Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday - for Basketball |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Basketball


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to Remember the Maine Day!

Today we remember the Maine, the American battleship that blew up on today's date in 1898 while anchored in Havana Harbor. Commanded by Captain Charles G. Sigsbee, it was one of the first American battleships, cost more than $2 million to build, and weighed more than 6,000 tons. Ostensibly, its mission in the harbor was friendly, but its real purpose was to protect American lives and property. Cuba was in the midst of rebelling from Spain, and as Cuba sought its independence, it was believed that a full-blown war could break out at any time. The United States had also long had its eye on Cuba, hoping to expand its influence there and in the region.

About 350 crew members were aboard the ship on that fateful Tuesday evening. Shortly after 9 p.m., the ship's bugler, C.H. Newton, blew taps. Around 9:40 p.m., an explosion rocked the boat. A second, massive explosion followed, and broke apart the bow, throwing debris over 200 feet into the air. The ship quickly sank, and approximately 266 of the ship's crew perished.

SU News

The return of the zone: Syracuse coach Adrian Autry took a page out of Jim Boeheim’s playbook in win over North Carolina (PS; $; Waters)

Faced with the prospect of going up against North Carolina’s dominant interior attack with a thinning frontcourt, Syracuse coach Adrian Autry dusted off a page from Jim Boeheim’s Guide to Coaching.

In his first year as Syracuse’s head coach, Autry has employed a man-to-man defense for most of the season. The change in defensive philosophy came after a quarter century in which the Orange deployed Boeheim’s patented 2-3 zone defense.

On Tuesday night, though, desperate times called for desperate measures.

“North Carolina is a high-powered team,’’ Autry said. “They can go inside or outside. With our limited depth, I thought it was the best defense to play.’’

North Carolina had crushed Syracuse, 103-67, in the teams’ first meeting back on Jan. 13 in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels had owned the boards with a 53-30 rebounding advantage. The Tar Heels had controlled the lane, scoring 58 points in the paint. Armando Bacot, North Carolina’s all-conference center, had racked up 16 points and 11 rebounds in a mere 16 minutes.

Autry also had need to utilize the zone for reasons other than the threat North Carolina posed.

Opponent Preview: What to know about Georgia Tech (DO; Bambini)

Syracuse did the unimaginable Tuesday, upsetting No. 7 North Carolina one month after the Tar Heels beat the Orange by 36 points. Syracuse led for most of the game and made big plays down the stretch to secure its first AP top-10 win since 2019.

“They embarrassed us the last time we played them. We wanted to come out and make a statement, at least show that we’re here and we compete,” Judah Mintz said.

The page now turns to Georgia Tech, where Syracuse makes the trip Saturday. The Yellow Jackets and the Orange split the season-series last year, winning on each other’s home floor.

Here’s everything to know about Georgia Tech (10-15, 3-11 Atlantic Coast Conference):

All-time series

Syracuse leads 8-7.

Last time they played…

To close out February last season, Syracuse hosted Georgia Tech, which it had defeated by 17 over a month earlier. But similarly to how the Orange flipped the script versus UNC, the Yellow Jackets turned the tide with a 96-76 victory at the JMA Wireless Dome.

The Yellow Jackets entered as the league’s third-worst 3-point shooting team, but dropped a school-record 18 triples on the Orange, who conceded 13 or more 3-pointers for a fourth straight game. Miles Kelly and Lance Terry both had seven threes.

Syracuse, which gave up 53 first-half points, trailed by only nine entering the second half. But it missed all seven of its 3-pointers and shot just under 40% from the field, burying itself into a hole it couldn’t get out of.

“We just have not been able to stop anybody four games in a row,” former head coach Jim Boeheim said. “That’s on me, it’s my defense, and we’re not able to stop anybody with it.”

KenPom odds

Syracuse has a 56% of winning, with a projected score of 75-73.

The Yellow Jackets report

Sitting in the bottom-third of the conference, Georgia Tech is coming off a 58-55 loss at Notre Dame, the second of a two-game road trip and its fourth straight loss. Similar to Syracuse, it lost by 29 to Wake Forest but also upset North Carolina by one at home. The win over UNC on Jan. 30 snapped a three-game losing streak.

Kelly, Baye Ndongo and Kowacie Reeves Jr. all average double-digit points for the Yellow Jackets, who have the third-worst scoring offense in the ACC. Defensively, GT gives up 4.4 points per game and ranks 170th in adjusted defensive efficiency, per Ken Pom.

With the ball, Georgia Tech has a tendency to turn it over, coughing it up over 12 times a game, which is in the bottom-third of the ACC. However, on the glass, it averages 38 rebounds per game.

Beat writers agree Syracuse will defeat Georgia Tech (DO; Staff)

Syracuse’s 86-79 home victory over No. 7 North Carolina Tuesday marked its first over an AP Top 10 team since 2019, when the Orange defeated then-No. 1 Duke. Led by Judah Mintz and J.J. Starling’s combined 48 points, SU shot a season-high 62.5% overall and 47.1% from 3.

Jumping out to a 21-11 lead within the game’s first 10 minutes, Syracuse’s offense capitalized on quality looks and its stifling 2-3 zone defense kept North Carolina at bay. Tied 42-42 at the break, SU opened the second half on an 8-2 scoring run and maintained composure down the stretch. And when a series of clutch defensive possessions from Quadir Copeland clinched a historic win, student spectators stormed Jim Boeheim Court.

“I’m sure no one gave us a chance to win this game, or even thought that we could win the game,” SU head coach Adrian Autry said. “I was just happy for these guys. So it was big. Yeah, we needed it.”

On Saturday, the Orange kickstart a two-game road trip with a matchup against Georgia Tech (10-15, 3-11 Atlantic Coast Conference). The Yellow Jackets are coming off of a 58-55 defeat at Notre Dame and have now lost four straight.

Here’s how our beat writers think Syracuse (16-9, 7-7 ACC) will fare in Atlanta this weekend:

Cole Bambini (20-5)
Bring back the buzz
Syracuse 77, Georgia Tech 71

Each game has been a different story for the Orange. There’s been losses to Boston College and Clemson, but nail-biting wins over Miami and an upset over No. 7 North Carolina. Entering Saturday’s game versus Georgia Tech, it’s hard to see the Orange not defeating Georgia Tech, especially after its performance versus UNC.

On paper, Syracuse should easily beat the Yellow Jackets, but the Orange have struggled on the road, and I think this will be a tightly-contested contest. Forcing Georgia Tech, which shoots just 32.4% from the 3-point line, to the perimeter will be a key. Against UNC, the Orange played strong post defense, but the Tar Heels had the sharp shooters to make the triples. Georgia Tech doesn’t.

There was a sense of rejuvenation within the team and fanbase after defeating UNC. This is the game the Orange can’t lose. I think Syracuse will ride the momentum, behind its backcourt duo of Mintz and Starling — that combined for 48 versus UNC — and pick up an important win over Georgia Tech.

Henry O’Brien (19-6)
A win streak?
Syracuse 78, Georgia Tech 74

For all of the ups and downs of the past two weeks, Syracuse has a chance to put together a stretch of winning basketball. Even with an embarrassing loss to Wake Forest and the dismissal of the longest-tenured player on the team, the Orange put together their finest win of the season.

Now, SU can build on the success by beating up on one of the ACC’s lesser powers. Georgia Tech is still in year one of the Damon Stoudemire experiment and will need time to become a contender.

Still, the Orange have to travel and playing on the road hasn’t been a strong suit for them. I still believe a mixture of Mintz, Starling and Maliq Brown should be enough to contain the Yellow Jackets.

Tyler Schiff (20-5)
Now or never
Syracuse 65, Georgia Tech 58

Syracuse’s performance Tuesday, against one of the best teams in college basketball, shows it is capable of a late push into the NCAA Tournament. Efficient offense, swarming defense and a successfully concocted plan to rely on Mintz and Starling throughout crunch time pumps hope within a once-pessimistic fanbase.


