EARNED INTEREST: SU’s run for the 2016 national championship has attracted immense talent to the program

first_img Comments On April 5, 2016, Syracuse played Connecticut in the program’s first ever national title game appearance. The contest, an 82-51 beatdown by the Huskies, drew a total television audience of nearly 3 million viewers.Syracuse was on the biggest stage in program history. And although it may not have been a moral victory, the loss benefitted the Orange in the form of eight players — three transfers and five recruits.Since that national title loss, SU has seen an influx of talent. After the 2015-16 season, guard Isis Young, forward Miranda Drummond and guard Jasmine Nwajei, who led all of Division I in points per game that season, all transferred to Syracuse.At the same time, five then-high school juniors — Nikki Oppenheimer, Amaya Finklea-Guity, Digna Strautmane, Maeve Djaldi-Tabdi and Marie-Paule Foppossi — took favor to Syracuse and eventually committed.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLast season, the Orange graduated four of its five starters including program greats Alexis Peterson and Brittney Sykes, and the team now leans on these eight new players to replace lost production. None of the new faces have played a minute together in a Division I basketball game, but with the three transfers having a year to learn the system and three five-star freshmen on the roster, SU feels this team can reach the game that brought these players to central New York in the first place.“Coach Q took a team of great talent and brought it to that next level where it hadn’t been before,” Young said. “Then, to know that this coach is looking at you to recruit you and think that he can obviously use you to get the next level and get to the national championship is amazing.”The national championship game isn’t the direct reason Oppenheimer chose SU, because she was already committed, but when the Chicago native found out SU would be playing in the Final Four just a few hours away in Indianapolis, she knew she had to go. Attending the game, she said, only deepened her desire to come to Syracuse. Young, Nwajei and Drummond looked on from afar.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorAll three of them finished their respective seasons by the time Syracuse and UConn squared off, Nwajei at Wagner and Drummond and Young both exiting the NCAA tournament in the first weekend at St. Bonaventure and Florida, respectively. With no basketball to be played, their eyes turned to the Final Four.“It impacted my decision in a major way,” Nwajei said. “When … I watched the game, I felt like I could play in that system.”Of the five incoming freshmen, three were five-star recruits ranked inside the top 40 of espnW’s HoopGurlz 100 player rankings. The lowest of the three, Fiklea-Guity, will be the starting center for the season-opener on Nov. 10 against Morgan State, Hillsman said. The SU head coach also praised Strautmane and how she can play three positions on the floor.“Digna has been fantastic,” Hillsman said. “She’s been playing really well for us.”As for transfers, Syracuse brings in proven scoring in Nwajei. In her junior season at Wagner two years ago, Nwajei led the entire country with 28.7 points per game.Young and Drummond don’t bring as much scoring — both averaged fewer than 10 points a game at their stops prior to SU — but both had decorated high-school careers, and Young was the No. 12 guard in her recruiting class.The inherent advantage all three Division I transfers wield is the year spent on the bench learning SU’s system. Young, Nwajei and Drummond have all had a chance to build bonds with other players. They have learned the intricacies of the press and fast-paced offense the Orange will run this year.“We’re growing into the identity Syracuse has birthed already,” Nwajei said. “In due time, it will come together.”Another critical component is communication on defense when SU full-court presses its opponents. A major tactic SU is deploying, Oppenheimer said, is a call-and-response whenever Hillsman calls for an adjustment. He barks an order to one player who will relay it to the other four players. Then, everyone responds to ensure there’s no confusion.Outside of basketball, every player has made an effort to get close as a team. In October, Strautmane said, the team had a book club meeting where players recited their favorite quotes from books. Other times, they watch movies as a team. Young and Abby Grant are roommates, and Young dubbed the duo “Sniper Gang” because of their shooting prowess.Now, on a run of four-straight NCAA tournament appearances, the new faces are embracing the chance to make it five. Doing that, players said, would cement the winning culture they all saw in 2016.“Our expectation is to go to the Final Four and win a national championship,” Young said.If Syracuse does make the Final Four again in 2018, it’s likely that other prospective players around the country will be watching too.Banner photo illustration by Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff Photographer Published on November 5, 2017 at 11:48 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.last_img read more

Sunday blog: New classification format will have little affect on Wellington – except driving

