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Syracuse faceoff specialists look for improved play in scrimmage against Le Moyne, Hofstra

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 22, 2014 at 11:51 pm Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesse Much of Syracuse’s preparation for the 2014 season has been centered on the last game it played. Rewind to May 27, 2013. Syracuse holds a 6-5 advantage over Duke at halftime and is two periods away from capturing the 12th NCAA tournament championship in program history. But then an old friend crept up on the Orange and spurred an 11-4 Blue Devils run. The final score read 16-10 in Duke’s favor and faceoffs were the decisive factor.“We’ve worked on them a ton,” redshirt junior midfielder Henry Schoonmaker said of faceoffs. “Last year that was like our downfall so it’s something we have to figure out.”The Orange will get its first shot to rectify problems at the X on Saturday, when Le Moyne and Hofstra visit the Carrier Dome for a three-way scrimmage at 10 a.m. SU still hasn’t solidified its faceoff core, but head coach John Desko named Chris Daddio, Ricky Buhr and junior college transfer Mike Iacono as those who will get faceoff opportunities this weekend. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCal Paduda missed the previous week of practice with a hand injury and is questionable, but he’s in the mix moving forward. Desko said he will be back soon.Le Moyne and Hofstra don’t present the stiff competition the team will see in its first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but the tuneup will be a good measuring stick for where the Syracuse faceoff unit stands.“It was a point of emphasis when we walked off the field after our last game last year,” Desko said. “We’ve been doing it so much in the fall.”In last year’s national championship, Duke’s Brendan Fowler handcuffed the Orange and pushed the Blue Devils to the title. He took 20 of the game’s 30 total faceoffs and lined up for all but two. On the other hand, SU tried six different players at the X. Daddio finished the game 0-for-4 and Paduda 3-for-13. As Desko has expressed many times this preseason, he’d love to find a guy, like Fowler, that he could rely on to keep the ball in his offense’s hands.On Tuesday, Desko didn’t reveal much, but hinted that Iacono could be a possible answer. “He’s been very competitive,” Desko said. “Sometimes it’s a matchup issue where he’s done better than a couple of guys he’s going against. He’s been very comfortable coming in and he’s good when he picks it up. He’s probably the best guy we have after he gets the ball, too.”Iacono joined the Orange last week along with fellow junior college transfer Randy Staats. In a decorated career at Nassau Community College on Long Island, he was a two-time NJCAA All-American, led the Lions to two straight national title games and won 78 percent of his faceoffs that were recorded. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds Iacono is the biggest guy in the faceoffs mix and is looking to bring a deliberate approach to the X this season. The junior midfielder says he always starts the same way and can do every one of his moves out of that position, so defenders don’t get any advantage.It’s an approach that has worked well with him since breaking in with SU.“All the faceoff guys are well-rounded athletes,” Iacono said. “For me, I feel like it’s going to be tougher to get a starting spot, but when I do I’ll definitely keep it held down.”The Orange still has time to solidify the faceoff position, but Saturday’s scrimmage is one of the final chances leading up to the team’s season-opening game against Siena on Feb. 10. Figuring out the X is on everyone’s agenda, and Iacono assessed the coming season by breaking the game into two spheres.“Lacrosse is all about X play and goalies. Everybody knows that,” Iacono said. “If you don’t have a good X man, you’re never going to get the ball to score. That’s what it comes down to.” Commentslast_img read more

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The low-down on Boeheim’s Army before The Basketball Tournament tips

first_img Published on July 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm Contact: jtbloss@syr.edu | @jtbloss PHILADELPHIA — The Basketball Tournaments starts Saturday with regional play in Philadelphia and Charlotte, North Carolina. Boeheim’s Army, a team composed of SU basketball alumni, plays at 6 p.m. in the northeast region’s preliminary round home of Philadelphia University. As the region’s No. 3 seed, the former Orange take on 14-seed DuBois Dream, a team of players hailing from the DuBois, Pennsylvania area. As the seeding shows, DuBois Dream is a clear underdog.Here’s what else you need to know for this weekend’s action:What is The Basketball Tournament?TBT is a 64-team, single-elimination tournament. The games are five-on-five. Anyone older than 18 is eligible, and most teams are made up of guys who played for the same college program or grew up in the same city. It is broadcast and streamed by ESPN. The winning team takes home a prize of $2 million.Teams enter through a variety of avenues. Nine teams in each of the four regions are chosen strictly by fan voting. Boeheim’s Army was one of the top vote-getters in the northeast region. Six more are at-large teams, meaning they met certain requirements, including the minimum of 100 fans and seven players. The final team in each region competed in a play-in tournament, called TBT Jamboree.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMeet the squadNew members of Boeheim’s Army include Trevor Cooney, John Gillon, Scoop Jardine and DaShonte Riley. Altogether, the roster includes eight current pros. Also playing are current SU assistant Eric Devendorf, C.J. Fair, Rick Jackson, Donte Greene, James Southerland and Brandon Triche. However, Southerland is unavailable this weekend because he’s out west participating in the NBA summer league play, and Greene won’t be in Philadelphia until Sunday. Boeheim’s Army will play then if it wins Saturday.The team is coached by former SU big man Ryan Blackwell and managed Kevin Belbey, a former student manager for SU and a graduate of both the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and SU’s College of Law.Joe Bloss | Senior Staff WriterThrowback at TBTThis the third TBT entry for Boeheim’s Army in TBT’s four-year existence. Last year, it advanced the Super 16, after going one step further the year before and losing in the regional championship game. 2016’s loss came at the hand’s of The Untouchables, a team of mostly Pitt alumni. In 2015, Boeheim’s Army was a top seed but fell in a close matchup to City of Gods, a team that had five players with NBA experience.Former players not joining the Army this year include Hakim Warrick and Demetris Nichols.Counting chickens before they hatchIt’ll take a two wins from each team to get there, but should top seeds prevail, Boeheim’s Army would meet SuperNova, a team of Villanova alumni in the Super 16. SuperNova’s roster is made up of multiple players from Villanova’s 2009 Final Four team, including Scottie Reynolds and Reggie Redding. The matchup would be clash of a storied Big East rivalry.If Boeheim’s Army wins Saturday, it will play the winner of City of Gods and Gaelnation, a team of Iona alumni. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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