Syracuse basketball scored a huge win over No. 7 North Carolina, but 'Cuse doesn't have many future quadrant-one chances. / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Basketball: Statement win vs. No. 7 UNC, but can ‘Cuse make run to the Big Dance? (itlh; Adler)

First-year head coach Adrian Autry and his Syracuse basketball team notched a massive upset of No. 7 North Carolina earlier this week on the Hill.

That result is a coveted quadrant-one success for the Orange, its second so far in the 2023-24 season. And while stunning the top-10 Tar Heels was a signature success for the ‘Cuse, the Orange is still way removed from the proverbial bubble for this spring’s NCAA Tournament.

At this juncture in 2023-24, Syracuse basketball is 16-9 overall and 7-7 in Atlantic Coast Conference competition. The Orange has a half-dozen regular-season games left before the ACC Tournament commences in Washington, D.C., next month.

This Saturday, the ‘Cuse will next face Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Four of the Orange’s final six regular-season contests are on the road.

For Syracuse basketball to realistically enter the conversation for an invite to the 2024 Big Dance following a two-year absence from March Madness, the ‘Cuse will have to string together a lot of victories over the next few weeks – and that still may not prove enough to hear its name called on Selection Sunday, short of winning the ACC Tournament.

Let’s look at the Syracuse basketball post-season resume and its upcoming foes.

Here is the Orange’s current resume, at the time of this writing:

No. 85 in the NCAA NET rankings
12-2 at home
2-5 on the road
1-2 on neutral floors
*The Orange’s win over Chaminade last November at the 2023 Allstate Maui Invitational in Honolulu doesn’t officially count toward the team’s post-season resume in the NCAA’s eyes, because the Silverswords are a Division II program.

2-7 in Quadrant 1
3-1 in Quadrant 2
6-1 in Quadrant 3
4-0 in Quadrant 4
*See above regarding the Orange’s victory against Chaminade and why it isn’t included in SU’s quadrant-related resume.

Last night's Win Was Important, Just Not For This Year (; Gotkin)

I think we have to start this off by stating the obvious. Last night’s 86-79 win over number seven North Carolina does not put Syracuse anywhere close to making the NCAA tournament. Entering the game, the Orange were on the outskirts of the bubble. Not the main bubble, but the NIT bubble. Hopefully, that’s a reminder of how bad things were the past couple of weeks. The win over the Tar Heels feels great right now but it means nothing for this season. UNC has lost three of its last five games including to the worst team in the ACC, Georgia Tech. The win is impressive but it doesn’t mean anything for this year. All it does is place the ‘Cuse into the NIT field. A miracle would still have to be pulled off to make it to the real bubble.

All of that doesn’t mean that last night’s win is something to forget though. In a season that’s been so rough at times, Adrian Autry and this team needed a big win to remember. Some expectations were way to high entering this season. The Orange hadn’t made the tournament in the last two years and lost more than they gained in the offseason. This year’s focus should have always been on building a new culture under Adrian Autry and figuring out what needs to be done in the future. Hoping for anything more in the first year without a Hall of fame coach was just too optimistic.

The win against North Carolina gives hope for the future. After the blowout that was the first game against the Tar Heels, the Orange could have just sat down and given up. But they didn’t. JJ Starling showed that he can be the guy in the future that can lead this team. You can assume that almost everyone will be back this year. Maybe a few transfer out or Judah enters the draft, but it’ll be the same core. That core showed it can beat a top-10 team. It showed it can do something that hasn’t been done in over five years.

Revisiting The Court/Field Storm Take 16 Months Later (; Griffin)

For the second time in my Fizz career, Syracuse Athletics has pulled off a big enough win to get the student section to rush the playing surface. The first came after the NC State football game in October 2022, after which I proceeded to write this article.

To this day I still stand by that take. The Wolfpack were playing in the wake of news that Devin Leary, perhaps the best QB in the ACC that season, was out for season. Jack Chambers came nowhere close to holding Leary’s pedigree, and Syracuse won rather easily. The Orange were also favored to win that game by pretty much every notable betting site, which added insult to injury. I’m all for celebrating a victory that you should have gotten in the first place, but I still don’t think storming the field was necessary.

