September 16

Boeheim’s Army advances to second round of The Basketball Tournament despite upset scare

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on July 27, 2019 at 12:23 am Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrew Jordan Crawford jab-stepped his right foot out and hesitated. The shot clock had ticked under five seconds late in the third quarter as John Gillon’s crosscourt pass arrived, giving the Boeheim’s Army guard no time or space to drive. We Are D3’s Johnny McCarthy had already closed out with his hand raised.With McCarthy’s hand in his face, Crawford elevated and sunk a 3-pointer from the left wing to put Boeheim’s Army ahead, 51-48. It was BA’s first lead since the game’s opening baskets. For 24 minutes, those shots hadn’t fallen for Crawford or anyone on Boeheim’s Army. Their passes were tipped, shots bothered and rebounds corralled by D3’s forwards. Defensively, neither man-to-man nor 2-3 defenses prevented We Are D3’s shooters from slipping wide open. But late in the third quarter, that changed.“I don’t think any of us felt we played good all game,” Crawford, who scored 17 points, said. “It’s just about grinding it out.”Riding the third quarter surge, Boeheim’s Army slowly clawed its way back from a 26-15 first quarter deficit and defeated D3 68-65. The comeback started with a switch from the 2-3 zone to man-to-man on defense, continued with more accurate shooting and was capped off by Hakim Warrick and Arinze Onuaku’s play in the paint. With the win, Boeheim’s Army finds itself in a second-round matchup against Gael Nation — a team it defeated in 2017 — on Saturday afternoon.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We did what we needed to do,” head coach Ryan Blackwell said. “We locked them on defense at the right time, we made some plays, but we’ve got to be better going forward.”It wasn’t supposed to be that close. After TBT announced in January that a regional would be held at Onondaga Community College, excitement built around the Syracuse alumni roster. Mainstays Warrick and Eric Devendorf returned. Fan-favorite Gillon announced his commitment. Jordan Crawford became only the third non-SU alum to play for Boeheim’s Army. Slowly, general manager Kevin Belbey assembled a roster that had enough talent to become only the second team not named Overseas Elite to win the TBT championship in the tournament’s six years.But from the opening tip, the perceived talent disparity was missing. Crawford missed his first two shots – so too did Andrew White. By the end of the first quarter, Boeheim’s Army shot a combined 4-for-12 from the field compared to D3’s 11-for-17. During those nine minutes, D3 grabbed control. McCarthy corralled the ball on the left-wing, stepped up, and sunk a three. Arik Smith — who led all scorers with 20 points — floated a jumper and hit a 3-pointer of his own. Blackwell stroked his chin and folded his hands together while pacing the sidelines. Devendorf talked with Onuaku about his defense at the bottom of the 2-3. While BA struggled, D3 thrived from the field.“We were a little lackadaisical on defense, and that gave them the opportunity to get in a rhythm and get going,” Blackwell said.After the switch to zone, Boeheim’s Army started to disrupt passing lanes and shooting rhythms. Devendorf stole a kick-out pass. Then, a Gillon steal. With that, Boeheim’s Army began to close the gap: eight by the second quarter’s media timeout, two by halftime. With 40 seconds left in the second, John Gillon jumped and swung his arms in the right corner as Devendorf brought the ball up. Instead of attempting to thread a pass into the opening, Devendorf took two dribbles, pulled up from the middle of the court and calmly sunk a three.“When we play zone, if you’re not out there flying around, it’s not gonna be a Syracuse zone,” Warrick said. “I think the man kinda got us going.”Finally, using a 12-4 run to close the third quarter, BA grabbed the lead. With a target score of 68 and a four-point lead entering the Elam Ending, BA tallied four free throws — including the game-sealer by Crawford — to clinch the win, fighting off a late run that cut their lead to two.  After Onuaku placed the “Boeheim’s Army” tag on the bracket above Gael Nation, Blackwell and Crawford slumped in two chairs before the postgame conference room filled with media and other BA players.“I know I didn’t have a rhythm for a minute,” Crawford said to Blackwell. The pair shook their heads and conversed: now BA knows what to expect, now they were tested, now they’ve proved their ability to win close games, albeit against a lesser team. Blackwell rested his arms on the black tablecloth. “They played hard man, they played really hard,” he said. “Got in the passing lanes almost every possession.”A smirk crossed Crawford’s face as he swung his arm around the two seats next to him. He stared at the table. “No. Every possession.” But, that didn’t matter anymore. Boeheim’s Army had done enough. Commentslast_img read more

