No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to Free Queso Day!
Salsa and chips are always free at Moe's Southwest Grill, but queso—or "liquid gold," as they call it—is also free today. Why? Because it's Free Queso Day! Each year on the day, Moe's gives out a free six-ounce cup of their queso as a way to thank their loyal customers. In past years, the restaurant—which is a fast-casual franchise that serves southwestern food in around 700 locations—has held contests giving those who enter the opportunity to win free queso for life. (Well, at least one free cup a week for 24 years.) In 2019, the day was expanded to "Queso Season," and queso was celebrated all of September. Not only was free queso available in-store, but also by using the Moe Rewards app, online ordering, and catering. Moe Rewards members also got an extra 100 bonus points for every purchase of queso they made during the month.
(youtube; video; Syracuse Orange)
From Harlem to the Hardwood. Adrian Autry’s future lies at the helm of the Syracuse Men’s Basketball program. But before he officially begins his service as the head coach of the program, we take a look at his past growing up in Harlem in Episode 1 of Same Family. New Era. This 3-part documentary series gives fans behind-the-scenes access and exclusive interviews and footage telling the story of how Adrian Autry will make his own mark as the new head coach of the program. Learn about his journey growing up in Harlem, NY to becoming a McDonald’s All-American, playing basketball at Syracuse, and rising to Associate Head Coach under his mentor and Hall of Fame Head Coach Jim Boeheim.
Inside Syracuse Basketball: Syracuse assistant coach Allen Griffin joins the podcast to discuss the differences between working for Jim Boeheim and new Orang...
Inside SU basketball practice with Griffin: ‘It’s a constant battle’ (podcast) (PS; podcast; Waters)
For the past six seasons, Syracuse basketball assistant Allen Griffin has been in charge of the team’s centers. In that time, Griffin has worked with the likes of Paschal Chukwu, Bourama Sidibe and Jesse Edwards.
But he’s never had a group of big men like he does this year.
Syracuse’s roster includes 6-foot-11 redshirt freshman Peter Carey, 6-foot-11 junior Mounir Hima, 7-foot-2 freshman William Patterson and, the tallest player in Syracuse history, 7-foot-4 transfer Naheem McLeod.
“I’ve got a unique group,’' Griffin said. “I’ve got a huge group.’'
In an appearance on the “Inside Syracuse Basketball” podcast, Griffin broke down each of the Orange’s centers ― which one is the best defender, the best rebounder, the best offensive player and the best rim-protector.
Griffin also talked about the departure of Jesse Edwards. Syracuse’s starting center for the past two years, Edwards left Syracuse to spend his fifth and final year of college eligibility at West Virginia.
“It’s going to be hard to make up for what Jesse did the last couple of years,’' Griffin said.
Griffin told a story of how he recently called his former Syracuse teammate Jason Hart, who was with the G-League Ignite in Singapore. Griffin wanted to tell Hart that the preseason practices with Syracuse guards Judah Mintz and JJ Starling going at each other reminded him of the days when he and Hart would get after each other in practice.
Will ACC play more than 20 games when it adds Stanford, Cal, SMU? (PS; $; Waters)
Reporters like to ask follow-up questions. They give us the chance get a more exact answer. We can ask interviewee to expand on an issue.
This week the readers are turning the tables on me with a couple of follow-up questions of their own.
We’ll discuss the ACC’s scheduling plans as it expands to 18 teams, the issue of Overtime Elite paying high school players, and a few other topics.
(If you have a question; follow-up or otherwise, for the Mailbox, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q: Will the ACC stick with its 20-game conference schedule for the 2024-2025 season or will they move to add more games for league games?
Mike: This is a follow-up to a question in last week’s Mailbox, which asked if the ACC would move to two divisions when Stanford, California and SMU join the league for the 2024-25 season.
I didn’t like that idea at all and I’m not in favor of the ACC expanding its conference schedule beyond the current 20-game model.
Teams need non-conference games. They can help boost a team’s NET ranking. They can help a coach who has taken over a rebuilding program schedule in a few wins. A coach can take his team on the road to prepare it for conference play. Many coaches also like to play in the early-season tournaments because they simulate the schedule in the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
I’ll repeat my scheduling idea from last week:
Each ACC team gets three permanent rivals and plays those three teams both home and away. Syracuse’s rivals would probably be Boston College, Pittsburgh and a third team; maybe Notre Dame or Louisville.
