Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
National Banana Day is centered in Ireland, where it was first celebrated in 2017. It is promoted by Fyffes, a fresh produce and fruit importing company, and has been acknowledged by other fruit companies such as Dole Food Company and Chiquita Brands International. It supports a national drive to encourage healthy eating, especially for children, and reminds shoppers to think of bananas as a nutritious and natural food that they can add to meals or eat as convenience food. It also highlights how the banana is fun and versatile.
The banana is the most popular fruit in the United States and around the world. The average person eats about 100 of them a year, which comes out to about 25 to 33 pounds worth. They are the cheapest fruit and are also one of the most perishable. They may appear to grow on trees, but they actually grow on plants that have 10 to 20 feet high trunks. The banana plant is an herb—the largest herb plant, actually—and bananas are its fruit. The plant grows in the tropics.
Clemson guard Nick Honor (4) protects the ball from Rutgers guard Jacob Young (42) during the first half of a men's college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Friday, March 19, 2021.
The ACC and the transfer portal: Which teams have been hurt most? Who has improved? (PS; $; Waters)
The NCAA’s transfer portal can impact a program in a variety of ways.
Losses via the transfer portal can be devastating, robbing a program of a key player. Sometimes the losses have a more modest impact. And, truth be told, sometimes the portal can help a program by removing a player who has failed to contribute significantly.
So far, the ACC’s 15 teams have seen a total of 36 players enter the transfer portal. That number includes only scholarship players and the rare walk-on who had moved into a rotational role. Conversely, only six players have used the portal to transfer into the ACC.
Here is a look at how those transfers will impact each of their ACC teams, using three categories:
In a pair of surprising moves, Clemson lost its starting backcourt of Al-Amir Dawes and Nick Honor.
Al-Amir Dawes, a 6-foot-2 junior, started 25 games for the Tigers last season. He logged just over 30 minutes a game. He scored 11.6 points per game and connected on 40.9% of his 3-point attempts.
Honor, a 5-10 junior, started 21 of his 29 games last year. He averaged 7.7 points per game and also led the Tigers with 2.5 assists per game.
Clemson coach Brad Brownell had brought in some backcourt help with Princeton transfer Jaelin Llewellyn, who was an All-Ivy League selection after averaging 15.7 points per game. But on Tuesday, Llewellyn re-opened his recruitment.
Syracuse Basketball: One team recruiting 5-star Canadian wing hardest (itlh; Adler)
Syracuse basketball offered a scholarship to 2023 five-star wing Elijah Fisher from Canada in July of 2020, and for a while, I had high hopes that the Orange would prove a major contender in his recruitment.
For one, earlier on in his recruiting process, the 6-foot-7 Fisher mentioned the ‘Cuse program in some interviews that I came across. What’s more, in recent years, Syracuse basketball coaches have fared pretty well attracting top-flight prospects from Canada to the Hill.
But more recently, when I’ve seen media reports about Fisher, the Orange is unfortunately nowhere to be found. Does this mean that the ‘Cuse is out of the running for Fisher, who is a junior at the Crestwood Preparatory College in Toronto, Ontario?
I guess I’ll never say never, because I haven’t seen Fisher come out with a trimmed list of contenders, and he obviously has yet to announce a collegiate destination.
But things don’t look so good for Syracuse basketball. To be fair, though, I don’t personally know if there is mutual interest among the Orange and Fisher, who is generally regarded as a five-star, top-20 overall prospect in the 2023 cycle.
Syracuse basketball appears a long shot for five-star Elijah Fisher.
Fisher recently performed at a high level during a slate of games on the Adidas AAU circuit during an NCAA live period, according to recruiting experts like 247Sports national basketball director Eric Bossi and 247Sports national analyst Brandon Jenkins.
During that recent live period, Jenkins wrote in a piece that coaches from Auburn, Arizona and Creighton, among others, watched Fisher play. But Fisher told Jenkins that, at present, Texas Tech out of the Big 12 Conference has been recruiting him the hardest.
Syracuse Basketball: 5-star recruit scores national player of year honors (itlh; Adler)
A national media outlet has published its 2021-22 All-America teams for those prospects in the 2024 recruiting cycle, and several high-school players with either Syracuse basketball scholarship offers or interest from the Orange received inclusion on these prestigious squads.
