What we learned from Syracuse’s scrimmage win over Le Moyne

first_img Published on November 2, 2015 at 11:14 pm Related Stories Malachi Richardson leads SU freshmen trio in exhibition win over Le MoynePoll: Grade Syracuse’s performance against Le Moyne and pick the player of the gameFast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 97-58 win over Le MoyneSyracuse hoists 32 3-pointers in 97-58 win over Le Moyne in exhibition Le Moyne, a Division-II team with no player taller than 6 feet, 7 inches, didn’t provide much of a barometer for Syracuse in its first of two preseason exhibitions. That much is evidenced by the final score, a lopsided 97-58 win for the Orange that had the walk-ons mopping the floor as the game clock expired.But it still was the first look at SU and there were small things to pick up on with the season opener against Lehigh 11 days away. Here are a few things we learned in the Carrier Dome on Monday night, even if the Dolphins were a less-than-formidable first test.1. At least for now, Michael Gbinije is Syracuse’s starting point guardEven after CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported that Gbinije would start at the point over sophomore Kaleb Joseph, SU head coach Jim Boeheim coyly said he hadn’t made a definitive decision.But Gbinije started alongside Trevor Cooney in the backcourt against Le Moyne, and finished with a game-high 21 points while shooting 5-of-10 from 3. When Joseph subbed in, both players handled the ball and Gbinije got more opportunities off the ball. He even played some small forward in the Orange’s small, three-forward lineup in the second half, but still quarterbacked the offense on a handful of possessions.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I like the way that Mike took charge tonight,” Boeheim said after the game. “He was really, really good tonight.”Joseph turned in an up-and-down performance, scoring 11 points in 16 minutes and shooting a team-worst 4-of-12 from the field. The highlight of his night was hitting back-to-back 3s in the second half. The lowlight of his night was getting pulled for an illegal screen and getting an earful from Boeheim as he walked to the bench.2. In Malachi Richardson, Syracuse has another capable ball handlerRichardson, a freshman, started at small forward and finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. But outside of his encouraging stat line, he showed that he can push the ball off defensive rebounds and set up the Orange offense, even if he’s not considered one of the team’s “primary” ball-handlers.“If he can get a rebound, long rebound in certain situations he can,” Boeheim said. “… He can push it down. He’s got good ball-handling skills.”Just 1:37 into his college career, Richardson grabbed a weak-side defensive rebound and started Syracuse’s fast break down the left side of the court. He hit Tyler Roberson posting up in the paint and Roberson quickly found Gbinije for a wide-open 3 at the top of the key. Later in the half, Richardson made the exact same run up the court before calling up Roberson for an on-ball screen.His mid-range shot rolled off the rim, but the ability to jumpstart the break and exploit an unset is a very usable tool for a more-than-capable shooter.“Obviously I’m a guard so I can handle the ball,” Richardson said. “If I get a rebound everyone knows I can push the ball down the floor and get the break started.”3. Chinonso Obokoh is still very much a work in progressOf the nine payers expected to be in Boeheim’s rotation this season, Obokoh was the only one to play less than 15 minutes.Obokoh — starting his second active season with Syracuse — finished with zero points, zero rebounds, two steals, a block and three fouls in 11 minutes off the bench. He’s the Orange’s backup center behind junior DaJuan Coleman, but his performance Monday did not inspire confidence that SU will have depth at center this season.Coleman is coming off two knee surgeries and hasn’t played in a game since Jan. 7, 2014. He won’t be able to play the same kind of minutes that Rakeem Christmas did last season, which bought Obokoh some time to develop before jumping into the fire. But now he’ll likely be called upon to spell Coleman, and he doesn’t look quite ready to be effective on either end of the floor.Boeheim also used a three-forward frontcourt in the first and second half against the Dolphins. It mostly featured 6-foot-8 freshman Tyler Lydon at center and the 6-foot-8 Roberson at power forward. At one point in the second half, the lineup was even smaller with Gbinije at power forward and 6-foot-6 freshman Richardson playing small forward, where he started.Boeheim said he’ll use the three-forward lineup this season, which would give Obokoh even more time. Right now it looks like he’ll need it. Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Cubs’ Joe Maddon sees a little of Troy Percival in Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> When Cubs manager Joe Maddon sees Kenley Jansen, he flashes back to his days with the Angels.Maddon was the Angels roving hitting instructor and he ran the instructional league in the early ‘90s, when the organization turned a catcher into a reliever.Troy Percival, of course, went on to be the best closer in Angels’ history.Jansen, who began his Dodgers career as a catcher, is trying to follow in Percival’s footsteps. Maddon sees similarities. Both Jansen and Percival have what he calls “awkward,” and “violent” deliveries, which Maddon said is the result of coaches allowing them to transition without too much refining.“When you make that transition from catcher, these are very, normally aggressive people,” Maddon said. “Let them go. Don’t give them too much instruction. Let them play.”Percival spent just one year as a catcher in the Angels system, hitting .203.“He couldn’t hit,” Maddon said. “The ball would hit his bat and basically roll up towards his hands. Talk about negative exit velocity.”Certainly, the switch to closer worked, though. Percival, whose first year pitching was 1991, reached the majors by 1995 and ended his career with 358 saves, 11th most in history. Jansen spent much longer attempting to hit, batting .229 in the minors. He spent four seasons as a catcher before converting to the mound. He now has 189 regular season saves over the past five years as the Dodgers closer.Shake it up?The middle of the Cubs order – Anthony Rizzo (.043 in the postseason), Ben Zobrist (.182) and Addison Russell (.045) – have been scuffling, which has Maddon thinking of changes.“I have considered different thoughts, no question,” Maddon said. “You’re already trying to. Like I said, when you get to this point, you’ve got five games left to really make it right as opposed to 75 to make it right.”That being said, Maddon is also aware that some of the Cubs’ offensive issues are the result of guys like Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto and Madison Bumgarner.“We have seen some really good pitching,” Maddon said. “I’ll defend them in that regard.”Happy placeJake Arrieta, who starts Game 3 for the Cubs, has good memories of Dodger Stadium. In his last start here, on Aug. 30, 2015, Arrieta pitched a no-hitter.“It’s going to be a different game, different experiences all the way around, but you know, I’ll use some of my experience from my last time out here moving into tomorrow,” he said.Arrieta said the mound and playing surface at Dodger Stadium make it an especially good environment.“You’ve got to give credit to their crew for doing such a good job and making that thing’s ready to go and consistent pretty much every night,” he said. “You know, when you feel confident about your positioning or your footing as a pitcher or a position player, it really helps your confidence that night.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more