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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

Penske to give command to start engines for Indy 500

first_img Associated Press Television News FOLLOW US Last Updated: 22nd August, 2020 07:41 IST Penske To Give Command To Start Engines For Indy 500 Roger Penske will give the command to start the engines for the Indianapolis 500. Penske will take over a role held by the late Tony Hulman or the Hulman-George family for decades COMMENT First Published: 22nd August, 2020 07:41 IST LIVE TVcenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE Roger Penske will give the command to start the engines for the Indianapolis 500. Penske will take over a role held by the late Tony Hulman or the Hulman-George family for decades.Penske in January became the fourth owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track on Friday confirmed to The Associated Press that it will be Penske giving the command.Speedway officials also confirmed the Andretti family will be honored before Marco Andretti leads the field to green. Mario Andretti, the 1969 winner of the race, drives the IndyCar two-seater for the series before events and will be joined by son, Michael, for the ride.Marco Andretti is the first Andretti on the pole for the Indy 500 since Mario Andretti in 1987.The two-seater ride for Mario and Michael will mark the first time three generations of the racing family will be on track together at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.“I’m one of the few that can say I’ve been teammates with both my father and my son, and now to have the opportunity for all three of us to be on track together, on race day at IMS, is really special,” Michael Andretti said. “Dad and I are really excited to do this together, but we’re still fighting about who’s going to drive.”The starter for the Indy 500, meanwhile, is an important element to the tradition of the race and made famous when Hulman began giving it sometime in the 1950’s. Hulman was a soft-spoken man who would rehearse the line in order to perfectly deliver the command in a proud and vociferous manner.Hulman’s widow took over the honor following his 1977 death, and it then went to their daughter, Mari George, and ultimately his grandson, Tony George.Penske did not give the command for the July weekend in which both NASCAR and IndyCar shared the track in his first events as owners. The command for the IndyCar race was given by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. For the NASCAR race, the command was given by Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records and he held a bottle of hand sanitizer for the occasion. Written Bylast_img read more