NBA Draft, London Olympics among major summer events

first_imgSyracuse will remain in the sports headlines throughout the summer. The men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse and softball teams all open postseason play in May with hopes of making deep runs in the NCAA tournament. The NBA Draft and Summer Olympics will feature former Orange athletes moving on to the next stop in their careers. And finally, the football team will open training camp in August in preparation of the 2012 season. Here’s a look at some notable events involving SU athletes to keep an eye on this summer: NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament May 12-28 Saturday at noon, Syracuse faces No. 3 seed Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Revenge, a postseason hot streak and the future of its season are on the line. The Orange (9-7) lost to the Blue Devils (13-4) 12-10 on April 1, but have momentum after running through a must-win Big East tournament. Had the Orange not beaten both Villanova and St. John’s, it would have likely missed the tournament for the first time since 2007. The matchup with Duke at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C., could come down to Syracuse’s ability to contain a potent attack from the Blue Devils, which average 11.24 goals per game. The hosts are the favorites, but the Orange is playing its best lacrosse all season, coming off the Big East tournament. And SU has history on its side, winning all three of its previous meetings with Duke in the NCAA tournament. An Orange upset would lead to a quarterfinals contest with the winner of Massachusetts-Colgate for a trip to the Final Four at Gillette Stadium. NBA Draft June 28 Dion Waiters is the top pro prospect out of Syracuse this season. The former SU guard is projected as a top-20 pick in the draft, which takes place June 28 in Newark, N.J. ESPN college basketball and NBA draft analyst Fran Fraschilla has said that Waiters’ ‘combination of size, speed and power to the rim’ might make him the top guard in the draft. The NBA fates of Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine and Fab Melo will likely be decided after Waiters is selected. Joseph is rated as an early second-round pick. Melo, who declared for the draft after missing the NCAA Tournament due to an eligibility issue, is expected to go late in the first round. And SU fans will have to stay tuned through the last picks to see if a team takes a flyer on Jardine. Summer Olympics July 27 to Aug. 12 As many as 10 current and former Syracuse athletes in four different sports could be representing up to four different nations in the Summer Olympics in London. The most famous and certain of these potential Olympians is former SU basketball star and 2003 national champion Carmelo Anthony. He and current Orange head coach Jim Boeheim are expected to defend Team USA’s gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Games. Anthony started on that team and Boeheim was an assistant coach. In women’s field hockey, former SU midfielder Shannon Taylor is a strong candidate to be selected to Lee Bodimeade’s final 16-player roster. Former SU rower Mike Gennaro and alumni Martin Etem and Justin Stangel are all competing for spots on American rowing teams this summer, while Natalie Mastracci hopes to represent Canada. Flings Owusu-Agyapong looks to represent her native Ghana in the 100-meter dash and the 4×100 meter relay, while hurdler Jarret Eaton will compete in the U.S. Olympic trials June 22. SU alumni Mike LeBlanc (100-meter dash, Canada) and Ramon Sosa (110-meter hurdles, Dominican Republic) also harbor Olympic aspirations for this summer. Syracuse football training camp August Syracuse football is a team in flux. Last season, the seemingly up-and-coming Orange looked to build on its victory in the Pinstripe Bowl. But an ugly five-game losing streak to end the season kept it from reaching the postseason in 2011. SU will need to refocus when training camp begins in early August. Even with redshirt senior Ryan Nassib returning as quarterback, the entire Orange offense underperformed in SU’s 9-0 Spring Game on April 21. This summer, Nassib will need to create a rapport with Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales to help the unit go into the season with some confidence. After losing Chandler Jones and several other starters, the SU defense has some reshuffling to do, too. The Orange faces a daunting 2012 schedule, including contests against Southern California and Missouri. If Syracuse doesn’t start strong out of camp, it could be a long season. -Compiled by The Daily Orange Sports staff AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Published on May 8, 2012 at 12:00 pmlast_img