not.If the Warriors win this series, as the oddsmakers in Las Vegas expect, it’ll be a third consecutive championship for Golden State — and some history. The Celtics, Lakers and Bulls are the only franchises to win three or more in a row. And out of that group, only the Celtics have won four in a row (eight, actually). Michael Jordan never did. Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant never did.That would be the obvious recruiting pitch the Warriors would make to Durant and Thompson: “Come back and try to win No. 4. Come back and try to do something that very few players have done and something no one has done in a half-century.” That lure would undoubtedly be strong. But if they lose this series, it would seem much easier for either player to say it’s been a great run and it’s time to go play somewhere else.If Durant stays, then the Knicks, Nets and Clippers would have to move on to Plan B for free agency.Therefore, they probably should be rooting for the Raptors.Durant is difficult to read because he uses social media to give cryptic hints that usually aren’t hints at all. Leonard is impossible to read. For all anyone knows, he already has decided to stay in Toronto or sign elsewhere. Or maybe he hasn’t even thought about the summer. Maybe he is as robotic as he tries to convey.But the same theory applies: If Toronto wins this series, it’ll be harder for Leonard to leave. So for the teams that want him, they might want to root for the Warriors. Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) celebrates with fans after scoring against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)It all comes down to this.No, really.ADVERTISEMENT Eduard Folayang sets sights on ONE lightweight champ Christian Lee LATEST STORIES Let’s use the Knicks solely for example purposes. If they don’t get Durant or Leonard, then maybe Kyrie Irving crosses them off his list. Maybe that would mean Kemba Walker climbs up their charts. Maybe that means Jordan decides to offer Walker the super-max of $221 million or so to stay in Charlotte.And the ripples go on and on.They won’t be little waves gently rolling onto the shores, either.This will be a summer of change and a summer of major spending in the NBA. This series is going to decide much more than who gets rings. This series will likely decide who plays where for many years to come.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew “I know what I bring to the team,” Durant said, “but I also know that a lot of people on the outside don’t like to see us together.”New York will be paying intense attention to everything that gets said, tweeted, Instagrammed and intimated. Brooklyn will be in the same boat. So will the Los Angeles Clippers, who think they’re on the cusp of building something really good, and the Los Angeles Lakers, who made the biggest signing of last summer by getting LeBron James and have done very little right since.They will all be waiting to hear what Durant, Thompson, Leonard and Cousins decide.And those are just the biggest fish — the whales, to use a term Miami President Pat Riley likes.After that, there’s an additional 60 or so players who could be free agents this summer — some have opt-ins and might not be relocating — and who are coming off seasons when they averaged at least 10 points per game. Their teams next season will be affected on some level by who gets whom in the draft. How some teams pick in the draft will be influenced by what they’re hearing about free agency. And that hinges on this series.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue MOST READ Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP SPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsIt’ll affect Warriors star Kevin Durant and his annual stay-or-go decision. It’ll affect Raptors star Kawhi Leonard as he ponders his next move, or if he’ll be moving at all. Klay Thompson will be a free agent this summer. DeMarcus Cousins will be free this summer. Their thinking will inevitably be moved one way or another by this series; the decisions they’ll all make in the coming weeks will have a ripple effect on the rest of the NBA.Durant made clear over the weekend that he’s tired of the incessant talk about his future. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Robben: I thought Bayern was step backwards!

first_imgBayern München Robben: Bayern felt like a step backwards after Real Madrid Ryan Benson Last updated 1 year ago 19:29 12/5/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) robben-cropped Getty Images Bayern München Real Madrid UEFA Champions League Bundesliga The Dutchman has enjoyed immense success since moving to Germany in 2009, but he initially thought that the switch was a step down for him Arjen Robben has conceded that joining Bayern Munich initially felt like a step backwards when he left Real Madrid, but feels he has enjoyed the best period of his career in Germany.The Dutch winger endured bad luck with injuries at Madrid and never truly established himself as the key player his ability suggested he might, before getting moved on in 2009.And fitness problems have also restricted his appearances in Germany, but that has not stopped him from making a significant impression, reaching double figures in goals in six of his eight seasons there before the start of the current campaign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The 33-year-old has also enjoyed great success in terms of trophies, winning everything on offer with Bayern, including the 2012-13 Champions League, something he was sceptical the club were capable of before his arrival.”It felt like a step backwards at the time,” Robben told UEFA’s official website. “Bayern had no international success in the years before I joined and my goal was actually to play at the best possible level, which would have meant winning the Champions League.”It was a tough decision. Real Madrid was one of the biggest teams in the world. There was no way to return.”It [moving to Bayern] went well; my wish was to work with Louis van Gaal. That was the best time of my career.”last_img read more

