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Why FIFA’s transfer ban could prove a blessing for Chelsea but bad news for Maurizio Sarri

first_imgAdvertisement Why FIFA’s transfer ban could prove a blessing for Chelsea but bad news for Maurizio Sarri Eden Hazard’s potential move to Real Madrid in the summer could be affected by Chelsea’s transfer ban (Getty Images)There is undeniably plenty of quality in Chelsea’s squad with N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard genuine world-class players, yet there are plenty of others who fall short of that elite status. Given recent struggles on the pitch, an overhaul of the first-team squad was expected to take place over the summer. That may now have to be postponed for a year.Such a transfer embargo would have a monumental impact on most clubs but while the news certainly would not have been welcomed at Chelsea’s offices on Friday morning, they do have one major advantage to help them compensate: a hugely successful academy to fall back on.Much has been made of the fact that Chelsea have failed to produce a key first-team player since John Terry emerged in the late 1990s, despite enjoying unprecedented success at youth level both at home and abroad over the past decade. It has become a rather laboured statistic but one that remains valid nevertheless.Chelsea’s U18s have won the Premier League two years running, the FA Youth Cup in each of the previous four seasons and were crowned UEFA Youth League Champions in 2015 and 2016, only dropping out the following year after the first-team’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.The club’s FA Youth Cup record is particularly outstanding. Only Manchester United, renowned for producing the ‘Busby Babes’ and ‘Class of 92’ have won more titles than Chelsea with ten to nine. Of Chelsea’s nine Youth Cup wins, seven have come since 2010. Christian Pulisic will be part of Chelsea’s first-team squad next season (Getty Images)Perhaps Chelsea’s last signing for some time will be the 20-year-old American winger Christian Pulisic, who joined in a £58m deal from Borussia Dortmund last month only to be returned to the Bundesliga title challengers for the remainder of the campaign. It seems highly likely now that Chelsea knew a ban could be forthcoming when they rubber-stamped that particular deal.Pulisic would have linked up with Chelsea in pre-season anyway but there are other more long-term members of the ‘loan army’ who might be handed an overdue chance to stake a claim in the first-team, including 21-year-old striker Tammy Abraham and 20-year-old Mason Mount.AdvertisementAbraham’s tale is the quintessential one of the typical Chelsea loanee. A key part of the side that won the UEFA Youth League and FA Youth Cups in both 2015 and 2016, Abraham has spent the past three seasons on loan to Bristol City, Swansea City and Aston Villa, scoring 48 goals in 101 games in England’s top two tiers.During that time away from Chelsea, Abraham has been capped twice by England’s senior team and was the subject of an £18m offer from Wolves in January having cost the club nothing. After scoring goals and earning international recognition away from Chelsea, Abraham has established himself as a valuable commodity. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was part of Chelsea’s UEFA Youth League winning team in 2015 (Getty Images)With Chelsea’s youth teams hoovering up trophies annually, you’d think that the natural progression for the young players providing such success would be to make the step up into the first-team squad, yet that isn’t really how things have transpired.Of Sarri’s current 24-man first-team squad, only three count as ‘homegrown’ from the club’s academy: 23-year-old midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 22-year-old Andreas Christensen (signed from Brondby in 2012) and 18-year-old winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, while another 18-year-old, Ethan Ampadu joined from Exeter City when he was 16.AdvertisementAdvertisementAs for the rest, they are scattered out far and wide, regarded as members of Chelsea’s much-maligned ‘loan army’ that the club keeps tabs on in a rather bloated Whatsapp group. At present, Chelsea have no fewer than 41 players out on loan to various clubs in the Championship, Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues and elsewhere across the continent.Chelsea have been strongly criticised for ‘stockpiling’ their various squads full of players with seemingly no intention of ever using them themselves, instead loaning them out in the hope that their performances elsewhere will lead to lucrative transfer deals.It is the signing of such players that has landed Chelsea in hot water with FIFA and rather ironically, it is by having these players that the severity of the sanction handed down to them could be significantly reduced. Chelsea might not be able to