Published on January 8, 2019 at 12:41 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3 SOUTH BEND, Ind. — When Syracuse hosted St. Bonaventure on Dec. 29, the Orange’s goal was to take away the Bonnies pass into the middle. In the second half of Saturday’s game at Notre Dame, though, SU did the opposite, something it rarely ever does: the Orange vacated the middle of their own 2-3 zone.“It was either make an adjustment or lose,” Syracuse point guard Frank Howard said. “We got out on (Notre Dame’s T.J. Gibbs) a little bit, kind of gave away the middle, not normal for us.”“It was a great adjustment from coach.”The Orange defended the backside lob and prevented open 3s. That was the difference between four 3s in the first half for Gibbs and two 3s in the final period. From a one-point halftime deficit, Syracuse (10-4, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) came back to beat Notre Dame (10-5, 0-2), 72-62, in Purcell Pavilion behind its adjusted defense midway through the game. For much of the season, SU has been burned by an opposing guard getting hot from the outside. In its ACC opener, the Orange proved it could stifle that.“I think they were just more aware of getting out on Gibbs and making him take tougher shots,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “In the first half, (Gibbs) had pretty open looks. (D.J.) Harvey had open looks. Guys can make that; they can make those shots.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn Syracuse’s second regular season game of the season, Jordan Walker led Morehead State with 24 points and six 3s. Cornell’s Matt Morgan dropped 26 on the Orange with six 3s of his own. Buffalo’s CJ Massinburg scored 25 with four 3s. Even Arkansas State’s Ty Cockfield made three 3s en route to 13 first-half points against the Orange on Dec. 22. Often, their 3s came from the top of the key, in the zones SU guards Tyus Battle, Howard or Jalen Carey were responsible for covering.Dynamic guards under 6-foot-3 who can shoot from well beyond the 3-point arc have proven to be an issue for SU this season. Gibbs was the latest example on Saturday.In the game’s first half, he shot 4-for-8, all on 3-pointers. Gibbs continued to shoot from near the outlined four-leaf clover at the center of Notre Dame’s court. At times, Syracuse’s guards seemed hesitant to close out on him that far.“In the first half, I don’t think we were aware of where their shooters were or how they were shooting the ball,” Boeheim said.Syracuse hesitated to guard Gibbs beyond the 3-point line in Saturday’s first half. He shot and made a 3 after this catch. Via WatchESPNGibbs has shot more than 100 3s this season in 15 games. Against Syracuse, Gibbs kept the score close as the first half went along, and his shooting threat allowed him to pass to a wide-open kickout 3 for Nate Laszewski at the first-half buzzer.But the open looks changed in the second half. Even when Gibbs squared up to shoot 30 feet from the basket, one of SU’s lanky guards, Battle or Howard, was ready to cover. Frequently, he looked to shoot before passing off to someone else, but Gibbs had hands in his face beyond the arc. The Orange had solved the issue.“We just tried to limit him from shooting 3s, honestly,” Battle said. “That’s all he was getting his points on was open looks. So once we limited that, we were fine.”It created a hole in the middle of the defense, though. Syracuse was burned on backside lobs in the first half, so its centers remained deep in the paint to defend the high passes, and the guards pushed out beyond the arc at times to defend Gibbs. From three successful backside lobs and seven Irish 3s in the first half, UND was held to zero alley-oops and four 3s in the second.The only space available in SU’s defense was near the free throw line, and John Mooney exploited it, finishing with 14 points. But mid-range jumpers, from anyone on UND, were a better option than Gibbs’ first half 3-point shooting.“It just came down to us as a team not hitting shots,” Gibbs said. “Coach always says to never turn shots down. I think I did that a little bit in the second half. Can’t be hesitant.”Syracuse played Gibbs multiple feet beyond the 3-point line in the second half, leaving space in the middle of the 2-3 zone. Via WatchESPNSyracuse’s adjustment allowed it to pass its first ACC test, eventually pulling away from the Fighting Irish. Next up is Clemson in the Carrier Dome on Wednesday. The Tigers, although they’ve shot below the national average this season, like to shoot often from deep. Four players — Marcquise Reed, Shelton Mitchell, Aamir Simms and Clyde Trapp — have attempted 40 or more 3s this season. In Syracuse’s final regular season game last year, Reed drained 5-of-7 from deep in the Carrier Dome.Maybe the Orange will have to guard him five feet from the 3-point line like Gibbs. Maybe there’ll have to be a focus on shutting down the middle like against the Bonnies. But Syracuse’s defense has proven one thing it’ll need to do to win in the ACC: it can make midgame adjustments.