‘Regional Conference on Fistula’ in Karachi: Call for Abstracts

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 18, 2011August 18, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The upcoming “Regional Fistula Conference” is requesting abstracts from interested presenters. The conference will be held at Sheraton Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan from 4-6 March 2011 in collaboration with UNFPA. The last date for submission is 20th February, 2011.For additional details:website: www.pnfwh.org email: [email protected] the conference flyerShare this:last_img read more

MEMORABLE MOMENTS 2007 NATIONAL TOUCH LEAGUE

first_imgThe 2007 National Touch League produced many memorable moments. A selection of ten of the best from the tournament wraps up the premier event on the National calendar for Australia’s elite participants.Please click on the attachment to read the feature on Memorable Moments from the 2007 National Touch League.Related Files2007_ntl_memorable_moments-pdflast_img

Province to increase number of MRI scans completed in Northern BC

first_imgThe Province says it will reach this target by running existing machines longer, establishing a central intake at the regional level to reduce duplicate referrals and appointments, adding already planned MRI machines and by adding additional capacity to the public system.In 2017-2018, Northern Health did 7,632 MRI scans, and under the new plan, the Province says Northern Health will complete 13,000 from 2018-2019.The new MRI at the Fort St. John Hospital became operational in late September of 2017. VICTORIA, B.C. – The Province says it will increase the number of MRI scans completed in Northern B.C. from 7,600 to over 13,000 by 2019.Minister of Health Adrian Dix has announced that the Province will do 37,000 more MRI exams by the end of March 2019 compared to the previous year.  To meet this number, the Province has made $11 million available to the public health-care system to add resources and capacity.“Wait times are simply too long in B.C., in part due to volumes that are 35% to 40% less than other provinces,” said Dix. “Increasing MRI exams by 37,000 exams in B.C. this year, with further increases planned for 2019-20, will reduce the uncertainty and pain caused by long waits. We plan to maximize resources and employ best practices in the public system to reduce wait times and improve care.”last_img read more

Online report system reveals ‘malpractices’ at Calcutta Medical College & Hospital

first_imgKolkata: Until a few months ago, the pathology department of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital use to get around 800 blood samples a day. However, after an online system of blood report collection was introduced at the hospital, the number of samples reduced to around 300.It was found that several unauthorised persons from private pathological centres had been submitting blood samples at the medical college to get the tests done at no cost. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersAccording to a source, before the online system was introduced around 800 blood samples were deposited at the pathology department of the hospital. Under this system, the patient or his family members had to fill up a requisition form issued by the pathology department of the hospital. The patient party used to get two copies of the filled up requisition form and a date was issued by authorities for blood collection. On the day of collection, the hospital authorities use to take one copy from the patient and wrap it around the sample container. After the examination process was completed, the patient used to get the report from the pathology department by submitting the other copy to the pathology department. Some persons from a few private pathological centres around the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital were using these forms to get blood reports of their patients from the pathology department of the medical college and hospital. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThey used the findings of the reports, provided by the pathology department of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, to come up with their own reports. These pathological centres charged a good amount of money to hand over these reports to their patients. Superintendent of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital Indranil Biswas said the hospital authority used to get several complaints of missing reports and there were allegations that people working with private pathology centres were using the pathology department of the medical college and hospital to conduct tests for their patients. “After the online system was introduced, the requisition form was obsolete. Now, the registration number of the patient, which is printed on the outdoor ticket, is the only identification,” said Biswas. A source said after the online system was introduced, the number of sample deposit has come down to around 300 a day. It is alleged that a section of staff of the medical college and hospital were involved in corruption.last_img read more

