Former Iggy Winner. I used to be somebody special
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to St Nicholas Day!
St. Nicholas Day celebrates St. Nicholas, a popular minor Christian saint in Western and Eastern churches. In the fourth century, he was a bishop in Myra, a Greek town in the ancient district of Lycia, in Asia Minor, near present-day Demre, Turkey. The story of much of his life is not based on historical evidence, but on traditional stories and legends. It is believed that he was born in Patara, a seaport in Lycia, and that he traveled to Palestine and Egypt before coming to Myra. He was imprisoned for his beliefs by Roman Emperor Diocletian but was freed by Constantine the Great. He is believed to have been at the first council of Nicaea, and there are many legends that say he performed miracles for the poor. He was known for giving gifts and putting coins in people's shoes, and this influenced the way he is celebrated, as well as how other traditions during the Christmas season are celebrated.
St. Nicholas was buried in his church in Myra, and over the next few centuries, pilgrims began coming to his shrine. In 1087, his remains were stolen and taken to Bari, Italy. This increased his popularity in Europe, and Bari became a popular pilgrimage site. Most of his remains are still at the Basilica of San Nicola in Bari. His popularity continued to rise during the Middle Ages, but disappeared in most places except the Netherlands during the Reformation. His popularity has come back in Europe, and he has since become the patron saint of many places and people.
https: //www.syracuse.com/expo/sports/erry-2018/12/7349018c191891/numbers-show-syracuse-basketba.html (PS; Ditota)
Jim Boeheim has spent the past few weeks, with a few exceptions, bemoaning the state of his team's offense.
After Tuesday's win over Northeastern in the Carrier Dome, Boeheim liked the way his team moved the ball but said "we can be better offensively."
The raw numbers suggest that's true. SU ranks 14th in field-goal percentage among ACC teams (.421), 14th in scoring (71.9 ppg) and dead last in 3-point field goal percentage (.291).
The scoring average is based, in part, on SU's still relatively slow pace of play on the offensive end. (SU is playing a bit faster than it was last year, but still ranks 245th in offensive tempo, according to kenpom.com).
But a deeper stats dive shows SU isn't as bad as it seems. Read on.
Consider the numbers for Tyus Battle. Syracuse's junior shooting guard currently owns an offensive rating of 120.2. That's much improved from his 2017-18 season rating of 106.0.
Offensive rating is a complicated formula that essentially determines how efficient a player is from a shooting/scoring perspective. Battle is involved in fewer possessions this season and has improved his shooting from both the 3-point line (32.2 percent last year, 34.6 percent this year) and inside the 3-point line (45.2 percent last year, 52.9 percent this year).
Battle's true shooting percentage has also improved. That number factors in how proficient a player is from the 3-point line and how many trips he makes to the free-throw line. Battle is getting to the line more this season, but he's making free throws at a worse rate than a season ago (79.5 percent this year, 83.9 percent last year).
Tyus Battle’s altered shot ‘was always fine’ amid his early-season struggles (DO; Heyen)
Tyus Battle was surrounded by reporters after Syracuse’s slim victory against Cornell last Saturday. Seated in the middle of Syracuse’s locker room minutes after dropping 26 points on the Big Red, Battle was distracted by a television on the wall. But when a reporter asked a few questions about his shot, Battle perked up.
Battle lifted his right wrist up toward his chest and started flicking. First, he pantomimed a motion almost directly forward, a line-drive shot. That’s what he said his shot used to look like. Changing his jumper had consumed last summer as he looked to become more NBA-ready.
Then, he raised his right elbow, creating an arm angle slightly greater than 90 degrees to increase his arc. With it raised, his follow-through pointed upward, toward the TV mounted on the wall.
“I’m trying to get my elbow up,” Battle said. “Completely up. And now it’s a better opportunity for the ball to go in the basket.”
