Syracuse turns to spot-starts after injuries hit

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on September 12, 2018 at 11:27 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcClearycenter_img A few days before Syracuse matched up with Hofstra on Sept. 2, SU coaches sat Michael Lantry down in an office. Kamal Miller sustained a grade one sprain in his right knee the game before against Portland and would sit out against the Pride.Prior to the meeting, Lantry hadn’t played a minute in college and he also didn’t have a No. 19 jersey — a misorder from SU left him with only a home jersey, which forced him to switch numbers. He had a sense of what was going to happen, but the news still “surprised” him: he was going to start.“They told me don’t be nervous,” Lantry said, “it’ll be alright.”Laura Angle | Digital Design EditorAdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse (3-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) has experimented with spot starts early on in the season due to injuries. Though SU head coach Ian McIntyre raved about the Orange’s depth early on in the season, SU’s hand was forced to use its reserves early on as Miller and, more recently SU points leader Tajon Buchanan, went down with knee injuries in the early part of the schedule.Both missed just one game each — Buchanan missed SU’s matchup with Cornell — and it resulted in starts from Lantry and freshman Hilli Goldhar, respectively. John-Austin Ricks made his first start of the season against Hofstra and SU employed four players on defense when Jan Breitenmoser sustained a hyperextended knee. Lantry filled in Breitenmoser’s position and Sondre Norheim slid to center back in place of Miller, leaving Ricks to start at right back.“We’ve kind of had to chop and change a bit,” McIntyre said. “We have some different players, like my dad used to say, ‘Horses for courses.’ We can kind of shuffle the deck a little bit. Sometimes you’re forced to.”SU has received mixed performances in the trials. Against Hofstra, the duo of Ricks and Lantry had noticeable lapses. Ricks missed multiple headers and even whiffed on a clear attempt near midfield, all of which led to Pride possessions. Two of those mistakes resulted in goals, albeit on both multiple SU defenders had opportunities at the ball.Lantry held his own, yet the vocal differences were apparent, Miller said. Miller, who said that vocality is perhaps the most important part of the success of the defense, noted that Lantry is currently one of the quieter players on the field.Lantry said he was tired, too. By the end of the half, he noticed he was slowing down. It was a hot day, and Hofstra is a tough opponent for a debut, Miller said. Lantry didn’t anticipate the physicality the college game would bring. A center back in his high school and club playing years, the converted left back had to do one thing more than he ever has before: Run.“He played well. We won,” Breitenmoser said. “Everything’s fine.”Despite the learning curve for some, Goldhar found much more comfort in his debut. Already having recorded his first career goal — a go-ahead goal the same day Lantry and Ricks received their starts against the Pride — Goldhar assisted on a goal in the eighth minute against Cornell by fellow-freshman forward Ryan Raposo.Goldhar said he didn’t get a meeting with the coaches. He just saw his name in the starting lineup the day before. Goldhar and Breitenmoser both acknowledged SU strategizes on a game-to-game basis. Now, injuries have opened spots up. The mindset is no different.“Just get the job done,” Goldhar said.As SU lined up its starters for introductions against the Pride, Lantry stood alongside his teammates in relative anonymity. The freshman was making his first start, his first playing appearance and his No. 26 jersey was unverifiable on SU’s roster at the time of the game.At the time, he didn’t expect it to be a weekly thing — Lantry hasn’t played a minute in a game since playing over 60 minutes against the Pride — but even without the matching number on his backpack to prove it, one thing was for certain.“So … I’m 26,” Lantry said. “Not a big deal.”last_img read more

