Fast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s season-opening win vs. Lehigh

first_img Published on November 13, 2015 at 9:07 pm Syracuse (1-0) used a torrid first half to edge Lehigh (0-1), 57-47, in the Carrier Dome on Friday night. Here are three quick thoughts on the Orange’s season-opening win.1. Role reversal After Syracuse jumped out to a 20-point lead after 20 minutes, Lehigh roared back into the game and Syracuse found itself in an unfamiliar situation.The Mountain Hawks, for much of the second half, shifted into a 2-3 zone to slow down Syracuse’s breakneck game and claw back. It left the Orange searching the perimeter for open shots, and only after Trevor Cooney andMichael Gbinije made 3s toward the end of the game did Lehigh switch back into a man-to-man defense that SU could penetrate against.The unveiling of Syracuse’s refocused perimeter offense got off to a slow start and Lehigh’s zone only magnified that. The Orange finished just 11-for-34 from beyond the arc, but made enough shots at the right times to avoid a season-opening upset. The game — just one short look at how SU plans to play this season — showed that Syracuse is capable of both living and dying by its ability to hit 3s.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Monday, it lived. But the Mountain Hawks were only picked to win the Patriot League and the season is very young.2. Fresh legs Freshman forward Tyler Lydon provided a big boost for the Orange on Friday night, but not by scoring the basketball.Lydon played 28 minutes in place of starters Dajuan Coleman and Tyler Roberson — Coleman for foul trouble after picking up two early and a third with 15:36 left in the game, and Roberson for poor rebounding and defense. Lydon was very active on both ends, finishing with four points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. In his collegiate debut, Lydon’s biggest effects on the game come on hustle plays. He frequently went to the floor after loose balls and made two athletic saves under the Orange’s rim to kickstart the fast break in the first half.Junior center Chinonso Obokoh was also impressive in place of Coleman, finishing with four defensive rebounds and a game-high four blocks.3. First-half defense sets the toneIn the opening possessions of the game, Lehigh looked like it would expose Syracuse’s 2-3 zone all night. Entry passes found open players in the short corner. There was room to attack out of the high post. Any adjustments by the Orange promised to open up the perimeter for the Mountain Hawks’ shooters.But then Syracuse picked up defensive intensity and scoring opportunities vanished. Lehigh scored just 12 first-half points while shooting 2-for-23 from the field and 1-for-10 from 3. The Mountain Hawks also committed 12 turnovers, and didn’t score a field goal for the final 13:14 while the Orange went on a 12-3 run.Lehigh tweaked its offense, rediscovered the holes and opened the second half with an 18-4 run, turning an inevitable blowout into a tight contest. But it didn’t matter that the regular-season debut of SU’s 3-heavy offense was underwhelming, because Lehigh’s first-half output put it down 20 points it couldn’t make up for.  The Hawks finished 2-for-17 from 3, which was the biggest impediment on its comeback chances.Syracuse, with just one player shorter than 6 feet, 4 inches in its nine-man rotation, ultimately used its length to stiff arm an upset bid. And it probably won’t be the last time that happens this season. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

From furlough to free-to-air: Premier League becomes a political football

first_img“When the furlough scheme and the discussions around player salaries and taking pay cuts arose, my feeling was that was opportunistic on the part of government and actually very cynical,” Professor Simon Chadwick, Director of Eurasian Sport at Emlyon business school told AFP.“Within weeks the government had flipped again and suddenly this is important for national well-being, social cohesion and national identity, providing a diversion from the pandemic.“This was the government using football to achieve its own ends, rather than of football itself, or fans and the population.”– Mass audiences –Attention from politicians was certainly not welcomed by players, particularly as they set up a fund to generate funds for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).Hancock was accused of “deflecting” underfunding of the NHS by Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend, while Newcastle’s Danny Rose said players’ health was being put at risk to boost the national mood.However, the pressure from government for free-to-air matches could yet have long-lasting benefits for the English top-flight.For the first time since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, the BBC will show four live games before the end of the season.Amazon and a Sky freeview channel will also bring more live games to a wider audience.Cricket and golf are among the sports to have suffered consequences of disappearing behind a paywall in the UK.“It is important that as many people as possible can access our games,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.By being beamed back to the masses on its return, the Premier League could ensure absence makes the heart grow fonder and increase its already massive following.Share on: WhatsApp premier leagueLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |  The green light for the Premier League’s return owes much to a political will for the national game to lift spirits in the country hardest hit by coronavirus in Europe.Suspected and confirmed deaths from coronavirus in Britain passed 50,000 according to analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week.Restrictions on personal freedoms remain in place, while plans to reopen schools to all pupils in England have been shelved until September.Yet, on Wednesday, Premier League stars will return to live action with the government revelling in its role to ensure 33 of the remaining 92 games of the season will be shown on free-to-air platforms.Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament last month that the return of live sport to television “could provide a much-needed boost to national morale”.On the day June 17 was set as the date for the Premier League’s return, Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Sport, said football had a “special place in our national life.”– Furlough fury –However, the Premier League has not enjoyed such political backing throughout the course of the pandemic.In the early weeks of April as clubs scrambled to respond to a sudden drop in revenue, Liverpool and Tottenham were among the top-flight teams that signalled their intent to use the government’s furlough scheme for non-playing staff.The scheme, designed to protect jobs once lockdowns are lifted, has seen the government cover the cost of 80 percent of wages up to a maximum of 2,500 ($3,100) a month per employee.Yet, the sight of last season’s two Champions League finalists using tax payers’ money without cutting the wages of players provoked a furious reaction.Conservative MP Julian Knight accused the Premier League of a “moral vacuum.”At a daily news briefing at the height of the crisis, even Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Premier League players to “take a pay cut and play their part”.Both clubs bowed to the public pressure and quickly reversed their decision to use the scheme.last_img read more

