No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to Basketball Day!
Basketball is one of the most popular team sports in the world and we celebrate it today, on the anniversary of the birth of James Naismith, its creator. Naismith was born in 1861 in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. After leaving a position as the athletics director at McGill University in Montreal, Naismith came to the United States—a country where he would eventually gain citizenship—to the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, to teach physical education. His superior asked him to come up with an indoor sport that could be played during winter, which would be fair and not too rough. In December 1891, Naismith came up with "basket ball."
David Bennett (shown with sons Matt, left, and Steven, right) has seen the home debut of each of the last five Syracuse head basketball coaches. Bennett graduated from SU in 1956 and later taught history at the university for 60 years. Photo courtesy of the Bennett familyPhoto courtesy the Bennett family
Meet the fan who has seen the home debut of the last 5 Syracuse basketball coaches (PS; $; Waters)
In the 123-year history of the Syracuse University basketball program, there have been seven head coaches.
On Monday, Adrian Autry will become the eighth.
As David Bennett takes his seat in Section 123 of the JMA Wireless Dome, a seat he has occupied since the Dome opened in 1980, Bennett will have been witness to the home coaching debuts of five of those coaches.
“I’m going,’’ Bennett, 88, said of his plans for Monday night when Syracuse hosts New Hampshire. “I’m definitely going.’’
Bennett’s father, Bernard, was a local attorney who had graduated from Syracuse University. Bernard began taking his son to Syracuse football and basketball games when he was just 5 years old.
David Bennett attended Syracuse University, graduating in 1956. He went to the University of Chicago, where he earned his doctorate, before returning to SU where he taught American history in the Maxwell School for 60 years.
“I started in 1961 at Maxwell and taught my last class just before 2021,’’ he said.
The last Syracuse basketball coach whose home debut that Bennett was not present for was 100 years ago. On Dec. 12, 1924, Lew Andreas led Syracuse to a 32-26 win over St. Lawrence in his first outing as head coach.
Bennett was not yet born.
But he was 15 years old and at Archbold Gym on Dec. 12, 1950 to see Mark Guley make his head-coaching debut as Syracuse destroyed Toronto 101-39.
“My father had season tickets, so, yes, I was there,’’ Bennett said.
He remembers seeing Holy Cross star Bob Cousy play against Syracuse.
After a fire destroyed Archbold Gym, Bennett and his father would go to Syracuse’s games at the Jefferson Street Armory, the State Fairgrounds Coliseum and the War Memorial in downtown Syracuse.
Has SU held a secret scrimmage or charitable exhibition against a D-I team? (PS; $; Waters)
Scrimmages, exhibitions and regular-season openers.
This week’s Mailbox is filled with questions about some of the recent scrimmages and exhibitions being played around the country plus one really cool one about Syracuse’s history of home openers.
Syracuse has played two exhibitions and opens its regulars season at home on Monday against New Hampshire.
(If you have a question; follow-up or otherwise, for the Mailbox, email it to email@example.com).
Q: I’ve been seeing some stories about “secret scrimmage season” and some matchups. Was wondering if Syracuse held a “secret scrimmage” at all this season? Have they ever done that in the past?
Mike: In recent years, teams have taken to holding what has become known as secret scrimmages. These are games between two Division I teams as opposed to the public exhibition games that Division I teams play against D-II and D-III schools.
While secret scrimmage sounds cool, a better name would be closed scrimmages because the scrimmages aren’t exactly secret, but they are closed to the public and media.
Syracuse has never held a secret scrimmage against another Division I school.
Q: How is it that recently two powerhouse Division I teams, Michigan State and Tennessee, got to play an exhibition game? What are the NCAA’s rules about this? Would Syracuse ever consider a game like this as opposed to the Division II and AAU teams that we usually play?
Mike: The Tennessee-Michigan State game last Sunday was different from the above-mentioned secret scrimmages. Obviously. The game was on TV and played in front of fans at Michigan State’s Breslin Center.
Drilling down on SU's man defense: How do they want to play it? Will they ever go zone? (PS; Ditota)
When Adrian Autry was considering which defense he wanted his first team as Syracuse’s head coach to play, two factors led to man-to-man.
The first was philosophical:
“It’s me. Me as a coach. Me and how I see the game and how I like to play it.”
The second was practical:
“I knew what my roster was coming back and I said, I think it could benefit us. We could get more guys involved and be able to switch up and change things. I just think that with this group, with the athleticism and the length that we had, this was a perfect group to start with.
“How that works out is yet to be determined. But they got the right makeup to do it.”
