Use the fields below to perform an advanced search of The Campus Citizen's archives. This will return articles, images, and multimedia relevant to your query.
28 items found for your search. If no results were found please broaden your search.
Hopes were high for success across the board as IUPUI began the 2018-2019 athletic year. And why wouldn’t they be? The women’s soccer team was coming off of the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance. The volleyball team reached the NIT in 2017-18. The women’s basketball team seemed to have all the pieces in the right place for a deep tournament run. The men’s basketball team, though disappointing in 2017-18, had some talented transfers finally eligible to play. The women’s golf team entered this season as reigning Horizon League champions. This athletic season certainly wasn’t a disappointment for IUPUI, but it was underwhelming given last season’s success. The women’s soccer team saw a significant drop from last season. The Lady Jags won just six games, compared to last season’s 10, finishing with a 6-10-3 record and a seventh place finish in the Horizon League. Though leading goal-scorer Valentine Pursey returned, the absence of key role players like Krissy Kirkhoff and Hayley Shelton was felt. The Lady Jags went from an NCAA Tournament berth to failing to receive an invitation to the Horizon League tournament. IUPUI scored just 21 goals this season and endured a brutal offensive drought to end the season, scoring zero goals in four of their last five games. The men’s soccer team, however, saw some much needed improvement from the 2017-18 season. While they won less games than the women, finishing 5-10-4, it was infinitely better than last season’s 0-15-2 mark. Their conference season opener against Detroit Mercy was their first win since 2016. A major part of the struggle last season was how young coach Barnett’s squad was. With a year of experience under their belt, this season’s squad, largely the same as last year’s, showed improvement. An overtime victory over Northern Kentucky in the last game of the season even secured them an appearance in the Horizon League tournament, where the downed Green Bay before being outed by UIC. A down year for the volleyball team was punctuated with a truly heinous end. Typically a powerhouse, the Lady Jags stumbled out of the gate, finding it was hard to adjust to life without outside hitter Kori Waelbroeck, who graduated after last season, and middle blocker Abby Boatman, who was injuring during a season-opening exhibition against Notre Dame and was lost for a majority of the season. Junior defensive specialist/setter Maggie Gibson stepped into a leadership position, hammering home a team-high 228 kills while also delivering the second most assists with 452. Gibson was aided by junior Haley Hoffman’s monster season. Hoffman, a middle blocker, blocked a team-high 116 kill attempts this season while also recording 174 kills, third best on the team. The season came to a gruesome end when head coach Steve Payne was arrested for possession of child pornography in November. Despite an inspiring 4-game win streak to end the season, the 8-game losing streak that preceded it proved to much to overcome as the Lady Jags missed the postseason entirely. The precedent for success at IUPUI has been set by the women’s basketball team, so much so that a 20-12 record and WNIT appearance can be considered a disappointment. That’s just what the Lady Jags accomplished this season. But, in the preseason, the dream of reaching the NCAA Tournament was not far fetched. Queen of the post Macee Williams was back for her sophomore season after winning Horizon League Player of the Year as a freshman. She was surrounded by enough talent on the wings that the sky seemed to be the limit for IUPUI. Knock-down shooters like junior Holly Hoopingarner and senior Sydnee Hall, coupled with drivers like Florida Atlantic transfer Katelyn O’Reilly and Bradley transfer Tamya Sims looked to be a tremendous starting five. The Lady Jags secured the No. 4 seed in the Horizon League tournament based on their regular season success. They downed Northern Kentucky only to run into Wright State, the No. 1 overall seed and eventual Horizon League champions. Still, their regular season performance was enough to secure an invitation to the WNIT. There, the Lady Jags fell to Middle Tennessee State University in the first round. Williams averaged 16 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and still has two years of eligibility remaining. The window is certainly not closed for the Lady Jags to capitalize on their incredible amount of talent. IUPUI was treated to a splash of excitement in what proved to be another mundane season for the men’s basketball team. This spark came from Vanderbilt transfer Cameron Justice. A 4-star recruit out of high school, he was by far the most naturally gifted athlete the men’s basketball team has had since the legendary George Hill. Justice led the team in scoring, averaging 18 a game. The pieces were there around him for a good season, it just never materialized. D.J. McCall garnered Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year honors for his elite defensive efforts. Jaylen Minnett was voted Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year for his 12 points per game he averaged off the bench. While the backcourt was exceptional this season, the problems with this season’s squad came in the frontcourt. Senior Evan Hall was the best of the bunch but often found himself in foul trouble. 7’2” Manhattan transfer Ahmed Ismail was even more notorious for fouls, leading the team with 92 on the season. This left the post in the hands of inexperienced and undersized players like Elijah Goss and Jack Hansen. The men’s squad did secure some impressive victories on the season, such as their win over Boston College in November or their victory over Northern Kentucky, the eventual Horizon League champions, in February. Their 16-16 regular season record proved enough for a CIT invitation, where they were bounced in the first round by Marshall. Men’s and women’s golf proved to be staples of success in the IUPUI athletic department for the 2018-19 season. The best golfer in the Horizon League for both men’s and women’s golf competed for IUPUI. Senior Austin Crowder was voted Horizon League Men’s Golfer of the Year while junior Marion Debove took home the award for Horizon League Women’s Golfer of the Year. Additionally, Men’s Golf head coach Jamie Broce was named Horizon League Coach of the Year. The individual awards didn’t end there as Nick Beinz was honored as first team All-Horizon for the men and Amelie Svejda was voted second team All-Horizon. As for team play, however, it was the women’s team that dominated. The Lady Jags repeated as Horizon League champions, finishing with a final score of 930 (311-316-303), a whopping 13 strokes above the next closest team. The men’s team was unable to overcome a rough first day of the Horizon League tournament, posting a final score of 903 (310-298-295) to finish fifth.
The new era of IUPUI volleyball began Wednesday when the athletic department named Lindsey Buteyn its new head coach. The hire was in-house, as Buteyn has been an assistant on the staff since 2015.She served as an assistant under former head coach Steve Payne. Payne, who served as head volleyball coach for 22 seasons, was arrested in early November 2018 for possession of child pornograpghy. Buteyn served as interim in the wake of the arrest, as three regular season games remained. A former player and graduate of the University of Alabama, Butelyn coached at Tusculum College (2010-12) and Northwestern State (2013-14) before joining the Jags staff. Buteyn inherits a program in decline. At the height of the program, in 2013, the Jaguars won the Summit League and reached the NCAA Tournament. They followed that season’s performance up with 20 win seasons in both 2014 and 2015. IUPUI has failed to reach that threshold since, recording 12 in 2016, 16 in 2017, and a dismal nine in 2018. Despite the coaching turmoil, Buteyn managed to sign a three-person recruiting class in Corrissa Remter, Allie Pogue, and Regan Trueblood. Up to this point, she’s also managed to retain player loyalty as no returning players have announced transfer from the program. Two-way senior middle blocker Haley Hoffman returns next season, who lead the team in blocks with 116 and was fourth in kills with 174. Juniors Maddie Dean and Rhiannon Schuenemann should be strong returning factors as well. Dean finished second on the team last season with 200 kills while Schuenemann led the team in digs with 434. Buteyn has a tall task in front of her to rebuild the reputation, both on and off the court, of the IUPUI volleyball program. With a solid core returning coupled with a good recruiting class, IUPUI has the groundwork set to return to the prestige it once had.
IUPUI volleyball head coach Steve Payne was arrested Wednesday for possession of child pornography. In the wake of the incident, IUPUI has terminated his position with the university as explained by Chuck Carney in a statement on behalf of Indiana University: “IUPUI leadership is aware of the IMPD police investigation resulting in the arrest of Steve Payne, head volleyball coach. The university is cooperating with the investigation. Due to the serious nature of the charges, IUPUI has terminated Payne from the university, effective immediately. According to WishTV, Payne’s office was searched Wednesday by IMPD. Incriminating evidence was found, followed by an admittance by Payne to owning and viewing it online. Payne, 54, was in the midst of his 22nd season at the helm of the IUPUI volleyball team at the time of his arrest. Lindsey Buteyn, formerly an assistant, will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Payne leaves behind a 7-21 IUPUI volleyball team that is fighting for a playoff berth. Two crucial games, the last two of the season, take place this weekend. The Lady Jaguars will have to carry on without their head coach. This story will be updated as more information is provided.
