Physicality key for SU versus Pitt

Published on October 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ When it comes to individual games, rarely is there one ‘must’ for victory for Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone. It’s more about tempo. More about mindset. Most weeks, Marrone points to an array of aspects for Syracuse to defeat its opponent. Leading up to SU’s 13-9 win over South Florida, Marrone did, however, harp on one aspect of SU’s game: turnovers. Marrone said if the Orange won the turnover battle against the Bulls, SU would come away with the win. One SU turnover to two USF turnovers later, Marrone left Tampa, Fla., with the four-point victory, just as he said. Marrone said Monday there isn’t one singular, tangible ‘must’ for the Orange (4-1, 1-0 Big East) to defeat Pittsburgh (2-3, 0-0) Saturday (noon, ESPN). For Marrone, Monday was a step back from the recognition of one hard truth and a rekindling of more ambiguous and overarching goals. SU vs. Pitt will be about physicality. It won’t come down to one number. Rather, the tempo of the football. ‘The most physical team is going to win this game,’ Marrone said. ‘With the style of Pittsburgh, they are a physical team.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The challenge for Marrone and SU against Pittsburgh will perhaps come with winning those small battles in the trenches and in one-on-one matchups. And whenever the Orange can take advantage when given the chance to be physical, it will need to. That is because the one portion of the game without inherent contact — Pittsburgh punter Dan Hutchins 15-yards back from the physicality at the line on punts — will put the Orange in an unfavorable situation every offensive drive. The Panthers are first in the nation in net punting, with a 45.3 average. Marrone may need that physicality even more on defense, knowing his offense will have to sacrifice almost half a field every time Pittsburgh punts. The Orange needs to want it more, again, just like USF defensive end Craig Marshall admitted Saturday. ‘It seems like (Syracuse) wanted it more,’ Marshall said after the Bulls’ loss. ‘They did what they had to do to come away with the victory. That’s all we can say about it. … They just executed better than we did.’ The Orange will need to win the field-position battle versus the Panthers, unlike Saturday’s game against the Bulls, when USF consistently started drives inside SU territory. When the nation’s leading all-purpose runner in Ray Graham (207 yards per game) touches the football, the physical presence exuded against USF’s Mo Plancher last week will need to be there. When Jabaal Sheard — Pitt’s defensive end who is in the top 20 in the nation in both sacks and tackles for loss — attempts to rush off the edge like USF defensive ends in Marshall and David Bedford, the Orange will need to halt Sheard just like it tried (but failed to) with the pair from USF. Marshall had three sacks, and the pair combined for 12 tackles. Where Pitt differs from USF is with its punting game. Even with a poor nonphysical offensive drive, the Panthers can pin their opponents. Something extra is needed. Even if the Orange had its best few minutes of football marching 98 yards to defeat USF. It worked, but it won’t be optimal versus Pittsburgh. ‘I thrive, and I’m OK with being backed up,’ Marrone said. ‘It’s a mindset. … I like the challenge.’ But the similarities between the Panthers and Bulls, and the Orange’s subsequent preparation, are more prevalent than the differences. With the Big East schedule pitting the Orange against South Florida and Pittsburgh to begin the conference slate, Marrone wants the Orange to depart the first two weeks of conference play with a proven physical demeanor and mindset all over the field. In its first four weeks of the season prior to the bye week, the Orange did not have that mindset. Matchups against 0-6 Akron and Football Championship Subdivision teams Colgate and Maine perhaps didn’t allow for it. And a poor showing at Washington in which the Orange was plastered for 41 points simply didn’t showcase the optimal Marrone physicality. ‘I talk to the team about this,’ Marrone said. ‘It is just the beginning of the Big East conference play. We went down there and worked hard and know that all the hard work and everything put into getting to that point is just beginning.’ And against USF, the Orange harnessed that mindset to get to that point. The tempo was exuded. And the overall tempo and flow is good for the Orange. No injuries to fret about. No losses that have to linger for four to five days. Just a 4-1 record and a group that proved it can be the most physical, right when it needed to. Now it’s just about repetition. About the classic Marrone mindset, which may now start to become the norm: Prepare. Win. Repeat. ‘There isn’t a magic formula because if there is, we will be looking for it every week,’ Marrone said. ‘It’s just a matter in this game; if you aren’t ready to play every Saturday, you are going to get beat.’ aolivero@syr.edu read more

