What we learned from Syracuse’s 88-68 loss at No. 7 Louisville

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It was a fleeting two minutes and 10 seconds that Syracuse spent ahead of Louisville on Sunday afternoon. The remaining 37:50 looked a lot like SU’s (17-13, 9-8 Atlantic Coast) previous road games, and the result was a 20-point loss to the No. 7 Cardinals (23-6, 11-5) in the KFC Yum! Center.Here are three things we learned from the Orange’s penultimate regular season game.In a battle of presses, Syracuse got run downBoth the Cardinals and SU found different reasons to employ their press defenses. UofL was trying to catch Syracuse a little bit off guard, especially after not showcasing a press in the Carrier Dome two weeks ago. SU, quite simply, was pressing out of desperation. If nothing else, it was a last gasp to maintain relevancy on the scoreboard.The Cardinals had the luxury of picking their spots to dispatch some pressure defense. That helped force some of Syracuse’s 16 turnovers, which Louisville then converted for 27 points.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange’s press wasn’t terrible, and it hasn’t been when it’s been used in the final minutes of close games. But instead of playing a short game of catchup or preserving a game-ending lead, SU began pressing in the final two minutes of the first half. It then extended into large chunks of second-half minutes, leaving Syracuse worn out and yielding several easy baskets.“People have said, ‘Why don’t you press more?’” Boeheim said. “Well this is why. Because we’re effective for three or four minutes.“…When you have to press, you have to press. There’s no other way out of it.”Taurean Thompson took a step back in his progressionThe 6-foot-10 freshman forward has been a bright spot this season. He immediately proved himself as a crafty scorer in the post, and unseated fifth-year senior Dajuan Coleman as a starter. Thompson’s been dragged down by poor defensive positioning in the zone and is no stranger to foul trouble, but largely he’s been productive in his freshman campaign.On Sunday though, Thompson sat disgruntled in his locker room chair after the game. He recounted his poor shot selection and inability to rebound against the Cardinals’ lengthy roster. The freshman still finishing with 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting, but he was completely shut out in the first half. He missed the only three shots he took and corralled only one rebound, playing only eight minutes in favor of Tyler Roberson. His two points came from the free-throw line.The second half, like it was for most every Syracuse player, went better than the first. Thompson had a better touch on his shot, but defensive issues cropped up again. He committed three fouls, including blatant contact on Quentin Snider in a one-on-one situation.“I didn’t even know what to do,” Thompson said. “It was one-on-one, so I just fouled.“… Just bad decisions.”Syracuse took too long to start drivingAt times, it seemed SU completely forgot what happened in an overtime loss to the Cardinals in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse attempted more 3-pointers (33) than it had against any other team this season, and still shot 24.2 percent behind the arc. UofL boasts one of the best 3-point defenses in the ACC, and SU still tried to test it on Sunday afternoon. The Orange missed 11 3s and hardly drove the paint in the first half, helping contribute to a 16-point halftime deficit.It was seemingly too late to stage a comeback at that point, especially against the Cardinals’ defense. But once Syracuse founds openings to knife through Louisville’s interior defense, that finally led to an uptick in offense. It’s the same strategy that shouldered much of SU’s comeback wins over Duke and Virginia.That’s not to say the Orange would have beaten UofL if it started driving from the opening tipoff, but perhaps the final score doesn’t reflect a blowout. Point guard play was once again a focal point, and after scoring 26 against the Blue Devils on Wednesday, John Gillon scored 10 points dished only three assists.“(Louisville) have to be one of the longest, if not the longest team,” Gillon said. “…They have three shot blockers in at all times.”“You’ve got to drive,” Boeheim added. “The second half we drove. We had 43 points in the second half. Same defense. We were just too passive. We didn’t attack the defense.” Comments Published on February 26, 2017 at 7:41 pm Contact Connor: cgrossma@syr.edu | @connorgrossmanlast_img read more