Austin Parkinson faced an opportunity that would change his life forever. Before the 2010 season, IUPUI had offered him the head coach position for the women’s basketball team. He had no experience coaching women and had always seen himself as a men’s coach. Eager to call a team his, he accepted. Handed a 3-win team and tasked with rebuilding the IUPUI women’s basketball program, Parkinson faced an enormous mountain to climb. As daunting as it would have been to some, he was prepared for the challenge. Parkinson’s love for basketball started at a young age, but his influences go deeper than his hometown state of Indiana’s basketball culture. He was born into a family of Indiana basketball’s elite. His father, Bruce, is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and Purdue’s all-time leader in assists. He was captain of the 1975 Pan-Am team which took home the gold medal. His grandfather, Jack, is a member of both the Indiana and Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame. He played his college ball at the University of Kentucky under legendary coach Adolph Rupp. There, he won a National Championship in 1948 and was a second team All-American in 1946. The younger Parkinson set out to make a name for himself at Northwestern High School in Kokomo. There, he was a four-year starter and garnered the attention of Division I programs. Still, the shadow of his lineage lingered. “It seemed like, for a long time, every article that was ever written about me was about being the son of Bruce Parkinson,” Parkinson said. He followed his father’s footsteps to Purdue, where he played under hall of fame coach Gene Keady. He left Purdue tenth in program history in assists and equipped with the necessary experience for the next level. Parkinson used his past and present to create his future. “I knew I wanted to be a coach by about the time I was in fifth grade,” said Parkinson. “I always knew I was going to go into coaching in some form or fashion.” He found his opportunity at IUPUI as an assistant with the men’s team. Instead of running practice or making game plans, Parkinson made the team milkshakes and did their laundry. In 2010, four hours from home on a recruiting trip, he received a phone call from IUPUI’s then-athletic director Michael Moore. He wanted Parkinson to be the next head coach of the women’s basketball team. It was an interim position, meaning he was not guaranteed to return after that season. He accepted four days before practice began and inherited a team that won just three games the season prior. In his first season, working with a roster that wasn’t his, everything stayed the same. IUPUI won just four games and finished last in the Summit League. Even with the poor results, Parkinson was hired full-time after the season, thanks in large part to the policies he had already put in motion. “In that first year, I coached the program as if I was going to be the coach for the next five years,” Parkinson said. “Some first-year coaches try to do things gimmicky to try to get wins. I said no. We’re going to play with the principles and system that we’ll use three years from now.” Despite the poor results, the program was trending upwards. Before Parkinson was even hired as the full-time head coach, he landed a commitment from Nevena Markovic, who would become his first 1,000 point scorer. “I wanted to be part of the change and part of the turn around of this program,” Markovic said. “I knew it was going to be difficult, but the vision Coach P had for the program and how he wanted to do it was really something that attracted me to IUPUI.” The culture that Parkinson implemented was evident in his second season at the helm. The team won 13 games in 2011, a nine-win improvement from the previous season. The improvement could be attributed to Parkinson’s work on the recruiting trail. Players from his 2010 team hailed from all across the United States. Instead of following this trend, Parkinson turned his attention inward and recruited heavily in, and around, Indiana. Relationships with area high schools had deteriorated under previous coach Shann Hart, forcing Parkinson to rebuild them. Indiana high schools brought him most of his talent, including Mikale Rogers. Rogers, who now plays professionally overseas, was a high school All-State center in 2013. With plenty of other options, she chose Parkinson and IUPUI. “It was never really about the pitch,” Rogers said. “He had recruited me for so long and made me feel welcome every time I came to campus or to a game, it was like I was a part of IUPUI already. I could trust that he had my best interest at heart.” His recruiting and coaching finally paid dividends in 2012. He had two classes of his recruits on the roster and they were invested in the winning culture Parkinson established. His squad won 20 games that season, 12 of which were in conference. Parkinson was named Summit League Coach of the Year and his team earned a postseason appearance in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. “It felt good because I knew where the program had been,” Parkinson said. “For us to turn things around so quickly, it made me really proud of our coaching staff and the kids.” With Parkinson at the helm, IUPUI is unlikely to return to the cellar from which they rose. The Lady Jags have surpassed 20 wins in four of the last five seasons. They’ve made four WNIT appearances during that span. Parkinson was again named Coach of the Year, this time in the Horizon League following the 2017 season. His team won 22 games and finished second in conference when they were projected to finish seventh in the preseason. This season, his star center Macee Williams is the Preseason Horizon League Player of the Year. Parkinson is the winningest coach in program history and shows no signs of slowing down. He also shows no signs of complacency. “I’m excited about the future,” Parkinson said. “I feel like we have a lot of things left that we haven’t accomplished that we want to. We have to continue to take steps to achieve them.”
At noon on Wednesday, Oct 17, the Horizon League released its official Men’s Basketball Preseason Predictions. IUPUI finished sixth in the conference with an 8-10 record in its inaugural Horizon League season last year. This year, those at the Horizon League expect more of the same. The Jaguars were tabbed as the sixth best team this preseason. Here are the complete team predictions for the 2018-2019 season: Wright State Northern Kentucky UIC Oakland Green Bay IUPUI Cleveland State Milwaukee Youngstown State Detroit Mercy Wright State was the Horizon League’s representative in the NCAA tournament last season after winning the Horizon League’s postseason tournament. The Raiders were later decimated by Tennessee 74-47 in the first round. The Jaguars have reason to feel snubbed by these rankings. IUPUI won both of its meetings with Green Bay last season and split with Wright State and Oakland. To be fair, IUPUI had sizable losses this offseason. Forward Aaron Brennan, the leader of last season’s team, has departed for a professional career overseas. He averaged 12.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Evan Hall will be called upon to fill his presence in the post. Hall, entering his senior season, averaged 7.7 points and 6.1 rebounds last year. The backcourt took a heavy hit with the departure of two regular starters: Ron Patterson and T.J. Henderson. Patterson, who turned 25 in the middle of the season, was one of college basketball’s oldest players last season. His eligibility has expired. Henderson decided to transfer after the season and is now at Marian. While the losses hurt, there are ample candidates to replace them. Jaylen Minnett showed promise as a freshman last season. The guard from Terre Haute South averaged 7.1 points, usually coming off the bench. Guard D.J. McCall is entering his senior season with confidence after averaging 7 points and 4.2 boards a game last season. Joining those two in the backcourt will be junior Camron Justice. Justice, a four-star recruit after his prep career in Kentucky, transferred in from Vanderbilt. Justice is far from the only transfer on roster this season. In total, eight of the 15 players on roster are transfers. This includes 7-foot-1 center Ahmed Ismail, formerly of Manhattan, who will figure into the replacement of Brennan. Despite solid stats from incumbent starters, no IUPUI players were named to the Horizon League’s preseason All-Horizon Team. Northern Kentucky’s Drew McDonald was tabbed Preseason Player of the Year. The rest of the All-Horizon Team follows as such: First Team Tyree Appleby, Cleveland State Sandy Cohen III, Green Bay Drew McDonald, Northern Kentucky Marcus Ottey, UIC Loudon Love, Wright State Second Team Kameron Hankerson, Green Bay Jalen Tate, Northern Kentucky Tarkus Ferguson, UIC Mark Hughes, Wright State Naz Bohannon, Youngstown State The road to proving those at the Horizon League wrong begins Oct. 25 in the annual Red-White scrimmage. IUPUI’s first official game comes four days later at home against Central State, followed by a true test at Xavier Nov. 6.
