Recruiting roundup: Harris continues strong season | Sports

News-Gazette contributor Gavin Good checks in on how the Illini’s current signees and targets are faring on the court this winter:

Class of 2022

Signees

➜ SENCIRE HARRIS, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio), and the Fighting Irish (4-2) had to cancel its game against Lima on Dec. 19 and rescheduled the conference-opener against Cleveland St. Ignatius due to COVID-19. Harris resumed competition in style on Dec. 28, dropping 30 points in a 72-56 win at Richmond Heights. On Sunday night, the Fighting Irish dealt Lincoln (Ohio) its first loss of the season with a 70-69 victory. Harris helped lead a second-half comeback, nailing a pull-up three-pointer and tying the game with a steal and a traditional three-point play. The Fighting Irish are scheduled to host South Oak Cliff (Texas) at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

➜ JAYDEN EPPS, a 6-foot-2 combo guard from Combine Academy (N.C.), and the Goats (11-3) opened up the John Wall Holiday Tournament on Dec. 28 with a 69-56 victory over Virginia Episcopal as Epps scored 14 points and tallied five rebounds and two assists. Combine Academy dropped its opener at the Hoop Cities Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., 83-79 to Word of God Christian Academy (N.C.) last Friday, but Epps scored 12 points and had five rebounds and three assists in a 74-59 win over Virginia Academy this past Saturday. The Goats are scheduled to play Woodson (Va.) on Thursday night.

➜ TY RODGERS, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Thornton, and the Wildcats (7-4) knocked off Chicago Vocational 70-61 on Dec. 27 in the opening round of the Big Dipper Tournament. Rodgers scored 13 points to go along with nine rebounds and eight assists in the victory. The Wildcats earned a 69-57 win over Thornton Fractional South on Dec. 28 in the Big Dipper quarterfinals as Rodgers scored 24 points and had 14 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals, setting up a semifinal showdown with Hyde Park, where the Wildcats were defeated, 57-46. Rodgers sat out against Hyde Park and missed a 53-49 win over Perspectives Leadership/Technology in the third-place game due to hamstring discomfort, according to Thornton coach Tai Streets. The Wildcats are set to resume play on Jan. 11 with a home game against Homewood-Flossmoor.

Class of 2023

Targets

➜ KYLAN BOSWELL, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Compass Prep (Ariz.), and the Dragons (17-1) defeated Our Savior Lutheran (N.Y.) 78-40 on Dec. 27 in the opening round of the Hoophall East tournament in Springfield, Mass. Boswell hit three three-pointers and scored 15 points, while bringing in four rebounds. The Dragons continued to roll on Dec. 28, cruising to a 75-45 win over Westtown (Pa.). Compass Prep went to the bench after going up 18-0 early, which kept Boswell in more of a supporting role after he hit a smooth, step-back jumper to give the Dragons a 29-10 lead midway through the second quarter. Next up for Boswell and Compass Prep is a showdown against Prolific Prep (Calif.) at the

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Golf gift guide, holiday season 2021: Gear, clubs and data-driven technology dominates this winter

It’s the holiday season, which means it’s time for the golfer in your life to start stocking up for 2022. Golf has been thriving over the past few years, especially as an outdoor activity, and we’ve put together a great collection of gear, accessories and products that should be a delight to anyone obsessed with the game.

Not all of these are necessarily specific to playing a round of golf, but all of them are built by companies who care about the game and want to make it more fun to play. Let’s take a look at Part 1 of our golf holiday gift guide!

Mizzen+Main Leeward Dress Shirt ($125): Phil Mickelson was right, the shirts are good. While this is not a golf-exclusive product, it’s still an amazing fit and has become probably my favorite dress shirt I own. Could not recommend more highly.


Mizzen+Main

Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor ($399): This is a tremendous alternative to the wildly-priced launch monitors pros use that none of the rest of us can afford. It takes your iOS device and measures things like distance, club speed, ball speed and launch angle. All with a tiny, mobile, easy-to-use device. The Rapsodo mobile launch monitor is $100 off on Amazon, the Rapsodo website and at retailers for the remainder of December.


Rapsodo

Lululemon Down Fr It All Hoodie ($195): Lulu has recently made a bigger push into the golf world, and I’m glad for that. A lot of my friends wear their gear to play — especially some of the joggers and polos — and this jacket fits into that category as well. Roomy enough to swing a club but warm and snug enough to keep you comfortable throughout an entire round. I haven’t found much from Lululemon I wouldn’t recommend, but this particular product is next level.


Lululemon

Goodr Back 9 Blackout ($25): There is a lot to like about Goodr’s sunglasses, and these are my favorites of all the products I’ve tried. They fit great, won’t fall off while you’re playing and — maybe best of all — they only cost $25 so you don’t feel terrible when you (inevitably) step on them. I’m very much into all the golf glasses Goodr has been creating recently.


Goodr

Odyssey White Hot OG #7S Stroke Lab Putter ($270): I recently switched to this putter, and it is an absolutely fantastic piece of equipment. I’m a big fan of heavier putters and have even gone with longer ones in the past to get this weighty feeling. This one delivers on that front, and — in my opinion — is the best-looking of all the White Hot putters Callaway makes. I’ve been absolutely loving the feel of it in the time I’ve spend on the course since it arrived.


