Men’s Basketball avoids colonization

Jake Elmslie – Sports Editor

Rhode Island College Men’s Basketball earned their first Little East Conference win of the season Saturday afternoon in convincing fashion in a 76-62 victory over the Western Connecticut State University Colonials.

For the first chunk of the game it appeared that RIC was in for a dogfight, with both teams trading point for point in a physical contest that tested the limits of the Anchormen’s ball movement ability. The game remained close deep into the first half with the score being tied at 16-16 with 7:36 left to play in the frame. From here the Anchormen dominated their opponent and went into the locker room with a 31-20 lead at half time.

The Anchormen continued to make prey of their opponent in the second half, never relinquishing their double digit lead over the Colonials. RIC’s ball movement was significantly improved from their Wednesday evening loss against the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors due in a large part to the return of starting guard Jonatan Batista to the lineup. While Batista suffered a frightening injury scare near the end of the first half, falling to the ground hard and requiring assistance off of the court he managed to play nearly the entire second half and racked up a team high nine assists on the day.

#4 – Adham Floyd, Photo courtesy of Thomas Crudale

Outside of the lopsided final score the Anchormen and the Colonials finished with surprisingly similar statistics in a number of key areas. Both teams turned in virtually identical shooting percentages at 37% a piece. Also, both teams had nearly identical rebounding numbers and each turned the ball over 18 times. When asked about how his team was able to dominate scoring wise in a game where they did not do much to distinguish themselves on the stat sheet RIC head coach Tom Glynn explained that “we put in a great defensive effort, that’s what we’re trying to forge as our identity going forward and I hope we can keep it up throughout the rest of the season.”

#11 – Benjamin Vezele, Photo courtesy of Thomas Crudale

Staring for the Anchormen was senior captain Justin Campbell who managed to score 24 points to go alongside a game high 12 rebounds in a stellar performance where he was seemingly able to hit shots from every part of the floor.

#24 – Deyshawn Tengbe, Photo courtesy of Thomas Crudale

RIC will improve to 7-2 and 1-1 in the Little East as a result of this win. The Anchormen will be on the road Monday evening for an out of conference matchup against Regis College.

Boom or Bust: Quarterbacks of The Future

Joseph A. Griswold – Anchor Staff

Patrick Mahomes will displace Tom Brady as the greatest of all-time. Hyperbole? Maybe, but with the elites of the National Football League, Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers closer to the end of their careers than the beginning. It is important to understand which young quarterbacks are slated to take their spots and which are likely headed to the XFL. Who is going to boom? And who is a bust?

Patrick Mahomes, 23, Kansas City Chiefs: Simply put, Mahomes, has set the NFL on fire this season and is leading virtually all major quarterback categories, including touchdowns with 37. Mahomes has shown not just spurts, but MVP performance throughout the entire season. The demerit is the plethora of weapons he has surrounding him, which some believe is the reason for his success. However, Alex Smith had virtually all the same weapons and never threw for more than 26 touchdowns. Mahomes has 37, and there are still five games to play. Although Mahomes may not surpass Brady, it is clear to see that he will be one of the top quarterbacks for years to come. –Boom

Sam Darnold, 21, New York Jets: Darnold currently leads the league in interceptions (14) and has only completed 55 percent of his passes. Darnold has been victim to constant pressure and a lack-luster receiving core. However, his biggest downfall comes in the form of his team and head coach. The New York Jets organization as a whole has a knack for stunting quarterback growth. Despite having an ample amount of money to spend in next year’s free agency the Jets will surely not add enough talent to make Sam Darnold a top quarterback. –Bust

Jared Goff, 24, Los Angeles Rams: Goff is perhaps the most interesting of the young quarterbacks because of his lackluster start. During his first season Goff was being labeled a bust and looked abysmal on the field. Luckily for Goff, the Rams decided former head coach Jeff Fisher’s mediocre mantra was not good enough and ousted him in favor of Sean Mcvay. Since Mcvay’s entrance last season the Rams have found new life and dominated most of their competition. Led by Goff’s 26 touchdown’s the Rams are frontrunners for the Super Bowl this year. Goff has shown incredible accuracy, arm strength and poise under pressure and has shown the capability to be an elite quarterback for years to come. –Boom

