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  • Kobe Bryant is Showered with Love in his Last All-Star Game

    Posted by Carly Reid ‘16 on 2/29/2016 9:50:00 AM

    On Sunday, February 14, Kobe Bryant played in his last ever NBA All Star Game.

    “An 18-time Western Conference All-Star!” the announcer bellowed. “A four-time All-Star Game MVP! The league’s MVP in 2008! A two-time Finals MVP and a five-time NBA Champion! With the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryyyyyyyant!”

    The Western Conference All-Stars’ 196-173 win over the Eastern Conference players totaled a game-long tribute to Bryant, with touching moments throughout, such as Bryant playfully posting up Gasol, his ex-Lakers teammate, and Bryant dribbling against James on the right wing with James jokingly slapping both hands on the court as if a fierce one-on-one
    battle was coming.

    Some say, however, the general tone of the contest, though, failed to reach Summer League or even preseason levels of competitiveness. Despite criticisms, many players gave their admiration for Bryant. Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant commented, “Kobe, you did all you could for the game and being a champion forever, a walking legend, we appreciate you.”

    Bryant also caught up with NBA legends Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell, who sat courtside. Soon, Bryant might find himself in their seats as an elder statesman, watching the league’s younger generation carry on the game.

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  • Seton Hall Basketball on the Rise

    Posted by Jake Schmied ‘18 on 2/29/2016 9:45:00 AM

    College basketball programs in New Jersey have not reached the NCAA Tournament, let alone the Final Four since the 1990’s, when Seton Hall advanced to the sweet sixteen. However, with a powerful rotation anchored by sophomore point guard and Brooklyn native, Isaiah Whitehead, the Pirates can end the Garden State’s 22 year drought without a tournament bid this March.

    Formerly a top 10 recruit ranked by ESPN and a McDonald’s All-American, Isaiah Whitehead had his breakout season in 2014, his freshman year. The 6 foot 4-inch point guard averaged 12 points per game last season, and was named to the Big East All-Rookie Team.

    “I want to build [Seton Hall] into a contending team in the Big East,” the former 5 star recruit said. “We got a young team [with 4 starting sophomores], we have high hopes.”

    Whitehead has big shoes to fill as a leader on and off the court, playing in the tough Big East Conference. The Pirates’ only senior, Plainfield native Derrick Gordon, has helped the sophomore with his
    leadership role.

    “[I] just tell the guys when they’re doing something wrong or something good,” the point guard said. “I’m the point guard, big shoes [to fill], but I think I can fill them.”

    Isaiah Whitehead’s rise to stardom began at Abraham Lincoln High School, in Brooklyn. He averaged over 24 points per game and led his team to the 2013 Public Schools Athletic League (PASL) Class AA Championship.

    The Pirates’ rising star has a special bond with his classmate and teammate from high school, forward Desi Rodriguez, also a sophomore. Having played with Rodriguez at Lincoln helps the chemistry for Seton Hall.

    “I know where [Desi] is on the court at all times. He helped turn around [Lincoln’s] program my junior season.” Whitehead said of his relationship with Rodriguez that stemmed from playing on the same AAU team.

    The Brooklyn native was the second highly recruited point guard after Lakers rookie, D’Angelo Russell, according to ESPN’s Top 100 Recruits in 2013.

    Among the top schools offering him a scholarship included storied college programs such as Kentucky and Syracuse. Isaiah committed to Seton Hall in 2014, citing the family-oriented faculty and the proximity to
    New York, his hometown.

    Whitehead is a team player, spreading the ball around and taking quality shots, to the liking of Seton Hall’s coach Kevin Willard. He would even put himself on the bench if it meant a win for the Pirates.

    With the talented Whitehead at the point, Seton Hall has the potential to book a ticket to the NCAA Tournament this season. But first, they will need to conquer the Big East Tournament come mid-March.

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  • Sarosha Parsons Scores her 1,000th Point

    Posted by Emily Goldson '16 on 2/29/2016 9:45:00 AM

    Sarosha Parsons, captain of the Livingston Girls Basketball Team, scored her 1000th point of her Varsity High School career during the team’s home game against Verona on Thursday, January 14.

    The senior is just the seventh female basketball player to reach this milestone, and joins Patti Friend, Kim Busichio, Stephanie DelPreore, Hester Blum, Erin Boland, and Dawn Janukowicz in the 1,000 point scoring club.

    In LHS boys’ basketball history, the two 1,000 point scores are Whitey Dukiet and Pete Cullen.

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  • The Changing Face of New Jersey High School Sports

    Posted by Trevor Wood '16 on 1/22/2016 9:50:00 AM

    New Jersey High School sports may be set to change forever. The New Jersey Schools Interscholastic Athletic Association is preparing to vote on a measure that would effectively separate public and private school atheltics. The measure is set to be voted on at the association’s annual meeting.

    Both the sports of Football and wrestling would fall under these proposals. It was designed as a measure to give schools more discreation over their sports teams. Under these regulations public and private schools would compete in completely seperate leagues.

    According to NJSIAA executive director Steven Timiko, “NJSIAA represents one of the few areas of education where public and non-public schools come together with an opportunity to directly impact the rules and policies and
    250,000 student-athletes.”

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  • What to Make of Kristaps Porzingis

    Posted by Jack Hamilton '16 on 1/22/2016 9:50:00 AM

    Throughout the young NBA season, number 4 overall draft pick Kristaps Porzingis has been a standout for the New York Knicks. Between complementing all-star Carmelo Anthony on offense, and showing prowess as a shot blocker and rebounder, many Knicks fans are ecstatic about the young Latvian’s proficiency early on. Despite this, some concerns still remain about his long term efficiency.

