Andrew White improving on defense after early season struggles in zone

first_imgThe buzz around Syracuse three months ago was palpable. A No. 19 ranking floated next to SU’s name and phrases such as “Final Four” and “best team” were flung at Jim Boeheim in his season-opening press conference.Twenty-two games later, the number 19 remains relevant only as Frank Howard’s minutes per game. Now, “Final Four” and “best team” have been replaced by “inexperience” and “still learning.” Four first-year players shouldering significant minutes was bound to create some puzzles, even for a fifth-year senior like Andrew White, who considers himself a “high IQ guy.”No puzzle, however, presented a more complicated challenge than playing the zone. Earlier this season, White said he had second-guessed himself on defense. Four years of man-to-man college defense no longer applied.All season White has stressed the need for patience and belief that he’s all-in on learning Boeheim’s defense. Finally, in Saturday’s 82-72 win over then-No. 6 Florida State, White unveiled the defensive performance he’s been working toward. His nine rebounds and four steals didn’t set any season-highs for the veteran guard, but collectively it represented White’s maturation.Most important, he’s got a grip on how to better position himself in the zone and back down opponents contesting for rebounds. It’s taken longer than both he and Boeheim would have liked, but ahead of Syracuse’s (13-9, 5-4 Atlantic Coast) Wednesday night game at North Carolina State (14-8, 3-6), they’ll take it.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“To be a one-dimensional player in this league doesn’t work,” White said on Saturday. “I have a reputation as a shooter, but I try to be a threat on defense. I try to rebound. My urgency and desperation level are so high right now.“I can’t sleep because I’m thinking about the opportunities.”Just last year he starred at Nebraska, both as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. White wasn’t a defensive stalwart on a subpar Cornhuskers team, but he hauled in 199 rebounds in 2015-16, averaging 5.9 per game compared to 4.7 this year.In an effort to become steadier on the boards, White’s recently shifted his rebounding strategy. Instead of trying for rebounds with one hand, he’s now trying to tip the ball away toward open space on the floor where he can cleanly come away with possession.“He made a commitment to himself to get more rebounds and hold his own on the wing,” freshman forward Taurean Thompson said. “He’s just been a real presence defensively and it helps us out a lot.”Even before shot opportunities arose for the Seminoles, White appeared to be in perfect motion with the zone. Several times he flicked away passes. Sometimes out of bounds, sometimes back into FSU’s arms or sometimes into Syracuse’s possession. All of it a product of anticipation.That, perhaps more than any other sign exhibited Saturday, was encouraging for a player only known for his jump shot.“He was back, pushing, … battling with the big guys down there,” Boeheim said. “He had four steals, nine rebounds, eight defensive rebounds — that’s outstanding. Outstanding.”With the Orange clinging to a four-point lead and less than three minutes to go, FSU’s Jarquez Smith hoisted a deep 3. White positioned himself beneath the hoop with 6-foot-10 NBA hopeful Jonathan Isaac towering over his back. As the ball left Smith’s hands, White peaked over his shoulder and sealed off Isaac.When the ball ricocheted off the iron, the Seminoles’ freshman never had a chance. White’s box out afforded him enough space to cleanly snag the rebound and jumpstart one of SU’s final possessions.Rebounding, and defense, in general, has plagued the Orange all season. Its only redeeming quality at times has been scoring, spearheaded by White. Now Syracuse’s most reliable offensive presence is ready to mirror his production on the other side of the floor.“(White’s) so good offensively that the attention is taken away from his defense,” point guard John Gillon said. “I think people should start taking notice.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 1, 2017 at 12:12 am Contact Connor: cgrossma@syr.edu | @connorgrossmanlast_img read more

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Women’s volleyball takes down sixth-ranked Washington

first_imgJunyi Li | Daily TrojanThe women’s volleyball team welcomed No. 6 Washington to the Galen Center on Sunday, as USC geared up for a stiff challenge from the reigning Pac-12 champions. Though the two teams battled closely throughout the match, the Women of Troy pulled off an upset in style, sweeping the Huskies in three sets with scores of 25-20, 25-21 and 28-26.A Trojan upset didn’t seem imminent, however, when Washington found itself up 19-16 late in the first set. But USC turned the tables with a 9-1 run to shock the Huskies with an opening-set victory. Senior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie, senior opposite hitter Niki Withers and sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier combined for six kills in the final 7 points to swing the momentum in their favor to begin the match.The Women of Troy rode similar bursts to a win in the second set. Three unanswered points broke a 5-5 tie, and another 3-0 run gave USC the edge when Washington tied the set at eight apiece. The Trojans didn’t relinquish their advantage from that point, and they took the second set 25-21.The final set was a much tighter affair, as the Huskies tied the score seven times after USC edged in front. But the Women of Troy refused to fall behind, even as the set extended past 25 points. They came up short in 3 match points, but senior middle blocker Jordan Dunn came up with a kill to set up a fourth. Finally, an ace from Withers sealed a 28-26 third-set win and sent the Huskies home. With the victory, USC rose to No. 15 in the AVCA Coaches poll while Washington slipped to No. 9.The Women of Troy were unable to take a single set against Washington when the two teams met last season, but they returned the favor in 2017 thanks to a balanced attack. Abercrombie recorded 13 kills, Withers put down 12 kills and Lanier added 11 more. Abercrombie’s strong day, combined with her 13-kill match against Washington State on Saturday, earned her Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. Overall, the Women of Troy recorded a .214 hitting percentage while holding the Huskies to .131, spurring the team on to its first straight-sets victory over Washington since 2011.The balanced offensive effort also came with equally strong defense.  Leading the back row was junior libero Victoria Garrick, who had 13 digs alongside her eight assists.  Lanier and Meyer-Whalley also added 12 digs each. Though the Huskies out-blocked USC 11-5 on the day, the Women of Troy also had eight more digs as a team, recording 58 to Washington’s 50.Meyer-Whalley earned her fifth consecutive double-double this match, raising her career tally to 14, while Lanier’s 11 kills and 12 digs sealed the sophomore’s 20th double-double in Cardinal and Gold.The Trojans continue Pac-12 play on the road next weekend, facing Arizona State and Arizona. They will face the Wildcats first on Friday night before traveling to Tempe for ASU on Saturday.last_img read more

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Wetten.com appoints Diane Dalli as first CFO

first_img Malta-based German facing online sports betting operator Wetten.com has confirmed the appointment of Diane Dalli as its new Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO).An industry finance veteran, Dalli joins Wetten.com from industry gaming platform and systems provider EveryMatrix, where she held the position of CFO (2015-2017).Dalli holds further industry executive experience having senior fianance positions at Evolution Gaming and Nordic Gaming Group.She becomes Wetten.com’s first CFO, leading the new bookmaker’s (launched in January 2017) financial planning, controllership and auditing duties.“With Diane, Wetten.com wins an industry expert who brings a high level of experience to our senior management,” said Daniel Bradtke, Co-founder and CEO of Wetten.com.“She will be instrumental in driving performance to be able to invest in growth.”Diane Dalli commented on joining Wetten.com “I am thrilled to work with the team at Wetten.com, which has gained a great reputation in a very short amount of time. The company is a young challenger in the growing online betting market and I am really looking forward to contribute my part.” Share Related Articles TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Mateusz Juroszek – Non-stop STS will expand amid industry disruptions August 12, 2020 MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Submitlast_img read more

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