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Beat writers offer postseason grades, superlatives on Syracuse’s season

first_imgKevin Camelo | Digital Design EditorMVP: Tiana MangakahiaIt’s obvious who Syracuse’s MVP was in the 2017-18 season: Tiana Mangakahia. She powered the Orange’s offense and set records while doing so. The point guard almost averaged a double-double per game (17.5 points and 9.8 assists, respectively), which is more impressive when you consider she didn’t play high-level basketball for two years. She earned praise from nearly every opposing coach and was the main reason that the Orange returned to the NCAA Tournament after losing four starters from last season’s squad. With more weapons around her next year and less pressure to be the go-to scorer, she may just be better. — Nick AlvarezMost pleasant surprise: Miranda DrummondAdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor the sake of not ranting more about Mangakahia and how she lit up the ACC out of nowhere, let’s say Miranda Drummond. After sitting out last season due to transfer rules, Drummond stepped in and provided a secondary scoring option SU would’ve been doomed without. Finishing the season averaging 14.9 points points per game, Drummond scored in a litany of ways, but she loved the 3, and shot it at a 40.2 percent clip over 31 games. The reason this is a pleasant surprise for Syracuse? Drummond averaged eight points a game in her two years at St. Bonaventure. — Andrew GrahamBiggest disappointment: Losing Desiree Elmore to injuryPrior to the season, everyone involved with Syracuse couldn’t stop raving about the offseason Desiree Elmore had. Thirty-one games later, her minutes total for the season remained zero. She was injured in the final scrimmage before the season and eventually SU shut her down to maintain a year of eligibility. After a superb career as a Connecticut high schooler, it seemed she was ready to take the college game by storm in her sophomore year as a boost to Syracuse’s frontcourt. Instead, she was relegated to bench-hype duties. With more big-time recruits coming in next year, who knows if we’ll ever get to see the player Elmore was being projected to be heading into this season. — Billy HeyenBiggest flaw: Lack of secondary creator off the dribble.For all the brilliance that Mangakahia flashed, it’s important to note that Syracuse relied on her more than it should’ve. Other than the Australian-born point guard, no guard showed the ability to drive and spark the offense. Isis Young and Gabrielle Cooper, SU’s other guards, were primarily shooters. They posted up behind the 3-point line and waited for a Mangakahia feed. The forwards, Digna Strautmane and Amaya Finklea-Guity, couldn’t get their own shots on a consistent basis, either. Too often, SU utilized a high-screen-and-roll with Mangakahia to kickstart a possession. This led opposing teams to focus on the Orange’s lone playmaker, daring anyone else to take charge. None did. — N.A.Biggest X-factor for next season: Maeva Djaldi-TabdiMaeva Djaldi-Tabdi. The 6-foot-2 French forward redshirted this season but practiced with the team. From the looks we got occasionally of her working out with starting bigs Digna Strautmane and Amaya Finklea-Guity, there’s a ton of promise for a potential three-headed frontcourt monster next year. Djaldi-Tabdi came to SU as the No. 27 recruit in her class, ranked higher than Finklea-Guity, and she possesses a mature post game to go with touch from the outside. Whenever an SU big got into foul trouble this year, the best option Quentin Hillsman had on his bench was 5-foot-8 Raven Fox. Next season, he’ll have at least one 6-foot-2 big to turn to (not to mention No. 11 recruit in this incoming class, 6-foot-2 Emily Engstler). Djaldi-Tabdi will provide the added depth and immense skill to the Syracuse frontcourt, along with a knowledge of the system from her redshirt season. — B.H.Evaluating the coaching staffQuentin Hillsman does not exactly keep his cards close to the chest. Syracuse will run out and press and shoot a lot of 3s, all in the name of trying to speed up an opponent. Hillsman preached the scheme from Media Day to his final press conference after Syracuse’s season-ending loss, and the Orange did it all year — SU finished its season with 965 attempted 3s, currently fifth in the country. And for the most part, Hillsman’s style of play worked. SU went 22-9, and assistants Tammi Reiss, Adeniyi Amadou and Vonn Read all did their parts to turn a mish-mash of transfers and freshman into a pretty good basketball team. But in Syracuse’s two biggest games of the season, it got embarrassed and outcoached, and if SU is trying to win a national championship next year like Hillsman said, blowouts at the end of the season simply do not cut it. — A.G. Comments Published on March 21, 2018 at 12:34 am Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more


first_imgNaomh Brid GAA Club and the Sandhouse Hotel Solo Challenge raised an astonishing €12,310.00 for the Donegal Hospice, the club announced today.From the initial meeting with the title sponsor Paul Diver of the Sandhouse Hotel, to their discussions with the other sponsors: Abrakebabra Letterkenny, DMG Motors, TG Tunnelling, 3D Personnel, Dew Drop Inn Laghey, Cllr. Sean Mc Eniff and E&J Oil Services Ltd, everyone was more than willing to come on board in support of the club and Donegal Hospice. Also it was great that throughout the challenge that we were able to raise awareness of the “Opt for Life” movement being spearheaded by Joe Brolly. During the weekend of the challenge itself bucket collections were carried out by 63 club volunteers in 11 towns and villages along the route to Clones. Naomh Brid GAA Club and the Sandhouse Hotel Solo Challenge are very happy to announce that in total €12,310.00 was raised for Donegal Hospice.“We would like to thank those who helped or contributed in making this a reality,” said Michael Quinn from the club. SOLO CHALLENGERS HAND OVER MASSIVE €12K CHEQUE TO DONEGAL HOSPICE was last modified: August 22nd, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:SOLO CHALLENGERS HAND OVER MASSIVE €12K CHEQUE TO DONEGAL HOSPICElast_img read more