Before Thursday night’s game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, our Elo ratings predicted a 77 percent probability of a Bengals win. Cincinnati had the higher Elo rating before the game, 1568 to 1420, and it was playing at home, both of which fed a pregame point spread of -8.5 points in the Bengals’ favor.Instead, the Browns dominated, winning 24-3 (and forcing Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton into one of the worst passing games ever). How unexpected is it for a team favored by 8.5 to lose by 21 points? And what does it say about the confidence we should have in these types of point-margin predictions — whether generated by Elo or otherwise?Nearly three decades ago, statistician Hal Stern found that, for NFL games, “the margin of victory over the pointspread (number of points scored by the favorite minus the number of points scored by the underdog minus the pointspread) is not significantly different from the normal distribution” with a mean of zero and a standard deviation of 13.86 points. In other words, the likelihood of the actual margin in any given game can be described by a bell-shaped probability distribution centered on the pregame spread (in Stern’s case, the Vegas line).Stern’s original research had only tested results from the 1981, 1983 and 1984 NFL seasons. But using Vegas spread data from 1978 to 2012, I replicated Stern’s work and confirmed his findings — the final margin of victory in an NFL game can be approximated by a normal random variable with a mean of the Vegas line and a standard deviation somewhere between 13 and 14 (for the entire 35-season sample, that standard deviation was 13.45).We can also see this effect if we plot a histogram of the prediction errors between the actual scoring margins of games and those predicted by the pregame Elo ratings:In the case of Elo, the normal distribution predicting a game’s final margin of victory is centered around the difference between the two teams’ Elo ratings divided by 25 (adding or subtracting 2.6 points if the team is at home or on the road), with a standard deviation of 13.65 points. That means the likelihood of last night’s score was about 1.5 percent, based on the pregame ratings and the location of the game.But Thursday night’s outcome wasn’t the most unexpected of the season thus far. When the Atlanta Falcons faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 18, they were favored by 5 points; there was only a 0.3 percent chance they would decimate the Bucs by 42 points, which is what ended up happening. Likewise, there was only a 0.3 percent probability that the Miami Dolphins would win by 37 as one-point underdogs against the San Diego Chargers last week.Here are the most unexpected results of the 2014 season to date:It bears mentioning that the normal distribution model is an approximation, and approximations can break down at the extremes. If we toss all NFL games since 1978 into buckets based on the probability of exceeding the actual point margin and compare those buckets to the expected frequencies, we can see where the model is over- or under-estimating the likelihood of a given outcome:If the model is properly calibrated, each bucket should contain exactly 5 percent of all games. And that’s basically the case, but there are small deviations. For example, the model predicts slightly more games than it should in the top and bottom 5 percent buckets, fewer than it should in the 10 to 25 percent and 75 to 90 percent likelihood zones, and more than it should in the buckets between 40 and 60 percent.
Oakland6.3– Houston12.7– Tennessee6.8– Denver4.7– Jacksonville9.7– Los Angeles Chargers5.3– New England1.2– Tampa Bay8.6– Carolina6.2– New York Giants11.4– Green Bay8.2– San Francisco16.3– Washington9.2– New Orleans17.8%– Los Angeles Rams9.2– Looking at the entire New Orleans roster, nearly 18 percent of the Saints’ overall AV in 2017 came from their draft class, good for the highest percentage of any team this year. Unsurprisingly, New England’s four draft picks, the fewest in the league, produced the least value for their team in 2017. Cincinnati9.0– Chicago11.5– Seattle7.9– Kansas City8.4– Indianapolis7.2– The Saints leaned on rookies more than any other teamShare of each team’s Approximate Value created by their draft picks, 2017 Buffalo10.8– New York Jets9.9– Philadelphia4.5– Minnesota8.1– Pittsburgh8.7– What’s also clear from the table above is that leaning heavily on rookies is more likely a sign of turmoil than success, as it could suggest that teams are rebuilding or that their veterans are riddled with injuries. The five teams ranked just behind the Saints in percent of team AV contributed by rookies — the 49ers, Browns, Texans, Bears and Giants — combined for only 18 wins, or 3.6 apiece.Going back to 2000, the 2017 Saints class is only surpassed by the Dallas Cowboys’ excellent 2016 draft class — headlined by Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott — in terms of total value produced during their rookie seasons. Even the 2010 Patriots’ haul, which featured Rob Gronkowski and Devin McCourty, doesn’t compare.And the Saints only had seven picks in 2017, compared with nine for the Cowboys in 2016 and 12 for the Patriots in 2010. Indeed, the Saints’ 6.1 AV per pick among draftees in their rookie year is the best of any team since at least the 2000 draft. Detroit10.3– Dallas5.6– Cleveland14.7– TeamPercent After three straight years of finishing 7-9, the New Orleans Saints seemed headed to another year of mediocrity when they began the season 0-2. But since Week 3, when New Orleans routed a 2-0 Carolina Panthers team on the road, the team has peeled off 12 wins in 15 games, including another win over the Panthers in the wild card round last Sunday.And yet there’s reason to believe the franchise revival didn’t begin in late September. It began in April, at the NFL Draft.There are lots of reasons for the Saints’ success this season — including the ageless Drew Brees and the historically good running back duo he’s been handing the ball off to — but the team’s terrific rookie class is perhaps the driving force behind it all. The Saints had just seven draft picks in the 2017 NFL draft, slightly less than the NFL average of 7.9 picks per team, and nearly every one of the picks can be viewed as either a solid addition or a huge success.Cornerback Marshon Lattimore, taken 11th overall, has helped revitalize a defense that last year ranked as the second worst in the league in terms of points allowed. Third-round running back Alvin Kamara has accumulated more than 1,500 yards from scrimmage while leading the NFL with 6.1 yards per carry. Thanks in no small part to a number of ridiculous highlight plays like Kamara’s juggling touchdown and Lattimore’s butt interception, the duo were both named to the Pro Bowl and are favorites for offensive and defensive rookie of the year.Even drafting just one of these two would be about enough to qualify a draft class as a success, but the Saints didn’t stop there. Tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who was taken 32nd overall after New Orleans traded Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots for that pick, has played every offensive snap this season. Second-rounder Marcus Williams started 15 games and made four interceptions at safety while the remaining picks — linebacker Alex Anzalone, edge rusher Trey Hendrickson and DE Al-Quadin Muhammad — have all contributed to various degrees.Put it all together, and the Saints not only had the top draft class of any team in 2017 but one of the best this century. To show this, I used Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Approximate Value (AV) metric.1You can see more detail on how AV is calculated here. AV is “an attempt to put a single number on the seasonal value of a player at any position from any year.” Obviously there’s no perfect way to measure the contributions of an offensive tackle relative to a middle linebacker, but this metric allows us to at least estimate value of every player and compare them regardless of position. Comparing the total AV of every team’s rookies shows just how well the Saints drafted in 2017 relative to the rest of the league. Baltimore4.5– Miami7.1– Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com Arizona8.2– Atlanta2.7– The Saints have already won a playoff game for the first time since 2013, and they are now two wins away from going to their second Super Bowl in franchise history. If they don’t get there this year, the team’s 2017 rookie class may give them a fighting chance at another title in the handful of years before Drew Brees’s storied career comes to a close.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
For most of the century-plus that Iowa State has been playing college football, the Cyclones have toiled in misery, the doormat of virtually every conference they’ve been a part of. That neighboring programs at the University of Iowa and University of Nebraska rose to national prominence, in part at the expense of the Cyclones, no doubt made this fact more painful for the faithful in Ames.But despite losing to Iowa in the first game of their season, the No. 16 Cyclones are the class of the region this year.At 6-3, Iowa State’s record doesn’t jump off the page, but coach Matt Campbell has turned the program around. In 2017, Campbell’s second season on the job, the Cyclones snapped a seven-year streak of losing records and capped the season with a win in the Liberty Bowl — just the fourth bowl victory in school history.Now currently on a five-game winning streak against conference foes,1A feat never before accomplished by the team. including two wins over ranked opponents, Iowa State has a chance to play in the Big 12 championship game if it beats Texas on Saturday and Kansas State next week, and West Virginia loses either to Oklahoma State or Oklahoma. The Cyclones haven’t won a conference title since before the television was invented, last doing so when they were a part of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Even being ranked this late in the season has the Cyclones on the brink of another accomplishment: The team has finished a season in the Associated Press rankings only twice in school history — and never higher than 19th. By comparison, their rival to the west, Nebraska, has finished 48 seasons in the rankings.Iowa State is 12.89 points better than the average team this season, according to Sports Reference’s Simple Rating System. That would be the team’s third-best season of all time and the best mark since 1976. Not bad for a program that, through the 1990s — despite having a transcendent talent at running back — averaged an SRS of negative-4.7 and won less than 26 percent of its games.Campbell, at least at podiums, is hardly satisfied. “I think what’s exciting is that I sit here right now knowing that our best is still out there,” he said after the team’s most recent win. Iowa State’s five-game winning streak coincides with Campbell’s decision in early October to play true freshman quarterback Brock Purdy, who spurned a scholarship offer from Alabama. Purdy’s Total Quarterback Rating of 85.0 trails only Shea Patterson of Michigan (85.2), Kyler Murray of Oklahoma (95.3) and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama (95.8).Purdy has an elite target in Hakeem Butler, the successor to recently graduated star receiver Allen Lazard. At 6-foot-6, Butler is a ball-hawking skyscraper who ranks second nationally in yards per reception (22.7) and share of receptions resulting in a first down or touchdown (86.1 percent). Add in a bruising tailback like David Montgomery — a consensus first-team All-Big 12 selection from a season ago who has amassed 1,108 yards after contact over the past two seasons, the fifth most of any running back — and the Cyclones have a frightening offensive triumvirate. In the seven seasons under Paul Rhoads, Campbell’s predecessor, Iowa State never ranked in the top 50 in offensive efficiency, but the team is on track to crack it for the second season in a row.But the pulse of Iowa State’s success is in the dominant defense installed by Campbell and defensive coordinator Jon Heacock. This season, the Cyclones rank 13th in defensive efficiency at 79.22 — 8.79 points higher than any previous season in the previous 10 years and 30.62 points higher than their average over that stretch. Iowa State leads the Big 12 in rushing yards allowed per attempt (3.1), opposing passer efficiency rating (125), yards allowed per play (4.94) and opponent drive score percentage (25.9 percent), among other metrics.The Cyclone defense displayed its chops on Oct. 13 against West Virginia, which touts a top-five passing offense (337.3 per contest) and top-10 scoring attack (40.89 per contest). Will Grier, a likely Heisman finalist, was held to a season-low 100 passing yards, and the Mountaineer offense managed just 7 points. (West Virginia finished with 14 total points, but 7 came by way of a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown.) “We didn’t do anything right,” West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said afterward.Iowa State’s toughest assignment left on the regular-season schedule comes Saturday against No. 15 Texas, before the Cyclones close with matchups against Kansas State and Incarnate Word.2The last game was added after Iowa State’s first scheduled game was canceled because of bad weather. But that last game, scheduled for Dec. 1, would be canceled if Iowa State can reach the conference championship.For decades, conference foes worked Iowa State like a speed bag on Saturdays, turning Jack Trice Stadium into a virtual burial ground. Opposing coaches like Tom Osborne at Nebraska and Hayden Fry at Iowa inflicted substantial punishment, year after year. But under Campbell, the cardinal and gold have shown that they won’t be pushed around. FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rating pegs the Cyclones higher than it does Central Florida, a team largely crowdsourcing its playoff candidacy but that does have the nation’s longest current winning streak. A win Saturday in Austin, a game some consider to be the program’s most significant in the past decade, wouldn’t vault Iowa State into the playoff conversation. But it would rubber-stamp a growing notion: The Cyclones — yes, those Cyclones — are finally ready to contend.Check out our latest college football predictions.
The Final Four of the 2019 NCAA women’s basketball tournament is set, which means FiveThirtyEight’s Sara Ziegler is here to break down the two semifinal games. Watch to learn how the teams match up, who’s favored to win and how those favorites can avoid possible upsets on their way to the national title.Be sure to follow our live win probabilities and predictions throughout the rest of the women’s and men’s NCAA tournaments.
