Homecoming bookstore sales down

first_imgDespite an early start time and a crushing defeat for USC, the Homecoming game against Stanford on Saturday brought in more sales to the USC Pertusati bookstore than expected, though not as much as last year.The bookstore made about $300,000 on Homecoming day, and approximately $550,000 over the entire weekend.In previous years, the bookstore averaged about $1,000 in sales per minute during peak Homecoming hours; this year, sales topped out at $930 per minute.Daniel Archer, director of the bookstore, said part of the reason for the decline in sales might have been the early kickoff. A 12:30 start, he said, meant customers didn’t have much time to purchase merchandise beforehand.But more customers than usual purchased bookstore merchandise after the game, which Archer attributed to the unfortunate results.“Sadly, it’s ironic … So many people left the game and our store was really busy,” Archer said. “It’s almost like retail therapy.”Archer said once “disenchanted fans” left the Coliseum, they needed to do something else to distract themselves and found shopping at the bookstore a good option.Archer said this accounted for the unusually strong sales during the second half of the day — that is, about $50,000 in sales from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.Though sales were still down from last year’s Homecoming, Archer said sales were actually higher than anticipated, which he partially attributed to the recovering economy.Overall, Archer was pleased with the results of bookstore sales, saying they were “very comparable to … last year,” and that it was a successful Homecoming weekend for the bookstore.last_img read more

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Freshman pair steals spotlight from Nixon on Senior Day

first_imgMEGHAN CONLIN/Herald photoThe UW men’s basketball team’s 80-74 victory over Minnesota Sunday marked the final home game for the team’s lone senior, forward Ray Nixon.And while his seven-point performance didn’t turn any heads in the Kohl Center, it’s been the way he has handled himself over his career that has made a lasting impression.”He’s a college athlete that took advantage of an opportunity,” head coach Bo Ryan said. “That doesn’t make great drama, I’m sure, for some people.”Although Nixon’s story may not be dramatic, it is rather admirable.Nixon could’ve gone to several other universities and possibly played more minutes than he has in his time here, but he had a goal in mind when coming to Wisconsin.Even when he didn’t play much as a freshman, he stayed true to his plan.”Ray just wanted to be at Wisconsin and play and get his degree here,” Ryan said. “I’ll coach those guys forever. Those are the kind of guys I want playing for me.”Ray’s a class act, always has been,” he added. “He promised his parents and family what he was going to do, and some people just don’t make a big deal out of it. They just do it.”For Alando Tucker, Sunday’s game was just the way he wanted to send Nixon out and honor his teammate and close friend of the last four years.”It was his day,” Tucker said. “It was great. To see the things that he’s accomplished over the four years from not playing very much [in] the first two years and sticking with it.”Bench contributions: Certainly none of the Badgers were trying to overshadow Nixon on Senior Day, but Ryan’s bench may have done just that.Forward Kevin Gullikson continues to make great strides in just his freshman season and arguably had his best game of the year Sunday with a career-high 12 points.”He was opportunistic and he worked for rebounding position that he was able to get,” Ryan said. “He got on a little run there and had some good energy.”Another freshman, forward Joe Krabbenhoft, also had a solid game coming off the bench Sunday.Krabbenhoft posted his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds — just another sign of how well he has adjusted to the collegiate game since first stepping on campus.”He did a great job of keeping everything out in front of him and banging hard and playing hard,” Ryan said. “His results were better tonight than the other game (against Minnesota).”Krabbenhoft’s play has reassured himself of his abilities, and, as a result, he feels he has settled into his role on the team.”I try not to view myself as a freshman anymore,” Krabbenhoft said. “I’ve got to put that freshman business behind and just play. It doesn’t matter what age you are. Ray’s a senior doing his thing and (Gullikson and I) are a couple of young guys helping in, chipping in to keep getting those wins.”Free throws made the difference: The Badgers bounced back against Minnesota following their 62-51 loss to Northwestern last Thursday, and the difference was getting to the free throw line.In the game against the Wildcats, Wisconsin was rather passive with its offensive penetration and only got to the free-throw line 18 times.Come Sunday, the Badgers made a conscious effort to get to the rim and, thus, shoot more free throws.And they did so with a staggering 36 attempts from the charity stripe.With the Gophers hitting six more field goals than Wisconsin, there was no doubt the Badgers’ ability to get to the free throw line was the key to victory.”We did a much better job today than some other games of getting in position and getting post feeds or getting people off their feet — that’s how you get to the line and then play with the lead,” Ryan said. “We have lost a couple of games because Michigan and Northwestern, they don’t miss a free throw down the stretch, and we just closed out on one the same way.”last_img read more

