Paul Holmgren Hasnt Even Thought About Firing Peter Laviolette (His Words)

Paul Holmgren Hasnt Even Thought About Firing Peter Laviolette (His Words)

Based on several of the Flyers’ recent performances, and with
their season hanging in the balance, there has been some hinting that head
coach Peter Laviolette’s job could be on the line. Not so it would seem – at
least that’s what Paul Holmgren is telling reporters.

The general manager met with the media on Thursday afternoon
following an awful 5-2 loss to the Devils. When pressed about Laviolette’s
status, Holmgren not only provided the obligatory vote of confidence, he shifted
the blame for the Flyers’ 12-15-1 record on to the players
.

There you have it. That should end any and all speculation,
right?

Well, not exactly. That the idea hasn’t even popped into Homer’s
mind sounds completely disingenuous – not to say he wouldn’t dismiss the notion
out of hand, but he is evaluating this team on a daily basis, right? And
regardless, it’s a decision that could very well come from above his head if
owner Ed Snider grows tired of losing.

Holmgren downplayed the possibility of a big trade as well, which has to make
you wonder how he expects to get this situation turned around.

From Panotch:

“Nobody is really happy with the position we are in or the way we’ve
played,” Holmgren said. “Get better quickly. Hopefully, that starts
tomorrow. I’m not at that point, well, I’m not sure we’d ever make a big
trade. I think that’s just speculation.”

Of course, we hear lip service from general managers all the
time, and the Flyers could be saying and doing something very different next
week, so we’ll have to wait and see. For now anyway, it looks like Lavvy might be safe.

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Penn State not going to College Football Playoff, likely headed to Rose Bowl

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Penn State not going to College Football Playoff, likely headed to Rose Bowl

Penn State's wild comeback win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship was not enough.

The Nittany Lions were not selected to the four-team College Football Playoff, finishing fifth in the rankings.

Undefeated Alabama takes the top spot and will play No. 4 Washington. No. 2 Clemson will face No. 3 Ohio State.

Penn State earned its signature win of the season, handing felllow Big Ten member Ohio State its only loss of the season. 

However, Penn State sputtered in the beginning of the year, losing to unranked Pittsburgh and was thrashed by Michigan — who finished sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings — 49-10.

The Nittany Lions likely will play in the Rose Bowl, facing either USC or Colorado. The official announcement will be made later Sunday.

Dario Saric halts slump with 'best game as a 76er'

Dario Saric halts slump with 'best game as a 76er'

Dario Saric came into the NBA knowing his rookie season would be one of ups and downs. He would have successes based on his talent and struggle because of the newness of the league and matchups.

Saturday’s performance against the Celtics was one of those highlight nights. Saric scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, both tying career-highs, for his third double-double. He was efficient in his performance, playing 27 minutes off the bench in the Sixers' 107-106 loss.

“I thought that was his best game as a 76er,” Brett Brown said.

Saric had struggled the night before against the Magic. He barely made a dent in 16 minutes, posting just two points (1 for 5 from the field) without a single rebound. The poor showing was on his mind Saturday, as he got ready for the second game of the back-to-back. He went in early to get up extra shots, met with coaches, studied film and thought about the matchup throughout the day.

“I prepared a little bit more for this game,” Saric said. “After I have some bad rhythm of five or six, maybe, games. Now I concentrate more. I try to give my best, try to play my best, try to think before everything happens.”

Saric showed his aggressiveness in crunch time in the fourth quarter, when he scored seven points and five rebounds in eight minutes. He nailed a three to cut the Celtics' lead to 92-91 with 4:28 to play. Then with 1:09 remaining, Saric’s free throws cut the Celtics' lead to two points. On the other end of the court, he snagged the rebound off an Isaiah Thomas miss and scored a game-tying layup from Jahlil Okafor.  

“He played great,” Okafor said. “He’s working hard every day, getting used to the NBA process. It was good to see hard work paying off for him.”

Saric has been adjusting to new roles throughout the season. He was thrown into the starting power forward spot when Ben Simmons was injured, and then moved to the bench when the team acquired Ersan Ilyasova. On Saturday, Brown also played Saric at small forward in Robert Covington’s (knee) absence, a shift the Sixers may try again.

“He’s a good teammate,” Brown said. “He’s biding his time. He understands he’s a rookie. Incrementally, he’ll be given these opportunities. Tonight he did and he responded and you’re seeing continued growth.”

Saric still is early in his NBA career, and Saturday's showing was a game he can look back on and study for the rest of the season. 

“I feel like tonight … you’d walk away and say, ‘Shoot, that’s a hell of a player for playing 20 games in the NBA and he did what he just did against a hell of a team,’” Brown said. “I’m proud of what we saw all over the place from Dario.”