Syracuse men’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about Colgate

first_img Published on December 7, 2017 at 8:20 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 After downing Connecticut on Tuesday night, Syracuse (7-1) returns home to the Carrier Dome to host Colgate (3-5). The Raiders are coming off a two-point loss at Marist on Wednesday night and opened their season at Connecticut and lost, 70-58. The Orange beat the Huskies, 72-63, Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Syracuse’s only loss thus far came against No. 2 Kansas last Saturday.On Saturday at 2 p.m., the Orange and Raiders tip off for the 170th time. Here’s what you need to know about Colgate.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 124-45Last time they played: On opening night last season, Syracuse beat the Raiders, 83-55. Tyler Roberson scored 18 points, Andrew White 17 and Frank Howard 11. Tyus Battle scored six points and Paschal Chukwu added four in the blowout win in front of 23,844 at the Carrier Dome.The Colgate report: The Raiders rank outside the top 100 in every major statistical category save for 3-point field goals per game and 3-point percentage. Colgate hits 11.3 3s per game, good for 10th in the country. The Raiders have connected on 39.6 percent of their attempts from deep, putting them at 49th in the country.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHead coach Matt Langel is in his seventh season in Hamilton. He welcomed back six players who made at least 14 starts a season ago, including sophomore forward Will Rayman and senior guard Sean O’Brien. Rayman, O’Brien and Jordan Swopshire are the team’s three returning double-digit scorers.Colgate finished 10-22 last season, but has four players averaging double-digit points this season.Rayman (16.6 points per game), Jordan Burns (13.5), Swopshire 12.8 and O’Brien (10.5) are the leading scorers. Rayman has connected on 59.1 percent of his 3s and averages a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game.How Syracuse beats Colgate: Beating Colgate for the 52nd consecutive time should not be a challenge for Syracuse, which has more talent and a significant size advantage. The Orange could prove vulnerable to weaker opponents if a team like Colgate can hit about 50 percent of its 3s, the shot on which much of its offense depends. But that would be difficult to maintain over an entire game on the road, and Syracuse is a deeper team.Stat to know: 51The Orange has not lost to Colgate since Feb. 24, 1962 and has won 51 consecutive contests the Raiders. That’s the longest active winning streak in a Division I series. The Orange and Raiders have played each other 169 times since the 1901-02 season.Kenpom odds: Kenpom.com gives Syracuse an 88 percent chance to beat ColgatePlayer to watch: Will Rayman, forward, No. 10The 6-foot-8 sophomore was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year last season, scoring a team-best 14.6 points per game, which ranked ninth-best in the conference. He had 23 double-digit scoring games over 32 games and 26 starts a year ago. This season, he leads Colgate in scoring, starting with a 19-point outing against UConn in the season opener. He can stretch the floor with length and an ability to knock down 3s, as he hit 65 three-pointers last year, a freshman single-season program record. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Former Laker Steve Nash enjoying retirement, mentoring Jordan Clarkson

first_img“I was in a really difficult position mentally and emotionally,” Nash said. “It wasn’t easy for me. I think the best thing for everyone was for me to get away.”Both Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Byron Scott publicly supported Nash’s indefinite absence. But they also expressed hope he would mentor the Lakers’ backcourt, namely rookie guard Jordan Clarkson. Yet, Nash did not begin those private sessions until late January.“As soon as they asked me to help, I was there to help,” Nash said. “It wasn’t like I was hiding. They asked me if I would work with the guys and I immediately said, ‘Yeah.’”Nash has since worked out with Clarkson through both informal workouts and film study.“I tried to give him tips on creating space for himself,” Nash said of Clarkson. “If he creates space for himself, space will open up for him to pass the ball. Then the decisions will become clearer and easier to make.”Nash advised Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle on tweaking his shooting mechanic. Nash also helped Lakers forward Ryan Kelly become more fluid with his movement after nursing overlapping hamstring injuries that kept him out last season for a combined 30 games. But plenty of Nash’s mentorship focused on Clarkson, who averaged 15.8 points on 45.8 percent shooting, five assists and 4.2 rebounds in 32.1 minutes through 38 starts. “He’s got a lot of ingredients to be a terrific NBA player,” Nash said of Clarkson. “The sky’s the limit. He has great size and athleticism. He can score and hit big shots. He’s developing into a good playmaker.” Both Kupchak and Scott also hope Clarkson develops into a leader. “The biggest thing about a leader is being authentic, being yourself and having pure motives,” Nash said. “If you are there every day, working hard and trying to get better and lay it on the line every night, that’s leadership. Whether you’re a vocal leader or quiet leader, it’s about your teammates believing in you, trusting that your motives are pure and trying to win.”After fulfilling that job description on the hardwood, Nash will eventually channel that energy elsewhere. But in the meantime, Nash pledged that he remains “happy to” mentor Clarkson more. “He’s a great kid and great people,” Nash said of Clarkson. “It’s been fun for me.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error So about a month after officially announcing his intention to retire, Nash has dabbled in various things to keep himself busy. His visit to Oak Street Elementary through the Grades of Green program represented a first-time appearance forh Nash, who hopes to make them more frequently considering his past experience supporting various environmental initiatives in Dallas and Phoenix. As the general manager of the Canadian men’s basketball team, Nash recently traveled to Toronto to host clinics. He often hangs out at his Manhattan Beach residence with his three children.Still, Nash plans to take an unspecified amount of time waiting, relaxing and reflecting on what his post-retirement career will entail. “I am just trying to take my time, get some space and perspective before I rush into too many things,” Nash said. “I have a tendency to rush into things because I can’t sit still. Then I always end up regretting it.”Nash maintains he has no regrets about how he handled the aftermath surrounding his season-ending injury where he stayed distant from the team in the final year of his contract worth $9.8 million. center_img His smile and his eyes widened as Steve Nash entered Oak Street Elementary School in Inglewood this week to honor students’ efforts to reduce waste. The images seemed familiar, Nash’s personality partly explaining how he gathered two NBA MVP awards and climbed to third place on the league’s all-time assists mark. Nash empowered those around him with his selflessness and positive energy. But Nash’s pleasant vibe also juxtaposed his feelings about the past year, his 2014-15 season with the Lakers ending before it started because of persistent back issues that soiled his three years here. Nash called it “a really dark period for me,” knowing his combined 65 appearances in two seasons with the Lakers soured an otherwise storied 19-year NBA career that will earn him an eventual Hall of Fame induction. “I don’t know if I’ll be past it for some time,” Nash said in an interview with Los Angeles News Group. “But you realize you have to move forward.”last_img read more