After leading Syracuse (6-2) in scoring a year ago, Battle’s shots didn’t fall in SU’s season-opener. Despite the small sample, the questions began, and they haven’t stopped since. But work with NBA trainer Drew Hanlen during the summer — and the hundreds of shots that followed each week — proved the struggles were an anomaly. Battle has quickly turned it around and leads the Orange in scoring (17.0 points per game), again, despite scoring a season-low two points on Tuesday. He’s done it by making perimeter shots consistently.
Beat writers predict Syracuse to handle long-time rival Georgetown (DO; Staff)
Two former Big East rivals square off on Saturday afternoon, as Georgetown travels to the Carrier Dome to take on Syracuse. The Orange (6-2) won last year’s game in overtime and returns most of its roster, while Georgetown (7-1) features a relatively young roster — though the Hoyas do bring back leader Jessie Govan. Both teams enter the game on four-game win streaks.
Here’s what our beat writers predict to happen on Saturday afternoon.
Charlie DiSturco (6-2)
Keep on keepin’ on
Syracuse 72, Georgetown 60
A Syracuse-Georgetown matchup may seem like a down-to-the-wire game, but Syracuse is a much better team. Georgetown does return senior Jessie Govan, who dominated SU last season, but sports multiple freshman that are not used to playing inside a road arena like the Carrier Dome. The Hoyas’ 3-point defense has been horrendous — ranking 249th in the country, per Kenpom.com — and the Orange should be able to exploit that on Saturday. Georgetown will keep it close for the majority of the game before SU pulls away late, adding another 70-point game to its resume in its fifth-straight win.
Matthew Gutierrez (5-3)
Syracuse 70, Georgetown 66
Let’s hope for a thriller akin to last year’s overtime excitement in the nation’s capital. Wow, that was fun, and it felt as though the place had more Syracuse fans than anything else. Jessie Govan caused all sorts of havoc inside, bullying the SU bigs to the tune of 21 points, eight boards and three assists. Figure the legendary center Patrick Ewing knows how to develop Govan further. Considering how weak the Orange have played in the paint, his presence alone may keep this game close.
Syracuse’s next opponent: What to know about Georgetown (DO; DiSturco)
Two former Big East rivals will square off in the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon, when Syracuse (6-2) welcomes Georgetown (7-1). Both the Orange and the Hoyas enter on four-game win streaks. SU most recently downed Northeastern, 72-49, while Georgetown beat Liberty by 10 on Monday.
Here’s what to know about the Syracuse-Georgetown matchup ahead of Saturday afternoon.
All-time series: Syracuse leads, 50-43
Last time they played: In an overtime thriller last December between Syracuse and Georgetown, the Orange used a late-game push to pull away, 86-79 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Tyus Battle made a pair of 3s and scored eight points in the overtime period — scoring just two points less than the Hoyas did as a whole.
Battle finished the game with 29 points while Oshae Brissett added 25 points and 14 rebounds in the win last December. Frank Howard shot 9 of 18 with 19 points and nine assists. All three players return when the two take the court Saturday.
The Georgetown report: Georgetown has been solid during its non-conference slate, losing just one of its first eight games heading into Saturday afternoon. It’s a relatively young team that boasts two seniors and three underclassmen in its starting lineup.
The offense is led by senior Jessie Govan, the star of the Hoyas team. He dominated the Orange last year, scoring 21 points and grabbing eight rebounds. The Hoyas also feature freshman James Akinjo, who has started all eight games and averages 14.1 points and 4.9 assists.
A fan threw an orange toward Patrick Ewing 33 years ago and chaos ensued (DO; DiSturco)
Who threw the orange? At last, the mystery is solved...
On his way to the Carrier Dome, Jan. 28, 1985, Frank Strange, a 19-year-old Syracuse fan, grabbed an orange from his kitchen and stuffed it in his coat pocket.
Strange wanted to throw the fruit on the court when the Orange scored its first basket. It was a tradition for fans to throw oranges toward the court when that happened.
About three minutes into the game, Strange reached into his coat pocket and realized he forgot to throw it. He turned to his friend, who told him to “Get rid of it.” Georgetown’s center, Patrick Ewing, stepped up to the free-throw line.