purchase any big names soon, but they can still integrate plenty of talented players returning from loans or from their youth teams into their squad. Chelsea are facing up to the prospect of being unable to buy any players over the next two transfer windows after being found guilty of breaching transfer rules related to the signing of minors by FIFA.As well effectively handing down a year-long ban on Chelsea, FIFA have also fined the club £460,000 after concluding that they had swerved transfer regulations to sign 29 players under the age of 18, the most high-profile of whom appears to be Lyon forward Bertrand Traore.It means that Chelsea will be unable to add to their first-team squad until the summer of 2020, although they will appeal the decision which could see the ban’s start date postponed until after the summer transfer window.AdvertisementAdvertisementOn the one hand, this news is disastrous for a club who were hoping to improve their squad in the summer. An extremely promising start to the season under Maurizio Sarri which saw the team go 18-games unbeaten in all competitions has proven to be something of a false dawn in subsequent months.ADVERTISEMENTHaving been regarded as the third team in a three-horse Premier League title race with Liverpool and Manchester City by mid-November, Chelsea now find themselves facing an uphill battle just to finish in the top four, sitting behind a resurgent Manchester United and London rivals Arsenal in sixth place at the end of February.center_img Tammy Abraham is the third-highest goalscorer in the Championship this season (Getty Images)Abraham has clearly outgrown the Championship and is ready for a shot in the Premier League while Mount, who has caught the eye under Chelsea legend Frank Lampard at promotion-chasing Derby County, also has the talent to make the step up. Others have impressed this season too, such as Reece James at Wigan Athletic.How Chelsea’s squad will look for the first round of Premier League fixtures in 2019-20 will depend on how successful their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is and whether or not FIFA decided to reduce the length of the ban or end up delaying it beyond the summer.Should the ban remain as it is, however, it would force Chelsea to look to within to refresh and regenerate an ageing, underperforming squad, which could prove to be a blessing in disguise for a club that despite investing heavily into their academy has long taken it for granted.AdvertisementSuch a cultural change could have a positive long-term impact, yet it could be more problematic in the short-term to their manager Sarri, assuming he is able to turn things around over the next few months and cling onto his job beyond the end of the season.For all the praise Sarri received for transforming Napoli into one of Europe’s most easy-on-the-eye teams, his record for promoting young players has never been particularly good. Lorenzo Insigne was the only academy graduate in Napoli’s squad during Sarri’s three years in charge and he was already long established as a first-team regular pre-Sarri. Advertisement CommentShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitter2.5kShares By Oliver Young-MylesFriday 22 Feb 2019 1:45 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.5kShares Callum Hudson-Odoi had a transfer request rejected in January after he tried to seal a move to Bayern Munich (Getty Images)Sarri’s hesitancy to trust young players has also been evident during his time in England with Chelsea’s four academy players (and youngest members of the squad) – Loftus-Cheek (23), Christensen (22), Hudson-Odoi (18) and Ampadu (18) – starting three Premier League games between them during his tenure.His reluctance to use Hudson-Odoi in the Premier League is a decision that has particularly angered Chelsea’s fanbase. A member of England’s victorious U17 World Cup squad in 2017 and regarded as one of the country’s finest prospects, Hudson-Odoi has been limited to just 74 minutes of Premier League action. There is an argument to be made that in Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea boast a player that can match Jadon Sancho yet isn’t being given the same opportunities to prove it.That Bayern Munich offered guarantees to Hudson-Odoi that he would be a first-team regular when they pursued him last month despite Sarri keeping him in reserve behind the inconsistent pair of Willian and Pedro says plenty about Sarri’s preference for experience over youth.If Chelsea decide to wield the axe on Sarri anytime soon, the decision will have been made due to his performance as manager yet his poor record when it comes to blooding young players amid FIFA’s transfer ban could be an additional factor that nudges him closer to the exit door.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsBoris Johnson rejects Marcus Rashford’s plea to extend free school mealslast_img read more