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Tryouts produce walk-on

first_imgLess than two weeks after inviting any interested UW studentto participate in an open tryout for the men’s basketball team, the Badgershave welcomed their newest member to the squad, walk-on freshman WquintonSmith.Smith, a 5-foot-11-inch, 200-pound guard from Milwaukee KingHigh School, impressed coaches enough to beat out the several other finalists whohad a shot at making the team.”He’s a very good student who was very good high schoolplayer on a very good team,” head coach Bo Ryan said of Smith.Ryan also cited Smith’s impressive physique and conditioningas major factors in the walk-on winning the roster spot.Playing for the Generals, one of the state’s top teams, lastseason Smith averaged 8.2 points per game while earning second team all-cityhonors, despite shooting just 59 percent from the free-throw line.”He’s a Milwaukee boy, so I like him,” junior forward andfellow Brew City native Marcus Landry said, even though Landry played at heatedKing rival Vincent High. “I actually know some his family members pretty well.[My] first impression is he’s a good kid. … Evidently he can play the game ofbasketball.”Smith also played on both sides of the ball as a member ofthe King’s football team and was good enough to be named first teamall-conference at quarterback and honorable mention all-conference atlinebacker.Tuesday, Smith practiced with Wisconsin and proved to histeammates he was worthy of a spot on the team.”He’ll be able to push Trevon a lot,” guard Jason Bohannonsaid of what Smith, who is likely to be redshirted, can contribute immediately.”To have him play defense should really help Trevon.”He seemed to get after it and be in the right spots. Hereally fit in.”To close Tuesday’s practice Ryan put Smith at the free-throwline with crunches for the entire team as a punishment for missed shots. Smith,in a pressure situation, was unable to convert any of his three attempts,forcing the team to do a hefty amount of sit-ups.”I think he was nervous being out there the first time,”Landry said. “I think it’ll get to the point where he’s not nervous.”Ryan did not think putting the newcomer to the test rightaway was too much to ask though.”At least he knows he’s a part of the team now,” Ryan said.”That’s how I like to break guys in.”last_img read more

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Schelling: Calipari will be Pitino 2.0

