March 2, 2020
Volume 93, Issue 18
Super Tuesday, many are trying many will fail
Abigail Nilsson, Editor in Chief
Super Tuesday is arguably the most significant voting day in the Primary Elections, as it is when the greatest number of states vote at once. Many politicians running to be the next commander in chief are hopeful that this day will make their campaign. Sen. Bernie Sanders won both New Hampshire and Nevada, Mayor Pete Buttigieg won the Iowa caucuses, and Joe Biden recently won South Carolina. During the recent elections other candidates have dropped out of the race as their support and funding began to dry up, such as Deval Patrick, Andrew Yang, and the most recently, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
On March 3 voters in Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia will be casting their ballots. The Democrats Abroad will also be able to vote from March 3 through March 10. The most diverse voters will be casting their ballot on Tuesday, representing a more accurate view of who the country wants to represent them. By the end of the voting day on Tuesday around 40 percent of the United States population will have voted. The states who are voting on March 3 are widespread and diverse, where as, the first four states who voted counted for about 4 percent of the United States population.
Each state is allotted a certain number of delegates based on a formulation of population and weight of the Democratic Party. Super Tuesday will have the votes of 1,357 delegate votes. In order to win a nomination, a candidate must have 1,991 delegate votes. All of the candidates are focusing on winning the nomination in Texas and California. A recent CNN poll is showing that Bernie ahead in both Texas and California with Biden behind him.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Amy Klobuchar are both hoping to win their home states of Massachusetts and Minnesota.
Candidates such as Mayor Mike Bloomberg have been campaigning with his focus on Super Tuesday, where he is hoping to win a majority vote. This is the first time he is appearing on voting ballots since he entered the race.
Officially on the ballots for Super Tuesday remains Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Winning Super Tuesday does not guarantee any of the candidates the Democratic nomination, but it certainly will narrow who will be left in the race based on who will have the finances and voter support to back their campaign.
RIC takes caution as first R.I. resident tests positive for Coronavirus
Sean Richer, News Editor
On March 1 a community member of Saint Raphael Academy is the first Rhode Islander to test positive for the coronavirus.The individual was reported to be in their 40s, and traveled to Italy in mid February on a school trip with the school. The individual is in quarantine and being closely monitored. Those who were in contact with this person, including individuals who went on the school trip, are in self-quarantine and will not go back to school until March 9. All of these individuals are being monitored by the Center for Disease Control and the Rhode Island Department of Health. Saint Raphael Academy will be closed March 2 and 3 so that the school can be sanitized. “In this situation, the risk is low even for those who have travelled with the infected person,” a notification on the school’s website says. “Only travelers who were on the Europe trip are required to be on self-quarantine by the [Rhode Island Department of Health], and they have been contacted.”
The case in RI brings the total number of infections in the U.S. to be over 70. The first recorded U.S. death from this disease was in Washington state. Washington has since declared a state of emergency, and the Food and Drug Administration announced that they will be ramping up testing for the virus all across the country.
Outbreak reports have led to fears about a potential outbreak on the RIC campus. Health Services has been monitoring the outbreak saying, "We are closely following the most current information and guidelines regarding this outbreak, including specific guidelines laid out for college campuses across the country according to the Center for Disease Control and the Rhode Island Department of Health." This combined with an influenza outbreak on campus last week has led Health Services to stress the importance of washing your hands frequently.
Along with practicing good hand hygiene, RIC Health Services recommends coughing or sneezing into a flexed elbow or tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands; Don’t share drink containers, utensils or other personal use items; Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has a fever and cough; Do not travel if you are sick. If you have a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, seek medical care.
The coronavirus has been prolific since the first reported causes in Wuhan, China in early December. Recently renamed COVID-19 by officials, the virus has been infecting many areas of American’s livelihood, even if it has not reached pandemic status as of now. News of the virus has overtaken practically all forms of media. RIC recently added a banner to the top of their webpage to inform students about the virus spreading, with the possibility of it reaching campus. It is a talking point for politicians, put the stock market in the red, and is clearly at fault for the global shortage of personal protective gear for healthcare workers due to the general hysteria regarding the virus.
