Romeo Langford Picks Indiana, a Huge Hoosiers Win on and Off the Court

The last big question of the 2018 recruiting cycle has been answered. Romeo Langford revealed on Monday night that he will play for Indiana next season. During an announcement in the high school of his gymnasium that attracted a reported 85 media members and prompted fans to begin lining up hours beforehand, the five-star shooting guard out of New Albany, Ind., chose the Hoosiers over his two other finalists, Kansas and Vanderbilt.

Prior to revealing his choice, Langford was the lone undecided recruit ranked in the top 15 of the class of 2018, according to the 247Sports Composite. He finished his decorated stint at New Albany as one of the top scorers in the history of the state of Indiana, putting up 3,002 career points over the course of his prep career and averaging 35.5 per game as a senior. Langford’s superlative play was often greeted with rousing ovations and “IU” chants.

His lofty status as a prospect owes primarily to his refined scoring ability and physical tools. He stands 6’6″ with a 6’10” wingspan and can supply points in bunches by attacking defenses off the dribble or knocking down three-pointers. Langford projects as a high-level scorer during his freshman season and is considered an early candidate to be selected near the top of the 2019 NBA draft.

Although he drew scholarship offers from a long list of high-major powers, Langford narrowed his list to three last November. Langford stuck to that trio even after Chris Mack, the new head coach of Louisville—once viewed as a serious contender for Langford—reached out to gauge Langford’s interest and Kansas was implicated in the FBI’s sprawling investigation into corruption across college basketball. He visited Indiana multiple times and was persistently courted by Archie Miller and his staff after Miller replaced Tom Crean as the program’s head coach in March of last year.

The three programs still vying for Langford’s signature in the final stage of his recruitment appealed to him in distinctly different ways. The Jayhawks, less than a month removed from a Final Four appearance, presented a strong possibility of winning a conference championship and playing high-stakes hoops deep into March, while Vanderbilt could attract him with two other five-star signees (power forward Simisola Shittu and point guard Darius Garland). Indiana had the home-state angle.

Most of the Hoosiers supporters who flock to Bloomington to check out Langford next season already will be familiar with his electric game, and many of them already will have seen the state’s 2018 Mr. Basketball winner in action at New Albany. Langford has cemented his legendary status in the basketball-crazed state, and he’ll elevate his profile among hoops-inclined locals with every bucket he converts inside Assembly Hall.

Langford’s decision arguably amounts to a bigger win than any Miller notched in his first season overseeing the program. After years of frustrating returns on in-state recruiting efforts toward the end of Crean’s tenure—including zero prospects ranked in the top 25 of the Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI), a composite incorporating data from multiple scouting services, since 2014—the Hoosiers fended off several bluebloods for Indiana’s No. 1 player.

That Miller and his staff were able to prevail in a heated battle on their own turf for an elite prospect despite having very little to sell on the court at this point bodes well for the program’s future. With Langford in tow, Indiana will sign three of the class of 2018’s top four recruits in the state of Indiana, according to the 247Sports Composite. (The other two are four-star Riley High small forward Damezi Anderson and four-star McCutcheon High point guard Robert Phinisee.)

The Hoosiers are coming off a season in which they were blown out in their home opener by Indiana State, lost another game at Assembly Hall by 20 against a different in-state mid-major (Fort Wayne), recorded their lowest win total (16) since 2010–11, posted a .500 record in a soft Big Ten and were bounced in the first round of the conference tournament by Rutgers. Those results didn’t stop Indiana from reeling in a recruit that could have spent what could well be his only college season contending for a conference and national championship.

The Hoosiers do have enough pieces coming back to make a run at the Top 25 and battle for real estate at the top of the Big Ten standings, but they feel at least a year away from entering the NCAA tournament with realistic hopes of delivering a deep run. If Langford is as good as advertised, Indiana at the very least should be an attractive watch for neutral observers, which definitely was not the case for much of last season.