first_imgThe parallels between Kentucky coaching legend Rick Pitino and soon-to-be Kentucky head coach John Calipari are there, giving “Big Blue” a feeling of d?j? vu.For starters, Pitino played guard at UMass and Calipari coached the Minutemen to their first-ever Final Four appearance in 1996. Pitino bolted for the NBA to coach the Celtics following an NCAA Championship at Kentucky in 1996 and a national runner-up finish in 1997; Calipari left UMass the year before to coach the Nets.Both coaches vacated their positions — with Pitino resigning and Calipari being fired — after less than impressive stints with their respective teams.After limited success in the NBA, Pitino and Calipari each returned to the collegiate level in consecutive seasons and at rival programs — Louisville and Memphis, respectively — bringing each to a higher level of national prominence than what existed prior to their arrivals.The two also are among only four coaches who have led more than one school to a Final Four appearance, with Pitino being the only one to lead three schools to the Final Four.And of course, if Calipari takes the Kentucky job, both will have taken over the program amid low points in the storied history of the Wildcat basketball program.Despite all their similarities, Pitino holds a significant 1-0 edge over Calipari in national championships with the 1996 title at Kentucky.The only thing left for Calipari to do to draw comparisons to Pitino is to take the vacant position at the University of Kentucky. What better way to see how Calipari matches up with Pitino than to compare records at the same program?And besides, it’s not like Pitino took the position in any better situation than Calipari would now. In fact, Pitino took the job at Kentucky amid a major scandal following recruiting violations by former head coach Eddie Sutton.All Calipari has to deal with is a team that went 40-27 over the last two seasons and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Pitino’s first two years as head coach. And if he manages to retain junior guard Jodie Meeks for his senior season, Calipari’s job would become that much easier.Still, if anyone can lead the Wildcats back to national prominence enjoyed before Pitino’s departure, it’s Calipari, who has reached the postseason every season since his first at UMass and has been to the NCAA Tournament 11 times in 17 years.With more coaching wins through those 17 years than anyone besides Roy Williams, Calipari is a proven winner. Not only that, he also has proven his ability to recruit, bringing in players like Marcus Camby, Derrick Rose, Dajuan Wagner and Tyreke Evans to relatively small programs like UMass and Memphis.With the name behind him, one can only imagine what players Calipari will be able to bring to Kentucky program, one players pick because they want the honor of wearing Kentucky on their chests.If they’re anything like those he’s recruited in the past, the Kentucky Wildcats will be a national powerhouse once again in the SEC.The only problem is, Kentucky really isn’t Kentucky right now.Two rival programs — Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals and Calipari’s Memphis Tigers — have consistently brought in better talent and won more games over the past five seasons as the Wildcats’ prestige has slowly declined.Some diehards would say no one but Adolph Rupp should ever coach the Wildcats, but Rupp passed away more than 30 years ago and hasn’t patrolled the sidelines for more than 35 years.Others believe the Wildcats should pursue Pitino for a return to glory, but Pitino is having plenty of success at Louisville and isn’t coming back.All the fans and boosters associated with the program need to cut Calipari the slack they were so unwilling to give Billy Gillispie in his time at the helm.Sure, Gillispie failed to earn an NCAA Tournament berth this year and prolonged the Wildcats’ streak to 11 straight seasons without a Final Four appearance after winning two of three national titles from 1996-98.But at any other program — save Duke, UNC, Kansas and UCLA — two years is understood to be an inadequate amount of time in which to judge a coach.Just look at Notre Dame’s football program with Charlie Weis at the helm. If any football program has the right to fire a coach after a few poor seasons, it’s the Fighting Irish and their storied history (see Ty Willingham). Yet, Weis remains Notre Dame’s head coach despite an abysmal 10-15 record over the last two seasons.Kentucky fans must give Calipari a chance to establish himself as a coach over the course of at the very least three seasons before considering whether or not he fits the pedigree of a Kentucky coach.Barring any unexpected turn of events, Calipari will take over as head coach of the Kentucky men’s basketball program. And when he does, I hope he gets the support he deserves from “Big Blue” and the Kentucky faithful.last_img read more

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Volleyball hopes to end 5-match streak

first_imgLast year, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team lost six consecutive Big Ten games, yet still managed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.With the volleyball team’s losing streak having reached five games, the Badgers hope they can mirror what Bo Ryan’s squad did last spring. To do that, however, they must win their remaining four games, and it all starts tonight on the road against Northwestern.The Badgers’ five-game slide, the program’s worst streak since it lost seven straight matches in 1995, pushed UW under the .500 mark for the first time since Sept. 26, when the team was 5-6.Now sitting at 11-14 and 6-9 in Big Ten play, the volleyball team must finish the season with a record above .500 to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Simply put, with four matches remaining on their schedule, the Badgers know they don’t have any room for error.“We still have a chance to get into the tournament, we have to win the next four,” co-captain Caity DuPont said. “We’re just focusing on finishing the season strong, we have to be really disciplined and take care of our side of the net.“We need this. We need all four wins to get there, but at the same time we have to stay relaxed, otherwise we won’t play to the best of our abilities.”Friday, the Badgers will take on the Northwestern Wildcats, a squad they already beat in four sets earlier this season. However, at that point, the Badgers were sitting in the middle of the pack in the conference, while the loss sent Northwestern to 2-8 in the Big Ten, good for second to last place.Now, while the Badgers hold a one-game lead over Northwestern in the conference standings, after losing five straight the team will face the challenge of taking on the Wildcats at Welsh-Ryan Arena, where NU holds a 6-4 record.The Wildcats are led by Sabel Moffett, who averages 3.35 kills per set — by far the most on the Northwestern squad. UW senior Brittney Dolgner believes if the Badgers can shut her down, they will have a big advantage over their conference opponent.“They have some fast middles, I think once we get up on [Moffett] and shut her down, I think we’ll be fine,” Dolgner said. “They’re a good serve-receive team, but I think that if we exploit their weaknesses, we’ll have a good shot to win.”On Saturday, the Badgers will face No. 5 Illinois, a team that beat the Badgers in four sets on Oct. 23. However, the Illini will be without their star libero Ashley Edinger, who recently tore her ACL.But while UW will look to exploit that aspect of the Illini defense, Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite has no reason to believe Illinois will be anything short of an immense challenge for his struggling squad.“You might think you can exploit that, but they’ve obviously had some solid wins since she went down,” Waite said. “Edinger’s injury is unfortunate; we have a lot of players who know her and we know how much of a loss that is for them.”In terms of overcoming the team’s recent struggles, the one glaring statistic in every Badger loss during the losing streak has been the appalling number of attack errors, many of which have been unforced. During the streak, UW has totaled 141 attack errors compared to 207 kills during that same time span. Waite knows that to finish the season on a strong note, that trend must be reversed immediately.“They know the situation and they’re doing everything they can to come out with a victory,” Waite said. “The biggest goal for us is to keep our unforced errors down. If we do that, we can play with anybody and we can play some very good ball.”But while the team must win its four remaining games to be eligible for the NCAA Tournament, according to Waite, that thought hasn’t been in the minds of his players. According to the head coach, he and his staff have been encouraging the team to focus on the positives from earlier in the season, when it beat teams ranked as high as No. 8 in the country.“We actually do our best to distract them from the losses and try to help them still improve as a team,” Waite said. “The mind is a funny thing and sometimes you can get wrapped up in the bad things you’ve done, when there are a lot of good things you’ve done too. … We’ve played some really good ball, and we’re just stressing to do the good things you’ve been doing, and we have a shot at these teams.”last_img read more

