September 17

Tight ends Parris, Moore learn from new coach, prepare for potentially expanded role

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Now that he has a tight ends coach in Bobby Acosta, Kendall Moore expects to be pushed to his limit much more than he was last season.“It’s exciting to have a tight ends coach this year,” Moore said, “because I can actually progress as a tight end.”Moore and Josh Parris showed flashes of potential last season — like Parris’ game-winning touchdown against Boston College, or Moore’s athletic touchdown grab against Northwestern — but they combined for just 19 catches and were seldom targeted in Syracuse’s offense.Now, with a new coach assigned to the tight end position, an up-tempo offense and another year of experience, Parris and Moore, along with rising sophomore Tyler Provo, are preparing to be more involved in the offense.“When you have a coach that can really sit down and rip apart their footwork and all that stuff, it makes them better,” Acosta said. “We do have talent at that position.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile Parris, a junior, has emerged as the frontrunner to start at tight end, Acosta said the competition is still open. If Moore or Provo beats out Parris, Acosta said, that’ll just push Parris to improve even more.It’s a good problem to have, he said — three young players with strong upsides, the ability to excel in multiple facets and the desire to improve.Parris’ shining moment came against Boston College. After losing a game Parris said SU should have won to Pittsburgh the week before, the Orange was on the verge of missing a bowl.Syracuse trailed the Eagles 31-27 with 2:08 to go, but Terrel Hunt ignited an eight-play, 75-yard drive capped by Parris’ second career touchdown.Parris said the play was in the works for weeks. He talked with offensive coordinator George McDonald at halftime, and the two decided it was time to bust it out. The defender kept overplaying him, so Parris knew he could elude him and burst toward the end zone.It worked perfectly.“I think I was probably more excited than Josh,” Moore said. “I ran out on the field and gave him a big hug, the second one of the day. It was an overwhelming feeling.”Parris and Moore have become extremely close. As Moore has learned the nuances of tight end — he played center in the Spring Game and tackle in high school — Parris has been there to help.“When he first came in, his steps were horrible,” Parris said, smiling and glancing at Moore. “He was still blocking like a tackle.”“Open field last year, I had tunnel vision,” Moore said, as the two cracked up and had trouble reeling in the laughter.But now, Parris said, Moore is more comfortable playing the position. Acosta said the 6-foot-5, 248-pound Moore uses his size to his advantage. He’s a skilled run blocker, too, but the main thing they’re working on is his speed.One of Moore’s best assets is his multidimensionality. He’s translated his blocking proficiency to the tight end slot, and sometimes even catches the defense off guard.“You think he’s blocking but he’s going out on a tight end screen or something,” Hunt said. “It’s the best thing for him because he’s able to be versatile.”In spring practice, Parris, Moore and Provo mainly operated on a swiftly moving three-play rotation. When Moore’s in there, his mentor, Parris, zeroes in on his movement and technique. When Parris is on the field, the roles switch.Syracuse’s fast-paced offense may allow the trio of tight ends to get more reps, with players constantly coming on and off the field. There’s a lot of movement, and potentially many more catches in store.Said Moore: “Just keep the water ready, because there’s going to be a lot of running.” Comments Published on April 22, 2014 at 12:04 am Contact Trevor: tbhass@syr.edu | @TrevorHasslast_img read more

September 16

DiSturco: Syracuse’s win over No. 1 Duke deserves recognition, but expectations need to simmer down