Women’s volleyball gears up for tough Pac-12 season

first_imgKatie Chin | Daily TrojanThe women’s volleyball team will begin the 2017 season with a match against Loyola Marymount this Friday. This match will present an opportunity for head coach Mick Haley and the women’s volleyball team to build momentum for upcoming matches in the next two weeks against No. 16 Michigan, No. 9 Creighton and No. 14 Kentucky.  USC just missed the top-25 rankings with 105 points, about 40 points shy of No. 25 Purdue. As the season progresses, the Trojans will try to make their way up the poll as they return half of their starting lineup from last season.The roster runs deep, and many of this season’s key players have been major contributors to the team’s successes since their freshman seasons. Sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier displayed her physical presence at the net and defensive abilities last season as a freshman recording 491 kills (4.06 kills/set) and 315 digs (2.60 digs/set), which are first and second on the team, respectively.  She won’t be alone, however, as senior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie, junior outside hitter Alyse Ford and junior opposite hitter Niki Withers also add depth to the lineup.  Abercrombie had 255 kills last season while hitting at a .246 percentage, Ford added 272 kills on a .220 percentage and Withers swung for 298 kills on a .253 hitting percentage. These four hitters will allow the Trojan offense to spread across the pins, providing balance that will be difficult for the opposing team to defend.The Trojans may be fully loaded on the pins, but the middle position lost Elise Ruddins to graduation. Senior middle blocker Jordan Dunn returns, and there is potential in junior middle blockers Brittany Welsh and Madison Murtagh to make an impact for the Trojan offense and defense at the net this season. Welsh is a transfer from LSU, and will be making the adjustment to the Pac-12 standard of play.“I’m really excited to be a part of the conference now and look forward to competition that has historically dominated in women’s indoor volleyball,” Welsh said. “I have also been fortunate enough to train with the team the whole summer, as it took time to adjust to the new system, but the girls were very helpful and super welcoming to all eight of us new players on the team.”Any swings that get beyond this block will be in the defensive territory of junior libero Victoria Garrick, who tallied 182 digs last season.Lastly, senior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley will run the offense. Another setter could be added to the offensive mix, since Haley has traditionally utilized two setters in a 6-2 offense due to Meyer-Whalley’s smaller stature.  A 6-2 offense is when both setters operate solely from the back row, which provides a total of six hitters (two outside hitters, two opposite hitters and two middle blockers) available in the seven-player rotation, including the libero. This offense is especially effective for the Trojans because it allows them to utilize four pin hitters in a match instead of the traditional three used by many other teams.In its quest for a deep playoff run, USC will be challenged in the Pac-12, which boasts 2016 NCAA champion Stanford, in addition to other strong programs in Washington, Utah, Arizona and UCLA.last_img read more

British Open 2019: J.B. Holmes takes surprise lead on a day of misery for Tiger, Rory

first_imgPORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — J.B. Holmes surprisingly leads the way at the top of a tantalizingly tight leaderboard at the British Open, but it was a day to forget for Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at Royal Portrush.Holmes, whose previous best finish at a major was third in the same tournament at Royal Troon three years ago, stands alone after a 5-under-par 66 on Thursday. Instead Holmes, who flew under the radar for much of the round, was the one to emerge from the congested pack.He bogeyed his opening hole but was 2 under by the turn thanks to a trio of birdies at the second, third and fifth.The way home proved just as fruitful as he picked up strokes at the 12th and 14th and 18th, the late gain enough to take the outright lead. But the cause of McIlroy, carrying the weight of home expectation at Portrush, already appears a lost one as the local favorite toiled to an 8-over 79.Woods’ chances of a fourth Claret Jug also seem damaged beyond repair, with the Masters champion badly out of touch en route to a score of 78.A bogey on the 1st but it was red from then on for @JBHolmesgolf. He finishes with a 66 and is the clubhouse leader #TheOpen #NTTDATAWallLive scoring  https://t.co/eQjasgPOwf pic.twitter.com/kyOZyicmCL— The Open (@TheOpen) July 18, 2019McIlroy arrived at the first hole to a thunderous ovation, but he trudged off the green with a quadruple-bogey eight after an out-of-bounds tee shot – which broke a spectator’s phone – and could not regain his composure.Another bogey followed at the third and, despite a couple of birdies at the seventh and ninth, more misery was to follow on the closing holes. He three-putted on the 16th, fittingly named Calamity Corner, and finished with a triple-bogey seven.It was left to Lowry to lay down the marker for the early starters on a morning where conditions were favorable for low scoring, the Irishman recording five birdies and just a solitary bogey to set the clubhouse target.When heavy bursts of showers interspersed clear skies later in the day, Koepka – who has gone 2-1-2 in the majors in 2019 – got to 4 under by the 14th before a bogey at the penultimate hole slightly dented his progress.Solo leader at #TheOpen.@JBHolmesGolf opens with a 5-under 66 in Round 1. pic.twitter.com/vnStUoXKIq— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 18, 2019Woods, meanwhile, dropped six shots between the fifth and 10th to tumble down the leaderboard. Another bogey arrived at 14 before a gain at the next offered temporary relief, with a dropped shot on 18 compounding his misery.Rahm, meanwhile, came flying out of the blocks, a huge drive down the par-5 second leading to his first birdie of the day before draining a 12-foot putt at the fourth for another.Some wonderful approach play yielded three straight birdies to leave him 5 under by the turn but scoring proved trickier on the back nine, which he played at 2 over, including a costly bogey at the last after finding himself out of position. Tiger Woods downbeat after British Open opening round miserycenter_img British Open 2019: Reality stings for Rory McIlroy at Royal Portrush That puts the Kentucky native one stroke clear of Shane Lowry, while Jon Rahm – in fine form after winning the Irish Open earlier this month – had reached 5 under before two late bogeys on the Dunluce Links left him in a mammoth clutch of 13 players in a tie for third.Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka is also lurking just two shots back, as are Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton and Ryan Fox, who came home in 29 strokes to set a new record for the lowest back-nine score in Open history. Related Newslast_img read more