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Dribble Handoff: College basketball coach of the year picks include Baylor’s Scott Drew, Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd

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There are more hurdles than ever for coaches in college basketball to navigate before they even get a chance to work with their teams on the court in any substantive way. For one thing, just assembling a competitive roster has become an increasingly complicated process that requires far more than just developing relationships with high school prospects.

With the proliferation of transferring in college basketball, coaches must always keep their heads on a swivel for players leaving their programs. And if they aren’t prepared to evaluate how potential incoming transfers might fit with their systems, they can find themselves in a lurch. It’s common now for half of a program’s scholarship players to be new faces in a given season.

These industry changes merely underscore how critical relationship building and roster management skills are for coaches, in addition to their on-court schematics and prowess with Xs and Os. 

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There is plenty of basketball ahead, but for now, here are the coaches who are standing out for their ability to master all that’s required of college basketball coaches in 2022. For this week’s edition of the Dribble Handoff, our writers are making their picks for coach of the year as the calendar flips to 2022.

There are plenty of great candidates for coach of the year — among them the two names you’ll read below. Compelling arguments can be made for both. But my vote, right now, would go to Drew, who lost four starters from last season’s team that won the national championship but still has his program operating at the tip-top of the sport. The Bears are 13-0 and ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, the Coaches Poll, the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1, the NCAA’s NET rankings, at KenPom.com, and at BartTorvik.com (if you remove the preseason bias). They also have the nation’s best strength of record. As Jerry Palm’s latest Bracketology highlights, Baylor would be the No. 1 overall seed if the field were announced this afternoon.

It really is amazing.

Again, Drew lost four starters from last season’s team — including two NBA guards. Regardless, his Bears look like legitimate contenders to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament thanks to the additions of James Akinjo, a transfer from Arizona, Kendall Brown, a five-star freshman, and the elevated games of various returning players — most notably LJ Cryer, who is leading Baylor in scoring this season (13.5 points per game) after finishing ninth on the team in scoring last season (3.4 points per game). Put another way, the newcomers have adjusted brilliantly while the returning players have comfortably grown into bigger roles. That’s a credit to Drew and a testament to the program he’s built. The 51-year-old has never won a national coach of the year award. But, the way things are going, that could change come March. — Gary Parrish

Baylor dispatched Iowa State in a business-like fashion, cementing its status as the No. 1 team. A date with Kansas looms but is there any other team in the Big 12 that will knock off the reigning champs? Listen below and subscribe to the Eye on College Basketball podcast where we take you beyond the hardwood with insider information and instant reactions.

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Drew’s really got a great case right now, and that’s not normal for a coach coming off a national championship. So, nice pick, GP. But if I were to make a pick for today it would be the first-year guy at Iowa State. The Cyclones were universally projected to be the worst team in the Big 12. This is a program that dropped every league game last season and lost 18 straight on its way to parting ways with Steve Prohm. Otzelberger was hired, went into the portal, brought in some role players from Big Ten programs and promptly put on one of the best insta-flip jobs of the past decade. Iowa State made it into the top 10 of the AP Top 25 for its home game vs. No. 1 Baylor over the weekend. A 77-72 loss, ISU’s first of the season, was completely acceptable.

To have ISU at 12-1, ranked and — hello! — a No. 1 seed in Jerry Palm’s most recent Bracketology bracket forecast is astonishing. He’s working with much less talent than the other two coaches named in this post. Otzelberger has this program two years ahead of the pace. I don’t believe ISU is going to wind up as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed when we get to March. But anything below that is possible. He’s been remarkable, and guys like Izaiah Brockington, Gabe Kalscheur and Caleb Grill have come in and transformed the scope of what’s possible in 2022. Add in the fact that Otzelberger convinced Tyrese Hunter to remain committed to Iowa State (he’s been one of the best freshman guards in the country) and it’s all too easy to give the nod to Otzelberger at the two-month mark. — Matt Norlander

Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd

Arizona finished 17-9 (11-9 Pac-12) last season under Sean Miller and was ineligible for the NCAA Tournament because of a self-imposed postseason ban. With Miller out after a 12-year run and leading scorer James Akinjo transferring to Baylor, another average season in the Pac-12 and something in the range of a 7-12 seed in the NCAA Tournament seemed like the ceiling to me. Boy, was that wrong. The Wildcats are ranked No. 9 in the AP Top 25 and sporting a 12-1 (2-0 Pac-12) record after Monday’s win over Washington. Now, all of a sudden, a third-place finish in the Pac-12 looks like the worst-case scenario, and that’s why Lloyd is my early leader for coach of the year.

The excellent record is one thing, but the seemingly flawless adaptation to Lloyd’s style is what’s most impressive. Arizona has gone from playing relatively slow to ranking No. 4 in adjusted tempo, per KenPom, and are looking great while doing it. The Wildcats can outrun teams in transition, bludgeon them on the block with Christian Koloko and Azuolas Tubelis or out shoot them with Bennedict Mathurin, Kerr Kriisa. The sophomore leap Mathurin is taking has been particularly impressive and will provide a compelling recruiting pitch for Lloyd and his staff as they try and lure top prospects to Tucson, Arizona.

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Lloyd’s provided an immediate spark for a program that was just 29-27 in the unspectacular Pac-12 over the past three seasons. The fact that he’s turned the Wildcats into a national contender so quickly is a feat that should make him the early frontrunner for coach of the year. — David Cobb



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Three Stars from Day 3 of WJC: Canada’s McTavish joins elite company – Sportsnet.ca

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Canada and the U.S. dominated in their second game of the tournament while Czechia and Finland went toe-to-toe and needed a shootout to determine a winner on Day 3 of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The Canadian team rebounded from a sluggish performance with an 11-1 win over Slovakia, a game in which captain Mason McTavish added his name to the country’s record books.