There are a few differences near the top: Hayes and Horton-Tucker leapfrog Morant as the best prospects behind Williamson (CARMELO really appears to love Horton-Tucker), while Culver and Barrett tumble in favor of efficient, rim-protector-type bigs such as Porter and Oregon’s Bol Bol, the 7-foot-2 of son of Manute Bol. I wouldn’t start using these rankings to make my picks if I were an NBA general manager — it’s been shown that scouting rankings are easily the most predictive component any draft projection can add. But they are still somewhat interesting in terms of helping to identify undervalued players whom the eye test alone might miss.And it’s telling that Wiliamson still emerges as the clear-cut No. 1 prospect regardless of whether we’re looking only at statistics or a hybrid between metrics and scouting information. The guy is probably going to be pretty dope in the NBA, and Morant might not be far behind as the likely No. 2 pick. After that, there are a few more solid choices and then a whole bunch of uncertainty. That’s pretty standard for the NBA draft, where potential value drops off quickly after the first pick or two — but this year’s class might be unusually top-heavy even by basketball’s normal standards. 5RJ BarrettSG19315.4C. AnthonyD. Russell 3T. Horton-TuckerSF192110.9G. WallaceT. Ariza 34Bruno FernandoC21342.2T. BryantD. Sabonis 35Daniel GaffordC21382.2C. TaftR. Hendrix 29Isaiah RobyPF21362.5D. BrownJ. Martin 44KZ OkpalaSF20261.3J. JohnsonW. Chandler 19N. A.-WalkerSG21235.7D. MitchellS. Brown 14Tremont WatersPG22476.8P. JacksonM. Banks 30Brandon ClarkePF23124.0T. BookerP. M.-Bonsu 21Nassir LittleSF19164.2Q. MillerK. Oubre RkPlayerPosAge*Scout RkUpside WARNo. 1No. 2 26Jaylen NowellSG20924.6J. ForteJ. Okogie 13Matisse ThybulleSF22285.9D. MillerN. Powell 24Tremont WatersPG22473.4P. JacksonM. Banks 4Jaxson HayesC19915.8Z. CollinsD. Davis 15N. A.-WalkerSG21235.6S. BrownP. McCaw 17Chuma OkekePF21414.8O. SpellmanJ. Martin ‘Pure stats’ CARMELO projections for 2019 NBA draftMost valuable NBA players from 2020-26, according to CARMELO’s upside wins above replacement projections, using only college stats 11Kevin Porter Jr.SG19146.3X. HenryL. Walker 46Justin RobinsonPG22522.5A. HolidayB. Stepp Not including European players or point guard Darius Garland (who played only five career college games). Upside WAR ignores a player’s projected below-replacement seasons.*Ages are as of Feb. 1, 2020.+ Player has withdrawn from consideration for the 2019 draft.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Unsurprisingly, Duke’s Zion Williamson ranks No. 1 in our prospect ratings with a massive upside WAR of 36.7 projected wins over his first seven pro seasons. To give that number a sense of scale, last year’s top projected prospect — Texas’s Mohamed Bamba — led the pack with an upside rating of just 21.8 WAR, so it’s fair to say that Williamson is a significantly better prospect than we’ve seen the past few years (if not much longer than that).We’re not exactly going out on a limb with our projection: Zion is the top choice in basically every mock draft on the planet. But it’s always nice when the numbers back up the overwhelming consensus of opinion. During his lone season at Duke, Williamson rated better than the median Division I player in every major facet of the game according to the advanced metrics, headlined by a 93rd percentile usage rate and a 100th percentile true shooting percentage. His top comparable player — another former Blue Devil, Jahlil Okafor, whose career has largely underwhelmed — might be concerning, but it mainly speaks to how unique Zion is. The 0-100 scaled “similarity score” between Williamson and Okafor is just 37.1, meaning they’re not very similar at all. (By comparison, the similarity between Zion’s teammate RJ Barrett and model-namesake Carmelo Anthony is a healthy 60.1, which is normal for a top comp.) Simply put, Williamson is a unicorn. We’ve seldom seen a player quite like Zion, who is very short for his position but has great stats across the board (even in terms of rebounds, blocks and steals) and scores so often with such incredible efficiency.Another unsurprising result is the presence of Murray State’s Ja Morant at No. 2 overall. Morant enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign with the Racers, culminating in a triple-double in an impressive NCAA Tournament win over Marquette. To be sure, Morant has flaws in his game (he needs to work on efficiency in terms of both shooting and turnovers), and his upside projection isn’t on Williamson’s level, but he would have been CARMELO’s best prospect of last season, and some of Morant’s top comps — such as John Wall and Derrick Rose — offer a glimpse into his star potential.After Williamson and Morant, there is a huge drop-off before the next group of prospects. Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech, Jaxson Hayes of Texas and Barrett form a clear-cut second tier below Williamson and Morant, and each comes with his own strengths and weaknesses. Hayes is a low-usage, high-efficiency big man who can protect the rim but is a work in progress on offense beyond finishing plays made by others. (Brandan Wright comes to mind as an archetype.) Barrett is a low-efficiency, high-usage swingman with unimpressive defensive indicators, in the mold of Anthony, Andrew Wiggins or Brandon Ingram. Barrett does come with a good amount of upside, in terms of potential value several years into his career, but he also looks like this draft’s best example of a high-risk/high-reward prospect who may just turn into an inefficient high-volume scorer (that classic bane of every stathead). And Culver is a nice all-around wing whose best-case comps include Harrison Barnes and Rudy Gay. Noted bust Joseph Forte isn’t the most encouraging comparison, but Culver’s versatility is a big plus as a small forward prospect.The rest of the draft class drops off steeply after Barrett at No. 5 in our rankings. Some of the players who might be drafted highly but our model isn’t as fond of include Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter (fifth in the scout rankings vs. 14th in our projections), Duke’s Cam Reddish (seventh vs. 12th), Indiana’s Romeo Langford (11th vs. 20th) and Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura (18th vs. 36th). By contrast, players who might be underrated in the draft include Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s (49th by the scouts vs. 23rd in our rankings), Auburn’s Chuma Okeke (41st vs. 17th), Jontay Porter of Missouri (42nd vs. 18th), Matisse Thybulle of Washington (28th vs. 13th), Tyler Herro of Kentucky (17th vs. ninth) and Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker (21st vs. eighth).Just for the sake of comparison (and transparency), here’s a version of our upside WAR rankings that doesn’t include the scouting rankings as an input,4Specifically, every player is assigned a scout ranking equivalent to the No. 10 prospect. which can be viewed as a sort of “stats only” ranking of the prospects this year: 2Ja MorantPG20225.4T. BurkeJ. Wall 33Josh ReavesSG22812.3I. CousinsJ. Richardson Comparable PlayersRkPlayerPosAge*Scout RkUpside WARNo. 1No. 2 6Coby WhiteSG19108.9B. KnightC. Sexton 6Charles Bassey+C19519.6C. BoshD. Favors 1Zion WilliamsonPF19136.7J. OkaforM. Bagley 30Dedric LawsonPF22442.4J. GreenM. Muscala 3Jarrett CulverSG20617.1J. ForteH. Barnes 27Matisse ThybulleSF22284.3D. MillerJ. Richardson 42Q. WeatherspoonSG23571.5D. WellsS. Thornwell 50Donta HallPF22971.0J. GrantM. Estill 43Zach Norvell Jr.SG22772.7W. EllingtonJ. Meeks 18Jontay PorterC20424.7C. WoodS. Zimmerman 45Justin RobinsonPG22521.3Q. CookD. Walton 15Coby WhiteSG19106.7B. KnightD. Rose 47Quentin Grimes+SG19842.5A. BradleyH. Diallo RkPlayerPosAge*Scout RkUpside WARNo. 