Sheff Wed 0 – 0 Millwall

first_imgWallace went close shortly after the restart, floating a free-kick over the defensive wall with the ball going a fraction wide.Windass got a shot on target but it was straight at Bialkowski who made a comfortable save.Hutchinson failed to make the most of a great opportunity, heading over after meeting a Wallace corner.Bialkowski then came to his side’s rescue, making a good save down to his left to keep out Adam Reach’s firm drive.The keeper made another stop from Reach after the midfielder found himself in space on the left-hand side of the area.Wednesday manager Garry Monk made a change just before the hour, sending on Izzy Brown in place of Joey Pelupessy.Both sides made a substitution in the 68th minute with Callum Paterson replacing Kachunga for the home team and the opposition replacing Wallace with Connor Mahoney.Mahoney set up a great chance for Smith, delivering an inch-perfect cross which the striker headed wide from the edge of the six-yard box.Wednesday striker Jack Marriott joined the action as a replacement for Van Aken and then a double substitution for the visitors saw Bodvarsson and Tom Bradshaw come on in place of Smith and Bennett.Marriott had a chance to win it in stoppage time after meeting Brown’s free-kick but Bialkowski got down to his right to make the save. The Wednesday line-up showed one enforced change, with Joost van Aken taking over from the suspended Kadeem Harris.Millwall boss Gary Rowett made three changes with Matt Smith, Ryan Leonard and Mason Bennett replacing Shane Ferguson, Ben Thompson and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson – the latter two included among the substitutes. – Advertisement –  Sheffield Wednesday climbed off the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table for the first time this season following a goalless draw with Millwall.The point was enough to see them overtake Derby after their points deduction for a breach of EFL rules was halved to six points on appeal earlier this week.- Advertisement – Elias Kachunga had a good early chance for the hosts, finding space to make a driving run towards the centre of the area before firing wide of the target.- Advertisement – Millwall’s first effort came from Scott Malone, who headed narrowly wide following Mason Bennett’s ball in.Ryan Leonard then dragged his shot wide after a Jed Wallace cross caused problems for the home defence.Millwall skipper Shaun Hutchinson presented the hosts with an opening when his stray pass was intercepted by Josh Windass. He advanced into the area and fired in a shot which was beaten away by Bartosz Bialkowski at his near post.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Polished Evans enjoying best season yet