Big East : No clear frontrunner emerges in loaded Player of Year race

first_imgWhen Wes Johnson was named Big East Player of the Year last season, it was a fairly obvious choice to Villanova head coach Jay Wright. Wright thought the only other challenger was the Wildcats’ Scottie Reynolds.This year, though, Wright can’t seem to come to the same easy consensus.‘It definitely is a more wide open race than last year,’ Wright said in the Big East coaches’ teleconference on Feb. 24. ‘Last year, everyone had to choose between those two.’The distinct possibility of 11 Big East teams making the NCAA Tournament means each team has worthy players. Even teams at the bottom of the conference standings have players who will challenge for the award. There is no clear-cut favorite.Georgetown’s Austin Freeman was voted the Big East preseason Player of the Year, but he started off the season slow. That allowed Connecticut’s Kemba Walker to step up. For a while, he appeared to be the favorite.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘The early on favorite was Kemba Walker for sure, and lately it’s really tightened up,’ Stan Heath said in the Big East coaches’ teleconference on Feb. 24.Multiple players have risen to challenge Walker lately. During St. John’s rise from obscurity to No. 15 in the Associated Press poll, senior Dwight Hardy has scored at will, including his 34-point game last Saturday at Villanova.But in the Big East, so many names score at will, such as Providence’s Marshon Brooks, Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough and Georgetown’s Freeman.And the unique characteristic about the Big East is that almost every team has more than one player they rely on, Wright said. That makes the decision even more challenging for coaches.‘I think the strength of the Big East this year is that every team has a great leader, but they’re not one-man teams,’ Wright said. ‘You can go through all the guys: Notre Dame, Georgetown. Pitt’s the best team, and you have to decide between the two guards (Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker). Both of them are equally as valuable. I have no clue right now.’Wright’s view seems to be the general consensus among his fellow Big East coaches. The number of players making noise in the league represents the number of teams fighting for position in the NCAA Tournament.And it all originates from Freeman, the preseason pick. He still has a shot to win it after resurfacing from a slow start to the season. His name comes up among countless conference coaches. He’s not always first, but he finds a way to get his name out there.Louisville head coach Rick Pitino referenced Hardy and Walker before going back to Georgetown’s guard.‘There’s probably a few other guys like Freeman that you can throw in the mix as well,’ Pitino said in the Big East coaches’ teleconference on Feb. 24. ‘I’d have to give that some thought.’Players like Freeman, Hardy and Walker get more attention because they play for top teams in the Big East. Although not a necessity, both Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said players from winning teams are usually favored.‘My criteria is a guy who really is helping a team to win the league at this point,’ Brey said in the Big East coaches’ teleconference on Feb. 24. ‘I’ve always really felt it should come from somebody that’s really chasing (a title).’If there is one aspect all the coaches agree on, it’s that they don’t know who will surface from the depths and actually win the award.It won’t be Johnson or Reynolds. They’re both gone.Heath and Rutgers head coach Mike Rice agreed it is a wait-and-see process.‘I’m going to hold my hand still and wait another week and a half to see how it ends up,’ Rice said in the teleconference. ‘I haven’t looked at the numbers and all the things that go in, but that’s going to be an interesting decision because there are so many deserving individuals.’rnmarcus@syr.edu Published on March 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Rachel: rnmarcus@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more

MBB : Last time they played: Syracuse vs. DePaul

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ With 8:53 left in the first half on Jan. 30, 2010, No. 4 Syracuse was down 18 to DePaul. The Blue Demons were 1-7 in the Big East. SU was 7-1. The Orange was in danger of becoming the victim of a major upset.‘We stunk,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said after the game. ‘You have to give DePaul credit.’Syracuse may have ‘stunk’ to Boeheim, but a potential upset-clinching DePaul 3-pointer missed. With that, so did the Blue Demon’s chances of playing spoilers.SU was able to escape the Blue Demons with a 59-57 win over DePaul in Rosemont, Ill. And the victory came due to a defensive change and mini-runs.‘I think we were a little slow coming out, and it seemed they wanted it a little bit more in the first half, and they were making all the shots, and they were beating us to the rebounds,’ sophomore forward Kris Joseph said. ‘It took us a while to click, and after we started pressing and we got onboard a little bit and our momentum got us going, I think that helped us out. Once we started pressing, it helped us out tremendously.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe slow start Joseph referred to was one that led to the team’s 18-point first-half deficit. SU guard Andy Rautins wasn’t hitting his shots, and the Orange couldn’t seem to score consistently. DePaul made seven of its first eight attempts from the field against SU’s 2-3 zone.But despite being outplayed, SU clawed its way back from the 18-point deficit and trailed 35-31 at halftime.‘They came out hot, and it’s tough, and you have to fight through it,’ Rautins said. ‘We chipped away, and our defense got better as the game progressed, and we should have been better on the glass. Rick (Jackson) had a couple of blocks down the stretch and a couple big rebounds, and we had a huge dunk by Wes (Johnson). We made plays when it mattered.’One of those players who made shots toward the end was guard Scoop Jardine. Fighting back from yet another deficit, this time 54-49 with 5:31 left, Jardine gave the Orange its first lead of the game at 56-54. It eventually increased to 59-54.And though the Orange only managed to win by two against a Big East bottom feeder, Jardine was pleased with the win.‘We grinded it out,’ he said. ‘This really showed what we were made of tonight. I’m just happy for everybody. It was a team thing — it wasn’t just one individual. Everyone made a part of this one or did something to make this one.’Forward Johnson, who had a team-high 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in the win, could breathe easy after that potential game-winner missed.The Orange could revel in a close victory in a game in which it didn’t play its best.‘I was just hoping (DePaul’s last-second 3) didn’t go in because I really wanted to go back home,’ Johnson said. ‘Because it was going to be a long plane ride back home. It was a good look for him.’–Compiled by Rachel Marcus, asst. copy editor, rnmarcus@syr.edu Commentscenter_img Published on March 3, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

