South Africa‘s justice system goes hi-tech

first_imgSouth Africa’s Constitutional Court has ledthe way in the electronic handling of case files.(Image: Rubino Law) MEDIA CONTACTS • Tlali Tlali  Spokesperson, Department of Justice  +27 82 333 3880 • Abigail Munsami  Office of the Chief Justice  +27 11 359 7592 RELATED ARTICLES • The media and open justice • Ensuring justice for all in South Africa • African languages in SA courts • Courts to protect South Africa’s water • Mandela’s old offices restoredEmily van RijswijckPlans are afoot to bring South Africa’s judiciary in line with world standards by introducing a new electronic court filing and case management system.This will drastically speed up all court procedures and deter tampering with case records.The new systems will be based on those already in use in the US and Singapore.The recommendations were made during the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development‘s Access to Justice Conference in July 2011 where then Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo formally endorsed the introduction of the electronic filing system.The new filing system has also received the support of his successor Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who stepped into Ngcobo’s shoes in September.One of the biggest stumbling blocks to an efficient South African justice system is the length of time it takes for cases to appear and to be resolved in court.The judicial process itself is overburdened because of the growing number and complexity of litigations in the country, loss of important documentation and subsequent delays, and insufficient and poorly trained administrative staff.Speaking at the July conference, Ngcobo said technological advances have made communication easier. This includes the transmission of documents and the accessing of filed documents. Priority should therefore be given to bringing the local judicial system up to international best practice levels.“Before, it took hours or days to send documents from one point to another, and now this can be done within seconds via email,” said Ncgobo. “If the proper systems are in place and the necessary hardware available, it is now possible for busy judges to access court documents from anywhere.”And this is exactly what the new electronic filing system will be able to do. Judges will receive an electronic case file immediately a new case is opened. The file and documents pertaining to the case will be saved on a server and will have certain precautionary features in place to prevent meddling with the information.The system will also speed up information exchange between the various parties involved in a case.While case management systems are in place at certain courts in South Africa, Ngcobo advised that a universal system be introduced in all courts.Used at the highest levelThis type of filing system is already in place in the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa in terms of matters relating to the Constitution. Here documents are filed both electronically and in hard copy. As a result, a judge of the Constitutional Court can access any document in a case from any location.The necessity of streamlining case management and electronic filing became apparent when in 2010 a group of South African judges from various courts and departments went on a study tour to the US to gain insight into case load management in that country.On their return Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Kenneth Mthiyane and High Court Judges Steven Majiedt and Eberhard Bertelsmann compiled a report. Highlighting some of the findings of the report at the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa conference in October, Judge Bertelsmann said the overhaul would revitalise a criminal justice system “creaky in its joints”.He said that every step in the judiciary process in the US is overseen by the judge involved, because judges have two desktop computers which help them to determine the timeframe and progression of a trial.Bertelsmann stressed that introducing the new system will take time as judges will also be required to undergo training.“We do need to train people to deal with the system, especially older people like myself, who might find it harder to understand the technology,” he said. “All of this is going to take time.”From manual to electronic in Botswana courts A similar system has been in place in Botswana since 2005. At that time the judiciary there embarked on the implementation of an electronic court records management system to modernise and improve efficiency of court operations. Before this all court records were handled manually.Now, case information can be accessed swiftly and properly, showing the exact status of a case at any given time in the judicial process. An added advantage of the system is that it also provides an accurate performance measure of the workload of judges and magistrates.The electronic filing system also played an important part in and laid the foundation for Botswana’s judicial case management system which was introduced in 2008. This system allows a judge, and not a lawyer or litigant, to set a timetable and monitor the case from its initiation to its final resolution.As a result, public confidence in Botswana’s courts is quite high, said that country’s chief justice, Maruping Dibotelo, a guest speaker at the October conference.last_img read more

