#1 whos going to come up with that loose ball von corse178 11.03.2019 09:22

To fully appreciate Tamika Catchings impact on the U.S. Olympic team in this, her fourth and final appearance in the Summer Games, we need to go back to her first. That was in August 2004 in Athens, Greece, and Catchings had turned 25 the month before.She was just entering a professional athletes peak years. In her third season in the WNBA, she already was one of the top players in the league and the face of the Indiana Fever.And she was part of a new wave of national team players, which included Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi. Catchings had started for the Americans in the 2002 world championship, and she got the call to do so again in the 2004 Olympics.My biggest role with that team was defense, Catchings recalled. I was trying to bridge the gap between the younger players and the older players, with them passing that torch on to our generation.In Athens, U.S. coach Van Chancellor started Catchings alongside more experienced players Dawn Staley, Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson.To be the fifth Beatle in that group? Taurasi said. She was the only one who could go into that group and hold her own. She kind of represented the younger generation. So when I saw her out there with that group, I thought, Catch is going to be legendary.It also helped inspire Taurasi, who averaged 8.5 points off the bench in the 2004 Olympics, and Bird, who was the point guard understudy to Staley, then playing in her final Olympics.Bird recalls national team scrimmages over the years when her primary concern was whether she and Catchings were on the same side.I just always remember thinking, I hope Tamikas on my team, Bird said. Because we would do drills where you could only score if you got the rebound, or if you get a deflection or have a steal. And in those scenarios, theres nobody you want on your team besides Tamika.Catchings has been a staple of the national team, winning three Olympic gold medals and three world championship golds. Now age 37, she represents the older generation, and will retire from her playing career at the conclusion of this WNBA season. But she has been able to keep this final year of playing in the present tense as much as possible.Ive definitely been able to stay in the moment and not take anything for granted, she said. Im grateful to have this opportunity again and be around all these great players.Its been a dream come true. And this year, it just means a lot more with it being my last time to be able to represent my country from this perspective.Catchings said it wasnt until she was a teenager following the news about the U.S. national teams 1995-96 tour to prepare for the Atlanta Games that she truly understood just how important the Olympics were. In the summer of 1996, when she was a rising senior in high school, Catchings was training in Colorado Springs with USA Basketball for the junior world championship qualifying tournament.After practice was over, they said, Hang tight, guys, weve got a surprise for you all, Catchings said. Then the door at the end of the gym opened, and Ruthie [Bolton] walked in with everybody else on the Olympic team, and they started singing, Mighty Ruthie! And we were like, Oh my God!It was like the greatest moment. I was like, I want to be them. I want to be on that team someday.Catchings joined the senior national team in 2002. That was her first year in the WNBA. She had sat out 2001 in the league due to a knee injury that had ended her Tennessee collegiate career.As is the case for Bird and Taurasi, Catchings only loss with the Team USA came in the 2006 world championship semifinals. Other than that, it has been an overwhelmingly golden success.The thing that players like Sheryl, Lisa and Dawn left with us is how to represent yourself every day as an American, as an ambassador for ourselves, individually, and our team, Catchings said. People are always watching us, whether its playing in the WNBA, overseas, or working with our respective charities. But theres something especially important about representing the USA team, and how we act on a daily basis. That is about being a professional.Catchings averaged 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in the 2004 Olympics. In 2008, she battled injury to be ready for the Beijing Games, and came off the bench to average 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds.With Catchings, you knew she was going to go through a wall to get the job done, said Anne Donovan, coach of the 2008 Olympic team and a former Olympic player herself. Whether that was a rebound we had to get, a play we needed to run, a screen she had to set, it didnt matter. She was going to do whatever was needed.Her work ethic and her pride in wearing red, white and blue ... Its hard to put it into words, but we all know it. We see it. Catchings is the one whos going to come up with that