Since the publicizing of the virus, the total number of cases worldwide has reached over 87 thousand people and has claimed the lives of nearly three thousand people.
According to the recent findings by several organizations such as the FDA and the University of Bellevue, the virus has been spreading in the state for almost six weeks. "If this is true, it could mean that 150 to 1,500 people could currently be infected." Explained Dr. Mike Famulare, a researcher for the Institute of Disease Modeling in Washington. "Some of these people may have already recovered or have not started to show symptoms but the danger is still very real."
Until more information is available, be sure to practice good hand hygiene while on and off campus. According to the RIC website, “Rhode Island College is closely following the most current information and guidelines regarding this outbreak, including specific guidelines laid out for college campuses across the country according to the CDC and the Rhode Island Department of Health.”
SCG, taking from clubs to give to escrow?
Abigail Nilsson, Editor in Chief
Photos by Grace Kimmell
Budget cuts have been a hot topic around Rhode Island College as student enrollment continues to decline. At the most recent Student Community Government meeting, budget cuts were among the first topics addressed by the body.
Included in the cost of tuition is the student activities fee, $60 per semester, which is paid by every enrolled student at RIC. The $60 that is paid as a necessary part of your tuition is used to fund just about every organization and club on campus, regardless of if you’re a member of any organizations or participate in campus activities.
During the SCG meeting on Feb. 26, President Percy announced that he is working with their advisor Dr. Mott to analyze the budget cut process and seek alternative options. Percy stated, “Unfortunately, Programming is excluded [from budget cuts], because they get a set amount [from activity fees]. We are trying to find a way to counteract it.” He noted that of the student activities fees, Student Programming gets $7 for each full-time undergraduate student, and $0.70 per credit for part-time and graduate students. SCG is looking to revise this so they get $6 for each undergraduate student and $0.60 per credit for part-time and graduate students. This would result in cutting about $39 thousand from Programming and allowing the reallocation of the funds to other organizations.
On Feb. 14, presidents and treasures of the student run organizations were served an urgent email from Treasurer Gibb saying that their budgets will be cut due to student enrollment being down. Gibbs email stated, “As the budgets currently stand, the total of all requests for the 2020-2021 year is $736,402.12. The total amount that we are allowed to allocate at Budget Hearings for 2020-2021 is $625,692.60. The result is cutting $110,439.52 or 15% from all of the budgets from the requested amount. On a plus side, this is 6% less than last year.”
If student organizations do not spend all of the funds that they received for the previous academic year, the money goes back into SCG escrow. These funds are set aside for extra finance requests, such as when a speaker, such as Yusef Salaam, comes to RIC. These funds are also set aside for emergencies, such as if a club overspends or is charged an extra fee that they are unaware of when holding an event or organization.
Gibb said in his email to the student organizations “The Finance Commission will be looking at all budgets this weekend [Feb. 15 and 16] to find ways to make cuts to budgets without hindering the clubs from functioning next year.”
Students are left with a multitude of puzzling questions regarding campus finances and where their student activities dollars are accumulating. The exact amount of money in SCG escrow is not readily accessible information to students. As the governing body that is in charge of students activity fees, what other ways can SCG help student organizations? Why didn’t SCG let the clubs know, or give them more time to adjust their budget requests more than 24 hours before budget hearings?
The student organizations will hear the extent of their budget cuts within the next week and will have the opportunity to appeal the decision of the Finance Commission.
Harvey Weinstein convicted
Sean Richer, News Editor
Hollywood mogul and producer Harvey Weinstein was found guilty on two of the five felony charges against him, including rape abd sexual assault. The former entertainment titan now faces up to 29 years in prison and is being held at the infamous Riker's Island prison complex in New York. "This is the new landscape for sexual assault survivors in America… Weinstein was a vicious serial sexual predator." Exclaimed New York DA Cyrus Vance.
Harvey Weinstein was one of the first men of influence to be exposed by the #me too movement. Over 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He was described as a predatory and manipulative man who would regularly coerce women into doing sexual favors for him. According to Rose McGowan, an actress and victim of the producer, Weinstein's crimes were widespread. "It's an international rape factory, everywhere he goes there were people set up to help him rape."
