Walsh, Brown excel in UW weekend split at Big Toe Invitational

first_imgAfter seeing her team lose a nail-biter the previous night, Taylor Walsh wasn’t about to let Wisconsin come out of the Big Toe Invitational without a positive result. Walsh scored a pair of goals to lift the Wisconsin women’s soccer team over in-state rival UW-Milwaukee and help the club rebound from a Friday-night overtime loss to Brigham Young University.Walsh and the Badgers were able to take hold of Saturday’s game early when she notched her first career goal as a Badger at 1:11 to give Wisconsin an early 1-0 lead. Sophomore Ann Eshun hit Walsh mid-stride as she beat UWM goalie Erin Kane on the upper left side. Later in the half, Walsh recorded her second score following an assist from junior Allison Preiss at 26:28.Wisconsin continued to control the remainder of the contest. Senior Katy Lindenmuth scored next for the Badgers, her third goal of the season. Ten minuets later, Preiss scored her second goal of the season on a header from senior Becky Katsma. Wisconsin goalkeeper Lynn Murray recorded her third shutout of the season, stopping five UWM shot attempts, as the Badgers ended their match against the Panthers with a 4-0 win.”The way Taylor (Walsh) took that first shot really made a statement,” Wisconsin head coach Dean Duerst said. “We came out of the box early. We showed a lot of maturity and leadership being ready for this match after a tough loss. Getting an early goal helped.”In Saturday’s contest, Wisconsin was upended 2-1 in double overtime against undefeated BYU (7-0-0). The game proved to be a real defensive match-up as neither team could find their niche on offense.BYU struck first when its leading scorer, Jessica Aquino, beat Murray at 34:45. Fortunately for Wisconsin, the Badgers found themselves only down one goal at halftime after surviving a barrage of BYU scoring attacks.”[In the first half] we gave them a little bit in terms of more space and didn’t really allow them to sneak in behind as much,” Duerst said. “Part of that is our midfield stepped up its pressure and started to close down spaces so they didn’t have as much time, and time and space is key in soccer.”Following halftime, Wisconsin was able to make necessary defensive adjustments to hold off Aquino and the Cougar offense. Halfway through the second period, junior midfielder Kara Kabellis scored her second goal of the season to tie the game 1-1. The game remained tied all the way into the second sudden-death period until BYU scored the controversial game-deciding goal. Before the final goal, Kabellis had the ball up field, until BYU’s senior captain Jaime Rendich Beck slide tackled Kabellis, causing her to go down hard. No foul was issued from the referee, in what had been to that point, a tightly called game. Beck continued down the sideline and scored past a diving Murray for the game winner.”Overall, we didn’t play as consistently as we could have,” Duerst said. “We put together some great combinations and really moved the ball around well, [but] we didn’t sustain enough of that. I think the bottom line is, we had two or three chances that didn’t go our way. It was a very exciting game; anybody could have won that one. So, it’s a really tough loss because it could have been a tie.”Walsh, Kabellis and Marisa Brown were all selected to the Big Toe All-Tournament team. In addition, Brown was named the tournament’s most outstanding defensive player. Brown played exceptionally over the weekend while taking over for team co-captain Jessica Ring, who missed the game after picking up a redcard last weekend against Washington.”Marisa is just noticeable; she is everywhere,” Duerst said. “She is such a complete player and is capable of playing any position.”last_img read more

