The 3 for 3 blog, with John Hopkins, jump shots and jackets …
1: THE NEW BIG TEN SPORT IS … — Lacrosse?
The Big Ten announced Monday that it has added men’s and women’s lacrosse as the 27th and 28th sanctioned conference sports. Bylaws require six members to participate, so Maryland, Rutgers, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan will be joined by Johns Hopkins.
Since Johns Hopkins joins only in men’s lacrosse, Northwestern women’s lacrosse will fill out the sixth team at that side of the gender aisle.
A bit of a surprise, don’t you think?
It does, though, fit in our Title IX world — lacrosse can easily include both men and women — and the Big Ten’s eastward lean is more pronounced with Maryland and Rutgers cozied up near Penn State.
The East Coast is an area that loves it some lacrosse, we’re told.
Speaking of squash, the sport will contend with baseball/softball and wrestling for a final spot in the 2020 and ’24 Olympics during a September vote in Argentina.
The sports advanced from a pool of eight last week during an International Olympic Committee meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia. Our story on the vote and situation moving forward is … HERE.
2. YEAR CHANGES THINGS FOR BARNES — How much better is Harrison Barnes now than he was at the beginning of the season for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors?
Barnes, asked Friday during an appearance at an Urbandale Hy-Vee store, smiled when asked.
“Daylight, darkness,” said Barnes, who jokes with Golden State coaches about his first appearance at camp after the draft. “I was terrible. Terrible. Couldn’t keep up with some of the stuff. I was thinking, ‘Man, college was easy’ — the NBA was so much harder.”
A season of, well, seasoning has opened the eyes of league followers — particularly after a 12-game playoff run where Barnes averaged more than 16 points and improved almost every important statistical category from the regular season.
Barnes received high marks from ESPN experts in its postseason breakdown of the Warriors (scroll to questions No. 3). Read it … HERE.
Golden State could tweak its look next season, with Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry as potential free-agent losses.
Rumors swirled, too, that Barnes or Klay Thompson had been mentioned as options in rumblings about a possible Dwight Howard trade with the Lakers.
“That’s not my call,” Barnes said. “Obviously, I’d love to be there. Just finished my rookie season, so obviously I want to continue to play there, but it is what it is.”
Here’s more from Barnes during his visit to central Iowa on Friday:
3. NEW PRINCIPAL TRADITION — Principal Charity Classic winner Russ Cochran kicked off a new tradition at the event, when he crawled into an Army jacket to mark the victory on the 18th green.
The Masters-styled moment tied in with the hole’s focus on military veterans, with service people tending an American flag stick in full uniform next to bleachers reserved for veterans.
Principal senior vice president Mary O’Keefe said the jacket will rotate between military branches at future tournaments.
I wrote about the pros and cons of the transition from Glen Oaks to Wakonda … HERE.
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