Aker Energy Files Plan for Deepwater Development Off Ghana

first_imgAker Energy Ghana has submitted an integrated plan of development and operations (PDO) to Ghanaian authorities for the Deepwater Tano / Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block offshore Ghana.“The plan will, once approved, ensure an efficient development and production of the Pecan field and further optimisation of the DWT/CTP petroleum resources in a way that will deliver value to the people of Ghana and to us and our partners,” says Jan Arve Haugan, CEO at Aker Energy.The PDO was submitted and presented to the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu, at the Ministry of Energy in Accra, Ghana.“The submission of the integrated PDO has been a result of collaboration between the Contractors, GNPC, relevant agencies and the Ministry. The Pecan field will be the fourth producing oil field offshore Ghana and will strongly benefit the people of Ghana,” says John Peter Amewu, Minister of Energy in Ghana.The integrated PDO presents an overall plan for a phased development and production of the resources in the DWT/CTP contract area. The phased development plan will start with the development of the Pecan field as a firm phase one, being the largest of several discoveries in the area.The PDO is subject to approval from relevant Ghanaian authorities. Upon PDO approval, the partners will initiate a process to make a final investment decision (FID). First oil from the Pecan field is estimated 35 months after the FID is made.The main Pecan field, located in ultra-deep waters ranging from 2,400 to 2,700 metres about 115 kilometres offshore Ghana, will be developed with a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel and a subsea production system (SPS). The FPSO will be the centre for processing and exporting of crude oil from the field. The development of the Pecan field will comprise of up to 26 subsea wells. It is planned for 14 advanced, horizontal oil producers and 12 injectors with alternating water and gas injection (WAG), and the use of multiphase pumps as artificial lift, to maximise oil production.Maximising oil production for the long term Total reserves from the Pecan field development are estimated to 334 million barrels of oil, and plateau production is estimated to 110,000 barrels of oil per day. Production from the field is expected to last for more than 25 years. The total investments (CAPEX) to develop these reserves are estimated to USD 4.4 billion, excluding the charter rate for a leased FPSO.The Pecan field centre will have the flexibility to tie-in subsequent development of resources. In addition to the reserves to be developed in the first phase, the area holds discovered contingent resources (2C) of 110-210 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), combined resulting in an estimated volume base of approximately 450-550 mmboe. Total resources in the area have thepotential to increase to between 600-1000 mmboe, provided successful appraisal drilling activity. Data analysis and appraisal drilling are currently ongoing at Pecan South and Pecan South East.“In addition to the FPSO for the Pecan field development, Aker Energy has entered into an option agreement with Ocean Yield for a second FPSO, Dhirubai-1. If the option is exercised, Dhirubai-1 could either be used to accelerate production or for other, potential developments dependent on volumes and geographical distribution of these,” Haugan says.Aker Energy Ghana is the operator under the DWT/CTP Petroleum Agreement with a 50% participating interest. Its partners are Lukoil Overseas Ghana Tano (38%), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10%) and Fueltrade (2%).last_img read more

Estafa rap sends 2 women to jail

first_imgBACOLOD City – Charged with estafa twopersons were nabbed in Barangay Talaban, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental. The 56-year-old resident Zacel Quimsingand 44-year-old Ivonne Suarez from Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental werecaught on the strength of an arrest warrant around 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 31, apolice report showed. The suspects were detained in the lockupcell of the Himamaylan City police station. Police officers served the warrantissued by Judge Ma. Caridad J. Villamor-Yee of the Regional Trial Court Branch141 in Makati City dated Dec. 5, 2019. The court recommended a P54,000 bailbond each for their temporary liberty./PNlast_img read more

Who Helped Who?