1No. 2 36Rui HachimuraPF21181.9M. HaislipT. Warren 43A.J. Lawson+SG19861.4L. StephensonA. Goodwin 27John KoncharSG23683.0D. WellsM. Gansey 10Bol BolC20137.1S. HawesH. Ellenson 25Dylan WindlerSF23333.3J. KaponoM. Bonner The NBA doesn’t waste much time before moving on. The 2018-19 season has been over for less than a week, and the Toronto Raptors are still picking up the debris from their jubilant1And surprisingly violent. championship parade. And yet, Thursday’s NBA draft will mark the de facto beginning to the 2019-20 season. So we at FiveThirtyEight are also wasting no time: We’ve fired up our CARMELO projection system and run the numbers looking ahead to the next season and beyond. We’re still making some tweaks and improvements to the way we’re projecting veteran players, so we’ll be rolling out those numbers sometime in the next few weeks. But for rookies, we have the data, and the CARMELO computer is all ready to go. Let’s take a look at the best statistical prospects whose names should be called from the podium by Adam Silver.First, though, a little refresher on how this works. CARMELO (the Career-Arc Regression Model Estimator with Local Optimization) is our system for predicting the career of each NBA player, based on how things tended to pan out for similar players from the past. For rookies, we use a database of college stats (adjusted for pace and strength of schedule) since 2001 provided to us by ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, plus biographical information like a player’s height, weight, age and — before the draft — scouting rankings.2After the draft, we’ll switch those to a player’s actual draft position. Those latter few categories actually matter quite a bit, so older players and those regarded poorly by the scouts will need much, much better college stats to achieve the same projection as a younger player who scores better on the eye test.Like we did last year, we’ll be ranking the members of this draft class on each player’s “upside” wins above replacement — the number of wins he’s expected to add above a minimum-salary replacement (at the same position) over the first seven seasons of his career, zeroing out seasons in which he is projected for negative WAR.3This is done to avoid penalizing players for situations where, in reality, their coach would (or at least should) bench them before they accumulate negative value. One big disclaimer: These rankings don’t include players from overseas leagues, such as Sekou Doumbouya (who played in France), nor do they include players who didn’t accumulate enough time in college, like potential Top 5-pick Darius Garland, who logged only 139 minutes as a freshman at Vanderbilt because of a knee injury. We don’t have a good sample of data on these kinds of players, so CARMELO can’t really render an assessment right now (though we will eventually assign them ratings for our team depth charts next season).Anyway, let’s move on to the rankings: 40A. SchofieldSF22321.6Q. PondexterJ. Harper 25Nassir LittleSF19164.6Q. MillerT. Harris 7Brandon ClarkePF23128.0D. LeeN. Collison ‘Stats + Scouts’ CARMELO projections for 2019 NBA draftMost valuable NBA players from 2020-26, according to CARMELO’s upside wins above replacement projections, using college stats and scouting 20Josh ReavesSG22815.6J. TrepagnierJ. Richardson 47Louis KingSF20351.2D. GreeneM. Williams 28Charles Bassey+C19512.6T. BryantJ. Allen 1Zion WilliamsonPF19129.5J. OkaforM. Bagley 9Tyler HerroSG20177.6M. BeasleyG. Trent Not including European players or point guard Darius Garland (who played only five career college games). Upside WAR ignores a player’s projected below-replacement seasons.* Ages are as of Feb. 1, 2020.+ Player has withdrawn from consideration for the 2019 draft.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 16Grant WilliamsPF21245.1M. SweetneyT. Murphy 14De’Andre HunterPF2255.7M. MorrisA. Bennett 36Nicolas ClaxtonC20403.5R. LopezA. Len Comparable Players 12Chuma OkekePF21417.2O. SpellmanJ. Richardson 37Nicolas ClaxtonC20401.7S. ZimmermanS. Dalembert 31Jaylen HandsPG20934.0M. WilliamsK. Satterfield 12Cam ReddishSF2075.9H. BarnesT. Young 22PJ WashingtonPF21154.0R. H.-JeffersonB. Portis 13Devon Dotson+PG20737.0T. JonesM. Conley 8Jarrett CulverSG2068.5J. ForteK. C.-Pope 7Bol BolC20138.5G. OdenM. Beasley 32Luguentz DortSG20272.3M. RichardsonA. Goodwin 22Donta HallPF22974.7J. AugustineJ. Bell 38Dylan WindlerSF23333.3J. KaponoS. Battier CORRECTION (June 20, 2019, 3:15 p.m.): A previous version of this article listed Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey as a prospect for the 2019 NBA draft. Bassey withdrew his name from draft consideration on May 29. 21Grant WilliamsPF21245.3M. SweetneyM. Bridges 49Jaylen NowellSG20921.0S. LandesbergD. Washington 23Ty JeromeSG22294.7S. WeemsT. Bowers 46Ky BowmanPG21851.2B. WrightS. Mack 16Kevin Porter Jr.SG19146.5Z. LaVineJ. Richmond 17John KoncharSG23686.2M. GanseyF. Jones 24Daniel GaffordC21384.7R. WilliamsJ. Poeltl 29Bruno FernandoC21344.0J. PoeltlD. Sabonis 48Terence DavisSG22791.1M. BrooksB. Paul 5Jontay PorterC20429.8T. LylesC. Wood 2Jaxson HayesC19914.1Z. CollinsD. Stone 9Tyler HerroSG20177.5M. BeasleyJ. Lamb 34Dedric LawsonPF22443.5M. MuscalaJ. Green 11RJ BarrettSG1937.4R. VaughnM. Fultz 42Q. WeatherspoonSG23572.8B. HieldD. Wells 39Luguentz DortSG20273.3A. RiversM. Richardson 8T. Horton-TuckerSF19218.0T. ArizaG. Wallace 38Cameron JohnsonPF23221.7M. BonnerS. Novak 26Keldon JohnsonSF20203.2M. BeasleyD. DeRozan 18A.J. Lawson+SG19866.1A. GoodwinT. Brown 32Cam ReddishSF2073.6M. RichardsonX. Henry Comparable Players 28Ky BowmanPG21854.1K. WalkerJ. Robinson 39Devon Dotson+PG20731.6C. JosephT. Green 31Carsen EdwardsPG21252.4G. DiazK. Martin 37Romeo LangfordSF20113.4A. RiversM. Williams 10Shamorie PondsPG21497.5K. WalkerJ. Williams 35Terence DavisSG22793.5M. BrooksB. Paul 40Isaiah RobyPF21363.2T. WilliamsJ. Gist 41PJ WashingtonPF21152.9J. MartinR. H.-Jefferson 4Ja MorantPG20210.8J. FarmarN. Calathes 50DaQuan JeffriesSG22552.3J. CageR. Terry 44J. CumberlandSG22942.6J. CrawfordM. Brooks 33Keldon JohnsonSF20203.6D. DeRozanM. Beasley 41Jalen McDanielsPF22371.5J. MartinB. Bentil 23Shamorie PondsPG21494.0S. MackJ. Robinson 48Killian Tillie+C21902.4E. MurphyD. Brown Comparable PlayersRkPlayerPosAge*Scout RkUpside WARNo. 1No. 2 20Romeo LangfordSF20114.5A. RiversD. DeRozan 45Carsen EdwardsPG21252.6B. GordonG. Diaz 19Ty JeromeSG22294.5T. BowersW. Ellington 49Jalen McDanielsPF22372.3J. GistJ. Martin