The NBA season officially begins Tuesday with a match up between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. Like most of America, the Campus Citizen’s sports section is itching for the return of pro basketball. Here are our predictions for how the 2018-2019 NBA season will pan out. MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo – Ryan Gregory Why Antetokounmpo? – If Giannis had deep range, he’d be the best player in the NBA right now. While he’s still lacking from the 3-point line, he’s still the only reason the Bucks are going to be competent this year. He’ll lead the Bucks to the playoff this year with an average supporting cast, and his efforts will earn him the MVP. Anthony Davis- Noah Wolfgang Why Davis?- With Boogie gone, the responsibility carrying the Pelicans will fall to Davis. The good news is that Davis is ready for this workload. He’ll average over 25 points per game and will grab over 15 boards a game, giving him an impressive double-double season average. Davis will lead the Pelicans to 50+ wins and will make them surprisingly competitive in the beast that is the Western Conference. LeBron James, Lakers - Zach Griffith Why James? - This seemed like a cop-out pick at first, but then I really started thinking about it. LeBron is joining a Lakers squad that’s loaded with young talent. Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart will lead LA once the LeBron era is over, but they’ll first get the chance to play with the King. Going into his 16th season, LeBron is still unquestionably the best player in the NBA. One reason for that is his unreal playmaking abilities. The young Lakers will reap the benefits, specifically Ingram, who will be on the receiving end of countless drive-and-kick scenarios. LeBron has four MVP awards already, but hasn’t claimed the honor since 2013. This season, however, I think LeBron will get fed up with the “disrespect” and lead the Lakers to a 50-win season, which will result in the King lifting the MVP trophy for perhaps the last time. Anthony Davis - Devin Voss Why Davis? When Demarcus Cousins went down with a torn achilles mid-season, many didn’t know what to expect from the Pelicans. Soon thereafter, the Pelicans went on a 10 game winning streak and snuck their way into the NBA playoffs. After the All-Star break, Davis averaged an astonishing 29.8 points, 11 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game. The larger surprise came in the playoffs when Davis’s Pelicans swept the third seeded Portland Trail Blazers. New Orleans also managed to steal a game from the Golden State Warriors before losing the series 4-1. With the loss of Cousins and offseason acquisitions in Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton, Davis is primed to have a monster year. Kawhi Leonard- Caleb Lynn Why Leonard? Kawhi is returning from an injury this season and many argue that he may not be the same player. I respectfully disagree. He is a very smart player who can impact the game in so many ways. The Toronto Raptors will see the benefits of Leonard’s versatility and he will prove to the NBA that he is back. Rookie of the Year Collin Sexton – Ryan Gregory Why Sexton? – Searching for a play maker to fill the void Lebron left, Cleveland will turn to the scoring machine Collin Sexton. At Alabama, Sexton proved he can lead a bad team to wins. That’s what he’ll have to do in Cleveland. His quick burst and slashing ability make him a perfect point to put on the floor with shooters like Kevin Love and JR Smith. He’ll rack up loads of assists and points on his way to Rookie of the Year honors. Luka Doncic, Mavericks - Zach Griffith Why Doncic? - I couldn’t believe that Doncic fell to the third pick in the draft. Don’t get me wrong--I completely understand picking Ayton and Bagley, those guys are going to be solid. But, did the Suns and Kings not see the highlights of this guy? I thought he was the best player in the draft by a considerable margin. Luka’s passing and scoring abilities will fit seamlessly into the modern NBA. The guy dominated the EuroLeague as a 19-year-old. The Mavs could surprise some people in the Western Conference, and Doncic will be the main reason why. In what could be Dirk’s last dance, Doncic will seize the opportunity and claim Rookie of the Year honors with relative ease. Deandre Ayton- Noah Wolfgang Why Ayton?- The first overall pick from the draft back in April is arguably the most NBA ready rookie. He should be able to post a great scoring average this season that could hover around 20 points. The opportunity for Ayton to be immediately great are directly in front of him. All he has to do is grasp it. I believe that he will. Deandre Ayton - Devin Voss Why Ayton? Expectations are usually high for the first overall draft choice. Ayton will shatter expectations and start his course of destruction on the league as a rookie. When watching Ayton, it’s easy to see a resemblance to Joel Embiid. He’s got a massive wingspan, good range, and immense scoring capabilities. He can hurt a team in the post, stretch a defense out by draining threes, and reject shots. The Phoenix Suns snagged a great player and future all-star. Deandre Ayton- Caleb Lynn Why Ayton?- Ayton is a terrific talent and possesses skills that big men as young as him do not always have. He is surrounded with some young talent in guys like Josh Jackson and Devin Booker but Ayton to me will show his value and why Phoenix made the right decision with the first pick. Most Improved Player Brandon Ingram – Ryan Gregory Why Ingram? – Ingram is already a very good player but playing alongside Lebron is going to make a huge difference in his development. He no longer has to worry about being the No. 1 scoring option and he’ll thrive as the second option. He’ll see a lot of open jumpers with Lebron’s driving ability. Gary Harris, Nuggets - Zach Griffith Why Harris? - The Denver Nuggets have one of the most appealing cores in the NBA with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray already there. Last season, he averaged 17.5 points per game, so you could expect Harris to eclipse the 20 point mark this year. I’m also looking for his assist numbers to make a jump this season, mostly because playing with gifted facilitators like Jokic and Isaiah Thomas will enhance the pass-first culture in Denver. The Nuggets could absolutely make a playoff push, with Harris leading the charge offensively. Myles Turner- Noah Wolfgang Why Turner?- This will be the year that Myles Turner finally plays up to expectations. After struggling with injuries and the task of adjusting to a new style of Pacers’ play, Turner seemed to regress last season. After working hard this offseason to get in shape, Turner’s play will improve next year and help a disrespected Pacers squad truly contend for the Eastern Conference crown, and he’ll get recognition for it. De’Aaron Fox - Devin Voss Why Fox? De’Aaron Fox had a respectable rookie season averaging 12 points, 3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1 steal per game. While those numbers aren’t stellar, they’re what a team looks for in a point guard. Fox shot 41 percent from the field and knocked down about 31 percent of his 3-point attempts last season. Though the preseason doesn’t amount to much, Fox has already showed improvement with his three ball. Through four preseason games, Fox hit 41 percent of his threes and 47 percent of his total shots. He’s ready to take a big step forward this season. Aaron Gordon- Caleb Lynn It seems like the Orlando Magic are always rebuilding. They can’t get players to stay and wait for other young players to develop. However, they kept Aaron Gordon this season and I think he will prove why he deserved his new contract of $80 million over 4 years. Gordon has been solid his whole career, but last season was his best. He averaged 17.6 points per game, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. However, I believe Gordon has another level that he can get to. I could see him having a fantastic season as the Magic look to improve from a rough 25-57 record. Playoff Seed Predictions Eastern Conference - Ryan Gregory Boston Celtics, 2. Milwaukee Bucks, 3. Philadelphia 76ers, 4. Washington Wizards, 5. Indiana Pacers, 6. Toronto Raptors, 7. Miami Heat, 8. Detroit Pistons. Western Conference - Ryan Gregory Golden State Warriors, 2. Houston Rockets, 3. Utah Jazz, 4. Oklahoma City Thunder, 5. Denver Nuggets, 6. Los Angeles Lakers, 7. Portland Trail Blazers, 8. Minnesota Timberwolves. Western Conference - Zach Griffith Golden State Warriors, 2. Houston Rockets, 3. Utah Jazz, 4. Los Angeles Lakers, 5. Oklahoma City Thunder, 6. Denver Nuggets, 7. New Orleans Pelicans, 8. San Antonio Spurs Eastern Conference - Zach Griffith Boston Celtics, 2. Indiana Pacers, 3. Toronto Raptors, 4. Philadelphia 76ers, 5. Milwaukee Bucks, 6. Washington Wizards, 7. Miami Heat, 8. Chicago Bulls. Western Conference- Noah Wolfgang Golden State Warriors. 2. Houston Rockets. 3. Los Angeles Lakers. 4. Utah Jazz. 5. New Orleans Pelicans. 6. Oklahoma City Thunder. 7. Denver Nuggets. 8. Portland Trail Blazers Eastern Conference- Noah Wolfgang Boston Celtics. 2. Philadelphia 76ers. 3. Indiana Pacers. 4. Toronto Raptors. 5. Milwaukee Bucks. 6. Washington Wizards. 7. Miami Heat. 8. Charlotte Hornets Western Conference - Devin Voss Golden State Warriors. 2. Houston Rockets. 3. Oklahoma City Thunder. 4. Utah Jazz 5. Los Angeles Lakers. 6. New Orleans Pelicans. 7. Denver Nuggets. 8. San Antonio Spurs Eastern Conference - Devin Voss Boston Celtics. 2. Toronto Raptors. 3. Indiana Pacers. 4. Philadelphia 76ers. 5. Milwaukee Bucks. 6. Washington Wizards. 7. Miami Heat. 8. Chicago Bulls. Western Conference- Caleb Lynn Golden State Warriors 2. Houston Rockets 3. Utah Jazz 4. Oklahoma City Thunder 5. San Antonio Spurs 6. Los Angeles Lakers. 7. Denver Nuggets 8. New Orleans Pelicans. Eastern Conference- Caleb Lynn Boston Celtics 2. Philadelphia 76ers 3. Toronto Raptors 4. Indiana Pacers 5. Milwaukee Bucks 6. Washington Wizards. 