Go Irish, boo BCS, hating webbed feet

first_imgFor those of you who have become accustomed to reading Adam Parks’ column in this space as an integral part of your Friday routine, apologies for the curve ball. But Mr. Parks will be back next week.And that is probably a good thing, because I am not now — nor I have ever been — a sports editor. Or a writer (except for women’s tennis). Or, for that matter, much of a loyal fan. In fact, I haven’t been to a Badger game since my freshman year and, to be honest, that experience ended with the majority of my section encouraging stadium security to euthanize me like a farm animal.That said, I do have an extremely comfortable couch in my apartment. I’m a helluva chef. I have a very strong affinity for red wine. And I believe that fine cigars should be smoked frequently while watching sports. So, with ideal snacks, cocktails and stogies, I have spent no small modicum of time watching college football on television this year. In fact, I took in nearly a dozen games over Thanksgiving break alone.Missing Mr. Parks yet?Yeah, I thought so.But, with all of this in mind, I shall now launch into a tirade of sorts on those various topics I believe to be of supreme import within the world of college football these days.First, the BCS. If Notre Dame is not given an at-large bid on Sunday, it will be an affront to the very democratic and capitalist roots this nation holds so dearly. The people want to see the Fighting Irish in a major bowl game and Rudy’s old team is going to garner better ratings than seemingly any other school.So, assuming the stars and stripes are still flying, let’s just say that Notre Dame is going bowling in the BCS. (Besides, they beat USC — no matter what lies the official score may tell — and you gotta figure that any squad capable of beating that punk Reggie Bush deserves a BCS bid. I mean, does anyone actually want this “young man” to win the Heisman? Personally, I prefer to group him in a broader historical context — alongside other great USC running backs like that guy who played for the Bills, did some car commercials and then … well, umm, you know.)And now we are left contemplating the fates of Oregon and The Ohio State University. Now don’t get me wrong, I hate OSU like all other decent Big Ten students, but what self-respecting American wants to spend three hours after New Year’s Day watching a group of hacks with green helmets and webbed feet get slaughtered on a football field? I mean, the BCS really should consider legalizing …Note from the editor in chief: This portion of the article has been removed out of respect for members of various campus, local and national organizations, including, but not limited to, PETA, The Sierra Club, the Green Party, the United States Senate and fans of the Mickey Mouse Club.)So, yeah, it’s the Buckeyes or we all get Scrooged.On that note, most loyal fans of the sport will get the Charles Dickens treatment regardless of the Ducks’ fate this holiday season. Maybe No. 1 will play No. 2 in the Rose Bowl, or maybe the Buffaloes or Bruins will throw the customary twist into the BCS. But regardless of how things shake out, the continued lack of a playoff system will make the “national champion” about as legitimately selected as the winner of a Chicago election.Yeah, we need a playoff. Just like Division II and Division III. And the NFL. And the MLB. And NCAA basketball. And the World Series of Poker, for that matter. I mean, if it is good enough for Johnny Chan, it is good enough for Pete Carroll.Why would a playoff be beneficial? Because all of you who were so darn sure that I was wrong when I made those comments about the Oregon Ducks would finally have definitive proof of your own innate idiocy when they choke to an already-overrated LSU squad in the first round. And, oh yeah, we’d have an undisputed national champion.Speaking of which, isn’t it about time someone makes a movie out of the Colorado football team’s … Note from the editor in chief: The final three paragraphs of this column have been censored out of respect to the people of Boulder, Pete Coors, the Budweiser Clydesdales, the cast of “Necessary Roughness,” place kickers everywhere and, well, the public at large.Don’t worry, Mr. Parks will be back next week.Mac VerStandig (mac@badgerherald.com) is a senior majoring in rhetoric and doublespeak.last_img read more

3-pointers propels Wisconsin

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoCHAMPAIGN, Ill. ? It?s been the mantra for the Wisconsin men?s basketball team all season: live by the three, die by the three. Wednesday against Illinois, the Badgers made a living from beyond the arc. UW shot 7-of-14 on the game, just the second time it has shot better than 50 percent from three-point range.Although the number of makes didn?t jump out, it was the shot selection and timeliness of the makes for UW that made a difference.Marcus Landry, Jason Bohannon and Michael Flowers all made two from long-distance, while Trevon Hughes added another. Wisconsin was able to string together a number of threes in the first half ? including back-to-back makes by Flowers and Landry ? to extend its lead heading into halftime.?At the beginning, they were very important,? Landry said of the 3-pointers. ?We try not to focus on 3-pointers ? but when they?re open, you?ve got to take them.?Both of Bohannon?s came in the first half ? a half in which he scored 13 points and was perfect from the field. The sophomore guard has been battling an ankle injury during the past few games, but managed to shoot 4-of-7 and made all five of his free throws.?It was a real big deal for us to be able to hit those shots and stretch the lead to how you want,? Bohannon said. ?It?s always a tough place to play in, and for us to get a lead like that down the stretch (and) not have to play a close game, that was a big step for us.??He hit them, he was open,? Ryan said of Bohannon. ?I didn?t tell him anything different about the game or how to play. He stared them down, knocked them down.?Wisconsin began the second half firing from long distance, as threes by Landry and Flowers pushed the Badger lead to 42-28 just under four minutes into the half.But perhaps the biggest three of the night came off the hands of Landry. After Illinois cut the lead to nine on a Demetri McCamey layup with under five minutes to play, Landry?s shot from behind the line halted the Illini run and silenced the crowd at Assembly Hall.?You never want to let the other team get rolling because it brings the fans into it,? Landry said.?We had some guys make some pretty tough plays,? Ryan said. ?But they wouldn?t let us escape much further than that 14, 12, 10 [point lead]. If it?s seven or eight with a couple of minutes to go, it?s anybody?s game.?Jarmusz sees extended playing timeBefore Wednesday at Illinois, freshman forward Tim Jarmusz hadn?t seen more than four minutes in a game, which happened against Florida A&M and Penn State.Jarmusz equaled that total in the first half against the Illini and finished with 13 minutes in the game.?Coach mentioned before the game, ?Don?t be surprised to find out you?re getting some minutes,?? Jarmusz said. ?Once he called my name, I was ready. He always tells me to be ready and prepared for the game, and that was exactly what I was trying to do.?Although he didn?t record a point on the stat sheet, he did the little things that keyed Wisconsin?s victory. Several times on defense, Jarmusz stepped into the passing lane to disrupt looks by the Illini, one of which led to a fast break for UW. In his 13 minutes, he finished with two rebounds and a steal, missing the only shot he attempted.?I was just trying to do the little things for the team,? Jarmusz said. ?I played some defense, tried to get some rebounds and just take care of the ball.Early foul trouble led to Ryan?s decision to get Jarmusz off the bench and into the game. Joe Krabbenhoft and Bohannon both picked up two fouls midway through the first half, and instead of substituting in Jon Leuer, Ryan went with Jarmusz.?I just thought that he could do a job when they went small, and we got some fouls on some of our smalls,? Ryan said. ?I haven?t lost any faith in Jon Leuer; it?s just he?s not a guarder, he?s not a defender on the quicker 3-point shooting guards. So that?s why I put Tim in before Jonlast_img read more