Co-favorite victories counted as winsSources: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Daily Racing Form Update (May 6, 10:50 a.m.): Although Classic Empire was the morning-line favorite, the odds have since shifted. As of 10:50 a.m. Saturday, Always Dreaming is now narrowly favored to win the Kentucky Derby in what is considered a wide-open field.One of the cardinal rules of horse racing is that betting on favorites is fun — who doesn’t like having a winning ticket? — but it’s the quickest way to go broke. Except, that is, in the most famous race in America.The Kentucky Derby should be nearly impossible to handicap. The horses, at just 3 years old, don’t have much experience and are still maturing. Many of them have never run this distance before, or run at Churchill Downs. And even if a handicapper can sift through all that uncertainty and use a combination of past performances and pedigree to identify the best contenders, it can all become irrelevant thanks to the abnormally large Derby field — with as many as 20 horses creating gridlock and chaos, results ought to be utterly unpredictable.That’s what makes the last several years of the Kentucky Derby so strange: It is, seemingly, getting more predictable. For four straight years, the favorite has come out on top. It began with Orb in 2013, then continued with California Chrome, American Pharoah and Nyquist.In total, 16 favorites have won the Kentucky Derby in the last 50 years.1Including Forward Pass, the favorite in the 1968 Kentucky Derby who initially finished second but was awarded the win after first-place finisher Dancer’s Image was disqualified for failing a drug test. Bets on Dancer’s Image may have been paid out before the horse was disqualified, but for the purposes of this thought experiment, we’re counting things as if Forward Pass won the usual way. And that has produced a compelling betting strategy: Forget all the wonky handicapping. Over the last half-century, placing a $2 bet (the smallest bet you can make on a single horse in the Derby these days) on the favorite each year would have netted you $107.80 on a $100 investment — a 7.8 percent profit. But in just the last 20 years, returns on that same strategy would be much better: 74 percent. Belmont Stakes1.430-0.77 Kentucky Derby2.732%+$0.16 Outcome of betting on the favorite, 1967-2016 RACEAVG. FAVORITE ODDSFAVORITE WIN PCT.AVG. PROFIT ON $2 BET Now the question has become: Is the recent rash of victorious favorites a coincidence? Or a sign of something bigger?Before these last four years, the Kentucky Derby had for decades been known for its unpredictability. Between 1980 and 1999, not a single favorite won. Before 2013, it had been four years since a favorite wore the roses.There are two rational explanations for this trend. The first is chance. These horses, after all, are the favorites for a reason. And this kind of streak is not unprecedented — favorites won four straight years from 1972-1975, too.But there’s another rationale that would indicate that this is more than a fluke. It explains why the Kentucky Derby is getting chalkier and why the mega-longshot winners we once saw regularly in this race might become increasingly rare.When Orb won the Derby in 2013, that wasn’t just any year. It was the first year that horses qualified for this first leg of the Triple Crown under a newly implemented points system. This “Road to the Kentucky Derby” awards points to the top four finishers in a select group of races. The top 20 get to run in the Derby.What’s more important than the point system is the mechanism it replaced. Before 2013, horses qualified for the Derby based on their winnings in graded stakes races.This created chaos in the Derby. In some instances, horses that were elite in sprints — races shorter than a mile, which are excluded from the new qualifying system — could crowd the Derby, a route run at 1¼ miles. In other instances, horses that weren’t good enough made it in anyway. But these horses didn’t just fade down the stretch into irrelevance. They regularly introduced anarchy, transforming the subtle mechanics of a race in a way that allowed longshots to thrive.There’s no more illustrative example than the 2005 Derby, when 50-1 longshot Giacomo stunned the world. Giacomo’s best friend in that race was a 71-1 longshot named Spanish Chestnut, which led for the first three-quarters of a mile. In the last two races Spanish Chestnut ran before the Derby, it finished sixth twice. In other words, it didn’t belong. But during those first six furlongs, Spanish Chestnut set the second-fastest pace in Derby history.Predictably, Spanish Chestnut couldn’t sustain such a hot pace, ultimately fading and finishing 16th. But while this longshot was in the lead, other horses got sucked into running that fast and wound up tiring, too. The favorite that day, Bellamy Road, was close by, in fifth place, when Spanish Chestnut started to slow.At that same distance, three-quarters of a mile, Giacomo was in 18th place out of 20 and trailed by 14¾ lengths, the farthest behind of any eventual Derby winner in more than a quarter-century. But when Spanish Chestnut — and every horse that tried to keep up with Spanish Chestnut — tired, Giacomo had enough gas left in the tank to pass 17 other horses.The new points system is better at weeding out the Spanish Chestnuts. That means longshots like Giacomo are even less likely to encounter the volatile circumstances that enable them to win.The strategy of betting the favorites for 50 years would also pay off in the Preakness Stakes, the Triple Crown’s second leg. In fact, in the long run you’d make more than you would on the Derby — the Preakness has offered returns of 11.4 percent. But in any single year, betting on a favorite in the Preakness can be less attractive: When American Pharoah and California Chrome won, for example, they went off at odds shorter than 1-1, meaning that if you cashed in on a $2 bet, your winnings would likely be counted out using more quarters than dollar bills. Essentially, it requires risking a lot of money just to win enough to pay for a celebratory cigar. On the other hand, because the Derby is so uncertain, favorites can be had at good value. This year’s morning-line favorite, Classic Empire, is priced at 4-1. That would offer better returns any Preakness favorite in the last half-century.At the same time, the biggest sucker’s move is betting a favorite in the Belmont Stakes, which at 1½ miles is longer than almost any other race these horses will ever run. In other words, nobody knows how the horses will handle the distance. What’s worse, the favorite will often be racing for the third time in seven weeks, which can leave a horse worn down. A bet on the favorite in the Belmont in the last 50 years would have cost you 38.7 percent of the money you staked. There’s a reason we went nearly 40 years without a Triple Crown winner before American Pharoah came along.All of this means that the best betting strategy for this year’s Derby may also be the dumbest one: Bet on Classic Empire. Preakness Stakes1.544+0.23
In something of a paradox, the Mavericks also have the league’s worst road attendance rate — meaning that they are objectively the least interesting team to watch to the average basketball fan who doesn’t live in Dallas. The average attendance when the Mavs are the road team is 86 percent of capacity, which gives Dallas a nearly 17-percentage-point gap between its home and road attendance rates. No other team has as large a gap — except for the Atlanta Hawks, who have the opposite problem. The Hawks’ road attendance rate is 17 points higher than their home attendance rate. On Dec. 18, the Dallas Mavericks will host the Phoenix Suns in what will likely be an inconsequential mid-season affair between two sub-.500 teams. Even so, tickets to the game will probably sell out, just as they did for 719 consecutive Mavs home games leading into this week.1This number includes playoff games. The Mavs have sold out 652 regular-season home games in a row. Dallas will face off against San Antonio on Tuesday night. The Mavericks, who are in last place in the NBA’s Western Conference, have a longer active sellout streak than any other professional basketball team.2The Portland Trail Blazers hold the record for the longest sellout streak in basketball, with 814, including the playoffs, between 1977 and 1995. But that distinction also raises some eyebrows — after all, by all reasonable accounts, Dallas is not a team that people are clamoring to see in person.This season, the Mavericks boast the highest attendance rate in the NBA — average attendance at Dallas games is 102.8 percent3Standing-room-only sections and suites can overflow. of the capacity of the American Airlines Center (19,200). Based on attendance numbers alone, you’d think the Mavs would be better than their 7-20 record. The difference between the Mavs’ home and away attendance rates could be seen as a sign of how diehard their fanbase is. But here’s the thing: NBA attendance is measured in how many tickets are distributed, not how many are redeemed. A more accurate interpretation of the situation is that Mavs tickets aren’t selling out so much as they are being given out.