Year in Sports : The NCAA bowl system has a reputation of big payouts

first_img Published on April 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Jon: jdharr04@syr.edu Comments Year in Sports: Part 1 of 9For Doug Marrone and the contingent of Syracuse players on the field at Rutgers, this scene was special. Following SU’s 13-10 win at Rutgers on Nov. 13, this group had ensured the Orange’s first bowl appearance since 2004.Seniors rejoiced. Four — maybe five — years of work finally paid off. Players bowled their helmets. After the game, SU’s head coach Marrone stood proudly at the podium to deliver his postgame press conference. His goal had been met.But for Athletic Director Daryl Gross, the work was just beginning before the program would eventually accept an invitation to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium.That’s because Syracuse’s return to a bowl game meant a return to a system in which financial deficits are commonly a consequence of participating in a bowl game. It’s a system Jake Crouthamel, SU’s athletic director from 1978 to 2005, knew well.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘People don’t realize the huge amount of expense there is,’ Crouthamel said. ‘You’re taking the band, you’re taking cheerleaders, you’re taking some faculty members and administrators, you’re paying bonuses to coaches, you’re paying bonuses to some of the staff members, and your commitment to tickets can’t possibly all be sold.‘It’s really a major undertaking and it’s more red ink — as if we need more red ink.’Crouthamel said bowl games often ended up losing Syracuse University money. That was the case in the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl. That bowl game, which ended in a 51-14 loss to Georgia Tech, was the last time the Orange had played in a bowl game prior to the Pinstripe Bowl.But in the Dec. 30 Pinstripe Bowl, which the Orange won 36-34 over Kansas State, the university came close to balancing its expenses and revenue after the Big East conference distributed payouts to the six Big East football teams that played in a bowl, Gross said.‘We are happy to have been in a bowl game. It is a reward for a great season. The expenses and payout for the bowl are almost equal. We do foresee a small profit, which will be reinvested in the program as we continue its resurgence,’ Gross said in a statement.During a Feb. 9 University Senate meeting, Gross said the football team received a little more than $1 million by attending the Pinstripe Bowl, but ticket allotment and team expenses lowered that amount.Crouthamel said bowl revenue is always put back into the program to aid in overcoming the deficit of the program. ‘Anything extra that an athletic program can generate goes back into the program to cover the red ink,’ he said.SU’s athletic department declined to provide financial information pertaining to the football team’s appearance in the Pinstripe Bowl. As a private institution, the university isn’t required to release financial data. Pinstripe Bowl officials also declined to provide financial figures for this article.For Crouthamel, the costs of playing in non-BCS bowls have been overwhelming in the past and remain overwhelming today. But it would be hard to justify changing the current bowl system.‘It’s difficult to say let’s get rid of the system because, from a financial standpoint, the coaches don’t suffer, the staff doesn’t suffer, but the program suffers,’ he said.Crouthamel said SU was lucky financially to be invited to the Pinstripe Bowl.‘That’s a bus ride down there for the team instead of getting on an airplane and flying cheerleaders and band members and everybody else down there,’ he said. ‘That was a godsend from an expense standpoint.’Kansas State ended up making $125,089 from the bowl game, according to KSU’s 2010-11 Institutional Bowl Expenses report. Kansas State had to absorb 219 tickets while the Big 12 conference failed to sell 82 of its allotted tickets, for a total expense of $35,155.Kansas State’s total bowl expenses were $1,348,511. The university received an expense allowance from the Big 12 of $1,473,600, made up of an appearance fee and travel allowance.The Big 12 and Kansas State received a lower ticket allotment than the Big East for the Pinstripe Bowl because of Syracuse’s proximity to New York City, said Kenny Lannou, Kansas State’s director of athletic communications.‘We broke even pretty much, and I think that’s the case for most of the bowls outside the BCS,’ Lannou said. ‘I think the exposure, the experience, and then from a football standpoint, to get back to the postseason for recruiting and then the extra practices, I think it outweighs the cost.’Big East payoutAlthough the Pinstripe Bowl had a payout of $2 million to each of the participating schools, the SU football team never saw the money.The Big East shares all of its postseason revenue, a common trait among many of the country’s conferences. The payouts from each of the bowls are pooled together before being allocated to the teams that play in bowls. In the 2010-11 bowl season, six teams from the Big East took part in bowl games. Regardless of a win or loss in the bowl, both teams receive the same payout.The athletic directors of the Big East’s member schools agree on a preset amount the school will be paid for appearing in its respective bowl to cover its expenses, said Nick Carparelli, senior associate commissioner of the Big East. By having preset amounts, the conference may end up giving certain schools more money than the payout of the school’s bowl game, which helps to alleviate the issue of schools losing money by participating in bowl games.‘One of the philosophies behind being in a conference is that the conference as a whole generates greater revenue than any one school could generate on its own,’ Carparelli said.Each bowl team gets an appearance fee and a travel allowance from the Big East included in the payout. SU received a total of $1.6 million from the Big East, which is less than the $2 million Pinstripe Bowl payout. That payout included a $1.5 million appearance fee and a $100,000 travel allowance, Carparelli said.The teams know in advance what their payout will be, so they know if their spending will go under or over budget, he said.