Leading the way is 2024 five-star guard Ian Jackson, who is a serious contender for the No. 1 overall rating in this class. He attends Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, N.Y., and competes on the Adidas AAU circuit for the Bronx, N.Y.-based Wiz Kids.
As we’ve noted in past columns, in February, Mike Waters of Syracuse.com had reported that ‘Cuse coaches went to watch the 6-foot-6 Jackson play.
To date, I don’t believe that Syracuse basketball coaches have formally offered Jackson. Jordan Divens, the MaxPreps national basketball editor, has named Jackson as the national sophomore of the year for the 2021-22 campaign.
Per Divens, in the most recent stanza, Jackson averaged 19.8 points, five rebounds and four assists per affair for a Cardinal Hayes team that finished in the top-10 nationally, according to MaxPreps.
Syracuse Basketball: Blue-bloods enter mix for soaring 4-star center recruit (itlh; Adler)
For a bit of time now, multiple national recruiting analysts and scouts have said that Syracuse basketball four-star target Ugonna Kingsley is primed to see his recruitment blow up.
These experts were right. The 7-foot center, one of the hottest prospects in the 2023 class, has witnessed a jump in his national ratings, while his list of suitors grows at an impressive clip.
Last month, Kingsley wrapped up a stellar junior season for the Putnam Science Academy in Putnam, Conn., which during the 2021-22 term went 38-0 and captured the 2022 National Prep Championship at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Conn.
Kingsley, whom analysts and scouts are praising for his defensive talents and his potential on the offensive end of the court, received a scholarship offer from the Orange coaching staff this past February.
Syracuse basketball 2023 four-star recruit Ugonna Kingsley is a star in the making.
Besides the ‘Cuse, Kingsley holds offers from teams such as LSU, Ohio State, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Providence, Georgetown, Texas Tech, Washington State, Clemson, Seton Hall, California and Iowa, according to media reports and recruiting services.
A recent tweet from Pro Insight director of scouting Andrew Slater says that Kingsley is also garnering interest from the likes of Kentucky, Oregon, Baylor and Duke.
Syracuse men's basketball in early on 2024 Rochester product Damarius Owens (247sports; $; Bailey)
Before Damarius Owens moved from Rochester to Ohio over the summer, he followed Syracuse men's basketball actively. The Class of 2024 swingman watched games from home with his family and made the occasional trip East to view the Orange in person.
The most vivid SU memory from his childhood? His father "going wild" when the cameras put him on the video board in the Carrier Dome. So when Syracuse extended an offer through his coach at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, N.Y., Owens was elated.
"It means a lot to me," Owens said. "... There was a lot of emotion when my family and I found out."
The 6-foot-7, 150-pound Owens is unrated by the major recruiting services, but picking up recruiting steam this spring. He's seen offers roll in from Cincinnati, Sienna, Massachusetts and UMBC with interested programs including North Carolina, Oklahoma and Dayton.
The Orange has been involved since last July when contact was made through his coach after an AAU tournament in Orlando. Owens is teammates at WRA with Trey Autry, the son of SU assistant Adrian Autry. Both sophomores play for the City Rocks on the AAU circuit.
Syracuse men basketball 22-23 roster preview: Chris Bunch - Correr Descalzos (correrdescalzos.es)
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Eric Devendorf teaming up to give away ‘sneaks and cleats’ to Syracuse city students (localsyr.com)
Former Syracuse University Men’s Basketball Player Eric Devendorf has coordinated many donation drives over the last few years and his latest initiative is meant to help provide sneakers and cleats to children in the city of Syracuse as they gear up for an all new sports season.
Devendorf has teamed up with the Hart and Tay Train Foundation for the program, and he says he hopes to outfit 500 Syracuse City student athletes as part of the endeavor.
“The biggest thing is that we’re trying to help out these kids who want to be athletes and have the vision of playing at a high level,” he says. “It starts at the youth level and we want them to have the proper footwear to where they can have those dreams to play at SU or to play in the NFL.”
Mike Durkin of VIP Structures has run many different youth sport programs over the years and saw that many kids didn’t have the proper equipment to excel in the way that they should on the field. What started as an idea has now propelled him to think even beyond sneakers and to the importance of mental health and getting kids moving, he says.