Callaway

Linksoul Kirkwall Down Vest ($150): Linksoul has been a part of mine for a while now, and their stuff is easy to love. I’ve

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This 25-Minute Bodyweight Workout Routine for the Holiday Season

We all endured a wild 2021, and you might have managed to make muscle gains along the way, too. Through another year of ups and downs, you still managed to make your health and fitness a priority—and even if you didn’t, it’s never too late to start.

Whether you’re looking to maintain those gains through the ultra-busy holiday season or start a brand new healthy habit, you’ll be able to get the most out of a little time with these two circuits. The first pushes your legs to learn key movement patterns; the second builds the upper-body strength you need.

Do them three times a week to be primed for 2022 and beyond.

Directions: You’ll do 2 circuits in this workout. Do 5 rounds of the first circuit, resting 60 seconds between each round. Rest 2 minutes, then do 5 rounds of the second circuit, again resting 60 seconds between each round.

Warmup

Inchworm to Scorpion

Kathryn Wirsing

bodyweight

Kathryn Wirsing

Start standing. Place your hands on the floor in front of you. Keeping your core tight, walk them forward until you’re in pushup position. (This will stretch your hamstrings.) Lower into a pushup and glue your chest to the floor. Lift your left leg and touch your foot on your right side, stretching your hips. Repeat with your right leg. Push up, then walk back to standing, warming up your abs. That’s 1 rep; do 5.

Circuit 1

1. Air Squat

bodyweight

Kathryn Wirsing

Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, abs and glutes tight, hands held in front of you. Push your butt back and bend at the knees, lowering into a squat. Lower until your thighs are just below parallel to the floor. Stand, squeezing your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 30 seconds.

2. Good Morning

bodyweight

Kathryn Wirsing

Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, abs and glutes tight, hands behind your head. Keeping your abs tight, slowly push your butt back and lower your torso toward the floor. Stop lowering when you can no longer push your butt back. Pause, then stand, squeezing your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 30 seconds.

3. Alternating Reverse Lunge

bodyweight

Kathryn Wirsing

Start standing, abs and glutes tight. Step back with your left foot, then bend at the knees and hips, lowering into a reverse lunge. Lower until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Pause, then drive through your right heel to stand back up. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 30 seconds.

Circuit 2

1. Slow-Mo Pushup

bodyweight

Kathryn Wirsing

Start in pushup position, abs and glutes tight, hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping your abs tight, bend at the shoulders and elbows, lowering until your chest is an inch from the floor; take 2 seconds to do this. Pause. Press up, also taking 2 seconds. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 30 seconds.

2. Bent-Over Bodyweight Row Hold

bodyweight

Kathryn Wirsing

Stand, then push your butt back and lower your torso until it’s at a

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Why Heat’s Jimmy Butler offers great value as long-shot MVP bet this season

Jimmy Butler is not, by nature, an especially aggressive player. When he joined the Miami Heat for the 2019-20 season, he didn’t even lead the team in shot attempts. That honor belonged to undrafted rookie Kendrick Nunn. The 13.1 attempts he did take per game matched the total that his predecessor as the face of the Heat franchise — Dwyane Wade — took as a rookie in the 2003-04 season. The Heat have been tremendously successful with Butler by running Erik Spoelstra’s equal-opportunity offense. Entering this season, there was no reason to believe that was going to change. 

The Heat did, after all, give Kyle Lowry a hefty three-year, $85 million deal. They re-signed Duncan Robinson for five years as well. Tyler Herro is well on his way to a bounce-back year after disappointing as a sophomore last season, and much to the delight of the organization after steadily pushing him to be more assertive, Bam Adebayo is averaging a career-high 20.6 points per game. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, but through six games, Butler is eating more than ever. 

In those six games, Butler is averaging career highs in both points (25.3) and field goal attempts (17). He’s shooting a career-best 52.9 percent from the field and 89.1 percent from the line. As the entire basketball world around him struggles to draw fouls with the league’s updated rules on offensive players initiating contact, Butler’s 7.7 free throw attempts per game are fourth in all of basketball and first among non-big men. He’s getting to the basket more at the age of 32 than he ever has. Not only are his 7.3 shots per game in the restricted area a new career high, but it currently places him in a tie for sixth place in all of basketball with Russell Westbrook. He’d never even reached six restricted area shots per game before this season.

No, a six-game sample is not reliable, but it’s not as though Butler hasn’t proven that he can scale up when necessary. We’re talking about someone who has scored 40 points in a Finals game before. This caliber of play is nothing new for Butler. It’s the stylistic shift so early in a new season that’s so rare. Butler is playing every game like it’s the postseason, a trait frequently attributed to the Heat as a franchise, and the result has been a similarly dominant start for Miami as a team. 

The Heat are outscoring opponents by 16.5 points per 100 possessions thus far this season. They’re 5-1 and haven’t allowed a single opponent to score more than 103 points in a game. By comparison, only seven other NBA teams are even holding their opponents to 103 points per game. Their lone loss came on the road without Lowry. Yes, it’s been less than two weeks, but the Heat have been the NBA’s best team thus far, and if you assume their poor 3-point shooting as a team is going to improve based on

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