Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanOn Wednesday, USC finished up a short week of practice in preparation for Friday’s game against No. 16 Washington State. The team worked on red-zone efficiency and readied for potentially inclement weather while continuing to deal with a slew of recent injuries.Bracing for harsh weatherThis Friday, USC could see a potentially rainy, windy evening in Pullman, Wash. In order to prepare for that prospect, the team practiced with wet footballs on Wednesday.“It looks like we may get some rain there in the second half,” head coach Clay Helton said. “We worked [in] some precipitation, which will be the first time for us this season.”Helton insisted that his team will be able to handle the harsh conditions, despite the lack of experience dealing with rain in sunny Southern California.“We’ve been fortunate,” Helton said. “Stat of the day is: Since 1923, we’ve only had 16 rain games in the Coliseum, but [I’ve] been here for two of them, in 2010 and 2016. At the end of the day, professionals don’t make excuses; they’re supposed to be the answers.”Injury UpdateAs USC grinds through 12 straight games without the reprieve of a bye week, the pileup of injuries always seemed inevitable. A third of the way into the season, after facing four challenging opponents, the accumulation of wear and tear has already become a major factor. The Trojans spent most of their short week trying to get key players healthy and back on the field.“I don’t think anybody is 100 percent right now after these first four games,” Helton said. “I think we all have bumps and bruises right now at all positions.”Helton offered several injury updates on the offensive side of the ball. Junior wide receiver Deontay Burnett and freshman receiver/return specialist Velus Jones both came back to practice on Wednesday after dealing with minor injuries, but their fellow pass-catcher redshirt senior Steven Mitchell Jr. remained out with a groin injury suffered against Texas. Mitchell Jr. is the team’s second leading receiver with 223 yards and two touchdowns.“I watched him run today and he is getting closer,” Helton said. “If it’s not Saturday, it will be next week.”Helton also offered new information about redshirt sophomore tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe, as he’s been out with a hip injury since the season opener against Western Michigan. Tight end is a particularly thin position for the Trojans without Imatorbhebhe and now with the departure of freshman Cary Angeline.“We’re all hoping that he plays this year,” Helton said. “We’re hoping to forecast for the Notre Dame game week. He’s getting closer but this is an investment that we made. We wanted to get him back 100 percent, and until he’s that way, I’m not going to put him out there.”Junior Tyler Petite is now by far the most experienced tight end on the depth chart. He turned in his best performance last week against Cal with four catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.Improving red-zone efficiency Currently, the Trojans’ lack of success in the red zone has been one of the team’s biggest crutches. Over the first four games, the team is 73rd in red-zone efficiency, tied with Ball State and Idaho. During this week of practice, USC worked on that specific area of the game.“The last two weeks, we haven’t been great [in short yardage offense],” Helton said. “Everyone can see that. We worked hard in the red zone today and at finishing drives, because third-down and red-zone efficiency is going to be the key in this game. You’re not going to be able to kick field goals while they’re scoring touchdowns.”
