Students partner in awareness

first_imgOctober marks Breast Cancer Awareness month, and efforts by the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital and students organizations  have already begun to raise awareness across campus.In a lifetime, one out of every eight woman will have breast cancer, according to Agustin Garcia, associate professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine.Norris has partnered with the campus bookstore to sell pink T-shirts to promote finding the cure for breast cancer. The shirts, available in light or hot pink, depict a pink ribbon with the words “For a breast cancer cure” and “Fight on.” The Kappa Alpha Theta and Pi Beta Phi sororities are also involved in these efforts. Proceeds from the T-shirts will go to Norris.Neha Jain | Daily Trojan“We’re hoping to see a sea of pink T-shirts,” said Leslie Ridgeway, director of media relations at the USC Health Sciences Campus.Norris has also partnered with the athletic department, and on Saturday will host a booth at the Coliseum before the football game, where visitors can talk to doctors and staff about breast cancer and become more educated about what can be done to prevent and detect it.“We hope this helps everybody become more aware of breast cancer and the needs of prevention,” Ridgeway said. “Maybe women can use the month to schedule their mammograms.”Aside from raising awareness, organizers are also hoping to raise money to fund research at Norris.“We want to work with the USC family and we thought it would be better to keep it within the USC family,” said Garcia, acknowledging that there are many organizations the money could go to.Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority is also working toward promoting breast cancer awareness.For the past seven years, the sorority has hosted its signature fall event, “Check Yourself,” said Heidi Arredondo, a senior majoring in psychology and a member of the sorority.“As women pursuing higher education, Sigma Lambda Gamma hopes to empower all women to be active in knowledge about their health,” Arredondo said in an e-mail.“Check Yourself” is centered around a presentation given by a doctor from Keck. The audience will also hear a testimony from a breast cancer survivor.In past years, the sorority has donated its funds to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Last year, the sorority donated more than $600 to the Denise Roberts Breast Cancer Foundation, an organization based in Inglewood that provides low-cost treatment and care to minority patients.This year the event is on Oct. 19, and proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Network of Strength.“At the end of the day, what improves the cure rate of breast cancer is early detection, which is intimately related to breast cancer awareness,” Garcia said. “Early detection is really the vital element.”last_img read more

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No. 1 Badgers head to face rival Gophers

first_imgBreann Frykas and UW’s women’s hockey team hope to continue their early season dominance against UM, especially on offense.[/media-credit]For the first time this season, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team will leave the comforts of home for the University of Minnesota’s Ridder Arena to take on the Golden Gophers.The Badgers look to build upon a perfect start to the season (8-0, 6-0) this weekend, an effort that has earned them the No. 1 ranking in the country.However, the task may prove arduous, as Minnesota (5-4, 2-4) lost two tough games against instate rival Minnesota-Duluth last weekend.“They’re probably going to be a little bit feisty. Any time you lose a couple of games, you come back to practice a little more determined and a little more focused on what you want to do. Not many people like to lose,” head coach Mark Johnson said.Aside from the hunger to upend the top-ranked Badgers, what makes Minnesota a formidable matchup is the experience and balance the Gophers bring to the ice.Minnesota returns four out of the top five scorers from last year while also adding a highly-touted freshman in Amanda Kessel.“I think a lot of them are fast, especially with Kessel in there now. They are quick and they have a good sense of where the net is, so we’re going to have to play strong defensively,” Brianna Decker said.Kessel, a Madison native, leads her team in points and shots on goal. However, the player the Badgers might worry about most doesn’t normally score.In net for the Golden Gophers is sophomore and Finnish Olympian Noora Raty, a goaltender who can stand on her head in big games and completely shut down any offense.“She’s capable of making a lot of saves and making it really difficult to score. So, our job is to try and take her eyes away, get some deflections, look for rebounds. She’s very good on the first shot,” Johnson said.In addition to scouting for a stubborn goalie, this week the Badgers are focusing their attention on defense.Wisconsin has dominated the majority of its games early in the season, outshooting and outscoring opponents by wide margins, but they have not dealt with the type of pressure Minnesota is capable of applying.“We’ve been doing a lot of defensive zone coverage just to work on our defense because we haven’t had to spend a lot of time down there,” freshman Brittany Ammerman said.The other concern for the Badgers this weekend is the Ridder Arena, Minnesota’s home ice.The intimate arena fosters a hostile environment for all visiting teams, and with the No. 1 ranking Wisconsin carries, this weekend will likely be no exception.But it’s not just the crowd the Badgers need to worry about.Compared to the Kohl Center, which contains one of the biggest ice sheets in the conference, Ridder Arena plays small.To prepare this week, Johnson has conducted practice a little differently.“We’ll do a couple of things in the next couple of days to try and get people to react to situations quicker because people are going to be on top of you. I’m sure they’re going to try and forecheck us aggressively, so we’ll show some video on those things and do some exercises in practice,” Johnson said.Whatever challenges arise, Wisconsin believes it is ready. Though the team has enjoyed its time at the Kohl Center stringing off win after win, the Badgers can’t help but feel excitement as their first road trip looms before them.“It’s really exciting. It’s the talk of the locker room, we’re working hard this week, we can’t wait to leave on Thursday and we can’t wait to play our rivals,” Ammerman said.But after Wisconsin beat Minnesota three out of four games last season, after the Gophers lost two tough games last weekend and with the knowledge that the Badgers are ranked No. 1 in the country, Minnesota probably can’t wait either.last_img read more

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MBB : Raising his game: Jackson ‘makes name’ by becoming premier big man in final season at SU

