MBB : Cooley dominates inside for Irish; Notre Dame knocks off No. 1 team at home 6th straight time

first_img Published on January 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13 Comments SOUTH BEND, Ind. — C.J. Fair cursed as he picked himself up off the floor. Rubbing the back of his head, the 203-pound Syracuse forward couldn’t withstand the blow from the 248-pound Jack Cooley.Cooley had caught the ball on the right block, backed into Fair — knocking him to the floor of the Joyce Center — and laid the ball in easily to give Notre Dame a 12-point lead in the second half.Later, Fair was left rubbing his chin following an offensive foul against Cooley.‘Jack was unbelievable,’ Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton said. ‘He does so much stuff that doesn’t show up in the statistics. He beats guys up in the paint and really presents a huge presence in the middle.’The 45-pound mismatch was one aspect the Fighting Irish exploited on Saturday en route to a 67-58 win over No. 1 Syracuse in the Joyce Center. The Orange was without starting center Fab Melo, who did not make the trip to South Bend. ESPN is reporting that Melo has an unresolved academic issue.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWithout him, Syracuse struggled with Cooley’s size and strength. Fair, Baye Keita and Rakeem Christmas, three of the main players SU relied on to fill Melo’s void, combined for 10 points and 10 rebounds. Cooley tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds by himself.‘I don’t talk about people that aren’t here,’ Boeheim said when asked about Melo after the game. ‘We got the guys we have and the guys we have played, and we didn’t do a good enough job inside. They hurt us inside.’The Orange struggled mightily to rebound against the Fighting Irish. Not a single SU player hauled in more than five rebounds. Four players had six or more rebounds for Notre Dame.Melo is also out for Monday’s game against Cincinnati, according to a statement issued by Syracuse athletic communications.After the game, Jardine said the poor rebounding effort hurt the Orange offensively. It didn’t allow SU to get out in transition because defensive rebounds became a battle. Offensively, Syracuse managed just four second-chance points.‘I can’t even tell you, man. They were beasts on the boards,’ Jardine said. ‘… That’s where we missed Fab. A guy like Cooley who was pushing those guys around, it’s hard. But we all have to rebound better.’Joyce Center a death trap for No. 1 teamsOn the eve of Notre Dame’s matchup with No. 1 Syracuse, head coach Mike Brey showed his players a video. A glimpse into the past and, it is hoped, the future as well.The Irish watched a tape of past Notre Dame teams knocking off top-ranked opponents in the Joyce Center. And that, according to guard Eric Atkins, helped ND pull off the 67-58 upset on Saturday.‘Coach (Brey) stressed that it can be done,’ Atkins said after the win. ‘We knew we had to believe, and we were able to get it done tonight.’The win over the Orange on Saturday marked the sixth consecutive time Notre Dame has beaten No. 1 at the Joyce Center. Syracuse joined the ranks of North Carolina, DePaul, Marquette, San Francisco and UCLA in an undesirable group of top teams to walk out of South Bend empty-handed.The last time the Irish lost to a No. 1 team at home was back in 1973 against UCLA. Since then: six-for-six.‘I can’t even describe this right now,’ forward Jack Cooley said. ‘They were 20-0. I can’t put into words how amazing this is.’After the game, Brey said the crowd of 9,149 on hand for Saturday’s upset created an environment that matched any he has seen at the Joyce Center in his 12 years as head coach. Syracuse was harassed from start to finish by the energetic crowd.When the final buzzer sounded, thousands rushed the court to mob the Notre Dame players. And though Brey was escorted quickly off the court by police, he too recognized how special the moment was.‘That was awesome,’ Brey said. ‘I don’t remember the last time we rushed the court, but there are a couple memories of that. They deserved it. They were great. They helped us believe.’mjcohe02@syr.edu center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Badgers show toughness in battle with Golden Eagles