first_imgI have two friends who went to Ball Sate at the same time. I will not use their names since I don’t want to embarrass them. Friend A said he did all the work to get Friend B through school. Of course, Friend B said the same about his buddy. As I said, I know both of these guys quite well, and I wonder who got both of them through school! The funniest part is that despite all of the kidding we have done with these two guys both of them are super successful. In fact, one of them is in the State Track & Field Hall of Fame. The other one should be in as well but has not made it yet. They are both retired now, and I know a lot of kids are really glad they were not only coached by these two guys but were taught by them as well. All the kidding comes from the fact that, like their classmate, David Letterman, they really enjoyed their time at Ball State. I am sure that a few lounge owners in the Muncie area can tell more stories about them than I can. I am also sure they had a lot more fun in college than the average Joe. They would be the first to tell you that despite the fun, they really did settle down once and awhile and studied. At least they do have diplomas to prove they graduated.last_img read more

Louise McCarthy again available to play for Cricket Ireland

first_imgDublin: Cricket Ireland on Friday confirmed that pace bowler Louise McCarthy has been added to the Ireland women’s senior performance squad after an absence of three years. The 26-year old has 74 caps for Ireland after making her debut in 2010, however, took a break from international cricket to complete studies for a Masters of Diagnostic Radiography in Edinburgh. Carrie Archer, Chair of Ireland women’s national selectors, said: “The squad Louise left in 2017 and the one she joins now are vastly different, so we are delighted that Louise’s experience can be added to this young side. She had 74 caps over seven years before her break for study, so her re-inclusion, once she became available again, was a straightforward decision for the selectors.” McCarthy said: “Returning to the Irish squad wasn’t something I had completely written off, but my studies had become the priority. Then I was lucky enough to play for Durham last season in their 50-over and 20-over competitions, and that experience reinstated my fire for cricket. Playing with top quality players and against tough opponents week-on-week was something I realised I missed.” IANS Also watch: #NewsMakers: RK Somorjit Singh, Manipur BJP Spokesperson in an exclusive chat with Oineetom Ojahlast_img read more

FIFA promotes GFF’s youth development programme on social media

first_imgTHE world governing body of football, FIFA, has showcased the Guyana Football Federation’s new, nationwide, youth football development programme on its popular social media platforms, sharing images from a GFF-Scotiabank Academy Training Centre (ATC) youth football session with millions of football fans worldwide.FIFA’s corporate Twitter account ( has 10.3 million followers, while its corporate Facebook account ( has 3.25 million followers. It is the first time a GFF football development programme has been promoted on these platforms.“We are delighted to have this level of support from FIFA, as it increases public awareness of the progress we are making in football in Guyana,” said GFF president Wayne Forde. “It places Guyana, and its football, in a positive light on the international stage.“We also know the value that sponsors place on the power and reach of social media, and we encourage more organisations and people to come on board as we build towards future success.”The images posted by FIFA show GFF Technical Development Officer Sampson Gilbert and GFF Youth Development coach Challus McKinnon leading a group of Under-17 boys through structured training in the first Georgetown Football Association area session on February 17.On Facebook, FIFA said: “(The) Guyana Football Federation is reforming football in Guyana and focusing on laying foundations for future success through youth/coach development.”The GFF-Scotiabank ATC, managed by GFF Technical Director Ian Greenwood, and an expanded technical development team form a nationwide network designed to discover and more effectively develop talented boys and girls all over.last_img read more

