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September 16, 2020

Graphical breakdown of Syracuse’s 50-33 loss to Notre Dame

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Published on October 1, 2016 at 5:44 pm Contact Clare: clramire@syr.edulast_img

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Grinding Gears: Basketball is struggling in irrelevant conference

first_img“There are a lot of teams [that], if they play well, can beat anybody in the league,” Enfield said. “If you don’t bring your best game, you can lose to anybody in the league. So there’s a lot of teams that, on any given night, can win by 10-15 points and maybe play the same team the next night and lose by 10-15.” It may have been shocking to Enfield, but, 11 games into conference play, USC’s standing is no longer a surprise to the neutral observer. USC is merely part of the group of Pac-12 teams mired in a “meh” season, one as uninspiring as the tepid crowds that have shown up at Galen Center. It was the continuation of a feud that stretches back to last season, when Boyle called Enfield out over USC’s recruiting practices. Enfield fired back with a statement and, during the teams’ next meeting, he called a timeout with 21 seconds left and USC ahead by 12 points to presumably rub in the victory. Boyle took exception to that and made it clear how much defeating USC Saturday meant to him. Washington, which won its first 10 conference games, couldn’t even claim a spot in the AP Top 25 — and it definitely won’t after falling to Arizona State on Saturday. There are three teams tied for second at 7-4 and then USC at 6-5. It would be one thing if the parity across the league was because all the teams were good and beating up on each other, but it is a problem if the parity is because the schools are equally bad. Those were three games that USC had a chance of winning — and probably should have won. But they came down to a couple of plays: a bounce here, a make instead of a miss there. This is what separates an average team from a good team — the ability to close out games, to emerge from a tight battle victorious. In this regard, the Trojans have no consistency. So, the hell with it, Tad Boyle. Bring on the petty drama, the unnecessarily exorbitant celebrations. This Pac-12 basketball season could use some life, anyway. Boyle to Saturday’s game was like the Pac-12 to the rest of the country: flailing its arms, kicking and screaming, attempting to stay relevant. One look at the standings is all it takes to figure out that this conference is, um, not good. But at a school where basketball barely registers on anyone’s radar, this story generated little interest — certainly not enough for two Pac-12 coaches to act petty following victories. And yet, there was Boyle, hollering like Colorado had just won the national championship rather than improved to 5-6 in an unimpressive conference. “I don’t know why Nick and Bennie weren’t in the middle of [the] lane and hedging on the ball screen,” Enfield said. “It’s very shocking. Those guys are juniors and seniors — two big mental breakdowns in the last two minutes of the game. Not going to make excuses for them, because I can’t.” Unfortunately, the latter is where the conference is at. Unless another team starts picking up steam down the stretch, the Pac-12 is looking at just one bid in the NCAA tournament — a woeful outcome for a Power 5 conference.center_img The marquee programs are struggling, and the best school, Washington, can’t get any national love despite being 10-1 in conference play. Arizona State, which knocked off No. 1 Kansas earlier this season, can’t seem to stay consistent. Arizona and Oregon aren’t even in contention. USC has dropped three of four after a three-game win streak showed the team’s flash of promise. Things have gotten so bad at UCLA that alumni and boosters are clamoring for former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino to take over the helm. That is indeed the definition of parity, but not in a good sense. USC’s last seven games are a strong example. Last month, the Trojans rolled past UCLA, Arizona and ASU and jumped to second in the conference. But in the last week and half, they suffered a road loss at Washington and brutal back-to-back home defeats to Utah and Colorado. “I meant no disrespect by it,” Boyle told reporters. “But this game meant a lot to me. I don’t forget what happened last year with the timeout.” Eric He is a senior writing about current events in sports. He is also the features editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs Mondays. Immediately after the final buzzer sounded on USC’s 69-65 defeat to Colorado Saturday at Galen Center, Colorado head coach Tad Boyle turned to the Buffaloes supporters behind him in the stands and yelled emphatically in celebration. As he went through the handshake line with the USC coaching staff, Trojans associate head coach Jason Hart confronted Boyle, and the two exchanged words. This quarrel is a microcosm of the Pac-12 season. Here are the men in charge of two programs that have been fairly mediocre this season, hovering around .500 in conference play, drumming up beef that nobody really cares about. There is zero buzz on campus surrounding the federal investigation into college basketball, which USC was involved in after former assistant coach Tony Bland was arrested in the fall of 2017. In January, Bland reached a plea deal on charges of conspiring to commit bribery to lure players to specific agents. “Supposedly,” USC head coach Andy Enfield said, “their coach swore at us, and that’s all I know.” In a 69-67 win over ASU last month, senior captain Bennie Boatwright nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer in the clutch. In a 69-65 loss to Colorado Saturday, it was Boatwright and junior forward Nick Rakocevic — two team leaders — who allowed Buffaloes guard McKinley Wright to drive right past them for two crucial layups that gave Colorado the late lead.last_img read more