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img When his son was 11 years old, Rick Jackson Sr. took him to play Philadelphia basketball. It’s a different brand, a different style of play that hardens and toughens those who participate. Rick Jackson found that out soon enough.Rick Sr. watched as his son played against 16- and 17-year-olds in Philadelphia’s Chew Playground on 18th Street and Washington Avenue, near the family’s house.The younger Rick went up for a rebound. Soon, he met two elbows. One in the chest. One in the face. Knocked back, lip bleeding and flustered, the gangly preteen version of today’s Jackson sheepishly looked at his father.‘That’s the way you’re going to have to play,’ Rick Sr. told his son. ‘It’s hard. But you have to play that way.’The next play, Rick Jackson’s look turned to one of determination. He gave a shot right back at a player inside. Countless elbows, scratches and swings followed through the years. Jackson never looked at his father after another one of them. And he never looked back.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs No. 11 Syracuse prepares for the postseason — which starts Thursday at 2 p.m. in Madison Square Garden with the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament — Jackson is the reason this SU team goes in primed to build off two straight Sweet 16 performances.Once an afterthought among Top 10 recruiting classes and loaded teams, Jackson quickly rose to become the conference’s top inside player this season. His path there was unlikely. But through what his closest friends and family say is a penchant for hard work, determination and that toughness, Jackson got to where he stands today.‘He’s the best two-way player in the league when you look at defense and offense,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said last week. ‘He’s by far the most influential player.’The ‘moment’Jackson’s ‘moment’ came with a trip to the doctor’s office.His moment was nothing like Andy Rautins’, who grew up with a Syracuse pedigree imitating famous basketball players on a Toys ‘R’ Us hoop. Jackson wanted to play football.Nothing like Arinze Onuaku, who displayed super strength as a child when he lifted a nine-pound milk jug at 10 months. Jackson was long and lean.So for Jackson, the moment that would influence the rest of his basketball career happened in a cramped Philadelphia hospital patient’s room. A simple checkup turned complicated when his doctor said Jackson was growing too fast. He wanted to give him a shot to slow his growth.Worried, his mother, Joyce Thomas, considered the option.‘Listening to this doctor, I got scared,’ she said. ‘I was saying, ‘OK. It’s not good? Slow it down then.”But when Rick Sr. heard of the possibility, his son said he ‘freaked out.’ At the same time, Dad put things in perspective. Rick Sr. stood at 6 feet 5 inches. His father was 6 feet 7 inches. No need to rush to a decision that could affect the rest of his son’s life.‘Here I am,’ Rick Jackson said. ‘Six-nine. It all worked out. I’m just glad that didn’t happen.’Rick Sr. put a basketball in his son’s hands at the age of 7. Four years later, he started playing in playground leagues. That’s about the time he met Scoop Jardine, who would become his point guard to this day.Together, they strayed from the path that took many of their friends to life in the streets, jail or worse. Together, they stuck to basketball. Together, they made a promise soon after they met.‘He kept saying it,’ Thomas said of her son. ‘‘Me and Scoop, me and Scoop. We’re going to the same college. Me and Scoop, me and Scoop.”The SummitThe 6 a.m. wake-up call came every day during the summer between Jackson and Jardine’s freshman and sophomore seasons at Neumann-Goretti High School.Sometimes, Aaron Abbott slept on Deborah Jardine’s floor to make sure her grandson Scoop and Jackson got up. Sometimes, Abbott, a Neumann-Goretti assistant coach, left his own house early to gather two or three other players in addition to the two Neumann-Goretti budding stars.Either way, they crammed into his burgundy 2000 Ford Taurus every morning by 6:30 and drove to The Summit, a training center.‘You didn’t want to do it,’ Jackson said. ‘It was almost a job. I hated it. But it made me better.’That summer, Jackson became the beast that eventually got noticed by the likes of Connecticut, Wake Forest and, of course, Syracuse.The routine was always the same. Get to The Summit by 7 a.m. Train for three hours. Lift for two more before grabbing lunch. Then back after lunch to repeat.‘It would be maybe four or five guys in my little car,’ Abbott said. ‘Rick was the biggest, of course. But they’d always fall asleep.‘We spent a lot of time sleeping and eating in that car.’Abbott called him ‘Rookie.’ Still does. That freshman season as an assistant at Neumann-Goretti, Abbott made ‘Rookie’ carry around the seniors’ travel bags. At the end of practices, he dumped and scattered basketballs all throughout the gym and made ‘Rookie’ pick every single one up. He never complained.He built confidence then. He built confidence over the summer. And after those 10-hour work days, Jardine and Abbott said Jackson, who played sparingly in his freshman season at Neumann-Goretti, knew he was going to start.Soon after, as a sophomore, he won the job over a returning starter and senior.