North Korea Praises But Won’t Take Credit For Sony Hack

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#cyber attacks#cybersecurity#malware#North Korea#Sony Following a major malware attack on Sony Entertainment Pictures, some security experts suspected North Korean involvement. Now the state has officially denied any involvement, although it said its supporters might have conducted the attack on their own.See also: FBI Warns Of Malicious Software Following Sony AttackOn Sunday, the North Korean government issued a statement through the official Korean Central News Agency in which it spoke approvingly of the hack but insisted the state didn’t instigate it. The official statement follows a previous denial issued last Wednesday by an anonymous North Korean diplomat in New York.“The hacking into the Sony Pictures might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK [North Korea] in response to its appeal,” the official statement reads. Many security experts have suspected North Korean involvement in the hack. Among other breaches, the attack led to the public leak of Sony’s unreleased film The Interview, a comedy satirizing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that the state has denounced as “terrorism.” Korean-language malware was also used in the attack. The North Korean statement instead suggests the hack was a show of support for North Korea by the hacker group “Guardians of Peace,” which claimed responsibility for the attack. Joseph DeTrani, a former U.S. envoy to North Korea, told Reuters said North Korea has historically been truthful in claiming or declaiming responsibility for various attacks, although he added that the regime could have changed its policy.See also: The Real Lesson From Recent Cyberattacks—Let’s Break Up The NSA“The U.S. should also know that there are a great number of supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK [North Korea] all over the world as well as the ‘champions of peace’ who attacked the Sony Pictures,” the North Korean statement continued.The unprecedented hack has led to leaks of four unreleased Sony films and salary information of many employees and actors. The attackers aren’t done yet, and issued a new threat toward Sony employees and their families over the weekend, Recode reports. Image courtesy of Shutterstock Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… lauren orsini 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Team Akhilesh

first_imgA thin line divides advisers who have the interest of their leader at heart and sycophants who feather their nests by flattering their bosses. Most politicians in the country fail to see this thin dividing line. And it is here that Mayawati failed and UP Chief Minister-elect Akhilesh Yadav seems to have succeeded.The outgoing chief minister not only blindly believed some of her cabinet colleagues and officers, who allowed only filtered information to reach her, Akhilesh has hand-picked only those who have a proven track record their respective areas and who have the ability to tell him bluntly where he’s going wrong.And unlike Rahul Gandhi’s backroom boys, who have impeccable corporate world credentials, Akhilesh’s confidants are more rooted in the Indian reality. Rahul’s team members, for instance, would quiz candidates about the composition of the crowds that would show up at their leader’s public meetings, but Akhilesh’s aides would simply mix with the crowd and ask the people what they disliked about their party and its candidates.Akhilesh’s team members, in fact, travelled to the farthest corners of the state to gather honest feedback for their leader. It was this exercise that resulted in new promises being made by the Samajwadi Party president, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and by Akhilesh in their election meetings in the latter half of the campaign.In the first two phases of the campaign, for instance, father and son used to talk about giving a laptop to each student and an unemployment allowance to jobless graduates, but as electioneering warmed up, they promised to put all Samajwadi goons, who had brought disgrace to the party the last time it was in power, behind bars. In the last three phases, they also kept harping about the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, pointing their finger squarely at the Congress-led UPA dispensation. So who are the gents who form Team Akhilesh. Here’s a quick recce.advertisementNaved SiddiquiPopular Radio Jockey Naveed Siddiqui turns into SP’s instrument of change.The present state secretary of the Samajwadi Party is a man with a strong, loyal fan following of his own. Former All India Radio’s 39- year- old RJ chose Akhilesh Yadav over air waves when the former asked him to join the party one-and-a-half years ago.Reportedly, Siddiqui has travelled over 20, 000 kms with Yadav by rath and chopper during the course of the recent election campaign. While Yadav and the other faces addressed the crowds which thronged to the public meetings, Siddiqui would mix with the crowd and take feedback about the party’s candidates. While people are aware the fact that Yadav had changed over 50 candidates after announcing their nominations, only few people know that it was done on the basis of the many reports submitted by Siddiqui to him.”I had met Akhilesh through a common friend. While working for radio, I used to receive numerous calls from the people regarding their problems and many a times, it so happened that we would invite the officer the concerned department to directly interact with the aggrieved person. So when Yadav called me, I thought of doing the same job directly, without mediators or such. And now, I have got a chance”, Naved said.Presently, Siddiqui has been assigned to interact with English media and air the party’s view regarding development and modernisation. “I am least interested in a red beacon and power – I would love to remain a backroom boy. But I will certainly be an instrument of change in UP”, he added.”We are also in the process of making a committee to keep a watch on the activities of the leaders and workers of the party. They will not be allowed to tarnish the image of the SP. My other duty is to help out the troubled common man who is in trouble and I intend to do this with complete transparency.” The former RJ seems to know his waves well as he takes the daunting task of being a change that people need. Siddiqui has been assigned the task of interacting with the English media about the party’s stand on development issues. His other duty is to reach out to the common folkRajendra ChaudharyThe party’s senior spokesperson remains a close confidant of Mulayam and Akhilesh.The senior most in a team brimming with young people, Rajendra Chaudhary ( 52), is the official spokesperson of the state unit of the party. With the distinction of working for over three decades with Mulayam Singh, this man is known to be an essential part of the new Team Akhilesh.His importance can be gauged from the fact that while there are more than 50 senior leaders in the party, including those who are also family members, it was Chaudhary who accompanied Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav to Raj Bhawan to meet Governor BL Joshi a day after their victory.advertisementAsk him about his personal life and he’ll give you a dull smile, ” I’ll tell you about myself some other time.” But when you ask about his party’s stand on any issue, he becomes extremely energetic and passionate. When in public, Rajendra Chaudhary was often seen whispering into Mulayam Singh’s ears – now that the face of the party has changed, Chaudhary has already been noticed updating Akhilesh Yadav regarding important matters in the same way. Cleary, Chaudhary’s role in the party cannot be underestimated.Though there are more than 50 senior leaders in the party, including those who are members of the family, it was Chaudhary who accompanied father and son to Raj BhawanAshish YadavHumble Ashish Yadav prefers to be a low-key media manager.Having known Akhilesh Yadav since childhood when they used to play together, this 35- year- old man is a mine of information about the party. Dedication being his middle name, he remembers every word that Yadav, or in fact Mulayam Singh, have uttered in every public meeting, and every word that the newspapers have written about them.Ashish Yadav talks with great enthusiasm about every issue under the sun, but he immediately vanishes when you ask him more about his personal life.Ask him what his job in the party is, and without a moment’s hesitation he says, “To see you happy.” Reportedly, he refused to step out of his house during Holi fearing that people would drown him in colours. Before he steps back to regain the anonymity he seeks, he says, “I am a small man. Please let me continue to be small.”Abhishek MishraIIM-A professor Abhishek Mishra is SP’s expert on education.Armed with a PhD in Strategy and Marketing Management from Cambridge University, 40- year- old Abhishek Mishra used to teach in IIM Ahmedabad, where he would ask his students to join politics and do something, instead of just criticising politicians. Currently the MLA of north Lucknow, a large part of the credit for SP’s modernisation plans goes to him.Born and brought up in Lucknow, Mishra grabbed the first opportunity that Yadav offered – he joined the party and contested the elections.”I’d always tell my students to join politics. But I had always doubted if that could happen since no political party ever seemed interested in accepting well educated people. So I decided to leave everything behind and join Akhilesh’s team when I was actually given a chance,” he said.”My firm belief is that politics is the biggest platform if we want to be a harbinger of change. If you notice, most successful politicians in the world had the most educated set of people in their teams. The mind of a meritorious person can best be utilised in politics. I am happy that I am exactly where I should be”, Mishra said, “Now my job is to see that the quality of education improves in the state and industries become confident about coming here. The GDP growth of the state should be brought at par with the national average.”advertisementMishra, who has known Yadav for over 15 years, said that he came back to the state to ensure that the talented, meritorious youth, choose to stay back in UP, instead of seeking pastures in Pune, Mumbai or Bangalore.Rajeev RaiRajeev Rai, Karnataka education magnate, transforms into opinion-maker.At a time when the Samajwadi Party was trying to distance itself from Amar Singh and film stars, Akhilesh Yadav was looking for someone he could completely depend on, someone who could take important decisions, besides strengthening the party’s ideology. Yadav found all these in Rajeev Rai, originally from the town of Balia.With several educational institutions in Karnataka, 42-year-old Rai was no stranger to the present SP Supremo – they knew each other since mid- 90s and Rai officially became a part of the SP core team after the party lost in the 2009 Lok Sabha election.”Getting into his team was unexpected and I agreed to him immediately. The best thing about Akhilesh is that he is quick with decisions. Although I was very happy while planning the backroom strategy of the party during election, Akhilesh asked me to take over as national secretary of the party. Further, he asked me to play the role of an opinion maker “, Rai said. “It will not be true if I say that I have no ambition. But the good part is that I am getting everything I wanted, everything I expected. Since the election is over and we are going to have an SP government in the state, my job now is to stay in the Capital, and tell the people about the opinions of my party on various issues,” Rai added. But, Rai shies away from elaborating his most current role. According to sources, Rai is responsible for deciding who in the party should do what and who is best suited for a task, though, obviously, the final decision rests with Yadav.”For about two hours, from 5 pm to 7 pm, I get in touch with the people who are looking after my institutes in Karnataka. I have developed a foolproof system, which ensures things are smooth even if I don’t check on things for months,” said Rai.last_img read more

