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 26

Hoffarth: The relationship that a booth built for Robertson, Scully

first_imgIt’s been a 28-year give-and-take relationship that Boyd Robertson and Vin Scully have going on here. It’s also a given that neither of them take it for granted.Much of it works without a word spoken. At least, on Robertson’s part.Between hand signals, index cards, spotting boards or just a knowing nod, you’ll find Robertson, as the stage manager positioned to Scully’s right and with his left ear always open on his headset as he sits in the SportsNet LA TV booth on the Dodger Stadium club level.There is no disputing he has been the play-by-play legend’s self-appointed information middleman/security blanket/work wife/gatekeeper/sidekick for every situation imaginable, before, during and after a contest since the two of them were paired up for the 1989 season opener in Cincinnati. Every home game this season, especially, reinforces that heart-felt feeling for Robertson.Because of his responsibilities in the booth as the liaison from the TV truck and Scully, Robertson has become part of the daily dance that takes place upon Scully’s arrival usually at about 3:30 p.m. for a 7:10 p.m. game. As visitors come by his booth to share a moment with Scully, both arranged ahead of time or by spur of the moment, Robertson can go into a natural protective mode.“It’s really all about keeping things the way he wants it, and adjusting to him whatever he needs,” said Robertson, who drives in from Lake Forest and often carpools with his 28-year-old daughter Darcy, an Irvine resident who works as an EVS operator on the in-house DodgerVision team.“At the same time, we all know he tries to make time for as many people as possible. It’s just a matter of knowing his schedule, review notes, knowing when we have to have him on camera for the openings, get stat packages ready, all those things that go into it.”That’s also where Rob Menschel, the camera operator to Robertson’s right who also arranges the lighting for Scully’s on-camera appearances, statistician Brian Hagen and audio specialist Dave Wolcott come in.Menschel, who occasionally produces Dodgers telecasts, has logged 25 seasons on Team Scully. While manning his camera, he’ll often flip open his laptop to track down a note that Scully may be interested in and hands it to Robertson. Hagen has been there another 10 years, feeding numbers to Robertson, who then slips them across the table for Scully’s consideration.If the 88-year-old Hall of Famer is the last Major League Baseball broadcaster to call a game without an analyst, it’s not as if he’s all by himself.“All of them mean so much to me,” Scully says. “I think if I were there all alone, I wouldn’t have half the stuff I’m able to rely on because, well, I just can’t do it.“Sometimes I’ll be talking and miss something that Boyd sees — a pitcher in the bullpen warming up, a pinch runner comes in. Sometimes, I’ll be writing a play down in the scorebook, and could miss a decision that a play will be reviewed, and Boyd will have it.“It’s a constant source to prop me up. They can anticipate me and I can rely on them. Their personalities are wonderful, they’re great to work with, they’re constantly working, we have great respect for each other and best of all, as all these years got along, we’re good pals. I love all of them.”As time goes onRobertson can now laugh as he humbly recalls the first time he met Scully on the field at Riverfront Stadium before that Dodgers-Reds game, when Scully used to do pregame interviews in the dugout.With a suit and tie on, Robertson addressed him as “Mr. Scully” out of respect and then told him his name. The immediate response after the handshake was: “If we’re going to work together, it’s Vin.”“Right away, I knew that I’d better be pretty good at this or I won’t be here long,” said Robertson, who found out almost immediately that wasn’t going to be true. During that same Dodgers-Reds series, Robertson realized that he gave a note to Scully that was used on the air and was incorrect.“I signal for him to take off the headset after he threw it to a commercial, and I said: ‘You know that information I gave you on the air? It’s wrong. I made the mistake and it’s my fault.’“I thought that would be it for me. But Vin took this pause, and looked at me and finally said, ‘Well, welcome to the club.’“That, to me, was a confidence thing that he wanted me to succeed. Out of that failure, I succeeded, I think. It’s come to a point where I wake up every morning and can’t believe I still get to do this. I take none of it for granted.”Work ethic rubs offIf he can admit it took some years to finally get comfortable as the stage manager for Scully, Robertson says now that as far as the booth crew goes, “we all develop a rhythm off him, supporting him, and all feeding off each other.” Like passing notes in class without distracting from a teacher’s lesson, Robertson has the system down.As to whether Robertson has ever seen Scully have a so-called “bad day,” he honestly says: “I’m not sure what a bad day is with him. He’s always done his homework. Always professional and with energy. Maybe it comes from what he said he heard once from an old-time writer in New York: Only losers beef. And that rubs off on everyone. You don’t complain around him – after all, what can you complain about?”Maybe that, after all these years, things are about to change dramatically. Robertson can’t even be sure he’ll be around after this season depending on the needs of new play-by-play man Joe Davis.“We know it’s very different this year, and it’s supposed to be,” said Robertson. “We wish it could go on, but I remember all the times when we’d leave one channel at the end of the season, knowing we’d join another one, and Vin would always say, ‘Nothing lasts forever.’ “Well, this really is his year to say goodbye.”And on that note …MEASURING MEDIA MOMENTUMWHAT SMOKES• Whereas California governor Jerry Brown was in Europe on vacation, and whereas Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was in Montana on vacation, and whereas Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon could basically do whatever he wanted as the acting boss until Monday aside from changing back the minimum wage, it was declared “Vin Scully Day” in the state on Friday, all because de Leon, whose state Senate district includes Dodger Stadium, had that power. Would it have been cooler if Brown himself had signed off on it, perhaps saving it for the Dodgers-Giants regular-season finale on Oct. 2 in San Francisco? That’s for another day.WHAT CHOKES• Vin Scully declared months ago he had no desire to inject himself into Fox’s coverage for the 87th MLB All-Star Game in San Diego on Tuesday. But there is no logical reason why Dick Enberg, another Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster who will also be finishing his career after the last seven years with the Padres on the Fox Sports San Diego cable channel, wasn’t requested to join Joe Buck and John Smoltz on at least an inning or two for the exhibition. Instead, Fox has asked him to … well, we’ll let Enberg tell it. “I’ve done several All-Star historical pieces in limerick style, not written by me, that are playing around the game, pre and post, on the network. I also did pen an essay, my love letter to baseball, that is playing this weekend on our FSSD games (Padres vs. Dodgers, blacked out in L.A.) that I think is really good and has been offered to the network.” Is just this small part of Enberg better than nothing? Hmmm. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img No matter how many times a Dodgers’ local broadcast has changed hands and new rights holders have considered changing things up — from KTTV Channel 11 in the late ’80s when Robertson first came on to KTLA Channel 5, from the original Prime Ticket to the recent SportsNet LA — Scully’s request is that Robertson be part of the package deal.Wish granted. To think that at 63 years old, and already mapping out some retirement plans having also logged a dozen years as a stage manager for the Lakers’ Chick Hearn and more of them on major events at ABC for Jim McKay, Keith Jackson and the “Monday Night Football” crew of Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Don Meredith, Robertson wasn’t even alive when Scully started his broadcasting career with the franchise.“This is the pinnacle of my professional life,” said Robertson, a varsity golfer at Southeastern Oklahoma State who came West in the early 1980s, moving to Burbank to get further into the TV business. “I’ve always been down on the food chain. I like to be part of a team. That’s where I belong. But with Vin, it’s the best.”Managing Scully’s timelast_img read more