“It’s far more important to me to build a fan base for the future,” Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said in an email. “And the best way to do that is to get people to a game.”You might think that a bad season would threaten the sellout streak. Last season was the first time since the 1999-2000 season that the team finished below .500, and Dallas posted their lowest local TV ratings in at least 11 years. And yet attendance has remained at or above capacity for every home game since Dec. 15, 2001.Cuban cites two reasons that games have continued to sell out: pricing and donating.Compared with other teams around the league, the Mavs are one of the most affordable teams to see in person if you don’t mind sitting in the nosebleeds. A ticket for a Dallas game at home in the upper bowl this season costs $30, on average, at StubHub, a seller on the secondary market — which is a better barometer of supply and demand for individual game tickets That’s less than half the average price of an upper bowl ticket in the NBA ($63).But one thing that has helped the Mavericks to extend their sellout streak is the number of tickets that are donated to schools and charities. “For slow games, we will use our community service group to proactively invite groups to a game,” Cuban said. If a game doesn’t sell out on its own, the Mavs can donate the remaining tickets and still call it out a sellout. “Tickets are perishable,” Cuban said. “We feel like having a seat full with a young fan creates a Mavericks fan for life. It’s an investment in building our future fan base.”Cuban said the sellout streak is not all that important to him, but he also recognizes that it is important to his organization’s sales and community groups. “They know I care far less about the gate than I do having a full house,” said Cuban, who said ticket sales have been making up a shrinking percentage of the Mavs’ total revenue in recent years as other sources of revenue have risen (e.g., national TV revenue and sponsorship sales). “So they have carte blanche to put ‘butts in seats’ over revenue.”Although it’s not entirely accurate to call it a sellout if the unpurchased tickets are given away, it’s difficult to criticize Cuban and the Mavs for their charitable work. Because NBA attendance is measured in how many tickets are distributed and not how many are redeemed, the Mavs will hold the record for the longest active “sellout” streak for as long as they want.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Ohio State football added another chapter to its own history Sunday evening with the announcement that seniors Garrett Goebel, John Simon, Etienne Sabino, Jordan Hall and Zach Boren will captain the 2012 Buckeyes. Goebel, Simon, Sabino, Hall and Boren were chosen by their peers to lead first-year OSU coach Urban Meyer’s squad, which learned Saturday that it is ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press’ first Top 25 poll of the season. “Announcing who are team captains is one of the great honors I get to do as head coach,” Meyer said in an OSU athletics Sunday release. “We had a number of guys get votes. This is a really good group of seniors who I am very proud to have leading this team.” Simon, co-captain of former head coach and current defensive coordinator Luke Fickell’s 2011 Buckeyes, becomes just the seventh two-time captain in OSU history. Being named captain meant a lot, Simon said the athletic department release. “I appreciate the votes of the players. This is one of the biggest honors a player can receive and I’ll be proud to lead this team along with four other great guys,” Simon said. “We’ll have a really good season if we all lead well.” Simon (defensive lineman) Boren (fullback) and Sabino (linebacker) all joined Meyer in Chicago for Big Ten Media Days – the three players have been visible at media events. Hall, a senior running back, joins the captain quintet despite surgery for a torn ligament in his foot after stepping on glass while walking his pit bull dog, “Cali.” Hall could miss up to three games at the outset of OSU’s non-conference schedule. Hall said his selection for the captaincy is a dream come true. “I was hoping to be named a captain but I was also a little surprised when it happened,” Hall said. “I can’t thank my teammates enough for selecting me for this honor.” Goebel, a redshirt senior defensive lineman with five career starts to his name, said that he too is honored by his selection as captain. “I’m excited. It is an honor that your teammates think that highly of you to name you a captain,” Goebel said. “I’m going to put everything I have into this responsibility.” OSU’s five new captains will lead the team into competition for the Buckeyes’ first game this year Sept. 1 at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.
Ohio State freshman forward Dorka Juhasz shoots a jumper in practice. Credit: Daniel McNatt | Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s basketball team traveled to Seattle and was handed its third loss of the season, falling to Washington 69-59 on Wednesday night.Washington junior guard Amber Melgoza led the team with 28 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, one point short of her season high. Melgoza connected on each of her eight free throw attempts in Wednesday’s win, recording six in the first half. “She’s a great player,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said. “Every time we made a mistake against her she made us pay. You can’t do that against somebody as good as her.”Washington was up by as many as 10 points in the first half despite shooting a worse field goal percentage than Ohio State, 35 percent to 43 percent respectively and left at halftime with a six-point lead. Despite shooting 41.67 percent from the field in the second half, outscoring Washington 37-33, the Buckeyes could not overcome the first half deficit, connecting on 21.1 percent of 3-point shots, including one of nine in the first half. One of the main problems that has consistently plagued Ohio State this season was a factor against the Huskies, turning the ball over a season-high 21 times, killing the momentum on numerous occasions. Ohio State redshirt senior guard Najah Queenland scored eight points off the bench, making four of her five attempts from the field. Freshman forward Dorka Juhasz scored 11 points, but failed to reach a double-double in the game for just the second time this season, finishing with six rebounds. Redshirt senior forward Makayla Waterman also scored 11 points and notched seven rebounds but recorded four turnovers, tied for the team lead with redshirt senior guard Carmen Grande. Waterman said one of the main focuses going into the game was communication and said it was something that was lacking during the loss to the Huskies. “Just from the beginning of the game we weren’t talking, we weren’t communicating, we just weren’t really ready,” Waterman said. “There’s too many fifth years on the team to be like that. I think coach McGuff really tried to emphasize communicating with each other and we weren’t doing that and I think that’s what lead to a lot of our turnovers.”Ohio State will be back in Columbus on Dec. 16 to face the Florida Gators at 1 p.m. Updated at 11 a.m. with quotes from Kevin McGuff and Makayla Waterman.
