3 storylines for Syracuse entering the 2019 season

first_imgSyracuse wrapped up fall camp Friday and has turned its attention toward Week 1 opponent Liberty.Through four weeks of camp, SU’s defense maintained its claim as the team’s best unit while the offense, still determining the hierarchy of reps, comes into focus. As the Orange finally enter a game week — opening the season at Liberty on Aug. 31 — for the first time all season, here are three storylines from fall camp.A dominant defenseFor the first time in the Dino Babers era at Syracuse, the defense is poised to be the team’s better unit — at least in the beginning of the season.“I saw a defense dominate the entire scrimmage,” Babers said on Aug. 7. “If you’ve got a good defense, suppose you have a chance to win, right?”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHeadlining the Orange’s defense are seniors Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman, a defensive end duo that each delivered 10 sacks a season ago. Robinson and Coleman’s success rushing the edge was predicated on nose tackle Chris Slayton, now a member of the New York Giants, drawing double teams in the middle.Syracuse doesn’t have an immediate plug-and-play option to replace Slayton. The likeliest path to replacing Slayton’s production is rotating defensive linemen in the middle. Upperclassmen Josh Black, McKinley Williams and Kenneth Ruff contended for reps in camp, while defensive ends Brandon Berry and Kingsley Jonathan could also rotate inside at times. The development of options in the middle bears extra importance now, since Williams is out indefinitely with a left lower leg injury.“I’d be very disappointed if we don’t have the same type of production out of those three guys together that we got out of (Slayton),” Babers said on Aug. 5.Amy Nakamura | Co-Digital EditorIn the secondary, the Orange have an array of diverse options at cornerback and two returning anchors in Evan Foster and Andre Cisco at safety. Sophomores Trill Williams and Ifeatu Melifonwu are young and tall cornerbacks, standing at 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-3, respectively. Seniors Chris Fredrick and Scoop Bradshaw, both 5-foot-11, have a combined 52 starts and 22 passes defended.Foster is the physical presence at the back of Syracuse’s defense, delivering hits and hovering around the box; the senior is SU’s leading returning tackler (86). Cisco erupted out of the gate as a freshman, earning All-American honors while tying for the national lead in interceptions (seven).The only — and biggest — question mark for the Orange defense is at the linebacker position. Senior Andrew Armstrong brings the most experience but only has one start. Junior college transfer Lakiem Williams, sophomore Juan Wallace and two freshmen, Mikel Jones and Lee Kpogba, are all in the mix to play, too.“This is what, the third year? I can’t keep track,” Babers said of replacing linebackers. “It seems like we’re always putting new guys in there. But after this year, there should be some depth built at that position.”Tommy DeVito, offensive line a work in progressIn the last three years, DeVito and Babers have developed a repartee that Babers called “cool,” noting the two are aware of what will upset the other. And while DeVito and Babers remain in sync, the redshirt sophomore quarterback has shown some signs of inexperience. Babers pointed out timing with receivers, on-field communication and “mental stuff” as areas of improvement. Throwing with more touch and not always rifling throws is another tweak Babers has pushed for, DeVito said.“I think offensively we got frustrated a little bit because we’re not used to seeing the ball move like that,” Babers said after Syracuse’s first scrimmage, where the defense dominated.Providing a clean pocket for DeVito will be crucial, but Syracuse’s offensive line is in limbo. The coaching staff has played several different combinations of guys during camp and players have attested to positional flexibility. Seniors Evan Adams and Airon Servais should end up starting again, along with redshirt junior Sam Heckel, who played as Syracuse’s sixth lineman in 2018.Besides those three, freshmen Anthony Red Jr. and Carlos Vettorello have seen time with the starters in practice, along with redshirt sophomore Darius Tisdale and graduate transfer Ryan Alexander.With a dearth of skill position players vying for the ball, it’s a matter of DeVito and the offensive line meeting lofty expectations.“Last year is the standard and that’s the lowest we want to be,” DeVito said. “And we want to be better than that.” Who emerges at receiver and running back?It’s the classic SU fall camp question: Who will be the No. 1 receiver? And, for 2019, it seems there really isn’t a clear answer to that question yet.The best bet might be redshirt junior Trishton Jackson. The Michigan State transfer spent the summer in Syracuse working out with DeVito and the other receivers. Jackson broke out in last year’s Camping World Bowl, can play in the slot and outside and has shown flashes in limited action in camp.But sophomore Taj Harris — who caught 40 passes for 565 yards last year — could become a top target. The same for Sean Riley, who reeled in 64 catches for 756 yards. Both caught three touchdowns in 2018. Sophomore Nykeim Johnson has near identical numbers to Harris, but one more touchdown, from 2018. Deeper down the depth chart, Anthony Queeley, Courtney Jackson and Sharod Johnson could all also play.Moe Neal has been the starting running back since the spring, and figures to stay there for the time being. But Neal likely won’t become a feature back, and Syracuse’s other options, primarily Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard, should get plenty of looks in SU’s up-tempo offense. All three runners are different in their playstyles, too, ensuring some division of carries.“They need to get the knowledge that Dontae (Strickland) had,” Babers said of the running backs. “Dontae was like a quarterback on the field. If they can gather that knowledge, they definitely have the physical skills to be the same or better.”—Senior Staff Writer Eric Black contributed reporting to this story Comments Published on August 25, 2019 at 10:26 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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First Four 2019: Live scores, TV channel, schedule, stream for NCAA Tournament games