‘After our freshman year, he made up his mind that he was going to start,’ Jardine said. ‘I remember the hunger that he had that sophomore year. … I’m not going to lie. He really blew up, and he became a totally different player.’In his junior season, he and Jardine went head to head with Kevin Durant’s Montrose Christian team. Abbott remembers pulling Jackson aside midgame with a simple message.‘You’re playing like a punk,’ Abbott told him.The next play, Jackson — who is bigger and stronger than Durant — finally went up strong to the hoop in Durant’s face. Later, he put in a hook shot that put Neumann-Goretti up for good.‘He played like a monster,’ Abbott said. ‘He really took over the game. From that moment on, I knew he really wanted it.’‘The one guy you can’t take off the court’Mike Hopkins offers apologies to Syracuse guards Jardine and Brandon Triche and to forward Kris Joseph. That’s because to Hopkins, SU’s assistant coach, Jackson is the one player this Syracuse team can’t afford to lose.‘He’s the one guy you can’t take off the court. Ever,’ Hopkins said. ‘You have a lot of guys — if Scoop got hurt, or Brandon — they’re unbelievable players. … But he just means so much to what we do.’This season, Jackson has once again become the leading man at his program. In 31 games, Jackson averaged 13.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He became a double-double machine.By the end of his freshman season at Syracuse, Jackson played single-digit minutes as the Orange limped to the NIT for the second consecutive season.‘By his sophomore year, he was ready to be rotting on that bench like a lot of players do,’ Thomas said. ‘He kept nagging Boeheim. He kept telling him, ‘Give me a chance. You keep yanking me out. You don’t even give me 15 minutes. Give me a chance to show you what I can do.”He finally got his chance his sophomore year against Memphis — albeit as a result of Eric Devendorf’s suspension. But for Hopkins, the game signified Jackson’s arrival.But Jackson had trouble staying in games. He played more than 30 minutes in just five of SU’s 31 regular-season games in his junior season. He struggled mightily in extended minutes in both Syracuse’s Big East tournament loss to Georgetown and its NCAA Tournament shocker to Butler, as SU played without its senior center Onuaku.Boeheim routinely pulls players aside in the locker room after games to point out individual successes or flaws. This one, though, Jackson didn’t quite expect. A few feet away from a sullen Onuaku, Boeheim sent his future star big man a message.‘We’re going to need you next year,’ Boeheim told him. ‘AO’s going to be gone. I need you to be the physical player that you can be — a guy that can go and rebound and bang for 40 minutes. I need you to be in shape to be able to play 40 minutes and just be an animal around the basket.’Within a couple of weeks, Jackson dumped cakes and cookies from his diet. He went back to the routine Abbott taught him. He shot hundreds of 15-foot jumpers, adding a new element to his game.It showed in perhaps the most important moment of the regular season at Connecticut, one of 13 games in which he’s played 38 minutes or more this season. The Orange was a loser of four straight.Minutes earlier, Jackson was embarrassed on a block by UConn’s Alex Oriakhi. With time winding down in the half, he took it right back to the teeth of the Husky defense. He pulled up for a hook shot, giving SU a 26-25 lead. It gave Syracuse its first lead in 133 minutes and 44 seconds of game time.‘The one thing about Ricky that’s huge is his consistency,’ Hopkins said. ‘He’s been consistent day in and day out. All. Year.’Making his nameWhen Thomas finished her daily 10-hour days as a SEPTA bus driver, she would come home and play basketball with young Rick. One on one, Mom usually won.‘You can’t beat your mom?’ Thomas teased her son. ‘You’re garbage!’For years, Jackson waited for revenge. Needless to say, Thomas can’t compete anymore. Last time they played, in a schoolyard across from their home, she laughed as Jackson dunked on her.‘That’s just the way he plays,’ Thomas said. ‘He’s going to want to play better no matter who he’s playing.’Last Saturday, Thomas and Rick Sr. watched that mentality in action from the stands as their son dominated on a Senior Day reserved solely for him. They stood by him as he received a plaque with a jersey that bore his number. They watched as he came out of a game for the final time at the Carrier Dome. They listened as the crowd chanted, ‘Thank you, Jackson!’For Jackson and Syracuse, his brand keeps the story going.‘I’m trying to make a name for myself,’ Jackson said. ‘A lot of guys come to college, and they’re just players. They don’t make a name for themselves. I don’t want that. I want to take over.’bplogiur@syr.edulast_img read more