Badgers blow by Indiana in regular season finale

first_imgJoe Krabbenhoft waves as he steps off the Kohl Center court for the last time.[/media-credit]With an 85-61 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers in last night’s season finale, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team was able to clinch a first-round bye and the fourth seed in the men’s Big Ten Tournament, which starts Thursday in Indianapolis.The win against the Hoosiers (6-24, 1-17) gives the Badgers (19-11, 10-8) their seventh win in the last nine games. In the last month, they have been one of the most successful teams in the Big Ten.“Wisconsin doesn’t take a backseat to anybody,” Indiana head coach Tom Crean said. “They won on the road at Virginia Tech. They beat Penn State twice, they beat Michigan twice and they’ve beaten Illinois. They are good, and I don’t think you are going to find many people that want to play them in the NCAA tournament.”Last night’s win capped off not only a turbulent regular season for the Badgers, but also the careers of Marcus Landry, Joe Krabbenhoft, Kevin Gullikson and Morris Cain, who played their last game at the Kohl Center. Krabbenhoft made the most of the night, scoring a career-high 19 points while going 5-of-10 from the field and 9-for-10 from the charity stripe.Wisconsin guard Jason Bohannon came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, scoring eight of the Badgers’ first 10 points. He eventually finished with 15 points, including going 3-for-7 from 3-point range.Bohannon’s strong performance was a large improvement from the Minnesota game, where he went 0-for-3 from the field and failed to tally single point in Minneapolis.Like the first game, the Hoosiers played the Badgers close for most of the first half. However, with the score 26-20 with 5:16 left to go before halftime, the Badgers were able to go on a 14-3 run, capped off by a Gullikson baseline jumper with five seconds left in the period.“Everyone was in-sync,” Krabbenhoft said of the five-minute run. “I thought Kevin did a really good job there in the last few minutes of the first half. That baseline jumper with a couple seconds to go was huge, it was a big momentum swing.”In the second half, the Badgers were able to open up the lead by as much as 24 points, which ended up being the final margin of victory. Wisconsin was able to move the ball well, putting up 10 assists while only giving up four turnovers. Overall, UW had a 19-to-6 assist to turnover ratio for the game.“Looking at the assists like that, it says a lot,” Bohannon said. “Marcus had six assists tonight. He did a great job of kicking out of the post when he had a double team on himself, and we are a dangerous team when we can do that.”The one bright spot for the Hoosiers was the play of Verdell Jones III, who finished with a game high 23 points on 7-of-10 from the field and 2-for-2 from 3-point range. Indiana guard Nick Williams also contributed 19 points.“Verdell is getting a lot better and is becoming a bona fide both ends of the court guy in this league, as is Nick.” Crean said. “The minutes that they play this year are certainly going to be invaluable to them in the future.”The win against the Hoosiers marks the end of an up and down season where the Badgers saw themselves go on a six-game losing streak, then come back to win six in a row. On senior night, however, the players treated it as they would any game.“Once you get on the court and the ball starts bouncing and the other bodies are across from you when you play, it’s what you’ve been doing for how many years, how many practices, how many games,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “As athletes, if you close everything else out and just put us on the court and let us play … then you play and everything just comes naturally.”While the Badgers ended their season on a high note and have high expectations for playing the post season, Crean’s Hoosiers are hoping to just get a win Thursday when they play Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.Against the Badgers last night, his team gave up 16 turnovers, including 12 in the first half. They were also outrebounded 28-19.“We can look at the glass half full or we can look at it half empty. I choose to look at it half full,” Crean said of his team’s performance this year. “I try to look at it as half full as much as possible and have us learn as much as we can. It doesn’t make it any easier when you are going through it.”last_img read more