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August 16, 2020

Disgraceful? Classless? That’s exactly what the reaction to USWNT’s 13-0 win has been

first_img Getty Images https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/e7/56/uswnt-celebrate-2019_oipy43l6bo711i112kqgs6t3f.jpg?t=1211391787&w=500&quality=80 Not all celebrations are excessive. Some are just celebrations, even if it’s for a goal total that may seem excessive.This point appears to be getting lost in the oftentimes breathless debate surrounding the U.S. women’s national team’s historical beatdown of Thailand on Tuesday evening in Reims. Before moving forward, as the USWNT surely has already, it’s worth considering exactly what the team was celebrating on Tuesday night.First, as mentioned, goal differential is a factor in the group stage, meaning every goal the U.S. scored on Tuesday got them one step closer to their mission of topping Group F. Even though three points were assured early in the game, each goal did accomplish something in its own right. Sweden, the USWNT’s primary competition for top spot in the group, could very well tally up a similar scoreline against Thailand. More importantly though, this is a World Cup . Every player dreams of reaching this stage, and scoring at the highest level with the eyes of the world watching is the culmination of decades of hard work, dedication and sacrifice.That is worthy of some celebration, whether it’s the first or 13th goal of the game.About those reactions, though. From some of the commentary out there, one may think that it was all backflips, coordinated dance routines and conga lines. In reality, most of the USWNT’s celebrations were pretty routine.Watch the replays again. On nearly every goal the player who scored does a routine arm-raise or fist-pump – and sometimes not even that much – before sinking into the typical group hug that envelops most goal-scorers.Alex Morgan was criticized for her celebration where she counted off all her goals on her fingers. But it was hardly an ostentatious display and, let’s not forget, she scored five goals in a World Cup game. Robert Cianflone https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/1f/59/alex-morgan-megan-rapinoe-uswnt-womens-world-cup-2019_rt20v48gz9fn1uc1tidb51283.jpg?t=1227902771&w=500&quality=80 Admittedly, Rapinoe’s wild histrionics after scoring the team’s ninth of the night did cross a line. If there was one unnecessary display on the evening it was the veteran who, playing in her third World Cup, probably could have dialed it back several notches.If the outside commentary is getting to the USWNT players, you wouldn’t know it from what Sam Mewis – scorer of two goals on Tuesday – said on Thursday. Yes, the scoreline was stark in the World Cup opener for both teams: 13-0, a record margin of victory for any World Cup, men’s or women’s.The total is ugly, but the debate surrounding that scoreline has become even uglier.MORE: USWNT great Abby Wambach defends celebrations vs. ThailandsThankfully, that discourse at least seems to have moved past a discussion over whether the U.S. should have kept scoring at all. The strategic importance of accruing as many goals as possible, with goal differential the first tiebreaker in the group stage, has been well established.Besides, as U.S. forward Megan Rapinoe said after the game, the alternative to continuing to attack isn’t much better.“You don’t want to really take your foot off [the pedal] like that,” Rapinoe said, “you don’t want to pass the ball around in your own half for 30 minutes.”But the way the U.S. reacted as the goals piled up has come under heavy scrutiny.Perhaps no criticism was more widely shared than that of one current and two former Canadian national team players, who used words like “disgraceful” and “classless” to describe the USWNT’s on-field displays.In further evidence as to how toxic this debate has become, one of those pundits, Kaylyn Kyle, said she has received death threats over her comments. “I don’t really think we as a team are super involved in watching and reading a lot of media about ourselves, to be honest,” Mewis said.“We had heard there were some things going on and I think we’re really trying to focus on the next game and on Chile. We respect Thailand a lot and I think that we’re just looking at the next game now.”The USWNT appears to have already moved past Tuesday’s game. It’s probably time for the rest of the world to do the same.last_img read more

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