Weinstein's legal team has begun the process of appealing the case, however this cannot be done until after the sentencing and is a rare occurrence. "This is not over." Said Donna Rotunno. "When you make certain choices there's a risk. If you don't want to be a victim, don't go into the room." Weinstein is currently in the Riker's Island infirmary after sustaining a back injury.
Many have hailed this conviction as a "watershed moment" for the #me too movement and justice for sexual assault survivors. Rose McGowan gave a speech on the matter in front of the press on Tuesday. "This trial means so much to do many, but it will mean the most to the brave women testifying and all the silence-breakers." With many more men being accused in the wake of the movement, practices in the entertainment industry and beyond could radically change in the near future.
Arts & Entertainment
Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor
It has almost been a year since the surprise launch of multi-platform, online video game “Apex Legends” and there is no sign of the battle royale slowing down.
“Apex Legends” proved itself to be a superior first person shooter when it amassed 30 million users in its first week of release and has grasped the attention of over 50 million gamers since then. To give a perspective on how successful “Apex” has been, “Fortnite,” the most popular battle royale game on the market, did not reach 30 million users until 11 weeks into its launch.
Speculators have pondered on the qualities that have made “Apex” a grand appeal to gamers across the world and it is undoubtedly because of its innovativeness to technical features and diverse character selection. It helps that “Apex” is a free download, with options to buy seasonal battle passes, but its ping system is the feature that has arguably changed the battle royale experience, so much that “Fortnite” had to rip it off from them.
The ping system is an in game element that allows a player to warn, notify and direct their two other squadmates while they battle throughout the terrain. A wide range of options from “attacking here” to “enemies” are available to players which allows an experience that does not necessarily require a mic in order to effectively fight other squads. Pinging can be regarded as an evolutionary aspect that may have been developed further from “Battlefield’s” similar feature considering that both “Battlefield” and “Apex” are published by EA. The ability to easily and quickly inform squadmates of danger or loot is a very attractive element that gave “Apex” an advantage over its competitors.
Taking inspiration from “Titanfall,” another game fathered by EA and “Respawn,” “Apex’s” guns, playing field and capabilities may have been a key factor to luring gamers away from “Fortnite.” Season one and two’s map, “King’s Canyon,” and the current map, “World’s Edge,” are darker and grainer compared to “Fortnite’s” bright, almost Sim resembling world which gives “Apex” a more adult charm. It is clear that “Fortnite’s” main demographic is composed of young teens and teenagers which paved way for “Apex’s” bloodshed and lightly explicit skins and language to cater to the interest of not only teenagers but older players as well. The array of light machine guns, pistols, shotguns, snipers and semi-automatics are realistic like a “Call of a Duty” but also retain a unique quality to their different abilities and damages that they are capable of. Their special attachments also make hooking up the guns entertaining to destroy other opponents.
“Apex’s” diverse character spectrum is the main force that has made its gameplay spectacular. Players are able to choose from twelve characters that each have their own special powers that impact the game. Depending on the power, it helps your squad defensely, offensively or towards health and shield repowering. The specialties of the characters gives “Apex” a strategic experience that players can utilize to accomplish being the last team standing.
Engulfed in its latest fourth season, “Apex” shows no signs of slowing down, introducing new characters and guns each season. Extra game modes have also been a fun addition along with a ranked league mode where players can go against players of their earned skill level. It is impressive how successful “Apex” has become within only a year which makes the game even more exciting to see what is to come.
Lucille Di Naro, Managing Editor
Warner Media will celebrate its $425 million purchase of the streaming rights to the hit 90’s sitcom, Friends, by releasing an “untitled, unscripted special” reunion episode set to air this May. All six of the show’s stars -- Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer -- nearly broke the internet last week after sharing on instagram that they will appear together for one final episode.
Friends ran from 1994 to 2004, producing ten seasons, 236 episodes and a very questionable fad hairdo worn by millions of American women with varying levels of success. Ben Winston will direct the reunion special, with Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane collaborating on the project as well.