When that article was published and my opinion was known, let’s just say the response wasn’t exactly positive. “L take” and “there’s still time to delete this” were a few of the more popular ones. Someone called me a killjoy, another responded with the “Old Man Yells at Cloud” meme (that did make me chuckle a little bit). Being a relatively new member of Team Fizz at the time, it was the first truly controversial story I remember writing.

Which brings us to last night. North Carolina beat Syracuse by 36 when the two teams met in Chapel Hill a month ago. That can’t be stated enough. Not many people gave the Orange a fighting chance in this contest. The Tar Heels have the talent and roster construction to compete for a national championship next month. It made all the sense in the world to celebrate in that manner.

Syracuse basketball guard Quadir Copeland stole the game from North Carolina. Then he stole the show. (TNIAAM; Szuba)

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team earned its first victory over a ranked opponent in 364 days by defeating the No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels on Tuesday night. Although Judah Mintz and JJ Starling will receive deserved plaudits for the victory, Quadir Copeland stole the game away from North Carolina with a few key plays late.

“Quadir was great. He was active. I thought he came in the beginning of the first half and made some good offensive drives. But defensively toward the end of the game, I mean, again — he made some game-winning plays. Game-winning steals. So I was happy for him,” Adrian Autry said.

With over two minutes remaining and Syracuse clinging to a four point lead, Starling had his shot blocked and the rebound fell into the hands of his former Notre Dame teammate Cormac Ryan. Copeland promptly made a play on the ball and knocked it out bounds off Ryan. The sophomore guard erupted with a passionate swing of his arm and slapped hands with a Syracuse fan sitting courtside.

On the ensuing defensive possession, Copeland reached for a loose ball after a deflected pass as Syracuse was in its 2-3 zone. He and Armando Bacot grappled for possession, only for the ball to carom off Bacot’s shin out of bounds. Copeland had earned another extra possession for Syracuse.

Lastly, with Syracuse holding a five point lead with just over 30 seconds left, North Carolina kicked the ball to Ryan on the right wing for a three. But Copeland recovered, reached down and stripped Ryan, earning his third steal of the game. Staring out into the JMA Wireless Dome crowd, Copeland put on a mean mug — to nobody in particular — as if to say I told you so.

With his brother Daiquan on hand — the reason Copeland took up basketball in the first place, to be like his older brother — Copeland made those game-winning types of plays that resulted in the first ranked win of the Autry era.

“I just feel like that was just me doing what I can do,” Copeland said post-game.

A quick glance at the box score suggests a modest night for the exuberant guard from Philadelphia. Copeland finished with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. But the defense — including those three steals — were as important as just about any sequence in the game that didn’t include a banked-in three.

After he stole away multiple chances for North Carolina to edge closer, Copeland and his unfettered enthusiasm came into Autry’s post-game press conference and stole the show like a thief in the night. Copeland, never one to be short on words, was just trying to celebrate the victory. Before the exchange was over Autry made sure to let Copeland know he was lucky to come up with that last steal.

Keeping Up With The 315 2-14-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Brian started the show by recapping Syracuse Men’s Basketball’s HUGE upset over North Carolina. He talked about the gravity of the moment, SU’s upset history of late, and how the guys looked individually. To wrap things up, Brian took calls from listeners to hear the reaction from fans.

Allen Griffin "The 315" 2-14-24 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Syracuse men’s basketball assistant coach Allen Griffin stopped by for his weekly chat with Brian Higgins. Coach Griff talked about the excitement of taking down seventh ranked North Carolina, fans rushing the court and how it reminded him of his playing days, how the team looked, and what’s expected as the season nears it’s end.

Maliq Brown of Syracuse following Win over Top-10 UNC (youtube; DT)

Maliq Brown of Syracuse following Win over Top-10 UNC

JJ Starling of Syracuse following Win over Top-10 UNC (youtube; DT)

JJ Starling of Syracuse following Win over Top-10 UNC

Boeheim brothers on Swider’s podcast: ‘I feel like I’m a lot better in just about every category’ (PS; $; Feliciano-Batista)

Sioux Falls Skyforce guard Cole Swider had two special guests on the most recent installment of his podcast: Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim.