7. Chicago Bulls 8. Detroit Pistons. Surprise Team Washington Wizards - Ryan Gregory Why the Wizards? - It feels odd calling a consistent playoff team a “surprise,” but the Wizards have obviously been unable to break through the east. While the back court has featured the superstar duo of Bradley Beal and John Wall for the past six years, the front court has been unable to keep up with the rest of the conference. This year will be different, thanks in large part to products from the University of Kansas. Kelly Oubre Jr. and Markieff Morris have made great strides in recent seasons and should make a significant impact. The addition of veteran big man Dwight Howard doesn’t hurt, either. With Lebron no longer dragging them down in the East, the Wizards are primed to break through. Chicago Bulls - Zach Griffith Why the Bulls? - Let’s face it--you could win 35 games in the Eastern Conference this year and compete for a playoff spot. It’s going to be ugly. Still, the Bulls have a bright future thanks to young assets like Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., and Zach LaVine. Jabari Parker also joins Chicago, coming over from Milwaukee after an injury-riddled start to his career. Before he tore his ACL for the second time, Parker averaged over 20 points while playing second fiddle to Giannis Antetokounmpo. When Markkanen returns from injury, Hoiberg will have his prized sophomore back on the court to stretch opposing defenses, allowing guys like Kris Dunn, LaVine, and Parker to attack the paint. I’m not saying the Bulls will have a winning record, but they will make the playoffs earlier than expected. Indiana Pacers- Noah Wolfgang Why the Pacers? It somehow still feels like Victor Oladipo can be even better this season than he was last year. Myles Turner will finally live up to expectation and give the Pacers a second All-Star. The rest of the roster, while not full of household names, is solid. The additions of Tyreke Evans , Doug McDermott and Kyle O’Quinn are all important. Domantas Sabonis is an underappreciated presence in the paint. With all of these players coming off of the bench, the Pacers have one of the deepest teams in the East. I expect the Pacers to grab the three seed in the Eastern Conference. I won’t be shocked if they reach the Eastern Conference Finals, either. Oklahoma City Thunder - Devin Voss Why the Thunder? - The Thunder added several pieces that were much needed, both on offense and defense. They traded away Carmelo Anthony for Dennis Schroeder which will actually improve their offense. They added Nerlens Noel in free agency and they’ll finally be getting back Andre Roberson at some point this season to add to an already successful defense. Schroeder will strengthen the Thunder bench, which has been horrid in the past. Denver Nuggets- Caleb Lynn I am a big fan of the core for this Denver Nuggets. The most under appreciated star Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, and Jamal Murray is exciting. Getting the chance to watch this team makes me wonder how far they can get. They solved one problem by bringing a solid veteran with the addition of Paul Millsap last season. Now, I think coach Mike Malone has really gotten his team to buy in to what he wants. It would not shock me if we see them right in the middle of a competitive Western Conference. Disappointing Team Los Angeles Lakers - Ryan Gregory Why the Lakers? - The hype has been understandably high for the Lakers this preseason. The addition of Lebron James (among other, lower-profile free agents) and a preseason win over the Warriors has the city of Los Angeles buzzing. But, as the venerable Lee Corso would say, NOT SO FAST. The Lakers failed to win half of their games last year, finishing 35-47. That team was not good. Adding Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo does not make the Lakers a playoff team. Lebron and Brandon Ingram are the only good players on this team. The Lakers are a playoff team, but it’s pretty far fetched to say they’d even make the Western Conference finals. Philadelphia 76ers - Zach Griffith Why the Sixers? - Allow me to let you in on a secret--the Sixers don’t have a bench. Somehow, someway, Philly managed to get worse over the offseason, even with a top-tier starting lineup of Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid. The one glaring aspect of the 76ers’ series against the Celtics last season was the lack of depth on the Philly bench. Brad Stevens took full advantage of this, and the rest is history. To improve their second unit, what did the Sixers do? They traded for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. And here I was thinking that the goal of free agency was to improve your squad. How foolish of me. Look for Philly to finish behind the Celtics, Pacers, and Raptors in the final standings, followed by another second round defeat. Minnesota Timberwolves- Noah Wolfgang Why the Timberwolves?- Now that LeBron has found a new home out west with the Lakers, someone who made the playoffs will have to go. This team will be the Timberwolves. Minnesota just managed to squeak into the postseason last year by winning the final game of the regular season against the Nuggets in overtime. This year, they’ll miss the playoffs entirely. If Jimmy Butler isn’t traded before the end of 2018, he will tear the locker room apart. A bad attitude in the locker room is the worst thing that an NBA team can have. Unfortunately for the Timberwolves, this will result in about 35 wins this season. Philadelphia 76ers - Devin Voss Why the 76ers? The 76ers had a breakout 50-win season last year. The Cinderella story will end there. It should be acknowledged that the 76ers will be one of the teams to beat in the Eastern Conference this season. The reason they’ll disappoint is because of the high expectations they’ve already been given. It’s clear they have one of the best young rosters in the entire league. Ben Simmons will continue to get triple doubles, Embiid will continue to dominate, and Markelle Fultz will finally find his jumper. It’s a stretch to say a team this young that lacks in veteran leadership will make it to the Finals. Portland Trail Blazers- Caleb Lynn Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are bonafide studs for this team, however the players around them have me worried. I just question when Jusuf Nurkic is your third best player, and they have some serious salary cap issues. The Western Conference is so strong and I think it will be hard for them to get back to the playoffs. Eastern Conference Champions Boston Celtics – Ryan Gregory Why the Celtics? – Danny Ainge has done a fantastic job of building this team, both through the draft and trading. If Al Horford still has enough left in the tank to be a big contributor, there is no team in the East that can beat the Celtics. Now that Lebron has finally left for the west coast, only the 76ers remain as challengers for Boston. With the return of Gordon Hayward and an uber-confident Jayson Tatum joining a healthy Kyrie, the Celtics will represent the East in the Finals. Indiana Pacers - Zach Griffith Why the Pacers? - All we’ve heard for the past few months is how the Celtics, Raptors, and 76ers are the main challengers in the East. Enough, I say. Indiana has been overlooked in the past, but this just feels disrespectful. The Pacers made all the right moves in the offseason, enhancing their bench while bringing back their starting five from last year. Joining Victor Oladipo and company are Tyreke Evans, an excellent play maker and scorer, Doug McDermott, an elite three-point shooter, and Kyle O’Quinn, a textbook NBA tough guy. Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis are looking chiseled, Victor will be looking to rise up in the MVP conversation, and Thaddeus Young has the ability to guard multiple positions on defense. Am I a homer? Absolutely. But is this a stretch? No. Boston Celtics- Noah Wolfgang Why the Celtics?- Last season the Celtics took LeBron James to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now that LeBron is no longer in the East, the path to the Finals is the clearest it has been for Boston in a long time. Their roster looks very similar to last season’s, except now they have Gordon Hayward and a rested Kyrie Irving. Head coach Brad Stevens knows how to effectively use Al Horford. Boston also has one of the best bench units in the East. Boston Celtics- Devin Voss Why the Celtics? - Last season the world only got to see a small glimpse of what the Celtics were capable of. The Celtics were only nine points away from going to the NBA Finals without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. They possess an all-star starting five, a high scoring bench, and the best coach in the NBA. They’re the only team in the Eastern Conference that can afford to lose someone to injury because they have a variety of insurance policies. Unless a catastrophe happens, there’s no reason the Celtics won’t be representing the East in the Finals this season. Boston Celtics- Caleb Lynn Why the Celtics?- Boston had two of their best players not even suit up in the playoffs because of injury last season. Gordon Hayward will thrive in Boston and Kyrie Irving is one of the best point guards in the league. When you already have young guys like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum thriving in big stages, then good things can happen. To me, this will not be a contest as I don’t see anyone getting in the Celtics way in the Eastern Conference. Western Conference Champions Golden State Warriors – Ryan Gregory Why the Warriors? – Somehow, the Warriors got even better during the offseason. If Boogie Cousins can recover fully from his Achilles injury, which is no easy task, the Warriors could potentially have an All-Star starting at every position. While the Rockets came close to dethroning the Warriors last season, they got worse this offseason. No one can stop the Warriors, we’re just along for the ride. Golden State Warriors - Zach Griffith Why the Warriors? - They’re the Warriors. I really don’t want to talk about them. Golden State Warriors- Noah Wolfgang Why the Warriors?- Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins. Those are five All-Stars that will take the floor for the Dubs in the playoffs. Even in a stacked Western Conference, that’s enough said. Golden State Warriors - Devin Voss Why the Warriors? Steph, Klay, Dray, Durant, and Boogie. Enough said. Golden State Warriors- Caleb Lynn As much as people can’t stand how talented this team is, Coach Steve Kerr has gotten each player to buy into unselfish basketball. The defense that they can play is truly special and, in the second half of the season, they take their game to another level. NBA Champions Golden State Warriors – Ryan Gregory Why the Warriors? – The Warriors might be the best team in NBA history. They’re absolutely loaded and have a decent amount of depth to go with it. The Celtics would be lucky to steal a game in the Finals, and the Celtics are a very good basketball team. The Warriors are just better. Golden State Warriors - Zach Griffith Why the Warriors - They’re the Warriors. Try not to think about them. Golden State Warriors- Noah Wolfgang Why the Warriors?- Again, the Warriors have the best starting five in NBA history. Realistically, the Dubs will probably steamroll the Celtics in the Finals. Eventually the basketball gods will punish Golden State, right? Not this season. Boston Celtics - Devin Voss Why the Celtics? The Celtics have a genius at head coach. Brad Stevens is the best play caller in the NBA today. Not many teams can keep up with the Golden State offense. The Celtics are one of the only teams that can. With the ferocity they play with on defense, the scoring availability they have on offense, and a coach who can outsmart anyone in the league, the Celtics should be able to take the title back to Boston this season. Celtics will win in six. Boston Celtics- Caleb Lynn Why the Celtics?- I am a huge believer in Brad Stevens. He puts his players in the best situations for them to succeed, and that is not something that you can just develop. The depth on this team allows Stevens to be creative with lineups in order to stop the Warriors. I believe Golden State won’t take home another Larry O’Brien trophy this season.