With two exhibition games behind us and the 2023-24 season set to begin Monday night when the Orange hosts New Hampshire in a 7 o’clock season opener in the JMA Wireless Dome, SU’s man defense has been the staple.
SU has switched to a 2-3 zone on occasion, primarily when it defends inbounds plays. But Autry and his players said the defensive focus has shifted almost entirely to man.
“If we’re at practice for three hours, we practice it for three hours,” said Orange point guard Judah Mintz. “We’ve dibbled and dabbled with some zone stuff. But we play man. We work on it all day.”
There’s a lot to learn.
Opponent Preview: Everything to know about New Hampshire (DO; Schiff)
Adrian Autry’s long-anticipated tenure at the helm begins against New Hampshire on Monday night.
Appointed as Syracuse’s first new head coach in 47 years, it’s been a busy offseason for Autry. He successfully retained SU’s six-man 2022 recruiting class, added four high-profile transfers and announced a pivot from the Orange’s coveted 2-3 zone to a man-to-man defensive set.
In its first two exhibition games, Syracuse defeated Daemen and The College of Saint Rose 81-68 and 86-61, respectively. In both contests, the Orange shot over 40% from the field and looked comfortable in their new-look defense — jumping passing lanes to rack up 21 total steals. This will be the first of three nonconference matchups before SU competes in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
Here’s everything to know about New Hampshire before Syracuse’s regular-season opener at the JMA Wireless Dome:
All-time seriesMonday’s matchup will be the first between Syracuse and UNH. The two programs have not played each other before.
KenPom oddsSyracuse has a 90% chance of winning, with a projected score of 77-64.
The Wildcats’ reportIn similar fashion to SU, New Hampshire opens the season under new head coach Nathan Davis, following Bill Herrion’s 18 years leading the Wildcats. In the 2022-23 season, UNH finished 15-15 overall, going 9-7 in the America East Conference before crashing out of the playoffs to No. 2-seeded UMass Lowell.
New Hampshire is a composed and disciplined team that values its possessions on offense. The Wildcats finished in KenPom’s top 25 in turnover percentage last season but struggled to generate points inside the arc (42.8%, fourth-worst in the nation). Defensively, UNH did well guarding behind the perimeter and ranked near the top of the country in opposing 3-point percentage (31.4%).
Though UNH boasted four players averaging double-digit points, it only managed to return one in forward Clarence Daniels. A 2022-23 AEC All-Conference First Team selection, Daniels averaged almost 16 points in his first season with the Wildcats and ranked eighth nationally in rebounds per game (10.7).
Adrian Autry is ‘perfectly prepared’ to be Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse successor (nypost.com; Crane & Shovlin)
Adrian Autry won’t be Jim Boeheim.
That became apparent early in his introductory press conference in March, when the inevitable question — will he play the 2-3 zone or man-to-man? — was asked and Autry’s response centered around Syracuse being versatile.
For the last 47 years, Boeheim stuck to his gut, and later his zone, while watching the Orange blossom into a yearly contender until his retirement.
Autry was one of his stars in the 1990s.
Later, his top assistant.
And in a whirlwind following Syracuse’s ACC Tournament exit, he became Boeheim’s replacement.
This is all new to Autry, who hasn’t been a head coach at the high school or college level.
This is new to the Orange, too. But while Boeheim and others don’t expect a carbon-copy blueprint, the underlying paradox facing Autry is there’s an element of Boeheim’s tenure he’ll need to replicate, similar to when other former players — Kevin Ollie for Jim Calhoun at Connecticut in 2012, Jon Scheyer for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke in 2022 — took over for their legendary coaches. There can’t be a drop-off.
Syracuse Basketball: Expert says two of 25 best ACC players wear Orange (itlh; Adler)
Two Syracuse basketball sophomore guards are high up in a ranking of the best players in the Atlantic Coast Conference ahead of the 2023-24 season.
The Orange’s upcoming campaign, the first for Adrian Autry as the team’s head coach, begins on Monday, Nov. 6, when the ‘Cuse will welcome New Hampshire to the JMA Wireless Dome.
The team’s 2023-24 roster of 13 scholarship players includes a ton of sophomores, and the two receiving the most preseason coverage from national and ACC pundits are undeniably point guard Judah Mintz and guard J.J. Starling, a Central New York native who transferred to the Orange after a solid freshman year at Notre Dame.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Mintz, who is from Fort Washington, Md., and the 6-foot-4, 206-pound Starling, who hails from Baldwinsville, N.Y., were highly rated players in the 2022 recruiting cycle.
