Katlyn Lee | Daily TrojanJunior guard Elijah Stewart declared for the NBA Draft without an agent on Tuesday. The move was first reported by DraftExpress and confirmed by USC.Joining sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright and redshirt sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron, Stewart is the third USC player to declare without an agent after the Trojans’ surprise run to the Round of 32 in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Like his teammates, Stewart can withdraw from the draft before May 24.Stewart is not projected to be selected according to most experts’ mock drafts, making a return to USC likely. However, he turned heads during March Madness, pouring in 22 points against SMU and draining the game-winning shot. Six of Stewart’s baskets came from behind the arc, proving his duality across the court as a threat from outside and driving to the basket.Stewart also added 12 points and four 3-pointers against Baylor, and he was the Trojans’ leading 3-point scorer throughout the 2016-17 campaign, sinking 78 threes. The total led the team by more than 30, with Boatwright and junior guard Jordan McLaughlin in second with 47 3-pointers each. Stewart was also one of the most efficient Trojan shooters from beyond the arc, trailing only McLaughlin in 3-point percentage.The junior averaged 12.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season while acting as a veteran presence on a team with just five upperclassmen. Stewart’s 175 career 3-pointers is sixth all-time in program history, just one bucket short of tying Harold Miner for fifth. A repeat of last season would catapult him to the top of the list; Lodrick Stewart is currently the all-time leader with 232 made threes from 2004 to 2007, a number that Stewart could catch up to if he continues to heat up from behind the arc.With a new contract extension and a strong incoming recruiting class, head coach Andy Enfield would surely like to retain Stewart and build on the promising 2016-17 season. Although three Trojans have declared for the draft so far, none of these players have taken on an agent, meaning that they are still flexible in their decision making. Additionally, none of these three players are predicted to go even in the final round in expert mock drafts. This could change, however, with their performance at the NBA Combine, which will take place in Chicago from May 9 to 14. The combine gives athletes a chance to showcase their abilities in a series of drills, interviews and tests. The results of those five days will be one of the key deciding factors for Stewart and the rest of the players who have declared. From there, each of the Trojans will have to make a decision to stay or go by the deadline in May. If they decide to stay, they will return to summer ball with the Trojans and look to help Enfield return his team to the NCAA tourney for the third time in a row. If not, Stewart and his teammates will head to the NBA Draft, which will take place on June 22.
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Megan Rapinoe has voiced her opinion on a wide range of issues that span beyond women’s soccer.But Saturday, before the United States women’s national team faces Netherlands in the World Cup final, she addressed something that has been a big topic of conversation as the team blazes through to what they hope is a fourth world title. Rapinoe herself has taken criticism for goal celebrations, but she offered a simple explanation in a long-winded answer that addressed some of the underlying issues.The veteran midfielder simply said, “We work hard and play hard.” Related News ‘Game of Thrones’ star Sophie Turner slams ‘haters’ of Alex Morgan’s tea-sipping homage Women’s World Cup 2019 preview: What to know, how to watch USWNT vs. Netherlands final Rapinoe, who has scored five goals in this World Cup including consecutive braces in the knockout wins against Spain and host France, was absent from the semifinal victory Tuesday over England because of a slight hamstring strain.In the USWNT’s win, Alex Morgan received flak for her tea-sipping celebration. But Rapinoe didn’t bat an eye. In fact, she encourages her teammates to celebrate.When asked if the hostility comes because society is not ready to deal with confident women, Rapinoe agreed.”I definitely think that’s part of it I think we have a particular lightness about us that maybe people take as aloofness or thinking that we’re too good or whatever,” she said. “I think so much of what we have to shoulder all of the time is heavy. It’s no secret that we’re the leaders in the women’s game in a lot of different issues — equality and pay equality, gender issues and just at large our team has been very open and very willing to get in any kind of equality fight.”So when we get the chance to play and showcase our skillset and be free on the field, we work hard and play hard. We think the game should be played with exuberance. The whole point of the game is to score a goal. I actually get on my teammates sometimes like you guys have got to pick your game, you can’t score a goal and be like, yeah, I scored a goal. It’s the whole point.” Women’s World Cup 2019: Megan Rapinoe takes aim at FIFA over prize money gap, finals scheduling Rapinoe has 157 caps on the USWNT and appeared in the 2011 World Cup, where the team finished as runner ups, and again in the 2015 tournament where the women claimed their most recent title. But she recognized not everyone will get opportunities to appear in multiple events, which is one of the reasons she eggs on the goal scorers.”I think that dynamic is playing a lot. Obviously, we have to take on a lot off the field. When we get our chance, especially at the World Cup, this comes every four years. Nothing is guaranteed. Some players might only play in one, you’re lucky if you get to play in multiple. This is the most incredible stage you can ever be on as a football player and we are going to enjoy it no matter what.”
It’s only October, but we have a good old fashion showdown in the Murdoch Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.Division-leading Nelson Leafs play host to second-place Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the first meeting of the season between the two West Kootenay combatants Tuesday at the NDCC Arena.“It’s exciting the guys are starting to believe, but this will be a good test for us,” said Leaf coach Frank Maida.Both teams enter the contest on a roll to start the KIJHL season.Nelson has won five consecutive games after losing two of its first three — the second setback coming in overtime to Kelowna.In the Beaver Valley, the Hawks, under the guidance of seasoned KIJHL veteran coach Terry Jones, have lost just once in six games and sit only three points behind the Leafs in Murdoch Division standings.“Beaver Valley is a strong, disciplined coached team,” said Maida of the upcoming clash.“Terry (Jones) has been around the league a long time and it looks like he has his team playing very well.”Snipers Ryan Edwards and Chris Derochie along with 16-year-old rookie Craig Martin lead Beaver Valley in scoring.All three players have more points this season than the top scorer on the Leafs, Matti Jmaeff.Last season Beaver Valley dominated the Leafs, winning the season email@example.com