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FB : Breaking free: Ineligible for bowl, USC focused on erasing dark cloud left by sanctions

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.edu Chris Galippo was on the Southern California campus when he got the news. Christian Tupou was in the weight room. Derek Simmons was watching ESPN News.Anger, disappointment and indifference all set in as they found out USC would be hammered with NCAA sanctions for various violations in its athletic programs.Among the punishments announced June 10, 2010, was a two-year postseason ban for the football program.Finding out there would be no shot at the conference title, no shot at another Rose Bowl berth, no shot at making one last run at a national championship elicited a range of emotions from the veteran players.‘We were all definitely frustrated because you go to USC to play in the big bowl games,’ said Simmons, a senior defensive tackle on the 2010 team. ‘It got taken away from us.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘But life goes on.’The 2010 and 2011 senior classes enjoyed two Rose Bowl wins under head coach Pete Carroll before he bolted for the Seattle Seahawks just months before the sanctions rocked the program. Along with the bowl ban, USC lost 30 scholarships spanning three seasons and was forced to vacate its 2005 Bowl Championship Series national title.The seniors were forced to finish their careers with the sanctions hanging over their heads, as they were bombarded with questions about the punishments and the effects over the last two years.Gone was the mystique of the USC dynasty that drew them to Los Angeles, erased by violations committed during Reggie Bush’s legendary career.All that was left was a 13-game regular season schedule, leaving no chance to capture the titles they dreamed about when they committed.But life goes on.After dealing with the sanctions in 2010, Tupou said the shock has worn off. The 2011 seniors weren’t blindsided by the bowl ban like last year’s group. They may not have a bowl game to play for, but they have USC’s proud history to live up to. And they still have their individual futures to consider.‘We need to solidify our futures by making it to the next level and playing really, really good football, so that we can get drafted and go on to the NFL,’ Galippo said. ‘So bowl or no bowl, that’s something.’***Jordan Campbell was in limbo. No longer officially on the USC roster after violating new head coach Lane Kiffin’s team policy, the fate of his football career as a Trojan was uncertain.With Carroll already gone, he had considered transferring. And just four days after the sanctions came down, Campbell, a linebacker, became the first USC player to announce he was leaving.‘It wasn’t SC,’ Campbell said. ‘I fell in love with the Pete Carroll era. … But with him leaving, it wasn’t USC no more.’As a rising redshirt junior, Campbell was able to transfer to any Football Bowl Subdivision school without sitting out a year following the sanctions.He landed at Louisville, but he was ineligible the entire season because of ‘unresolved issues at USC,’ a Louisville spokesman said in an email to The Daily Orange. The spokesman said his ineligibility was not related to NCAA transfer rules.Campbell has since moved on to Division II New Mexico Highlands but still says he had the best time of his life at USC. He lived his dream to be a Trojan for three years.It was a dream he first got a taste for on Nov. 19, 2005.Campbell looked on from the stands in awe as Reggie Bush broke a highlight-reel 50-yard touchdown run against Fresno State. Surrounded by the band and the student section, Campbell watched Bush put the ball behind his back before cutting across the field and into the end zone.The stadium erupted and Campbell — watching the game as a fan in high school — soaked in the scene as Bush crossed the goal line in front of him. The crowd of 90,007 was going crazy. The Song Girls. The field.It was grandiose. It was perfect.‘That’s living the dream right there,’ Campbell said. ‘That’s why I chose to go to USC and play for USC.’Carroll visited him multiple times at Norco (Calif.) High School to recruit him. The entire school was quickly in frenzy, and students filled the hallways, trying to take pictures of the USC head coach.Once, they had to lock themselves in the locker room just to be able to talk. Carroll sold him on his ‘win forever’ philosophy.‘Pete Carroll was a god, he did whatever he wanted, and people looked up to him and respected him,’ Campbell said.But ‘win forever’ only lasted three years. Carroll moved on, and so did Campbell.To this day, Campbell is still proud he was part of the Trojan family — violations or not. He has no regrets.Not everyone views their time at USC as positively as Campbell does. Others have moved on and chosen not to look back.Blake Ayles, who left the Trojans for Miami, declined to comment through a Hurricanes’ spokesman. The athletic communications representative said he ‘does not have any interest in discussing USC.’ Malik Jackson, now at Tennessee, was not made available by a Tennessee spokesman.And former Trojans Shareece Wright, Stanley Havili and Tyron Smith all declined to comment for the story through NFL representatives for their respective teams.For Campbell, though, he knows nothing will match those three years he got to live his dream.It’s a dream he is reminded of whenever he looks at the USC tattoo on his right arm, which he got to reveal his commitment in high school.‘I’m not ashamed of that (tattoo) at all,’ Campbell said. ‘I was part of the No. 1 class in the nation. I was part of something great.’***They lived the life of professionals at the college level. USC’s popularity extended right into Hollywood.Simmons said during Carroll’s era, the streak of success coupled with the lack of an NFL franchise in LA made the program a big draw.‘We’re kind of like the professional team, so everybody is looking at us,’ Simmons said.Carroll often had celebrities at practices and team meetings to speak to the Trojans.Simmons specifically remembers Will Ferrell coming multiple times. And he still laughs about one visit when he showed up as ‘Captain Compete.’The joke started with a scare. A stuntman fell from a video tower before practice, and players worried the fall could be deadly.The fear quickly disappeared when Ferrell came running onto the field dressed as a superhero, carrying the man.Simmons said Carroll loved practical jokes, and with the program always winning, they only added to the fun.But that all changed when Kiffin came in. With the NCAA looming over the program, the head coach closed practices to outsiders. He had to protect the program.And he has carried that all-business approach into this season.His theme for camp in 2011 was ‘no distractions.’ Tupou said Kiffin ended each practice reminding the players not to let the NCAA sanctions affect them.This USC team still has the chance to recapture the greatness that recently defined the program. And to do that, the team must be focused on winning the games it does get to play, not the ones it can’t in the postseason.‘We could easily sit here and say, ‘Well, we don’t have something to play for, we’re just happy to win,” Kiffin said in the Pac-12 coaches’ teleconference Sept. 6. ‘But we have high standards of our expectations for the way that we play here.’***With 81 scholarship players on the 2011 roster as of Aug. 21, USC comes into this season with added depth, something it was desperately missing a year ago. The depth chart was decimated after losing six transfers and releasing two recruits last year.Kiffin was forced to hold back at practices. With only 71 scholarship players heading into the 2010 season — 14 below the NCAA maximum — staying healthy outweighed the benefits of physical play.‘We were in such fear of the numbers going lower than where they were at, you know, that that’s the choice that we made,’ Kiffin said.Though it helped the players survive from week to week, Kiffin said it hurt his team on game day. And it showed in the Trojans’ final 8-5 record.It made a difference in crushing last-second losses to Washington and then-No. 16 Stanford. The Huskies and Cardinals had rotations that kept their players fresh, playing about half the snaps the Trojans did, said Galippo, the linebacker. And in both games, a fatigued USC defense couldn’t halt late drives that set up game-winning field goals.‘When it gets down to those two-minute situations at the end of games,’ Galippo said, ‘that’s the difference between one team being gassed and another team being ready to go.’For Simmons, the former defensive tackle, USC should always be ready to go. The players have the Trojans’ legacy to uphold, regardless of numbers.The greats like Marcus Allen and Troy Polamalu are watching. And so is the potential next line of USC players.‘Regardless of what happens, we still have that reputation to maintain, and if we went out there and laid an egg every Saturday,’ Simmons said, ‘it would definitely probably affect future recruitment.’And if the past and future aren’t enough to keep this Trojans team motivated in the present, Kiffin will be there to crack the whip at practice. Tupou said the head coach has worked the players so hard, they haven’t had time to worry about the postseason ban.The program is getting back to the same intense competition level that characterized the program when the best of the best flocked to USC.And with each day, as the players fight to get on the field, they are slowly removing the stain the NCAA sanctions have left on the program.Life does go on.‘It all starts out with eliminating the distraction about the whole NCAA thing and working on getting that erased from our team,’ Tupou said. ‘And then it’s all about competing.’rjgery@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more