Neumann anchors SU men’s soccer as ‘rock’ of defense

Facebook Twitter Google+ David Neumann is the Syracuse men’s soccer team’s unsung hero. His head coach, Ian McIntyre, will tell you that. Neumann has always longed to be the stopper on the edge of the field, far from most of the action and the attention. He has played all but a few minutes as the right outside back for Syracuse this year, and he has done so with rare fault. He consistently shuts down opposing teams’ fastest and most skilled outside midfielders. In one-on-one play, he is tough to beat. He is the fleet-footed ‘Rock’ for the Orange. The stopper who is always on the run. The rock who is always on the move. ‘I think he’s arguably been our most consistent performer this year,’ McIntyre said. ‘I think he’s one of the players where you can’t say he was excellent here, but average here. I think he’s been a rock throughout the whole entire season.’ Neumann, a redshirt sophomore, has played defense all his life. He has been a perfectionist ever since he was a 13-year-old on the Eastern New York Olympic Development Program. It was on this team that his coach Dave McCollum, who ‘loved to yell,’ instilled in him a fear of making mistakes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text This year, Neumann is a member of a defense that has performed consistently on a team that has not. His individual contribution to this back four has been his individual defending. Fellow outside defender Justin Arena said Neumann’s contributions to the defense come from his ability to stop some of the best players on opposing teams. ‘Dave is one of the best individual defenders on our team,’ Arena said. ‘When you go against Dave one-on-one, chances are you’re not going to get by him. I’m confident that any time a wide midfielder on their team gets the ball wide, Dave’s going to take him on and Dave’s going to win that challenge.’ The position of outside back suits Neumann particularly well. At 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, his frame does not have the physical presence required of a center back. While he does have the vocal leadership ability often found in middle defenders, the self-proclaimed screamer still prefers playing on the outside. His favorite part of the position is that he gets to push up and help the offense. He talks about it as though it is a special treat. And one he is starting to get more of. McIntyre, unlike his predecessor Dean Foti, encourages his outside defensemen to join the attack and step into the opposing half. The head coach said he would actually like to see Neumann push forward more. Still, Neumann is playing his best when he is closing down dangerous outside midfielders. Arena said Neumann did particularly well against Northeastern, taking their best players out of the competition. SU did not give up a goal to the Huskies and eventually won the game on a penalty kick in overtime. Neumann is most proud of how he played in the Orange’s other win this season against No. 24 Colgate. During this game, SU had its midfielders in a square in the middle of the field, forcing the wide defenders to push up more. But more than that, Neumann again got to play against and shut down some of Colgate’s best players. ‘That was a great game for me and Justin (Arena) because their two best guys were actually their left and right mids,’ Neumann said. ‘We were just marking them the whole game. They really didn’t do much. Both of their goals came from down the middle.’ Whether or not there is a correlation between Neumann’s play and the two wins, his play continues to improve. The team has six more games, all of which are against Big East opponents, so the consistency of the defense will become even more important. This season, and over their three years together, Arena has seen him grow into the consistent player McIntyre refers to simply as ‘Rock.’ No ‘The’ needed. ‘He’s gotten smarter in terms of being out wide,’ Arena said. ‘I mean, no one gets by him. He imposes on his defender, he gets close to them. So he knows now that if your wide midfielder doesn’t get the ball, he can’t be dangerous.’ alguggen@syr.edu Comments Published on October 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm read more

