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

Andrew White diversifies offensive game amid shooting slump

first_img Published on December 29, 2016 at 8:53 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Andrew White knew he had to change up his strategy. After receiving a face-guard from St. John’s’ Malik Ellison, White’s inklings of needing to diversify his offensive game surfaced once again. He couldn’t rely so much on 3-pointers if he hoped to be successful going forward.Against Cornell on Tuesday, White charged toward the basket more often and scored at the rim. The fifth-year graduate transfer is still adjusting to Syracuse and 13 games into the season, how he’s scoring is undergoing a bit of a change.“I’d like to get to the hole a little bit more,” White said. “… I’m going to try and take some of the stuff that I used last year, kind of mold that into my game so that I can be a little bit more well-rounded.”Following White’s worst game of the season, a two-point performance against St. John’s on Dec. 21, the changes had to happen. He successfully attacked the basket on six occasions against the Big Red and racked up 12 points. The game provided a glimpse at what he can do even when he goes scoreless from deep and it’s a transformation that SU (8-5) may continue relying on when Atlantic Coast Conference play begins on Sunday at noon at Boston College (7-6).In a six-game stretch prior to the St. John’s game, 25 of White’s 31 converted field goals were 3-pointers. He mostly either spotted up at the 3-point line waiting for a pass or curled around a screen designed to get him open. It resulted in a similar, even predictable, catch-and-shoot rhythm.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo EditorThe strategy worked for the ACC’s leader in 3-pointers made (39) this season, until Ellison shut White down in his first game scoring fewer than 10 points this year. It was the first time since high school that White faced a box-and-one defense, he said, and without being a dangerous threat to dribble, St. John’s went all in on locking him down to defend the 3-pointer. Paired with a Syracuse offense that ranks 126th in the country with 76.7 points per game, shutting down SU’s leading scorer is a strategy that opponents could likely employ again.“Teams are going to deny him as much as they can,” Orange head coach Jim Boeheim said.While White has gone 0-for-7 from behind the arc in the past two games, he scored in different ways in Syracuse’s last nonconference game against Cornell.Twice in the first half, White split two defenders in the lane on his way to the basket for an easy layup in transition. Four minutes into the second half, he grabbed an offensive rebound and made both free throws after he got fouled on the putback attempt. A minute later, he stole the ball, went coast-to-coast, drew a foul and again hit both free throws. Thirty seconds after that, he cut along the baseline, caught a pass inside from Taurean Thompson and smoothly finished.His makes surrounded the basket as he went 3-for-5 on 2-point field goals. His six made free throws against Cornell were a season-high, an indication that he was getting inside well enough to draw fouls.“When you’re a good shooter you’ll have to take a few tough shots,” point guard Frank Howard said, “but you don’t want every shot to be that tough.”White said he wants to get back to being a threat from several places on the court, like he was last year. At Nebraska last season, 44.6 percent of White’s field goals came via 3-pointers, compared to 63.9 percent this season. But as a result of improved point guard play getting him the ball in open spots, White said he hadn’t had to find other ways to score. Until recently.“I try to look at the shots, look at my form, look at my technique,” White said, “and figure out what I could have done to correct that shot and what else was going on around it.”Amid his current shooting slump, the answer for White is attacking the basket. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more