Baker Mayfield, 23, Cleveland Browns: The Cleveland Browns have won a game. In fact, they have won several games, four this season, which is tied for as many wins as they have had in the last three seasons combined. At the root of this turnaround, if you want to call it that is starting quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield has shown the aggression and drive to take a talented team and win some games. Mayfield has shown throughout his young career and through college that he is not afraid to make any throw. However, Mayfield is eerily reminiscent to another former NFL quarterback with a ton of arm-strength: Jay Cutler. To the city of Cleveland, I apologize, but Mayfield will never develop to anything more than a gunslinger who will make some spectacular throws, but also trust his arm way more than he should. –Bust

Deshaun Watson, 23, Houston Texans: Last season, Deshaun Watson set the league on fire and was on pace to run away with the rookie-of-the-year-award, that was until he tore his ACL. This season the Texans started 0-3 before winning eight straight under Watson. Adversity has surrounded Watson since his entrance to the league, but through every challenge he has persevered. Watson has shown throughout his college and professional career that he is a winner. This season, despite the slow start Watson has led his team to first in the division and in a prime spot for a playoff berth. Watson has mobility, accuracy and arm-strength, all which flourish in an increasingly faster NFL. Watson’s ability and compete factor will drive him to be an elite quarterback over the next several seasons. –Boom

The NFL is changing. Although the next tier of elite quarterbacks may have different styles, rest assured the NFL is in very good hands.

Nathan Peterman: Worst NFL QB of All-Time

Joshua Percy – Anchor Staff

Nathan Peterman was a fifth round pick out of Pittsburgh in the 2017 NFL draft with his two years at Pittsburgh showing he had potential in the NFL. In 26 games over two season at Pittsburgh, he threw for 5,142 yards with 47 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Over these two seasons in college, he had a record of 16-10. His best college victory came against eventual National Champion Clemson Tigers, a 43-42 victory where Peterman threw for 308 yards and 5 touchdowns. However, even though Peternam had a solid college career and showed enough potential for the Buffalo Bills to draft him, it turned out far worse than anyone would have thought.

Nathan Peterman, Graphic courtesy Sports Illustrated

In two seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Peterman has played in nine games, while starting four of them. The Bills are 1-8 in games that Peterman plays in, while only winning one of the four games he has started. In 2017, Peterman tied the NFL record for most interceptions in a game against the Los Angeles Chargers with five. His NFL career completion percentage is 52.3%, is one of the lowest completion rates in recent history for an NFL starter.  He has thrown 12 interceptions and only three touchdowns, in eight games he threw four times more interceptions than touchdowns. Peterman has a 32.5 quarterback rating, which is the lowest of all time, for an NFL starter with at least four starts. In the nine games that the Buffalo Bills have played with Peterman, they were outscored 274 to 84.

By looking and comparing Nathan Peterman’s stats from college and the NFL there are some clear issues, and reasons for why some may think he is the worst QB of all time. Peterman put up respectable stats and played respectable football in college with Pittsburgh. In the NFL Peterman played some of the worst football of all time, and it took Buffalo two seasons to figure out he would not adjust well enough from college to the NFL. The Bills fans shared a breath of relief on Nov. 12th when Nathan Peterman was released by the Buffalo Bills.

Women’s Swimming continues to tread water

Jake Elmslie – Sports Editor

Rhode Island College Women’s Swimming sustained their 3rd team loss of the season Friday night in a 130-61 defeat at the hands of the 2-2 Western New England University Golden Bears.

The loss did not come without bright spots however, with Athena Sampalis continuing her strong freshmen season. The Toll Gate product earned individual victories in both the 100-yard individual medley and 50-yard freestyle with times of 1:17.2 and 28.87 respectively. She also took second in the 50 yard backstroke with a time of 35.69 and swam the final leg of RIC’s first place 200-yard freestyle relay team.

The Anchorwomen also got a strong performance from Senior Madison Lane who recorded second place finishes in both the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles with respective times of 2:34.75 and 6:55.04.

The RIC swim team will fall to 0-3 on the season as a result of this loss. The team will take a brief reprieve for the thanksgiving holiday before looking to rebound Saturday, December 1st when they will take to the road to face off against the 1-1 Plymouth State University Panthers.

Jimmy Butler and the NBA’s boldening Eastern Conference

Jake Elmslie – Sports Editor

There have been two adages going around in the National Basketball Association’s circles for the better part of the last half decade. First, toppling the Golden State Warriors as champions is going to be nigh impossible until ether their current core breaks up or one of their key players sustains a significant injury. Secondly, the eastern conference pales in comparison to the west.

