first_img The Spaniard has developed a good understanding with the 29-goal striker and provided another assist for the Barclays Premier League’s leading scorer against Tottenham on Sunday. Enrique sees similarities with the bond he struck with another Uruguayan, Diego Forlan, when the two played together at Villarreal. And he likened Suarez’s influence on Liverpool with that of Messi’s for Barcelona, saying: “It’s like at Barcelona – the first player they look for when the game is in a bad situation is Messi because you know he can do something. Luis is the same – I look for him because I know he can do something different and we understand each other.” Liverpool defender Jose Enrique believes striker Luis Suarez performs the same role for the Reds as Lionel Messi does for Barcelona in being the go-to guy in times of trouble. He added: “If you are good players you understand each other. When I was at Villarreal with Forlan I linked up really well with him as well. “In the game all the time the first person I look for is him (Suarez) and he always makes a movement and I try to put the ball there and he does the rest. It is really easy to understand with him. He is our best player and he can do something from nothing.” The victory over Spurs was seen as something of a watershed moment in terms of the side overcoming a perceived mental block in regards to recovering losing positions. Their 3-2 win over their third-placed opponents was only the second time this season Brendan Rodgers’ team had come from behind to win in a league game, and when Spurs took a 2-1 lead at Anfield Enrique admits their previous poor record had him thinking a victory was unlikely. “In the first half they killed us a little bit because they scored in the last minute,” he said. “It was a little bit bad at that point but the manager said some words in the dressing room to lift us. “They scored again in the second half and, to be honest, I didn’t think we would win the game. “But the team worked very hard and this is the important thing because when the team stick together you can see the results and the character from the team was really good.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more


first_imgAnother offseason comes and yet again, so does another transfer quarterback for Wisconsin football. This time, it’s a junior college transfer.Tanner McEvoy, regarded as the top dual-threat quarterback in junior college football, is transferring to Wisconsin, as reported by Evan Flood of 247sports Monday afternoon. McEvoy visited Wisconsin on Jan. 29 and was reportedly interested in Oregon, Florida and West Virginia.The 6-foot-6 quarterback from Hillsdale, N.J. just recently spent his first season of eligibility at Arizona Western Community College, where he played in eight games and threw 24 touchdowns. The four-star thrower is deemed a dual-threat quarterback due to his ability to not only pass efficiently, but run as well. McEvoy also ran for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season.Originally a South Carolina Gamecock, McEvoy decided to transfer at the beginning of his redshirt freshman season following a late June arrest in North Carolina for driving after consuming alcohol while under the legal drinking age. Following the arrest, he was temporarily suspended from team activities before being reinstated before the season.McEvoy is the lone quarterback from new head coach Gary Andersen’s 2013 recruiting class and will have three years of eligibility. He will join a long list of quarterbacks competing for play in 2013, which includes three former starters in Joel Stave, Curt Phillips and Danny O’Brien. Redshirt Freshman and former four-star recruit himself Bart Houston will also be in the mix after returning from shoulder surgery as well as redshirt senior Jon Budmayr.last_img read more


first_imgBut the most coveted free agent in the Class of ’19 has done it the old fashioned way: Meeting with teams, listening to their pitches, taking his own sweet time to make sure he gets it right and even giving the incumbent, Toronto, one last opportunity to sway him. A decision could come any time, but I could see him actually waiting until Saturday, the day all of this stuff is supposed to become official, before making his decision.Most impressively, there have been no leaks throughout the process, unusual in an environment in which agents and executives more often resemble sieves. Keeping the details private seems to have been a test to determine which team or teams can be trusted, and that might have had its roots in the dispute with San Antonio Spurs management two years ago that led to Leonard being traded to Toronto.(Then again, there’s the Magic Exception. Leonard and his uncle/adviser Dennis Robertson met with Johnson on Sunday, and of course Magic blabbed the details. The fact he’s now merely a concerned observer rather than an executive, and the fact that he is, after all, Magic, might have earned him a pass.)Meanwhile, the wait has driven at least one fan base certifiably insane – and of course, it’s that of the Lakers, operating all along under the assumption that Kawhi would spurn the Clippers and Raptors and join LeBron James and Anthony Davis in purple and gold. Heck, they were thinking along those lines even when the team didn’t have a max salary slot to give. Portland star Damian Lillard (knee) to miss Game 5 vs. Lakers On Mamba Night, the Lakers make short work of Blazers to take 3-1 series lead Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and other NBA stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant That Lakers Exceptionalism/runaway enthusiasm certainly contributed to a number of false alarms posted on social media the past few days. My favorite fake Twitter report of a Kawhi signing with the Lakers came Sunday afternoon and was purportedly from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, right down to the head shot in his avatar.The giveaway? The imposter misspelled Wojnarowski’s name. (He spelled Kawhi correctly, so I guess we have to give him that.)The view here? Kawhi has earned the right to take his time. He has had three good options from which to choose – the champion Raptors, who could offer him the most money; a presumed Lakers superteam with James and Davis (but also a bunch of guys on minimum contracts); and a Clippers roster on which he would be a perfect fit and in all likelihood the missing piece.While Kawhi could wait and ponder with the knowledge the money would be there, the mad rush by others Sunday to lock down contracts ASAP suggests players were afraid cap space would disappear if they didn’t move urgently.Have we said the opening of free agency was a joke? Let’s expand upon that. The NBA needs to revise its business calendar, because the current model isn’t fooling anybody. Or are you OK with the idea that the Lakers made a huge, franchise-altering trade and can’t officially comment on it (beyond a nudge and a wink) for 21 days?Related Articles Kawhi Leonard is an old soul in a young man’s body. I am guessing he stops behind the crosswalk on red lights and never, ever, pulls the tag off of a pillow under penalty of law, even when he’s the consumer.He certainly has observed the rules when it comes to his first foray into free agency, maybe to a fault. And it has driven people in two cities crazy.All around Camp Leonard, there was chaos over the weekend. The 3 p.m. PDT opening of the negotiating window turned out to be a joke. Kevin Durant posted news of his contract agreement with Brooklyn on Instagram a couple of minutes after 3, and more than $1.7 billion in contracts had been negotiated in less than two hours according to the reports that broke one after another. By the end of the day Sunday the tally had surpassed $3 billion. Either those players and agents and teams are lightning-quick negotiators, or else a lot of groundwork had been laid before it was legal to do so.(Stay tuned. We’ll double back to that issue.)center_img Nobody observes the negotiating limits. That’s obvious. And the tampering rules, selectively enforced as they are, are laughable to the point of irrelevancy. Does it really solve anything, for example, to fine a coach simply for commenting on a player’s skills, as the NBA did to Doc Rivers? (Hint: Doc didn’t say anything on ESPN that he hasn’t said when we’ve asked him about Kawhi in pre- and postgame interviews. I guess the latter constitutes free speech.)If it’s going to be the Wild, Wild West, let’s go all the way. Rather than starting the league’s business year on July 1, start it the day after the NBA Finals end. By then, the cap number for the coming season should be established.Allow teams to make and announce deals – which, among other things, will get rid of the absurdity of a drafted player walking on stage in the cap of a team that got rid of him two trades ago. Allow the negotiation process with free agents to begin, legally and openly, that day after the Finals. If the idea is to maintain that “free agent frenzy” atmosphere, make June 30 the opening bell for official signings.And here’s an idea: Make the free agent signing period a week long. July 6 can forever be known as the Kawhi Leonard Deadline.jalexander@scng.com@Jim_Alexander on Twitter For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Video: What LeBron James said about Jacob Blake … ‘Black people in America are scared’ Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more