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Former Iggy Winner. I used to be somebody special
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Welcome to Valentines's Day!

Valentine's Day originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring an early Saint named Valentine. It is still an official feast in some denominations, although the day was removed from the Catholic General Roman Calendar because not much information was known about the Saint. The day is now also a cultural and commercial holiday centered around romance and love. It is celebrated in many places around the globe, although it is not a public holiday. Symbols associated with the day are the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of a winged Cupid.

There was actually not just one Saint Valentine, but three. The first and most noteworthy was Saint Valentine of Rome. He was a priest in Rome, was martyred in 269 CE, and was added to the calendar of saints in 496, by Pope Galesius. Legend has it that Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to get married, and for ministering to and assisting Christians who had been persecuted under the Roman Empire. It also is said that he cut hearts from parchment and gave them to persecuted Christians and soldiers, to remind them of their vows and God's love. Another legend says that during his imprisonment he healed the blind daughter of his jailer, and sent her a letter before his execution, signing it as "Your Valentine." Saint Valentine is buried on the Via Flaminia.


SU News

Syracuse at Florida State: What to know (PS; Waters)


The Orange takes on the Wolfpack

Syracuse forward Quincy Guerrier (1) and Syracuse forward Marek Dolezaj (21) go for a loose ball during a game against North Carolina State on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.Dennis Nett | dnett@syracuse.com

The Syracuse Orange needs a high-profile win to add to its NCAA tournament resume.

The Orange will get that chance on Saturday when its faces 8th-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla.

Syracuse is coming off a home loss to North Carolina State, while FSU dropped a close to Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Monday.

Florida State is 20-4 overall and 10-3 in the ACC. The Seminoles haven’t lost at home all year.

Syracuse has notched road win at Virginia, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, but Florida State poses a much more difficult challenge.
Syracuse will anxiously wait to see if Elijah Hughes, the Orange’s leading scorer, is able to play. Hughes suffered a groin injury prior to Tuesday’s game against NC State.

The Syracuse-Florida State game will start at noon and will be televised on the ESPN2.

Here are 10 key things to know:

The historical significance

Syracuse and Florida State have played each other just 11 times with the Orange holding a 7-4 lead in the series.
The Seminoles have won three of the last four meetings between the two schools. The Orange has won four of the seven meetings since Syracuse joined the ACC in the 2013-14 season.

The most historically significant meeting between Syracuse and Florida State took place on Dec. 3, 1991.

The two teams met in the ACC-Big East Challenge at the Omni in Atlanta, Ga.

The game was the first start of Lawrence Moten’s career. The freshman had come off the bench in SU’s first two games that season, but he got the starting nod when Adrian Autry had an injured ankle. Autry wound up playing 20 minutes, but he didn’t start the night.

Moten responded with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists to help Syracuse to an 89-71 win over a Florida State team that included Doug Edwards, Sam Cassell, Bob Sura and Charlie Ward.

Hughes’ health

Elijah Hughes, Syracuse’s leading scorer, played just three minutes in the Orange’s game against North Carolina State on Tuesday due to a strained groin that he injured in the pre-game warm-ups.

Hughes is listed as day-to-day, but even if he can play, how effective will he be?

Hughes is second in the ACC in scoring at 18.6 points per game. Syracuse struggled offensively without its leading man. Although the Orange scored 74 points, it made just 39 percent of its field goal attempts and went 3-for-18 on 3-pointers.

Groin injuries are generally slow to heal and can be quite painful as Ted Danson reminded us in rap form on an episode of Cheers:

Depth perception

Few teams have more depth than Florida State. The Seminoles come at you in waves.
Florida State ranks 30th in the country in bench minutes at 38 percent of the total game going to reserves. The Seminoles are fifth among major conference teams.
Ten FSU players are averaging at least 10 minutes per game while no FSU player is logging more than 32 minutes per game.
Compare that to Syracuse, which is 352nd (next to last) in the country in bench minutes. Elijah Hughes, Buddy Boeheim, Marek Dolezaj and Joe Girard are all averaging more than 32 minutes per game.
Can Syracuse, especially if it’s without Hughes, withstand the relentless pressure that FSU’s depth allows it to apply?
Sidibe’s foul problems

There’s foul-prone and then there’s Bourama Sidibe.

Syracuse’s junior center just can’t seem to stay out of foul trouble and the problem has gotten worse recently.