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Battle : Centenary College readies for transition from Division I to III

first_img Published on February 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman Comments On the court at the Bradley Center, the Centenary players stood as the definitive underdogs. Overmatched and with far less talent than the tough Marquette team it faced, Centenary had only three scholarship players on the floor.For the Gents, it was the beginning of the end of playing top-end Division I teams. The start of a new life in Division III was rapidly approaching.‘When we’re playing Big East or SEC-type teams, it’s just a tough thing to compete with,’ Centenary head coach Adam Walsh said. ‘You try to do whatever you can as a coach — slow the tempo, speed the tempo, whatever you think will work. But it always falls back a little bit to the talent level.’But for Walsh, those days of trying — unsuccessfully — to find what works are coming to a close. Beginning on July 1, 2011, Centenary College of Louisiana will officially leave Division I and descend to Division III. It ends a more than 100-year run at the D-I level after subpar results and long travel distances were too much to ignore.In its game against the Golden Eagles on Dec. 18, the Gents fought to try to stay close. An eight-point deficit quickly grew, and the chance at an upset faded away. Centenary suffered yet another loss in a season in which the prospects of a D-III future provide the only glimmer of hope.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAt 0-25, there hasn’t been much for Centenary to feel good about. This year seems not much more than a year of transition. One where players are trying to decide if they want to stay and compete in D-III or transfer somewhere else to remain a Division I athlete. Some will stay with Centenary, placing academics and their degree above their athletic future. For them, a move to Division III was welcome. But for those who expected to play in Division I, the move was not well received.‘It was mostly positive,’ interim athletic director Dave Voskuil said. ‘There was a lot of communication to the students. Of course, there were some that were really disgusted and discouraged.’But since Division III schools cannot give scholarships, the future for the current athletes becomes murky. The school can continue to honor the athletic scholarships of its players for the next two seasons as a part of the transition. That means when the current freshmen become seniors, they will have to choose between playing a season without a scholarship or trying to transfer somewhere else and play. If they choose to participate, Voskuil said the school would have to essentially ‘repackage’ them as a D-III athlete.Those freshmen, though, could be the foundation of Centenary’s future in Division III. They will be the ones who will carry with them the experience of playing teams like Marquette. And to Walsh, they’re the reason why a move to the American Southwest Conference will signal the turnaround of the program. Centenary could end up being one of the strongest teams in an already competitive conference.‘The addition of Centenary will strengthen the competitive profile of the ASC championship sports,’ conference commissioner Amy Carlton said at the press conference announcing the move on April 12, 2010. ‘In the broader picture, Centenary’s Division III membership benefits not only the ASC, but Division III institutions and conferences across the South and Southwest.’A move to a lower level would make it easier for winning seasons to be a part of Centenary’s future, especially with a more limited travel schedule. The American Southwest Conference consists of 16 teams that are spread throughout only four southern states. Less travel means less strain for the players.A drawback for Centenary, though, is that it won’t be eligible for the D-III tournament until the 2014-15 season. It won’t even qualify to win its division until 2013. For Walsh, it’s a drawback in terms of recruiting but not one big enough to dismiss hope for the future.Right now, it’s an obstacle that doesn’t minimize expectations. It doesn’t lessen the excitement of winning on a consistent basis and avoiding thousands of miles of travel.‘I don’t expect to have to deal with a .500 record or a losing record over the next two or three years,’ Walsh said. ‘My impression of the guys we have right now, and how recruiting is going so far, is that we’re going to be fine and that our expectations are to be a winning program next season.’No. 12 Syracuse vs. No. 16 LouisvilleAfter two much-needed victories, the Orange is back to its winning ways. Louisville has played fairly well against ranked teams, including a double overtime over Connecticut, but also lost by 14 to Villanova. Last season, an unranked Cardinals team beat the Orange at the Carrier Dome. This time, it’ll be close, but Syracuse wins.Prediction: Syracuse 65, Louisville 62No. 20 North Carolina vs. ClemsonThe Tar Heels have only one loss against ACC teams — a 20-point loss to Georgia Tech on Jan. 16. North Carolina beat Clemson two days later by 10. Since then, the Tar Heels haven’t lost, and they won’t lose to the Tigers. North Carolina will take the season series.Prediction: North Carolina 72, Clemson 66No. 4 Pittsburgh vs. No. 9 VillanovaPitt’s the best team in the Big East right now, with only two losses overall. Its lone conference loss was to Notre Dame, a hard-fought 56-51 defeat. Villanova has three Big East losses, one coming against Providence, but the Wildcats are coming off wins over Marquette and West Virginia. The Panthers, though, are the better team and will beat the Wildcats.Prediction: Pittsburgh 60, West Virginia 56No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 13 WisconsinWisconsin is good, but Ohio State has been great all year. Jared Sullinger has helped get the Buckeyes to 24-0, and there’s not much of a reason to think the Badgers can stop him. In a battle of the top two Big-10 teams, Ohio State gets the win.Prediction: Ohio State 72, Wisconsin 62Southern Mississippi vs. MemphisThis is a matchup of two very evenly matched Conference-USA teams. The Tigers are 17-6 overall but have lost its last two games to Marshall and Tulsa, two teams they should’ve beaten. Led by Gary Flowers, who is averaging 20.2 points per game, Southern Miss heads into the game on a four-game winning streak. Give this win to the Eagles.Prediction: Southern Mississippi 76, Memphis 64cjiseman@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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MSOC : Freshman Chong maturing in role as substitute for SU