Fans threw their hands up in unison, swaying their them left and right while screaming. The distraction was perfect timing, Strange thought.
He launched the orange toward the court and it crashed behind the backboard.
“I just remember thinking, ‘This is crazy,’” Ewing said in an email. “The Carrier Dome is a hostile environment.”
On Saturday, when Georgetown (7-1) travels to play Syracuse (6-2), Ewing will return to the Carrier Dome for the first time as a member of the Hoyas since that 1985 game. But aside from 43-year SU head coach Jim Boeheim, Ewing won’t be the only returner from the Jan. 1985 game. Somewhere, in the upper deck, will sit Strange, who threw the orange toward the court 33 years ago.
“Friend of mine gave me some season tickets,” Strange said. “I think he did it on purpose so I don’t throw anything.”
Gutierrez: The case for starting Oshae Brissett at center (DO; Gutierrez)
Oshae Brissett takes the jump ball before every game and usually wins. He’s the best athlete on the team. He’s the most versatile.
There is no question: He’s also the best fit at center.
Brissett, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, stands six inches shorter than Paschal Chukwu, who’s started each of the past 45 games at center. But Brissett has demonstrated why he should slot in at center over Chukwu for Syracuse (6-2), the tallest team in the country (6-foot-6 average). The move would free up a spot for sophomore Marek Dolezaj to start again. It’s where Dolezaj belongs, considering he started the last 17 games of 2017-18 and keyed the Orange from play-in-game-hopeful all of the way past No. 3 seed Michigan State and into the Sweet 16.
A Brissett-Dolezaj-Elijah Hughes starting three trio at the center/forward positions could strengthen the Orange’s backline and create a faster, more dynamic offense. SU head coach Jim Boeheim said Chukwu got “absolutely destroyed” against the Connecticut bigs, whose 6-foot-9 forward Eric Cobb shoved him around for 13 points and 13 boards. He’s been “ineffective,” Boeheim said, while Brissett continues to prove he’s more than capable inside.
“I’m not pigeonholed to one position on this team,” Brissett said this summer. “Coach (Boeheim) really expects me to go out and do everything. If it’s handling the ball sometimes, coming off a screen, attacking the basket, rebounding, defending, anything coach wants me to do.”
Syracuse Can Get Away With Two Efficient Players at a Time… For Now – Orange Fizz – Free Syracuse Recruiting News (orangefizz.net; Aki)
In recent years, Syracuse fans would have felt blessed with having three legitimate scoring options. But that’s the reality of the current Orange roster with Tyus Battle, Oshae Brissett and Elijah Hughes. However, it’s been a rarity to see all three players have an efficient game at the same time. The Orange’s losses have especially been impacted by the lack of a three headed attack. Sitting at 6-2 with only a pair of losses to major conference teams on a neutral floor isn’t much to complain about. But that won’t last as the Orange moves deeper into its schedule and into ACC play.
After Tuesday’s win over Northeastern, Syracuse has three players averaging in double figures with Battle, Brissett and Hughes. But with only two of them shooting efficiently on any given night, there is still a lot of room for the offense to grow. Syracuse will be able to get away with a two-headed attack for the majority of the remainder of the non-conference slate. But when ACC play begins as well as a mid-December matchup with No. 17 Buffalo, problems could ensue.
After squeaking out a win over Cornell, Jim Boeheim said Elijah Hughes was benched for a long stretch because of his terrible play, but luckily enough Battle and Brissett were good enough to get the win. That won’t fly amongst the ACC’s elites.
Syracuse Basketball: Orange don’t need Tyus Battle anymore (itlh.com; Esden Jr)
The Syracuse basketball squad proved on Tuesday night that they no longer need Tyus Battle in 2018. Here’s why that’s actually a good thing.
Headline: The Syracuse basketball squad doesn’t need Tyus Battle anymore. Before you grab your torches and pitchforks, this is actually a good thing!
Let’s go back in the time machine to last season. The Orange at full capacity were operating with five and a half guys in the rotation, obviously not ideal. But because of the cards the Orange were dealt they were super reliant on Tyus Battle to win ball games.