Since the offseason two moves in particular have reflected a shift in mindset among certain teams in how they have chosen to deal with the mountain of Golden State and the futility of the eastern conference, a conference many were handing to the Boston Celtics following the exodus of Lebron James to Los Angeles.

The first of these was the trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors took a large risk trading for the disgruntled former finals MVP. Toronto had won 48 plus games each of the last five seasons with their Kyle Lowry-Demar DeRozan core. However the organization recognized that they were most likely never going to have a chance at a championship with this iteration of the team and thusly they risked alienating fans by trading DeRozan, a homegrown four time all star, for Leonard, a player they could not guarantee would even suit up for the Raptors. Early returns on this gamble have been excellent, the Raptors currently hold an Eastern Conference best 12-4 record and look to be contenders in the conference down the stretch.  

Secondly, and far more recently, was the Nov. 12th trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers sent the Timberwolves two starters in Dario Saric and Robert Covington as well as a regular rotational piece in Jerryd Bayless in exchange for Butler. While none of the players Philadelphia traded would be considered building blocks they have also taken a sizable risk, gutting their rotation in exchange for an all star caliber player.

These moves both involve teams being unwilling to accept the status quo and their standings in the leagues hierarchy. Both represent risks, the trading of valuable assets in exchange for a single season of a talented player. However within the current landscape of the NBA these sorts of risks are necessary and the teams willing to take them are possibly deserving of praise.

It is easy for a franchise to accept being a perennial playoff team, never quite good enough to truly contend for a championship but good enough to always be in the mix once playoffs roll around. For many organizations, especially those in small markets this is a profitable position to be in, a solid team will draw sizable crowds and playoff games bring in significant extra revenue.

The Raptors could of easily rested on their status as such as team but instead they opted to swing for the fences and bring in Leonard. Similarly the 76ers could have chosen to wait for their young stars to develop but instead opted to bring in Butler to enhance their team now. They recognized bringing in a player of Butler’s stature is multiple times harder than replacing a few above average starters or rotational pieces. For teams hoping to contend with Golden State and it’s assortment of all stars and MVP caliber players engaging in a talent arms race is necessary to have a chance at success.

These teams taking a more aggressive approach to team building has radically improved the quality of competition in the eastern conference. Now while it still does not look like there is a team ready to challenge Golden State set to emerge from the east it is hard to deny that bolder NBA personal departments help to improve the quality of the product for all basketball fans.

The Payment to College Athletes

Joshua Percy – Anchor Staff

Colleges across the country house some of the premier sporting talent around the world, however none of them receive payment for playing. The conversation on whether or not they deserve to be paid has been constant for the last two decades. While top college athletes receive scholarships from colleges to come play for their school, however those who don’t really don’t receive any type of payment for playing.

The argument is that these college athletes put their careers on the line by playing in college, due to the fact that a career-ending injury could happen at any time. With that type of risk, should these athletes get paid from the start of their careers in college, or is scholarships and full rides through college enough to compensate these athletes?  

Graphic courtesy of NCAA

Injuries are always a risk no matter what you do, however, if you are a top 10 ranked athlete maybe you deserve more than just a scholarship, or maybe you should not have to go to college. The possibility of high school seniors going straight to the NBA and skipping college could solve the problem of college athletes wanting to get paid, it gives them the ability to choose if they want to go to college or go to get paid. Other sports faces challenges in solving the issue in the payment of college students, however, this type of conversation will always be a topic until some type of a solution is given in all sports, not just the NBA.

College football players should have similar a option to skip college and go straight to the NFL or possibly get bigger scholarships then they originally got. For baseball players, if they are drafted while in college, and they opt to stay in college but are connected to a major league team, they should get some type of payment or salary on top of scholarships.

Is Tuukka time over?

Joseph Griswold – Anchor Staff

One of the most polarizing figures in all of Boston sports is Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. Throughout his career, Rask has shown periods of absolute dominance and complete disarray. The start to this season has been no different, as the Bruins net-minder has limped through the first month of the National Hockey League season with a 4-4 record and a dismal .901 save percentage.

Photo courtesy of ESPN

Rask; however, has never had a true challenger behind him on the bench, until this year. This offseason, the Bruins went out and acquired veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak. The former New York Islander ranks in the top 10 among active goaltenders in goals-against-average and shutouts. This season, Halak has gotten off to a sweltering start and has led the Bruins to a 5-1-2 record in his eight decisions, boasting a .941 save percentage and two shutouts. It is evident that Halak has been, by far, the superior goalie.