Another thriller could help oft-threatened Champions Trophy survive

first_imgAS England prepare for their ICC Champions Trophy opener with Bangladesh tomorrow, it could be easy to forget this is the tournament that was not supposed to happen.England’s heart-breaking loss to India in the 2013 final was meant to be the last Champions Trophy match, the competition giving way to a Test Championship play-off.But the Test Championship play-off was an idea that never came to fruition, the big three cricketing boards of England, India and Australia scrapping it and overturning the ICC event revenue model.So here we are again, four years on from the last Champions Trophy in England, preparing for another Champions Trophy, in England.And the competition once more finds itself under threat. India’s threatened boycott of the event did not come to pass and they are scheduled to host the tournament in 2021, but the potential advent of a 13-team ODI League in 2019 could yet see the Champions Trophy consigned to history.However, despite seemingly being in constant danger of being removed from the ICC calendar, there is plenty to appeal in the Champions Trophy.Though some of the better matches in the last World Cup came from those featuring the associate nations, the attraction to a shorter tournament with the focus purely on the top eight 50-over sides on the planet is obvious.A West Indies side that typically entertain but often frustrate outside of the demolition derby that is Twenty20 cricket will not be present in England, their absence another sign of that former powerhouse’s drastic modern-day decline.But, while top-ranked South Africa are missing star seamer Dale Steyn, there is plenty on offer to excite crowds in this year’s competition.Boycott avoided, India and Virat Kohli – arguably the world’s best batsman in all three formats – will naturally attract plenty of attention.The likes of David Warner, Chris Lynn, Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell give Australia a potentially destructive edge while the white-ball revolution England have experienced under the guidance of Trevor Bayliss shows no signs of abating.The 2013 final proved an engrossing and tense spectacle, with a largely pro-Indian crowd greeting their dramatic five-run victory with rapturous celebrations.With the talent on show at this year’s edition, there is every chance of a similarly enthralling contest being played out again.And, should that come to pass, then the ICC may again be forced to consider whether potentially ditching the Champions Trophy would be the correct decision.(Omnisport)last_img read more

Marrow drive targets USC’s int’l students

first_imgUSC’s international population, the largest of any university in the United States, has given the school a unique opportunity — the chance to save a life.Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, a branch of National Marrow Donor Program, is launching an on-campus drive Thursday to find a potentially life-saving match for Sonia Rai, a 24-year-old Los Angeles native and current Boston resident who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia during the holiday season. The four-hour drive will be held on Trousdale Parkway starting at 10 a.m.Kanika Jain, a first-year graduate student at USC and one of the drive’s organizers, said Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches chose USC because of the university’s large number of international and South Asian students.According to The New York Times, USC had 7,987 international students last year, more than any other university in the United States.“I said to myself ‘Hey, I work and study at USC and there are South Asians everywhere; let’s do a drive here,’” said Elizabeth Jordan, a USC graduate student and a career counselor in the Career Planning & Placement Center.Jordan said she was moved by Rai’s story and contacted Rai’s brother in Boston to help organize a drive at USC. Jordan previously organized bone marrow drives in 2009 and 2010, both of which produced life-saving matches.“I truly believe we will find a match for Sonia and she’s going to be okay,” Jordan said. “We’ve got too much inspiration and momentum to fail.”The drive will ask USC students to sign up for the Be the Match Registry, a commitment to donate blood marrow to a person in need. More than eight million people have already signed up for the registry.“It is a great idea to have the drive at USC,” said Esther Lee, associate director of the Office of International Services. “USC stands out above the rest because of its international students and a lot of the students come here to get a great education, but here is a rare opportunity to save a life.”Jordan said it will take approximately 10 minutes for students to register and take a DNA test. She also encourages students who cannot attend the drive in person to sign up at to learn more about the process of bone marrow transplants.“It’s so fast and easy; just one form and four cheek swabs and you’re done,” Jordan said.According to a 2007 report by CBS Boston, 1.8 percent of the registry’s eight million members are South Asian.“There are so many South Asians at USC but so few in the Be the Match Registry,” Jain said. “Sonia needs more South Asians in the registry to find a match.”Although Rai is searching for a South Asian donor, the organizers of the event encourage all USC students to join the Be the Match Registry.“Our mission is not just to cure Sonia but to help find donors for other patients in dire need,” said Kamini Rai Cormier, Rai’s cousin.Rai’s supporters launched the Cure Sonia Campaign via social media and networking, and have held more than 100 drives across the country during the course of a month. Events have been held in Philadelphia, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco and Los Angeles.last_img read more