So much so that if he didn’t drop 20 a night last season, Syracuse likely lost the game. Hell the strategy worked and this team had their proverbial backs against the wall all year and made an improbable Sweet 16 run.
This season, Syracuse is dealing with a first world problem and they’re still working out the kinks (more on that later). The Orange are legitimately running nine deep right now with a slew of talented players who can score (nine players are averaging at least double digit minutes so far this season).
Streaking the Lawn’s ACC Men’s Basketball Power Rankings (streaking thelawn.com; Pierce)
1. Duke Blue Devils (7-1, 0-0)
A close loss to the Zags couldn’t keep ESPN’s favorite team from the top spot in our rankings. The Blue Devils have the talent to stay there all year...but they probably want RJ Barrett to share the ball more.
2. Virginia Cavaliers (8-0, 0-0)
Your Wahoos are number 2 in our rankings after starting the season with a flawless record - and wins over two ranked teams away from the friendly confines of the John Paul Jones Arena. This year’s squad has the potential to be as strong on defense and substantially better on offense than last year’s team who only lost three games. Three games! None of them all that notable.
3. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-2 0-0)
The Tar Heels lost a close one to Shaka Smart’s Texas and got obliterated on the road against Michigan, but Roy Williams’ team has a ton of talent to match Luke Maye and Cam Johnson’s scoring. They should be fine in the long run if they decide to play defense.
4. Florida State Seminoles (7-1, 0-0)
The Seminoles’ loss to Villanova isn’t a bad one - though this year’s Nova squad does not equal their championship teams. Still, FSU has nice wins over Purdue, LSU, and Florida and looks like they’ll make plenty of noise in the ACC this season.
5. Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1, 0-0)
6. Syracuse Orange (5-2, 0-0)
Is Syracuse good? Maybe! The win at OSU was pretty convincing and a loss to Oregon was a terrrrrrible match up. We’ll find out more with upcoming games against Georgetown and Buffalo.
Casual Rivalry: The Definitive List of Syracuse Insults (casualhoya.com; Whipple)
The Hoyas are back in action on Saturday against the hated Syracuse Orange and, in case you have grown bored reviewing the ever-growing list of transgressions under Boeheim’s finely picked nose, here is a list of casual Syracuse insults to whet your appetite!
What’s the difference between a litter of puppies and Jim Boeheim? Puppies stop whining after 8 weeks.
Why do migratory birds fly around Syracuse? Because there's nothing worth crapping on.
What's been the hardest thing for Coach Boeheim since they won the 2003 NCAA championship? Nasal surgery to retrieve the ring.
Did you hear the Syracuse library burned down? The real shame is that 2 of the 4 books weren't colored in yet.
How can you become a small-business owner in upstate New York? Buy a large business and let a Syracuse grad run it for you.
Special thanks to some of the other great rivalries in college football and basketball for the joke inspirations. My apologies to Coach Boeheim’s family and the few good-spirited SU fans whom I have met over the years. But in all seriousness, Syracuse, get some discipline in your basketball program and rejoin the Big East.
44 Christmas gift ideas for diehard Syracuse University sports fans (PS; Miller)
Show off your Orange spirit to passengers in your vehicle with these heavy-duty car mats with the block S.
Price: $39.95 at Cooperstown Connection at Destiny USA
Prove to all your neighbors that you're the biggest Orange fan in the 'hood with the Team Pride Light.
This will float the block S all over your house. It'll light up 600 square feet. And don't let our winters affect your decision to buy one of these: It's weather resistant.
Price: $59.98 at University Sport Shop at Destiny USA and the SU Bookstore on campus.
Football is BACK!
It's been awhile since SU football jerseys sold well. The local retailers will tell you that.
"Football merchandise has been selling better than usual this year," said Steve Lane, the general manager of Shirt World on Marshall Street. "Dino better stay."
This is one of many shirts for sale. And Manny's and Shirt World on Marshall will be stocking the official Camping World Bowl shirt starting this week.