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly today praised Ravichandran Ashwin for batting India out of trouble on the second day of the third Test against England in Mohali.Ganguly feels India’s top-order batsmen should learn a thing or two from the 30-year-old world No.1 allrounder when it comes to delivering under pressure. (Ravichandran Ashwin’s golden Test run in 2016 continues)Having bowled out England for 283 earlier in the morning, India looked in charge at 148/2 at tea before Adil Rashid’s double strike jolted the hosts who lost three wickets in 19 balls to slump to 156/5. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and debutant Karun Nair were all back to the pavilion in a span of eight runs. However, Ashwin, who scored his ninth Test fifty, first forged a 48-run sixth-wicket stand with skipper Virat Kohli and then was involved in an unbeaten 67-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja for the seventh wicket.Ashwin, who is world’s No.1 Test bowler, enhanced his new-found batting reputation with an unbeaten 57 while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was batting on 31 at stumps with India trailing by 12 runs. (Mohali Test: Ashwin, Jadeja to India’s rescue after England fightback)Ashwin and Jadeja played a few handsome strokes before the close of play, and helped the scoring rate along. Thanks to their partnership, India were able to nearly draw abreast of England’s score.ON ASHWIN’S BATTING”This was not the first time. Ashwin has done that number of times and he keeps doing it. He has got such good technique and such good footwork on the crease. His batting looks so easy.advertisement”He has been remarkable with the bat since the tour of West Indies. He has just got better and better. The best part of batting is that every time India need him, he stands up and delivers. It has been a remarkable performance from Ashwin,” Ganguly told India Today.’TOP-ORDER BATSMEN SHOULD LEARN FROM ASHWIN’ “The top order batsmen should learn from him how to bat when the team requires. Most of them have done it, the likes of Pujara and Kohli. Rahane is probably having a tough time in the series but that happens with anyone. He is a quality player.”It is a comfortable situation for India when a batsman coming in a No.6 or No.7 who is so consistent and who does it every time under pressure, it’s a comforting thing for top order as well.”ASHWIN’S REAL CHALLENGE”His batting has improved by leaps and bounds and when you see him play he is technically so sound. The biggest challenge for him will to have the effectiveness with his bowling when travels abroad. His past record hasn’t shown that. The amount of wickets he has got in India is a lot more than away from the subcontinent. He has become a lot more experienced since he last travelled to Australia or England. He seems very happy to play under Virat Kohli’s leadership. From that point of view, he knows he is India’s go-to man, most valuable player. That is a huge confidence boost for any player.” (Newsmaker: Ravichandran Ashwin spins India back to the top)GANGULY DEFENDS RAHANE”Ajinkya Rahane is as good a player as Kohli in Test cricket for India. It is just a patch of three Test matches where he has struggled. He just needs to take it out of his head. He is a very intense cricketer. There should not be a worry regarding his place in India’s Test side and it is just a matter of time.”
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has declared a State of Public Emergency in the St. Catherine North Police Division effective Sunday (March 18).A joint Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)/Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) team was deployed to the area this morning to undertake enhanced security measures for an initial 14 days, in accordance with the Emergency Powers Act.Addressing a press conference at Jamaica House on Sunday, Mr. Holness noted that this decision is necessary as crime and violence, particularly murders, have been escalating in that police division.The area has recorded 49 murders since the start of the year, due mainly to gang activity.“Under these enhanced security measures, the security forces will have extraordinary powers and some (citizens’) rights will be suspended,” the Prime Minister said.He advised that the security forces will have the power to search; detain persons without a warrant; and curtail the operating hours of businesses as well as access to venues.Additionally, all persons using roads leading into and out of St. Catherine North and their vehicles will be subject to search.“In various areas, there will be joint static and mobile patrols. Persons may also be stopped at various checkpoints,” the Prime Minister further indicated.Mr. Holness assured, however, that this does not mean that the security forces use of this authority can be arbitrary or are beyond review.“The security forces are expected and have been directed to treat citizens with respect and (to) protect the dignity and safety of all Jamaicans,” he emphasized Mr. Holness said the Proclamation under the Emergency Powers Act to bring the enhanced security measures into effect was signed by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, and has been gazetted.The State of Public Emergency in St. Catherine North is the second such follow a similar declaration in St. James in January.
zoom Japan’s shipping major Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) has reached an agreement to sell its 2004-built Ore Carrier Gaia Pegasus to a Greek shipowner, according to data provided by VesselsValue.The 229,200 dwt Capesize vessel was purchased by Samos Steamship for a price of USD 12.7 million.With a length of 319 meters and a width of 54 meters, the bulker was built by Japan’s Namura Shipbuilding.According to AIS data provided by MarineTraffic, Gaia Pegasus is currently moored at Australian Port of Hedland, one of the world’s largest bulk export ports, where it arrived today from China’s Jingtang port.NYK Line’s latest sale comes on the back of the previously agreed disposal of the 2007-built bulker Ocean Crescent earlier in October. The 174,200 dwt vessel was sold for USD 12.1 million to Greece-based New Shipping Ltd.World Maritime News Staff