Unlike other nostalgia traps like Fuller House and Girl Meets World, this reunion is anything but special. Rather than reunite in character, the cast will protect us from the sight of their aging bodies in lace camisoles and Ross’ leather pants and simply sit together and chat about their younger selves, to the tune of $2.5 million each. For diehard fans, this is unfortunate news.
I wish I could say that I would be avoiding this reunion episode altogether. Friends was, at best, a show about young adults navigating the human experience. That’s if the human experience includes a rent controlled apartment in Manhattan and somehow never interacting with a person of color. But unfortunately, like most viewers, I simply can't resist.
Sh-Ron Almedia, Anchor Staff
Let's be frank, $25 is not a justifiable price for “The Fire Emblem: Three Houses” Expansion Pass. However, as the players get to dig deep into the dusty basement of Garreg Mach Monastery, the release of this downloadable content was well worth the wait.
This fourth wave of DLC introduces a secondary story, as well as a snazzy pair of specks, unique outfits, a sauna, feeding stray animals, additional items and battlefields to explore. But the real meat of this expansion is the untold tale of the delinquent Ashen Wolves.
The “Cindered Shadows” DLC is a special side story that is easily selected from the main menu. Those who are worried about having to complete one of the three campaigns--fear not. Anyone can easily jump into this before or after their next playthrough.
We start with the dream team we hoped to see one day in an ideal route. The three house managers, Edelgard of the Black Eagles, Claude of the Golden Deer and Dimitri of the Blue Lions, have all come together to chase down a shady fellow through an underground passage. With the mercenary turned professor called Byleth aiding them, as well as a few other students, the gang stumble upon the depths beneath the monastery, appropriately called the Abyss.
Much to their surprise, it's inhabited by outcasts from all walks of life. And due to a misunderstanding, Byleth and the youngsters get caught up in a tussle with the dreaded hidden house of the Ashen Wolves. From here on, the new, addictive side story kicks into gear and takes us on a short yet fun ride. The banter between the characters retains its colorful flavor. And once you get to know them, you become attached to the new four characters and are eager to recruit them later in your next playthrough of the main story.
Unfortunately, due to its short length, the side story felt restrained and barebones. The few twists and revelations unfolding are predictable with almost lackadaisical execution. Thankfully, the challenging battles more than make up for it though. Throughout the seven chapters of Cindered Shadows, each battle is varied, requiring actual strategy to keep your units alive turn after turn.
Even Normal difficulty doesn’t let up, forcing you to repeat your steps while the dreaded ‘Game Over’ screen patiently awaits. Lovers of a thrilling challenge should be satisfied, as brute force alone won’t be enough to claim victory.
Overall, “Cindered Shadows” is everything one can expect from the newest “Fire Emblem” game. Thanks to the new characters, new unit classes and intense battles, the Season Pass is worth a buy. “Fire Emblem: Three Houses” Expansion Pass was released on Feb. 12, and is currently $25. “Fire Emblem: Three Houses” was released on July 25 of last year for the Nintendo Switch.
Alexis Rapoza, Opinions Editor
Driving down 1-95 South provides you with an interesting outlook into life in Rhode Island. The abundance of potholes, never-ending construction and ever-changing exit numbers are almost as charming as they are irritating because they speak to a very specific Ocean State culture. However, driving down I-95 last week greeted me with a new, unwelcome sight that nearly sent me flying into the backseat of the car behind me.
What I saw was a massive billboard from an organization called the Rhode Island Right to Life Committee. It featured a picture of an unborn fetus and displayed the words “life begins at conception.” In short, it was pro-life propaganda and was definitely not something I expected to see during my casual drive home. But, don’t get me wrong, the issue is not the perfectly legal billboard, but rather the promotion of a movement that is working against all the progress our female ancestors have made before us.
On Jan. 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled that not only was it legal to have an abortion, but that it was a constitutional right under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The court decided that a women’s right to choose was a matter decided between her and her doctor, and that’s something that I simply cannot believe we are still fighting for.
In the recent years, pro-life propaganda has become increasingly prevalent. It's discussed in political debates, social media and in everyday life. Furthermore, pro-lifers paint the movement as overwhelmingly positive. On the surface, their messages are hard to argue with, after all, who isn’t pro-life? But taking a deep dive into their movement and implicit messaging uncovers deep-rooted misogyny.