FAIR SHARE: Five SU players score in double figures in rout of Long Beach State

first_img Published on December 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman Long Beach State must not have thought too much of Syracuse’s shooters. The 49ers gave them plenty of room to work early on. As the Orange continued to knock down 3-pointer after 3-pointer, the 49ers fell deeper and deeper into a hole.“I think in the beginning, starting off the game, they obviously have seen that we haven’t shot the ball well from the perimeter and they gave us some open looks,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “That kind of broke the game open, and it kind of stayed that way.”Syracuse’s offensive attack, consisting of outside shots, thunderous dunks and beautiful baseline drives, saw five players score in the double digits on the way to an 84-53 rout of Long Beach State in front of 20,876 fans in the Carrier Dome on Thursday. The Orange’s balanced scoring put its depth and versatility on display. When Syracuse’s offense is clicking, it’s close to impossible to shut down.As a team, the Orange went 10-of-28 from behind the arc. Five players knocked down 3-pointers, with Michael Carter-Williams and Trevor Cooney each knocking down three apiece. Brandon Triche sank two, and even forwards C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant hit one each.“We want to make shots, open shots,” Triche said. “If we’re able to do that, then I don’t see any team being able to stop us with any defense that they throw at us.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTriche drained a wide-open 3-pointer from the right wing just over two minutes into the game. It gave Syracuse a five-point lead that would only continue to expand on a night where the Orange’s outside shooters were knocking down seemingly effortless shots.Cooney, who had only made four 3-pointers in six games so far, knocked down three on Thursday. It was the type of performance Syracuse expected to get from the lethal outside shooter. Head coach Jim Boeheim said Cooney’s shooting struggles might have crept into his thoughts in recent games.Now Cooney’s found his stroke, and each thunderous 3 he makes pushes the thoughts of his misses further from relevancy. He hit his first 3 about midway through the first half to put SU up 23-12. He hit another on his next attempt that would give Syracuse an 11-point lead.“I just think that it takes awhile for shooters to get comfortable, and when you miss a couple you start thinking about it a little too much,” Boeheim said. “He’ll be fine. He gets shots. He’ll make some.”And so would the rest of the Orange’s shooters.Carter-Williams hit one with under six minutes left to put Syracuse up 35-21, and just over a minute later, Triche drained one from the left wing to make it 38-23.And if SU wasn’t knocking down shots from the outside, it was turning stifling defensive plays into transition baskets that the 49ers couldn’t stop. Cooney poked the ball away from Long Beach State guard Deng Deng, and Carter-Williams took the deflection and passed the ball right back to Cooney, who raced to the basket for a fast-break dunk.“I’m coming out here and just playing hard,” Cooney said. “I’m really just concentrating on being active on defense and the shots will fall.”Carter-Williams’ 3 from the top of the key in the closing minutes of the first half sent Syracuse into the break with a commanding 20-point lead. The Orange continued its stroke coming out of the break, with Fair hitting one from the left corner less than two minutes in, and Grant hitting one from the left wing six minutes later.Grant took a pass from Triche, drove the left baseline and dunked the ball to the roar of the crowd. It gave Syracuse a 77-44 lead on a night where the Orange’s offense was too versatile for Long Beach State to stop.Triche said now when he goes to the basket, he can kick out to a shooter with confidence they’ll knock down the shot. Or he can choose to keep it and shoot a floater. Either way, the Orange’s scorers were hitting baskets from all over the floor.“I think with our defense being so well, it makes our offense that much easier,” Triche said. “We were able to rebound the ball well, too, and get in transition and get a lot of guys open shots.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Moving forward: Syracuse’s Class of 2013 set to sign Letters of Intent on National Signing Day