LS elections choice between Modi and chaos: Jaitley

first_imgNew Delhi: Calling the upcoming Lok Sabha elections a choice between chaos and Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said what the Opposition had promised to be a “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) was turning out to be an alliance of several conflicting “gathbandhans” with multiple leaders, each trying to outwit the other. Jaitley said that going by past precedents, such an alliance could only lead to chaos. “The choice is clear — it is either Modi or chaos,” he said in a Facebook post. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! The Finance Minister said while several issues occupied the agenda space in an election, the issue of foremost relevance in 2019 was that of leadership where the Bharatiya Janata Party with “absolute clarity” was a clear winner against a “self-destructive coalition of rivals” in which the leadership issue was an “absolute puzzle”. “Within the NDA there are no leadership issues. There is absolute clarity. Narendra Modi leads the NDA and will be the Prime Minister in the event of a victory. His leadership is nationally accepted, his ratings are very high. His track record speaks for itself,” Jaitley said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed On the other hand, he said, was Congress President Rahul Gandhi “who is an inadequate leader” and has been “tried, tested and failed”. “His lack of understanding of issues is frightening. He aspires to be the leader of this chaotic pack,” Jaitley said. He said Mamata Bannerjee was positioning herself as the “sutradhar” (architect) of this grand alliance but “won’t concede a single seat either to the Congress or the Left in West Bengal but will want them to be her pillion riders if she drives the vehicle.” Taking about the other opposition parties, Jaitley said the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) would contest against the Congress but eventually join hands, and so would the Trinamool and the Congress-Left alliance in West Bengal. “However, in Kerala the Congress and the Left will contest against each other. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) tried to form the government together with the support of the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir. “Today they are rivals in an election and on the dangerous agenda of either ‘autonomy’ or ‘pre-1953 status’, but could join hands with the ‘gathbandhan’. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) are not with the ‘gathbandhan’,” he said. Jaitley said the BSP was wiped out in the last Lok Sabha elections and Mayawati had now changed her strategy and wanted a strong BSP and a weak Congress. “She holds her cards close to her chest. She will open them only after the results are declared…Leaders with flexible ideologies think that they are acceptable to all. The opposition alliance is unclear — it is absolutely fragile,” he said. Jaitley added that none of the opposition parties were capable of winning any significant number of seats and the alliance won’t have a stable nucleus. “What was promised to be ‘mahagathbandhan’ is turning out to be a ‘gathbandhan’ of several conflicting alliances. It is a self-destructive ‘coalition of rivals’,” he said. “The contest is against a leader in whose hands the country is secure and developing. He is trusted. Against him, there isn’t any projected leader. There are multiple leaders, each trying to outwit the other. They can only promise a temporary government if we go by the past precedents. One can be certain of chaos. The choice is clear, it is either Modi or chaos,” Jaitley said.last_img read more

Oriental Bank logs Q4 net profit of Rs 202 crore

first_imgNew Delhi: Public sector Oriental Bank of Commere (OBC) Monday posted a net profit of Rs 201.50 crore for the January-March quarter of the last fiscal, helped by fall in bad loans, arrest of fresh slippages and a healthy growth in retail loan portfolio. The bank had clocked a loss to the tune of Rs 1,650.22 crore in the corresponding period of the fiscal ended March 2018. Total income grew to Rs 5,711.92 crore in the March 2019 quarter from Rs 4,689.12 crore in the same period of the preceding fiscal. On a yearly basis, the bank managed to return to profit after two fiscals by registering a net profit of Rs 55 crore for FY 2018-19. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe lender had posted a loss of Rs 5,872 crore in 2017-18 and of Rs 1,094.07 crore in 2016-17. For FY 2018-19, total income stood at Rs 20,536.77 crore as against Rs 20,181.25 crore in the previous fiscal. On the asset quality front, gross non-performing assets (NPAs) came down to 12.66 per cent of gross advances at the end of March 2019 from 17.63 per cent in March 2018. Net NPAs or bad loans were also trimmed to 5.93 per cent from 10.48 per cent. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 days”We have been making profits for the last three quarters. We are very confident that we will sustain the profit in the times to come year after year, quarter after quarter…,” the bank’s MD and chief executive, Mukesh Kumar Jain, told a news conference at its headquarters. “Earlier we were having more than Rs 12,000 crore slippages (for) the full year, now this is contained to around Rs 7,000 crore. Recovery and upgradation (of loan accounts) … has increased from Rs 3,161 crore to Rs 6,597 crore now,” he said. So these things are basically contributing to the turnaround, Jain said. Further, he said that the bank is confident of bringing down the bad loans to below 5 per cent on a net basis by the next fiscal and the gross NPAs less than 10 per cent on account of focussed strategy on arresting slippages, speedier recovery process and constant monitoring. “Our main focus is on recovery and upgradation only. We have even posted six general managers in the field for only with the responsibility of recovery and upgradation (of loan accounts). And we have been seeing good results also,” he said. On asked about bank consolidation and prospects of merger into some bigger, Jain said being a mid-sized bank Oriental Bank can equally acquire some other lender/s as well because of strong fundamentals. “We can think of acquiring some other banks also. Yes, if some opportunity is there as we are in profits, good credit growth is there, net interest margin of about 2.73 per cent. All these parameters are quite healthy and we are open to acquire other bank as well,” he added.last_img read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State ahead of schedule going into next season

Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann yells onto the court after a Buckeye turnover in the second half of the game against Indiana on Feb. 10. Ohio State won 55-52. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorEntering his first season as Ohio State men’s basketball head coach in fall 2017, Chris Holtmann went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a preseason college basketball preview from a local publication. To his surprise, no Ohio State players were featured on the cover.“To me, that was a statement about how relevant the program was at the time,” Holtmann said.Now, going into his third season with the Buckeyes, Holtmann and the nation’s No. 9 recruiting class have been top 10 selections in both ESPN and Sports Illustrated’s “Way-Too-Early” Top 25 rankings for next year.“I think we’re ahead of schedule,” Holtmann said. “I wasn’t sure, this quickly, we would be in a position to where we would have guys that have had early tournament success. Both getting there and competing.”Finishing 20-15 overall and just 8-12 in the Big Ten, Ohio State squeaked into the NCAA Tournament as an 11-seed, but still managed a victory over No. 6 Iowa State in the Round of 64.That upset was an impressive feat for a team without any All-Big Ten performers. To get there, it survived a five-game losing streak and a three-game suspension for sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson.Still, Ohio State will be without a couple key pieces come next season.Senior guard C.J. Jackson was the team’s second-leading scorer at 12 points per game and senior guard Keyshawn Woods nearly doubled his average of 8 points per game in four postseason games for the Buckeyes this year.Taking their place, however, are three top-50, four-star recruits in DJ Carton, Alonzo Gaffney and E.J. Liddell.The highest rated of the bunch is Carton, an athletic point guard hailing from Bettendorf, Iowa, who Holtmann said is “hard-nosed.”Gaffney, a forward standing at 6-foot-9, adds height to a team that sorely missed it in stretches this past season with no player on the team being taller than 6-foot-9 in 2018-19.Holtmann said Liddell brings versatility and a winning pedigree to the Buckeyes, having won two state championships in Illinois.The expectation is that these three will play heavy minutes right away, which is a prospect that Holtmann said is exciting.“What you really hope is the youth we played this year and the youth that we’ll play this coming season will provide benefits for us here moving forward,” Holtmann said.One young player that Holtmann said made significant strides this year was Wesson, who led the team in points at 14.6 and rebounds with 6.9.Wesson entered his name in the NBA Draft last Wednesday, but the current rules allow players to retain college eligibility if they go undrafted.Without Wesson this past season, Ohio State was a shell of itself, losing all three games and nearly its chance at an NCAA Tournament berth during his suspension, including a 35-point demolition by Purdue.Wesson is expected to return for his junior season, and Holtmann said the team needs a backup for down low. That need became even greater with freshman forward Jaedon LeDee’s intention to transfer out of the program.Holtmann got his wish Sunday, as 7-foot center Ibrahima Diallo out of Senegal committed to Ohio State.The four new commits give Ohio State its best recruiting class since 2015, but Holtmann and the Buckeye coaching staff will spend the next several months trying to duplicate that success with the class of 2020.“It’s always a challenge when you have a good recruiting class, in some cases a really good recruiting class, and then back that up with another really good recruiting class,” Holtmann said. “That’s what we need to do. That is absolutely what we need to do.”Ohio State will be doing so without assistant coach Mike Schrage, who took the head coaching job at Elon on April 5. Schrage coached for Holtmann in his last year at Butler before following him at Ohio State for the past two seasons.Holtmann said special assistant Mike Netti and director of recruiting and player development Scoonie Penn are among his top candidates to fill the open position for next season.For the past two seasons, Holtmann and the Buckeyes have overachieved.With the early hype already rolling in for next season’s team, however, Holtmann knows the bar will not be set as low.“I didn’t get into coaching at the highest level of college basketball to be fearful of expectations,” Holtmann said. read more