first_imgMost recently, at Minnesota, Ryan Evans earned a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. With a total of 257 points so far this season, Evans is averaging 10.3 points per game.[/media-credit]A double-double in the game of basketball is no fluke. They just don’t come along courtesy of serendipity.Even on just a game-by-game basis, the achievement of a double-double requires an unflagging work ethic. But the 17 points and 11 rebounds that forward Ryan Evans earned Feb. 9 against Minnesota represent more than just a good old-fashioned hard day’s work.It was a signal of how much Evans has refined his game since last season and also since being cut from his high school junior varsity team as a sophomore.“It is (a mark of his growth),” assistant coach Lamont Paris said. “It is an indication of how active he is. You’re working hard to get a double-double; there’s no way about it. You can’t fake your way into a double-double.“He really has worked hard at attacking some of his deficiencies and he’s played hard. [He’s] paid some dues, things haven’t always gone his way and he’s persevered.”Evans is currently riding the best four-game streak of his career. With the double-double as the capstone as of this moment, Evans has scored in double digits in each the last four games, including six out of the last eight.And, over those last four contests, he is averaging more points and blocks than his season average.His emergence as a consistent producer on the court has arrived thanks to an upgraded offensive game that prevented him from getting off the bench more often as an underclassman.Evans, who is the only player on the Wisconsin men’s basketball roster not from the Midwest (he comes from Hamilton, Ariz.), joined the Badgers as a late signee in March 2008 after turning around his high school career.He redshirted his first year but earned time on the floor immediately during the following two years, thanks to a well-rounded defensive game.Somewhat mirroring his high school career, his performance dipped as a sophomore – especially on offense. Evans played 11.6 minutes per game, down from 13.2 the year prior, and had a shooting percentage that inched over 30 percent. He also averaged a turnover once every 17 minutes.“I kind of went through the same thing in high school, not playing much as a freshman, getting cut as a sophomore,” Evans said. “I may as well have been cut last year, as bad of a season as I had.”According to the 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward, the weight of his own expectations that year slowly flattened his confidence. It didn’t go as expected for him, so as 2011-12 neared, he cleared his mind of anything else, freeing himself from the self-analysis.“That was my downfall last year,” he said. “I set expectations for myself and when they weren’t getting accomplished I was kind of going down, going down, going down. Instead I came into this season with a positive mentality.”Meanwhile, Paris and the rest of the coaching staff were able to pinpoint Evans’ shortcomings on the court as well. He would too often attempt shots when he was off-balance, like a turn-around jumper and he was unable to maintain possession when he put the ball on the ground.“His percentage of turnovers when he dribbled the ball was high, yet he continued to do it because he wanted to prove that ‘I’m capable of doing this,’ when in reality he was not capable of doing it successfully on a consistent basis,” Paris said. “This year, he hasn’t done that near as much, you don’t see him driving baseline [and] getting stuck. He’s gotten better, his shot selection has gotten better.”Today, Evans leads the team in rebounding per game (6.8), and is third in scoring (10.3 points per game) and shooting percentage (.433 average from the floor). He averages one turnover every 22.5 minutes.He’s also come close to earning “the elusive double-double” – as Paris calls it – at other points this year. During the conference season, Evans has fallen one rebound or two baskets short of the feat three times – against Michigan, Indiana and Northwestern.Paris notes there is still improvement to be had for Evans, in terms of ball handling and the development of a more consistent three-point shot (he is 22.2 percent from behind the perimeter this year).According to Paris, there’s still plenty of potential for him on defense.“He can be one of the best defenders in the league, bar none, guarding any position almost,” he said. “His ceiling is very high from the defensive side of things.”But nevertheless, Evans – as well as everyone else on the team – is finally getting a chance to enjoy his success.“This is a special season … it means a lot to me,” Ryan said, when asked if being a starter meant anything extra to him. “It’s been a good run so far and I think it could get a lot better still.”last_img read more

Matic predicts bright future for Man Utd’s McTominay

first_img0Shares0000Midfielder Scott McTominay “will be a big player for Manchester United” said team-mate Nemanja Matic © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 28 – Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is predicting a bright future for the “amazing” Scott McTominay, who has forced his way into Jose Mourinho’s first team despite fierce competition for places.McTominay’s selection ahead of club-record signing Paul Pogba for last week’s Champions League clash at Sevilla underlined Mourinho’s trust in the player and he was also handed a starting role in Sunday’s 2-1 comeback win against Chelsea. The 21-year-old’s performances have seen him shortlisted alongside David De Gea and Romelu Lukaku for United’s player of the month award, as well as earning admiration from team-mates.“He is amazing,” Matic said after United’s victory against Chelsea, when McTominay made just the 10th competitive start of his career.“He is 21 and to play like that and control the game like that is impressive. He will be a big player for Manchester United.“I like him because he is a very nice guy and he doesn’t have a problem to ask before the game something and I am always there to help him.“When I came to Manchester I saw within a few days he would become a top player.”McTominay’s rise could lead to an international tug of war between England and Scotland. He has not represented either nation at any level.A late developer who has rocketed to 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 metres)in recent years, the midfielder has retained his ability on the ball and has impressed team-mates such as Chris Smalling from the outset.“He’s been training with us for quite a while, even last season,” the United defender said. “But he’s been sort of thrust into some big games, be it Seville or here, and he’s not phased.“You can see him crunching into tackles and that’s what we do in training. He goes through people. It’s good that he’s stepped up to his mark.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more