Assuming rising senior forward Juwan Morgan withdraws from the draft after declaring without hiring an agent earlier this month, the Hoosiers’ blend of proven veterans (like Morgan) and promising youngsters (like rising sophomore forward Justin Smith) should result in a second-year leap for Miller. How large of a leap will be determined in part by Langford’s capacity to spark an offense that ranked 10th in the Big Ten in points per possession in conference play in 2017–18.

Had Langford picked Kansas or Vanderbilt on Monday, the Hoosiers still would have entered next season with realistic hopes of rounding into a substantially better outfit than the one that stumbled to a No. 71 finish in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency rankings last season. Langford’s commitment, a massive triumph off the court, brightens Indiana’s short-term outlook on it and raises expectations for what they can accomplish under Miller in the long run.

Dodgers Shortstop Corey Seager Will Have Tommy John Surgery and Miss Rest of Season

Corey Seager is hitting .267 this season with two home runs and 13 RBIs.

Dodgers All-Star Corey Seager will miss the remainder of the 2018 season and have Tommy John surgery after suffering a right UCL sprain, the team announced Monday.

Seager hit .267 with 11 walks and two hit by pitches in 115 plate appearances this year, which will mark the second consecutive season his batting average declined.

The shortstop was named an All-Star each of the last two seasons and won Rookie of the Year in 2016 after having a slash of .308/.365/.512 to go along with 26 home runs and 72 RBIs.

This season, the Dodgers are 12-15 and currently fourth in the NL West.

Behind Seager on the Dodgers depth chart at shortstop are outfielders Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Lightning Rebound to Even Series; Karlsson Lifts Golden Knights in OT

Game 1 was a frustrating performance for the Tampa Bay Lightning, especially their defensive trio of forwards in Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, which got the worse end of a matchup with the Boston Bruins’ top line, ending the night a combined -12. 

In Game 2, it was that line doing the frustrating. Point led the way, assisting on the first three Lightning goals of the night before adding an empty-netter. Palat added a goal and an assist and Johnson contributed a tally of his own, lifting the Lightning to a 4-2 win on Monday.

“I feel good,” Point said. “Last game I went minus-five and tonight I get four points. You can’t get too high or too low.”

As part of their bounce-back effort, Point & Co. played a big role in quelling the Bruins’ offense, which was outshot 9-0 through the first 14:00 minutes of the first period, and was held without a shot on goal for the final 9:14 of the second. When shots did get through, Andrei Vasilevskiy was there to hold down the fort, ceding only two of the 20 shots he saw to Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper put to rest any notion that he had considered moving the trio to a different assignment than the Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak trio that posted 11 points in the series opener.

“We had faith in them,” he said. “If there was any talk of switching them off, those three would have walked right into my office and said ‘What are you doing?’”

While the Bruins had trouble generating offense at times, goalie Tuukka Rask was plenty busy keeping his teammates in the mix, stopping 27 shots on the night. 

Boston did come close to tying the score at three late in the third period, as Marchand raced in on a breakaway off a center ice face-off with just under three minutes remaining, only to be slashed by defenseman Anton Stralman. The non-call was just one in a game full of questionable officiating and drew the ire of Boston coach Bruce Cassidy.

“He slashed him right on the hands,” Cassidy said. “I just think its unacceptable to miss that call, it’s a hit on the hands. It’s one thing if it’s a judgment call on the stick, on the hands, it’s automatic. I think that should be called. In my estimation, I disagree with the no-call.”

Cassidy and the Bruins will have a day to figure out how to turn things around ahead of Game 3 in Boston on Wednesday. 

Series tied 1-1 | Full recap | Box score


GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4, SHARKS 3 (OT)

William Karlsson came up clutch for the Vegas Golden Knights.

