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Birdman, Keaton among nominations for British awards

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

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NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED

FOR THE EE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS IN 2015

The Grand Budapest Hotel receives 11 nominations. Birdman and The Theory of    Everything are each nominated in ten categories. The Imitation Game has nine  nominations. Boyhood and Whiplash are each nominated five times. Mr. Turner,  Nightcrawler and Interstellar receive four nominations. Pride has three nominations.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is nominated in the following categories: Best Film, Director and Original Screenplay for Wes Anderson, Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, Make Up & Hair and Sound. Ralph Fiennes is nominated for Leading Actor.

Birdman is nominated for Best Film, Director for Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Original Screenplay, Original Music, Cinematography, Editing and Sound. Michael Keaton is nominated for Leading Actor. Edward Norton is nominated for Supporting Actor and Emma Stone is nominated for Supporting Actress.

The Theory of Everything receives nominations for Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Director for James Marsh, Adapted Screenplay, Original Music, Editing, Costume Design and Make Up & Hair. Eddie Redmayne is nominated for Leading Actor, whilst Felicity Jones receives a nomination for Leading Actress.

The Imitation Game is nominated in Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design and Sound. Benedict Cumberbatch is nominated for Leading Actor and Keira Knightley is nominated for Supporting Actress.

Boyhood completes the Best Film line-up, with four further nominations in Director and Original Screenplay for Richard Linklater, with Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress nominations for Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette respectively.

Whiplash receives nominations in Editing and Sound, and Damien Chazelle is nominated for Director and Original Screenplay. J.K. Simmons is nominated for Supporting Actor.

Mr. Turner is nominated in Cinematography, Production Design, Costume Design and Make Up & Hair. Interstellar receives nominations in Original Music, Cinematography, Production Design and Special Visual Effects.

Jake Gyllenhaal completes the Leading Actor line-up for Nightcrawler, which is also nominated in Editing, Original Screenplay and Supporting Actress for Rene Russo.

Imelda Staunton is nominated in Supporting Actress for Pride, which also receives nominations in Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Stephen Beresford (Writer) and David Livingstone (Producer).

Amy Adams is nominated in Leading Actress for Big Eyes, which receives a second nomination in Production Design. The Leading Actress line-up is completed by Julianne Moore for Still Alice, Reese Witherspoon for Wild and Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl, which also receives a nomination for Adapted Screenplay.

Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell both receive Supporting Actor nominations for Foxcatcher.

American Sniper completes the Adapted Screenplay nominations, and is also nominated in Sound.

The Animated Film nominees are Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls and The Lego Movie.

The nominations in the Documentary category are 20 Feet from Stardom, 20,000 Days on Earth, Citizenfour, Finding Vivian Maier and Virunga.

’71 receives two nominations for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Yann Demange (Director) and Gregory Burke (Writer). Also nominated for Outstanding Debut alongside ’71 and Pride are Paul Katis (Director/Producer) and Andrew de Lotbinière for Kajaki: The True Story, Hong Khaou (Writer/Director) for Lilting and Elaine Constantine (Writer/Director) for Northern Soul.

Paddington is nominated in Outstanding British Film and receives a further nomination in Adapted Screenplay. Under the Skin receives the final nomination in Outstanding British Film and is also nominated for Original Music.

Ida completes the Cinematography line-up, and receives a second nomination for Film Not in the English Language. Also nominated in Film Not in the English Language are Leviathan, The Lunchbox, Trash and Two Days, One Night.

Into the Woods is nominated for Costume Design and Make Up & Hair. Guardians of the Galaxy completes the nominations for Make Up & Hair, and receives a further nomination for Special Visual Effects.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and X-Men: Days of Future Past join Guardians of the Galaxy and Interstellar to complete the Special Visual Effects nominations.

The British Short Animation nominations are The Bigger Picture, Monkey Love Experiments and My Dad. The British Short Film nominations are Boogaloo and Graham, Emotional Fusebox, The Kármán Line, Slap and Three Brothers.

The nominees for the EE Rising Star Award, announced earlier this week, are Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jack O’Connell, Margot Robbie, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. This audience award is voted for by the British public and presented to an actor or actress who has demonstrated exceptional talent and promise.

The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday Feb. 8 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD, preceded by a red carpet show on BBC Three. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world.

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Robert Morris' offensive disparity

Written by Craig Meyer on .