Both of them were also on the ACC’s All-Freshman team during the 2022-23 stanza, when Syracuse basketball went 17-15 overall and missed the NCAA Tournament for the second season in a row.
A year ago, Mintz averaged around 16 points per game for the ‘Cuse, while Starling averaged roughly 11 points per contest for a struggling Fighting Irish group that saw long-time head coach Mike Brey depart after 2022-23 concluded.
Beat writers predict comfortable win over New Hampshire in season opener (DO; Staff)
Syracuse comfortably defeated Daemen and The College of Saint Rose in exhibition matchups to get players some real-game action and test out Adrian Autry’s tactical changes. But the practice runs are over with the Orange hosting New Hampshire in the JMA Wireless Dome to start the regular season. It’s one of three consecutive home games for SU before it travels to Honolulu, HI, for the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
Similarly, New Hampshire begins its season with a new head coach. Nathan Davis, who previously helmed Bucknell, took charge of the Wildcats in April. UNH has lingered around .500 in recent years, looking to upset the Orange, who have their first new head coach in 47 seasons.
Here’s what our beat writers believe will happen in Syracuse’s season opener:
Cole Bambini (0-0)
Syracuse 84, New Hampshire 67
Syracuse should start the Autry era on a strong note. New Hampshire has hovered around .500 in recent seasons, and the Orange likely will handle the Wildcats with ease. The scoreline, however, shouldn’t be taken as a reflection of this year’s SU team.
Just like the Orange, the Wildcats have some growing pains with a new coach. And their first test is against a Power Five team. Last year, UNH had one of the worst offenses in college basketball, ranking 319th in adjusted offensive efficiency compared to Syracuse’s ranking of 81.
Offensively, Judah Mintz, J.J. Starling and Naheem McLeod can easily handle the Wildcats. It’ll be a chance for Autry to debut his fast-paced offense and work out some adjustments before the competition gets harder in a few weeks. This won’t be a perfect game from start-to-finish but it will be an opportunity for Syracuse to experiment some lineup combinations without the threat of defeat.
Henry O’Brien (0-0)
Syracuse 79, New Hampshire 68
With the football season spiraling out of control, Syracuse fans can take solace in the fact that its men’s basketball team will breeze to a season-opening win over New Hampshire. This game will not give an answer of how good or bad this team will be, but I imagine fans will need the sports equivalent to comfort food.
Mintz and Starling will impress like they did in the Orange’s exhibition win over Saint Rose. The rest of the starting lineup, including McLeod and Chris Bell, will have at least 10 points like they did against the Golden Knights. The offense will look impressive, but we’ll really have to wait and see until it faces top teams in Hawaii or even Colgate.
The defense will actually be intriguing to see, though. It’s the first regular season game where we get to see man-to-man defense. SU’s 3-point defense improved in the team’s second exhibition, with Autry saying the players were better at getting back on transition. If the Wildcats, who were a below-average scoring offense last season, start to go on a hot streak, then there should be some concerns.
Tyler Schiff (0-0)
Put on a show
Syracuse 78, New Hampshire 65
Syracuse will have no trouble jumping out to 1-0. Mintz and Starling will have their way in transition, whether it be scoring or dishing, while 7-foot-4 McLeod should have no trouble dealing with 6-foot-10 Ridvan Tutic — his likely matchup — on either end of the floor.
Defensively, UNH’s Clarence Daniels seems the only threat to SU’s newly implemented man-to-man set. The 2022-23 America East All-Conference First Team honoree averaged 15.7 points last season and should prove challenging for Bell and Justin Taylor to contain. If Syracuse can find an early and effective answer for Daniels, New Hampshire’s hopes of escaping the JMA Wireless Dome with a win will start to wither.
Offensively, expect a plethora of bench minutes from energy players like Quadir Copeland, Kyle Cuffe Jr. and Maliq Brown — provided Autry isn’t limiting Brown due to injury precautions. Bell and Taylor are also likely to be the beneficiaries of many uncontested outside jumpers off of feeds from Mintz and Starling.
This is a fun game for the Orange and a golden opportunity to kick off the Autry era in style.
Syracuse basketball ‘has real upside’ to make run in Big Dance, per expert (itlh; Adler)
A national writer, in a recent article, assesses the chances of Syracuse basketball and other teams with first-year head coaches to make the NCAA Tournament at the end of the 2023-24 season.
Isaac Trotter of 247Sports looked at 12 high-major programs with new head coaches, including the Orange, and broke them down into contenders, dark horses and long shots as it relates to their 2024 Big Dance hopes.