10 months agoBrahim Diaz delighted to make winning Real Madrid debut

first_imgBrahim Diaz delighted to make winning Real Madrid debutby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrahim Diaz was delighted to make a winning debut for Real Madrid in their Copa del Rey triumph over Leganes.The former Manchester City starlet, who was presented as a new Whites’ player on Monday, came on in the 78th minute to replace Vinicius Jr.The midfielder spoke at the end of the match: “This is a big, unforgettable and unique day, to make my debut at this stadium and with these fans has been a dream since I was a kid, winning makes the dream even better, but I’m calm about it all. I have to give everything out on the field because this club and these fans deserve it, I’m going to frame the debut jersey and hang it in my room.”He added: “Sergio Ramos congratulated me and told me to continue like this, he said that everything comes and that I’ll get a lot of minutes, he’s a top player and playing with him is a moment to savour, it’s a dream.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Maersk Line Not Accepting Cargo tofrom Qatari Ports

first_imgzoom Danish shipping major Maersk Line has closed bookings for cargo that transship over Jebel Ali to or from Qatar for the time being.The move was triggered by the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, that banned ships in their ports coming or destined for Qatar.The restrictions were imposed following a diplomatic dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar which broke off all diplomatic ties. Subsequently, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut the ties with Qatar on June 5 on the grounds of its alleged relations with Iran and Islamist groups.However, the Suez Canal Authority has advised that vessels flying the Qatari flag transiting the Suez Canal will not face restrictions as Suez Canal is an international water passage.The decision is impacting directly the operations of DP World Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi Terminals, which are no longer accepting cargo to/from Qatar ports, including transshipment cargo. The ban also includes Qatari-flagged ships.“In line with the UAE government’s recent decision on severing diplomatic ties with the State of Qatar, DP World confirms that vessels with the flag of Qatar or vessels destined to or arriving from Qatar are not allowed to call at any DP World terminals in the UAE until further notice,” a DP World spokesperson told World Maritime News in a statement.” We are working on alternative solutions to ensure movement of cargo in compliance with above guidelines,” Maersk Line said.Potential alternative solutions are expected to be announced within a couple of days.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Trudeau says government will limit access to handguns assault weapons

first_imgMONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government plans to limit access to handguns and assault weapons to confront gun violence in the country.Speaking to Montreal radio station 98.5 FM today on the anniversary of the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre, Trudeau did not rule out a full ban when asked by the host.The prime minister says the government is looking at different alternatives to address a situation he called unacceptable. But he says the goal is to limit the easy access criminals have to handguns and assault weapons.In 2015, Trudeau campaigned on a promise to get handguns and assault weapons off the streets, but gun-control advocates recently criticized the government for failing to follow through.Today’s comments come as Montreal marks the 29th anniversary of shootings that killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique engineering school.Trudeau is scheduled to join Premier Francois Legault and other dignitaries at the end of the day at a memorial event on Mount Royal.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