The MLB playoffs are finally upon us. After a year of dominance in Boston, disappointment in Washington and surprise in Oakland, the road to the Fall Classic kicked off Tuesday night with a Wild Card win by the Colorado Rockies over the Chicago Cubs, followed by the Yankees beating the A's yesterday. The MLB presents the most unpredictable postseason of all the major sports, but the Campus Citizen sports staff will give predictions a shot anyway. AL MVP Mookie Betts, Red Sox - Zach Griffith The Case for Betts - No contest here. Mookie has been the best player in baseball since Opening Day and really hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Betts is the driving force behind a Red Sox team that has set franchise record for wins and is clearly the team to beat in the American League. On the season, Mookie’s got 32 homers, 178 hits and 80 RBI’s while also joining the exclusive 30-30 club (30 HR and 30 stolen bases in a season), a list that includes all-timers like Willie Mays, pre-steroids Barry Bonds, Barry Larkin and Mike Trout. That sounds like an MVP to me. JD Martinez, Boston Red Sox- Caleb Lynn The case for Martinez- He signed a contract up to 5 year/ $110 Million with Boston this off season and has helped stabilize the Red Sox lineup with averaging close to a triple crown this season. Martinez has been able to deliver an On-base plus slugging of 174 and the average is normally around 100. Martinez in this lineup has taken the Red Sox to a whole different level. His teammate Mookie Betts has the evidence this year to get it but I think Martinez will take it home. Mookie Betts, Red Sox - Ryan Gregory The Case for Betts - Much like a certain Mets pitcher is an unquestioned lock for a postseason award, Betts is going to run away with the AL MVP. He’s leading the AL batting average race with a .346 (!), 16 points above teammate J.D. Martinez. Most players who bat with that level of consistency don’t mash dingers. Most players aren’t Mookie, who has 32 homers on the season. I still believe Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, but Mookie has had the better season and deserves this one. Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox- Noah Wolfgang The Case for Betts- Mookie has been the driving force behind a historic Boston squad. This season, he leads the AL-entire MLB actually-in batting average with a .346. He’s managed to smack 32 home runs. He notched 80 RBI’s. He’s stolen 30 bases, which means that he will join the 30-30 club for the first time in his career. The list of accomplishments goes on and on. Not to mention that he has a strong defensive presence that has been slightly overlooked this season. NL MVP Javier Baez, Cubs - Zach Griffith The Case for Baez - The race for the National League MVP has been as up-for-grabs as the League itself; there’s really no clear front-runner, so you kind of just have to take your pick. For me, it’s Javy. It’s pretty funny how this works out because if you’d told me in 2015 that Javier Baez would be an MVP candidate, I would’ve told you to get back to me when you were sober. Now, Baez seems to be the best bet for the honor, thanks to 171 hits, 34 home runs, 110 RBI’s and an impressive .294 batting average. The Cubbies are primed for another deep playoff run, so Baez will have every opportunity to prove that he’s the man. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves - Ryan Gregory The Case for Freeman - Freeman is the leader of the new kids on the block. The talented youth the Braves have on roster like Ronald Acuna Jr., Johan Camargo, and Ozzie Albies has made the team fun again. Freeman, only 29 himself, has set the standard for the team. He’s hitting .308 on the season and has plated a team-high 95 baserunners. He gets the nod over capable parties like Javy Baez because the Braves absolutely sucked as recently as 2016 and he’s mainly to thank for the quick turnaround. Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers- Noah Wolfgang The Case for Yelich- In a much tighter NL MVP race, Yelich stands out to me. He’s the leader of a Brewers squad that managed to rip the NL Central pennant from the Cubs’ grip. He has posted a stellar .326 batting average this season to go along with 36 home runs, 110 RBI’s, and 22 stolen bases. At the end of the regular season, his OPS stands at 1.000 compared to Javier Baez’s .881 OPS. It will be a tight race but Yelich will take home the award. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves- Caleb Lynn The Case for Freeman - Freddie Freeman has been as stable as they come for this young Atlanta Braves squad. The Braves were not even supposed to be this good so soon, but Freeman has been a leader and showed consistency once again this season. With the Braves being in the spotlight due to their great young talent, it has allowed him to shine and why I have him as the NL MVP. AL CY YOUNG Corey Kluber, Indians - Zach Griffith The Case for Kluber - Much like the NL MVP race, the American League Cy Young predictions are all over the place. I’m going with Kluber, who leads the impressive Cleveland rotation yet again. In 32 starts, Klubot has a 20-7 record to his name along with an impressive 2.83 ERA. He’s also boasting 216 strikeouts over 210 innings pitched, and he’ll lead the Indians pitching staff for another postseason run. Kluber’s numbers aren’t quite living up to his 2014 and 2017 Cy Young-winning seasons, but he’s once again in the mix for the hardware. Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays - Ryan Gregory The Case for Snell - Personally, I believe wins are the most worthless stat recorded for a pitcher. So many factors out of the pitchers control influence the W/L record. That being said, Snell has 21 wins this season. That doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by fanning 211 batters and allowing only 37 runs in 30 starts. Snell has been fantastic for the Rays, who have done nothing to thank him as they’ve been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays- Noah Wolfgang The Case for Snell- Snell boasts a 21-5 win-loss record, which is impressive, even on a decent Rays squad. 21 wins is crazy. In 180 innings pitched, he has a 1.89 ERA to go with 221 strikeouts. Enough said. Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox- Caleb Lynn The Case for Sale - Chris Sale has put out a marvelous season for the dominant Boston Red Sox as he leads the AL in WAR, and his strikeout percentage of 38.3% is the highest ever for a starting pitcher since Randy Johnson. His performance has been off the charts despite 2 DL stints, ERA+, which takes earned run average and takes in for factors like a ballpark environment and quality of opponents before it compares a pitcher against the league average is set at 100. Sale’s 224 means that he has been two times as good as the average pitcher. He’s never been able to secure the trophy, however I think the AL Cy Young should be Sale’s. NL CY YOUNG Jacob deGrom, Mets - Zach Griffith The Case for deGrom - To give you an idea of how good deGrom has been this season, I’ll say this: Max Scherzer is still dealing for the Nats, yet deGrom is the surefire winner for this award. deGrom has outshined Scherzer--the two-time defending Cy Young winner--despite playing for a sad Mets squad. He most likely wrapped up his season this week, finishing with 269 K’s over 217 innings, along with an unreal 1.7 ERA and giving the Mets every chance to win. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets - Ryan Gregory The Case for deGrom - Duh. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets-Noah Wolfgang The Case for deGrom- deGrom has been great this past season. Grabbing more wins (10) than losses (9) on a very meh Mets team is an accomplishment given that there are so many problems with his supporting cast. Ten wins is always an accomplishment anyways. In 217 innings pitched, deGrom has an absolutely fantastic ERA of 1.70 to go along with 269 strikeouts. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets- Caleb Lynn The Case for deGrom- DeGrom with a 1.70 ERA, takes over games when he is on the mound. Despite his record being 10-9 due to a poor season for the Mets, he has delivered in every way. He finished with 269 strikeouts over 217 innings and has done all he could do to try to give the Mets some wins. AL SLEEPER TEAM Houston Astros - Ryan Gregory The Case for the Astros - It seems odd to call the defending World Series Champions sleepers, but that’s exactly what they are this season. All of the playoff chatter in the AL has been focused on the East. The Red Sox are very good this year, as are the Yankees. But, the Astros are still the Astros. Confidence as the reigning champs and a little guy named Jose Altuve make the Astros my favorite for the AL. Cleveland Indians - Zach Griffith The Case for the Tribe - Thanks in part to a terrible division, it feels like the Indians clinched a playoff spot 3 months ago. Still, don’t overlook Tito Francona’s group; coming off of their third consecutive Central Division title, Cleveland boasts one of the best rotations in the league (Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco), strong relievers (Andrew Miller, Josh Tomlin), and outstanding offensive power (Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion). Depending on how the Josh Donaldson addition pans out, don’t be shocked if the Indians show up in the ALCS yet again. Houston Astros- Caleb Lynn The case for the Astros- Well, the Astros are the defending champions. They know what it takes to be a hungry postseason team and they have a