The Boeheim brothers shared updates on their pro basketball experiences in the G League and overseas. The three players, plus Swider’s co-host, Paddy Casey, all were teammates during Syracuse’s 2021-2022 season.

Buddy Boeheim, a forward for the G League’s Motor City Cruise, has earned respect in his second season, averaging 14.2 points per game with a 46/43/94 shooting slash line.

Jimmy Boeheim plays for the Tigers Tübingen in Germany.

Here are three takeaways from the podcast.

Boeheim Bros doing well: Both Boeheim brothers had an unstable start to their professional careers. For Buddy, it included two-way contracts and losing a starting spot; for Jimmy it was playing in two different countries and for three coaches in one year.

“Having three two-ways in my position was obviously a tough draw for me going into the season,” Buddy said.

After a full season getting used to their new surroundings, both feel better.

Buddy was forced to come off the bench to start the season for the Cruise but earned a starting spot through his consistent shooting. His performances for the Cruise has seen him top himself time after time, culminating in a career-high 38 points last Thursday.

Jimmy now considers his situation “more stable” and has gotten used to life in Europe, as well as the brand of basketball played overseas.

Their secret: time.

Coming out of college, both brothers struggled to get used to their new ways of life. The grind of their leagues, the type of basketball, the schedule — even cooking was new for Buddy. Another year allowed both to see their situations from a more experienced perspective.

Greg's Five Takeaways From UNC's Loss at Syracuse (; Hughes)

Inside Carolina contributor Greg Barnes joined host Tommy Ashley on The Postgame show to offer his thoughts on North Carolina’s 86-79 loss at Syracuse on Tuesday night. Here are his five key takeaways from the game:


"They didn't close. We saw the same thing against Clemson, and the same thing happened against Syracuse. North Carolina led the game 65-64 with 7:16 to play, and Syracuse went on a 22-12 run until the last-second bucket from RJ Davis. Syracuse is not an NCAA Tournament team. North Carolina is a team capable of playing for a No. 1 seed. Their aspirations for that took a pretty significant hit. This is the game that North Carolina needed to win. UNC had four turnovers in the last 2:02. That's not how you get it done. Syracuse wanted the loose balls more. They were more active defensively."


"Hopefully, this is an opportunity for Hubert Davis to get the point across to his guys. After the Kentucky game, they started playing with urgency. Everybody watching this team understands that this is not the 2009 or 2012 Tar Heels. This is a team that, when they work their butt off and play really good defense, they can play with anybody. They can be a No. 1 seed. If they don't bring their A-game, they're going to lose some of these games. There's going to be ups and downs in the season. We know this team is not at their peak anymore. They're not playing as well as they were a couple of weeks ago. That doesn't mean they can't get back there. They have to correct some of these urgency issues and some of these efficiency issues."


"I really liked Hubert Davis' decision to go with Elliot Cadeau at the free throw line against that zone. That was brilliant. Cadeau has struggled from the 3-point line, and that allowed you to have your best passer there with three perimeter shooters. Elliot did a better job in the second half of making it a point to get it to Armando Bacot. It was the second game that North Carolina had a decided advantage in the post and didn't take advantage. Syracuse is one of the worst rebounding teams in the country. Carolina did not use that to its advantage. UNC won points in paint 58-32 in Chapel Hill. Tonight, it was 32-32. That is mind-boggling."


"Everybody got excited about UNC jumping out to a 9-0 start in ACC play. By doing that, they afforded themselves some margin for error. That margin of error is gone. UNC is still right in the mix atop the ACC, but they do have some challenging games coming up. The only easy one they have is Notre Dame coming to town on senior night. They're going to have to win the ACC. They can't coast. It's going to be a situation for Hubert to figure out how to light a spark. They have a good game on Saturday against Virginia Tech. Then they've got a week off. They can really reset."