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Penn State : Fans stay peaceful after Nebraska loss

first_img Comments Published on November 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Jon: jdharr04@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+center_img UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Just before kickoff between Penn State and Nebraska at noon Saturday, the sidelines were empty. The players, coaches and athletic officials were absent. They were already on the field, huddling together in a circle at the 50-yard line to kneel down in complete silence amid more than 107,000 people in Beaver Stadium.The 12th-ranked Nittany Lions and No. 19 Nebraska were praying.‘It was loud and cheering when the players were coming together but then it got really quiet and I almost felt everyone in the stadium could hear it, and for 100,000 people to stay hush, I say that’s the power of god. It was very touching,’ Nebraska running backs coach Ron Brown told reporters after the game.Brown, who led the prayer, said the gathering at midfield allowed the nation to understand the reality of the situation at Penn State and would help heal the community.‘I think one of the most touching moments was right before the prayer, Tom Bradley said to me, ‘Where’s Bo? Where’s Bo?’ and Bo was coming,’ Brown said. ‘He was a little behind. He says, ‘I want Bo to kneel next to me.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBo Pelini is the head coach of Nebraska (8-2), while Bradley is the interim head coach of the Nittany Lions (8-2).‘And I really thought it represented he spirit that was taking place inside that huddle,’ Brown added. ‘We knew we were going to go to battle against each other. It was a big game for both teams, but there was something bigger.’At the end of the game, police officers stood in the endzones with their eyes watchful on the crowd — watching for someone to act after a Penn State rally came up short against Nebraska in a week when scandal had riddled State College. But no such action occurred — even a day after a Beaver Stadium received a bomb threat while the Penn State community held a moving candelight vigil Friday night on Old Main Lawn.As the defeated Penn State players made their way to the lockeroom after the clock hit zero on their spirited comeback try, most of the crowd remained in Beaver Stadium and applauded the Nittany Lions, playing without legendary former head coach Joe Paterno.Outside the stadium, the scene was just as respectful as several Nebraska fans said they felt welcomed by the Penn State community, despite the sexual abuse charges and national media attention facing the university. Nebraska fans claimed that the emotion pouring from State College didn’t cause Penn State fans to disrespect or harass them, although the Cornhuskers won the game 17-14.Mike Vendetti, of Maryland, said after the game that the prayer was an important gesture from Nebraska.‘It was respectful of the team, it was respectful of the coach and it was respectful of the whole situation,’ he said. ‘I thought it was a great first step for a visiting team to come in and make a gesture like that. I think that’s exactly the spirit of Penn State and I’m glad Nebraska did it.’Although Paterno has given back to the Penn State community throughout his time at the helm of the Nittany Lions, the legendary head coach lost more than a job when he was fired Wednesday night, Vendetti said.‘He doesn’t lose his ability to provide like I would if I got fired, he loses a reputation that he worked very hard to build in this community,’ Vendetti said. ‘You got an 84-year-old man who intentionally built a good reputation and will never be able to recover it. It’s gone for good and that’s tough.’Standing with Vendetti was Virginia resident Jim Rodriguez, who was sporting a Nebraska visor and black Cornhuskers hoody.Rodriguez said he was treated fairly by Penn State fans after arriving in State College at about 8 a.m. Saturday. Rodriguez said he and his family were expecting to leave later on Saturday after some of the traffic died down.‘We had planned this trip in August and even though the events unfolded, we got tickets, we’re still going to go,’ Rodriguez said.And although Rodriguez thinks it’s unfortunate that the scandal brought down Paterno before he could retire, he knows where the focus truly lies.‘Joe was an icon, a legend, and always will be that,’ Rodriguez said. ‘I think he said it best when he said I should have done more. It’s unfortunate but you move forward, you got to move on and pray for those families and pray for the children affected here at Penn State.’It was announced during the game that Nebraska and Penn State fans had helped donate $22,582 at the stadium Saturday to prevent child abuse.Mary Rodriguez, Jim Rodriguez’s mother and a Florida resident, said she felt welcomed in State College even while wearing her Nebraska red.‘I can’t tell you how many people came up and gave me a big hug,’ Mary Rodriguez said. ‘Before the game even started on our way in, they were all like, ‘Hey, welcome, we’re so happy to have you and how was your trip over.”Steve Nicholas, an Albany resident, fell in love with the Cornhuskers while watching a TV interview with former head coach Tom Osborne when he was 7 years old. Osborne, the athletic director at Nebraska, coached the Cornhuskers for 25 years.And although Nicholas said the game between Nebraska and Penn State was ugly, he was treated kindly by those cheering for the Nittany Lions.‘Everybody was very friendly, courteous,’ Nicholas said. ‘People actually went out of their way to make sure we knew where we were going and if we needed anything and they welcomed us. We had a great time.’Nicholas arrived in State College on Friday with a group of about 10 other people, who were planning to go home Sunday.Both Craig Bonza, of Oklahoma, and Brett Petersen, of Washington, D.C., said the Penn State fans were accommodating all weekend, even buying the two Nebraska fans drinks in downtown bars Friday.‘They want to make sure it’s not a negative reflection on them,’ Bonza said. ‘They more than went out of their way — I don’t know if they’re like that normally — but they’re extremely nice, polite and courteous people.’But Eric Milton, a State College resident and Penn State fan, said the courteousness of the Nittany Lion community isn’t anything new.‘It’s not this week, it’s every week,’ Milton said. ‘There’s nothing different about this week than any other week. Everybody gets treated properly at Penn State; it’s how Penn State rolls. That’s the god’s honest truth. It’s not just this weekend, it’s always like that. I always go out of my way to make sure the tailgating people next to me have a good time and that’s just the Penn State way.’To Milton, the decision to fire Paterno was warranted.‘I’m glad he’s gone,’ Milton said. ‘I’m glad all those guys are gone. I have a 7-year-old boy at home and it makes me think. Joe didn’t stop it, he allowed that guy to continue to operate. That monster kept going for seven more years.’Rob Raubenstine, who resides in Elizabethville, Pa., said he didn’t hear any negative comments from Nebraska fans about Paterno or the sexual abuse charges hanging over Penn State.Raubenstine has been a fan of the Nittany Lions for about 30 years, as he has been coming to the games since he was 16 years old. He now has season tickets, family members that attend the university and a relative who works at Penn State.But the longtime fan knows the decision to fire Paterno was the right one, although the media has skewed the focus of the scandal away from the victims and onto the winningest head coach in major college football history removed in the midst of his 46th season.‘First thing you see is Joe Paterno, you don’t see about the university, the scandal,’ Raubenstine said. ‘It’s like Joe’s the rapist and not Sandusky and that’s kind of wrong. I understand they had to do what they had to do because you wouldn’t have looked good keeping him and not anybody else. It’s sad that he couldn’t have said goodbye today at the last home game.’jdharr04@syr.edu last_img read more

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MLAX : Wardwell endures tough 2nd half to pick up win in net for Syracuse

first_imgGENEVA, N.Y. – The sense of relief went coursing through the entire Syracuse sideline as the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard.No player felt the pressure lifted more than Bobby Wardwell.A six-goal SU halftime lead deteriorated to one with nine seconds left in the game, but Wardwell evaded disaster. Despite a sharp performance by the Hobart offense in the second half, Syracuse’s freshman goalkeeper was able to hold on and survive. Wardwell and the No. 14 Orange escaped Boswell Field with a 13-12 victory over Hobart on Tuesday. After an imminent Orange blowout became a near defeat, the Syracuse goaltender did just enough to preserve the lead. Teammates swarmed Wardwell in front of the net to break the tension.‘It was pretty nerve-racking,’ Wardwell said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWardwell stood tall in the first half, making seven saves on 11 shots to help the Orange (7-5, 3-1 Big East) jump out to a 10-4 lead at halftime. But that confidence quickly diminished as Hobart (3-8, 1-3 Eastern College Athletic Conference)forced the issue on offense to begin the third quarter.Hobart turned its first possession of the second half into immediate results. Statesmen attack Cam Stone found Jake McHenry on the left doorstep 35 seconds into the third quarter to cut SU’s lead to 10-5.‘We had a stop, but they were able to feed it into the crease and score, and I think that started the momentum,’ SU defender Brian Megill said. ‘As soon as a team gets energy and a little bit of confidence, they’re going to make runs, and we have to stop those runs and keep playing composed.’The Statesmen began to beat Wardwell in ways that they could not in the first half.In the first quarter, Wardwell made back-to-back saves on Stone and midfielder Taylor Vanderbeek as both Hobart players tiptoed the right hash mark and ripped tight shots toward the right post. Wardwell hugged the post and blocked down both shots with ease.Wardwell said he lacked the same strong body positioning in the third quarter that he had in the first half. With about five minutes left in the third quarter, Stone squeezed a shot between Wardwell and the left post for a goal. It was the second of a three-goal run for Hobart at the end of the third quarter to cut SU’s lead to 11-9.‘In the second half I just wasn’t seeing the ball as well, but it happens,’ Wardwell said. ‘It’s an up-and-down game. It’s a game of runs, and they got their run in the third quarter.’The Syracuse goaltender made just four saves on 12 shots in the second half as the Statesmen threatened SU’s lead. Hobart pushed through three more goals in the fourth quarter, getting within one with nine seconds left.‘We got up by a lot of goals. We were up by six goals at the end of the half, and I think we came out a little bit flat in the second,’ Wardwell said. ‘I know I was kind of relaxed.’The Syracuse offense struggled to provide any relief for the SU goalie in the second half. Hobart goaltender Peter Zonino transformed into a force, making 10 second-half saves to keep the Statesmen within striking distance.And the shaky performance in net in the second half continued for Wardwell. A costly turnover behind the net with less than four minutes to play left Wardwell stranded out of the net. Sam Miller dove in front to connect with an empty net.Attack Alex Love fired a shot into the net with time winding down, and Hobart ran out of time.Wardwell did just enough to earn his third win of the season in four starts.‘He’s seen every different kind of game thus far, and he’s learning and growing from that,’ SU head coach John Desko said. ‘He’s pretty courageous, and when he doesn’t see it, he tries to get his body in front of it, and he’ll get better from this.’adtredin@syr.edu Comments Published on April 17, 2012 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Syracuse’s upset bid against No. 2 Clarkson falls short after defensive meltdown