“These kids need to get outside and run around and breathe fresh air,” Mike adds, “and really there’s an important mental health aspect to getting these kids outside and feeling good and that happens when they’re prepared and equipped to make that happen.”
Five high schools and eleven middle schools are part of the initiative and Eric said it’s important to help out Syracuse city schools because, even statistics show, that they need it most.
“Nationwide Syracuse is number one for the child poverty rate and obviously that goes beyond sneakers and cleats, but I think starting with a new pair of sneakers or cleats, it just gives kids a new level of confidence,” he says. “Whether it’s going into school for the first time or going out on the lacrosse field or the football field, to have a brand new pair of shoes can give them a brand new level of confidence.”
Duke’s Williams entering NBA draft after sophomore season (wnct.com)
Big man Mark Williams is the first of Duke’s multiple NBA prospects to say he’s leaving to enter the draft.
The 7-foot-1, 242-pound sophomore announced his decision in a social media video Monday evening.
“Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, just like how (attending) Duke was when I was growing up,” Williams said. “Duke has prepared me to take this next step and I’m excited to announce I will be declaring for the 2022 NBA Draft.”
Ranked as the No. 18 draft prospect by ESPN, Williams was an elite rim protector last season and a finalist for national defensive player of the year. The Virginia Beach, Virginia, native started all 39 games, averaged 11.2 points and 7.4 rebounds and ranked 12th nationally with 2.82 blocks per game. He also shot 70.4% through two college seasons and improved at the foul line significantly (from 53.7% as a freshman to 72.7% as a sophomore).
Much of Williams’ offensive production came on putbacks, dunks and alley-oop passes with the rest of his offensive game in development, though he has shown back-to-the-basket growth, too.
Williams joined star freshman Paolo Banchero in giving Duke a strong frontline that helped the Blue Devils reach now-retired Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski’s record 13th Final Four while also winning the program’s first outright Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title since 2006.
“He is gifted at both ends of the floor and is driven to get even better every day,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “The NBA team that drafts Mark is obviously getting a talented player, but an equally impressive young man off the court that will represent their organization with class.”
He closed his Duke career with eight points and four rebounds while being limited to 17 minutes due to foul trouble in the loss to rival North Carolina in the national semifinals.
Multiple Duke players, including star freshmen in Banchero and A.J. Griffin, also are considered likely to head to the NBA.
Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. perform at the 2022 Syracuse Jazz Fest in Clinton Square.
Syracuse Jazz Fest returns, and it’s back downtown: See dates, performers and more (PS; Struck)
Syracuse Jazz Fest is returning this year after a 5-year absence, and is coming back to downtown’s Clinton Square for the first time since 2000.
Notable performers for 2022 include pop/soul duo Marylin McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., funk group the Average White Band, jazz saxophonist David Sanborn and his Electric Band, and zydeco artist Nathan William and the Zydeco Cha Cha’s. (See full schedule below).
“These are the … guys and gals that keep the music going day in and day out, year in and year out,” said Frank Malfitano, director of Jazz Fest.
It takes place Thursday June 23 through Saturday June 25, with the big acts Friday and Saturday on the main stage in Clinton Square. Thursday’s line-up includes many local and regional artists at bars, restaurants and venues around downtown.
The Jazz Fest, which over the years has attracted performers ranging from Ray Charles, B.B. King and Aretha Franklin to the Mavericks and Trombone Shorty, was last held in 2017. Its primary sponsor, M&T Bank, stepped away after that year’s event.
That sent Malfitano on a years-long mission to seek new sponsors for the event, which at one time was billed as the largest free jazz fest in the Northeast.
Last year, he began making a plea for public funding and found success this year when the city of Syracuse, Onondaga County and New York state all agreed to contribute.
“I haven’t done this in a while,” said Malfitano on Tuesday. “It’s good to be off the bench and back in the game.”
In February, the Syracuse Common Council approved spending $375,000 of federal stimulus money to promote local festivals. It earmarked one-third of the money — $125,000 — specifically to bring Syracuse Jazz Fest back downtown after an absence of two decades.
In March, the Onondaga County Legislature kicked in another $125,000. to support the Jazz Fest. Another $150,000 for Jazz Fest made its way into the recently adopted New York state budget.