The Pacers Are Bucking Every NBA Trend And Its Working

Celtics4754+7 Long-midrange attempts are 2-point jump shots from between 16 and 23 feet.Source: Grizzlies3521-14 Long-midrange attempts3-point attemptsFree throws Lakers3237+5 T-Wolves5047-3 Spurs5047-3 Projected season wins TeamPreseasonCurrentDiff. INDIANAPOLIS — Even before this season, a campaign in which they’ve pieced together the NBA’s best record, the Houston Rockets and their unusual goals on offense have been an object of fascination. For years, there’s been intrigue surrounding Houston’s desire to shatter records by taking threes whenever possible. More recently, the team’s historic ability to score 1-on-1 has garnered attention. The Pacers and Rockets have different philosophiesHow the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets compare in key offensive metrics, 2018-17 season through March 21 Mavericks3026-4 Pelicans4347+4 Cavaliers5748-9 Clippers4644-2 Raptors4561+16 Bulls2627+1 Nets2926-3 Indiana Pacers119.3%2728.3%2522.7 Magic3726-11 Warriors6461-3 Rockets5766+9 Hawks2624-2 Indiana’s ahead of scheduleProjected win totals for NBA teams if they continue their current pace compared with FiveThirtyEight’s 2017-18 preseason win projections Blazers4250+8 Jazz46460 Houston Rockets304.4149.9230.7 76ers3949+10 Nuggets4843-5 Pistons3438+4 Thunder5548-7 Suns3121-10 Hornets4636-10 Knicks30300 Current pace for games through March 21 TeamRankShare of all shotsRankShare of all shotsRankper 100 FG attempts Kings2426+2 Heat4045+5 Wizards46460 Pacers3245+13 Bucks4542-3 Far less talked about are the Indiana Pacers, arguably the league’s most surprising team this season. At 41-31, Indiana is vying for home-court advantage in the playoffs and is only a shade behind the reigning three-time conference champion Cavaliers. More interesting is how the Pacers are doing it: They have become the Anti-Rockets.Indiana’s offensive approach is diametrically opposed to the league’s best team. The Rockets are notorious for avoiding midrange shots; the Pacers hover nearly just as far above the league average in how often they take long twos as the Rockets are beneath it. The median team shoots from the 16- to 23-foot range about 12 percent of the time; Houston takes 4.4 percent of its shots from that distance, while Indiana takes a whopping 19.3 percent of its shots from there.The contrasts in shot selection don’t end with midrange jumpers. Unlike the Rockets, who take a league-high 50 percent of their shots from 3-point range and get to the free-throw line at the second highest clip in the league, the Pacers rank among the NBA’s bottom six in both 3-point attempt rate and free-throw attempt rate.A fair amount of that seems to stem from coach Nate McMillan’s offensive philosophy,1Larry Bird’s hiring of McMillan was initially criticized by many because of his reputation as a coach who slowed things down — a trait that ran counter to Bird’s stated desire to play more up-tempo after parting ways with Frank Vogel. McMillan, who’s since sought to get the Pacers to play faster, has argued that the long-held perception of his coaching style was unfair, given the sorts of rosters he was working with. which encourages pulling the trigger quickly if a defender is allowing the solid jump-shooting team more than a few feet of space.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“We talk about playing early, playing late,” McMillan told me. “If you have an open look or a rim attempt early (in the shot clock), take it. If you don’t, then make teams defend. But when we have open looks, we want to take them.” The Pacers have often done that, with the caveat being that, in today’s NBA, those midrange attempts are often ones the defense would like for Indiana to take.Indiana has launched 1,273 open and wide-open 2-point jumpers,2From 10 feet and farther. “Open” means no defender was within 4 feet at the time of the shot. “Wide open” means no defender was within 6 feet at the time of the shot. over 100 more than the next closest team, according to Second Spectrum and NBA Advanced Stats. And in keeping with McMillan’s wishes, the Pacers rank third with 205 open attempts from midrange in the first eight seconds of the shot clock.Simply put, the Pacers aren’t in the business of turning down open looks — even the ones thought to be the least efficient. Al Jefferson, a Pacers backup big man and former All-NBA center who’s been forced into action because of recent injuries to Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, told me that his teammates have gotten frustrated with him at times for not always adhering to that shoot-it-if-you’re-open game plan.