Then you play one game against each of the remaining 14 teams. Seven home and seven away, alternating each year.
Syracuse basketball misses on 5-star, but 2024 class is in top 10 nationally (itlh; Adler)
As expected, 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea from the Philadelphia area picked fellow Atlantic Coast Conference team Miami on Wednesday, and understandably, some Syracuse basketball fans are bummed about the news.
The 6-foot-4 Bethea, a consensus top-20 national prospect, had the Orange in his top five not too long ago. He was supposed to take a second official visit to the Hill last weekend but canceled that trip. In recent days, a flood of analyst projections went in the direction of the Hurricanes in Bethea’s recruitment.
Miami is a really good hoops program, and the Hurricanes coaching staff has a lot of deep recruiting connections to the Philly market and Bethea’s AAU program. I’m wishing him all the success in the world in the Sunshine State.
And, yes, ‘Cuse coaches pursued and prioritized Bethea for a long, long time. They devoted a tremendous amount of time and resources to try and prevail for Bethea. This miss stings for sure, but that’s the world of recruiting.
What’s more, the Orange still has plenty of which to feel excited about as it pertains to the team’s senior recruiting cycle.
Syracuse basketball has verbal commitments from two excellent 2024 prospects.
In May, 2024 four-star power forward Donnie Freeman from Washington, D.C., verbally committed to the Orange. This past January, New York City four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore gave a verbal pledge to the ‘Cuse, the team’s first in 2024.
Blake Hinson Named Preseason First Team All-ACC by The Field of 68 (pittsburghsportsnnow.com; Bechtold)
The first of many anticipated preseason accolades was handed down to Blake Hinson on Wednesday.
Hinson was named Preseason First Team All-ACC by The Field of 68 inside The Almanac, as a part of the site’s 2023-24 college basketball preview.
The Pitt basketball senior forward is one of the conference’s premiere sharpshooters. Hinson started all of one of the 36 games he played in a Pitt uniform last year during his first campaign as a Panther. The 6-foot-8 Deltona, Florida native averaged a team-best 15.3 points per game along with 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists while shooting nearly 43% from the field in over 31 minutes per contest. Hinson totaled 97 made threes at shot at a 38% clip from behind the arc.
Pitt set single-season program records for made three-pointers (325) and three-point attempts (903) during its historic season and appearance in the NCAA Tournament, ultimately winning two games in part to Hinson’s performances.
Hinson tested his hand at the 2023 NBA Draft but opted to return to Pitt for his second and final season of eligibility. He previously spent time at Iowa State and Ole Miss before finding a home with the Panthers.
MBB: 2023 Valuations (RX; HM)
MBB: 2023 Valuations
Which are the most valuable college basketball programs in America? Here's what Forbes says...
It's no surprise that the ACC has some of the most-valuable basketball programs. In fact, the conference can boast 2 of the top 4, and 4 of the top 8 in terms of valuation:
2. Louisville $53.6M
4. Duke $35.4M
6. Syracuse $31.9M
8. N. Carolina $29.9M
Starting next year, the Big Ten will have 9 of these top 20 teams - but only 2 of them (Indiana and Ohio State) are top 8.
The Big XII has provided some strong competition on the hardcourts, but in terms of valuation, they only have one team in the top 20 this year (Kansas), with one more (Arizona) coming next year.
The SEC will have 4 of the top 20, but only one (Kentucky) in the top 12.
Old Forge, NY on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023. Brady Hommel | @bradyhommel on Instagram
Fall officially arrives this weekend: Here’s your Upstate NY foliage report (PS; Hernandez)
Autumn is upon us and the leaves are following suit all over Upstate New York.
We officially transition from summer to fall on Sept. 23 and I LOVE NY, the state’s tourism website, has released their second fall foliage map predictions for changing colors during the week of Sept. 20-26, 2023.
Even more volunteers around the state have reported leaves beginning to show their seasonal flair. Observers state that lots of rain and a sweltering summer mean the transition has been slow and colors have been muted so far.
For the best chance of seeing some colors emerging, observers suggest heading to the Adirondack Mountains where Tupper Lake and Mt. Arab are approaching the midway point to peak color. Reports include a variety of colors spotted, including dandelion, turnip, apricot, tangerine, cranberry, avocado and sporadic scarlet.