Against Switzerland, the United States took their game to another gear that their opponent could not match as they cruised to a 7-1 victory to improve to 2-0 at the tournament.

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Finland dropped a crucial point as they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit but were able to pick up the shootout win over their rival Czechia.

Here is a look at the top performances from Day 3 of the world juniors.

3rd Star: Luke Hughes, USA

Coming from a great hockey family, Luke Hughes is making most of his opportunity as one of the top defencemen for the U.S. 

The younger brother of Quinn and Jack displayed his mobility and vision against Switzerland with a three-point effort. He now has five points in his first two games of the tournament — more than either of his brothers ever achieved at this event in fewer games.

Hughes leads all defenceman in scoring so far in the tournament and is tied for fourth overall.

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The 18-year-old played 21:18 against the Swiss to lead the U.S. in ice time playing on the top pairing with Brock Faber. His play from this point will be a crucial part of his team’s success given the creativity he displayed, especially on Matt Coronato’s goal in the second period.

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He made another top-notch set up on Thomas Bordeleau’s power-play goal in the third period as he delayed enough to get the defenders to pull towards his side of the ice.

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2nd Star: Carter Mazur, USA

Coming into the tournament, Carter Mazur is looking to build off an impressive season at the University of Denver. 

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While he was in a scoring slump in his first NCAA season, the Detroit Red Wings prospect made a call to his NHL team’s assistant director of player development, Daniel Cleary. After that, he would go on to finish with 14 goals and 38 points in 41 games.

Those tips have now turned Mazur into a scoring machine as he accounted for two of the team’s seven goals and was also named the player of the game as the top line of Mazur, Landon Slaggert, and Thomas Bordeleau had an impressive performance against Switzerland

After a scoreless first period, Mazur wasn’t going to make any mistake on a point-blank chance in front of the net with Mackie Samoskevich making a great pass from behind the net.

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With the Americans looking to add to their lead, Mazur was once again the beneficiary of a great pass from Slaggert as he made no mistake from the front of the net.

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He added another assist on Slaggert’s goal later in the period for his third point of the game. Through his first two games at the world juniors, Mazur has four points and is tied for sixth in scoring.

1st Star: Mason McTavish, Canada

On a night where Canada dominated from start to finish, Mason McTavish joined some elite company with a night he’ll certainly remember for a long time.

The 19-year-old joined Mario Lemieux, Simon Gagné, Brayden Schenn, Taylor Raddysh, Maxime Comtois and teammate Connor Bedard as the only players to score four goals in a single world junior game for Canada. The tournament record for goals in a single game is held by Sweden’s Ola Rosander who had six back in 1987.

With his performance against Slovakia in a dominant win for Canada, McTavish now sits atop the scoring lead with eight points in two games after registering six points in this game.

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McTavish scored his first goal of the game on a breakaway — with Canada already leading 5-0 midway through the second — making no mistake to beat Tomas Bolo, who came into the game after starter Simon Latkoczy was pulled going into the second period.

His second goal came off a great play by Joshua Roy who flipped the puck in the air to Brennan Othmann who then set up McTavish as he finished with a backhander to put Canada up 7-1. McTavish would complete the second-period hat trick, a day after Alexander Blank did the same for Germany, after a selfless pass from Roy on a 2-on-0 break.

Canada would capitalize on a turnover on McTavish’s fourth goal as Othmann set him up alone in front of the net and he made no mistake.

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There was some doubt about whether McTavish would suit up for Canada after playing a fair amount of hockey last season. Making his NHL debut with the Anaheim Ducks, the third overall pick from the 2021 NHL Draft played in a total of 72 games between the NHL, AHL, OHL, Memorial Cup and the Olympics.

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Instead, McTavish decided to join the team in Edmonton and take on the role as captain where he has excelled centring Canada’s top line with Bedard and and a rotation of Roy and Othmann.

Canada will now look forward to a matchup against Czechia with a chance to improve to 3-0.

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Field of Dreams Game 2022: A celebration of baseball memories in an Iowa cornfield

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The Field of Dreams is an opportunity for fans and players alike to reflect on the people and places that taught them to love baseball, Jake Mintz writes.



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Ravens extend NFL record for consecutive postseason wins following Thursday’s victory over the Titans

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USA Today

The No. 21 is now synonymous with the longest winning streaks in NFL regular and preseason history. the 2003-04 Patriots won 21 consecutive games, an NFL record. On Thursday night, the Ravens won their 21st consecutive preseason game after securing a 23-10 decision against the Tennessee Titans

Baltimore has not lost a preseason game since 2016. Joe Flacco was their starting quarterback when the streak began, while Steve Smith Jr., who this past year was eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time, was heading into his final NFL season. Baltimore’s roster also included Terrell Suggs, who was entering his second-to-last season with the franchise. 

Along with not losing preseason games, another constant in Baltimore over the past six years has been kicker Justin Tucker, who is entering his 11th season with the Ravens. Tucker’s field goals of 47, 25 and 47 yards on Thursday night helped Baltimore pull out the win after falling behind midway through the second quarter. 

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The Ravens won Thursday’s game by winning the turnover margin while holding the Titans to 1 of 3 red zone efficiency. One of those turnovers was scooped up by Kyle Hamilton, the Ravens’ first-round pick in this past year’s draft. 

Baltimore won despite the efforts of Malik Willis, the Titans’ rookie quarterback who overcame a slow start to score his first NFL touchdown, a 7-yard run early in the second quarter. Speaking of quarterbacks, the Ravens received a strong night from Tyler Huntley, who completed all but two of his 18 pass attempts that included his game-winning touchdown pass to Shemar Bridges



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