Lakers coach Frank Vogel is eager to show his evolution

first_img“We felt good about adding players that will star in their roles around A.D. and LeBron,” he said. “The guys that we had all lined up are all going to come in and play their part and we feel just as good about our opportunity to compete for a championship now.”While Davis seemed averse to considering load management (the practice of deliberate, healthy resting) – “I’m gonna play,” he said at one point – Vogel said the decisions will be handled by the team’s medical staff led by Dr. Judy Seto. James struggled with injuries last season for the first time in his career, and Vogel said Seto and her staff are likely to have discussions about the practice with James and Davis – “I am going to fall in line with that,” he said.Vogel talked about a few players specifically on next year’s roster, calling Kyle Kuzma a “maximum-effort guy” who is already polished on the scoring end and he believes can escalate his game defensively to become another standout alongside James and Davis.He also expressed optimism about adding DeMarcus Cousins: Citing his own experience with Paul George after he shattered his leg in 2014, he believes the second year after an injury (Cousins ruptured his Achilles in January of 2018) can be when a player regains his prior stature. While the Lakers have noted that Cousins appears to be svelte and in good shape, Vogel said they’ll be patient. But he agreed with Pelinka that if Cousins can approach his All-Star caliber form of the past, it could raise the team’s ceiling.“This is the year that I think he hopefully starts to really regain his form,” Vogel said. “If he does, then we have one of the most powerful, dominant players in the game.”Vogel said his staff will soon be finalized, and on Sunday, ESPN reported that former Cavaliers and Raptors assistant Phil Handy – a coach with a sterling reputation for talent development – is being hired as an assistant. The Lakers will also have Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins and Miles Simon on staff next season.Vogel said while it’s unusual for a team with no continuity to talk openly about winning a title, he’s not surprised – or intimidated. He doesn’t expect it to be a smooth journey all the way through, but he thinks the Lakers have the potential to get there.“There’s going to be a lot of bumps in the road,” he said. “Hopefully as the season goes on, you continue to work to build that chemistry and come playoff time, hopefully, you’re coming together at the right time. If this level of talent comes together and learns to play with each other, and play selflessly and work hard on the defensive end, the sky is the limit.” Anthony Davis might have forgotten where he was for a moment as he described his ideal position. He’d rather play power forward than center – he’s made that much clear.Then he turned to his left, and a toothy, sheepish smile formed as he extended a long arm to his new coach, Frank Vogel.“If it comes down to it coach, and you need to play the five,” he said, “then I’ll play the five.”The talent is assembled, and the Lakers are expecting big things from a veteran-laden roster led by Davis and LeBron James. On Saturday during Davis’ introduction, the word “championship” was tossed about liberally – the high standards are no secret for the coming season. Vogel was influenced by James’ Miami teams, with whom he sparred twice in the Eastern Conference finals. He started evolving during his two-year tenure in Orlando, he said.“It’s a simple concept, put shooters around elite offensive talents and you are going to be pretty good because your guys are either going to score or they’re going to find shooters on the weak side,” he said. “That’s the way our roster has been set up and built and we got an army of guys on that weak side that can punish either with the three or making plays off the bounce.”Vogel echoed an earlier sentiment from Rob Pelinka: Though the team had hoped to land Kawhi Leonard in free agency, they had done advance work to protect themselves from Leonard’s eventual decision to join the Clippers. Vogel said he had been comfortable with either scenario and the way the roster worked out, he thought Pelinka and the front office had done well to assemble a competent cast for James and Davis relatively late into free agency.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe man in charge of putting all the pieces together, the 46-year-old head coach hired during a chaotic month of May, now faces the season well-stocked with proven players. And the roster the Lakers have put together reflects the style Vogel expects to play come October, which he outlined in a session with the media on Saturday following Davis’ introduction.In a way, Vogel, whose own introductory press conference was overshadowed by Magic Johnson-related turmoil, is still waiting to show the NBA how he’s evolved.“It’s not so much how I believe it should be played; It’s just the way I coach,” he said. “For instance, my Pacers teams (wanted to) pound it in the post. Because that was the personality we had. We wanted to play through big (Roy) Hibbert and David West, and we didn’t have the kind of 3-point shooting that teams are playing with nowadays. You see the benefits; you see how it shifts, and like anything, you measure whether that makes sense for your club or your style of play.”This Lakers team won’t resemble his Pacers teams of the past very much, Vogel suggested.With a 304-291 career record, Vogel’s calling card in both Indiana and Orlando has been as a defensive-minded coach who played with less tempo on the offensive end. The New Jersey native says the past few seasons have changed his approach to offense, and he’s more eager to create spacing for shooters. The Lakers’ heavy investment into guards – the team has seven on its 14-man roster, many of whom have overlapping skillsets – reflected how Vogel will likely want to play, surrounding James and Davis with shooters sprawled along the perimeter. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions center_img Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed last_img read more