‘If they want to stay within the budget and make a little extra or if they come in under budget, that’s their business. If they want to spend more than their appearance fee for a given reason, that’s their prerogative as well,’ he said.The $1.5 million appearance fee given to Syracuse was the second largest fee allocated by the Big East this bowl season, trailing only Connecticut’s fee of about $2 million.West Virginia, which played in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 28, received a $1.3 million appearance fee and an approximately $200,000 travel allowance from the Big East, said John Paquette, associate commissioner of the Big East. The Champs Sports Bowl had a payout of $2.13 million.Paquette said the conference’s travel allowance given out to its bowl teams ends up being between $100,000 to $300,000, depending on how far the school has to travel.Pittsburgh, which participated in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., on Jan. 8, received an appearance fee of $1.1 million and a travel allowance of around $150,000 from the conference, Paquette said. The Compass Bowl had a combined payout of $1.5 million.E.J. Borghetti, senior associate athletic director at Pittsburgh, said in an email the rewards of playing in a bowl game outweigh the financial considerations. Some of these rewards are increased national exposure, a chance to play teams from different conferences and additional practice time.‘Even lower-profile bowls are televised by national networks,’ Borghetti said. ‘That benefits recruiting, alumni relations and the overall visibility of your program.’Ticket allotmentAnother concern of the bowl process is the ticket requirement every bowl places on participating schools.‘One of the obligations that a school has in accepting an invitation to a bowl game is to bring its fans,’ Carparelli said. ‘In every bowl agreement, there’s a ticket commitment that’s involved, and if a school sells all their tickets, then that’s a positive for a lot of reasons. If they don’t, the school is on the hook for the tickets they have not sold.’Connecticut was on the hook for 14,729 unsold tickets of the 17,500 it was allotted by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, according to the university’s 2010-11 Institutional Bowl Expenses report, meaning it had to absorb $2,924,385 in ticket expenses. When added to the university’s other expenses — including travel, lodging and meal expenses for the team, staff, band and cheerleaders — Connecticut ended up with a total of $4,280,998 in expenses.‘I think our ticket sales would’ve been increased if we were in a bowl that was a little closer,’ said Mike Enright, associate director of athletics at Connecticut. ‘Obviously Phoenix is far away and is an expensive place to fly to.’Despite playing in the Fiesta Bowl, which has a payout of $17 million, Connecticut was given an expense allowance from the Big East of $2,523,200. By participating in the Fiesta Bowl, Connecticut ended up losing more than $1.7 million.‘It’s really not the BCS’ concern on whether individual schools make or lose money on their games,’ said Paquette, the associate commissioner of the Big East.Although Connecticut lost money in the Fiesta Bowl, Enright said it was worth playing in the game to gain exposure for the football program and the university.After paying all of its bowl teams, the Big East takes the remainder of its BCS money and funds from its television contract and splits it up into eight equal shares — one for each Big East football member, Paquette said. The equal revenue share for each conference team has been reported as between $2 million to $2.5 million per school, he said.From the 2010-11 bowl games, the Big East received a net BCS revenue of $21.2 million as a conference with an automatic bid to the BCS. The conference had approximately $30 million in funds before the 2010-11 bowl payouts were allocated among the bowl-participating teams. Then the remainder was split into equal revenue shares to each Big East school, Paquette said.Champion in the redThe scene in Glendale, Ariz., was similar to the Syracuse postgame field celebration at Rutgers — on a much larger scale. After Auburn won the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 10, the program collectively rejoiced after it was surrounded by a scandal during the season.But in the current bowl system, Auburn lost more than $600,000 in the game.Auburn was allotted 17,400 tickets, according to Auburn’s 2010-11 Institutional Bowl Expenses report. The school had to absorb 2,456 unsold tickets, an expense of $781,825. When added to the university’s other expenses, Auburn spent a total of $2,901,706.The BCS National Championship Game had a payout of $17 million. But Auburn’s conference, the Southeastern Conference, pools its bowl revenue together and then splits it into 13 shares, said Scott Carr, senior assistant athletic director at Auburn. One share is given to each of the conference’s 12 teams, and the other goes to the league office, he said.Auburn received an expense allowance of $2,287,600 from the SEC, which failed to cover its more than $2.9 million in expenses.Similarly, in the Western Athletic Conference, each school’s bowl payout goes to the conference, and then the WAC gives each bowl team an expense allowance, said Mike Waller, associate athletic director at Boise State.‘We want the conference to be as successful as possible,’ Waller said. ‘If there’s money made or saved by the expenses of a bowl, then everybody in the conference helps share in that luxury.’But Boise State lost money in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas on Dec. 22, which had a payout of $1 million. Boise State had to absorb 3,059 tickets, an expense of $168,245, according to the university’s 2010-11 Institutional Bowl Expenses report.Boise State’s total expenses for the bowl game were $585,603. The university was given only a $375,000 expense allowance from the WAC. At Boise State, like so many schools under the system, it’s only about breaking even.‘I would say that at Boise State, we try our best to break even,’ Waller said. ‘We’re pretty good at breaking even on what the conference gives us. If we’re in a BCS game, like the Fiesta Bowl, then that’s a different story because the payout is so much larger. But in a non-BCS game, we attempt very strongly just to break even.’jdharr04@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

