Capitals

Ohio State-Marquette canceled by condensation

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Ohio State-Marquette canceled by condensation

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) Ohio State coach Thad Matta was real eager for his fourth-ranked Buckeyes to take the court aboard the USS Yorktown. Even though the game was called off, he's certain his players learned plenty.

The season-opening showcase between the Buckeyes and Marquette on the decommissioned vessel was canceled Friday night when officials, coaches and administrators believed continuing condensation made the makeshift court too dangerous to play.

Still, Matta said he believed the time his team spent listening to current and former military members - eight of them visited with Buckeyes players and coaches Thursday night, he said - was worth the long, complex trip.

``Yeah, we didn't get to play,'' Matta said in the carrier's theater. ``But the purpose was served.''

Earlier, seventh-ranked Notre Dame defeated No. 19 Ohio State 57-51 in the first women's game played outdoors on a carrier. There were challenges in that one, too - the setting sun for the late afternoon start had both sides squinting to see - but the court was dry and safe. That wasn't the case once the sun went down.

Ohio State guard Aaron Craft said he knew things would be tricky when he saw a couple of Marquette's players ``slide from half-court to the 3-point line.''

Referee John Cahill talked with both coaches and athletic directors about conditions. All agreed to give the court more time to dry in the cooling atmosphere. After about a half-hour delay, Cahill restarted pregame warmups as volunteers and workers did what they could to soak up the moisture. Nothing worked and the game was called off.

``All were apprehensive about playing the game,'' Cahill said. ``You could feel the wet spots on the floor. Our primary concern is with the student-athlete. The last thing we want is any kid who's got a future in the game of basketball to be injured as a result of this.''

Once the game was canceled, Marquette and Ohio State players returned to the court to sign autographs, pose for pictures and greet the fans.

``It was certainly disappointing,'' said Gregory Hoffman, a 1971 Ohio State graduate who lives in Mount Pleasant. ``You don't want athletes to hurt themselves. It's Charleston and there's condensation at night.''

Coaches and ADs from both schools said they would continue talking about ways to play again, although it's not likely this season. Ohio State opens its home season on Sunday against Albany while Marquette has a home game the same day with Colgate.

The game was part of the second Carrier Classic, the first a magnificent spectacle between North Carolina and Michigan State attended by President Barack Obama.

The contest raises money for several groups that help troops and veterans. It was a showcase for Veterans Day weekend.

Most of the 4,000 seats at the makeshift arena were full, many of them servicemen and women who received donated tickets. Ohio State's players put on a dunk contest, guard Aaron Craft skying high for a jam as spectators snapped pictures on their cellphones.

The contest was supposed to be one of the marquee events of college basketball's opening weekend. Ohio State reached the Final Four last season while Marquette advanced to the NCAA's round of 16 before losing to Florida.

Marquette coach Buzz Williams came to the court in Army-style combat boots and both sides wore uniforms to honor the military and those who've served their country.

``It is disappointing,'' Williams said. ``But the health of our players is monumental.''

Morale Entertainment's Michael Whalen said the Notre Dame women's practice on Thursday morning was moved to warmer afternoon conditions because of condensation. But Thursday night, organizers found little wrong with the court and thought things would be fine.

Whalen wasn't sure what the cancellation might mean for the future of the Carrier Classic, or the potential of holding another game here on the Yorktown.

``We were trying to do something good,'' Whalen said. ``This time, it didn't work out.''

The coaches saw plenty of positives even with the cancellation. Ohio State star Craft and his sister, Cait, who plays for the Buckeyes women's team, have an older brother Brandon returning from serving in Afghanistan in about a week. Matta remembered Craft telling him, ``It doesn't get better than this.''

Williams of Marquette said the lost game wouldn't change his mind if asked to play on a carrier again.

``We'll play anywhere, anytime in this type of event for this type of purpose,'' he said.

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Get to know newest Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny

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Get to know newest Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny

On Monday, with the NHL trade deadline approaching, the Washington Capitals addressed a need for blue line depth by acquiring Michal Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

But before you begin to analyze how the move impacts the Capitals' outlook heading forward, lets take some time to get to know the newest member of the Caps.

Who is Michal Kempny?

Michal Kempny is a 27-year-old defenseman from the Czech Republic. He was born on Sept. 8, 1990 in Hodonin, a small town in southwestern Czech Republic near the border of Austria and Slovakia. Kempny began his hockey career playing for SHK Hodonin. Kempny knew very little english upon arriving to the NHL, but credited his girlfriend Showtime shows to helping him become more comfortable speaking the language. 

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What International Experience Does Michal Kempny Have?

Michal Kempny played professionally for HC Kometa Brno of the Czech Extraliga and Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. Kempny was a standout player on the international stage, playing for the Czech Republic U18, U20 and Men's National teams.

MORE ON THE TRADE: WHERE DOES KEMPNY FIT IN THE CAPS ROSTER

When Did Michal Kempny Make His NHL Debut?

Michal Kempny was signed to a one-year contract as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks in May, 2016 and made his NHL debut in October, 2016. Kempny scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 30, 2016 against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. Kempny appeared in 50 games for the Blackhawks during the 2016-17 season, recording two goals and six assists. The Blackhawks re-signed Kempny to a one-year extension during the offseason. Kempny played in 31 games this season before being traded to the Capitals.

What Type of Hockey Player is Michal Kempny?

Kempny is a 6-0, 194-pound defenseman with a strong left-handed shot. Known for his play on the offensive end, Kempny was never able to gain the trust of Joel Quenneville on the defensive end. But Kempny has a good bit of offensive upside, thanks to his passing skills and strong shot, which is why the Blackhawks took a flier on him in the first place and why he was an ideal trade candidate for the Capitals. But again, Kempny's size is less than ideal for a top-tier blue-liner and while he doesn't shy away from contact, he is rarely much of a physical presence. 

What Does Michal Kempny's Contract Look Like?

Michael Kempny is set to become an unrestricted free agent the the end of the 2017-18 season and has a cap hit of just $900,000.

RELATED: TROTZ REACTS TO RACIAL COMMENTS MADE BY CHICAGO FANS

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Its Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

Its Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE