Syracuse men’s basketball’s 2-point guard lineup underwhelms in loss to South Carolina

first_imgNEW YORK — With a revolving door at point guard to begin the game, Syracuse couldn’t establish any stability at a position that gave the Orange just that through its first four games.Jim Boeheim swapped Frank Howard and John Gillon for each other three times in the first four minutes, with the fifth-year senior committing two uncharacteristic turnovers and the sophomore accruing two fouls in a 15-second span before heading to the bench.In four blowout wins to begin the season, Howard and Gillon combined to score more than 20 points per game on better than 56 percent shooting from the field while turning the ball over only 11 times. In the first 20 minutes on Saturday, the pair had as many combined points as turnovers (six), and No. 18 Syracuse (4-1) fell into a hole it couldn’t emerge from in a 64-50 loss to South Carolina (6-0) at the Barclays Center on Saturday afternoon.The second half yielded far more efficient results from the Orange’s floor generals with neither turning the ball over or committing a foul, but a backcourt that often included a rare combination of both Howard and Gillon only mustered seven second-half points as Syracuse’s undefeated start faded.“We didn’t really get penetration from our guards,” Boeheim said. “The best way to do that is to have Johnny and Frank in there at the same time. Against pressure defense, that should be a lineup that works. That partially worked for a little while, but it really wasn’t the answer.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Gamecocks’ stingy man-to-man defense suffocated the point guards atop the key all afternoon. When Gillon tried a one-handed lefty swing pass less than two minutes into the game, P.J. Dozier picked it off and Boeheim summoned Howard from the bench. Not two minutes later, when Howard finally sifted into the lane, he made a layup but was called for a charge.The Orange was often left to swing the ball atop the key, hoping it would catch the Gamecocks on a slow rotation. But South Carolina was quick to shift to whoever had the ball, and only the occasional pump fake gave a Syracuse shooter the space he needed on the perimeter when he couldn’t get anywhere near the basket.“When both of us are in there, we can both attack…he can draw in a defense as well as me,” Howard said. “That’s our job, get in the paint and make a play. For the majority of the game, we didn’t do that.”On a day when SU got virtually nothing on the offensive end from either Dajuan Coleman or Paschal Chukwu, Lydon shifted to center with Syracuse needing an offensive spark and Andrew White moved to small forward. With Tyus Battle only playing 13 minutes, Howard and Gillon were given the keys to ignite any form of life into the Orange offense.Gillon committed five turnovers in the first half but had to play due to Howard’s three fouls. The pair helped spearhead some form of a comeback when Syracuse cut the lead to as few as four in the second half. But aside from Tyler Lydon’s 18 points, Syracuse didn’t get much else, especially from Gillon.Gillon was one of three players averaging in double figures heading into Saturday’s game. He only took one shot, a 3-pointer which he made early in the first half, finishing with a meager three points.“I’m not saying my teammates weren’t passing me the ball, I mean, I gotta find a way to get more shots. That’s on me,” Gillon said. “As a senior leader, I gotta find a way to will us to get over the hump. In games like this, I gotta shoot more than one shot.”A season after having only one option at point guard for the majority of the year, a scorer in Michael Gbinije who was arguably more effective off the ball, the Orange began this season with a two-pronged luxury at the position.But along with Syracuse’s promising beginning to the season, the tandem’s flourishing start came back down to earth.“I think that lineup with us two, it did work to a certain extent,” Gillon said. “But we just have to make more plays and execute.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 26, 2016 at 6:51 pm Contact Matt: | @matt_schneidmanlast_img read more

Joy Sports EPL: How the Africans fared on opening weekend

first_imgThe world’s most watched league is back, meaning that the African brothers are having their say, as ever.Countries from across the length and breadth were represented in the opening weekend. Goals, assists, flops and tops were seen over the grounds, as Gary Al-Smith reports.–Algeria midfielder Riyad Mahrez (pictured below) led the African scorers with a brace for Leicester City who spanked visiting Sunderland 4-2. His first goal came via a header in the 18th minute to give the club a 2-0 lead, before making it 3-0 seven minutes later after he had been fouled in the box.Ghana defender Jeffery Schlupp featured for the whole game and was in sparkling form. Senegal internationals Cheikhou Kouyate and Papiss Cisse were on target for their English Premier League clubs West Ham and Newcastle United in their opening games.Kouyate scored the opening goal for the Hammers as they shocked hosts and title favourites Arsenal 0-2 on Sunday. The midfielder beat Arsenal’s goalkeeper Petr Cech to a free kick, heading home on 43 minutes. Argentine forward Mauro Zarate capped the win just before the hour mark.Playing alongside Kouyate for much of the game was fellow Senegal international Diafra Sakho, before the latter was replaced by Mali star Modibo Maiga in the 90th minute.Meanwhile two Teranga Lions were also involved in another Sunday game, with Papiss Cisse’s Newcastle United (pictured below) hosting Sadio Mane’s Southampton in a game that finished 2-2. The visitors, for whom Mane played all 90 minutes, scored first in the 24th minute and Cisse headed home on 43 minutes to make it 1-1. Both clubs were to add a goal apiece in the second period.Nigeria international Odion Ighalo came off the bench to score for his club Watford as they drew 2-2. Ighalo (pictured below) who netted 20 goals to help Watford gain promotion to the top-flight last season, joined the fray in the 74th minute and scored a fine solo goal from the edge of the box to make it 1-2 in the 83rd minute. However Cote d’Ivoire striker Arouna Kone (main story picture) denied him the winner when he equalised for Everton three minutes later. Elsewhere, Ghana star Andre Ayew scored a brilliant goal on his debut as his club Swansea City drew 2-2 at the home of champions Chelsea. The 25-year-old needed two takes to score, but left Chelsea and England defender John Terry sprawling with a stupendous drag-back, before firing home from close range.Wing-back Pape Souare from Senegal featured all 90 minutes for Crystal Palace as they won 1-3 at newly-promoted Norwich City.Benin international Rudy Gestede (below, right) headed home the only goal of the match for Aston Villa as they edged EPL new boys AFC Bournemouth 0-1.  The 26-year-old joined the action in the 59th minute in place of another African debutant in the league, Ghana star Jordan Ayew, and scored the goal in the 72nd minute. Midfielder Idrissa Gueye from Senegal also made his debut for Aston Villa following his move from French side Lille. The 25-year-old played all 90 minutes. Cote d’Ivoire winger Max Gradel made his debut for Bournemouth as a second half substitute, but could not save his side.There’s one more game to play on Monday between Manchester City, who have Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure and West Brom, who are likely to start Nigeria’s Brown Ideye and Victor Anichebe as well as Benin’s Stephane Sessegnon.–CLICK TO READ: Dede Ayew admits EPL ‘is different’ –Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtaglast_img read more