MBB : Brown: Defense, depth of 2011-12 Orange can’t be matched

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img There are two main differences between this year’s Syracuse basketball team and any other team in SU history.After the regular-season finale Saturday, Brandon Triche summed up what makes this team special and did it in order of importance.‘Our defense is on point,’ he said. ‘That’s all that matters right now. … You’ve got to be able to play defense. And we’ve got guys who can put the ball in the basket. Whether it’s first half or second half, we’re going to get it going. We have five or six guys that can do that.’There you have it. Defense and depth. Those are the keys that have allowed Syracuse to do things on the court this year that the school has never done before.It set program records for best start (20-0) and most regular-season wins (30) and didn’t lose in the Carrier Dome for the first time since the 2002-03 national championship season. The individual accolades include three All-Big East selections, the conference’s defensive player of the year in Fab Melo and the league’s best sixth man in Dion Waiters. And Saturday, it tied the Big East record with 17 wins in league play, something only one other team has done in the 33-year history of the conference.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘I know 17 wins in the Big East is really great,’ senior Scoop Jardine said. ‘It’s really great because going on the road in this conference is not easy. To go on the road and almost win every game and continue to win every game at home, what coach and what team wouldn’t want to be in the position we’re in right now?’Simply put, the only reason this team won’t go down in history as the best Syracuse team ever is if it falls short of a national title. In that case, the default goes to the 2002-03 squad that owns the program’s only national championship.But even without a national title, a handful of other teams could lay claim to the title of Syracuse’s best ever. One of the more intriguing groups in the mix is the unit from the 2009-10 season.That year, it lost to eventual runner-up Butler in the Sweet 16. It’s not a stretch to say SU could have knocked off Kansas State and Michigan State just as the Bulldogs did to reach the championship had Arinze Onuaku not suffered a knee injury in the Big East tournament. And from there, it would have been a one-game playoff with Duke.Still, this year’s Orange is better thanks to those two areas that separate it from every other Syracuse team in history. And it starts with the defense.‘Defense wins games for you,’ head coach Jim Boeheim said. ‘We’re in the top two in the league in almost all defensive categories. … You look at all the categories, we’re right there.’But the stat most indicative of just how good this team’s 2-3 zone is, is the fact that no Syracuse team in the past 60 years has ever allowed fewer points per game (60.2).The 1950-51 SU squad held opponents to 59.2 points per game. But that was more than 60 years ago. The mascot was still a Saltine Warrior, and there was no shot clock, no 3-point line and no Boeheim.The team from 2009-10 was solid defensively. The national championship team was, too. But this year’s team is special.‘We know we’re able to pressure guys,’ senior Kris Joseph said after SU’s second game of the year. ‘We have the athleticism and length to do it. And we’re going to continue to do it.’And SU has done it all season.That dominant defense has been aided by the second aspect that separates this team from the rest. Boeheim has said all year this is probably the deepest team he has had at Syracuse. That depth eliminates the need for a clear-cut star, although the aforementioned individual accolades for this team show that there might be a couple on the team anyway.In addition, constantly having fresh legs allows the Orange to play with defensive intensity every game.‘That helps,’ Joseph said. ‘We’re used to going seven, maybe eight guys deep. This year, there’s no denying that we have 10 guys that can really play.’With that depth, its defense and a 30-1 record, this Syracuse squad already has taken its place in the SU record books. With a national championship, it will go down as the best team in program history.But even without a title, it should be at the forefront of that conversation for years to come.Zach Brown is a staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at zjbrown@syr.edu or on Twitter at @zjbrown13.last_img read more

