Take enough cracks at competing with the other 29 teams in the NBA, and there are bound to be wonderful surprises, expected results and some disappointments too. Over the 10-year period the Thunder has been in Oklahoma City, there hasn’t been much for General Manager and Executive Vice President Sam Presti to complain about in his end of season remarks. Long postseason runs, teams that have out-performed expectations and seasons derailed by a major injury have characterized the first decade of basketball in Oklahoma City. This past year was the first time Presti has felt that the team had truly missed an opportunity because of its own doing. There were three stages to the Thunder’s 2017-18 season, beginning with the initial feeling out period as the squad tried to incorporate high-profile players like Paul George and Carmelo Anthony into the team’s offensive and defensive systems, all while Russell Westbrook, Alex Abrines and veteran newcomer Patrick Patterson all missed significant training camp time. The defense, which kept Head Coach Billy Donovan’s team in games over the first month, was dynamic and disruptive with George and Andre Roberson flanking the wing. The third stage however was the unexpected one, and ultimately the focus for the Thunder this offseason. “We expected more out of the team.” Presti: “Team we have now-albeit disappointing w/respect to expectations-is much further along to where we ultimately want to be w/Russell’s best years & Paul’s best years-because they’re so aligned from an age standpoint & w/Steven now accumulating experience he’s accumulated.” pic.twitter.com/gPsbNj3Bix With that said, the Thunder believes in their process, and the players that were assembled. Just like many years over the past decade, one of the most interesting off-seasons will be happening right here in Oklahoma City, regardless of the outcome. That’s the Thunder way.
Green. A rising junior, Muhammad visited Stillwater on Saturday for the Cowboys' spring game, he told Allen. He also had offers from Colorado, Oregon State and Tulsa. Muhammad joins Plainview offensive lineman Eli Russ as members of OSU's 2020 class. Russ committed Saturday before the spring game. Muhammad's verbal commitment is nonbinding. He will be able to sign a letter of intent in December 2019. The Cowgirls were selected as the No. 8 overall seed in the 64-team tournament and will host Missouri-Kansas City in the first round on May 11 at 4 p.m. The winner of the match will advance to play either Tulsa or LSU on May 12 at 3 p.m. OU men's tennis set to host regional The NCAA announced Tuesday that Oklahoma men's tennis will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
[Capitals-Penguins Game 3: Ovechkin goal, Wilson hit gives Washington 2-1 series lead] “At times,” veteran Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik said earlier Tuesday, “he has to straddle that line a little bit.” The line, which probably falls right along the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, looks something like this: On one side (north), Wilson is a dirty, good-for-nuthin’ goon who should have been suspended for Game 3 because of his high hit on Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin back in Washington, and now must be suspended for Thursday’s Game 4 because of the shoulder he laid into Aston-Reese in the second period. “But I don’t know.” “To me,” Washington Coach Barry Trotz said, “it was a hard hockey hit.” What rankled the Penguins more, though, was Wilson, back on the bench, laughing at the proceedings. Penguins fans really need to hear Wilson’s self-assessment of his game. “I’ve always prided myself on being an honest player,” Wilson said earlier Tuesday. “There’s very few Tom Wilsons in the league.” Now, though, Wilson is more established, and the Caps have given him more responsibility. They had consequences for Dumoulin, who returned for Game 3 after Wilson’s hit — a combo job with Ovechkin — knocked him out of Game 2. They had consequences for Aston-Reese, who flung his glove at the Caps’ bench as he limped off after Wilson’s left shoulder demolished him midway through the second period Tuesday. On Tuesday, following the Capitals’ morning skate, he talked about the hit on Dumoulin, describing it as “an unfortunate hockey play.” With that, the NHL agreed. More ice time brought more production; he had never scored more than seven goals in a season before netting 14 this year. “It’s a high hit,” Sullivan said, and with that there can be no argument.
FRISCO, Texas – Before Dan Bailey ever picked up a football, he was kicking a soccer ball at age six. “The only the reason I started playing football was because all my buddies at school were playing football and we didn’t have a soccer team at the school,” the Cowboys’ veteran kicker said. “I was like, all right, I’ll give a shot. And then it led into, ‘We need somebody to kick off.’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll try.’ It just kind of evolved from there.” Bailey is now among the most accurate field goal kickers in NFL history, but he’s still a huge soccer fan. That’s why he and Cowboys offensive lineman Joe Looney appeared at Tuesday’s press conference at The Star in Frisco, celebrating the International Champions Cup’s return to North Texas. The match between FC Barcelona and A.S. Roma will take place at AT&T Stadium on July 31. The International Champions Cup is the world’s premier annual summer soccer tournament with 18 top European clubs playing 27 matches in 22 cities across the world. Bailey and Looney joined FC Dallas players Maxi Urruti and Jimmy Maurer at Tuesday’s ticket on-sale celebration event to talk about the July 31 match between FC Barcelona and A.S. Roma. “It’s great to have those caliber guys come in there and show off their talents,” Looney said. For more details about the July 31 event, visit: www.internationalchampionscup.com.