Rochester’s Lauryn Williams in USA-1 at Sochi Games

first_imgLauryn Williams with the United States team, gets out of her sled after a training run for the two-man bobsled at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 6, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Lauryn Williams thought about quitting bobsledding after her very first ride four months ago.She stuck around, and another Olympic medal may be her reward.Williams’ improbable story grew Saturday when she was selected to push the USA-1 sled driven by Elana Meyers at the Sochi Olympics. That decision legitimizes her chance of becoming only the second person to win gold in two sports at the summer and winter games, after she helped the U.S. win the 4×100-meter relay at the London Games two years ago.“Incredible,” U.S. coach Todd Hays said after the decisions were made. “I would have bet anybody any amount of money that no person could walk on this team as a rookie and make the team, let alone actually be in USA-1. But you look at Lauryn’s resume and it tells you what type of athlete she is. She’s one of the greatest U.S. sprinters of all time, incredibly talented, incredibly powerful with an incredible work ethic.”Lolo Jones, another track Olympian-turned-bobsledder, and the person who recruited Williams to sliding, will push the USA-3 sled driven by Jazmine Fenlator of Wayne, N.J. In USA-2, it’s Jamie Greubel of Newtown, Pa. driving with brakeman Aja Evans of Chicago.Jones, of Des Moines, Iowa, and Williams, of Rochester, Pa., are becoming the ninth and 10th Americans to compete in both the summer and winter Olympics.“I came here to help this team, and wherever the coaches think is the best place for me to help is where I’m going to be,” Williams said before the pairings were known. “And I’m going to push as hard as I can. … I’m excited. I love everyone on this team and I’m going to do the best job that I can.”Meyers, from Douglasville, Ga., drove to either gold or silver medals in seven of the eight World Cup races this season, finishing one point behind Kaillie Humphries of Canada in the season long standings. Meyers and Williams were paired together once, earning silver.Greubel and Evans also raced together once this season, finishing fourth. Fenlator was with Jones — who missed medals in the hurdles at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 — three times in World Cup races this winter, with seventh being their top finish.“We have three great brakemen. That’s the best-case scenario,” Meyers said. “Regardless of who’s in my sled, I’m going to have a great push, so that’s a very comforting feeling going in.”The American women came into the season talking about sweeping the podium, something the U.S. has done only twice in any event at the Winter Olympics, claiming gold, silver and bronze in men’s figure skating in 1956, then again in a men’s snowboard event in 2002.It’s not totally farfetched. In the World Cup standings, Greubel finished third, Fenlator was seventh, and the U.S. swept one podium — a gold for Meyers and a two-way tie between Greubel and Fenlator for silver — in a World Cup race at Park City earlier this season.“We’re going to go for it,” Meyers said. “I think we have the brakemen, we have the equipment and now it’s just figuring out this track.”The men’s two-man pairings also were revealed Saturday, with Steve Langton tabbed to push the USA-1 two-man sled driven by Steven Holcomb. Holcomb and Langton won a world title together in 2012.The other two-man pairings for the U.S. include Nick Cunningham driving with Dallas Robinson, along with Cory Butner driving with brakeman Chris Fogt.None of those picks were particularly surprising.Williams being in USA-1 for the women’s race, that one will surely raise eyebrows. She was going to be a financial planner a few months ago before deciding almost on a whim to go to Lake Placid, N.Y. and see what bobsledding was all about.It’s now within the realm of possibility that she can join Eddie Eagan — an American who won gold as a boxer at the 1920 Summer Olympics, then as a bobsledder at the 1932 Winter Olympics — on one of the most elite Olympic lists.“You combine that everything she is together,” Hays said, “and you find a girl who can make herself great at just about anything.”last_img read more

EL HUERFANO BATTLES BACK TO EARN HEAD VICTORY IN $60,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE UNDER ESPINOZA; MILLER TRAINEE GETS MILE IN 1:37.05

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 31, 2016)–With favored Whiskey Ticket battling back to his inside, El Huerfano proved best late as he registered a hard-earned head victory under Victor Espinoza in Thursday’s $60,000 allowance feature at Santa Anita. Trained by Peter Miller, El Huerfano, winless in his last nine starts, covered a flat mile in 1:37.05.“A win is a win,” Espinoza cracked, after being reminded there was no where near the $10,000,000 that he pursued in winning last Saturday’s Dubai World Cup aboard California Chrome. “I thought it was going to be very close, but when the other horse came to me, my horse came back on again.”Off as the 2-1 second choice in a field of six older horses, El Huerfano sat a close third, just to the outside of Whiskey Ticket at the quarter pole, took charge a furlong out and repelled a gallant late surge from “Whiskey” to prevail, paying $6.80, $3.20 and $2.40.Owned by Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber, the 4-year-old California-bred colt by Tannersmyman was making his third start for Miller and picked up $46,800 for the win, increasing his earnings to $145,527. He now has four wins from 15 career starts.Trained by Bob Baffert, Whiskey Ticket, a winner of the Grade III Illinois Derby in his second career start on April 18, had been idle since well beaten in the Ohio Derby on June 20. Ridden by Martin Pedroza, he was off at 6-5 and paid $3.20 and $2.40.Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Tribal jewel saved ground throughout and ran on for third money, finishing 2 ¾ lengths behind Whiskey Ticket. Off at 9-2, Tribal Jewel paid $2.20 to show.Fractions on the race were 23.11, 46.40, 1:11.10 and 1:23.82.First post time for an eight race card on Friday at Santa Anita is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.last_img read more