Orangeyes Daily Articles for Friday - Weekend Articles for Basketball | Syracusefan.com

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Friday Weekend Articles for Basketball

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Welcome to National Fruitcake Day!

Fruitcakes have long been tied to the holiday season, whether as a treat, or as target of jokes and ridicule. The earliest recipes for them date to Roman times, where pomegranates, pine nuts, and raisins mixed with barley hash were used. Fruitcakes became popular in Europe, where the fruits and nuts used in them were a delicacy. Thus, they came to be served primarily on special occasions such as weddings and during Christmas. Honey and spices were also common ingredients in fruitcakes in Europe in the Middle Ages. Their popularity in Europe rose with the importation of cheap sugar from the colonies in the sixteenth century, which allowed fruit to be better preserved. Native fruits such as plums and cherries were better preserved, but this allowed more fruits to be imported from around the world as well. Recipes proliferated all over Europe; recipes varied by country and changed over time. By the early nineteenth century, a typical recipe would be made up of citrus peel, pineapple, dates, pears, and cherries.

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ACC Uniform Power Rankings (tarheelblog.com; Cowden)


In the immortal words of Deion "Primetime" Sanders, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.” So let's take a look at that first one.

Last September, we looked at the coolest football uniforms in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Today, we’re going to rank the best men’s basketball uniforms in the conference.

With basketball, there’s less flexibility with uniforms than in football, where you can mix helmets, jerseys and pants into any combination. Basketball uniforms are all going to be the same color, so teams are only going to have home and away options, with maybe an alternate.

Without the ability to be creative with the uniform combinations, basketball more than makes up for it with the shoes the players wear on the court. Therefore sneakers and brands play a big part into these obviously unbiased, complete and final rankings.

1. North Carolina Tar Heels

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The Town Where the Shots Go Up, and the Records Fall (nytimes.com; Armstrong)

Joe Girard III, an 18-year-old senior at Glens Falls High School and a pitiless scoring machine, hurried across the school’s hardwood court, placed his inhaler on a table and started his basketball season with a passing drill.

It was a recent afternoon. He looked worn. Two days earlier, he had led his school’s football team to a state title as a quarterback. He threw two touchdown passes, ran for another two scores and earned most valuable player honors.

Now, at basketball practice, red dots marked where a football opponent had stepped on his left hand with his cleats. His right hand was swollen from being sandwiched between the helmets of two players.

And yet today he and his teammates threw a 41-ounce basketball — almost twice as heavy as a game ball — to one another. He caught the heavy ball last. He squared up on the left wing — just inside the 3-point arc — and shot it. It went in.


With that shot, Joe Girard III’s pivot to basketball was complete.

“Those used to be air balls,” said Rob Girard, the team’s head coach and a cousin of the marksman. “He’s getting stronger.”

Girard, who is 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, and goes by JG3, averaged 50 points a game and set the state’s career scoring mark last winter with 3,306 points. Perched atop the scoring annals, he has an enviable challenge ahead on his home court in the Adirondack foothills — the same court on which another productive scorer, Jimmer Fredette, elicited oohs and aahs not too long ago.
...



Episode 110- Syracuse Basketball: St. Bonaventure Preview!

What you missed and need to know in college basketball (espn; Medcalf)

What did you miss?
The arrival of Mount Zion

Zion Williamson, a projected NBA lottery pick with more than 2 million Instagram followers, stormed onto the college basketball scene as a force unlike any athlete we've ever seen in college basketball.

He's a 6-foot-6, 282-pound nightmare with a skill set fueled by explosiveness, versatility, power and a high basketball IQ that has turned him into the most exciting player at this level -- and college basketball's most coveted NBA prospect too.

He's not alone on the Duke Blue Devils. R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish likely will join him among the top five of this summer's NBA draft. And let's not forget Tre Jones, who has emerged as one of the best point guards in America.