The ‘Cuse begins its 2023-24 campaign, with head coach Adrian Autry having taken the reins from Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim, on Monday, Nov. 6, as Syracuse basketball will face New Hampshire at the JMA Wireless Dome.
Trotter labels the Orange as a “dark horse” to earn an invite to the 2024 NCAA Tournament, following a two-year absence from March Madness for the ‘Cuse, although he does have some positive things to say about Autry and his roster for the upcoming stanza.
A national expert weighs in on Syracuse basketball and next spring’s Big Dance.
In his article, Trotter touches on various topics as it pertains to the Orange, and those topics are familiar to Syracuse basketball fans.
One is how Autry is going to change up the team’s playing styles from what Boeheim was often known for, and this includes utilizing a man-to-man defense, having multiple play-making guards/wings on the floor at the same time, pushing the ball out in transition, and playing at an up-tempo pace.
Trotter talks about how the ‘Cuse backcourt has loads of talent, led by sophomore point guard Judah Mintz and sophomore guard J.J. Starling, the Central New York native who spent his freshman term at Notre Dame.
Disloyal Idiots Podcast: The Quest for Bowling (and other things) (TNIAAM; podcast)
The Syracuse Orange news never stops, so we’re here to talk about it!
In this week’s edition of the Podcast, the guys talked about...
- James is here!
- Let’s ignore whatever happened Friday until we get an Andy
- Time to talk basketball!
- When are we going to know anything about this team?
- Where did Judah improve?
- Non-Con schedule seems painful
- Is Syracuse/Georgetown a thing anymore?
- What’s a zone?
- HOMEFIELD APPAREL (Use Promo Code “NUNES23” for 10% off first purchase)
- Power rankings are a thing!
- How did all these transfers get here?
- What’s the modern Syracuse basketball experience... Cal getting back in this.
- Steve is old and remembers Kyle Cuffe senior...
- The Anthony Legacy
- SU Soccer advances to the ACCT Semifinals!
Anticipation is in the as the start of a new season for the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team gets closer by the day. The program’s next chapter under new head coach Adrian Autry begins on November 6th versus New Hampshire following two exhibition games over the next few weeks.
With the Orange set to begin the start of their 2023-2024 campaign under new leadership and following an offseason makeover, we sent out the Nunes Signal to ask the staff to make some predictions about the makeup of the roster and other thoughts about the upcoming season:
Projected starting lineupDom: Judah Mintz, J.J. Starling, Chris Bell, Benny Williams and Naheem McLeod
The Mintz-Starling guard combo will lead the charge offensively with the Orange as both shot creators and playmakers while maximizing their athleticism and craftiness on both ends of the court. The duo of Bell and Benny returns starters coming off flashy stretches last season while McLeod mans the middle and serves as the team’s central rim protector.
Kevin: Mintz, Starling, Bell, Williams and McLeod
The injury to Chance Westry makes me feel real comfortable with this group. I think there is a chance that Justin Taylor and/or Maliq Brown can push themselves into the starting group at some point during the season. With Mintz and Starling creating opportunities, Bell needs to knock down open shots and McLeod needs to be active on the boards. If not, I don’t think Adrian Autry will be afraid to mix things up.
Szuba: Mintz, Starling, Bell, Williams and McLeod
Points for originality?
Mike: Mintz, Starling, Bell, Williams, McLeod
‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro visits Syracuse restaurant, shouts out ‘amazing breakfast’ (PS; Herbert)
“Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro visited Syracuse on Saturday and gave a local restaurant a shout-out for its “amazing breakfast.”
The celebrity chef said he was in town to visit his son, Buddy Valastro Jr., who’s attending Syracuse University. The TV star dad said they ate at the trendy Rise N Shine Diner on Westcott Street.
“Visiting @buddyvalastrojr_ @syracuseu and had an amazing breakfast at @risenshinediner Top-notch service, delicious food and a perfect start to the day! #FamilyTime #SyracuseEats #breakfastofchampions,” he wrote on Instagram to his 4.5 million followers.
Valastro also posted photos of their meal, which appeared to include cinnamon roll pancakes, breakfast egg rolls, and a cuppy cake martini (a cocktail topped with four birthday cupcakes).
Valastro, best known for the TLC reality TV show “Cake Boss,” and his family run Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, N.J. His television credits also include “Rachael Ray,” “Bake It Like Buddy,” “Bakers vs. Fakers,” “Kitchen Boss,” and “The Apprentice,” plus the TV special “Buddy Valastro: Road to Recovery,” about a hand injury he suffered in a freak accident.