Alexander, Leary dominate glass in 2nd half to lead Syracuse to 80-35 rout of Cornell

first_imgKayla Alexander snatched a rebound, cleared space from undersized Cornell defenders and effortlessly laid the ball up and into the basket.Alexander’s putback with 17:00 remaining gave the Orange a 23-point lead. Syracuse (3-0) never looked back, dominating Cornell (2-2) on the boards Friday night en route to an 80-35 blowout win at Newman Arena in Ithaca, NY. After getting outrebounded 18-17 in the first half, SU turned that stat around after halftime. Syracuse snagged 30 rebounds compared to 12 for CU in the second half.The Orange ended up outrebounding Cornell 47-30, enabling SU to pile on 49 points in the second half and come away with the convincing 45-point win.“I thought we started the game off slow,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “At halftime, I challenged them. I said we have to care and make sure we’re physical and aggressive.”Syracuse heard that message loud and clear.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlexander crashed the glass with authority in the second half, as Syracuse’s lead continued to skyrocket.After her shot rolled around the rim and out with 9:14 to go in the game, Alexander grabbed yet another rebound, her 11th of the game.  She converted on a jumper moments later, giving Syracuse a 58-24 advantage.The Ontario native finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. After Alexander only scored four points in the first half, Hillsman said his team made a conscious effort to get her the ball in the low post.“I think early a few times she was open and they weren’t getting her the ball,” Hillsman said. “That was tough, so we made sure every time she was open she got a touch.”Along with Alexander, junior Shakeya Leary dominated on the glass, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds, five of them on the offensive glass. Hillsman looked for Leary to be aggressive and assert herself inside the paint, and she did just that.She finished 7-for-9 from the field, providing Syracuse with rebounding prowess off the bench. Despite her intensity and productivity, Leary was a bit too aggressive at times. Her minutes were limited in the second half due to foul trouble, and she eventually fouled out with 15 seconds to go.“Shakeya was strong,” Hillsman said. “If she wasn’t in foul trouble she probably would have had a really big game.”Alexander and Leary’s mammoth effort on the boards was the difference Friday night. Cornell was outmatched size-wise and couldn’t contain the 6-foot-4 inch Alexander and 6-foot-3 inch Leary.Cornell forwards Clare Fitzpatrick and Kristina Danielak, both 6 foot 1, had difficulty matching the physicality and length of Alexander and Leary.After starting the game 0-for-5 and not scoring a field goal until the 14:22 mark, Syracuse was out of whack offensively. Then, everything started to click, as the Orange began to rebound the ball and get easy layups.Leary got the offense going by corralling an offensive rebound and getting fouled on a shot attempt. She went to the line and drilled two free throws.From that point on, rebounding became contagious for Syracuse, particularly in the second half.Syracuse travels to St. Joseph’s to face the Hawks Tuesday Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. The Orange will look to dominate on the boards yet again, this time against a bigger, more formidable team from a rebounding standpoint.“Night-in and night-out we just need to continue to just pound the ball inside and play in the paint,” Hillsman said. Comments Published on November 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm Contact Trevor: tbhass@syr.edu | @TrevorHass Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Gotta be fresh: Syracuse welcomes Clemson before tough road swing

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 7, 2014 at 12:38 am Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2 Exhaustion had set in. With two games in three days, three in eight and four in 10, Syracuse had entered one of the most grueling stretches of its schedule. The emotional win against Duke was in the rear view. All the Orange had to do was outlast Notre Dame and it would survive the taxing stretch.C.J. Fair could feel it in his legs — or, rather, he couldn’t feel anything. Every time he left his feet for a jump shot, everything felt good, but nothing would fall.“You might think, what’s wrong with my shot? Is it not jumping enough? Or is my legs tired?” the forward said. “Because sometimes when your body’s tired you don’t really feel it during the game, but like other people can see you don’t jump enough in your shot. But to yourself, it’s like you shot regularly.”As Fair struggled against the Fighting Irish, so did SU. A game that No. 1 Syracuse should have been able to cruise through became yet another close contest in a season full of them. The Orange (22-0, 9-0 Atlantic Coast) will enter the Carrier Dome on Sunday for a 6 p.m. tipoff against Clemson (15-6, 6-3) after six days off, just enough time to gear up for another series of tests. The Tigers come to the Carrier Dome, but road games against No. 25 Pittsburgh, No. 11 Duke, Maryland and Florida State fill the final month of the regular-season schedule. At this stage of the season, weariness is a real issue.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think it was fatigue,” SU guard Tyler Ennis said after the 61-55 win against the Fighting Irish on Monday. He didn’t blame an emotional letdown, but just the regular challenge of two games in 48 hours.“Mentally, we weren’t all there at some points, but we had enough to pull it out.”This week became one to regroup and recover. Fair needs to get his legs — and his jump shot — back. Ennis and Jerami Grant need a few days off to gather themselves and return to the form they had against the Blue Devils.Syracuse got Tuesday off and has made an effort to stay fresh even during the rapid-fire stretch of games.“After each practice you try to get in the ice bath, try to get some ice — just to keep your body refreshed,” Fair said. “But still, it takes a toll on you when you play a lot of games in a short amount of time.”The six days off brings more of the same.“Definitely just ice baths — anything,” Grant said. “Stretching a lot. Just trying to stay in shape throughout everything.”The style that Clemson plays, though, could make the days off obsolete. The Tigers slow the pace and clamp down on defense. It’s the same brand of basketball that so many lesser teams have used to scare the Orange this year. Miami (Fla.) and Boston College — two .500 or worse teams — kept the score in the 50s or lower to stay competitive with Syracuse earlier this season. Clemson ranks second in the nation in scoring defense and is another team that can batter SU and wear it down.UND does similar things, too. Syracuse drove the lane effectively against Duke, but couldn’t do that against the Irish. With only one day off, another physical team gave the Orange fits.“Notre Dame did what they do against us every year,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “They take time off the clock and they move the ball.”Of course, Notre Dame also benefited from one of the worst games of Fair’s career. If the issue was fatigue, as he guessed it might have been, that shouldn’t plague him again on Sunday.The schedule only gets tougher from here, but with a full-strength Fair, Syracuse is in good shape.“I wasn’t getting enough lift from my legs on my jump shot. Every time I shot I thought it was good and then it was off,” Fair said. “I’ve just got to keep confidence and not change anything because I’ve made those shots before.” Commentslast_img read more

