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Lady Raiders And Lady Bulldogs Win Opening Games At RC Tourney

first_imgRipley County Girls Basketball Tourney.Opening Round Games at Milan.Tuesday (1-6)South Ripley  61     Milan  32Batesville  58     Jac-Cen-Del  56Girls Basketball.Tuesday (1-6)Rushville  61     Franklin County  40last_img

Boeheim impressed with new players at end of exhibitions

first_img Comments Fab Melo chuckled when he tried to explain the foul. He knew. Dumb freshman mistake. ‘Just a freshman mistake, man,’ Melo said after Syracuse’s 91-48 exhibition win over Le Moyne Tuesday in the Carrier Dome. ‘It was a stupid foul.’ Melo was talking about his third foul of the game, one that came as unnecessary and off the ball while the Dolphins were bringing the ball down the court. It was his third foul of the game with a whole 7:45 to play in the first half, and he already was in foul trouble. But Melo said his head coach Jim Boeheim wasn’t upset with him, much to Melo’s surprise. No classic Jim-Boeheim-is-displeased stare went Melo’s way. Boeheim, too, knows it’s just part of the freshman’s learning process.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Part of the two-game learning process for the highly touted four-man freshman class for the Orange. In SU’s two-game exhibition stint before the regular season, all four — Melo, Baye Moussa Keita, Dion Waiters and C.J. Fair — were able to learn the ropes while getting extended playing time. And Boeheim was able to learn a little about each of the freshmen’s strengths and weaknesses. ‘They get to play here in the Dome for the first time,’ Boeheim said. ‘We haven’t practiced here that much, so that’s important.’ For Melo, in 17 minutes Tuesday against Le Moyne, it was about defensive domination, some struggles on offense and the inability to stay out of early foul trouble. Going up against a redshirt freshman from the Dolphins in 6-foot-10 center Jim Janson, Melo used his talent to dominate inside SU’s zone, recording two blocks. He didn’t stop using size to his advantage on the other end of the court, either, as six of his eight rebounds on the day came on the offensive end. But he also struggled with fundamentals on that end, fumbling passes, whiffing on alley-oop attempts and enabling the smaller Le Moyne big men to strip the ball as he held it low. Overall, though, Boeheim was pleased with what he saw out of his new starting center, as well as the kid backing him up. ‘I thought our big guys came through it very well,’ Boeheim said. ‘They were active, doing a lot of good things defensively, offensively. I was very pleased with how those guys played.’ Moussa Keita, the 6-foot-10 center out of Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and originally from Senegal, played extended minutes in the past two games to likely prepare for an extended role thrust upon him due to the likely season-ending injury to sophomore DaShonte Riley. Moussa Keita played 17 minutes Tuesday and 15 minutes in the Orange’s first exhibition game against Kutztown. In the extra time, he said he and fellow freshman and roommate Melo have started to understand and complement each other down low. ‘When I come off sometime, (Melo) says, ‘Do this, do this,” Moussa Keita said. ‘You just learn from each other.’ For Waiters, the first game against Kutztown was about getting the jitters out. This time, it was just about playing basketball. The only other adjustment this time around, he said, was getting used to coming off the bench. Waiters scored 13 points in 23 minutes, dishing out five assists and shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. But Boeheim still kept his performance in perspective, saying he had too quick of a trigger. ‘Dion is trying to figure out what he’s doing,’ Boeheim said. ‘He’s never played where he doesn’t just take the ball and shoot. He’s working on things, and it’s going to be a work in progress. He’s a very talented player. I think some people misinterpreted him a bit. He’s far from the best guard that we’ve ever had here, but he’s very talented.’ After a dominant debut performance against Kutztown in which he had 14 points, Fair scored six in his encore, also going 4-for-4 from the line. All four will play roles in what Boeheim said will be a 10-man rotation going into the season. And with two freebies under their belts — and despite mistakes such as Melo’s foul on the way — Boeheim likes what he sees. ‘I think these two games couldn’t have been better,’ Boeheim said. ‘It’s a good starting point.’ [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on November 9, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more