first_imgNathan HartungA defining characteristic of the Wisconsin men’s basketball team this season has been its ability to adapt to the situation at hand whether it be a defensive battle or a shootout.It was no different Saturday afternoon when Wisconsin (10-0) found itself locked in a physical battle with in-state rival Marquette (5-4) at the Kohl Center.No matter how the season has gone for Marquette and Wisconsin before they meet, the I-94 rivalry game can be depended on to be a dogfight as the Badgers’ 6-6 record against the Golden Eagles under Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan would suggest.“You can look at any rivalry and it’s always going to be a possession game,” Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. “Stylistically how we play and how they play is always going to balance out and it always comes down to loose balls and first to the floor and 50-50 balls and offensive rebounds, put backs and-ones. It boils down to ‘how tough are you?’”When looking for a model of toughness, Wisconsin’s players need look no further than their four-year starter and guard battling back from ACL surgery Josh Gasser.Ryan agreed when asked about where his team’s toughness started in its matchup with Marquette answering simply “Josh Gasser.”“The guys saw what he went through last year and you can’t tell me there isn’t a guy in that locker room that didn’t take notice of the hours and the discipline that Josh put in,” Ryan said. “We got some other guys out there that have a lot of grit, but you have to start somewhere and that’s where it starts.”The combination of physicality and the new defensive rule implemented by the NCAA this year made for a lot of foul calls and consequently foul trouble for both teams.“We’re working at it,” Gasser said of adjusting to the new rules. “Some games are different than others. You just have play with the way it’s going. We never really used our hands on defense, coach teaches it that way … You just have to really concentrate sometimes and stick to what we do.”By the time 10 minutes had gone by in the first half, a total of 12 fouls had been called, seven of which went on Marquette, putting Wisconsin in the bonus with still 10 minutes to play in the opening half.Things started to get dicey for the Badgers when both of their big men, Nigel Hayes and Frank Kaminsky, picked up their second personal fouls within six seconds of each other. This forced Ryan to sub in junior forward Evan Anderson and fifth year senior forward Zach Bohannon, who had played a combined total of just five minutes coming into Saturday’s game.“I thought Evan and Zach did a great job of not letting it slip away,” Ryan said. “We were not in a hole when we were down those last three or four minutes. We were hanging tough.”But Anderson’s opportunity was short lived as he picked up three fouls in more than two minutes of play which put him back on the bench in favor of Bohannon.Wisconsin was able to limit their foul calls in the second half picking up just six, while penalties continued to be a problem for the Golden Eagles in the second half, getting called for 13 fouls with two players, Jake Thomas and Juan Anderson, fouling out.As time began to wind down in the second half, the intensity ratcheted up resulting in a quicker tempo and several loose balls. With hustle plays highlighted by Gasser and Traevon Jackson, Wisconsin gained the edge.“50-50 balls are what we pride ourselves on and what we always want to get,” Gasser said. “Loose balls and even rebounds we consider 50-50 balls, so we want to come up with most of those. Just those plays can really turn the tide of a game and it was good that we got a few of those and then limited theirs.  I think that was a big point to the game.”The Badgers were able to weather their foul trouble and win the battle of toughness with Marquette, giving them their 10th-straight win of the season in a game that lived up to the billing of the I-94 rivalry.“That’s why they’re 94-7 in November and December. They’re not beating themselves, you have to beat them,” Williams said. “The last two years, what was the difference? You could say it was our will. You could say today it was their will. It wasn’t tactical.”last_img read more

Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo says headbutt was retaliation for ‘dirty’ plays: ‘I lost it for a second’

first_imgThe Greek was rueful afterwards, promised to learn from the clash and insisted there was no personal issue with Wagner, although he also took the opportunity to complain of the repeated rough treatment he feels he is dealt in the league.”It’s a terrible action,” he told reporters. “If I could turn back time and go back to that play, I wouldn’t do it. But at the end of the day, we’re all human, we all make mistakes. I think I’ve done a great job all year and in my career, keeping my composure and focusing on the game. But like I say, we’re all human, we all make mistakes.”I’ll learn from it, keeping playing good basketball and keep moving forward.””I don’t think I was frustrated with Wagner,” he added. “I think it was just the whole build-up of dirty plays in my mind, guys tripping me, guys falling in front of my feet, holding me, hitting me. I have nothing against Wagner — it wasn’t just him. Just in my mind, in all the games I’ve played, there’s guys hitting me. I lost it for a second.”Like I said, if I could go back, I’d change it so I could stay in the game. I’ve got to live with it. It’s a bad mistake from me, I’ll learn from it.”I’m glad we were able to play good basketball, I’m happy we were having fun and were able to win the game. We’ve got to keep getting ready for the playoffs.”Full highlights from the Bucks victory over the Wizards. pic.twitter.com/mPl0uGa1pk— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 12, 2020Suggesting such an episode had been coming for some time, Antetokounmpo said he would work to ensure there was no repeat.”Usually I try to just stay focused, finish the game, don’t do something stupid,” he said. “But there’s always times when you’re in the zone and you don’t think. It might take a second or two, you don’t think and you do something dumb.”My whole career I’ve had great teammates around me, great coaching staff, and I think I’ve done a great job being locked in, not feeling much from what the other team’s game plan is, what they’re trying to accomplish from hitting me. But, man, today was the day. Hopefully it’s the last one. I know the hits are going to keep coming.”Asked what his teammates had told him, Antetokounmpo said: “They told me to learn from it, that they need me on the floor, they need me out there playing good basketball. Giannis Antetokounmpo expressed his regret after being ejected for headbutting Mo Wagner but added he had “done a great job all year and in my career” to ignore “dirty plays.”The reigning NBA MVP left the Milwaukee Bucks’ 126-113 win over the Washington Wizards in the second quarter following the incident with Wagner. Antetokounmpo had 12 points and nine rebounds in just 10 minutes before his frustration boiled over. “I’ve got to be a leader. I’ve got to learn from this. I’m happy now, but this could happen in the playoffs, it could happen in a big game.”They’re 100 per cent right. It’s my fault, fellas. They’re 100 per cent right. But they know me, they know I’ve done a great job keeping my composure.”They said, ‘okay, it’s acceptable, it’s human for Giannis to lose it for a second once’. But they told me I’ve got to learn from it, they’re 100 per cent right, and hopefully it doesn’t repeat itself in the future.”last_img read more