Jordan Bachynski had been in this situation before. In fact, hes been there on more than one occasion. The NCAAs leader in blocked shots has saved three games for Arizona State this season blocking shots at the buzzer. This time, in his first NCAA tournament game, Bachynski challenged Texas centre Cameron Ridleys lay-up, which narrowly escaped the Calgary, Alberta natives 74 wingspan with milliseconds left on the clock. The ball bounced off the backboard and into the net for an 87-85 buzzer-beater win. Arizona State was sent home after falling short of a hard fought first round upset, ending a season which saw them in the tournament for the first time in five years. It also capped a standout collegiate career for Bachynski, who in his senior year bettered his individual stats each season as his teams record improved as well. TSN.ca spoke with the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year prior to the NCAA Tournament about his goals, his game and whats next. What goals did you set for yourself as a team and individually this year? As a team, it was to make it to the NCAA Tournament. Most of the guys on our team havent ever been to the tournament - me included. So thats a huge goal, and to be able to do that and we felt we had a really strong team and guys that can help us get there. My main goal this year was to lead the nation in blocked shots because thats something I knew I would be able to excel at and so I was able to meet that goal. What is your approach or technique to blocking shots? Its not something I really think about; its something that comes naturally to me. Our defense is set up for me to help the guys on D. Coach Sendek actually completely changed the defensive strategy when I started to show that I had a knack for blocking shots. There were two games where I had a bunch of blocked shots and so the coaches saw that as such a huge asset for us and changed what we play to more help side man-to-man and Ive loved it. I love playing help side where a man is coming down the pike and I just get to step up and block his shot. How does it feel to be recognized as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year? Its a huge honour, especially with the tradition of the Pac-12 and how it has produced such great players and such great big men. Some of the best big men ever to play the game came for the Pac-10/Pac-12. Its just an honour to be recognized as a defensive presence in such a great conference. Its an interesting time for Canadians in the NCAA. What does that say about the growth of Canadian basketball? Canadian basketball is on its way up. This summer I had a great opportunity to play with Team Canadas Development Team and there are some great players. Especially Melvin Ejim, who is doing amazing things. He just got named Player of the Year in his conference and me and him still keep in touch. Watching Brady Heslip knock shots down at Baylor and Kevin Pangos at Gonzaga and playing against Dwight Powell at Stanford, Canada basketball has really stepped up in college this year. Its crazy. Whats next for you after you graduate? Is the NBA in the cards for you? Thats definitely in the cards for me. Im working as hard as I can to get there. The NCAA Tournament would be huge for me. The national exposure and playing on that big stage and showing what type of player that I am, the defensive stopper that I am and the scorer that I am, and to play with my team is the main thing. Right now I want to get to the NBA, but the most important thing to me is that my team wins and thats what Im working for. So if that means that I have to take one less shot to pass it up to someone who has a better shot Im willing to do that because I want to win. Not a lot of guys realize that you can be a great player on a bad team and no one is going to notice you, so you need to make those guys around you better if you want to get noticed. Coaches and scouts are going to notice that and by helping your team win, by doing the right thing and playing the right way, you actually are giving yourself a better look at the next level. Caris LeVert Jersey
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. So true. It is one thing to create a winning football team, and another to keep it winning. Each and every week it changes. The NFL creates a unique interest of not who is "the best", but much more who is "the best this week".SOCHI — Hayley Wickenheiser not only will carry the Canadian flag in the opening ceremonies on Friday, the hockey legend also carries high hopes for a fourth-consecutive Olympic gold medal and for the womens game as a whole. But before her work on the ice begins, shes going to savour a special moment at Sochis Fisht Olympic stadium on Friday. "Just going to enjoy it and take it all in and, you know, honour the fact that I have this opportunity and that my family is going to be in the building," said Wickenheiser, who hails from Shaunavon, Sask. "So its going to be a fun night, said the Olympic veteran," who will have 11 family members in Sochi. The 35-year-old Wickenheiser is well aware that if the womens tournament evolves as presumed with a Canada-United States gold-medal final on Feb. 20, the scrutiny will continue as to whether womens hockey belongs in the Olympics. But shes been around the international game for two decades, when she cracked the Canadian roster as a 15 year old in 1994, and she sees progress. Womens game in good shape “I always worry about the future of womens hockey, mainly because of the fact that most of the world pays attention to womens hockey only for two weeks out of every four years,” Wickenheiser said. “I dont worry about the womens game when I look at every game and what goes on internationally. “I look at Team Japan and what [current coach and former Canadian player] Carla MacLeod has been able to do to get that team to an Olympic Games, which is a huge accomplishment for a country. You look at Finland and how they centralize their under-18 and national teams. You look at Sweden and you look at Russia what Alexei Yashin [the teams general manager] has been able to do with his team.” Still, the Russians, Swedes, Finns and Swiss need to exhibit that they have closed the gap. But that wont be easy because Canada and the U.S. continue to elevate its level of play. “This is a dilemma womens hockey is always going to face. But the reality is were so much further aahead in this time span than say where mens hockey was in [after the first five Olympics].dddddddddddd I think the [womens] game has really come a long way in five Olympics.” Will this be Wickenheisers final Olympics? She wont decide on whether to continue or conclude her decorated career, that includes three Olympic gold medals, seven world championships and playing pro mens hockey in Finland and Sweden, until after the final buzzer sounds in Sochi. So what keeps Wickenheisers competitive clock ticking? “The No. 1 thing is a love of sport,” said the six-time Olympian said, who also competed for Canada in softball at the 2000 Sydney Games. “Ive loved hockey since the day I first put on skates when I was five years old. I have had a passion to play all these years. “I love being part of Team Canada and having the opportunity to win, and thats the main driving force now.” Nagano loss still hurts She forgot to mention that shes never been a good loser. At a team gathering on Monday evening, Wickenheiser and Hefford and assistant coach Daniel Goyette described the emptiness and hurt they felt when they finished second in 1998. “The worst thing in the world is to stand on the blue line with a silver medal around your neck,” she said. “It stays with you for a while.” There was some speculation that Wickenheiser wouldnt be around for the Sochi Games. There was some thought her game had dropped off and she was dealing with some injuries. “You battle injuries and you go through a lot of things as an athlete, but I could picture in my mind what I needed to do to get ready to play in these Games,” she said. “I guess its always a fragile existence as an athlete. Any day something can happen and your games are over, like we saw yesterday with the snowboarder (Norway slopestyle gold-medal contender Torstein Horgmo broke his collarbone during a trail run). “Im very grateful to be sitting here … and to have had the longevity Ive had.” (With files from CBC Saskatchewan) Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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