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Hamilton into this weekends U.S. Grand

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    February 25, 2020 4:51 AM MSK

    Greg Gard does not have rebuilding to tackle during his first full-time season as the head coach of the Wisconsin mens basketball team. Destockage Nike Vapormax .Gard took over as interim head coach when Bo Ryan abruptly quit last season after 12 games. An assistant to Ryan for 14 years at Wisconsin, Gard had the interim tag stripped from his job title in March with a five-year contract.The ninth-ranked Badgers begin the regular season with a four-game home slate on Friday when they host Central Arkansas at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.Wisconsin returns its entire starting lineup and 99 percent of offense from a team that finished 22-13 overall and reached the NCAA Sweet 16.The roster boasts four starting seasons, including forward Nigel Hayes, who was named the Big Ten Conference preseason player of the year. Hayes averaged 15.7 points and 3.0 assists per game during his junior campaign.Gard said Hayes maturity, along with experience of other veterans, will be impactful to begin the season. Wisconsin lost its season opener in 2015-16, and six games in total before Ryans departure.They had to dig themselves from (out of) a hole and mature and grow, Gard said. They understood how important the process is and how the everyday of it goes.It helps when you have a mature group. When you have four seniors leading the way ... your best-coached teams are always your player-coached teams. This group has taken on a leadership and ownership of that locker room.The Badgers also will lean heavily on senior guard Bronson Koenig for his 3-point prowess, and redshirt sophomore forward Ethan Happ for attacking the boards. Koenig contributed 13.1 points per game and shot 39 percent from 3-point range as a junior, while Happ led the team in rebounding with 7.9 rebounds per contest. Happ averaged 12.4 points and 1.8 steals per game.Senior guard Zak Showalter and senior forward Vitto Brown also bring a wealth of experience to Wisconsins starting lineup.The Badgers are fresh off a secret scrimmage at Northern Iowa on Nov. 5, which gave freshmen the opportunity to participate in a game-week preparation, complete with a scouting report on the Panthers. The event marked the second year that the two teams played a scrimmage that was closed to the media.Unlike Wisconsin, rebuilding is a priority for Central Arkansas.The Bears, members of the Southland Conference, posted a 7-21 overall record, an improvement from the 2014-15 season when Central Arkansas won just two games. Russ Pennell, a former Bears player, starts his third season at the coaching helm.The offense will run through Bears guard Jordan Howard, who averaged 20.2 points per game last season. Howard is joined by guard Derreck Brooks (12.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Mathieu Kamba (10.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg).Pennell said he hopes to build depth and improvement on defense with more options off the bench, after four players redshirted last season. He said he likes the Bears competitiveness in practices.We can go different ways (with lineups) because most of our guys are multi-position, Pennell said. We can mix and match, and thats the thing I like. I just believe that we will be able to keep quality players on the floor the entire game. Vapormax Flyknit Moc 2 Pas Cher .C. -- Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said after all of these years in the NBA hes still amazed at some of the things LeBron James does. Vapormax Flyknit 3 Pas Cher . Following a lopsided 5-2 loss against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night, Paul MacLean told reporters that "theres a lack of focus, theres a lack of leadership and theres a lack of preparation" with his struggling team. That came on the heels of Bryan Murray taking the unusual step of going into the locker room at the Prudential Center and addressing the players himself. .Y. -- Syracuse has turned up the defence at the right time all season, and when High Point threatened to pull off a monumental upset the second-ranked Orange did what they do best with their quick hands and savvy play. PARIS -- In Narcos, the television drama based on the life and crimes of Pablo Escobar, the now long-dead Colombian cocaine trafficker is shown making a roaring bonfire of banknotes to keep his family warm while they are on the run. This waste in a country with grinding poverty comes across as doubly selfish and lunatic. Put to better uses, such riches could improve lives.The scene now springs to mind when thinking about Nick Kyrgios squandering his abundance of talent for tennis.Again, its the needless waste that is so infuriating. Imagine how many other people would love to have the physical gifts and youth that the 21-year-old, 14th-ranked Australian neither maximizes nor fully values.Tanking at the Shanghai Masters, his insulting lack of effort and interest in losing to Mischa Zverev, wasnt merely disrespectful to his German opponent and to paying fans, it was nauseating in its selfishness. A sports equivalent of torching dollars, the frittering away of precious assets that other, more appreciative people could put to better use.Apologists say Kyrgios deserves sympathy, that he is young and clearly struggling in tennis spotlight. The wastrel himself, in a statement of apology, explained that he was physically and mentally burned out after a long week in Tokyo and travel throughout the continent.Ugh. First-world problems.For perspective on how blessed he is, Kyrgios could visit any number of hospitals and refugee camps around the world to hear first-hand from the less fortunate how they would give their hind teeth to be healthy, to hop on planes, freely cross borders and see the world, and to earn more than $3.5 million, as Kyrgios has in four years as a pro -- in short, to fulfill their potential.Thinking of them, one realizes how mealy-mouthed the mens tour was in suspending Kyrgios from ATP tournaments for eight weeks to Jan. 15, short enough for him to return for first-round play at the Australian Open which starts the following day.Kyrgios could reduce the suspension to an even more insignificant three weeks by agreeing to accept help from a psychologist.Hardly tough love. Just more indulgence for a player who ticks all the boxes of brattishness.However, there is a lesson in this sorry saga about the relative values of pure talent versus hard work.Sports put a premium on physical attributes: height, strength, speed, quick reactions. Yet, more often than not, the most important muscle of all for sporting success is between the ears.Two successful athletes -- Andy Murray in tennis and Nico Rosberg in Formula One -- spring to mind. Vapormax Flyknit Moc Pas Cher. Neither have the pure talent of some of their top competitors.As quick as he is behind the wheel, Rosberg doesnt have quite the sublime touch of Lewis Hamilton, his teammate at Mercedes who beat him to the world title both last year and the year before.And for all his fabulous racket skills, Murray doesnt quite have the sinewy athleticism of Novak Djokovic or the seemingly effortless grace of Roger Federer -- who together have beaten him 13 of the combined 16 times he has played them at tennis Grand Slam major tournaments.But both Murray and Rosberg are hard grafters. They could, like Kyrgios, have trotted out lame excuses for giving up. They could, after their repeated career disappointments, have accepted second best.But instead these refuseniks have persevered, redoubling their efforts, to the point that both are almost within touching distance of the summit.Rosberg carries a 33-point lead over Hamilton into this weekends U.S. Grand Prix.Another victory, which would be his tenth this season compared to six so far for Hamilton, wouldnt lock up the world championship for Rosberg. But, with just three races remaining after this stop in Austin, Texas, the 31-year-old German could move significantly closer to the crowning achievement that would move him out of the shadow of Hamilton and of Rosbergs father, Keke, the world champion in 1982.Murray, long the fourth member of tennis Fab Four behind Djokovic, Federer and Rafael Nadal, has had such a standout 2016 that the 29-year-old Briton now has his sights on the No. 1 ranking that Djokovic has monopolized without interruption since July 2014.I believe I can get there, Murray said after winning the Shanghai Masters, his sixth title this year. These last few months have proved that to me.So rather than ask what tennis should be doing for Kyrgios, we should be asking Kyrgios what he is prepared to do to help himself.With the array of shots and the body for modern tennis, he could amount to something.Or to nothing. Its his choice.If he cant bothered, he should make way. Leave the stage to others who hunger for it and, more importantly, who refuse to waste away.---John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at) or follow him at . See his work at ' ' '