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The division of Class 4A for which Wellington is a part, drew what I thought was pretty much a collective yawn from local Crusader fans.And that is probably the way it should be.Last week, the Kansas State High School Activities Association Class 4A schools voted 43-22 to split the 64-team classification into two 32 team divisions for five sports: football, volleyball, basketball, softball, and baseball. All other sports will remain in the old 64-team format. Using last year’s enrollment figures, Wellington is currently No. 26 on the 64 team list (see list below) which means it will be Division 1 – competing against the bigger 32 4A teams in the post season. That could change over time because Wellington is just 50 high school students from dropping into the lower tier of the classification.The change begins the next 2013-14 school term with the exception of football which is currently on a two-year cycle and will begin in 2014-15.So how will this change affect Wellington? Probably not a lot. Not to sound rude here, but this change was about smaller Class 4A schools, like Holton, Pratt or Wichita Collegiate, which regularly compete for state championships in those five sports, but are denied because schools like McPherson and Rose Hill – twice their size – are standing in their way.By the same token, schools like McPherson and Rose Hill love the new plan because they no longer have to compete with Wichita Collegiate – that lovely recruiting private school to our north – for a state championship.Wellington may be able to shed Collegiate of post season play in those sports – at least for a while – but the Crusaders still have to beat the likes of Topeka Hayden, Mulvane, Rose Hill and McPherson if they want to win any kind of state championship glory.This is not to mention Andale, winners in everything, who is right now on the bubble at the top of Division two, but could easily move to Division one soon with a growth spurt.I don’t see this being any easier for Wellington no matter how you slice it. The sports for which Wellington has been most successful in the past: i.e. tennis, golf and girls track with potential success in wresting in the future are unaffected by the new format. Those sports will remain in the old Class 4A format.Will Class 4A be more watered down? Yes. Does it matter? Not really – unless you are a member of the eight or so schools, who are always competing for state championships in a multitude of sports.So what will change for Wellington?Logistics. Wellington will possibly be playing Ulysses – a hop and a jump away from Colorado – on a regular basis in regional and district tournaments. Get this: With the new format Wellington is the closest school to Ulysses in Class 4A Division 1 at 250 miles!Saddle up the busses boys for a four hour ride so we can play Clearwater in the first round of a regional basketball tournament hosted by Ulysses.One thing I do like about the new format, is the potential of eliminating that absurd Thursday-Tuesday-Saturday format in football in which the KSHSAA tries to sandwich three games in two weeks. With 32 teams instead of 64, there will be one less round of playoffs meaning everything can be played on Friday night. No more football playoff games on Tuesday night! I would love to see Wellington participate in such a playoff system.Nevertheless, Wellington will always still have to bat down someone of irritation whether its Andale or Wichita Collegiate or Tenbucktwo in the post season.For Wellington, getting better is the key to success. No new post season format is going to change that for the Crusaders.DIVISION 1                                         DIVISION 21.    Topeka Highland Park 729             1.     Andale 4342.     Pittsburg 710                                 2.     Eudora 4333.     Bonner Springs 708                       3.     Clearwater 3694.     Winfield 691                                  4.     Santa Fe Trail 3625.     McPherson 690                             5.     Iola 3616.     De Soto 681                                    6.    Parsons 3617.     KC Sumner Academy 674               7.    KC Ward 3548.     Paola 650                                       8.   Osawatomie 3539.     Buhler 642                                      9.   Pratt 35010.   Ottawa 636                                   10.   Columbus 34311.   Spring Hill 636                               11.   Girard 33512.   Basehor-Linwood 599                   12.   Perry-Lecompton 32813.   Tonganoxie 595                            13.   Garnett-Anderson County 32114.   Rose Hill 585                                14.   Chapman 32015.   Independence 576                        15.   Holton 32016.   Augusta 567                                 16.   Colby 31017.   Mulvane 565                                 17.   Clay Center 30718.   KC Piper 563                                 18.   Wichita Trinity 30519.   Fort Scott 562                               19.   Meriden-Jefferson West 30520.   El Dorado 561                               20.   Nickerson 29921.   Chanute 552                                  21.   Hugoton 29722,   Labette County 527                       22.   LaCygne-Prairie View 29523.   Towanda-Circle 525                      23.   Hoyt-Royal Valley 29024.   Louisburg 490                               24.  Lindsborg-Smoky Valley 29025.   Topeka Hayden 488                      25.   Larned 28826.   Wellington 487                             26.   Baxter Springs 28527.   Abilene 476                                   27.  Concordia 28228.   Coffeyville 462                              28.   Goodland 27529.   Atchison 460                                 29.   Hesston 27030.   Ulysses 457                                  30.  Collegiate 26731.   Baldwin 456                                  31.  St. George-Rock Creek 25832.   Wamego 451                                 32.   Frontenac 258 Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comment (1) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down Lost Crusader · 374 weeks ago It was a very sad day in the state when this agenda was passed. We will see a lot fewer in the seats come playoff time and on the road games. Sellars park used to be packed for all games. Now we are lucky to have half the seats filled and are usually empty by halftime. Report Reply 0 replies · active 374 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. 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Linden Town Council in talks with Indian Gov’t to establish solar energy project

first_imgThe office of the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) is in discussion with First Secretary of the High Commission of India, Vijayakumar K. for installation of a solar energy project in the mining town.Mayor Waneka Arindell and First Secretary of the High Commission of India, Vijayakumar KThe First Secretary of the High Commission visited Linden Mayor Waneka Arindell at the LM&TC on Monday to have talks on the proposed initiative.Mayor Arindell has said that while it was that official’s first visit to Linden, it came on the heels of correspondence to identify possible projects which can be initiated in the community.“They would have sent us a letter to identify projects. So, we’re in the introduction stage of it…and they’re going to return once we provide some information…” the mayor noted.Additionally, at the launch of the Linden Town Week of activities back in May, Minister of State Joseph Harmon had told residents that the presence of several ‘mined-out’ areas across the Linden community makes Linden perfect to benefit from projects under the International Solar Alliance agreement (ISA). He posited that those areas allow for a greater level of access to solar power.Minister Harmon had said there was an indication that the bauxite mining community would benefit from projects under the international agreement signed by His Excellency President David Granger in India.He also noted that the solar footprints of Linden are among its greatest assets, and ought to be explored. He further related that, based on conversations taking place, he had some indication as well, that these ‘mined-out’ areas can be converted to green tourism and conservation facilities.last_img read more