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(Photo: AP)

In an uneven 2014-15 season for Robert Morris, one in which it has yet to win consecutive games, nothing has embodied its early struggles more than the gap that exists between the quality of its offensive and defensive play.

Though the Colonials' matchup 2-3 zone has been fairly stingy this season, ranking 157th of 351 Division I teams in defensive efficiency, they have been lethargic on the offensive end, averaging 94.9 points per 100 possessions, which puts them 280th in Division I.

The difference in their offensive and defensive efficiency rankings is the 93rd largest in Division I and the highest of the 10 teams in the Northeast Conference. For reference, here's how they all stack up:

Team Difference in efficiency ranks  
Central Connecticut State 5  
Saint Francis (Pa.) 11  
Mount St. Mary's 24  
Bryant 26  
St. Francis (N.Y.) 43  
Sacred Heart 47  
LIU Brooklyn 64  
Fairleigh Dickinson 64  
Wagner 91  
Robert Morris 123  

It's important to note that a low efficiency difference isn't the ultimate barometer of a good team. Central Connecticut State's offensive and defensive efficiency rankings are only separated by five spots, but those ranks are 318 and 323. In short, the Blue Devils are a balanced team, but very far from a good one.

That 123 number isn't an indictment of Robert Morris as an entire team, but rather its offense, which is the major contributor to that disparity.

The Colonials are as statistically inept on offense as they have been in the KenPom era (dating back to 2002), by a wide margin. On average, they are averaging about 11 fewer points per 100 possessions then they were last season, when they ranked 155th in Division I in offensive efficiency. Here's how this se9ason's team stacks up historically:

Season Offensive efficiency (Rank)
2014-15 94.9 (280)
2013-14 105.2 (155)
2012-13 102.5 (139)
2011-12 104.8 (100)
2010-11 101.1 (178)
2009-10 98.7 (205)
2008-09 99.9 (201)
2007-08 101.4 (180)
2006-07 104.7 (127)
2005-06 103.2 (135)
2004-05 101.6 (155)
2003-04 99.1 (200)
2002-03 103.1 (123)
2001-02 98.8 (201)

All of these numbers bring about a straightforward enough question -- what's going on with this team's offense?

While these aren't meant to be all-encompassing explanations, I'll present some reasons why the Colonials aren't getting it done on the offensive end.

1. One of the team's offensive focal points is struggling


I had a story in yesterday's paper about Lucky Jones' offensive shortcomings this season and while I hate to pile too much on one particular player, it's impossible to discuss Robert Morris' lapses on offense without mentioning Jones' disappointing senior season (thus far).

His per game numbers are down, but what's more concerning are his ghastly shooting numbers -- 33.1 percent on field goals and 24.1 percent from 3-point range. In 11 of the Colonials' 15 games this season, he has shot 40 percent or worse from the field.

What's compounding the issue is how involved he is in the team's offense. He's second on the team in percentage of possessions used (28.2) and percentage of shots taken (29.1). Simply put, when someone taking that many shots or possessing the ball that much is having problems, your offense will, too.

And it's not just Jones. The leader in both of those aforementioned usage measures -- Marcquise Reed -- is having a standout freshman season with good shooting numbers, he's averaging 2.8 turnovers per game. Not only does that make it difficult to call him an efficient player, but it also harms the team's offensive numbers.

2. They're playing at a faster pace

Robert Morris isn't traditionally a slow, plodding team, but it's also a far cry from a program that likes to rapidly get up and down the court. This year, at least through the first 15 games, that's starting to change.

The Colonials are averaging 69.1 possessions per game, ranking them 40th in Division I. Since 2008, they've never averaged more than 67 possessions per game and have never ranked higher than 156th in adjusted tempo.

I can't accurately explain why the team is playing at a faster pace this season, but it may very well have some effect on why they're struggling on offense, particularly since many of the players on the current team aren't used to playing quite this fast.

3. Shot selection has been awful

More than anything else, this may be the biggest factor in explaining Robert Morris' offensive woes.

In years' past, with players like Karvel Anderson and Coron Williams, the Colonials have been a team largely dependent on 3 pointers. And, as the records in those seasons show, it's a strategy that's worked.

But have they become overly-reliant on the long ball to the point where they struggle to get points closer to the basket? The early returns from this season seem to indicate that.