"Cormac Ryan, RJ Davis and Harrison Ingram played the entire second half. Armando Bacot played 18. The only guy that really came out was Elliot Cadeau, and Seth Trimble went in for him and played four minutes. The lack of depth and willingness to use the bench is significant. Now that we're deep in the season, the bench minutes dried up. North Carolina has fallen all the way to No. 331 nationally in bench minutes (out of 362 teams). It is about the exact same as the last two years. Seth Trimble has earned six-man minutes. Jalen Washington and Jae'Lyn Withers looked pretty good against Syracuse. You've got to lean on those guys to give your key guys some rest."


Syracuse Orange Guard Quadir Copeland (24) and Syracuse Orange Guard Jodah Mintz (3) at a break during the second half of the College Basketball game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Syracuse Orange on February 13, 2024, at the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, NY. Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

ACC Roundup - Shockers In Syracuse And Charlottesville (DBR; King)

In Tuesday’s ACC Action, Boston College beat Louisville 89-77, Virginia Tech survived Florida State 83-75, Pitt handled Virginia 74-63 and Syracuse topped the Tar Heels 86-79.

In our comments about Tuesday’s games, we said this: “We can imagine ways that Syracuse could beat UNC. For one, other than the Duke game, the Tar Heels haven’t played very well lately. They beat Florida State, but only by seven, lost at Georgia Tech, lost at home to Clemson and barely survived a struggling Miami Saturday.

“But Syracuse is going to have trouble with UNC.“

Didn't quite work out like that.

Judah Mintz and JJ Starling combined for 48 points and the Orange hit 47 percent of their threes and 63 percent overall.

We worried that injuries would make it really hard for the Orange to deal with UNC’s front court and thought fouls would be key.

Well, they were, just not for Syracuse.

Armando Bacot had four fouls and Harrison Ingram had three which probably made like easier for Malik Brown, who played 34 minutes with just two fouls.

But it wasn’t just those two. Elliot Cadeau and Cormac Ryan had four each and RJ Davis had three. UNC had 20 fouls to Syracuse’s 11.

Syracuse had a 10 point lead in the first half but it was tied 42-42 at the break.

UNC missed its first nine shots in the second as Syracuse reclaimed a nine-point lead. But the Heels fought back and took the lead back 65-64 with 7:18 to go.

But Syracuse rebuilt a seven point lead and UNC just couldn’t get back in it.

This leads to the obvious question: what’s wrong with UNC?

It’s not necessarily fatal, certainly not in February, but the Heels have not played well for a while now.

They were good against Duke, but otherwise, Carolina lost to Georgia Tech, Clemson, was lucky to survive a Miami that was overly dependent on Norchad Omier and Nijel Pack, and now Syracuse.

They could overcome it, but their seed is also sliding.

As for Syracuse, this is the biggest win of Adrian Autry’s rookie year by far. The fans stormed the court after it was over. Life is good in Lower Canada tonight.

ACC to stay with 15 teams for basketball tournaments (; AP)

Next year’s newly expanded Atlantic Coast Conference won’t feature every team in its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

The league announced Wednesday that the ACC will feature the top 15 teams in next year’s tournaments, which will be the first after the league has grown to 18 teams by bringing in California and Stanford from the Pac-12 as well as SMU from the American Athletic Conference. The league will stay with a 20-game conference schedule for the men and an 18-game schedule for the women.

The format of the ACC men’s and women’s tournaments had been in question because the league has long included every team, but going to 18 teams would push them beyond the current five-day event model.

The ACC also has approved a pair of technology measures for the 2024 football season, pending approval from the NCAA Football Rules Committee. That includes the use of coach-to-player helmet devices allowing for one-way communication, as well as providing access to in-game video to league teams to “enhance their ability to make in-game adjustments.”

The announcement came at the end of the three-day winter meetings, which included league athletic directors and other key administrators as well as the league’s board of directors made up of school presidents and chancellors.

Nomination Period Open for 2024 LetterWinner of Distinction - Syracuse University Athletics (

The Syracuse University LetterWinner of Distinction Award is one of the highest honors for a person who wore the Block S for an Orange intercollegiate athletics team. Nominations are open for the 2024 awards which recognizes individuals who earned at least one varsity letter, gained distinction in their respective careers and communities and brought honor to themselves and Syracuse University through their contributions and activities. Candidates must have graduated in 2015 or earlier.