According to a 2019 survey by Supermajority/PerryUndem, over half of the pro-lifers stated that men make better political leaders than women and only about 27% believe that gender equality should be an important issue in the 2020 election. Pro-Lifers are also more inclined to not believe in comprehensive sexual education and want to restrict access to birth control. These beliefs are masking the true intentions of pro-life elected officials, making their intent practically unnoticed.
Take the defunding of Planned Parenthood for example. Not only is the so-called “defunding” a complete ruse, as the government does not even technically fund Planned Parenthood, it’s a direct attack on women’s healthcare. Planned Parenthood provides over two million people, both men and women, across the country with healthcare services. What is even more jarring is the fact that only about 4 percent of the total services performed in 2019 at their clinics were abortions. The other services provided include sexually transmitted infection treatment and testing, cancer screenings and contraception, all of which are integral to the healthcare of women and men.
Without the services Planned Parenthood and other clinics like them provide, low-income women and women of color will be disproportionately affected. These health services save lives-- so why do “pro-lifers” want to do away with it? The answer is simple -- it was never about life to begin with.
Before Roe vs Wade, women relied on illegal abortions that often ended in severe injury or death in order to terminate a pregnancy. In fact, in 1962 nearly 1,600 women were admitted to Harlem Hospital Center in New York City for incomplete abortions or abortion-related injuries. Whereas according to the Center for Disease and Control, today abortion is actually 14 times safer than childbirth.
Now, I am definitely not advocating for women to rely on abortions as a form of contraception, but there is something to be said about the fact that a movement who claims to be pro-life does not seem to care about a women’s life but rather about maintaining the birth rate.
And maybe it's because women are still seen as only being good for producing heirs or maybe it’s a rose-colored coverup for the patriarchal systems deeply-entrenched in the laws of the so-called “land of the free.” All I know is that what I choose to do with my body is no one else’s business. It's time for the Republican, hyper-religious members of our government to get their politics out of my healthcare and focus on things that are actually killing children like their beloved AR-15s and climate change.
Alison Macbeth, Anchor Staff
“Chicas! Cena!” Every night my host mama raps on my door to tell me dinner is ready. Living with a host family in Costa Rica has been the highlight of my study abroad experience.
When I arrived in Costa Rica, all I had were the directions to my host family’s home. Costa Rica does not use addresses but rather employs landmarks and “50 meters on the left” as the indicator. The taxi dropped me off and my host mom greeted me with a warm hug. Human connection beyond language is one of the most magical things I have experienced. We spoke Spanglish, we laughed over the bowl of pasta she made me and somehow through it all I knew that this place was going to be a wonderful home for the next four months.
Every morning before I walk to my classes the table is decorated with pastel-colored placemats, fresh fruit, an individual coffee pot and eggs, oatmeal, pancakes or something else delicious. Mama Tica greets me and my roommates with a heart-hugging “buenos dias” every morning. The sounds of San Jose yawning and a quiet radio accompany our breakfast.
When my roommates and I leave for a full day of classes and homework, Mama Tica will kiss us goodbye, tell us to take care and enjoy our day. When we get home we tell her how our day went and what we saw or learned. Usually, our Mama Tica is in the kitchen making us some delicious soup or beans and rice. I cannot stop raving about how good of a cook our host mom is. And without fail, a plate of fried plantains is placed in the middle of the table with our collective ahhhs.
Usually, after our breakfasts and dinners, we wash our own dishes. This is one of my favorite times to try out my brand-spanking-new Spanish with Mama Tica. One of the most memorable moments was when I enthusiastically thought I told my host mom it was raining, which is a rare occurrence in San Jose during the dry season, but I mixed up the word for rain and eggs and told her excitedly that there were eggs outside. We laughed a lot and she graciously helped me to figure out the difference between huevos and llueve.
Living with my host mom has been a comforting and nourishing experience while away from home. Plus, it has allowed me to feel like I am experiencing Costa Rican culture. My host mom informs us if there is a water shortage, which occurs here often, as well as other normal parts of Costa Rican living. She helps us navigate to places we want to explore. She is willing to answer any question we have. Because of my Mama Tica, Costa Rica has easily felt like a home away from home.