Sidibe fouled out of Syracuse’s loss to NC State on Tuesday. It was the fourth straight game in which Sidibe had fouled out. In the three games prior to his four-game disqualification streak, Sidibe had finished with four fouls. For the season, Sidibe has fouled out of seven games.

Here’s where the problem gets worse. In the last four games, Sidibe has averaged just 20.2 minutes. He fouled out of each one.
That means Sidibe is playing very few minutes in which he’s not already in foul trouble. He has to be careful on defense and when going for a rebound. His level of play is greatly diminished.

Syracuse is going to need Sidibe to avoid early fouls, stay out of foul trouble and stay on the court if it’s to have any chance against the big, physical Seminoles.

FSU’s unappreciated coach

Want to win a bar bet? Ask someone to name the top five winningest coaches in ACC history.
Most folks will quickly name Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith and Roy Williams. If they’re a real basketball fan, they’ll get Gary Williams.

But how many would guess that Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton is in that group?

Hamilton has won 165 games against ACC competitions. He recently passed former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins to move into 5th-place on the ACC’s coaching wins list.

Hamilton’s career record is 554-430. That includes coaching stints at Oklahoma State and Miami.
...


Axe: The moment has arrived for Syracuse basketball’s freshman to grow up (PS; Axe)

My syracuse.com colleague Donna Ditota did a nice job in a recent story laying out what the future of Syracuse basketball will look like without the services of Elijah Hughes.

The story was written with an eye towards next season when it is expected that Hughes will have moved on from Syracuse for a pro career, but the lessons implied need to start sooner.

The future is now for Syracuse basketball’s freshman duo of Joe Girard III and Quincy Guerrier, starting Saturday when the Orange visit No. 8 Florida State.

Hughes’ status is unknown for Saturday’s game. He insisted on Twitter that his groin injury is “nothing major” but it would be a big leap to assume he’ll be his usual dominant self on Saturday if he plays.

nothing major
— Eli (@elijahhughes4_) February 12, 2020
That’s where SU’s young guns come into the picture.

Girard and Guerrier both stepped up for the Orange on Tuesday night, combining for 46 points in a losing effort to NC State.

Girard joined an exclusive club (Lawrence Moten, Carmelo Anthony and Pearl Washington) as players that have scored 30 points in a game during their freshman campaigns.

Beggars can’t be choosers when one scores 30 points, but the cold truth is Girard has to more from beyond the arc going forward. He was 1-of-10 overall from distance against NC State and is 11-of-50 from the 3-point line in his last seven games.

As a team, Syracuse shot .369 from distance in its first 17 games. It has all but faded as a weapon in SU’s last seven games with a .264 mark from distance. Girard has to light the fire and start hitting more of the open looks he gets from beyond the arc.
...


SU basketball recruiting: See highlights, notes for 2021 and 2022 targets (PS; Burrows)

Syracuse basketball recently picked up a commitment from star 2022 guard Dior Johnson, but it still has major work to do for the 2021 cycle.

Based on offers, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has made the frontcourt a priority for 2021 and the backcourt a priority for 2022.

With limited room, Syracuse took just two recruits from the 2020 cycle in guard Kadary Richmond and forward Woody Newton. Syracuse is also pursuing transfer center Patrick Tapé from Columbia.

Here’s a look at which players Syracuse has offered scholarships for the 2021 and 2022 cycles, and where the Orange stands with each player.

Note: All rankings are via 247 Sports’ Composite ranking.

2021

John Camden, F

National Rank: 104
School: Archbishop John Carroll (PA)

Notes: Early indicators say Syracuse would need to step up its pursuit of Camden to land the 6-foot-7 forward. Camden didn’t list the Orange among the schools pursuing him the hardest in January, and Penn State likely has an early lead with Camden’s older sister playing for the women’s basketball team.

“Their program is continuing to grow and hungry to win," Camden told Ryan McMullen and ZAGSBLOG earlier this year. "I like the coaches along with the facilities. I would definitely be happy there. My sister is currently a freshman on the girl’s basketball team and she loves it.”

Mac Etienne, C

National Rank: 66
School: Suffield Academy (CT)

Notes: One of the top centers for the 2021 cycle, Etienne recently visited the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse-Duke game. He told The Post-Standard after that the “love from the fans" really stood out during his visit.

Etienne attends Suffield Academy along with Syracuse football 2020 commit Justin Barron and also plays for the same AAU team (PSA Cardinals) as Zion Cruz, a 2022 target for SU basketball.
...