The man known as ‘Wild Bill’ raced up the ice to snipe the game-winner over San Jose Sharks’ goalie Martin Jones at 8:17 of overtime, giving the Knights a 2-1 series lead. The score marked the second winner of the postseason for the 40-goal scorer, who also added an assist on Reilly Smith’s second-period goal, part of a three-goal blitz by Vegas in a 4:46 span. Jonathan Marchessault (1G, 2A) and Colin Miller also scored for the Golden Knights, who recovered from a double-OT loss in Game 2.

San Jose rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third period, getting goals from Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl that sent Game 3 into overtime. 

Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all three shots he saw in the extra frame, giving him 39 on the night as he outdueled Jones (30 saves). 

The teams meet again for Game 4 on Wednesday.

Golden Knights lead series 2-1 | Full recap | Box score


HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT

Blink and you might miss it: William Karlsson’s touch-pass to Reilly Smith was a thing of beauty—just ask Brent Burns.


THREE STARS

1. Brayden Point, TBL — The Lightning forward needed a rebound game, and boy, did he have one. Not only did Point help shut down the Bruins’ offense, he chipped in four points.
2. Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK​ — Fleury withstood a barrage of San Jose shots in Game 23, making 39 saves—many of then spectacular—to help Vegas to a 2-1 series lead.
3. Jonathan Marchessault, VGK — He went top-shelf on a one-timer from his knee and then added an assist on a spinning no-look pass as part of the Golden Knights’ second-period blitz, and then assisted on William Karlsson’s OT winner.


LOOK AHEAD

Despite a Game 2 loss filled with controversy, the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t planning to try and unpack the calls that didn’t go their way. “It’s the playoffs. You can’t dwell on any games,” defenseman Justin Schultz said. “You have to move on. We have a new opportunity to go in front of our home fans and get a win. We’re looking forward to it.” With the series tied, the Pens have a chance to take control of things at home, but the Capitals are well aware of what their foe is capable of. Washington picked up the physical play in Game 2 and will need to continue doling out the hits. Having goalie Braden Holtby back on top of his game doesn’t hurt, either.

The Predators find themselves in Winnipeg all knotted up after Kevin Fiala’s Game 2 heroics. The Swiss forward scored in double overtime to lift Nashville to a thrilling win over the Jets that ensures a trip back home—and heading back to Bridgestone Arena for Game 5 with a 3-1 series lead would certainly be a prime spot. First, though, the Predators must get through Game 3 on Tuesday. “We got the split, now we’ll go up there and try to take care of business,” Nashville forward Nick Bonino said on Monday. It won’t be easy, especially with Mark Scheifele scoring seemingly at will at this point: Winnipeg’s forward has nine points and three multi-goal games in his last four to lead a powerful young offense.

Barcelona Celebrates Copa Del Rey, La Liga Titles, Iniesta With Huge Bus Parade

La Liga champions Barcelona wasted no time celebrating their double after clinching the Primera Division’s top spot on Sunday.

La Liga champions Barcelona wasted no time celebrating their double after clinching the Primera Division’s top spot on Sunday night, following their Copa del Rey capture last weekend.

The jubilant side took to the Catalonia streets on Monday to enjoy their incredible achievement, as well as honor their outgoing captain Andres Iniesta, who has confirmed that this season will be his last with La Blaugrana.

A 4-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna sealed the deal for Ernesto Valverde’s side, with a goal from Philippe Coutinho and a hat trick from Lionel Messi getting the business done.

Amid all of the celebrations, Valverde would find himself the victim of a lost shoe, thanks to Luis Suarez taking it off him and tossing it into the crowd. Standard Suarez for you there.

Iniesta, meanwhile, was humbled by the show of appreciation he received.

“It’s an indescribable feeling, on a personal level and as a sportsperson,” the veteran superstar declared. “There are no words when you receive so much love from people and even more so in difficult moments for them [given Deportivo’s relegation].

“It’s an eternal thank you, because it’s very beautiful. This [move] isn’t a change of opinion, but I am making the most honest decision for myself and my club.

