Preps Talk

O'Donnell believes Torres can change for the better

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O'Donnell believes Torres can change for the better

GLENDALE, Ariz. Sean ODonnell has been hit by Raffi Torres a few times. All cleanly. The Blackhawks defenseman said the Phoenix forward is one of the hardest hitters in the game; and if he just channeled that the right way, he could have a nice, long career in this league.

ODonnell said Torres could pull a Matt Cooke transformation of his own if he wanted to, and could be known for just being a solid NHL player instead of the reputation hes currently got for himself.

Hopefully he takes a page from Matt Cooke, ODonnell said. He could be an effective player, can still be a physical player. Youve got to have more respect for some of the other guys.

Cooke is, indeed, a changed player. The Pittsburgh forward was a poster child for bad behavior in the league, racking up suspensions for a variety of incidents. Then in March of 2011, Cooke landed an elbow to Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. The NHL dropped the hammer on Cooke, suspending him the final 10 regular-season games and the first round of the NHL playoffs. Cooke told the Pittsburgh media that, I realize and understand, more so now than ever, that I need to change.

It took a little time for Cooke to adjust, to get out of the bad habits. But it worked and Cooke had a monster year for other reasons in 2011-12. Cooke has stayed out of trouble, set a new career high in goals (19) and recorded his highest point total (38) since the 2002-03 season (42 with the Vancouver Canucks).

Torres has shown he can be that player. He had two 20-goal seasons with the Edmonton Oilers early in his career. He was one of the Coyotes best players in the first two games of this series. And ODonnell said he could be that guy all the time.

I think Raffi is a very good player in this league, its just some of his hits, ODonnell said. He can hit really hard, even when hes clean. So when he does something like that (the hit on Marian Hossa), hes going to hurt someone. So hopefully he takes a look at some of his actions and plays a long time in his career and has a good career.

Maybe thats part of the message the NHL was trying to send to Torres. Cooke got it last season. Torres still has a chance to get it himself.

Its a stiff sentence, ODonnell said. Hopefully he looks in the mirror, has a good career but just plays more between the lines.

Basketball coaching legend Gene Pingatore dies

Basketball coaching legend Gene Pingatore dies

Legendary high school basketball coach Gene Pingatore—the winningest boys basketball coach in Illinois history—died on Wednesday night at the age of 83.

St. Joseph won two state championships (1999, 2015) under Pingatore, while also capturing six sectional championships during a high point from 1982 to 1988. During his tenure, Pingatore helped produce three McDonald’s All-Americans and led the Chargers to nine state appearances.

On February 11, 2017, Pingatore collected his 1,000th win—his overall record was 1035-383—and is still to this day the only Illinois high school basketball coach with over 900 wins. The legendary coach also helped guide some of the state’s greatest talents along their way to stellar careers. Among Pingatore’s star pupils are Indiana Hoosiers great Daryl Thomas, 2010 John R. Wooden Award winner Evan Turner and NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.

He was also well known for his important role in the critically acclaimed “Hoop Dreams”, the 1994 documentary that followed high school athletes William Gates and Arthur Agee as they chased their dreams of being NBA players, while also dealing with the socio-economic difficulties of traveling from inner-city Chicago to Westchester, Illinois every day for school. According to the Sun-Times, Pingatore was coaching this past weekend at the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout. 

In his 50 years of coaching at St. Joseph, Pingatore made an indelible mark on many lives and the St. Joseph community at-large.

Kris Bryant jumping at thunder during a rain delay is pure comedy

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WGN

Kris Bryant jumping at thunder during a rain delay is pure comedy

The Cubs-Braves game on Wednesday got delayed due to a thunderstorm that blew through Chicago.

It made for a pretty scene with a pink and orange sky during sunset that made way to rain clouds, thunder and lightning. Fox Sports South captured the footage of the Wrigley sky and then caught Kris Bryant jumping and then running in the dugout at the sound of thunder.

Even former MVPs can be scared of thunder.

 

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