Syracuse Basketball: Don’t throw the towel in just yet on the Orange (itlh; Esden Jr)

Syracuse basketball is in dire straits, but don’t throw in the towel on the team just yet. Here’s why there’s legitimate reasoning to be optimistic.

Syracuse basketball has lost three out of its last four games. The Orange are currently on the outside looking in as it pertains to the NCAA tournament. Finally, its best player, Elijah Hughes, suffered a groin strain that kept him out of the last game and likely could keep him out for even longer.

If all that wasn’t enough, up next the Orange take the road for back-to-back contests vs Florida State and Louisville. Both teams are currently in the top-10 and combined have only lost one home game all season (26-1).

Most Orange fans seem to be reaching for the towel with just seven games remaining in the regular season.

STOP. WAIT. HOLD ON A SECOND!

Before you throw in that towel and give up on the season, there’s reason for optimism.

Let’s go back to that last game vs NC State on Tuesday night in the dome. Hughes in pre-game warmups strains his groin, attempts to play through it and then pulls himself out a few minutes into the contest.

The Orange appeared shell shocked on the court and were unable to do anything offensively. Syracuse fell in a hole down 20-11 midway through the first half and seemed destined to be blown out by the Wolfpack.
...


Other



Developer turning long-vacant Syracuse furniture store into apartments (PS;


After sitting vacant for almost 30 years, the old Goldberg’s furniture store in downtown Syracuse is about to reopen with a mix of apartments and commercial space.

Developer Tom Goodfellow, president of Goodfellow Construction Management Ltd., is turning the two-story building’s top floor into 26 efficiency and one-bedroom apartments and its first floor into commercial space.
The building at 476-480 S. Salina St. has been renamed the Whitlock building, a throwback to its original name, the Whitlock Memorial building.

The apartments feature granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances. The 13 apartments in the rear of the building will share a laundry room. The 13 units in the front of the building will have their own washers and dryers. All tenants will have use of a roof-top deck.

Monthly rents will range from $875 to $1,600 and includes a parking space at the nearby trolley lot. Tenants will be responsible for paying their unit’s electric bills, which are expected to be below $50 a month. They will not have to worry about a gas bill because the building will be heated and cooled by a high-efficiency air source heat pump.

“We are the most energy efficient building in the city,” Goodfellow said.

The building has a new brick facade. Goodfellow said he expects to have the first 13 apartments -- all on the Clinton Street side of the building -- ready for occupancy at the end of February.

Syracuse Coworks, a nonprofit organization that rents inexpensive workspace to young professionals, is leasing commercial space on the first floor on the Clinton Street side of the building. Goodfellow said he is finalizing a lease with a retail tenant for 8,000 square feet of first-floor space on the South Salina Street side of the building.

He said he is having discussions with a potential tenant for an entertainment establishment in the building’s basement.
Constructed as a six-story retail and office building in 1895 by the Whitlock mercantile family, the upper floors suffered extensive fire damage in 1943. As a result, the top four floors of the building were demolished, leaving the building with just two floors.

Lorenzo’s Italian restaurant occupied the ground floor in the 1950s and 1960s. Goldberg Furniture acquired the building in the mid-1960s and operated a furniture store until June 1993.

The building has been vacant since Goldberg’s closed. It suffered a partial roof collapse in 2009 that resulted in extensive water damage.

In 2014, Goodfellow bought the building from the Greater Syracuse Land Bank for $5,000 and announced plans for its redevelopment. He said his plans got delayed by the need to remove an extensive amount of asbestos from the building and by the difficulty of obtaining financing.

“Every developer in town didn’t want anything to do with it,” he said.
The project is costing $3.5 million, including $500,000 for asbestos removal, he said.
The building is in an up-and-coming part of downtown:

  • Abutting it to the north, the upper floors of the historic Empire Building were transformed into 51 upscale apartments in 2018 at a cost of $10 million.
  • The $22 million Salt City Market food hall is under construction on the property abutting the Whitlock building to the south.
  • Diagonally across the street, the historic Hotel Syracuse reopened in 2016 as the Marriott Syracuse Downtown after a $76 million restoration.
  • Across Onondaga Street, the new owner of the landmark Chimes Building is planning to build out 100 more apartments in the structure’s vacant office space (a project Goodfellow is managing).
...
 

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