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ When he took over as head coach, Scott Shafer immediately went to work keeping Syracuse’s recruiting class intact in the wake of Doug Marrone’s departure to the Buffalo Bills. For the last month, Shafer and his new assistant coaches criss-crossed the country, convincing some recruits to stick with the Orange, and others to join.The dizzying process is finally at its conclusion.Syracuse’s 20 commits in the Class of 2013 will sign their Letters of Intent on National Signing Day on Wednesday. Nine of the 20 have three-star ratings from Scout.com, and among them are two quarterbacks who could be the Orange’s starter next season. The class stretches West to California and South to Florida. Even with the losses of two key commits, Syracuse’s recruiting class remains strong.There was no guarantee SU’s group of signees would resemble Marrone’s group of commits, since other schools tried to sway them to reopen their recruitments. When Marrone left and took several assistant coaches with him, including offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, uncertainty about SU’s recruiting class hovered over the program.“We have a lot of people coming in trying to poach them and take advantage of the situation,” Shafer said at a press conference last month. “That’s the fight that we’re ready for.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShafer hired George McDonald to be his offensive coordinator. McDonald is known as one of the top recruiters in the country. He spent the last two seasons as the wide receiver coach at Miami (Fla.), so he knows the South Florida area well, and it’s an area where Syracuse has recruited successfully in the past.The Orange has four commits from Florida, including Tyler Provo, the younger brother of former SU tight end Nick Provo.Syracuse did suffer losses. Highly touted quarterback Zach Allen from Temple (Texas) High School flipped his commitment from Syracuse and joined Texas Christian. Augustus Edwards, a running back from Tottenville High School on Staten Island, decided to visit other schools, including Florida State and Miami.But Shafer and McDonald earned the pledges of several talented prospects. Corey Cooper, a three-star wide receiver from Raleigh, N.C., committed to Syracuse on Jan. 27. Cooper had offers from Illinois, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others, according to Scout.com.For a team losing its starting wide receivers, Cooper could step right into a key role.“He uses his hands, catches the ball extremely well away from his body,” Cooper’s high school coach Clarence Inscore said. “He runs a really good route.”While Syracuse ended up losing out on Allen, it still has commits from East Pennsboro Area (Pa.) High School quarterback Austin Wilson and Jersey Community (Ill.) High School quarterback Mitch Kimble. Wilson committed to Marrone and remained committed to the Orange, but Kimble was one of the first offers the new Syracuse staff made.Kimble’s high school coach, Dave Jacobs, said Shafer called Kimble on a Sunday and made him an offer. Jacobs said Shafer told Kimble he and his staff evaluated 17 quarterbacks on film and chose Kimble as their top choice.“He’s got everything that they’re going to need in their system and then some,” Jacobs said. “No. 1, as the leader of a football team, I think character is a huge part of the leadership qualities and he certainly has that. … I mean physically, character-wise he’s there.”Kimble will compete for the starting spot with Wilson, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound signal caller Scout.com gave two stars. Wilson also had a scholarship offer from Eastern Michigan.Syracuse also has six commitments from junior college players, including Wayne Williams, a three-star defensive tackle from ASA College for Excellence in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Orange had tapped into the junior college system during Marrone’s tenure as former SU assistant coach. John Anselmo spent years coaching in the JUCO ranks, and recruited them successfully while with Syracuse.Six players have already signed their Letters of Intent to be early enrollees at Syracuse, including three-star prospect Darius Kelly, a safety from Pima (Ariz.) Community College. He was committed to Marshall until Syracuse made him an offer and he flipped to the Orange.The other three-star prospect in the group is defensive end Trevon Trejo, who played at Golden West College in California.Overall, Syracuse has 20 commits preparing to make their decisions official on Wednesday when they sign their Letters of Intent. All of the recruiting done by Marrone and his staff, and then Shafer and his staff, concludes when all of their recruits sign the dotted line.That’s when the prospects can finally break open the playbook and learn Syracuse’s systems.“One thing I do know is that you never know until Signing Day,” Shafer said. “That’s an absolute.” Comments Published on February 6, 2013 at 1:25 am Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_isemancenter_img Related Stories Coordinated visions: McDonald plans to orchestrate physical, explosive offense at SyracuseQuarterback recruit Zach Allen flips commitment from Syracuse to TCUFB : Quarterback Wilson commits to Syracuse, 3rd in class of 2013Dual-threat quarterback Kimble chooses Syracuselast_img read more