Upstate NY pumpkin party named one nation's best fall fests (PS; House)
Gourd news, Upstate New Yorkers: One of the top-rated fall festivals in the nation is held in the heart of the Empire State.
The Great Cortland Pumpkinfest, a two-day event that turns part of downtown Cortland into a festive pumpkin patch, has been named one of the top 10 fall festivals in the United States by USA Today’s 10Best.
The Central New York festival was the only New York event to make the list, which included the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival in Evansville, Indiana and the Día de los Muertos at Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas.
In its 26th year, the Great Cortland Pumpkinfest was ranked No. 9 on the list of the nation’s top fall festivals. 10Best highlighted the festival’s variety of activities — including hayrides, a craft market and plenty of pumpkins.
The Great Cortland Pumpkinfest, a yearly two-day festival in Cortland, N.Y. filled with pumpkins, crafts food and hayrides has been named one of the 10 best fall festivals in the U.S. in 2023 by USA Today's 10Best.
Ghost town: Inside 7 ghost kitchens across Syracuse (PS; Taurisano)
The ghost kitchen, or virtual kitchen, is a concept that existed before the Covid-19 pandemic in larger cities, but gained traction in Syracuse when customers demanded more options for takeout and delivery during the 2020 lockdowns. Ghost kitchens are primarily designed for takeout or delivery, typically through the use of third-party apps like Grubhub and DoorDash, and allow restauranteurs to operate in a smaller space with fewer employees and less overhead than a traditional dine-in restaurant. Across Syracuse, several virtual kitchen concepts have popped up in existing brick-and-mortar restaurants or by utilizing commercial kitchen spaces in former churches and community centers. With options ranging from burgers to pho, we think you’ll find all of these ghost kitchens hauntingly delicious.
Kofta BurgerINSIDE MARKETPLACE ON JAMES, EASTWOOD
Fine dining veteran Jullen Merrill kicked around the concept of American-style food with Middle Eastern flavors for a few years. He previously worked as sous chef for Citronelle and the Hotel Syracuse, and as an executive chef for Craftsman Wood Grille and Lemon Grass. This past February, Merrill launched the more casual Kofta Burger inside Marketplace on James in Eastwood. Marketplace on James sells vintage items and pieces by local artists and makers. Merrill offers menu items like the Falafel Smashburger, the Shawarma Wrap, Fatteh Nachos and the kitchen’s namesake, the Kofta Burger — a spiced beef patty with garlic sauce, tomato, parsley, sumac onions and white cheddar cheese on a challah bun. The Kofta Burger space has a long counter and a few tables for dining in, which Merrill hopes to turn into a full-service dining room in the future. “It’s nice because we get customers walking into the Marketplace and they can see we have something delicious here to offer them,” he says.
Order online at koftaburger.com, delivery through Grubhub and DoorDash, in-person at the Marketplace on James at 2802 James St., Syracuse, or by phone at 315-991-6862. Hours of operation are Thursday-Monday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Follow @kofta.burger on Instagram.
3-1-FriedINSIDE LIMP LIZARD, NORTH SYRACUSE
Nick Ford and Chuck Orlando, owners of Limp Lizard Bar & Grill, had been looking to partner on a new dining concept that could exist within the barbecue restaurant’s North Syracuse location. Anthony Tringale, founder of Eat Local New York, had the idea for a fried chicken approach inspired by his Kentucky upbringing but had not found anyone to help execute it. Now partnered, the Limp Lizard kitchen staff, brick-and-mortar location and equipment helped make 3-1-Fried a reality in April 2022. The chicken is buttermilk-brined and marinated for 24 hours before it is seasoned, double floured and deep fried. Tringale says, “You don’t think about something deep fried as being delicate, but if you aren’t careful, you can ruin the breading.” Customers who dine in at Limp Lizard are offered both menus. There are several chicken sandwich varieties, as well as chicken tenders and tater tots. Specials like the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich and the Mexican Street Corn Chicken Sandwich keep the menu fresh and seasonal.
Order online at 31fried.com, delivery through Grubhub and DoorDash, in-person at Limp Lizard Bar & Grill at 224 N. Main St., Syracuse. Hours of operation are Wednesday-Sunday, 12-8 p.m. Follow @3.1.fried on Instagram.