“To finish the season with these feelings before the World Cup and with another adventure ahead, I wish it were eternal. I would like this to never end, but everything has its beginning and its end.”

MERCADO: Javier “Chicharito” Hernández está listo para abandonar el West Ham | ¿Destino MLS?

El futbolista mexicano Javier “Chicharito” Hernández busca salir del equipo inglés West Ham United luego de una temporada en esta institución.

Según reportes de prensa, los representantes de “Chicharito” están buscando opciones para llevar al mexicano a otro equipo y el West Ham está abierto a escuchar ofertas por el jugador.

“Chicharito” Hernández llegó al equipo de Inglaterra el año pasado proveniente del Bayer Leverkusen, quien vendió su ficha al West Ham por $22 millones de dólares.

El próximo destino del delantero mexicano estaría entre un club de la MLS de Estados Unidos, la liga de China o el fútbol profesional de Turquía.

Tottenham Boosts Top-Four Standing, Beats Watford on Kane, Alli Goals

Tottenham tightened their grasp on fourth place with a 2-0 win against Watford on Monday, though it wasn’t as comfortable as the scoreline suggests.

Tottenham tightened their grasp on fourth place with a 2-0 win against Watford on Monday, though it wasn’t as comfortable as the scoreline suggests.

Goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane were enough to secure all three points for Spurs, but they had Hugo Lloris to thank as the ‘keeper made vital saves – with both Richarlison and Andre Gray forcing good stops from the 31-year-old.

With the potential to solidify a top-four spot, the hosts were looking to take an early lead, and they could’ve when Kane found himself with the ball on the edge of the box, but his tame effort was easily saved by Watford ‘keeper Orestis Karnezis.

Spurs did get their early goal due to a mistake from the Watford ‘keeper, though. Kieran Trippier’s simple cross resulted in Karnezis spilling the ball, and Christian Eriksen played the ball across goal into Dele Alli – who calmly slotted home into an empty net to put the hosts 1-0 up.

Despite initially not creating much, Watford had a chance to equalize from out of nowhere when Etienne Capoue intercepted a loose ball and played in Gray, though his shot was denied by Lloris.

Lloris was called upon again when a Watford counter-attack saw Gray slot Richarlison through one-on-one, but once again the French ‘keeper kept Javi Garcia’s side at bay as the visitors looked to peg back Spurs. 

After withstanding pressure from Watford, Spurs were looking to grab another goal to kill the game off and early in the second-half, they doubled their advantage. Kane initially slipped when Alli slotted the ball into him, but once again Kieran Trippier caused Watford’s defense problems and crossed the ball back into Kane, who made no mistake from close range to bag his 27th goal of the season.

Chances were starting to dry up, but an Eriksen free kick found Jan Vertonghen – who’s header cannoned off the post – and Kane couldn’t sort his feet out quick enough to tuck into the empty net.

Richarlison should’ve made Spurs pay for the missed opportunity when Troy Deeney’s header went into the path of the 20-year-old, however, he ballooned his shot well over the bar from close range, and the hosts were let off the hook.

It should’ve been 3-0 when Kane sent through Moussa Sissoko, but he was unable to convert the golden opportunity as his shot went way over the bar. 

A late chance presented itself for Watford, but failing to take their chances was the story of their night as Andre Carrillo was the latest Watford player to have his shot saved by Lloris.

The result leaves Spurs five points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea with only three games left in the season. While visitors Watford will be thankful for their early season form as the loss means they haven’t won in their last ten games with their last win dating back to early February.

Inter Charged Following Racist Chanting From Fans Towards Blaise Matuidi During Juventus Defeat

Inter Milan have been charged for their supporters making racist chants at Juventus’ Blaise Matuidi during their 3-2 defeat on Saturday evening.