loose ball or make that play when someone else thinks its impossible.For Catchings, 2012 was the most special year of all in her pro career. She again was a starter for the U.S. Olympic team, averaging 6.1 points and 4.9 rebounds at the London Games. Then she went back to Indiana and led the Fever to the WNBA title.This year, Catchings has been doing a farewell tour in the WNBA, and she also has dealt with a heavy heart in saying goodbye to her beloved college coach, Pat Summitt, who died in June. The court, always her sanctuary, has been that again for Catchings. The chance to create another happy Olympic memory is something that she cherishes.This is her fourth time, and shes still good enough to be a contributor, said USA Basketball coach Geno Auriemma, who also coached Catchings in the 2012 Olympics. When you mention Tamika and say what is she great at? She just plays harder than everybody else. She competes harder. Ive always admired that in her. Cheap Nike Vapormax . President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was fired Friday after 12 years with the Marlins. The move came as the team neared the end of its third consecutive last-place season in the NL East. Nike Vapormax Wholesale . 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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- When Sean Spencer became Penn States defensive line coach in 2014, he nicknamed his group of tackles and ends the Wild Dogs and upped the ante last year by using a 3-foot rawhide bone as their encouragement.The Wild Dogs responded with the third most sacks in the nation before three left for the NFL, leaving a big void up front. Its been filled by players who are living up to the moniker perhaps more than any group Spencers coached. Theyre playing with a pack mentality.Theyve been playing crazy, cornerback John Reid said. A lot of people had their doubts about the D-line coming into this year. They fed off that. They worked each and every day. A lot of guys got stronger, bigger and faster and theyve been playing great.No. 8 Penn State (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten, No. 7 CFP) enters the Big Ten championship against No. 6 Wisconsin (10-2, 7-2, No. 6 CFP) with 37 sacks, nine away from last seasons total, and is getting contributions from nearly a dozen players Spencers comfortable rotating in and out. Ten different linemen have sacks with defensive ends Garrett Sickels and Evan Schwan leading the way with six apiece for a speedy unit thats been mostly unheralded all season.Not from Reids point of view, however.The sophomore cornerback has played more snaps than any Penn State player by far. Hes done so with magnified confidence as players up front have limited coverage time with straight rushes and twists and stunts that showcase their speed.The D-line definitely makes it easier for the guys on the backend, Reid said. We substitute in a whole other D-line and theyll come in just as fast as the starters.The constant rotation has helped keep Penn States defensive linemen fresh all season. Its the one position group thats avoided serious injury.Its definitely a good thing that were able to play so many guys, tackle Curtis CCothran said.ddddddddddddWere ready to go in the fourth quarter.Thats evident as the Nittany Lions have generated pressure out of their base defense late in games. Theyve got 17 fourth-quarter sacks and opposing quarterbacks are completing 53 percent of their throws in the final quarter.Meanwhile, the Badgers stout offensive line has usually worn opposing defensive lines down by then.Wisconsin has allowed 20 sacks this season and four over the past three games, but has mostly neutralized opposing pass-rushers by committing to the run. On the other side of the ball, Wisconsins defensive front might be more underrated than Penn States.Utilizing a 3-4 alignment, Wisconsin primarily generates its pass rush with outside linebackers. They blend size and speed and key off a 3-man front led by 340-pound nose tackle Olive Sagapolu and ends Conor Sheehy and Chikwe Obasih. The Badgers have 31 sacks and outside linebacker T.J. Watts has 9 1/2.Theyre creating mayhem out there, linebacker Ryan Connelly said. A lot of what theyre asked to do is to take on doubles and to occupy guards or tackles, and to occupy those guys up front to free us up. So if were running untouched making plays, that means theyre doing a good job with what theyre doing.The fact Wisconsin leads the country with 21 interceptions isnt lost on Penn State coach James Franklin, either.I think they play complementary defense, Franklin said. They get interceptions because they have talent but they also get interceptions because theyre able to get pressure on the quarterback. The best friend of a defensive back is a defensive lineman that can rush the quarterback.---More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-Top25 ' ' '

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