Only 29 percent of the team's shots this season are coming at the rim, according to information from hoop-math.com. That's by far the lowest mark of any squad in the NEC. Making up for that lack of close field goal attempts have been 2-point jumpers, which account for 38.8 percent of its shots this season (comfortably the highest such percentage in the NEC). Robert Morris' comparison to conference opponents is visualized in the table below:

Team % of shots at rim % of shots 2-point jumpers
St. Francis (N.Y.) 49.2 17.5 
Sacred Heart 48.7 25.1 
Fairleigh Dickinson 40.6  24 
Central Connecticut State  40  33.3 
Bryant 38.3  22.3 
LIU Brooklyn  36.6  27.8 
Wagner  35.6  28.6 
Mount St. Mary's  34.3  21.6 
Saint Francis (Pa.)  32  26.5 
Robert Morris 29  38.8 

Granted, Robert Morris is making 40.5 percent of those 2-point jumpers, which isn't a terrible showing. But the frequency with which it takes them is boggling. Why settle for an outside shot that you make 40.5 percent of the time when you can get closer to the rim and attempt a shot you're making 51.3 percent of the time? After all, they're worth the exact same number of points.

One of the many things analytics has done for basketball is that it's demonstrated that mid-range jumpers, despite being a useful skill, are an inefficient way to score. Teams should, ideally, get higher percentage shots closer to the rim or focus on their efforts beyond the arc, where shots are worth more points.

At this juncture in the season, Robert Morris is failing in that test and that's part of the reason why the team is not only 6-9, but also fielding one of the worst offenses in the modern history of the program.

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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#SettingtheSEEN: Chatham Baroque's Twelfth Night Gala

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

This week was so much fun! Thank you to Richard Parsakian of Eons Fashion Antique in Shadyside for providing the most fabulous #funearalchic inspired clothing! Why were Sara and I dressed in macabre fashion, you may wonder? We previewed Chatham Baroque's Twelfth Night Gala (which is tomorrow night! Get your tickets HERE.) as they honor the 300th anniversary of the death one of the arts' greatest patrons, Louis XIV. Enjoy the show! Until next time, we'll be seeing you!

Keep up with #wheresNataliePG @NBSeen on Twitter and @NatalieBenci on Instagram

 

 

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North Catholic-Vincentian games moved to North Allegheny

Written by Mike White on .

When Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic plays Vincentian in boys or girls basketball, it always seems to be a big game. Big enough this time that both games have been moved to a bigger venue rather than Vincentian's tiny gym.

North Catholic was supposed to play at Vincentian in a girls game Monday, while the schools' boys teams were supposed to play at Vincentian Tuesday.

Vincentian's "bandbox" gym doesn't hold many fans, so Vincentian has decided to move both games to North Allegheny Monday. The girls game will be at 6 p.m. and the boys game at 7:30.

 

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Jafar Kinsey granted release, will transfer from Robert Morris

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Robert Morris freshman Jafar Kinsey has been granted his release and will transfer from the program, Colonials coach Andy Toole confirmed Friday.

Kinsey will finish the spring semester as a student at Robert Morris before transferring to another school. The news of Kinsey's release was first reported by Alex Kline of The Recruit Scoop.

The 6-foot-2 guard from Syracuse, N.Y., averaged 1.2 points and 0.9 assists in 14.3 minutes per game. He did not appear in each of the Colonials' past four games. Coming out of Jamesville-Dewitt High School, he also held scholarship offers from Albany, Boston University, Colgate and Cornell, among others.

Kinsey becomes the third Robert Morris player to leave the team this season, joining guards Charles Oliver and Jairus Lyles (the latter of whom had to sit out this season after transferring from Virginia Commonwealth). A fourth player -- walk-on and Lincoln Park graduate Ryan Skovranko -- is currently away from the team and mulling his future with the program.

The departure of Kinsey undoubtedly limits the Colonials' backcourt options, but if there was an area they could afford to lose someone, it's at the guard position. Kavon Stewart's hasn't been a world-beater at the point, but his status at that spot is pretty firmly entrenched. The scoring acumen and flash that Marcquise Reed displayed throughout the summer at the PBC Pro-Am has translated to actual games, making him perhaps the team's most reliable offensive option. If need be, he can also handle point guard duties if Stewart needs a break. There are also swing men like Rodney Pryor, Lucky Jones and David Appolon who can very easily play the two spot.

With Kinsey's absence, though, Robert Morris will -- for the second year in a row -- be left with a relatively shorthanded team. Now it's time to see if it can match the surprisingly successful results of that group.

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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