Four square: Scouting the last 4 teams standing

first_img Published on April 3, 2013 at 2:59 am Related Stories Last time they played: Joseph leads Syracuse to victory over Michigan in Legends ClassicBoeheim, Beilein rekindle CNY history in Final FourMichigan coach Beilein searches for 1st-career win against Syracuse, Boeheim’s complex zone MichiganKey player: Trey BurkeThe biggest knock on Big Ten teams is that they often lack an elite scorer, which is part of the reason why none have won the title since Michigan State in 2000. Burke provides Michigan one and then some, averaging 18.8 points per game. He single-handedly dragged Michigan back against Kansas, but Saturday, his most important task may be limiting Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams to the perimeter.Stat to know: 38.5 percentMichigan’s success rate from 3-point range. No team has SU’s combination of length and athleticism, but the most surefire way to beat the zone is to shoot 3s and not miss them.Stat to ignore: 9Number of UM players who have played in 30 games or more this season. In reality, only about six play in crunch-time minutes. The Wolverines aren’t any deeper than the Orange.X-factor: Mitch McGaryMichigan’s big man has the size advantage on Baye Moussa Keita and figures to limit the Syracuse centers offensively, including Rakeem Christmas. But if he can produce in his own right on the other end, Michigan won’t be so dangerously dependent on the deep ball.Boeheim: “Michigan’s a tremendous team. They have really, really good athletes that can really shoot the ball. They were a top-10 team all year and their center wasn’t ready yet.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLouisvilleKey player: Peyton SivaSiva doesn’t have to put up crazy numbers for the Cardinals to win. If he simply limits turnovers and gets Louisville out in transition, the Cardinals beat Wichita State and probably whomever they would face in the final, too. His speed alone creates a nightmarish cycle of steals and subsequent points that allow the Cardinals to set up their press and do it all again.Stat to know: +4UofL’s turnover margin in its 22-point win over Duke in the Elite Eight. On Nov. 24, the Cardinals lost to the same team, but turned the ball over 15 times, once more than Duke.Stat to ignore: 12.6Louisville turnovers per game. The Cardinals play on the run and create so many extra possessions for themselves with 10.9 steals per game that transition turnovers can usually be neutralized.X-factor: Russ SmithIt’s almost silly to list him as an X-factor, but if he shoots well in half-court sets and the secondary break, the Cardinals are nearly unbeatable.Boeheim: “Louisville is as close as there is to a dominant team. They’ve lost some games. They haven’t shown much weakness lately. They’re clearly the best team right now heading into this tournament.”Wichita StateKey player: Cleanthony EarlyEarly is the Shockers’ leading scorer, averaging 13.7 points per game and accounting for about 20 percent of Wichita State’s total points this season. His greatest value for the Cinderella squad, though, is on the glass. There, he helps compensate for his team’s overall lack of size, chipping in with 5.3 rebounds per game. His boards will be especially needed against No. 1 overall-seed Louisville in the first semifinal.Stat to know: 4-0WSU’s record in the first half of the tournament games this year. The Shockers have yet to trail at the break and can’t start now. No team remaining is easy to come back on. Louisville may be the hardest.Stat to ignore: 7-5The Shockers’ record on the road suggests they don’t travel well. They’re in the Final Four, though, and flying just fine.X-factor: ReboundsIf the Cardinals get and finish second chances, Rick Pitino can get his players into their nerve-shattering press. Wichita State needs to keep UofL out of a defensive rhythm to have a prayer. Just ask second-seeded Duke, which got outrebounded 37-31 and blown out 85-63 in the Elite Eight.Boeheim: “There’s four teams that can get there and there’s four teams that can win. I really believe the Wichita team can win.”SyracuseKey Player: Michael Carter-WilliamsHe was the East Region’s Most Outstanding Player with good reason. The passing ability he’s shown nearly all season long is being coupled with a fearless willingness to get to the basket. He’s established himself as a true leader on this team alongside Brandon Triche, and as a 6-foot-6 point guard, he remains a headache-inducing matchup for opposing swingmen and coaches.Stat to know: 28.9Opponents’ field-goal percentage in the tournament so far. This zone extends as far as any, and even the nation’s sharpest shooters can’t get used to 6-foot-8 frames defending the perimeter.Stat to ignore: 3.94Minutes per point for Rakeem Christmas in the tournament. He doesn’t play enough to make this count, and is almost exclusively a defensive force at this point in the season.X-Factor: James SoutherlandThe rangy forward is due. He’s been more than solid throughout the tournament, but hasn’t had one of his periodic explosions from beyond the arc since the Big East tournament. If he finds that kind of rhythm again SU is too dangerous.Boeheim: “There’s all this obsession about the zone. We’ve been playing it for 15 years now, so I don’t know, 20 years. I don’t know what’s – people are acting like this is something new. It’s nothing new. It’s just what we do and we work at it.”— Compiled by The Daily Orange Sports staff, sports@dailyorange.com Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Christmas provides crunch-time offense in Syracuse’s win over Pitt

first_img Published on January 18, 2014 at 11:17 pm Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1 With Trevor Cooney and C.J. Fair unable to find their shots, Syracuse turned to an efficient but infrequently used offensive option: Rakeem Christmas.The same SU center whose post-ups are often ignored scored six of the team’s final 20 points in the Orange’s (18-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast) 59-54 win over Pittsburgh (16-2, 4-1) at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.“I thought Rakeem was good tonight offensively,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I think we can find him down there a little bit better.”Christmas finished with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field and made two free throws with three seconds left to ice the game. Shooting 73.6 percent on the season, he continued to thrive in the low post, even against powerful Panthers forward Talib Zanna.“He’s a great finisher. I think he gets good position,” Fair said. “Definitely Rak should get a few more touches a game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter scoring four points in the first half, Christmas was key in the Orange’s attack of Pitt’s zone. The Panthers switched to Syracuse’s signature defense in the second half and the SU junior center was grateful for more one-on-one opportunities.He knocked down a baby right hook six minutes into the second half and a jumper midway through it. Christmas also swatted a Zanna shot attempt off the backboard during the surge, as the Orange fought to hold off a rallying Panthers squad.“When they switched to the zone, we went to him twice and he gave us two good post moves when we had to have them,” Boeheim said.But Christmas’ biggest contributions may have come from the free-throw line with three seconds left.After hauling in Lamar Patterson’s missed free throw and drawing a foul, he walked down the court ahead of everyone else and stood at the stripe with Syracuse leading 57-54.Three dribbles, a bend of the knees and a flick of the wrist later, and the Orange won the game. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Mike Messina thrives as Syracuse wing using strict pregame routine

