#1 rings. Then Nebraska, obviously a sports town, Big Ten von corse178 23.02.2019 04:37

NEW YORK -- Jeremy Lin will be urged to become a better leader. Brook Lopez will be challenged to rebound and defend better.Kenny Atkinson believes in being direct and honest with his players, but theres one thing the new Brooklyn Nets coach wont discuss with them.After all, the players already know some people dont think very much of them.I think those guys are aware of it, so as a coach I dont think I need to be putting stuff up in the locker room and motivating them that way, Atkinson said Tuesday.Expectations are low for the Nets, who open training camp next Tuesday. While they could be better than last seasons 21-61 record, they also could be the worst team in the Eastern Conference, now that the Philadelphia 76ers will be interested in trying to win.Odds makers, media members and even some of their own fans dont expect much from the Nets, and some players already have made clear they wont be as bad as critics say.I dont think we look at is as bulletin board material, general manager Sean Marks said. I mean, youve read probably a couple of pieces that some of our guys have said that they dont agree with those odds and thats great. Thats exactly what we want ... thats the competitor in them.Marks, a former assistant general manager with San Antonio, begins his first full season after he was hired last February. He hired Atkinson from Atlanta, where he helped the Hawks reach the second round of the playoffs as an assistant to Mike Budenholzer.They made a number of additions over the summer, but not the splashy types the Nets favored during their first few years in Brooklyn, when they were trying to win new fans while also winning games. That led to trades for players such as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Joe Johnson, and they reached the postseason in their first three seasons after moving from New Jersey.But the mindset has changed now, with the bold predictions of Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov giving way to tempered talk from Marks, a New Zealand native. Prokhorov wanted to win fast -- time expired on his goal of winning a championship within five years of buying the team -- but now is backing a plan to build slowly.Well, it depends on what your definition of slow is, Marks said. Our owners know exactly what the expectations are, so theyre 100 percent on board. Theyve been on board all summer long.Lopez is the teams best player and the Nets hope Lin, back in the city where he was briefly a star with the Knicks in 2012, can build on a strong season as the backup to Kemba Walker in Charlotte. Atkinson was an assistant under Mike DAntoni in New York during the Linsanity days and believes Lin is ready to handle the responsibilities of running this team.Its a heck of a challenge for him, but I think hes prepared for it, Atkinson said. I think its the right time in his career.The Nets were encouraged by the play this summer of guard Bojan Bogdanovic, who was Croatias leading scorer as it qualified for the Olympics, then surprisingly reached the quarterfinals. And they have high hopes for youngsters such as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough, Sean Kilpatrick and rookie Caris LeVert, even though none of them have played a full NBA season yet.Thats why Marks said success for the Nets wont be measured only in wins and losses, but by how those players improve during the season.This is not going to be something thats going to turn around in two, three months, he said. As weve said before, we want something thats done strategically and systematically that builds a strong foundation and not something thats a fleeting moment.---Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney Brad Boxberger Jersey . The Celtics closed out their first preseason under Stevens on Wednesday night with a 101-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, who rested a lot of their lineup including former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Chris Owings Jersey . -- Matt Kuchar and Harris English ran away with the Franklin Templeton Shootout, shooting a 14-under 58 on Sunday in the final-round scramble to break the tournament course record. http://www.diamondbacksteamshop.com/Diamondbacks-Nick-Ahmed-Kids-Jersey/ .Y. - New York City has been selected to host the NBA All-Star weekend in 2015, with the game played at Madison Square Garden and the slam dunk contest and other skills events held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. David Peralta Jersey . Hamelin, who triumphed in the 500 on Saturday, edged out Victor An of Russia by 0.021 seconds to maintain his lead in the World Cup standings. Russias Vladimir Grigorev was third. In the relay, Canada took control six laps from the finish line to beat Russia and the Netherlands. Paul Goldschmidt Jersey . Marincin has played in two NHL games so far this season with two penalty minutes. The 21-year-old has three goals, four assists and a plus-5 rating in 24 games with the American Hockey Leagues Oklahoma City Barons this season. LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Andrew White III began his career at Kansas, then transferred to Nebraska and redshirted a year before playing another, only to wind up at Syracuse to finish off his unique college basketball odyssey.All that moving around hardly makes him unique, though.Its more like the new norm.More than 700 players on Division I rosters swapped schools last season, many