The grass verge has been a source of controversy for eight yearsCredit:Ben Lack So when the Webbs started mowing the verge themselves, and told the widower to stop driving across it, he refused.The couple placed nearly 40 ornamental rocks on the border of their land and Mr Taylor was arrested for smashing one of the boulders with a sledgehammer to “protect his right of way”.The turf war dragged on for years in the ordinarily-peaceful residential area nestled between Highfield Road and, ironically, Love Lane. The court heard Mr Taylor began driving his car back and forth across the land almost daily, doing wheel spins and churning up grass. York Magistrates court was told of how Mr Taylor would sit in his car for hours, staring over at their property. Mr Webb, 43, said that he and his wife had become virtual “prisoners in our own home” because of Mr Taylor’s “vendetta”. Mr Taylor was found guilty of harassing the Webbs and was banned from driving for six months to curb his anti-social behaviour. As a precaution, officers also confiscated his shotgun and rifle, but these have been returned on appeal. A pensioner who battled with his neighbours over a patch of land could be sent to jail if he walks on the grass outside his home.The eight-year feud in Whitby, North Yorkshire – over the ownership of a roadside verge between two houses – reached an uneasy truce when Jon and Sara Webb obtained a court order against their elderly neighbour.Phil Taylor, 86, was served with a harassment notice and banned from driving, as well as other sanctions, after a campaign against the Webbs.The dispute began when the couple, both police officers, bought their property from the police authority along with a 100 yard grass verge that runs down the street past Mr Taylor’s home. Until then, the retired former soldier had tended to the land, planting rows of bulbs along the garden fence and mowing the grass. He also laid a patio next to the area, parked his caravan on the flagstones and built a boathouse, so he could tow his boat across the grass before he went fishing. Mr Taylor added that he would go and live with his family but was afraid of “being a nuisance.””I daren’t set foot on the grass because there is a CCTV camera trained on the verge all the time and if I just step off the patio onto it I will be arrested,” he added.”What gets me is everyone else in the street is free to walk on it and exercise their dogs there – but not me. All the neighbourhood is up in arms about what’s happened.”The Webbs, who have now repaired the damage to the grass verge, refused to comment following the court case.It is understood Mrs Webb has now retired from the police service but Mr Webb remains a serving officer. The pensioner also received a two-year restraining order, which prevents him from stepping on the Webbs’ land until July 2018, and was ordered to pay £620 court costs and fined £225 with a £30 surcharge.Mr Taylor intends to challenge the driving ban on the grounds that he was not convicted of any motoring offences.He said yesterday: “Now I just want my car back so I can pick up my pension and medications without being dependent on my son and granddaughter.”I can’t walk properly and without my car I have lost all mobility. It takes me an hour to get to the shops just down the road.” If I just step off the patio onto [the grass] I will be arrested,Phil Taylor Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Indisputably one of Britain’s best-loved actresses, Dame Judi Dench has been dazzling audiences and gathering rave reviews for more than 60 years on stage and screen.If she hoped to receive such recognition in America though, she may have been mistaken.A documentary about the life of Dame Judi, has revealed how she was greeted in the United States in recent years as a bright new talent, despite four decades on stage under her belt. One journalist asked her, “What have you been doing until now?”, while Harvey Weinstein, the movie mogul, initially believed he had spotted the new ‘next big thing’ after seeing her performance in Mrs Brown in 1997. Dame Jude Dench began her career as a Shakespearian stage actress Samantha Bond, the actress, said: “There is an extraordinary story she once told me. She had gone to America to do the pre-publicity for Mrs Brown.“And she was being interviewed by the American journalists and they said to her, in all seriousness: ‘We all know you from the Bond films. So what did you do before?’“That’s 40 years of a career where she had to go, ‘well…I’ve done quite a lot of Shakespeare…’“Completely oblivious to the magnificence we’ve all been watching for as long as I can remember.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed at the Rose Theatre, Kingston Dame Judi as Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown By then, of course, Dame Judi had played more or less every great Shakespearean role, with six Oliviers and six Baftas already on her mantlepiece.“I saw this amazing performer, who England knew and the world didn’t,” Weinstein told the programme, of his first viewing of Mrs Brown.“And I just go ‘who is this girl?’”Dame Judi went on to be nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Queen Victoria, at the age of 61.She went on to build a new career in Hollywood with the help of Weinstein, with roles in Shakespeare in Love, Iris and Philomena as well as 17 years as M in Bond. The programme, Judi Dench: All The World’s Her Stage, tracked Dame Judi from her first, disastrous appearance as Ophelia straight out of drama school to the modern day, with photographs and footage of her as a young actress.Dame Judi told how a “deep well of sadness in her” had helped her create her most emotional performances, disclosing she enjoyed the variety of the stage because “I don’t have much quiet inside me”.Sir Richard Eyre, the director, said: “Her great gift as an actress is to make people feel she’s accessible to them.”“But she’s much more private and there’s a core of her that is hard to know. And when you do know it, you feel there is something there, a soul that is far from untroubled.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The row over growing pressure on the NHS has intensified after GPs’ leaders refused to take the blame for the growing strain being placed by patients on A&E services.Theresa May warned GPs’ surgeries they would face funding cuts if they did not meet the Government’s pledge for them to open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.A new set of figures appears to back up Mrs May’s call for family doctors to meet growing demand for care after they showed that the surge in patients attending hospital A&E departments is not caused by elderly patients, but by working age people with “nowhere else to.”The figures revealed that just one fifth of patients attending A&E last year were over 65. NHS data shows that among all ages there were 185,017 patients who waited at least 12 hours on trolley and chairs in 2015-16 – a rise from 87,213 cases two years before. The steepest rise came among older patients.“This is another strong argument for investing more in our GP, community health and social care services as it would relieve the pressures on A and E by providing more healthcare options for all of us, closer to our homes,” said Ms Abrahams. Mr Dorrell added: “They fill up when the rest of the public services don’t work, when people cannot find a way of solving their problems except by going to A&E.”However, the charity Age UK maintained that it is the elderly who tend to suffer worst in jam-packed emergency departments, where cases of older patients languishing on trolleys for more than 12 hours have tripled in the last two years.The new figures reveal that last year 9.5 million people, roughly 50 per cent, received only guidance or advice or were simply sent home from A&E, rather than needing treatment. Health chiefs also admitted they were considering drafting in doctors from India to deal with soaring patient demand.But the former health secretary Stephen Dorrell said part of the problem was the inefficient running of surgeries which forced family doctors into spending often a third of their time attending to non-medical administrative tasks.Mr Dorrell told The Telegraph: “GPs undoubtedly have a heavy workload, but why in God’s name are we using people in whom we have invested seven years’ training to do this kind of