first_img Comments Published on September 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman It was a case of Syracuse’s past helping build its future.Grant Chong’s road to Syracuse started in high school with a tip from former SU soccer player Kevin Johnston, who suggested Chong send a game tape to the Orange coaching staff. In May of his junior year in high school, Chong played in front of Syracuse recruiters in a tournament in Cincinnati. But a relationship between the two sides had already been established.‘He just mentioned, ‘Why don’t you send stuff to them? It’s a great academic school and a great soccer program. They just got a new coaching staff,” Chong said. ‘I said, ‘Yeah, why not?’ And then from there, it was just contacting each other, emailing.’About a year and a half later, Chong was in the starting lineup for the Orange’s 2011 season opener at Colgate.After that game, though, Chong’s role changed from starter to reliable substitute who head coach Ian McIntyre could call on to spell his veteran players. Now, with his first few weeks of college soccer completed, Chong’s emotions have begun to shift from apprehension to confidence.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile Chong continues to search for his first SU goal, his teammates and coaches are still going to consider him a threat to score when Syracuse (2-5, 0-1 Big East) plays Binghamton (3-5, 0-0 America East) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in its final nonconference game of the season.Chong’s speed and lack of hesitancy on the field have impressed his teammates since the first time they saw him play. Only now, McIntyre said, Chong needs to take what he’s already done one step further during Big East play.Make assists. Score goals. Help create scoring opportunities for others.And McIntyre knows that’s not an easy expectation for the freshman Chong to deal with.‘He’s still where he needs to make that transition and have more of an effect,’ McIntyre said. ‘That’s a big ask for a coach for any first-year player to demand even more. But we feel that he has a real high ceiling, and we’ve kind of scratched the surface. He’s had a valuable experience this season.’When Chong stepped on to that Colgate field to start his college career, one of the first things he did was glance into the stands. That only made the anxiety that had been building up for days intensify once he saw how many people were there. For someone just months removed from high school, it was too much to take in.Although he had some notice that he’d be in this situation, there was no way to prepare for what felt like a losing battle. Chong’s nerves wouldn’t settle down.‘They told me in the days leading up to it because some players were unable to play due to injury,’ Chong said. ‘So they told me, ‘You may be stepping in to play, so get ready for it.”While his stomach might’ve been in knots, he managed to quell the emotions while he was on the field. When junior midfielder Ted Cribley saw the ‘jittery’ freshman run straight at Colgate’s left back without fear, he realized the value Chong can bring to the Orange.And Cribley said he’s only gotten better since that day at Colgate.‘He certainly startles defenders,’ Cribley said. ‘He doesn’t have to get by them, but it puts a sense of fear in them. It passes on to the next player. He’s definitely an impact player that can come on and get past players and sort of give a lift to everyone else.’During preseason, Chong knew it was a competition for time on the field. So in every part of Syracuse’s training, he tried to outwork his teammates. In weightlifting, he tried to lift a little more than everyone else. When the team ran, he focused on having one of the best times.On the field, he let his game speak for itself. He wasn’t hampered down by an overzealous desire to impress his coaches and teammates. He played well in SU’s intrasquad Orange and Blue Game, scoring two goals in a win for the newcomersAnd all that time he spent pushing himself to train harder than his teammates paid off.‘The speed of the game is faster. The kids are bigger, faster, stronger,’ Chong said. ‘You just have to be quick to thinking. You always have to be one step ahead of the game.’cjiseman@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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WBB : Syracuse still searching for consistent guard play early in season