taking advantage of fifth-year transfer rules that allow them to play immediately. The number could swell to more than 800 by the time this season begins next week. And that has coaches and administrators at every level concerned about the long-term effect on the health and popularity of the sport.I do think its a big-time problem in college basketball. Its a problem in college athletics, said Kansas coach Bill Self, who has three transfers from four-year schools on his current roster. But I also think its a societal problem because how many kids now, if you dont play on your high school team, whats the first thing you do? You switch schools. It happens in football and other sports, too.I mean, wed like for it to be tightened up, Self added, where theres less transfers and hopefully that will be the case. But I dont know what the answer is for that.Thats the biggest problem: Nobody seems to know.In interviews with more nearly two dozen coaches and officials, including four conference commissioners, the only consensus was that the transfer epidemic is a problem striking college basketball to its core.The numbers concern me. But within those numbers, you have to understand there are sometimes very good reasons to transfer that are beyond just playing time, ACC commissioner John Swofford said. Some of it is societal in nature, in which its instant-gratification syndrome of, `If Im not playing immediately and not playing a big role, Im going somewhere else. Thats indicative of a larger issue beyond basketball.Swofford said the days of kids waiting their turn are a quaint construct of yesteryear. Now, everybody wants to get on the floor right away, and theyre willing to uproot if thats what it takes.My concern is more about the academic part of it as much as anything, and how much can you bounce around and truly receive the kind of education that youd want, Swofford said. But again, its hard to lump that all into one bag. There is a lot going on.Transfers are more pervasive in college basketball for a number of reasons.First, the game is largely the same regardless of where you go. Teams run different offenses, coaches utilize different systems and defenses vary from school to school. But its not like football, where a player who transfers has to learn hundreds of complicated plays in a condensed time period.That makes it easy for a player to get up to speed quickly.Another reason is numbers: There are only five guys on the floor at a time, and only 200 minutes to go around per game. Compare that to football, where an offense will run about 80 plays and there are 11 guys on the ffield at a time, not to mention opportunities to play on special teams.dddddddddddde need coaches to be frank on the front end, what their program is about, Belmont coach Rick Byrd said, and then we need kids when they make their decision to stay there and not hop around looking for the next best thing because they didnt play 38 minutes a game as a freshman.The NCAA is continually examining the issue through its committee on academics, but has so far stood pat. And that is particularly troubling for mid-major coaches like Byrd when it comes to the fifth-year transfer rule, which allows athletes who have graduated to play immediately somewhere else.That rule has turned some mid-major programs into de-factor minor leagues.Most coaches are in favor of eliminating the rule, which would mean those players would have to redshirt a year just like any other transfer. Other ideas to curb the number of transfers include a cap on the number of schools where an athlete can play, and rules that limit where an athlete transferring can go.Im heartened by the fact that the NCAA continues to look at transfer issues, Ohio Valley commissioner Beth DeBauche said, because theyre very complex.Now, there are cases where transfers are best for everybody involved: coaching changes, players deciding they want to play closer to home, academics and a myriad other issues that can pop up over the years.Then there are the benefits to playing in different places.Making two moves, its kind of kept me on my toes, White said. Ive seen different staffs, different leagues. Ive experienced a lot of basketball up to this point and its helped me with my overall confidence.As far as my Kansas experience, got to see a blue-blood, elite-level program. Got to win a couple of rings. Then Nebraska, obviously a sports town, Big Ten is a great basketball league. I got to play a big role and do some big things and learned a lot from that staff. And then you come here and you learn from one of the greatest coaches (at Syracuse), White said. Its been good for my well-being as a man and as a player.Indeed, the Orange may best encapsulate the trend. Jim Boeheim had a handful of transfers in his first 40 years as their coach. Hell have three in the lineup this year.Transfers that weve taken have been very impactful to our program, Boeheim said. We havent taken that many, but the guys that we have taken are very impactful.As for the transfer outlook for college basketball?Its here to stay now, Boeheim said. So if you need a guy you cant get a freshman to help you, if you can get a guy that has started for two or three years, that would bring something to enhance recruiting.---AP Sports Writers John Kekis, Pete Iacobelli, John Marshall and Aaron Beard and freelance writer Chip Cirillo contributed to this story.For more AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org ' ' '

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