Engel finds niche at new position

first_imgWith zero goals scored entering this season, Josh Engelmight not have seemed like the most likely candidate to switch to forward.But with a strong incoming class of defensemen entering thefray for the Badgers at the beginning of the season — including NHL Entry Draftfirst-round picks Ryan McDonagh and Brendan Smith — the position was becomingcrowded, and something needed to be done.”The coaching staff talked about it and brought me in andasked if I would do it,” Engel said of the switch. “We had a lot of depth ondefense, and a lot of good guys coming in. Instead of making the decision tosee who’s going to sit out that game, they just asked me if I would move toforward.”The decision to change positions was a tough one for Engel.After playing on defense for the previous three years of his UW career, Engelknew the move had to be made.”I was a little disappointed at first, but then I kind ofunderstood,” Engel said. “I thought it would be a challenge. I wanted to face achallenge.”I [also] just wanted to do whatever was best for the team.”Doing what’s best for the team meant moving to offense, aposition that Engel has finally become comfortable with.”He’s done really well,” forward Ben Street said. “He keepsit really simple. … He makes a lot of smart plays.”Engel broke out with his biggest game of the year — andcareer — Saturday against St. Cloud State. He had his first multi-goal game asa Badger while skating on the team’s second line with Blake Geoffrion andPatrick Johnson. The second of the two goals, which came with two and a halfminutes remaining in the contest, proved to be the game-winner.”I haven’t had two goals since high school,” Engel said. “Itdefinitely felt really good.””The puck just came right to him, but that can happen whenyou’re in the right place at the right time,” defenseman Davis Drewiske said.”If you put yourself in the right position, your chances of scoring reallyincrease.”The line of Engel, Geoffrion and Johnson has clicked for theBadgers, as they were responsible for four of the team’s seven goals in theweekend series against St. Cloud State.”Being on that line with Geoffrion and Patrick Johnson was aline that has kind of evolved into a line that can play against the otherteam’s best,” head coach Mike Eaves said. “You know what you’re going to getfor the most part.”Even before the multi-goal night, Eaves said he saw the typeof play from Engel that the coaching staff was looking for following his transition.Engel scored in the team’s first game of the season against Notre Dame andlater had a streak in which he recorded assists in three out of four games.”He knows how to play without the puck because he was adefenseman,” Eaves said. “[His line] played so well without the puck that theyactually created scoring chances and took advantage of it.”Despite the recent success he has had finding the net, Engelis the first to admit that he isn’t Wisconsin’s first threat on offense.”I’m not going to be going out there and scoring all thetime like (Kyle) Turris is going to be doing, or [Ben Street] or Blake,” Engelsaid. “I’m sort of fitting into my role right now, which is more defensive, butthen once we get into the zone I try to get in front of the net and causetrouble for the goalie.”Senior defenseman Davis Drewiske has noticed Engel hasbecome a lot more comfortable at his new position.”Obviously he’s a smart player, so I think he’s made a goodtransition,” Drewiske said. “It’s a different viewpoint playing forward than itis from playing defense. I think he does a very good job with his position, andhe knows where he’s supposed to be.”Drewiske, who played forward a bit at the end of lastseason, understands the difficulty of having to fit into a new role on the ice.”I think it’s a tribute to Josh, and really like a lot ofguys on this team, that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to help theteam,” Drewiske said. “Maybe he wasn’t thrilled about it at first, but he’sworked hard, he’s been excited to be here, and he’s done a great job.”With the background he has brought to UW’s offense, Engelhas been able to help out on defense as well while he’s on the ice.”He’s been a key player for us as a defensive forward,”Drewiske said. “He has great awareness; he understands the defensive side ofthe game very well. … It’s like having a third defenseman out there.”As far as he’s come in his adaptation to the forwardposition, Engel admits that he’s still got a lot to improve upon as the Badgershead into the second half of the season.”You have to learn a different side of the game,” Engelsaid. “It was kind of tough right away, but the coaches are always working withme. I’m trying to learn, but I still have a long way to go.”last_img read more