CNHI Sports Oklahoma Coach Patty Gasso's Oklahoma softball program is on the brink of history yet again. Only one team has done it in Big 12 history: Nebraska in 1998. One of three Big 12 teams to make the Women's College World Series that season, Nebraska may have faced a more difficult path than OU this season. They have ended six contests early by mercy rule and outscored conference opponents 127-19. However, those were at Baylor, the only other Big 12 team with a top-25 ratings percentage index ranking, and they outscored the Bears 18-1. 25 Oklahoma State (36-16, 12-3), a series that begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Norman. A Sooner sweep would cap off a near-perfect regular season. On track for the best winning percentage in school history, the Sooners have three wins over teams in the RPI top 10, and with the sweep over Texas, jumped to No. “It's no different,” Gasso said. We're just going to come out and do our thing.” For nearly all of this season, their “thing” has been winning.
Corey Seager injury: Manny Machado a potential option for Dodgers, but the luxury tax is an obstacle
Here are some potential shortstop options, starting with one of the best players in baseball: View Profile Manny Machado BAL • SS • 13 to "when will they trade Machado?" There is an obstacle standing in the way of a potential Machado trade, however: The luxury tax. The good news is luxury tax "hits" for midseason additions are pro-rated, so if the Dodgers were to acquire Machado at the midpoint of the season, his $16 million salary would become an $8 million charge against the luxury tax. And if the Rangers do decide to begin a rebuild this year, it stands to reason they will gauge trade interest in shortstop Elvis Andrus. Andrus won't help the Dodgers now. Seager will be back next season, so while Andrus would be a fine fill-in the rest of the season, it's difficult to see the Dodgers being interested in taking on his contract. The A's usually trade players once they reach arbitration, and in this case, they have top prospect Franklin Barreto looming in Triple-A as a replacement. That said, the Boston Red Sox could keep Nunez for depth, especially with Pedroia's knee having been a persistent problem in recent years. His one-year, $4 million contract with a $4 million club option for 2019 would work well for the Dodgers.
The Cowboys’ offensive line needed its equilibrium back. Think about it: When has this team been really good over the last four seasons? The offensive line is the strength of this football team. Ronald Leary left for Denver, and the left guard spot wasn’t quite as stable with Jonathan Cooper (now in Arizona) as the new starter. Prescott didn’t have the same efficiency over the final eight games, starting with Atlanta. He took 22 sacks in the final eight games alone last year. But everything does start up front. Had he not missed half his junior season at Texas with a knee injury, he probably would have been a first-round pick. Then Cameron Fleming, the veteran who started last year’s Super Bowl for New England, would slide in as an experienced swing tackle behind Smith and Collins. If (gulp) he were to miss time next season for any reason, they now have five players who could fill in at tackle in an emergency situation: Collins, Fleming, Martin, Williams and Green.
“A president doesn’t do that.” Boren’s persistence and vision helped Castiglione make the decision to take the job, coming to Norman and accepting the offer on April 30, and that persistence and vision have become what Castiglione uses to lure coaches to OU. We will work together as a team, and we will achieve great things. The standard that Gallogly gave the university — that of the athletic department — wasn’t such a good bar to set 20 years ago. Castiglione transformed the Sooners, helping build the athletic department into a powerhouse that remains consistently near the top in the nation. The day College Football Playoff committee member and OU alumnus Bill Hancock met Castiglione, he knew he was talking to someone who would rise through the ranks of college athletics. He’s thoughtful and deliberate, but doesn’t hesitate to make decisions.” Castiglione has made some of the biggest and best decisions in the history of the athletic department, hiring the "winningest" football coach in program history in Bob Stoops, nine-time national champion men's gym coach Mark Williams and three-time national champion women's gym coach K.J. Just 33 years old at the time, Riley had been with the Sooners two years as offensive coordinator. The athletic director feels strongly about sharing success, often noting how the athletic department is only a small part of the whole university. Boren and Castiglione are part of one of the most successful trios in college athletics, along with Stoops. With a new head coach and a new president, Castiglione will be faced with trying to form a new trio to push the university forward into success.