pitching rotation that Houston should feel good about. Depth in the rotation is always critical in the postseason. Astros manager AJ Hinch, can insert Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Charlie Morton in a 5 game series. Also, they have two starters guy who have been dependable for the Astros in the past with Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers too. Oakland Athletics- Noah Wolfgang The case for the A’s- My belief in the A’s in rooted in my belief that they will beat the Yankees in the Wild Card. I think this win will give them momentum that will carry them much deeper in the playoffs than anyone expects. They are a young, talented team with no household names, although Khris Davis’ probably deserves to be. Often in baseball-in any sport even-these types of teams tend to shock people in the postseason. They also have a strong bullpen that’s led by Blake Treinen. Oh, and they won 97 games in the stacked AL. Don’t count out the A’s. NL SLEEPER TEAM Atlanta Braves - Zach Griffith The Case for the Braves - After a few down years, the Braves are back in the playoffs thanks to Freddie Freeman and an outstanding young core. Guys like Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Johan Camargo will be leading the charge into the postseason. Throw in Freeman’s power hitting and a pitching staff featuring Sean Newcomb, Julio Teheran and Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta could be ready to make a jump ahead of schedule. Milwaukee Brewers - Ryan Gregory The Case for Milwaukee - The acquisition of Christian Yelich was an important turning point for the Brew Crew. The last time the Brewers won 90 games in a regular season was 2011. This year, they have 92. After years of mediocrity, this team is finally ready to break through. Milwaukee Brewers- Noah Wolfgang The Case for the Brewers- All season, the Brewers were the second best team in the NL. The “best team” in the NL is in their division. After beating this team to take the NL Central division title, they take the mantle of top NL team. For this reason, there chatter surrounding the Brewers hasn’t been as loud as it should be. They have arguably the hottest player heading into the postseason in Christian Yelich. Don’t be surprised to see the Brewers go deep into the month of October. Atlanta Braves- Caleb Lynn The Case for the Braves- The Atlanta Braves remind me of teams in the past such as the 2016 Royals who were so young, yet they just play hard. The braves have some great young talent, and a player in Freddie Freeman that many know. However, I feel like they are out to prove their fans that the wait was worth it. The starting pitching led by Mike Foltynewicz unexpected campaign has been under the radar which leads me to picking them to possibly shake up the National League. AL CHAMPIONS Boston Red Sox - Zach Griffith The Case for the Sox - It seems foolish to bet against the Red Sox this season. They’ve got the two leading candidates for the AL MVP award (Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez), an unbelievable starting rotation (Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price), a dominant closer (Craig Kimbrel), a defensive anchor in center field (Jackie Bradley Jr.) and the likely candidate for Manager of the Year (Alex Cora). The Sox have everything going for them right now, so I’m going with Boston to take its fourth World Series title in 14 years. Boston Red Sox - Ryan Gregory The Case for Boston - When a team plays baseball as good as the 2018 Red Sox did this regular season, it’s hard not to give them the AL crown. With 108 regular season wins, this club is obviously doing something right. It’s hard to pinpoint a weak spot on this team. It would take a spirited effort to win a series against these guys. Boston Red Sox- Noah Wolfgang The Case for the Red Sox- What do I even need to say here? They won 108 games this past season. 108 games won is a crazy good number! A record like this was, by the way, earned in an AL where all playoff teams boast at least 97 wins. With their incredibly well-rounded roster, I just don’t see anyone in the AL denying the Sox a trip to the Fall Classic. Not to mention that they have home-field advantage. The AL pennant is the Sox’ to lose. Boston Red Sox- Caleb Lynn The Case for the Red Sox- While the field in this American League Postseason is competitive and full of experience, I still have a tough time thinking that Boston won’t be in the World Series. The way they have played throughout this season has been remarkable. With the best lineup in the MLB, and pitching that will be led by Chris Sale leads me to thinking they will win the American League. NL CHAMPIONS Milwaukee Brewers - Zach Griffith The Case for Milwaukee - Now that the Cubs have been bounced, the path to the World Series just got much easier for the Brew Crew. Christian Yelich seems to have put the stamp on his MVP case, their bullpen is off the charts right now, and guys like Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas know what it takes to go the distance. The Brewers are back in the postseason for the first time since 2011, and I think this trip could go longer than expected. Milwaukee Brewers- Noah Wolfgang The Case for the Brewers- After they managed to chase the Cubs down in the NL Central, my belief that this squad is dangerous was cemented. Now with the Cubs out, I believe that there is no legitimate threat to the Brewers. Yelich is the hottest player in baseball going into the playoffs, and beyond him, they have a bit of depth. The Brewers are ready to take the NL pennant. Atlanta Braves- Caleb Lynn The Case for the Braves- While I already feel the criticism of this prediction, I believe the MLB postseason is as unpredictable as they come. I think that it won’t be exactly what everyone thinks it’s going to be. I am sold on this Braves team and their Manager Brian Snitker who will prep his team to play like they have nothing to be ashamed about. Los Angeles Dodgers - Ryan Gregory The Case for the Dodgers - Call me crazy, but I think this is the year the Dodgers finally don’t blow it. The Manny Machado trade back in July is the difference maker for me. A polarizing player on both offense and defense, he’s the spark this franchise has been missing. If the Dodgers (specifically, Kershaw) pitch well, this is a World Series team. WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS Boston Red Sox - Zach Griffith The Case for Boston - As I said, I’d be a fool to go against the Red Sox. In a battle of offensive firepower, the Sox and Brewers will duke it out in what could be another World Series that goes the distance. However, Boston will prevail behind the magnificent Chris Sale and Rick Porcello manning the mound, and the Sox will claim their fourth title since 2004. Los Angeles Dodgers - Ryan Gregory The Case for the Dodgers - UPSET SPECIAL! While the Red Sox were the best team in baseball during the regular season, I predict they flame out by the World Series. The Dodgers will pick up a ton of confidence after they sweep the Braves and take down the mighty Brewers. Kershaw will be on the mound when the Dodgers win the series and everything will be right with the world again. Boston Red Sox- Noah Wolfgang The Case for the Red Sox-This series between the Brewers and Red Sox almost seems like David and Goliath. One team has been the uncontested best squad in the league since early April, and the other is making their return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. While the series won’t end with David taking down Goliath, I believe that it will be very competitive. The Brewers are an underappreciated squad that can be dangerous if they aren’t respected. Christian Yelich is great. In the end, the Sox will show why they won 108 games this year. Boston Red Sox- Caleb Lynn No roster is as deep as the Boston Red Sox. Despite what I think can possibly be a vulnerable bullpen, their offense will overpower everyone and make it hard for teams to keep up. I think the World Series will end in six games and we will be crowning the Red Sox as the champions. WORLD SERIES MVP J.D. Martinez - Zach Griffith The Case for J.D. - Mookie will rake in the regular season MVP award, but Martinez will snag the big one. I can see J.D. having a Big Papi-esque performance in the World Series, coming up with clutch hits/homers when they’re needed most. Martinez is the most dangerous DH in all of baseball, so he’ll cap off a phenomenal season by being the hero in Beantown. Cody Bellinger - Ryan Gregory The case for Bellinger - The World Series MVP is usually a toss up. Bellinger is coming into this series a little under the radar with stars like Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, and Manny Machado surrounding him. If he puts together a solid series and hits a homerun or two, he’ll come away with the award. Mookie Betts- Noah Wolfgang The Case for Betts- Mookie will be the force that drives the Sox over the Brewers in this series. I think that he will put up historically good numbers in what I expect to be a competitive series. He will show why he is the AL MVP by snatching World Series MVP honors as well. Andrew Benintendi- Caleb Lynn The case for Benintendi- Looking at previous World Series champions, you don’t always get the most projected player to win the World Series MVP. Look at 2016 with Ben Zobrist winning it, or even last season with George Springer. I believe that Andrew Benintendi will give Boston a third dominant hitter, and will show why everyone was so excited about him being the next star in Boston.