Alexis Rapoza, Opinions Editor
On Feb. 24th, film producer and sex-offender Harvey Weinstein was convicted of two felonies: criminal sexual assault in the first degree and rape in the third degree. After an almost three year-long investigation, trial and over 100 accusations ranging from sexual harassment to rape, justice was finally served for at least two of the women affected by Weinstein’s predatory behavior.
For most, Weinstein’s conviction is a huge win for modern feminism and the #MeToo movement which is something I would hesitate to disagree with. Weinstein is a predator and deserves to be in prison. However, his conviction is an unfortunate reminder of what catapulted the #MeToo movement into the spotlight, as well as the exclusivity and whiteness that plagues the feminist movement.
In late 2017, following the first Weinstein accusations, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” The response to her tweet was astronomical. Thousands of people around the world were sharing their stories of sexual assault survival instituting a worldwide movement against sexual violence. Milano was flagged as a hero and dubbed the creator of the #MeToo movement. And while I won’t deny that sharing her story and encouraging other women to come forward is heroic, the #MeToo movement actually began over a decade before by activist Tarana Burke.
Founded in 2006, the #MeToo movement’s primary focus was to help survivors of sexual violence, primarily low-income victims and people of color, find support and healing. 11 years later, the #MeToo movement has started a vital conversation about sexual violence while also somehow managing to silence the people it was initially meant to support. Burke’s involvement in the movement was practically erased. #MeToo became largely about Hollywood and less about elevating victims of all backgrounds.
The worst part is that this is not an isolated issue. The high-jacking of #MeToo is a symptom of an even larger problem dubbed ‘white feminism.’ White feminism is the belief that life experience is universal for all women regardless of class, race or sexual identity. It refuses to take into account that intersectionality, or how your various identities intersect, shape your life experience. And while not all white women who identify as feminists participate in white feminism, this problem is perpetuated almost exclusively by caucasian feminists.
White feminism is the one size fits all feminism derived from perpetual victimhood. As a society, we often chose to ignore things that we did not have to work for. If you’re born into money, it’s likely that you’ll be afforded advantages like a high-quality education while others do not have access to such things. It’s like getting a head start in a marathon. And although privilege is not necessarily something you can control it is something you can harness for the greater good. We often choose to only prioritize issues that affect ourselves instead of realizing that sometimes we need to put others first.
Feminism by definition is a movement that seeks the political, economic and social equality of all people which is something that cannot be achieved through universal application. That's where the celebrity culture of #MeToo fails. Harvey Weinstein’s conviction is unarguably a victory for feminism. However, we cannot forget Tarana Burke or Sojourner Truth or Shirley Chisholm.
In our endeavor for equality we must relinquish our selfishness and remember the words of poet and activist Audre Lorde: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” The fight does not end when we are free, but rather when everyone else is experiencing freedom as well.
Reaching milestones: how Kobe Bryant influenced a generation of young athletes
Ray Oliver, Anchor Staff
The National Collegiate Athletic Association was founded in March of 1906. In its 113 year history there has never been a basketball player, male or female, who has done what Sabrina Ionescu accomplished on February 24. With a defensive rebound in the third quarter of an eventual win over Stanford, Ionescu became the first athlete in NCAA history to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists. A very impressive feat which came just hours after she spoke at the memorial service for the late Kobe Bryant.
The senior from Walnut Creek, California has been extremely impressive in her four years at Oregon University playing for the Ducks and is the consensus number one pick in the upcoming WNBA draft. Not only is she the first basketball player in NCAA history to reach two thousand points, one thousand rebounds and one thousand assists but she is also the all-time leader, for both men and women, in career triple doubles (26). She has had an impressive college career and is expected to carry her success into the professional ranks.
On top of her many personal accolades is a John Wooden award, which she won in 2019 as a Junior. The award is given to the most outstanding player in the Country, an award she was a finalist for the season prior. Although Ionescu has not been able to lead her team to a National Championship, she and her fellow Oregon teammates are currently the third ranked team in the Nation and are in the mix for a chance to “cut down the nets.” It is fair to say that she is turning heads not only in the NCAA but also among the pros, men, and women alike.