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments DURHAM, N.C. — One of Syracuse’s most unexpected wins in recent memory should not be overlooked: The Orange defeated No. 1 Duke inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. That in itself, deserves credit.But to say that Syracuse is on the brink of a dominant conference run would be a stretch. Don’t get it twisted: Duke’s rotation was depleted. Its best 3-point shooter, Cam Reddish, sat out with an illness, and its best defender and floor general, Tre Jones, left with a shoulder injury eight minutes in, never to return. This upset, while monumental and definitely an NCAA Tournament resume booster, does not change the fact that Syracuse (12-5, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) has many questions still unanswered. Preseason hopes are returning, and it’s time to simmer down.Nearly one month ago, SU head coach Jim Boeheim addressed Syracuse’s fourth nonconference loss after falling to Buffalo.“Your record is what you are,” the 43-year head coach said. “This is what we are. It’s not what people thought we could be or hope we could be or think we could be. This is what we are.”That was in reference to Syracuse’s No. 16 preseason ranking and the high expectations that followed suit. SU seemed primed for another deep tournament run entering the season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTyus Battle entered the NBA Draft only to pull his name out of the running and return for his junior year. Oshae Brissett, once considered a future NBA-talent, immediately said following the Sweet 16 loss to Duke that he’d play for another season. Even Frank Howard, Boeheim said, had improved his shot drastically in the offseason and arrived a more polished player.Then, everything changed.Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorHoward suffered a lower leg injury before the season that held him out until Nov. 21 against Colgate. SU dropped two-straight at Madison Square Garden against Connecticut and Oregon without its senior leader. One month later, on its home court with Howard back, the Orange blew a double-digit lead and fell to Old Dominion on Dec. 18.Three days later, Syracuse dropped to 7-4 against UB, a number of nonconference losses SU has never made the tournament with. That’s when Boeheim stood at the podium and hung three fingers in the air, one for each postseason win.“The expectations are all based on (that) we won three games last year,” the SU head coach said. “We lost 14 games last year in the regular season. We have the same team back with some help, but it’s the same team … There’s a reason we lost 14 games.”Boeheim was right: SU’s three wins were part of a Cinderella-like NCAA Tournament run that created a distorted expectation that Syracuse would be a National Championship contender. The Orange, after all, returned all five of its starters and added sharpshooter Elijah Hughes and top-40 prospect Jalen Carey.But as seen time and time again, this Syracuse team is filled with surprising road victories and even more surprising home losses. The Orange are undefeated outside of New York state, pulling off unlikely wins at then-No. 16 Ohio State and at top-ranked Duke.Four days ago, inside the Carrier Dome, a stout Georgia Tech defense stopped SU with a variety of zones to the fine tune of 59 points on 31.6-percent shooting. All of a sudden, after winning its first two ACC games, the same disorganized Orange team from nonconference play reappeared.“We really don’t have that ability to score around the basket,” Boeheim said after the 73-59 loss on Jan. 12.The Orange resorted to the 3 ball, taking 33 shots from beyond the arc against Georgia Tech, converting at a 21.2-percent clip (7-for-33). Battle and Brissett combined to shoot 1-for-8 from 3. The game prior, against Clemson, the duo didn’t make a single long ball in 10 tries.“At some point in time, you have to look in the mirror and say ‘I’m shooting 27 percent from the 3,’” Boeheim said of Brissett’s struggles from beyond the arc. “…‘What’s the best way to help me and help the team?’ Both Tyus and (Brissett) were really looking to shoot 3s and percentage wise, it’s not a good play.”Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerTo make matters worse, the GT loss showed another weakness that hadn’t been present in games prior: interior defense. James Banks III and Abdoulaye Gueye led the Yellow Jackets to score 36 points in the paint.GT head coach Josh Pastner and multiple players said after the game that the Yellow Jackets looked to take advantage of Marek Dolezaj, a “mismatch” inside. Georgia Tech left the Carrier Dome with a win and exploited an Orange unit that relies so heavily on its defense.Duke provided an opportunity for Syracuse to bounce back. But it was doubtful as the Orange entered 17-point underdogs. Zion Williamson scored 35 points, mostly inside the paint, and Dolezaj only played 12 minutes. But without Reddish or Jones, RJ Barrett controlled the offense, and both he and Jack White chucked 3s in attempt to break SU’s 2-3 zone with little result. The two combined to shoot a disastrous 4-for-27 from deep, dooming the Blue Devils in a game where the Orange couldn’t seem to miss.The win should not hide the fact that Syracuse already has five losses just four games into ACC play. And the rest of Syracuse’s schedule is daunting. Six opponents are currently ranked, three of which will travel to the Carrier Dome.Upsets, like Duke, are a necessity. They will need more to make the NCAA Tournament. Other games — like facing a Pittsburgh squad that just upset No. 11 Florida State and Louisville, which came in at No. 26 in the most recent Associated Press Poll — are must-wins. The margin for error is even slimmer now.Does this remind you of something?This isn’t the No. 16 Syracuse team the fans and media expected them to be entering the season. They’re the same Syracuse team from a year ago. The one with bad losses, the one that struggled to find its identity early in conference play and the one that sat on the NCAA Tournament bubble unsure of its outcome. Charlie DiSturco is a senior staff writer for The Daily Orange where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at csdistur@syr.edu or on Twitter @charliedisturcocenter_img Published on January 15, 2019 at 11:24 pmlast_img read more

August 12

‘Pepper’ Wilson leaving Pitt

first_imgPITTSBURGH (AP)—The Pitt women’s basketball team is losing its sophomore class.Former New Pittsburgh Courier All-City Player of the Year Shawnice “Pepper” Wilson, Sarah Ogoke and Kate Popovec are leaving the Panthers, who were 16-15 overall and 5-11 in the Big East this season. The 6-6 Wilson started 27 games at center, averaging 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds. She also played in 33 games, 32 of which she started, during her freshman year, when she was named to the All-Big East freshmen team. The 6-3 Popovec averaged 2.9 points and 3.9 rebounds. Ogoke, a 5-9 guard, averaged 1 point and 1.4 rebounds in 28 games.Reasons for the departures were not released.Pitt’s active roster is down to eight players, all of them freshmen or juniors.The Panthers failed to make the NCAA tournament under coach Agnus Berenato, causing the school to lose thousands of dollars last week when it played host to early round tournament games that drew sparse crowds. ‘PEPPER’ WILSONlast_img read more