The IUPUI Men’s Soccer team has finally won a game. They defeated Horizon League opponent Detroit Mercy 1-0 on Sept. 8. Their last victory came on Nov. 5 of 2016 against Eastern Illinois. Since then, the team has endured a grueling 20-game losing streak which included an 0-9 start to Horizon League play. “This has been a longtime coming,” said junior midfielder Pedro Valladao. “We put in a lot of effort every day and I feel like we deserved this win.” Saturday night was certainly not a clash of Horizon League heavyweights. Detroit Mercy and IUPUI were predicted to finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the nine-team Horizon league. It was a disgusting night for soccer. The pouring rain and heavy gusts seemed more appropriate for a dramatic maritime movie scene rather than a September night soccer match. In the first half, it was evident the poor weather was taking its toll. Both teams seemed slowed by it. Runs often ended with attackers slipping, and corner kicks were ineffective as players could hardly see the ball. The first half ended with hardly any shots on goal, a 0-0 tie. There was a noted spike in aggression in the second half, but only from the IUPUI side. They pressed the attack on Detroit Mercy, at one point forcing three straight corner kicks, all of which failed. It wasn’t until the 74th minute that junior Pedro Valladao buried what would prove to be the game-winner. While Vallado will go down in IUPUI lore as the man who broke the 20-game losing streak, equal (if not more) credit is due to goalkeeper Quin McCallion. The freshman from England played out of his mind on Saturday. The 5’11” keeper played like he was 6’8”, at one point punching away a looping chip that would have certainly dropped into the goal. “It was a huge Horizon league game,” said McCallion. “I just love coming out here with the boys. It was a great game and a great win for us.” The Jaguars have a chance to make it a two-game winning streak on Wednesday Sept. 12 at Eastern Illinois, one of two teams they’ve beaten in the past two years. Horizon League play will resume Sept. 15 at Carroll Stadium against UIC, the defending Horizon League champions. “We feel great, but we haven’t won anything yet,” said Vallado. “Our goal is to win the Horizon League.”
Last night was the first game of the new NFL season. It pitted the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles against the Atlanta Falcons, who were in the Super Bowl in 2017. This battle of two football powerhouses would typically have football fans from all walks of life excited for the upcoming season. This wasn’t the case. No, it wasn’t just the overwhelming presence of penalties during the game. As “soft” as the NFL may become this season, it’s hardly as troublesome to some fans as what happened when football wasn’t even being played. During a break in the action, Nike aired a new commercial which featured NFL free agent and social activist Colin Kaepernick. In the 2016 preseason, Kaepernick caused a stir with fans when he knelt during the National Anthem to protest racial oppression and social injustices. His protests persisted through the season, and more players joined in. While his intentions were to bring the country closer together, the result was more separation. Some saw his peaceful protests as malice against the country, the flag and those who defend it. The storyline of the 2016-2017 season was the rift between those for and against. Whether it was his lack of ability or the potentially toxic atmosphere he could bring, he went unsigned in the 2017 offseason and remained unsigned last. Kaepernick did bring a team to the NFC Championship in 2013 and has 12,271 passing yards and 2,300 career rushing yards to his name. You’d have a hard time convincing me he’s not worthy of a job in the NFL. The Buffalo Bills named Nathan Peterman their starter for this upcoming Sunday. Peterman has more career interceptions than touchdowns and a career QBR of 13.8. Nike tweeted out the controversial commercial a day prior to airing it on NBC during the game and it set Twitter ablaze. No, really. Those who disagreed with Nike’s new message posted videos and pictures of burning Nike apparel in protest of the commercial. https://twitter.com/Nike/status/1037387167331364869 As protests persist over a man who is protesting, let’s take a step back and look at this from a broader stance. Colin Kaepernick is not “anti-America.” His kneeling protest is not a middle finger to those who gave him his freedom. He recognized an issue in his country and used his platform to bring attention to it. When athletes remain silent during turbulent times, fans chastise them for not taking action. When athletes speak up, fans tell them to be quiet. In a lose-lose situation, Kaepernick saw a reward that was worth the risk. Without a job and still fighting for what he believes in, there will always be those who attempt to stand in Kaepernick’s way. The same day Nike tweeted out the commercial, Kaepernick had a tweet of his own. It was a close up of his face in black and white. Superimposed on his face are the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Kaepernick is fighting for those that cannot fight. Kaepernick is a game changer without playing a down. Kaepernick has sacrificed his livelihood and his name to make a better tomorrow. Veterans and common man alike are behind him in his endeavors. How dare you stand in his way.
The IUPUI volleyball team notched their first victory of the 2018-19 season last night with a 3-0 win over the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons. IUPUI took the victory with victories of 26-24, 28-26, and 25-17. The Jaguars were previously 0-3 after losing all three games in the Louisville Cardinal Classic last weekend. The first set was narrow the entire way through. Junior McKayla Wright led the way for the Jags early, recording five kills in the first set. With the score tied at 24, Senior Maggie Gibson recorded a monster kill followed by the game-winner the next point by Senior Elizabeth Scott. Gibson displayed her clutch factor again in the second set. With momentum hanging in the balance during a deadlock at 13, Gibson powered home a kill that shifted the momentum back towards IUPUI. Purdue Fort Wayne surged back soon after, and the Jaguars would need more leadership from Gibson. She delivered. She scored two crucial kills, once while trailing 22-24, the other when trailing 24-25. Junior Haley Hoffman took over from there, recording a block and kill back to back. Again, it was Scott who finished the game with a kill, giving the Jaguars a 28-26 lead. “I’ve taken it upon myself to be a leader,” Gibson said. “It’s been a different experience for me, coming in as a transfer and finding a way to lead on a team I’ve only been on for two years, but it’s been a lot of fun. I love this team and they make it easy.” Demoralized by close losses in the first two sets, the Mastodons came out flat. IUPUI jumped out to a 13-3 lead and never looked back. After staving off a comeback attempt, the Jaguars won the final set 25-17 to end the evening victorious for the first time this season. “It’s always tough to get over the hump of the first win,” said Head Coach Steve Payne. “Now we’ve got it. We have something to build on now. We have some success and we’ll go from here.” Gibson lead the Jaguars in kills with 13, followed by Scott with nine and Wright with 7. Hoffman and Scott both finished with four blocks on the evening. Sophomore Rebecca Schlechte lead the team in assists with 24 while freshman Rachel Hickey lead the way in digs with 22. Up next, the Jaguars host the Hampton Inn Invitational this weekend. Play begins with Western Michigan on Friday, Aug. 31, followed by games against SIU-Edwardsville and Northern Arizona on Saturday, Aug. 1.