“We just made a few defensive plays in the second half,” Boeheim said. “That was really the difference, I think, in the game.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Related Articles StumbleUpon EFL urges government to rethink gambling sponsorship ban July 3, 2020 Submit PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020 BGC: Charities win big as bookies take beating in Britannia Stakes June 19, 2020 Share Share Sky Bet, the title sponsor of the English Football League (EFL), are sponsoring extra buses and coaches for Brighton & Hove Albion fans for the postponed fixture against Cardiff City.The original match day was due to be played on 30th December but it was rescheduled for 24th January after being postponed due to heavy fog. But with the new date affected by the industrial action of rail workers, thousands of Albion fans are having to arrange alternate ways to reach the game.Sky Bet, in conjunction with Brighton, have agreed to sponsor 12 contingency buses across two additional park-and-ride sites in Brighton & Hove, that will run fans to the Amex for the match.Cardiff City fans who made the 200-mile round trip left the south coast disappointed, but Sky Bet swiftly stepped in with an offer of free travel for the rescheduled game.Sky Bet sponsorship manager David Tweed said: “When we saw the rearranged fixture would be affected by the Southern Rail strikes, we thought it was only fair to help the Brighton & Hove Albion fans in the same way we’d helped Cardiff.“With both sets of fans catered for, hopefully the game will deliver a performance that is worth the wait!”Brighton & Hove Albion Chief Executive Paul Barber said: “We are very grateful to Sky Bet for their sponsorship. Due to the ongoing rail dispute it has been a really tough season in terms of travel for our fans; not to mention our operations team, who’ve done a tremendous job in terms of providing regular contingency travel around the rail disruptions.“This has been very costly for the club, particularly for the Cardiff City match – having already arranged and paid for contingency travel services for the original game – so this sponsorship is extremely welcomed by the club, and I’d like to thank Sky Bet for their support.”
Rafael Nadal’s irrepressible form continued as he thrashed Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva to move into round three of the US Open.The world number two, who has won nine of his 12 tournaments this year and all 21 hard court matches, outclassed Dutra Silva 6-2 6-1 6-0 in 92 minutes.Defending champion Serena Williams, five-time winner Roger Federer and second seed Victoria Azarenka also won.But fourth seed Sara Errani was eliminated by Flavia Pennetta.Arthur Ashe StadiumFlavia Pennetta (Ita) bt Sara Errani (Ita)  6-3 6-1 Fourth seed Errani admitted she felt so weighed down by pressure that she did not want to go on the court before losing to her compatriot.Maria Sharapova’s withdrawal meant the 26-year-old was elevated to fourth seed and she struggled to cope with it.“I think it’s the pressure,” said a tearful Errani. “I have never been in this situation. I don’t want to go on the court. I don’t want to go to play. I don’t want to stay there on the court. I feel very bad.”Serena Williams (US)  bt Galina Voskoboeva (Kaz) 6-3 6-0The 16-time Grand Slam champion needed just 69 minutes to book a third-round meeting with Yaroslava Shvedova, of Kazakhstan, and has now lost only four games in two matches. Roger Federer (Swi)  bt Carlos Berlocq (Arg) 6-3 6-2 6-1“It might take a few matches and next thing you know you’re playing really, really good tennis again and you’re close to playing some really great tennis,” said Federer, who is at his lowest world ranking – seventh – since 2002.“I think that’s kind of where I am right now, and that’s where every match is really important to me and how I play every single point.”Caroline Wozniacki (Den)  bt Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 6-1 6-2Rafael Nadal (Spa)  bt Rogerio Dutra Silva (Bra) 6-2 6-1 6-0 Nadal showed no sign of the injuries that have plagued him over the past two years and later said: “I’m trying to play more aggressive.