    One issue that many analysts have noted is Porzingis’ relatively frail build. Standing at 7’3’’, Porzingis, or KP as he is sometimes called, weighs 240 pounds. Though this may seem like a fair weight, it is actually quite low given his height, especially when compared to other NBA big men. For instance, LeBron James, who plays forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers and is significantly shorter than KP at 6’8”, weighs a bit more at 250 pounds. Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who comes in at 6’11”, a slightly more comparable height to Porzingis, weighs 30 pounds more at 270. That being said, Porzingis has been noted for gaining 10 pounds in muscle since being drafted, and given his impressive work ethic, expect to see him continue to grow stronger as the season goes on.

    Another concern with KP is his low field goal percentage. Normally playing as a stretch four, Porzingis takes his fair share of perimeter shots in addition to going to work inside. As these outside shots are typically made at a lower percentage than inside shots, layups, and dunks, Porzingis’ field goal percentage has suffered accordingly. Through the first few weeks of action, he was often finishing games with field goal percentages around the 30 percent mark, which is fairly low, especially for a big man. He has, however, been converting a higher percentage of his looks as of late, with a field goal percentage of 44.1 as of the Knicks’ most recent game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Even with the few doubts that some have expressed of Porzingis, there is no denying the stats that he has been posting. With early season averages of 13.6 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game, and 1.8 blocks per game, KP has proven to be a consistent double-double threat and a more than capable defender. As we are only a few weeks into the season, only time will tell how Kristaps Porzingis will perform in the long term.

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  • Assessing the 2015 College Football Season

    Posted by Jake Schmied ‘18 on 1/22/2016 9:45:00 AM

    The 2015 College football season proved to be an exciting one. There were teams that went from the basement of their conference standings in 2014, to having a victorious 2015 season, with high Bowl eligibility hopes. These teams surpassed expectations from the media, and had a successful 2015 season.

    The hiring of Jim Harbaugh, the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach for 4 years was to rebuild a mediocre Michigan Wolverines team that went 5-7 under former coach Brady Hoke. With transferred Iowa quarterback, Jake Rudock, behind center, the Wolverines were lacking an experienced play caller who knew the Michigan offense. However, Coach Harbaugh shattered criticism of his Michigan team, by leading them to a 9-3 record this season. The first year head coach managed to lead the Wolverines to victory against some ranked opponents, notably no. 22 BYU, in week 4, and Big 10 rival, no. 13 Northwestern. Michigan finished the year ranked at no. 10 in the College Football Rankings. Coach Harbaugh diverged from players in single positions, a mindset Hoke had used, and utilized defensive position players as wideouts. Most notably is East Orange native Jabrill Peppers, a strong safety who occasionally has lined up as the “X” receiver on the outside of the Wolverines’ offensive formation. The sophomore is also the Big 10’s leader in punt return yardage. Coach Harbaugh will continue to use Peppers in their next game, a potential bowl appearance on New Years Day.

    Michigan is not the only Division 1 School to have a successful 2015 season with a new coach. Ray Priore, the former Pennsylvania Quakers’ defensive coordinator, succeeded Al Bagnoli, the most winning coach in Ivy League history.

    Coach Priore certainly contributed to the growing legacy of the University of Pennsylvania’s football team’s success. The Quakers earned a share of the Ivy League Championship-along with Harvard and Dartmouth- posting a 6-1 record, marking the school’s seventeenth Ivy League title all time. Coach Priore favored a high obtained offense that would throw the long ball more.

    Alex Torgersen quarterbacked the Quakers’ powerful offense. The junior quarterback and first-team All-Ivy League selection was second in the conference with 19 passing touchdowns. The California native’s favorite target was Justin Watson, the Ivy League’s leader in receiving yards per game (108.2) and touchdowns (9). Pennsylvania’s fast-paced offense will look to maintain the positive records in the future.


    Last season, the Arizona Wildcats ended the year ranked no. 19, champions of the PAC-12 South Division, and earned a ballot to the Fiesta Bowl. The 2015 Wildcats did not live up to the hype, ending the season with a 6-6 record, and a dismal 3-6 inter-conference record, with losses including no. 9 UCLA and no. 18 Stanford.

    However, the only positive aspect of Arizona’s 2015 season, was their offense. Quarterback Anu Solomon threw for 18 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions, second lowest in the PAC-12. The Wildcats’ defense was another story. Linebacker Scooby Wright was injured for the majority of this season, due to an ankle sprain. He was originally out for the season, then limited for 3-5 weeks. This loss proved to be a major setback in the development of a rising secondary. The Wildcats ranked dead last in their conference in pocket pressure time, contributing to their atrocious sack average on opposing quarterbacks per game. Coach Rodriguez will have to focus on recruiting four and five-star defensive backs. Arizona’s bowl eligibility could be in jeopardy with the school’s only quality win coming off no.10 Utah in week 11.

    The state of Texas is known for their college football programs including Texas A&M, Baylor, and of course, the University of Texas at Austin. The Longhorns last season were 3 wins away from a Big 12 championship. Texas’ season collapsed when the school went on a three-game losing streak.

    Two out of the three games UT should have won, against California in week three and Oklahoma State in week four.

    There will probably not be a firing of longtime Longhorn coach Charlie Strong, the former head coach at the University of Louisville in 2010, who rebuilt the Texas program, and finished off in the AP Top 25 from 2013-2014.

    The downside? Quarterback Jerrod Heard, a freshman who outcompeted Tyrone Swoopes to be the Longhorns starting quarterback for their second game ranked 80th in the nation with 5 touchdowns as a QB. This put the freshman Texas native in dead last in the Big 12.

    Coach Charlie Strong will have to develop his true freshman quarterback, if the Longhorns want to compete in the Lone Star State.

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