Aguayo continues dominance as country’s best kicker after breaking record, winning national championship in 1st season

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Roberto Aguayo had only played 13 games in his college football career, but he’d already won the Lou Groza Award for the nation’s top kicker. He had only missed one of his 22 field goals. He had made 93 straight extra points.But as Aguayo trotted onto the Rose Bowl field with 13 seconds left in the national championship game, he needed a 94th. With Florida State leading Auburn by two, one more extra point not only stood between the Seminoles and a national title, but also Aguayo and the NCAA single-season points record.He took a practice swing, looked at the uprights and aimed. He took three steps back, two to the side, nodded to his holder and booted it through.On top of last year’s dominance, the sophomore is 12-for-12 on field goals and 22-of-22 on PATs this year. He most recently won Atlantic Coast Conference specialist of the week for the No. 1 team in the country, and with a combination of confidence, pinpoint accuracy and consistency, remains the best kicker in all of college football.“I’ve never seen it,” said Marcus Banks, Aguayo’s high school coach at South Lake (Florida) High School. “I’ve never heard of a kicker being so consistent and accurate. The balls look alike. Everything is straight down the middle. Everything is so perfect.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Right now he thinks he’s the best kicker in the NFL. I call it a little bit of arrogance, but not like arrogance in a bad way.”Aguayo has shared the Florida State sideline with high-profile names like Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston and reigning NFL offensive rookie of the month Kelvin Benjamin.He knows they get all the credit. He says he doesn’t really do that much, but the man who says he’s “kind of like a sniper or a stealth guy” knows his job matters, too.“They’re the front guys, the guys that everyone sees like Jameis, but we’re the guys that are undercover, sniping people you know, kind of like that,” Aguayo said of his role as a kicker. “People might not notice it, but at the end of the day, I notice it and I know that I did what I have to do.”But a year before Aguayo hit that extra point in front of 94,208 people he was strictly a bystander.Stuck behind former Buffalo Bills’ kicker Dustin Hopkins, Aguayo redshirted his first year at FSU and watched as E.J. Manuel led the Seminoles to only two losses and a blowout win over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl.“I had started all four years in my high school career, so it was kind of weird at first, practicing every day then going out Saturday and not playing,” Aguayo said. “I grasped a lot of things that year, just learning, just observing what Dustin did and how the process was here in college.”When Aguayo was given his time by FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher, though, he seized it. Through his first eight college games, Aguayo had made all 12 field goals and each of his 53 extra-point attempts. At that point, the media blew up, he said, and discussion started to arise that a first-year player could take the Groza Award.Banks said he knew his four-year kicker had been ready for this moment.In high school, when South Lake was in punting position, Banks would send out his kicker. From his own 40-yard line, Aguayo would line up for a 70-yard field goal. Banks knew it wasn’t splitting the uprights, but if the ball reached the end zone, it was considered a touchback regardless. So he’d send Aguayo out instead of his punter to ensure the ball made it there.“His mental toughness was off the charts at the age of 14,” Banks said. “I knew kicking in front of 80, 90,000 people wouldn’t bother him at all. He had that it factor at the age of 14 and the big stage didn’t bother him.”Aguayo’s consistency and accuracy persisted and by the end of the 2013 regular season, he was in contention to receive an invitation to the college football awards ceremony in West Palm Beach, Florida, as one of the nation’s top-three kickers after just 13 collegiate games.“Wow, you know you really can win the Groza, blah, blah, blah” is what Aguayo said he repeatedly heard.He didn’t care though, and when Aguayo’s long snapper and holder joked that he was a finalist, he responded, “Nah, nah.”But FSU associate sports information director Kerwin Lonzo broke the news to Aguayo hours before the finalists were announced nationally. A few days later, Aguayo headed to West Palm Beach where he eventually won the award.“Of course his fundamentals and talent are tremendous, but when you combine that with a very intelligent young man, a guy that works very hard,” Fisher said. “… I mean, he’s a tremendous, tremendous football player, there’s no doubt.”Now that Aguayo’s reputation as the nation’s best kicker has become commonplace, it’s become a habit and a routine, he said.Each time Aguayo steps on the field, it’s the same practice kick, glance at the uprights and aim. Then comes the same three steps back, two to the side and nod to his holder.“And it’s off,” Aguayo said.“I’m just glad that people appreciate a good kicker.” Comments Published on October 10, 2014 at 1:04 am Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidmanlast_img read more