“They got on me in Philly because I turned down some open midrange shots. So I told them, ‘I guarantee you the next game, I’ll shoot it,’” Jefferson said after a loss to the East-leading Raptors. “Then tonight came and I turned down another open look and did a dribble handoff instead. And they all yelled at me: ‘Shoot the ball!’3Look carefully at the first clip, and you’ll notice a fan sitting in the third row (on the bottom left of the screen) standing up, gesturing to Jefferson that he should have taken the first open shot. Luckily for me, I shot the next one, and it went in.”Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“I guess that’s just the new NBA. I’m more old-school. But that’s the shot. You look at a lot of the bigs (on defense), and they back off when you set that pick. If the pop is open? That’s when my teammates will get mad at me if I don’t take it,” Jefferson said. “Even if you might miss it, take it. Because that’s what the defense is giving you.”It would be hard to say this approach hasn’t worked for Indiana, a team that was expected to struggle mightily on offense after trading Paul George. No one is more integral to Indiana’s strategy than Victor Oladipo,4Perhaps the simplest measure of his value: The Pacers, 41-25 with Oladipo, have gone 0-6 in games without their All-Star this season. who’s made the huge leap from mere starter to All-Star. (Not only have the Pacers improved slightly since last season, jumping from 15th to 12th in offensive rating, but they also sit in fifth place in the East.) But it’s also worth noting that their heavy reliance on jumpers — ones that some teams avoid like the plague — hasn’t hurt them. If anything, Oladipo and the Pacers have taken advantage of a market inefficiency by launching, and making, midrange tries at a much higher rate than other teams.Of course, the midrange shot is far from the sole reason Indiana is outperforming every preseason projection. Darren Collison is leading the league in 3-point percentage. The Pacers’ defense has improved and uses its length to create the second-most deflections in the NBA; they’re also tied at third for forcing the highest turnover percentage. Oladipo’s gambling instincts as a free safety occasionally help shorten a handful of defensive plays, not only helping keep Indiana’s young bigs out of foul trouble, but also creating quick, efficient looks the other way in transition.5The Pacers are sixth in offensive efficiency after forcing a live-ball turnover, and their possessions last an average of just 9.1 seconds after such plays, the NBA’s 11th-fastest pace, according to Inpredictable.Forward Thaddeus Young put it in much simpler terms: “We’re just playing basketball. We’re having fun,” he told CBS Sports. “When you have a team that’s just full of ISO players and it’s just isolation basketball, it’s not as fun. You’re just standing around watching.”While no one will mistake this offense for the perpetual-motion ones used in San Antonio or Utah, the Pacers seem to benefit from added movement in their sets — particularly in screen-handoff scenarios, where Indiana is one of the NBA’s most efficient, aggressive teams on a per-play basis.6They rank first in field-goal attempts stemming from direct handoffs and rank fourth in points per direct handoff, according to Second Spectrum.The real question with Indiana — beyond its tough schedule to close out the season — is how the club will adjust come postseason if the midrange looks don’t fall as frequently, or if opposing clubs begin crowding the Pacers’ space more than they’re used to. This month is already testing the former, as McMillan’s team has shot its worst percentage of the season7March has been the Pacers’ worst month from midrange by a country mile. They were shooting 36.9 percent from there heading into Friday’s game, a mark that would rank 25th. Their worst percentage prior to this was last month, when they hit 42.7 percent of those attempts, still good enough for the NBA’s ninth-best mark. from that part of the floor.Indiana has shown it’s capable of beating just about anyone in the East.8The Pacers took won three of four against the Cavaliers, split four games with the Celtics and won their first matchup with Toronto back in November. But if that cold spell carries into the playoffs, Oladipo and his teammates may be required to force the issue a bit more and use a more aggressive style than the one we’ve seen much of the season. “There’s plenty of times I walk up to him in games and say, ‘Don’t let them off the hook,’” Young said of Oladipo.9Oladipo is rare in the sense that he’s just as dangerous after a considerable number of dribbles as he is off the catch. His effective field-goal percentage is nearly the same after using seven dribbles or more as it is when he doesn’t use a dribble at all, according to data from Second Spectrum and NBA Advanced Stats.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.If the Pacers can avoid doing that, these Anti-Rockets could transform themselves into a tough out next month.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Wrestling Ohio State opens up home schedule versus No 5 Missouri