This is not the first time that the Bruins have faced a goalie controversy, it was just last year where young goaltender Anton Khudobin, lead the Bruins on a winning streak and prompted talks of a goalie controversy. However, Khudobin is not a definitive number one goaltender and Rask soon rounded back into form. However, after losing in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning and a lackluster start, Rask seems to be on thin ice.

The only difference this year is the support of competition from Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who time and time again last year dismissed any talks of a goalie controversy. This year Cassidy said, “If one separates himself from the other like every other position here then we’ll allow that to evolve.” Thus far, Halak has shown the ability to facilitate competition. Whether or not Halak will be able to continue to play at a high enough level to displace Rask remains to be seen. What is certain is that the Bruins believe that they are a championship caliber team and will do whatever is necessary to compete including bringing the end of Tuukka time in Boston.

Men’s Basketball reborn in season opener

Jake Elmslie – Sports Editor

Rhode Island College men’s basketball illuminated the Murray Center Thursday night in their season opener and gave RIC fans something to be excited about. The Anchormen dominated wire to wire in the 87-64 victory, the teams first game under new head coach Tom Glynn.

The Anchormen have entered the 2018-2019 season with the goal of exorcising the demons of years past. The RIC Basketball program has been on a downslide the last few years, only winning a cumulative 14 games over the past three seasons. Based on Thursday night’s performance, the Anchormen may very well be on their way to shedding the futility of years past.

RIC asserted their dominance almost immediately over the Fitchburg State Falcons. Within the first 10 minutes of the game the Anchormen racked up a 15 point lead, and by the end of the first half RIC lead 45-28.

The retooled Anchormen roster received production from some new faces throughout the opening half, in particular from two upperclassmen starting their first season with the team. Junior Benjamin Vezele muscled his way to 10 points, oftentimes laying the ball in over multiple defenders while simultaneously playing violent defense in the post. Senior Bernard Broaster scored nine first half point off the bench and sent his team sprinting into the locker room following a buzzer beater three pointer.

Bernard Broaster, Photo courtesy of Thomas Crudale

The second half only spelled further dominance for RIC, with the Anchormen leading by as much as 27 at various points. Coach Glynn refused to allow his team to become complacent however and was often visibly berating his players for mistakes made even when the team held a massive lead.

One strength for the Anchormen was their free throw shooting. The team’s aggressive post play led to RIC players getting many opportunities at the line. The Anchormen capitalized on said opportunities going 31-38 as a team with no RIC player missing more than two free throws.

By the time the game’s waning minutes came along the Anchormen had the victory well in hand and began attempting to impress the Murray Center crowd with various flashy dunk attempts before Coach Glynn pulled his starters.

The Anchormen were lead in the game by Vezele who tallied 21 points to go alongside nine rebounds. Right behind him was Senior captain Justin Campbell who managed a hyper efficient 19 point 11 rebound double-double off of 7-10 shooting. Coach Glynn leaned heavily on his starters with four players being on the court for 36 plus minutes.

Justin Campbell, Photo courtesy of Thomas Crudale

The Anchormen will follow this victory up with a three game road trip. RIC students’ next chance to see the team on campus will come on Tuesday, Nov. 20th when they face off against the Bridgewater State University Bears, tip off for that game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Super Bowl LIII: The New England Patriots V.S.

Joseph A. Griswold – Anchor Staff

As we pass the halfway point of the National Football League season, Super Bowl picks are starting to come fast and furious. For over a decade now, the New England Patriots have dominated the American Football Conference and have represented the AFC in eight of the last 20 Super Bowls, winning five of them. This year seems to be no different. Although the Kansas City Chiefs look formidable, Tom Brady has already proven he can beat the chiefs. Furthermore, with New England just one game behind the Chiefs and having the head-to-head tiebreaker, odds are that the path to the Super Bowl in the AFC will go through New England.

In the National Football Conference, however, the path is much more unclear with the sole undefeated Los Angeles Rams falling to the New Orleans Saints and leveling out what is a highly competitive conference.

In the NFC, there are seven legitimate Super Bowl contenders with several teams that are quickly materializing into serious contenders. So, what separates the contenders from the pretenders in NFC, and most importantly who are the Patriots going to meet in the Super Bowl?

The most formidable contenders and favorites to come out of the NFC are either the Saints or the Rams who faced off in week eight with the rams falling 45-35. Both of these teams have one loss this season and have the makings of teams that can challenge for and win the Super Bowl.