Syracuse reacts to getting No. 2 seed in NCAA tournament despite holding nation’s top rank

first_imgBobby Wardwell called it a slap in the face. Tim Barber tweeted that his team was “shafted.” Derek DeJoe tweeted his surprised reaction that the decision came down to the NCAA’s money.As Syracuse gathered together to watch the NCAA tournament selection show on Sunday night, senior Kevin Rice said there was an immediate “whatever” when No. 1 Syracuse (12-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) was announced as the second seed in the NCAA tournament behind No. 2 Note Dame.Syracuse head coach John Desko alluded his team may have the statistical edge against the Fighting Irish, but ultimately a 13-12 double-overtime loss in South Bend, Indiana on March 28 tipped the scale in favor of UND.“I feel like every year I watch the seedings it’s always a surprise,” Desko said.Wardwell stepped back from his “slap in the face” comment, but added that if he were a voting member of the committee he would’ve voted SU as the top seed.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs the No. 2 seed, SU will face the winner Wednesday’s play-in game between Bryant (8-9, 4-2 Northeast) and Marist (13-3, 6-0 Metro Atlantic) on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.It was Bryant last season that dispatched the Orange in a 10-9 first-round upset win for the Bulldogs in the Carrier Dome. While Syracuse can’t spend the beginning of its week preparing for one specific opponent, SU’s veterans seem to have a consensus on which team they desire to play.“We obviously wanted the one seed but I think if you ask anyone who was on the team last year,” Rice said, “they want another shot at Bryant.”“Everyone wants a second chance at that game,” Wardwell, a senior goalkeeper, added.On the cusp of the final NCAA tournament run for a majority of SU’s key contributors, Syracuse had former player and current Navy SEAL Lt. Commander Rorke Denver deliver a motivational speech on Monday.Rice said Rorke’s message centered around passion and commitment, in addition to the sacrifice that each player will have to make for one another during the four-week run to an NCAA championship.The sentiment resonated with Rice and his fellow seniors with the start of the NCAA tournament looming at the end of the week.“It seems like yesterday I was a sophomore and we were making the run to the final four,” Rice said. “You just don’t get that many opportunities at winning at championship.“You have to take every one with as much passion and commitment as you can.” Comments Published on May 4, 2015 at 6:38 pm Contact Connor: cgrossma@syr.edu | @connorgrossman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

New students from India at USC decrease

first_imgThe number of students from India at USC declined from fall 2010 to fall 2011, following a growing trend at universities across the nation.India ranked fourth among the top geographic areas outside the United States for USC enrollment with 1,265 students from India enrolled at USC, which represents a 15 percent decrease over the last academic year, according to the Office of International Services.This year there was a 1 percent drop in the number of students from India currently enrolled at universities in the United States. Students from India comprise 14.4 percent of international college students in the United States, which remains the most sought after destination for Indian students, according to the 2011 Open Doors annual survey by the United States International Institute of Education.Jaynit Raheja, a freshman majoring in business administration, said the high cost of education in the United States is discouraging students from India to study abroad. The average annual cost of private university education in India is $3,620, according to the Indian Ministry for Human Resource Development. The average annual tuition at a four-year private university in the United States is $36,000, according to the College Board.“The cost of education in the [United States] is way higher than it is in India. Hence, many students are choosing to stay back and then study abroad for their post-grad degrees,” Raheja said.The most common major for Indian students is engineering. More than 36 percent of Indian students are pursuing careers in these fields because of cultural values based on science and math-based education, according to the Open Doors survey.Tony Tambascia, executive director of the Office of International Services, said the university’s increased presence in India, including the opening of a new office in Mumbai this year, will help reverse the current decline in enrollment of Indian students.“USC has a strong history of enrolling students from India, as well as some key partnerships with institutions in that country. And recently USC has increased our presence in India, specifically by establishing a new office in Mumbai, as well as increased recruiting by admission staff,” Tambascia said. “These efforts will help the university maintain its position as a leading destination for some of the best students from India.”Raheja said despite a decrease in the number of students from India enrolled at the university, attending USC is still a valuable experience.“USC enables Indians to gain exposure to and respect different cultures while still being in touch with their own culture,” Raheja said. “Life in India is very family oriented; studying at USC has allowed me to become a part of a new family, the Trojan Family.”last_img read more