“I didn’t have time to practise a lot because I was injured for seven months and when I started to feel better I started to compete. I need to play more aggressive – I’m trying to work on this my whole career but it’s more mental than a training thing.”Louis Armstrong StadiumAngelique Kerber (Ger)  bt Eugenie Bouchard (Can) 6-4 2-6 6-3Bouchard, 19, has been tipped as a future star, but Kerber battled through and remains on course for a quarter-final meeting with Serena Williams.David Ferrer (Spa)  bt Roberto Bautista Agut (Spa) 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-2 His pre-tournament form was unimpressive, but Ferrer has now made it to round three or better at each of the last 15 Grand Slams.Victoria Azarenka (Blr)  bt Aleksandra Wozniak (Can) 6-3 6-1Azarenka, who beat Serena Williams at the recent Cincinnati Open, was broken three times on a windy day – but she prevailed in a little over an hour to book a meeting with Alize Cornet of France.John Isner (US)  bt Gael Monfils (Fra) 7-5 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-4)Number 13 seed Isner held off Monfils to progress as the last-seeded American in the men’s draw, despite the Frenchman getting more than his share of support in front of Isner’s home crowd.Grandstand Ana Ivanovic (Ser)  bt Alexandra Dulgheru (Rom) 6-2 6-1Adrian Mannarino (Fra) bt Sam Querrey (US)  7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (5-7) 6-2Mannarino is through to round three of a Grand Slam for only the second time, and his reward is a meeting with Roger Federer.Querrey’s first defeat before round three at Flushing Meadows since 2007 means the highest-ranked US man left in the draw is 13th seed Isner.Brits abroadDan Evans (GB) bt Bernard Tomic (Aus) 1-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 Match reportJamie Murray (GB) and John Peers (Aus) bt Fernando Verdasco (Spa)  David Marrero (Spa)  7-6 (7-4) 6-4Britain’s Murray and his Australian partner Peers will continue their doubles bid against Feliciano Lopez and Andre Sa after an impressive 81-minute victory over ninth seeds Verdasco and Marrero.Dominic Inglot (GB)  and Treat Huey (Phi)  bt Jurgen Melzer (Aut) and Julian Knowle (Aut) 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5)Jiri Vesely (Cze) and Jaroslav Levinsky (Cze) bt Ken Skupski (GB) and Denis Istomin (Uzb) 6-3 6-3Outside courtsPetra Kvitova (Cze)  bt Bojana Jovanovski (Ser) 6-2 6-4Richard Gasquet (Fra)  bt Stephane Robert (Fra) 6-3 7-5 7-5Tommy Robredo (Spa)  bt Frank Dancevic (Can) 6-4 6-4 6-1The 31-year-old former world number five looked hugely impressive as he knocked out Dancevic to set up a meeting with Britain’s Dan Evans.
Hopkins, 42, held at least one piece of the middleweight championship for 10 years before he lost all four belts via split decision to Jermain Taylor in July 2005. It was somewhat controversial in that most ringside observers had Hopkins winning. Taylor again emerged victorious via narrow unanimous decision in a rematch five months later. But six months after that, last June, Hopkins moved up to light heavyweight and beat people’s champion Antonio Tarver with a lopsided decision. Hopkins announced his retirement. But it didn’t last long. “It’s going to be an interesting showdown,” Schaefer said. “It’s Bernard fighting another big fight. For him, it’s fighting one of the best fighters again, one who hasn’t lost in a long time. For Winky, a win over Hopkins, think what what would do. Then he would actually be the only fighter who fought and won against the three guys Oscar lost to. So, it is a very interesting fight. A very big fight.” Wright has two wins over Mosley and a win over Felix Trinidad Jr. Bernard Hopkins, one of the great middleweights of all-time, recently announced that he wanted to come out of a short retirement. Speculation immediately began as to whom he would fight. The speculation is over. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, told this newspaper Wednesday that Hopkins and Winky Wright have signed contracts to fight each other July 21 at a site to be determined. “It’s signed, sealed and delivered,” Schaefer said. “We signed it last weekend (Saturday) in Las Vegas. Different sites are interested. Las Vegas is interested.” Wright, of St. Petersburg, Fla., trains in Las Vegas. Hopkins, a partner in Golden Boy Promotions, was there playing host to the Golden Boy-promoted welterweight title fight between “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Luis Collazo, won by Mosley. De La Hoya has losses to Mosley, Trinidad and Hopkins. Wright, 35, is the former junior middleweight champion and currently a top-ranked middleweight. He has not lost since 1999. Wright and Hopkins will meet at a catch-weight of 170 pounds, two pounds over the super middleweight limit. Hopkins, of Philadelphia, is 47-4-1 with 32 knockouts. Wright is 51-3-1 with 25 knockouts. Vazquez-Marquez Israel Vazquez of Mexico City on March 3 will defend his World Boxing Council super bantamweight belt against countryman Rafael Marquez at Home Depot Center in Carson. Marquez, a bantamweight world champion the past several years, will be moving up in weight. But he is a consensus top 10 pound-for-pound fighter and one of the meanest hombres in the sport. He also has one of the game’s best trainers in Nacho Beristain. Even though Vazquez is the champion at this weight and a borderline top 10 pound-for-pound fighter, he will undoubtedly be in the toughest fight of his esteemed career. And he might be in it without his trainer, Freddie Roach. Roach is scheduled to leave on March 1 with the rest of Team De La Hoya to Puerto Rico, where Roach will train De La Hoya for his May 5 mega fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas. Prior to a news conference Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles promoting his fight, Vazquez was asked about the scenario. “He (Roach) formally told us that he is going to be there, that he is going to be in my corner,” said Vazquez, who is co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Sycuan Ringside Promotions. Schaefer was also on hand at the news conference. He sang a different tune. He said the plan right now is for all of Team De La Hoya to leave for camp in Puerto Rico the day after a Feb. 28 Los Angeles news conference that will complete a long press tour. “I have to talk to Oscar and see what his plans are,” Schaefer said. “Maybe he (Roach) stays for the fight. I can’t really answer you one way or another. It’s an Oscar issue. If Oscar wants to start camp on the first (of March), with the whole team flying back together, then, you know…” Yes, we know. That means Roach won’t be in Vazquez’s corner unless De La Hoya says he can. Told about this, Vazquez expressed cautious optimism. “I hope Oscar understands that this is a big fight for us,” Vazquez said. “I belong to his company. I also have to prepare. I think this fight is a big fight for the company, for everybody. I hope he will understand and let Freddie stay with me that night.” Frank Espinoza of West Covina is Vazquez’s longtime manager. He expressed concern late Tuesday night that Vazquez might be without Roach for the most important fight of his career. A win over Marquez would no doubt vault Vazquez into the top 10 of most respected pound-for-pound polls. “Here you have a Golden Boy fighter in Israel Vazquez,” Espinoza said. “Why wouldn’t they let him (Roach) stay?” Should Roach not make the fight, he will most likely be replaced by Justin Fortune, Roach’s assistant at Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. “I guess Israel feels OK with him,” Espinoza said. Vazquez, 29, is 41-3 with 30 knockouts. Marquez, 31, is 36-3 with 32 knockouts. The main undercard fight to Vazquez-Marquez will feature Vic Darchinyan in a defense of his International Boxing Federation flyweight belt against Victor Burgos. Tickets at Home Depot Center will begin at $25. Both fights will be televised by Showtime. Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini This newspaper recently had a short conversation with Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini. He was reminded about the upcoming 25th anniversary of his tragic fight with Duk Koo Kim on Nov. 13, 1982. Kim was stopped in the 14th round of a brutal fight and died four days later. In the ensuing months, both Kim’s mother and the fight’s referee, Richard Greene, committed suicide. So when Mancini was asked if he would be willing to talk to us for an anniversary story, he politely refused with an understandable comment. “Anniversaries are supposed to be for celebration,” Mancini said. “What’s to celebrate?” Mancini is from Youngstown, Ohio, but he has lived in Santa Monica the past 21 years. Now 45, he retired in 1992. Robert Morales can be reached at [email protected] or at (562) 499-2552. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!