OSU junior Kyle Snyder declared victor in a bout against Nebraska on Jan. 17, 2016. Credit: Lantern File PhotoSt. John Arena once again will roll out the Block-O stamped mats, reveal new championship banners and welcome anticipating wrestling fans for the first time this season on Thursday night, when it hosts a bout between top-ranked teams.The No. 4 Ohio State wrestling team will face off against the No. 5 Missouri Tigers at 7 p.m. “I am excited to be back home,” said junior heavyweight Kyle Snyder.  “Just the fans and being able to compete in front of your home crowd and see the people who really support you is always a big reason why I came back, and why I like to compete.”A varsity debut is being made Thursday night, as Luke Pletcher, freshman at 141 pounds, had his redshirt status pulled and will replace redshirt sophomore Ke-Shawn Hayes, after an undisclosed injury put Hayes out of competition for the rest of the 2016-17 season.OSU coach Tom Ryan has confidence in the newly called-up freshman before the dual match, looking into Pletcher’s future as a solid reason behind having him step up and compete earlier than expected.“Luke’s ready to wrestle,” Ryan said.  “He’s been working really hard, where he’s won his first two tournaments.  So he’s ready to roll.”Snyder anticipates a competitive match between wrestlers from both teams, noting the hype surrounding the top-ranked dual, headlined by two U.S. Olympians competing under one roof.  Missouri’s J’den Cox, a senior at 197 lbs., who earned bronze in the 86-kg freestyle event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, whereas Snyder won gold in the 97-kg division.  “Missouri’s got a good team,” Snyder said.  “Our team’s got a bunch of dudes who can wrestle hard and score a lot of points, so that’s what we’re going to try to do.”The 197-pound bout between OSU redshirt freshman Kollin Moore and Missouri’s Olympian, Cox, was one of several matches Ryan highlighted on Tuesday. He also said redshirt freshman Jose Rodriguez will make the varsity start in the 125-pound match.OSU won the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational over the weekend, but Ryan said there were still plenty of improvement to be made before wrestling against Missouri.“We’re working quite a bit on defense to leg attacks,” Ryan said.  “(Being on) bottom is a big issue for us, so heavy focus on getting out — we’ve struggled there a little bit.”Snyder’s focus lies mostly with the team victory rather than reveling in individual achievement against a top-five opponent.“I’m just going to wrestle, and I need to get bonus points,” Snyder said. “Maybe pin (his opponent), and we’ll see what happens.” read more