But Williamson is the show. He would win the NBA's dunk contest if he could enter the event this season. He's averaging 19.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. And he has exceeded the hype.

Villanova, Michigan going in different directions after last season's title game

Last season, Michigan reached the national title game via excellent defense, Mo Wagner's dominance, and clutch efforts in the postseason. Few expected the Wolverines to duplicate last season's heights after Wagner turned pro.
...


The Ivies Are Coming (DBR; Jacobs)

Nonconference play more or less concludes during the first week in January, capped by two Ivy League teams coming to the state of North Carolina to face ACC men’s squads. On January 2 Cornell is at Wake Forest, Harvard at North Carolina to meet the Tar Heels.

Forays from the erudite north are nothing exceptional. But look more closely and, if you get the sense this is happening more often, you’re correct. What’s different this season is the increase in the sheer number of ACC contests against Ivy Leaguers, who have become more competitive with power conference opponents.

This year there are eight games against the Ivies, most at least since the ACC expanded in 2014. Follow the drift of scheduling, and the number of such contests has risen almost steadily over the past six seasons.

Leading the way is Cornell, with nine games over that period. Tommy Amaker’s Harvard squad and Yale each played six ACC opponents, the Elis visiting Duke and beating Miami this season. Harvard beat Boston College every year from 2009 through 2014, home and away. The same-city schools haven’t played since a Crimson victory in 2017; BC coach Jim Christian cites vague scheduling difficulties.

Playing these games doubtless is part of a strategy to boost power ratings and attract higher-profile recruits for the Ivy League.

Oddly, or maybe not, some ACC clubs are entirely beyond interacting with the Ivies. During the last six years at least, none of the Ivy eight have visited Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Pitt or Virginia Tech.
...



These are 7 of the best college basketball players we've seen this season | NCAA.com (ncaa.com; Boozell)

College basketball is loaded with talent in 2018-19, and several players have legitimate claims to make this list.

But these guys have been the most consistently dominant performers this season. Here are seven college basketball stars who stand above the rest.

Zion Williamson, Duke
Williamson has a player efficiency rating of 40.8, which is all sorts of bonkers. PER is a formula that boils down all of a player's contributions into one number. He's a highlight reel unto himself, throwing down thunderous slams and swatting shots way up into the stands on a nightly basis.

We expected all of that based on Williamson's reputation coming into college. But his statistical dominance has been a pleasant surprise.

Williamson is shooting 65.2 percent from the floor and making 72.4 percent of his 2s. His per-40 minute stats: 30.3 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 3.2 steals and 2.9 blocks. Williamson's outside shooting has been suspect, but he's dominant in every other facet of the game.

You can become a star if you're decent in every category. A guy who's a B+ at everything turns out to be an awesome player when you mash it all together. But Williamson blows those standards out of the water; he might be the best defender in the country, and that's the part of his game that doesn't get talked about. Duke has the No. 3 defense in the nation and he's a big reason why. The only thing stopping him on offense is a lack of shot attempts. He's the rare player who can beat pretty much any defender with both speed and strength.

...

Here are the best moments in men's college basketball from 2018 | NCAA.com (ncaa.com; Katz)

March is the memory maker. Some moments won’t ever be forgotten.

And we had our share in the 2018 NCAA tournament, but we've also seen some extraordinary performances in the regular season so far in men's basketball. They weren’t all just shots. There were comebacks, wins and moments that will have endless shelf life.

Here is my list of the best of the best in the calendar year of 2018 for men's basketball (in no particular order):

March 17| Michigan’s Jordan Poole beats Houston on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, ultimately leading the Wolverines to the Final Four/national title game: Poole’s shot was so epic that it may be hard to ever duplicate at Michigan. The Wolverines were done. Toast. Houston was moving on and then Poole buried the buzzer-beating 3-pointer. The Wolverines’ run to the title game seemed magical because of this shot.