Badgers’ winning streak hits 3 games

first_imgUW forward Joe Krabbenhoft scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in the Badgers\’ home win over the Iowa Hawkeyes.[/media-credit]After going on a six-game losing streak, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team has finally battled their way back to .500 in the Big Ten with a win over Iowa last night, 69-52.While the Hawkeyes were able to shoot 50 percent from the floor, the Wisconsin defense held Iowa to just 38 total shots while forcing 14 turnovers. They also scored 29 points off those turnovers — an average of about two points per turnover. The Badgers only had six turnovers on the night.“I have never heard of that,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said of their turnover to points stat. “We need to check that. Who’s in charge of that category? I’ve never seen that.”The defensive stats against the Hawkeyes last night were a change from when the Badgers fell 73-69 to Iowa in Iowa City. During the previous game, Wisconsin committed 10 turnovers compared to the Iowa’s nine and only had six points off of turnovers.“The last time we played them, they were picking us apart off the ball screens and on top of the key,” Wisconsin guard Trevon Hughes said. “It was target practice, I should say. We didn’t have our hands up — our hands were down all the time, and that was our main focus.”The Badgers not only played well defensively, but also on the boards. They out-rebounded the Hawkeyes 27-21 and were able to create 18 second-chance points.“Well is it heart or size,” Ryan said. “We always talk about it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight of the dog. I thought our guys looked pretty scrappy as far as how they went to the glass.”Hughes’s performance on the night, 14 points with two steals and six assists, was highlighted at the end of the second half when he stole the ball from Iowa guard Jake Kelly and went in for a layup with 25 seconds left in the first half.Following the play, Iowa forward Matt Gatens pushed Wisconsin forward Marcus Landry to the ground, which resulted in a technical foul and two free throws made by UW’s Jason Bohannon. Off the free throws, Gatens turned the ball over again, and Hughes was able to get the ball to Bohannon for a 3-point basket with four seconds remaining in the half.Overall, the series of plays at the end of the first half resulted in a seven-point swing for the Badgers to give them a 36-24 lead going into the locker room.“It gets us so fired up to get back out there for the second half,” Wisconsin forward Joe Krabbenhoft said. “But we kind of have to calm ourselves down in the locker room. Guys were really excited about the way we finished [the half].”In the second half, Krabbenhoft and Landry led the way for the Badgers, scoring eight and nine points, respectively. Overall, Krabbenhoft had a team-high 16 points with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.“I think Joe had a dream last night that he was going to shoot it pretty well,” Ryan said. “The only thing was I had to get him out and wake him up from the dream. I had to bring him over to the sideline and say, ‘Joe, that’s an open shot you hit, but you didn’t look into the post.’”While Krabbenhoft had a big statistical night, at the end it was all about Landry, who joined the Wisconsin standouts, including Michael Finley and Alando Tucker, in the 1,000-point club. The shot came on a turnaround shot from the post midway through the second half in which he was fouled and made the free throw.“I have been struggling on my free throws the last few games,” Landry said. “If I did have the chance to score my 1,000th on my free throw, I would have probably missed.”With last night’s win, the Badgers climb back to .500 in the Big Ten with a record of 6-6 and a 16-9 record overall. Their record moves them to the center of the conference race and keeps the hopes of an NCAA tournament berth come March a reality.“We are disappointed in some of the outcomes,” Krabbenhoft said. “But we put that behind us. Coach does a great job of keeping us focused on what’s next. We have to forget about the past but learn from it, and we’ve done a good job of that. The learning is what you are seeing here, and that’s why these wins are starting to add up because we’ve learned from the tough losses even a couple weeks ago.”last_img read more