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 6, 2015 at 10:33 pm Contact Connor: cgrossma@syr.edu | @connorgrossman From when he played his first football game at 8 years old to when he played his last as a high school senior, Mike Messina wore the same T-shirt under his jersey.It features red, yellow and blue dogs around big red text that reads “Who let the dogs out.” Messina refused to wear anything else under his jersey, just a tattered white rag with an opening for his head.“When you have a good routine in your life you have more structure,” Messina said. “When you have structure in your life, it’s hard to stray away from those things.”A series of routines has laid the foundation for Messina’s most successful season of college lacrosse. As a wing for No. 2 Syracuse (8-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) and its lethal faceoff unit, the senior midfielder has picked up 30 ground balls this season, the most of SU’s non-faceoff specialists and more than double what he’s collected in any other.The consistency and repetition has minimized the variables in his life, and it helps bring out his intensity. He’s earned the moniker “bulldog” for consistently delivering big hits on opponents, blueprinted from a decade spent as a running back.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Not that he doesn’t play to have fun,” said Sam Messina, his father, “but Mike always took what he has to do on the field very seriously.“Very seriously.”On game days Messina wakes up to a spotless room — already meticulously cleaned from the night before. His Boston terrier puppy named Bruce Wayne then accompanies him to pick up his staple pregame meal of chicken rigatoni from Pastabilites.He familiarizes himself with the opponent scouting report, then throws on a Pandora rap station as he stretches out his legs with a foam roll. Eventually he’ll arrive at the Carrier Dome where he’ll put all of his gear on from left to right — the way it’s always been done.After jogging out to the same spot on the S in the middle of the field to continue stretching, he throws a ball around with midfielder Joe Gillis. A pregame prayer in front of his locker concludes his process.He refuses to call it superstition, but rather a roadmap to follow for him to excel.“It’s not so much that he thinks it’ll work if he does these things,” said Erica Messina, his sister. “It’s more if he thinks it might cause him not to work or the team not to work, then he doesn’t want to have to think back.”Being more organized at home and in his pregame work brings a sense of relaxation and comfort he can’t otherwise reach during games. It’s those senses that turn him into the opposite person on the field — a ruthless wing looking to vacuum the ball.Against Johns Hopkins on March 14, Messina sprinted toward Blue Jays faceoff specialist Drew Kennedy as he tried to scoop up a ground ball. Messina charged in like a running back breaking through a hole in a defensive line and flipped Kennedy to his backside before he got to the ball.Penalty flags flew and Johns Hopkins players and coaches stood on the sideline, arms up in the air and shouting at Messina. He didn’t think anything special of the hit as he was just locked in as usual trying to get the ball.“He came off the field and I looked in his eyes and I was like ‘Oh my God,’” midfielder Derek DeJoe said. “Just in his eyes you could see he was in a whole different world, not my roommate eating the chicken riggies before the game.”There is a side of Messina overshadowed by big hits on the field and an old framed T-shirt. It’s a devout Catholic who draws a cross on his chest in sharpie because he can’t wear his in a game.Stuck on the wall in Messina’s room is the stick-on eye black from his every football game with the Bible verse Phil 4:13 written on them. He inscribes “R.M.A.,” the initials of his deceased grandmother, on his helmet and shoes.These parts of “the routine” starkly contrast the persona Messina brings on the field, but just as much compose the player that he is.“It’s so him to be confident and do the things that he thinks are going to keep him focused,” Erica Messina said. “The things that he’s playing for and the things that inspire him are with him when he plays.”Sam Messina instilled a mantra in his son from a very early age. He would tell him, “Never look back when you’re running with the ball.” Mike took the words as every reason to do whatever he needs not to be slowed down.And it’s a diligent routine that keeps him ticking and looking ahead to what’s next — whether it be a ground ball in front of him or remembering his left sock before his right.“There’s not too many variables in my life right now that will throw me off,” Messina said. “I know what I’m doing each and every day.” Commentslast_img read more