March 16| UMBC shocks Virginia in the first 16 over a 1: There wasn’t one moment in the game that defined the upset. This was a continuous unraveling for the Cavaliers and a momentum burst for Retrievers that spawned an incredible result. UMBC will always be the first 16 to beat a 1.

AN HISTORIC MOMENT: Life since UMBC made March Madness history | Highlights of historic game

March 17| Loyola-Chicago beats Tennessee in the last possession in the second round, leading to a historic run to the Final Four: The win over the Vols was the catalyst to jump start the Ramblers to an unforgettable run to the Final Four. The national platform given to Sister Jean was so welcomed for the sport. Her Final Four news conference was as packed as any I’ve ever seen — for any coach/player.

March 25| Kansas outlasts Duke in overtime to win the most entertaining and intense game of the 2018 NCAA tournament, earning a trip to the Final Four: This was a title-type match. Kansas and Duke played at such a high level for 45 minutes, and the atmosphere in Omaha delivered. This is the type of game that the NCAA tournament can deliver on a yearly basis.
...


Holliday: Lessons from a dying coach :: WRALSportsFan.com (wralsportsfan.com; Holliday)

In the first year following the ouster of Jim Valvano as basketball coach, NC State won 20 games behind Chris Corchiani, Rodney Monroe and Tom Gugliotta. The Wolfpack reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

But as the university’s more demanding admissions standards kicked in, the on-court performance of the basketball program declined. During Les Robinson’s final five seasons as coach, the Wolfpack did not experience another winning season. Indeed, the ACC Tournament play-in game, established in 1992 when Florida State was added as the ninth member of the league, became known as the “Les Robinson Invitational.” When the affable Robinson moved upstairs as athletic director, new coach Herb Sendek fared only slightly better during the 90s. There were some winning seasons, some NIT seasons. But NC State would not play in the NCAA Tournament again until 2002, 12 years after Valvano’s departure.

Meanwhile, Valvano was quickly hired by the ESPN family of networks as a college basketball analyst. He did studio and game commentary on both ESPN and ABC, typically working with John Saunders and Brent Musburger.

...

Ranked-to-unranked teams that could turn things around (si.com; Greene)

As the calendar turns toward conference play and the 2018–19 season enters its “19” portion, a number of prominent college basketball teams are probably not quite where they had hoped to be—namely, outside the AP Top 25. Sure, everyone will tell you they don’t really care about rankings, but even granted that, for the 11 (!) teams that entered the season ranked that now find themselves no longer so, that designation is a reminder that their seasons have gotten off to suboptimal starts.

Lucky for them, the last poll of a calendar year has no actual bearing on anything and leaves plenty of time remaining to reorient their season’s trajectory. With that in mind—and with this being an inherently quiet holiday week in college hoops—let’s take a look at the prospects of those teams doing so, in order of likelihood. In other words: let’s rank some once-ranked, now-unranked teams based on the subjective probability that they become (subjectively) ranked again—and staying there.

1. Villanova (9–4, preseason No. 9)

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Other


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Route 174 between Camillus, Marcellus remains closed; bridge ‘diaper’ considered (PS; Doran)

Concrete pieces falling off the inside of a tunnel on Route 174 in Camillus have forced officials to keep the road closed until repairs can be made.

Crews shut down the two-lane road between Forward Road and Martisco Road in Camillus on Monday morning, according to the state Department of Transportation. The road runs along Nine Mile Creek.

DOT officials said today they aren’t sure how long the road will be closed.

The tunnel allows the road to pass through a dirt embankment that carries railroad tracks over the road.

The concrete inside the tunnel is flaking off, and could damage a vehicle’s windshield or the body of a car, said Mike Smith, president of Finger Lakes Railway, which owns the tunnel. While the underpass is structurally sound, it needs to be repaired, he said.

Engineers and state DOT officials are meeting today to determine whether to make temporary repairs or take a long-term approach, Smith said.

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