first_imgDate: Tuesday, March 19, 2019Time: 9:10 p.m. ETTV: truTVLive stream: March Madness Live/fuboTVBRACKET TIPS: KenPom | Play the odds | Cheat sheetNo. 16 North Carolina Central (18-15) vs. No. 16 North Dakota State (18-15)Sure, the winner will get to play another game, but it’s unlikely to come out on the winning side of a matchup with Zion Williamson and No. 1 overall seed Duke.Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019Time: 6:40 p.m. ETTV: truTVLive stream: March Madness Live/fuboTVNo. 11 Arizona State (22-10) vs. No. 11 St. John’s (21-12)The Sun Devils are the only team to appear in the First Four for the second consecutive year. This game will pit two highly-decorated former college basketball players Bobby Hurley and Chris Mullin against each other. Buffalo awaits the winner. Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019Time: 9:10 p.m. ETTV: truTVLive stream: March Madness Live/fuboTV The 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket has been released and the first round is fast approaching. But before we get there, a few more games still have to be played.The First Four schedule includes four play-in games — two between 11 seeds and two involving 16 seeds — for the chance to join the rest of the field in the Round of 64. Tuesday features Prairie View A&M vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (6:40 p.m. ET) and Temple vs. Belmont (9:10 p.m. ET). N.C. Central vs. North Dakota State (6:40 p.m. ET) and Arizona State vs. St. John’s (9:10 p.m. ET) play Wednesday. MORE: Watch March Madness games live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)History shows that winning a First Four game could be a sign of good things to come. Since the field expanded to 68 teams in 2011, at least one First Four winner has advanced past the first round each year. Most notably, No. 11 VCU made it all the way to the Final Four in 2011. Syracuse, also an 11-seed, was the lone First Four team to advance out of the first round last year. It wound up falling in the Sweet Sixteen.Here is everything you need to know about the 2019 First Four games, including where to find the truTV television channel and how to live-stream the games online.SN’s BRACKET GUIDES:SOUTH | EAST | WEST | MIDWESTMarch Madness 2019 live scoresVisit the links below for live stats and updates from NCAA Tournament games in progress and information on how to watch March Madness.Live NCAA Tournament scores | Live March Madness bracket | TV schedule​First Four TV schedule, live streamThe NCAA Tournament’s First Four games will all be broadcast on truTV, beginning at 6:40 p.m. ET Tuesday and Wednesday. What channel is truTV? We’re glad you asked.For cord cutters and those on the go, the primary outlet for live-streaming 2019 NCAA Tournament games is March Madness Live, the NCAA’s digital platform available on desktop and by downloading the mobile app. That includes the First Four games.You can also stream games live by signing up for fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.MORE: What channel is truTV?Tuesday, March 19MatchupTimeTVFairleigh Dickinson 82, Prairie View A&M 766:40 p.m. ETtruTV/fuboTVBelmont 81, Temple 709:10 p.m. ETtruTV/fuboTVWednesday, March 20MatchupTimeTVNorth Dakota State 78, NC Central 746:40 p.m. ETtruTV/fuboTVArizona State 74, St. John’s 659:10 p.m. ETtruTV/fuboTVMARCH MADNESS: Get your printable NCAA Tournament bracketNo. 16 Prairie View A&M (22-12) vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson (20-13)The SWAC champions will face the winner of the NEC to kick off the NCAA Tournament. The winner has a date with No. 1 Gonzaga in the West Region. Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2019Time: 6:40 p.m. ETTV: truTVLive stream: March Madness Live/fuboTVNo. 11 Belmont (26-5) vs. No. 11 Temple (23-9)Tuesday’s mini-slate concludes with a pair of teams that ended up on the right side of the bubble going head-to-head for the right to face No. 6 Maryland in the East Region.last_img read more

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Presidents Cup 2019: Tiger returns to open singles with title on the line

first_imgAustralian Marc Leishman will be the final International to tee off after being drawn against Rickie Fowler as the challengers target a first Presidents Cup triumph since 1998.Leishman has confidence and momentum after he and Ancer sensationally rallied from 5 down through 10 holes to halve their match against Fowler and Justin Thomas in Saturday’s foursomes.Sunday’s singles matches (Internationals v the USA)Abraham Ancer vs. Tiger WoodsHideki Matsuyama vs. Tony FinauC.T. Pan vs. Patrick ReedLi Haotong vs. Dustin JohnsonAdam Hadwin vs. Bryson DeChambeauIm Sung-jae vs. Gary WoodlandJoaquin v Niemann vs. Patrick CantlayAdam Scott vs. Xander SchauffeleByeong Hun An vs. Webb SimpsonCameron Smith vs. Justin ThomasLouis Oosthuizen vs. Matt KucharMarc Leishman vs. Rickie Fowler Playing captain Woods kept himself out of both the morning four-ball and the afternoon foursomes as Ernie Els’ International team preserved its lead despite a USA rally.But with the USA — which threatened to sweep the foursomes before the Internationals stormed back — eyeing an eighth straight title, Woods will open the singles against Abraham Ancer.Sunday Singles @PresidentsCup matchups are set.Ancer  WoodsMatsuyama FinauPan  ReedLi  JohnsonHadwin  DeChambeauIm  WoodlandNiemann  CantlayScott  SchauffeleAn  SimpsonThomas  SmithOosthuizen  KucharLeishman  Fowler pic.twitter.com/lNXfFyNAxL— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 14, 2019Woods has the chance to set the record for most matches won at the Presidents Cup, after the 15-time major champion tied Phil Mickelson with his 26th victory on Friday.Controversial U.S. player Patrick Reed will face C.T. Pan in the third match, but without caddie Kessler Karain, who has been banned following an altercation with a fan on Saturday. MELBOURNE, Australia — United States captain Tiger Woods will attempt to lead from the front after putting himself out first for Sunday’s singles as the seven-time defending champions fight to retain their Presidents Cup crown against the Internationals.  The USA heads into the final day trailing the Internationals 10-8 following a dramatic ending to Saturday’s action at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.last_img read more

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