first_imgTwo possessions after Syracuse point guard La’Shay Taft had the ball stolen away by Lafayette guard Brya Freeland last Saturday, Shanee Williams committed another turnover.The junior guard took the ball from the left elbow, sprinted along the baseline and had the ball knocked out of her hands. She gathered it and hesitated before putting the ball back on the floor.Then the referee blew the whistle: double-dribble violation.And just like that Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman signaled to the bench, taking both players out. With the graduation of starting guards Erica Morrow and Tasha Harris, the Orange guards are still settling into their new roles this season.‘When you lose two guards like that, you’re going to have your up and down games,’ Hillsman said. ‘Overall I think they’re doing a good job of getting the ball up the court and getting the ball into the paint and that’s our goal.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe trouble for the majority of SU’s guards has been adapting to change, whether that is a change in position or in scheme. The up-tempo, high-pressure system that Hillsman has decided to use this season has been a challenging transition for the backcourt. Taft, Williams and sophomore Rachel Coffey have combined for 22 assists and 22 turnovers and struggled to score in an inconsistent start to the season.The Orange guards will look to improve upon their early season struggles when Syracuse (4-0) takes on Binghamton (3-1) on the road Saturday at 2 p.m.Syracuse’s game plan to get the ball inside has been clear, but where the team’s guards figure into that scheme has yet to be seen. The frontcourt of Kayla Alexander, Iasia Hemingway and Carmen Tyson-Thomas have provided the brunt of the scoring load, while Elashier Hall has found her niche in the early part of the season as SU’s most dynamic guard.With Taft, Williams and Coffey failing to provide a spark at point guard, Hall has been the Orange’s best alternative to take the ball up the court.Hall has accepted that responsibility and the results have followed. She scored 20 and 18 points in SU’s first two games against Long Beach State and St. Francis, respectively.‘It’s just taking my role as leader and just pushing my other teammates forward,’ Hall said. ‘Someone has to step up and set the pace, so I think why not me?’Taft, who has started three games at point guard early on this season, has struggled after playing shooting guard most of last season. She has scored just 5.25 points per game and committed 11 turnovers through four games.Fortunately for SU, Taft finally got on track against Buffalo on Tuesday. She contributed nine points on 3-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. And although point guard is not her natural position, she is confident she’ll settle into that role.‘I have played point guard, shooting guard alternated,’ Taft said. ‘But point guard, my senior year (in high school) more because one of the point guards that graduated, so I had to step into the role. But it’s not that bad at all. It’s not something I can’t do. So it is something doable.’Williams transferred from Monroe College (N.Y.) where she averaged 13.6 points, 4.9 steals and 4.1 assists per game last year. But Hillsman said she still needs to adjust to a team in which she is the lone newcomer.The new team dynamic coupled with a new scheme are two things that Williams will need to overcome to become a consistent playmaker. Williams has scored just seven points in 58 minutes of action thus far.But the unpredictable guard play early in the season does not worry Hillsman.The head coach is simply looking for a complete team performance each night, and SU’s guards need to continue to help execute Hillsman’s game plan.‘We are a pretty deep team and that’s the big thing,’ Hillsman said. ‘We have to continue to play nine players double-figure minutes and get four people in double-figure points and we’re doing a pretty good job of getting that done.’adtredin@syr.edu             Published on November 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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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 read more