The Rams are led by the league’s best offense and the NFL offensive MVP in Todd Gurley. The Saints boast a top five offense and just improved their depth with the addition of talented young cornerback Eli Apple. However, both of these teams lack stout defenses. If either of the defenses fail to be opportunistic, these teams can fall short of Super Bowl glory.

The next tier of teams in the NFC that are contenders, but not favorites include the Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.

Of these teams the Panthers have the best opportunity to advance to the Super Bowl due to the success of quarterback Cam Newton in his first year under offensive coordinator Norv Turner. In addition, the Panthers boast an attacking defense, but have shown at times this season to be inconsistent.

The Bears, Redskins, Eagles and Vikings are all tremendously talented teams that have been characterized by extreme highs and disastrous lows. The key to one of these teams contending is the ability to get hot at the right time and ride the momentum through the playoffs.

The last set of teams in the NFC are the dark horse teams, who, as of right now do not even seem to be in playoff contention, but if all goes right can make some noise. These two teams are the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. Both of these teams have struggled to start the season. However, led by two of the league’s best quarterbacks in Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers both of these teams have the ability to make a late-season run towards Super Bowl glory.

Photo courtesy of Profootball Hall of Fame

Super Bowl LIII in Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta will end in a 38-35 New Orleans Saints victory over the New England Patriots giving Drew Brees his second Super Bowl title.

 

Point Counterpoint: is Baseball still America’s sport

 

Joshua Percy Anchor Staff

Baseball is one of America’s favorite sports, some dare say it is America’s sport. While some will argue that the issues with pace of play and decreasing viewership have caused baseball to secede the title of America’s sports to the football and the NFL in actuality baseball is still America’s sport, and here is why.

While tv viewership for baseball is at a decline, all tv viewership is declining. Generally, no one watches tv anymore, they prefer streaming services such as netflix and hulu. The argument of TV views droppings is not a solid one, while it is a good point. However, baseball teams still bring out a large crowd to there games. While people dont have 4 hours to watch a baseball game at home, a large amount of people do have 5-6 hours to enjoy a live baseball game and the atmosphere it creates. Baseball is still more of a competitive sport than football, in baseball you have a good 10-15 competitive teams while football is more predictable and has less competition.

The largest argument is that there are still more people around America that wants to play baseball than any other sport. How can we prove that? Well every baseball team has 3 minor league teams they have to fill, if there were not enough players, then they wouldn’t need those teams. The want to play baseball is greater than any other sport in America, and with that reason baseball is still America’s Sport.

Jake Elmslie – Sports Editor

Baseball was at one point the most popular sport in America, however over the last decade or so the people who manage the game at it’s highest level have done nothing to help it stay on top and the numbers show it.

The average sports fan simply does not have the same sort of fervor for baseball that existed in decades past. Take this years world series for example, you had two of the most popular franchise in Major League Baseball history, the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. There are two teams with enormous fan bases, from two of the biggest markets in sports, two teams that should carry coast to coast interest. Despite all of this however the MLB saw a 23 percent drop off in average world series game viewership from 2017 and a 38 percent drop off in average viewership from 2016. One could argue that it is unfair to compare 2018 to 2017 or 2016 as both those series lasted seven games as opposed to this year’s world series five. However even when compared to the last five game world series, 2015’s clash between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals, two teams with considerably smaller fan bases and less storied histories, 2018 still saw lower ratings.

Now as mentioned previously television ratings are down across the board, however baseball has seen a far greater dip in ratings than it’s competitors, namely the National Football League. While game five of this years world series did manage to outdo the concurrently airing Monday Night Football broadcast, these sorts of occurrences are the exception to the rule. Even less significant NFL games regularly outperform MLB games of higher importance.

The MLB also makes next to no effort to adapt to a modern audience. As consumers attention spans get shorter baseball games become inexplicably longer. Not only this but the games themselves have become less action packed. Year after year less and less balls are put into play leading to the state of affairs today, a game focused primarily on ether homeruns or strike outs. These shifts in the way the game is played lead to a less appealing for the more casual baseball fan, the sort of fan any professional sport needs to thrive.

The hardcore baseball fan will always exist, people like myself will always delight in pouring over the statistics and nuances of the game. However if baseball wants to avoid going the way of horseracing or boxing, sports once considered institutions in America that have devolved into niche events major changes in the product the MLB presents must be made. For the time being though the football and the NFL reign supreme as the sport that draws both the highest ratings and level of national interest and until that changes baseball is far from America’s sport.