Award winners are selected based on engagement on campus as a student, professional career accomplishments, and service to the community. To nominate a teammate, a classmate or anyone you know who exemplifies these characteristics, submit the nomination here along with a full resume.

All nominations for LetterWinner recipients must be received by March 15th, 2024. Any questions concerning the application or qualifications, please contact Jenna Rodgers at jrrickan or call the Cuse Athletics Fund at 315-443-1419.



Eagles frolic and fight over fish above Onondaga Lake Friday, February 9, 2024. N. Scott Trimble

Bald eagles putting on spectacular show over Onondaga Lake, and it’s only the second act (photos) (PS; $; Trimble)

Aerial dynamics isn’t the first thing that crosses your mind when you think of Syracuse. Yet there are herds of people who gather in the deep winter every year to watch one of the best air shows in the Eastern United States: the annual gathering of bald eagles on Onondaga Lake.

Over 30 bald eagles – some years nearly triple that – gather to nest and teach their young the ways of flying, fishing, and, well, knowing their place in the pecking order. It’s the largest wintering roost for bald eagles in New York State, according to the Montezuma Audubon Center.

Fortunately, the annual display is accessible to all. Several spots along the lake makes for prime viewing of these daredevils of the sky.

The lounge at the end of the Creekwalk trail on Onondaga Lake provides an excellent vantage point to keep viewers in awe. It’s accessible from the gravel parking area off Harborside Drive under the Hiawatha Boulevard bridge. You’ll want to bring binoculars or a spotting scope if you have them.

Syracuse maker of Hofmann hot dogs snapped up by Miami company (PS; $; Moriarty)

A Miami company has acquired Syracuse’s Hofmann Sausage Co., maker of regional favorite hot dogs, including the locally famous white Snappy Grillers, for 145 years.

Family-owned Miami Beef Co. announced Tuesday it has purchased Hofmann from a high-profile ownership group led by the Oneida Indian Nation. The purchase price was not revealed.

Miami Beef CEO Robert Young said Hofmann’s hot dogs, sausages and other products will continue to be sold under the Hofmann name and will continue to be made, with no changes in their recipes, at the company’s production facility on Eastern Avenue. All of Hofmann’s employees will be retained, he said.

New hotel leads the way in $50 million expansion at Oneidas' Point Place Casino (PS; $; Cazentre)

A 100-room hotel, an expanded gaming floor and a new restaurant highlight a planned $50 million expansion at the Oneida Indian Nation-owned Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, Madison County.

The expansion comes as a response to customer demand for more amenities at the six-year-old casino, in addition to expectations for economic growth in Central New York, the Oneidas’ announcement said. Customers have asked for more “lodging to accommodate weekend trips, additional dining options, (and) expanded choices in gaming,” the announcement said.

“Listening to our guests is one of the reasons the Oneida Indian Nation’s enterprises have been so successful,” Ray Halbritter, the Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Turning Stone Enterprises CEO, said in the news release.

Point Place, at 450 State Route 31 near the Onondaga County line, opened in March 2018 as the Oneidas’ third full-service casino. The others are the much larger Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, Oneida County, and the YBR Casino in Chittenango, also near the Madison-Onondaga county line.

This is the first expansion at Point Place since 2019. That also increased the the size of the gaming floor and added 100 slot machines, bringing the total to 600. The new expansion will double the existing gaming space.

Happy Valentine’s Day! NYS Fair adds 2 ‘heart’-themed artists to concert lineup (PS; $; Herbert)

Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of the romantic holiday, the New York State Fair has added two “heart”-themed artists to its 2024 concert lineup.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts will perform at the NYS Fair’s Suburban Park on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 8 p.m. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group will close out Women’s Day.

Also, Chapel Hart will return to Chevy Court on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. The trio, featuring sisters Danica and Devynn Hart and their cousin, Trea Swindle, is known for a cappella harmonies that earned them a “Golden Buzzer” on “America’s Got Talent” in 2022.

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