November 16, 2020

Losses force closure of top night spot at Star City

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MBB : Cohen: Superior outside shooting separates 2009-10 Syracuse team from this season’s group

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments It’s Jan. 14, just before 8 p.m. Syracuse and Providence won’t tip off for more than an hour, but SU’s best shooter is already out on the floor warming up.He’s sweating through his sleeveless Orange compression shirt, firing up jumper after jumper. He doesn’t miss.He rains 3-pointers from everywhere beyond the arc, with nearly every shot swishing perfectly through the basket. Come game time, though, the sweat on his forehead has long since dried. He won’t see the court tonight. He never does.That’s because SU’s best shooter is Trevor Cooney, a freshman who head coach Jim Boeheim elected to redshirt this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘If you want to say that there aren’t some great shooters on this year’s team, yeah, you’re right about that,’ former Syracuse forward Leo Rautins said.And as we enter the unpredictable fray that is March Madness, not having a great shooter is a major concern. The last season in which SU held a No. 1 ranking was the 2009-10 season. That team also earned a No. 1 seed. That team had two great shooters.The lack of consistency from beyond the arc, coupled with Fab Melo’s limited offensive game compared to that of Arinze Onuaku, are the two main reasons why that Syracuse team is better than this year’s Syracuse team.The NCAA Tournament is single-elimination. An off night can mean a slew of nights off until next year’s season begins. And that’s why having a cold-blooded, knockdown shooter is more important.Enter Andy Rautins, son of Leo Rautins. He was, put simply, an assassin. Six times he made five or more 3s in a game his senior year. Fifteen times this season Syracuse has made five or fewer 3s in a game as a team.Oh, and Wes Johnson hit 41.5 percent from long range, too. That luxury cannot be undervalued.‘I think with Wesley and Andy we were a little more consistent from the perimeter that season,’ SU assistant coach Gerry McNamara said. ‘I think this year we’ve had multiple guys that are capable of making shots, we’ve just struggled.’Struggled might be a bit of an understatement. The 2011-12 Orange ranks 155th in the country in 3-point field goals made per game. It ranks 162nd in 3-point field-goal percentage.Do you remember the last juggernaut team to roll through the regular season despite a slew of average-at-best shooters?Memphis with Derrick Rose. The Tigers rolled all the way to the national championship game with just one loss, 38-1. The knock on them all year was that no one on that team could make a jump shot on a regular basis.Not Rose. Not Doneal Mack. Not Willie Kemp. Sometimes Chris Douglas-Roberts.That team shot 34.9 percent as a team from 3-point range and lost to Kansas to finish the season as national runner-up. The Tigers shot 6-of-22 from 3 in the title game.Syracuse is an even worse shooting team from long range than Memphis at 34.3 percent.‘Come NCAA Tournament time, I think you say your prayers and hope that you don’t hit a cold spell,’ Rautins said.But let’s say you do hit a cold spell. Let’s say the up-and-down shooting of Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph is mostly down.Wouldn’t it be nice to have an inside presence who could score consistently in the low post? That’s certainly not Melo.Don’t get me wrong. What Melo brings on the defensive end of the floor for this year’s team is not even close to anything Onuaku could provide two years ago. His athleticism around the rim is a boost, too. Lob city.Yet there’s something to be said for that prototypical big man who can post up and produce. That was Onuaku to the tune of 20 games in double figures his senior year with four games of 15 or more points.Melo has reached double figures only 10 times this season, and he’s never topped 15 points in his whole career.‘Arinze was a very good rebounder, and he was a low-post presence offensively,’ McNamara said. ‘… I think the biggest difference was Arinze that year was more of a threat to score.’But Onuaku got hurt. His injured knee killed Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament. DaShonte Riley wasn’t ready, and SU fell to eventual runner-up Butler. All around the SU community, it’s widely believed that a healthy AO gets the Orange to at least the Final Four two years ago.When healthy, that team was the perfect three-headed monster. Onuaku inside, Rautins outside and Johnson doing whatever he wanted.No brainer. I’ll take the old guys.‘We had guys crying when he hurt his leg,’ McNamara said. ‘… If he doesn’t go down, I’m a firm believer that we make a Final Four run.’Michael Cohen is a staff writer for The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at mjcohe02@syr.edu or on Twitter at @Michael_Cohen13. center_img Published on March 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13last_img read more

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Qualification for next Champions League should be ‘on sporting merit’, says UEFA

first_imgEarlier this week the Dutch football federation (KNVB) announced its intention to call an end to the season following the government’s decision to extend a ban on large gatherings until September because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Belgian Pro League is set to decide next week that it will end its season, thereby declaring Club Brugge champions. The Scottish league could do the same.In contrast, the German Bundesliga is hoping to restart early next month.Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (C) raises the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on June 1, 2019. Paris, France | AFP | Qualification for the next Champions League should be “on sporting merit” if domestic leagues cannot be completed but countries should “explore all possible options” to finish seasons suspended because of the coronavirus crisis, UEFA said on Thursday.“If a domestic competition is prematurely terminated for legitimate reasons…UEFA would require (leagues) to select clubs for the UEFA club competitions 2020/21 based on sporting merit” in the current season, European football’s governing body said after a meeting of its Executive Committee.That means that, while it remains hopeful that suspended seasons can still somehow be completed, UEFA is now willing to consider “legitimate reasons” to terminate leagues now, with current standings considered final and used as a basis for teams to qualify for the next Champions League and Europa League.The announcement comes with several countries looking to bring an early end to their football seasons because of the complications of lockdowns imposed due to the health situation.last_img read more

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