One head she had no trouble turning and catching the attention of was Kobe Bryant. Meeting each other for the first time in 2019, Kobe brought his daughter Gianna to an Oregon Ducks game where they were allowed into the locker room to meet the players and coaches. Gianna was a promising basketball talent in her own right, before her untimely death and she gravitated towards Ionescu. Both girls are fierce competitors and it was clear to both Gianna and Kobe that Ionescu had it in her, “it” being the Mamba mentality that Kobe made so popular. After meeting the Oregon star, Kobe invited Ionescu to help train Gianna and her teammates. It was clear to the Ducks’ star point guard that Gianna was just as mentally strong as her father.
During her speech at the memorial for both Kobe and Gianna, Ionescu mentioned a practice she was helping Kobe run. In this practice, Gianna put her Mamba mentality on full display as she knocked down a teammate who was guarding her, stepped over her and made a basket. That was the connection between these three basketball minds, the Mamba mentality. Also during the memorial Ionescu said, “I wanted to be just like him, to love every part of the competition, to be the first to show up and the last to leave, to love the grind, to be your best even when you don’t feel your best... and to wake up and do it again the next day.” It is clear that Ionescu has that x-factor in her, the Mamba in her, to go out and outwork her opponents even when she is not at 100%.
Having that Mamba in her is one of the reasons she reached such an impressive milestone for any NCAA athlete. As a kid, playing in the street or the school gym, the dream is to play in college and then later be good enough to play professionally for as long as possible. Thanks to the influence Kobe Bryant had on so many people's lives, Sabrina Ionescu is currently the best Women’s college basketball player and has a promising future ahead of her.
Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor
For all of the issues the New England Patriots faced last season and all of the positional groups that underperformed, one part of the team was elite from wire to wire. Welcome to the final installment of our Patriots offseason preview where we will conclude things with a look at a portion of the team that could be nearly identical come the 2020 season, today we look at the secondary.
Starting off with the cornerbacks, it is difficult to find many things to nitpick about a group that features 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore has been outstanding since signing with the Patriots during the 2017 offseason and has been a First-Team All-Pro each of the last two seasons. Outside of Gilmore New England has every CB from the 2019 roster under contract for 2020 and could look to bring back the entire group. Now the Patriots could cut Jason McCourty, who started 10 games last season and save $3.8 million against the salary cap. While J. McCourty has been solid in his two seasons in Foxborough, his exiting would potentially open the door to more playing time for both J.C. Jackson and Joejuan Williams. Jackson has seen his snap count rise over the course of his first two seasons as a pro, playing 67.56 percent of the teams defensive snaps in 2019 while Williams saw limited action in his rookie season after being selected in the second round of the NFL draft. Outside of possibly moving on from J. McCourty the Patriots CB group will most likely be functionally identical in 2020.
Safety is where the Patriots secondary could potentially see some new faces next season. New England’s biggest free agent on defense is 10 year starter and team captain Devin McCourty. D. McCourty turned in an outstanding effort in 2019, leading the NFL’s second ranked passing defense while intercepting five passes. Multiple outlets have reported that interest between the Patriots and D. McCourty is mutual and that both sides are currently in communication with one another. Should D. McCourty chose to look on the open market however he would likely find a robust market for his services, one that would almost certainly take him out of New England’s price range. If D. McCourty does opt against taking a pay cut to remain with the Patriots, Bill Belichick could look to replace him with the team's first round draft pick. Potential targets at safety for New England with the 23rd overall pick include LSU’s Grant Delpit and Alabama’s Xavier Mckinney.
At the other safety spots New England has it’s other two stalwarts, Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon under contract for 2020 with there being nothing indicating the team has any desire to move on from either.
With that we have reached the conclusion of our multi-part Patriots offseason preview. NFL free agency officially begins on Mar. 18 and the three day NFL draft is scheduled to start on Apr. 23. If those dates meant nothing to you previously we hope that this series has at least inspired some sort of interest in the minutiae of NFL team building and maybe one day we will get around to looking at kickers.