Ohio State and Penn State College wrestlings arms race

Then-junior Kyle Snyder lifts Penn State’s Nick Nevills for a takedown on Feb. 3, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 32-12. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Former Sports EditorOhio State’s final points tally last season would have won them the national championship in all but five years in the history of the NCAA. The reason it did not is due to the NCAA’s resident wrestling powerhouse, Penn State. The Nittany Lions have won six of the past seven team titles, with Ohio State being the only exception in 2015. The embarrassment of riches on the team rosters in both State College, Pennsylvania, and Columbus will carry over to this season.Penn State carries five defending individual national champions. Ohio State returns one in senior heavyweight Kyle Snyder. Three other individual titles have been won by current Buckeyes in years past: redshirt senior Nathan Tomasello, junior Myles Martin and Snyder. FloWrestling’s preseason NCAA wrestling rankings exemplify the dominance of both teams, but in a different way. Penn State includes just seven ranked wrestlers, but all seven are listed in the top five in their respective weight classes across the nation. Five No. 1 spots belong to Nittany Lions. Ohio State’s lineup is more balanced. The Buckeyes have a wrestler ranked in the top 12 at all 10 weight classes, with six being in the top five and three ranked at No. 1: Snyder at heavyweight, Tomasello at 125 pounds and redshirt sophomore Kollin Moore at 187 pounds. The Buckeyes might hold an advantage at the lower weights, with Tomasello at 125 pounds (No. 1), sophomore Luke Pletcher at 133 pounds (No. 9) and junior transfer Joey McKenna at 141 pounds (No. 6). No wrestlers are ranked for the Nittany Lions in those three classes. Penn State’s murderers’ row of middleweights stands as its linchpin. Every defending champion — Zain Retherford (149 pounds), Jason Nolf (157 pounds), Vincenzo Joseph (165 pounds), Mark Hall (174 pounds) and Bo Nickal (184 pounds) — holds top spots. Head coach Tom Ryan and the Buckeyes consider themselves to be reloaded and ready to dethrone the Nittany Lions in the 2017 season.Then-sophomore Myles Martin checks the clock as he looks for back-points against Bo Nickal of Penn State on Feb. 3, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 32-12. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Former Sports Editor“We know Penn State scores a lot of points, but we’ve got a lot of big point scorers as well,” Ryan said. “But that was a factor last year. They’ve got some guys that were pinning people and they have five champions back. We picked up Joey McKenna, who was a huge transfer for us; we picked up [transfer] Te’Shan Campbell. “So this team is stronger than it was last year. Ke’Shawn Hayes is coming off of an injury last year. So it’s a stronger team than last year and we have every reason to believe that if we are at our best and they’re at their best, it’s going to be a lot of fun in March.” McKenna was recruited by Penn State during the offseason and had a chance to survey the pros and cons of both programs. The junior ultimately mortgaged his remaining two seasons of eligibility on the Buckeyes to help him achieve success. “Looking at both programs from the outside, and being recruited by both, it was able to give me a little bit more of an objective view on what I really wanted and what program I feel like could take me to where I wanted to get to,” McKenna said. “I just thought that the things that would allow me to succeed the most were encompassed here at Ohio State. The energy, the motivation, the guys on the team, the structure and just the culture and the way everything was run.”Snyder, one of the veterans of the team that will go toe-to-toe with Penn State for the fourth time this season, said he thinks a lot about the Nittany Lions. It’s the dual meet the Olympic gold medalist is most excited for. “It’s going to be one of the most exciting dual meets, tournaments I think there’s ever been in NCAA wrestling history,” Snyder said. “We could both have five or six guys in the finals competing against each other for both teams. That’s more than half of the finalists in the tournament. The opportunity for that to happen doesn’t happen. It’s very rare.” Bo Jordan (174 pounds), another senior and veteran of three years of battle against the Nittany Lions, lit up while discussing the possibilities of the impending dual meet on Feb. 2 or 4 in State College, Pennsylvania, between two teams that just might shake the wrestling world. “It’s going to be sick,” Jordan said. “There’s so many cool matchups. A lot of individual matchups, me and Mark Hall one-on-one against each other. He beat me last year in the national finals, I’ll have him again. I mean, Kyle [Snyder], there’s so many good matchups. And Myles [Martin] and Bo [Nickal]. So many fun matches you’re going to be able to watch. It’s going to be cool. I’m looking forward to that dual.” read more

Board of Trustees to discuss variable Ohio State mens basketball ticket prices

The Buckeye celebrate after a 3-point basket in the first half of the game against Rutgers on Feb. 2. Ohio State won 76-62. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State Board of Trustees will discuss Thursday integrating variable ticket pricing into men’s basketball, pricing individual games according to whether it’s an exhibition, non-conference, conference or premier opponent. This past season, Ohio State listed its premier opponents as Syracuse, Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin. The recommendation, as part of the finance committee meeting, also states that the arena will expand its four ticket price zones to six, establishing one in the lower level seating with an increase in pricing and upper level seating with either reduced pricing or remaining the same. For Zone 1 seating, the public can purchase tickets, depending on the level of opponent, from as low as $10 to $57. Season tickets will be $634. For the Zone 6 seating, tickets can be purchased from $5-14 depending on the opponent. The season ticket discounts will remain at approximately 12 percent off the total for the general public and 20 percent off the total price for Ohio State faculty and staff. Student pricing will remain at $9 for all opponents. The 2019-20 men’s basketball schedule has not yet been finalized. read more