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 9, 2012 at 11:41 am Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_ For 55 minutes Syracuse went toe-to-toe with the No. 2 team in the country.The Orange won more faceoffs, took more shots and largely contained Clarkson’s star-studded first line led by Jaime Lee Rattray and Carly Mercer. SU firmly took the game to its bigger, stronger opponents.But a five-minute defensive breakdown gave Clarkson (15-3-0, 7-1-0 ECAC) two goals and a mountainous three-goal lead with 15 minutes to play. A comeback nearly took the game to overtime, yet SU (9-8-1, 4-1-1 CHA) came up short for the second night in a row in a 5-4 loss at Tennity Ice Pavilion on Saturday.“I think it bears down to playing the whole 60 minutes and we could’ve come out with the win,” captain Holly Carrie-Mattimoe said.The five minutes that doomed the Orange began with a turnover by Kaillie Goodnough. Christine Lambert ended the play skating past Goodnough from the point and calmly tossing the puck over SU goaltender Jenesica Drinkwater.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA minute later Mercer picked up the puck just inside the right faceoff circle and slid a soft drive between Drinkwater’s legs for the 5-2 lead.Head coach Paul Flanagan called timeout and pulled the junior goalie for freshman Julie Bengis.“I think we needed the timeout just to understand that we’d been playing well,” Flanagan said. “That’s a couple bad breaks and we were right in that game. There’s nothing really, anything too special other than just ‘One at a time, let’s go to work here, protect Julie and you’ve all been on teams that have come back and won these kinds of games.’”The break worked. Two minutes later, SU’s Melissa Piacentini caught Clarkson netminder Erica Howe, stole the puck from behind the net and passed it to Shiann Darkangelo for an easy goal.There was no ignoring the fatigue that had set in for the Orange. Shifts got shorter and Flanagan even sent out reserve forwards Emily Auerbacher and Marianne Thomaris to spell his tired regulars with eight minutes left.The Orange fought every battle for possession, though, winning the vast majority. The attack just lacked an edge. And while Clarkson noticeably slowed down too, the Golden Knights looked destined for a quiet last 10 minutes.But Margot Scharfe’s goal with 1:16 remaining ensured the closing moments of the game would be anything but calm. Bengis skated off for Piacentini with one minute left and the Orange largely locked the puck around the Clarkson goal.“We had a lot of chances,” Goodnough said. “We could’ve put that one away with a W, but it just didn’t go our way I guess.”When Clarkson called a timeout with 17.1 second left in the game up 5-4, a sense of fear emanated from the visitors bench for the first time since the second period. The Orange’s last-ditch empty-net effort was ultimately unsuccessful, but SU was just one goal away from taking the nation’s elite to overtime.The Orange skated off for first intermission with a 2-1 lead and failed to score on five shots on two power plays in the second period. Clarkson was not so forgiving, having buried a power-play goal 14 seconds into a five-on-four at the beginning of the second.Nicole Renault, Caitlin Roach and Carrie-Mattimoe moved the puck efficiently against the Clarkson defense for long stretches of play, giving chances to Darkangelo and Carrie-Mattimoe, but each attempt failed to find the back of the net.The misses were especially painful after Clarkson blew the game open early in the third, leaving the Orange to take heart in the scare it gave the Golden Knights but winless on the last weekend of the semester.“I think it’s sucky in a way that we could’ve beat them but it’s also good because we know we can beat them and they’re second in the nation right now,” Goodnough said. “We just got to work hard while we’re on break and come back ready to finish up the season here.” Commentslast_img read more

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Build up: McGary develops from raw talent into focal point of Michigan offense

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Mitch McGary rode the roller coaster of college basketball recruiting. From Chesterton High School (Ind.) and AAU national powerhouse SYF Players to renowned Brewster Academy, the big man’s stock skyrocketed as he dominated AAU tournaments, and faded quickly as his stats fell at Brewster.He rose from a triple-digit prospect, skipped double-digits and landed on ESPN and Rivals’ rankings as a top-five recruit in the class of 2012. He signed with Michigan on Nov. 3, 2011, as the nation’s No. 2 recruit in both rankings. But McGary finished his prep year at Brewster as ESPN’s No. 27 prospect, while Rivals had him at No. 30.The only number that matters now is two: the amount of wins it’ll take for McGary to win the national championship, his stated goal when he signed his Letter of Intent. Starting in each of Michigan’s four NCAA Tournament games, McGary’s ability to get to the high post and open up the Wolverines offense has been crucial in its run to the Final Four.His production at Chesterton caught the eyes of scouts and he surged through the rankings. But as quickly as McGary’s stock rose, it fell.“I wouldn’t really say it was his performance because he brought it every night, and some games he didn’t play well,” former Brewster teammate and current Florida State guard Aaron Thomas said. “People waited for those times he didn’t play well to criticize him. (But) he was one of those guys who really didn’t care about rankings.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLike many big men, he was athletic early on in his development with untapped potential. Under SYF coach Wayne Brumm and high school coach Tom Peller’s teaching, McGary went from tall and raw to taller and polished.McGary’s shooting form was reminiscent of a bowler twisting his wrist, Brumm said, but it became more natural. And teammates and coaches raved about McGary’s ability to grab rebounds and trigger fast breaks.The success stemmed from one two-week training session in the spring of 2011.“We worked really hard during Spring Break in his senior year of high school,” Brumm said. “He came back home, I got a personal trainer and he worked out every day for two weeks. This guy threw his vertical up in just two weeks. He had never really lifted with his glutes and his legs the way he probably should have.”McGary hit the spring circuit on a tear. He shined at the LeBron James Skills Academy, shattered a backboard at the Boost Mobile Elite event and dominated the Under Armour Best of the Best Camp. ESPN and Scout.com ranked him No. 3 overall, while Rivals put him at No. 5. Michigan, Duke, Florida, North Carolina, Kentucky and Maryland showed interest.But he struggled academically at Charleston and transferred for his senior year to Brewster, where he could focus more on his studies. Peller said McGary was such a talented athlete that things may have come too easily for him and he may have gotten by without much effort.“He’s not a dumb kid, though; he just didn’t work,” Peller said.But when he arrived at Brewster, he was joined by Division-I recruits Semaj Christon, Jalen Reynolds, JaKarr Sampson and T.J. Warren — players who were scorers and players who needed shots. McGary’s scoring suffered, and so too did his place in the rankings. He even came off the bench for a time.“We were so much of a talented team that he didn’t need to carry us,” said Warren, now a forward at North Carolina State. “Everybody could play. His rankings started to fall at the beginning of the season, but I don’t understand how, because he always played hard, we were winning and Mitch was averaging a double-double. It wowed me when he dropped in the rankings like that.”There were also a few poor performances, most notably against Kentucky star Nerlens Noel. Noel finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots. McGary had two points on 1-of-8 shooting.But what made McGary highly regarded in the first place was still there.“Nobody teaches the great ones everything,” Brumm said. “The great ones always have something that makes them special.”In McGary’s case, it’s fearlessness and motor.“If a kid goes up to dunk, everyone runs away. They don’t want to get dunked on,” Brumm said. “Mitch doesn’t care.“And his motor. For a big kid to outrun and outwork guards ― I mean, guards would be begging me for a rest and Mitch was like, ‘Hey, I’m good.’”McGary worked with former Michigan captain and Chesterton alumnus Zack Novak in the summers after his sophomore and junior season. Novak taught McGary the work ethic, commitment and discipline it takes to play at the major Division-I level.The change was seen later in his career at Chesterton and he matured even more at Brewster.“Throughout the whole season he played his butt off, worked hard and things fell his way, obviously because he’s in the Final Four now,” said Joe Bramanti, a former Brewster teammate and current Wright State guard. “You spend a year with him, you learn about him, you get to be his friend, and now he’s doing things you’ve always dreamed of doing. It’s an awesome sight to see.”Now McGary wears the blue and yellow Novak once wore. And he’s thrived down the stretch of the season. And as he does, new numbers are circulating around McGary: where he could fall in a future NBA Draft.But those that know him best know that the rankings never fazed him. He just focused on what he had to do to become the best basketball player he could.Said Peller: “We knew early on he had professional talent.” Comments Published on April 4, 2013 at 2:18 am Contact Josh: jmhyber@syr.edulast_img read more