Jenfrin Rodriguez, Anchor Staff
Photos by Thomas Crudale
The Anchormen did not get the ending to the contest as they would have preferred on Tuesday night against the University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons, in the first round of the Little East Conference playoff. Although, unable to be the last team standing in the end, the Anchormen tried everything possible but to no avail.
Basketball is a game of two halves and this bout between both teams showcased exactly that. In a half which saw the Anchormen go up by as many as nine points late, UMB responded instantaneously and managed to answer back with a surge of their own. In a battle of wills, the half concluded with a 44-44 tie between both teams. The second half saw RIC unravel as the game progressed.
While taking an early lead at the beginning of the second half, RIC dug themselves into a hole too deep to get out of. Having to manage the road environment of a playoff game on top of shooting a horrific 28 out of 77 on three point attempts is not an ingredient for success. On top of the aforementioned poor shooting, RIC never managed to defend without fouling. Tim Deng wound up fouling out, Jonatan Batista and Keyshaun Jacobs amassing four fouls each and Benjamin Vezele ended up with three fouls himself. The physicality of the game and the mental barrier placed upon a player who is in foul trouble was something that stayed in the back of the Anchormen’s mind. Numerous plays can be singled out where RIC was afraid of defending out of fear of getting called for a foul which as a result led to UMass Boston seeing better looks than they normally would have otherwise.
Although the game ended in a loss, they were positive notables. Benjamin Vezele totalled 1000 points in his final college game of his career on route to a 16 points, 15 rebounds performance. Keyshaun Jacobs and Shion Darby could have stood to shoot better from the field but each put up 26 points respectively. The starting point guard for the Anchormen in Jonatan Batista grabbed 10 rebounds himself in a game where RIC won the rebounding battle 50-42.
Both Jonatan Batista and Benjamin Vezele have ended their athletic career with RIC and going forward the Anchormen are going to need to find two starters to replace these two players who played their roles at the highest level.
Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor
Photos by Jake Elmslie
Making their first Little East Conference Championship Game appearance since 2014 the Rhode Island College Anchorwomen fell 49-44 against the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors.
The championship was delayed to Sunday afternoon after a weather delay Thursday evening caused the Warriors original semi-final match to be postponed to Friday. The Anchorwomen were able to reach the conference final after a Thursday evening 62-47 home victory in their own semi-final game over the three seed Castleton State University Spartans. RIC was led in this game by Junior Sophia Guerrier and Freshman Maci Dorantes who both tallied 13 points.
The Anchorwomen started the title game off slowly, missing their first seven field goal attempts before a Brooke Young 3-pointer with exactly five minutes left in the first quarter made things 7-3. During the second quarter RIC struggled to contain ECSU senior forward Mya Villard who scored eight points, six of which came from the free throw line. Due in part to Villard’s performance, specifically the half’s final four minutes where she put up six points, RIC went into the locker room down 26-17.
During the games third quarter RIC ratcheted up the defensive intensity, employing an aggressive full court press. This change in tactics yielded immediate results with one sequence midway through the quarter seeing RIC go on a 7-0 scoring run off the back of four straight turnovers in the full court. Particularly impactful during this sequence was Guerrier who recorded three of her nine steals in the third quarter and shot a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe. However ECUS’s timely 3-point shooting continuously stymied the Anchorwomen’s attempts to take the lead and the third quarter ended 41-30 in the Warrior’s favor.
The tension rose to a fever pitch in the fourth quarter where senior Jordyn Gauvin led the way with five points. The Anchorwomen were able to bring the game within two points halfway through the final stanza and were only trailing 46-42 with 1:09 left in the game. From there though RIC was unable to wrestle the lead away from the Warriors and ended the game down by five.
The Achorwomen were led by Dorantes who scored 11 points. Dorantes had an impressive run in the conference playoffs, averaging 12 points per game after only averaging 5.2 ppg in the regular season.
The MVP for the Little East playoffs was ECSU sophomore Anna Barry who averaged 18.5 ppg in her teams two postseason contests.
Even without being conference champions the Anchorwomen still have a chance at being selected to compete in the annual NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship later this month. If they are not though this will have been the final career game for both conference rebounding leader Fataya Larry and four year player and team captain Jordyn Gauvin.