August 16

Interview with Mr.Cerkez, the youngest Ironman in Bosnia and Herzegovina

first_imgMr. Timur Cerkez is the youngest Ironman in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). He is the current (18-24 category) record holder for the half ironman distance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After September, he will have a month or two of easy training followed by preparation for the 2020 Ironman European Championship where he also plans on beating his previous record of five hours.He starts the interview by saying that his triathlon journey began early since he has a background in scuba diving so that meant a lot of swimming.“Since I was also a chubby kid trying to lose weight I added running to my regular training,” Mr. Cerkez explains.“Through diving I met one of our first ironman finishers and his stories just blew me away. I knew then that I would do the ironman,” he adds.It took two years of stagnation for that idea to come in motion but it took guts to go straight to the hardest distance so even now he understands his hesitation.When it comes to the special regime, diet and other things that are important for doing sports, Mr.Cerkez says that every person is different meaning they should have a different approach to their training goal. So, the training depends on the individual and his preferred distance.“Smaller distances like the Olympic distance triathlon require more intense workout while the Ironman is composed of long will-crushing workouts,” he explains.“I think the importance of nutrition depends on the needs of the individual. If you want better results you will need to master nutrition but for those casual racers, it’s all about doing what you like and enjoying the process (especially the eating process),” Mr.Cerkez adds.His current plan puts him at 2 workouts per day and 6 training days a week so 12-ish hours. The catch is that he truly enjoys what he does so it becomes easy after some time.When it comes to his plans for the next five years, Mr. Cerkez says he does not actually think about the future too much since thing often go as we want them to.“I would like to be able to get more people into this sport and healthy lifestyles in general. This country has so much untapped potential when it comes to sports because people are used to pushing through when it gets hard so I believe it would be a shame to throw it away. As for myself, in five years I hope to still be in this amazing sport,” he explains.For the end of the interview, Mr.Cerkez gives advice that triathlon is all about individualism when it comes to races. To be better persons should read a lot and listen to those with more experience but also understand their body and its needs. What works with some athletes might not work for others.“But also, just because it’s an individualist sport, it doesn’t mean you should spent all the time alone, use the training period to meet other athletes and get more experience. Last comment is that with other people it’s easy to get lost in all the expensive gear so I suggest those starting out should just aim to have fun and enjoy the sport,” Mr. Cerkez concludes.Interview by Zejna Yesilyurtlast_img read more

August 12

Serena wins 3rd US Open in row, 18th Slam

first_imgSerena Williams, of the United States, hugs the championship trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, during the championship match of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams ended a difficult-for-her Grand Slam season in the best way possible, winning her third consecutive U.S. Open championship and 18th major title overall.And like each of her matches at Flushing Meadows the past two weeks, the final wasn’t close at all — a 6-3, 6-3 victory over good friend Caroline Wozniacki that lasted only 75 minutes Sunday.Williams equaled Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with 18 Grand Slam singles titles, the fourth-most in history. Williams also matched Evert’s total of six championships at the U.S. Open and became the first woman to win three in a row since Evert’s four-title run from 1975-78.Not only did Williams, ranked and seeded No. 1, win all 14 sets she played in the tournament, she never even dropped more than three games in any of them.When the final ended, Williams dropped to her back behind the baseline, covering her hands with her face. Her first major trophy also came in New York, in 1999, when she was 17.“It is a pleasure for me to win my first Grand Slam here and then this No. 18,” Williams said, her voice choking. “So I’m really emotional. I couldn’t ask to do it at a better place.”Williams earned $4 million, a record in tennis — $3 million for the title, plus a $1 million bonus for having had the best results during the North American summer hard-court circuit. Evert and Navratilova joined her on court during the trophy and check ceremony.Williams also has won five titles apiece at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, plus two at the French Open. Only three players have more Slams to their credit: Margaret Court with 24, Steffi Graf with 22, and Helen Wills Moody with 19.Until the U.S. Open, though, Williams had not been at her best on her sport’s biggest stages in 2014. She lost in the fourth round at the Australian Open, the second round at the French Open, and the third round at Wimbledon, where a disoriented Williams also struggled through an odd appearance in doubles that was attributed to a viral illness.Back at the top of her game, Williams broke Wozniacki’s serve five times and compiled a hard-to-believe 29-4 edge in winners.“You really deserved it today. You played better than me,” the 24-year-old Wozniacki said. “You’re an unbelievable champion and you’re an inspiration to me, both on and off the court. You’re an unbelievable friend — and you definitely owe drinks later.”Remarkably, until a cross-court backhand on the run in the final game that Williams applauded, the only winners registered by the 10th-seeded Wozniacki came on a trio of aces.That was, in part, a result of the Dane’s iffy play in only her second Grand Slam final — she lost to Kim Clijsters at the 2009 U.S. Open — but mainly due to Williams’ relentless pursuit of every ball.A few weeks shy of her 33rd birthday, making the American the oldest major champion since Navratilova was 33 at Wimbledon in 1990, Williams powered this way and that in her black-and-pink hightops. Wozniacki is the one training for the New York City Marathon, but she was tuckered out by the end.Wozniacki may as well have been an extra in this Williams highlight reel. Points were directed by Williams, via serves that reached 120 mph (194 kph), forceful returns that backed Wozniacki into a corner when not producing outright winners, unreachable groundstrokes or the occasional volley.Yes, this was all about Williams. At times, it felt as if Wozniacki were there because, well, someone needed to be on the opposite side of the net.They’ve been pals for years, and they hung out together in Miami — heading to the beach, watching an NBA playoff game — after both lost early at the French Open in May. Wozniacki says Williams helped her get over the end of her engagement to golf star Rory McIlroy.“We text almost every day. She’s such a great person, a nice friend,” Williams said, before turning to address Wozniacki.“I know you’re going to be winning very, very soon, maybe even Australia,” Williams said, referring to the next major tournament, in January, “so I got to go home and get fit again so I can be ready for you there.”The friendship between Williams and Wozniacki did not matter one bit, of course, while they played with so much at stake as early evening shadows moved across Arthur Ashe Stadium.As Williams put it beforehand, referring to her older sister, “If I can play Venus, I can play anybody.”Sure looked that way Sunday.___Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrichlast_img read more