The IUPUI men’s and women’s golf teams wrapped up their seasons in Florida this week. While the men’s team came short of a comeback and finished third, the women finished strong and took home the Horizon League championship. The Lady Jags staved off a comeback from Oakland University. Their three-day total of 937 was enough to outlast the Golden Grizzlies’ score of 942. IUPUI entered the final day with a 16 stroke lead. They were lead by Marion Debove, who finished tied for third overall, and Aneta Abrahamova, the Horizon League Player of the Year, finished fifth overall. The conference championship is the first in program history for women’s golf. With the win, they will compete in the Madison, Wisc. regional of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Tournament. Play begins May 7. As for the men, their 911 effort fell short of Oakland (907) and Cleveland State (889) and earned them third in the tournament. The Jaguars were lead by Nick Bienz, who posted a three-day score of 221 and finished fourth overall. Austin Crowder finished tied for ninth overall with a total score of 227. Debove and Abrahamova were named to the All-Tournament team. Abrahamova and freshman Amelie Svejda were named First Team All-Horizon League. Nick Bienz was a second team All-Horizon League selection for the men.
In June of 2017, IUPUI announced that they were making the switch from the Summit League to the Horizon League. The switch was an obvious choice, as the Horizon provided closer road games and heightened competition. The women’s and men’s teams had varying results in the new conference. The Lady Jaguars were projected to finish seventh in the conference. The season prior, they finished one game short of making the NCAA tournament and finished with a 24-9 record. There was no respect for the new girls. Conference powerhouse Green Bay was the overwhelming favorite. IUPUI lost both bouts with Green Bay this season, but fared well with others. They won their first five games against Horizon opponents. They entered the last stretch of the season with a 12-3 conference record. That is where the dream run ended for the Lady Jaguars. They sputtered when it mattered most, losing two of the last three regular season games. Despite the unfavorable finish, they entered the Horizon League Tournament as the No. 2 seed. They won their quarterfinal matchup with Oakland 72-59, but lost in the semifinals to Wright State by a score of 60-52. The loss meant the Lady Jags would fall short of the NCAA Tournament again. The Lady Jags did play well enough to secure an invitation to the WNIT. They hosted Purdue in the first round and fell just short, losing by two points. Head Coach Austin Parkinson was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year for his team’s impressive first season in a tougher league. Only seniors Danielle Lawrence and Jenna Gunn graduate from the squad that finished the season with a 22-10 record. Headlining the returning players is freshman Macee Williams. She averaged 13 points and 7.7 rebounds in what was a stellar inaugural season. Also returning for the Lady Jags are Tamya Sims, who averaged 10.7 points and Sydney Hall, who averaged 8.5 points. Spearheaded by this duo, the returning core can certainly continue the success Parkinson has established at IUPUI. *** Conference play was not as favorable for the men’s team. They lost three of their first four conference matchups. A promising 3-game winning streak was decimated by a 5-game losing streak. They finished the regular season with an 8-10 conference record and a No. 5 seed in the Horizon League Tournament. Postseason play ended as quickly as it started for the Jaguars, they lost their first game to Oakland. On the season, they finished with an 11-19 record. The Jaguars lose two of their top three scorers to graduation in Aaron Brennon (12.4 ppg) and Ron Patterson (10.3 ppg). However, there is still reason for optimism for next season. Returning starters include T.J. Henderson, who averaged 10.8 points per game, Evan Hall, who averaged 7.7 points and 6 rebounds, and D.J. McCall, who averaged 7.1 points and led the team in steals. The trio are all entering their senior season and have logged plenty of minutes over their 3-year careers. Three transfers will also be suiting up for the Jaguars next season. Mike Sagay, a 6 foot 7 inch forward from Boston College, Camron Justice, a 6 foot 3 inch guard from Vanderbilt, and Ahmed Ismail, a 7 foot 1 inch center from Manhattan should all prove to be valuable additions to the squad.
At 6 feet 6 inches tall, D.J. McCall towers over the average human. His height gives him an advantage on the basketball court. The junior is a guard and regular starter on the IUPUI men’s basketball team. Though basketball season has come to an end, McCall is still in the public eye at all times. He stands tall over the entirety of Indianapolis, his face displayed on various billboards thanks to an invitation to participate in the ROAR advertising campaign at IUPUI. Brand recognition has been an ongoing issue for the Jaguars. Different slogans and marketing campaigns have come and gone, none of which had any longevity. The athletics program developed ROAR as the uniform solution and would feature their most prominent athletes as the face of the movement. McCall was an obvious choice to advertise, his talents stretch beyond the court. He was named to the Academic All-Horizon League team this season, as well as the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll. On the court, he averaged 7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and led the team in steals. “I would say I wasn't overly surprised to be asked to do the photoshoot just because I was one of our team's older returning guys,” McCall said. “But I was very surprised where those pictures ended up. Before one of the shots, a lady told me ‘You might see yourself on a bus.’ I thought she was completely joking. I didn't think I'd actually end up on the side of a bus.” The busses, billboards, and benches that bear his image have been displayed for months in the Indianapolis area. For most collegiate athletes, notoriety in a city as large as Indianapolis would be strange, but McCall is used to this. A standout at Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne, McCall has been a prominent figure in his community since his prep days. Concordia Lutheran still runs advertisements boasting about how their former star is now a division one athlete. Longstanding attention could easily go to an athlete’s head. McCall takes a much humbler approach to the attention. “It's a great honor to be involved with the advertisements,” McCall said. “Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Concordia, and IUPUI make up the man who I am today. If there are opportunities like this where I can give back, I always try to hop on them if my schedule allows me. But these opportunities are only possible because of the amazing people in my corner like my family, friends, coaches, teachers, and teammates over the years.” Simply put, McCall is enjoying the ride. He is playing the sport he loves in a city that loves him back. Billboards and busses are impressive souvenirs to take away from what has already been a successful career. “Hopefully one day I can show my kids and grandkids the pictures for when they don't believe their old man played some college basketball back in his day.”
The University of Louisville was dealt another massive blow of punitive action from the NCAA on Tuesday. They have been stripped of every win from the 2011-2012 season to the 2014-2015 season. Included in those 123 wins are four NCAA tournament appearances, four Sweet Sixteen appearances, three Elite Eight appearances, two Final Four appearances, and one National Championship. In addition to the games forfeited, Louisville must relinquish $600,000 in tournament payout. Beyond actions by the NCAA, Louisville imposed sanctions on themselves for the current season, excluding themselves from the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and the NCAA tournament. The discipline stems from buying strippers and prostitutes for recruits and players. In 2015 the owner of an escort service accused Andre McGee, an assistant coach, of purchasing prostitutes for recruits in on-campus dorms. These allegations were investigated by the FBI and found to be true. These improper benefits made the players ineligible and, therefore, all victories in which they participated were no longer valid. The news is a tremendous blow, but not necessarily a shocking one. Former Head Coach Rick Pitino resigned from the job amid an FBI investigation in late 2017 from a separate recruiting scandal. In that case, it was discovered that Pitino funneled money from their sponsor, Adidas, to the families of recruits. Pitino also took former athletic director Tom Jurich down with him in what is undoubtedly the most disgraceful scandal in the history of college basketball. Never before has a team been forced to vacate a National Championship victory. Louisville’s fall from grace may be the first of many. Assistants at Auburn, Oklahoma State, USC, and Arizona were arrested in September of 2017 for taking cash bribes to steer recruits towards agents and apparel companies. As the FBI probe continues to dig, the long-standing corruption in college basketball may finally be uncovered in its entirety. The onslaught of punishment has teams scrambling to assess their compliance operations to see if they could be next.
Postseason play is quickly approaching for the IUPUI men’s and women’s basketball teams, and they want to take their fans with them. The Horizon League Tournament, which will take place in Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena, begins March 2. The IUPUI athletic department is providing a bus that will travel up to Detroit for the tournament, which spans from Friday, March 2 to Tuesday, March 6. The bus will return to Indianapolis at the conclusion of the final IUPUI game each day. Students can sign up to travel on the bus here. The women’s team (20-7, 12-4) trail only Green Bay, who is ranked nationally, in conference standings. Their impressive play this season has been spearheaded by Danielle Lawrence, who is averaging 17.8 points per game. Freshman phenom Macee Williams has been a force for the Lady Jags in the paint, averaging 13 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The men’s team (10-17, 7-9) sit in the middle of the pack in the Horizon, but being the underdog hasn’t been a problem in the past. Last season in the Summit League, 7-seed IUPUI upset 2-seed North Dakota State in the first round of the tournament. Seniors Aaron Brennan (12.8 ppg) and Ron Patterson (10.9 ppg) will have to keep up their solid play if the Jaguars wish to make another run like last year.