thing?” he said.He also said the new data showed it was wrong to blame pensioners for the crisis. Mr Dorrell, who chairs the NHS Confederation, the membership body for hospitals and care commissioners, told The Telegraph: “Older people are by no means the only factor. This evidence shows they are 20 per cent of the problem at most.”He said the majority of patients attending A&E were responsible people who “go because it’s the only place with the lights on”. The crisis in the NHS is very clearly caused by the fact that we have chronic underfundingDr Chaand Nagpaul The concern over inappropriate use of emergency departments has prompted scrutiny of the Government’s target to see all patients within four hours.On Monday, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt briefly appeared to suggest the target could in future only be applied to attendees with acute conditions.NHS England data also showed that 9 per cent of all A&E patients are seen between three hours 50 minutes and four hours, indicating a scramble to stay within the target. However, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee, defended the efforts of family doctors.He said: “We don’t have enough GPs to provide a safe service at the moment. [Theresa May] knows that we’re several thousand GPs short, she knows in fact that more than eight in ten GPs cannot provide safe care. We’re trying to churn patients through our waiting rooms in ten-minute intervals, patients that need half an hour.”But the most important thing is the crisis in the NHS is very clearly caused by the fact that we have chronic underfunding. We have fewer doctors per head than the rest of Europe, we have fewer hospital beds than the rest of Europe.”We spend less, we’ve got fewer GPs, we see patients in general practice at shorter intervals than any other European country.”Dr Nagpaul also said that the thousands of new GPs set to join the NHS would not improve the situation, as many more are about to retire.He said: “One in three GPs will be retiring in the next five years. That will more than offset any increase in numbers that might enter. The crisis in the NHS won’t be solved by scapegoating or deflecting blame onto general practice.”Separate NHS data last week revealed almost half of hospital trusts declared one of the two highest states of alert in the first week of January. “Saying there’s not a crisis won’t do,” said Mr Dorrell. “The fact is that performance is getting worse year by year.”Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said busy A&E departments posed a particular risk to old and frail patients.“Older people are not the primary users of A&E services, but we know that those who do go there, whether under their own steam or taken in an ambulance, are more likely than other groups to be admitted,” she said.“This certainly lays to rest any suggestion that older people are using A&E for the wrong reasons and we know that many of them worry about burdening an already hard-pressed NHS and if anything tend to minimise their health problems and delay seeking help.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
GPs will be placed in A&E departments to turn away people who are not sufficiently ill as part of a £100 million effort to crack down on hospital overcrowding.The measure, announced by Philip Hammond in the budget, follows a relentless increase in A&E admissions which at one stage this winter saw one in two hospitals issue emergency alerts indicating they were unable to cope. Experience has shown that onsite GP triage in A&E departments can have a significant and positive impact on A&E waiting timesPhilip Hammond A significant cause of the problem is the increasing proportion of patients turning up in emergency departments who do not need to be there.NHS figures reveal that in 2015-16 38 per cent of A&E patients were sent away having received “advice only”, a rise of almost four per cent in only two years.The £100 million pledged yesterday, which is earmarked to be spent before next winter, is intended to help staff triage patients at an earlier stage.Having GPs physically located in hospitals, which is currently the practice in a handful of trusts, means patients suffering from non-emergency complaints can be diverted away from heaving departments.The NHS has consistently missed its own targets for treating A&E patients on time, and in January analysis showed the number of people stuck for more than 12 hours on trolleys has nearly doubled in the last two years.Mr Hammond announced the extra cash for A&E alongside an additional £2 billion to be spent on social care over the next three years, which it is hoped will indirectly ease pressure on hospitals by hastening the discharge of elderly patients in need of care at home or a care home place. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The proposal has provoked a mixed response from the medical profession.Chris Moulton, vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said the body “cautiously” welcomed the measure.”For some time, RCEM has called for co-location of urgent care services around major A&E departments and having primary care on site will undoubtedly benefit patients,” he said.”The College would like to see this as the first step to co-locating more services, including frailty teams and out-of-hours mental health teams, around the A&E department.”The devil will be in the details but the money from the budget will hopefully help to ease winter pressures.But the British Medical Association expressed scepticism over the proposal and warned that placing GPs in hospitals could in fact end up attracting more patients.Dr Mark Porter, chair of the BMA council, also questioned where the extra family doctors were going to come from.“Many [GPs] are already working in practices with permanent vacancies which they are unable to fill, despite government promises at the last election to recruit 5,000 more doctors into general practice,” he said.Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said GPs working in A&E units had been successful in some areas.But she added: “The most severe pressures in A&E are not simply down to inappropriate attendance but the inability to admit seriously unwell patients, and lack of capacity to discharge them into the community.” “That is one of the two big pressures on hospitals,” he told MPs.“The other is inappropriate A&E attendances by people of all ages.“Experience has shown that onsite GP triage in A&E departments can have a significant and positive impact on A&E waiting times.” The £100 million was announced as part of the budgetCredit:Justin Tallis
She shared a set of four photos of her costume on Twitter in which she can be seen in a variety of poses, while one picture shows the hair of her wig standing on end.She captioned the post: “Nearly 30! Thanks for the well wishes. See you soon x”.The British star has shown her flair for costumes in the past. Last Halloween she was unrecognisable as Jim Carrey’s character in The Mask, complete with a green face, while for her 27th birthday she dressed up as her friend George Michael.The star has recently been on a world tour, which will end in London on July 2 after four sold-out dates at Wembley Stadium. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. She may have just turned 29, but Adele has shown she is already embracing later life after dressing up as a famously foul-mouthed grandmother. The singer celebrated her birthday on Friday by posing as Joannie “Nan” Taylor from The Catherine Tate Show, complete with pink cardigan, wild red hair and chained glasses. Nearly 30! Thanks for the well wishes. See you soon x pic.twitter.com/j15vjkMcye— Adele (@Adele) May 5, 2017
After months of painstaking, tense and tough negotiations, and an embarrassing false start on Monday, Theresa May finally returned from Brussels with a deal that will unblock long-stalled negotiations over a future trade and transition deal. What did Mrs May give up, secure and compromise on to gain Jean-Claude Juncker’s recommendation that Britain had made “sufficient progress” on the issues of Ireland, the Brexit bill and citizens’ rights? How far did she stray from the vision she laid out in her Lancaster House speech… One stand-out success for the Prime Minister was linking the future withdrawal agreement to the future trade and transition talks, something that the EU had previously ruled out.