After going a goal behind early on thanks to Douglas Costa, Mauro Icardi equalised for the home side early in the second half before Andrea Barzagli but the ball into his own net to give Inter the lead. Just when it looked as though Inter had done enough to win, an own goal in the 87th minute from Milan Skriniar and an 89th minute Gonzalo Higuain gave Juve all three points.

MARCO BERTORELLO/GettyImages

Unfortunately, whilst it was a thoroughly entertaining game to watch, the match was overshadowed by events in the stands involving the home fans. As reported by Football Italia, Inter have been charged by the Lega Serie A after it was alleged that fans were chanting racial slurs aimed at the Frenchman Matuidi, and a full investigation has now been opened. 

This isn’t the only racial incident involving Serie A this season with Fiorentina having been sanctioned earlier this week, receiving a €10k fine after voicing anti-Neapolitan chants during their win over Napoli on Sunday.

Emilio Andreoli/GettyImages

Inter will be hoping if sanctioned that their punishment won’t be too severe as they continue their bid for Champions League football next season. They currently sit in fifth place and are just one point behind both Roma and Lazio who currently occupy third and fourth place.

They will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they travel to Udinese on Saturday as they look to strengthen their bid to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2012.

How Premier League’s Fourth-Place Finisher Could Miss Out on Champions League

While Tottenham and Chelsea battle it out for fourth place in the Premier League, they could both still miss out on Champions League football next season should Liverpool and Arsenal win their respective European competitions.

While Tottenham and Chelsea battle it out for fourth place in the Premier League, they could both still miss out on Champions League football next season should Liverpool and Arsenal win their respective European competitions.

Liverpool find themselves in control of their tie, currently 5-2 up on aggregate against Roma heading into the second leg of their Champions League semifinal, while Arsenal managed a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal against Atletico Madrid.

In the meantime, both Tottenham and Chelsea could still finish above Liverpool in the Premier League – who are currently third in the league – however this could potentially set up a disastrous situation for both teams – with the Daily Mail highlighting the UEFA ruling that an association can have a maximum of five teams enter the competition.

This means that should Liverpool finish fifth and Arsenal finish in sixth but both sides win their respective European competitions, they would both automatically qualify for next season’s Champions League. They would then join both Manchester clubs who occupy first and second place, which would leave just one more place for Tottenham and Chelsea to battle it out for. 

Regardless which club out of Spurs and Chelsea finished fourth, the Premier League would’ve used all of their allotted teams for the Champions League and one of the London clubs would therefore qualify for the Europa League instead.

While the chances of this scenario happening are slim, both clubs will be very aware of the potential disaster awaiting them, and will have their eyes peeled to their TV screens this week for the incoming results from both semi finals. 

While they will do their best to avoid this scenario, both sides will be looking to pick up maximum points from their remaining games this season with Tottenham traveling to the league’s bottom side West Brom on Saturday and Chelsea hosting Liverpool on Sunday.

Steve Kerr Says Stephen Curry Is Probable for Game 2 vs. Pelicans

Stephen Curry has not played with the Warriors since injuring his left MCL on March 23 against the Hawks.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry is probable for Tuesday’s Game 2 against the Pelicans and will not have a minutes restriction, coach Steve Kerr told reporters Monday.

Curry has been out since March 23 when he injured his left MCL in a game against the Hawks. Curry has also dealt with a right ankle injury this season that kept him out for almost all of December and for the two weeks prior to the game against Atlanta when he hurt his knee.

This season the two-time MVP played in 51 games and averaged 26.4 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from three.

Since losing Curry in late March, Golden State has gone just 9-7 between the regular season and playoffs, but 5-1 in the postseason. In the first game of this second-round series against New Orleans, the Warriors led by as many as 30 en route to a 123-101 victory.

This season Golden State went 3-1 against the Pelicans in the regular season, winning all three games Curry played in and losing by six on April 7 when the teams met in a game that had no impact on Golden State’s playoff seeding.