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Gulley prepares to return from ankle sprain in Texas Bowl

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After missing the last two games of the season with an ankle sprain, Syracuse running back Prince-Tyson Gulley is preparing for his return against Minnesota in the Texas Bowl.“It’s good,” Gulley said. “I’m ready to go.”Gulley, who has 440 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns on the season, will be Syracuse’s second option out of the backfield against the Golden Gophers behind Jerome Smith. But with Smith announcing he’ll head to the NFL and Gulley expected to return next year as a fifth-year senior with a medical hardship waiver, it’s also likely his last game as the No. 2 back.In his way is a stout Minnesota defensive line that Gulley praised for its strength and energy. Still, Gulley said he isn’t anxious about returning after the injury.“It’s just like any other thing. We want to play football real bad,” Gulley said. “We’re hyped about playing, and that’s all it is.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe’ll look to replicate a career performance in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl last December.Gulley rushed for 213 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in the Orange’s 38-14 win over West Virginia in the bowl. He also caught five passes for 56 yards and a touchdown.This year, he hopes SU can claim its third bowl win in four years.“I’m just trying to play,” Gulley said. “MVP; if it happens, it happens. It doesn’t matter.” Comments Published on December 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm Contact Trevor: tbhass@syr.edu | @TrevorHasslast_img read more

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Gbinije looks to build on highs of up-and-down performance at Villanova

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb PHILADELPHIA — Michael Gbinije didn’t take long to prove his back was feeling just fine.After missing the second half of Syracuse’s win over Louisiana Tech last Sunday due to tightness in that area, the junior spearheaded SU’s best offensive half of the season against No. 7 Villanova on Saturday, scoring or assisting on 19 of the Orange’s first 29 points.But Gbinije lost his touch in the second half and by the time he regained it in overtime, he was on his way to fouling out and Syracuse (6-4) was on its way to an 82-77 loss to the Wildcats (11-0) at the Wells Fargo Center.Now, Syracuse heads into a meeting with Colgate (3-8) on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome with a chance to rebound from the loss, and Gbinije, who said he’s feeling 100 percent, has his own chance to redeem his second-half struggles.“I felt good attacking the basket early in the first half and just trying to be aggressive offensively and just rebound defensively,” said Gbinije, who tied Rakeem Christmas for the team-high with 18 points. “I’m definitely going to think of some plays that I know I could’ve made better decisions on.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter rising up and snatching a defensive rebound, Gbinije drained a 3 from the right wing that added fuel to a 10-0 spurt that sprung the Orange ahead by 13. Playing the entire first half, Gbinije shot an economical 5-of-6 as the Orange connected on 63 percent of its attempts.“He’s huge. We need him out there,” point guard Kaleb Joseph said.But as SU’s offense regressed in the second half, Gbinije was at the front of the decline.By the time he checked out of the game at the 13:52 mark, he had missed three shots inside the paint, turned the ball over once and committed his third and fourth fouls.Upon re-entering with 7:54 left in the game and Syracuse’s lead having dwindled to 57-53, Gbinije lost another turnover and missed two shots. His only field goal of the half came on a goaltending call and he padded the Orange’s lead with a free throw for a 67-62 lead with 24 seconds left.Then as the inbounder underneath Syracuse’s basket after a Villanova 3, he threw a pass to Christmas that the forward couldn’t handle near the sideline, and the Wildcats ended up knotting the score. The game then headed to overtime after Gbinije rushed down the floor and missed a desperation jumper.Gbinije’s woes ended when he was whistled for his fifth foul with 29 seconds remaining in overtime, joining Christmas and forward Chris McCullough on the bench.Even though the locker room after the game was a somber one, there was a sense of encouragement in how well SU played — with Gbinije as one of the main cogs for an offense that is gradually beginning to grow.“He’s so versatile and he’s so important to this offense,” guard Trevor Cooney said, “because he is a guy who can shoot it, he can make plays off the bounce, he can be a big guy down low, he can rebound, and he can get out to shooters and everything.“When he’s like that, we’re a way better team.” Commentslast_img read more

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