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Syracuse defense struggles to contain South Florida’s Daniels in victory

first_img Published on October 28, 2012 at 1:50 am Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman TAMPA, Fla. — Marquis Spruill asked his coach if there was anything Syracuse’s defense could do. B.J. Daniels was tearing up the Orange’s defense, a unit that was among the best in the Big East going into Saturday’s game.Yet Daniels, who had 371 rushing yards through South Florida’s first seven games, was slicing through SU tacklers and bursting into wide-open territory. Spruill’s frustration reflected that of the entire unit and SU head coach Doug Marrone.“He’s always hurt us. To me, it’s not a surprise,” Marrone said. “This team was picked second in the Big East. Really, to this point, outside of USC, which is a very, very good football team, this South Florida might be the most talented team we’ve played to date.”Syracuse’s largest task was stopping South Florida’s mobile quarterback, and it failed to do so effectively. Daniels ran for 134 yards, just 49 fewer than he threw for. The Orange managed to overcome his quickness in its 37-36 win at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, but Daniels’ performance left SU’s defense helpless nonetheless.Daniels has been the Bulls’ leading rusher in three games this season, but USF remains winless in the Big East. Against SU, though, Daniels always seems to shine the brightest. Last season, Daniels ran for 117 yards in South Florida’s 37-17 win over the Orange in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMarrone said during the week that Daniels would certainly feel good coming into this year’s matchup with his 2011 performance in mind. So his team’s singular focus had to be on containing the Bulls’ quarterback.“He’s very mobile,” Spruill said. “You give him space, he’s dangerous.”South Florida’s offensive line gave Daniels plenty of time in the pocket throughout the game. Once Daniels left the pocket, though, there was no telling where he would end up.On USF’s second drive of the game, he broke free for a 19-yard run, setting up a field goal for his team.In the second quarter, Daniels took off for a run that highlighted USF’s dominant first half. Daniels took the snap on first-and-10 and had nowhere to throw.So he tucked the ball and ran 53 yards down the left sideline to bring USF to Syracuse’s 16.“He’s just like, sideline to sideline, it’s hard to contain,” Syracuse nose tackle Jay Bromley said. “He’s a phenomenal player. It was just, we would play great defense; as far as coverage-wise, he would break the defense down with his feet.”No matter what Syracuse did, Daniels beat its defense. With 3:53 left in the second quarter, Daniels almost single-handedly brought South Florida into the end zone.The Bulls started the drive at their own 1 yard line. After a 4-yard run by running back Marcus Shaw, Daniels ran for 19 yards on two plays. He then picked up 9 more yards on the drive to get South Florida into Syracuse’s territory.The frustrating part, Bromley said, was that the Orange’s secondary could eliminate every one of his options downfield and it would make no difference. Once he broke free, Daniels was gone.“We would have sacks, and he would break it down with his feet and get out of them,” Bromley said. “Definitely a lot tougher than any other quarterback.”His escapability and athleticism fueled the Bulls’ final drive of the first half, in which the team tacked on a field goal to take a 23-3 halftime lead.Syracuse defensive coordinator Scott Shafter said after the game that Daniels simply beat the defense. It wasn’t that his unit necessarily did anything wrong. When it was all over,Daniels had racked up more than 100 yards and still couldn’t lead his team to a win.But there was no denying Syracuse was lucky on that front. The Orange was the latest team to see Daniels run all over the field and all over its defense.“B.J. made some great plays,” Shafer said. “We had some calls I would never take back. He made people miss. He’s a great college football player.” Comments Related Stories UNBELIEVABLE: Syracuse completes 2nd-half comeback with late scoring drive to shock South Floridacenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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