MBB : Fair’s dunk wows teammates; Jackson left off All-Big East 1st team

first_img Published on March 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm Comments To Brandon Triche, shades of Dwight Howard surfaced. The Syracuse guard Triche watched from the SU bench as C.J. Fair skied.With 3:36 left in Syracuse’s 48-point destruction of DePaul, Fair leapt from the left side of the Syracuse baseline. In Triche’s eyes, he became the Orlando Magic center dubbed the NBA’s ‘Superman.’ Yards away from the student section, the 6-foot-8 freshman Fair sent the students, as well as the rest of the 28,086 in the Carrier Dome, into hysteria. Launching over DePaul forward Tony Freeland, Fair scored two points on Syracuse’s ninth and final dunk of the game.It was a finale Fair envisioned and carried out after he told SU forward James Southerland he would be running the left lane on the SU fast break with a full head of steam on that exact play.‘I didn’t initially know I made the dunk until I saw everybody going crazy,’ Fair said. ‘I just knew I was going to get a dunk because the play before I told James on defense, ‘I want to get this side so I can run this lane.”Fair physically threw the ball downward into the Syracuse basket — his hand never touching the rim — to give the Orange its 99th and 100th points in the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd in a game best described as a demolition, Fair’s dunk was the exclamation point on a record-setting performance. It was the best dunk of the game to Triche, in a game with a bevy of them.‘I think it was C.J.’s because he didn’t even dunk it,’ Triche said. ‘He just threw it in, it was kind of Dwight Howard-style. That was better than his earlier dunk. I am expecting that to be at least top four (on SportsCenter) tonight.’Triche’s expectations became a reality, as on ESPN’s Saturday night edition of SportsCenter, Fair’s dunk was No. 2 on their trademark ‘Top 10 plays.’More so than just Fair’s dunk, Saturday was simply a dunk fest. The nine the Orange tallied provided the game with one highlight after another. In comparison, SU hasn’t come close to that number in many previous Big East games, whether at home or on the road.Against St. John’s at Madison Square Garden, SU tallied five dunks. It converted two vs. Seton Hall at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. There were three dunks against Villanova in the Dome and five on the road in Philadelphia. There was only one SU dunk in the overtime win over Rutgers, two vs. Connecticut in Hartford, Conn., and four vs. South Florida in Tampa, Fla.But on Saturday, everybody got involved and rattled the rims. There was the usual from the likes of Kris Joseph, as he finished with two dunks in his typical aesthetic fashion. Rick Jackson had his customary putback slams, and he finished with four dunks.Others chipped in as well, including SU bench players Fair, Southerland and Fab Melo.Fair’s dunk was the showstopper, though.‘I haven’t seen the dunk yet,’ Fair said after the game Saturday. ‘I was looking for it (on television), but I missed it. Hopefully, I get some Top 10 love tonight.’Jackson left off All-Big East first teamA day after departing the Carrier Dome with a trademark offensive and defensive dominant performance in his home swan song, Rick Jackson failed to make the cut.The senior power forward Jackson — whom Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has said is, in his opinion, the best two-way player and inside player in the Big East — was not selected as a first-team all-conference selection Sunday. Jackson, who is averaging 13.1 points per game and leads the conference in rebounds (10.7), field-goal percentage (59.5), blocked shots (2.5) and double-doubles (17), was left off the six-man squad, as voted on by Big East head coaches.Instead, Jackson was selected to the second team.Even with the vote, though, the Big East head coaches could still regard Jackson as the best big man in the league. Not a single inside player made the first team, and Jackson was the only interior player on the second team.Guards and wings dominated the first team as Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough, Connecticut’s Kemba Walker, Providence’s Marshon Brooks, Pittsburgh’s Ashton Gibbs, St. John’s Dwight Hardy and Georgetown’s Austin Freeman were selected.The same plaudits that have been there all year for Jackson from Boeheim returned in the SU head coach’s postgame press conference Saturday, a day before the selections were announced.Jackson departed the Dome on Senior Day with a 14-point, seven-rebound performance on 70 percent shooting in 27 minutes played.‘I think he’s the best inside player in the league this year,’ Boeheim said Saturday. ‘He’s led the league in rebounding, field-goal percentage and blocked shots. I think he has had a tremendous year, a tremendous career, really. He’s just been getting better. He gives you everything he’s got, every game. He doesn’t ever come up short.’Jackson’s teammates Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine made the conference’s third team and honorable mention, [email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Libonati: MetLife series meets its necessary end

first_img Published on October 3, 2016 at 4:02 pm EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After Syracuse and Notre Dame left MetLife Stadium on Saturday, the grounds crew took over the stadium. Workers took down banners for the SU-UND game and put up New York Jets banners on the walls around the field. They peeled back the turf with “Syracuse” and “Orange” on it in the end zones, replacing it with “Jets” in both. A MetLife light turned from orange to blue to off.It took only three hours to wipe away most of the physical residue from Syracuse’s series in East Rutherford.On Saturday, the MetLife series met its death. Syracuse (2-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) dropped its game against Notre Dame (2-3), 50-33, marking its fourth loss in the series by a combined 52 points — 13 points per game. Even as the game reached its start, few fans filled the stadium. The drizzling of fans who entered in the 11 minutes between the national anthem and kickoff were decidedly dressed in more green than orange. SU’s fourth loss in the series heaps another blow to the unsuccessful series.The series, started under former Director of Athletics Daryl Gross, has been long bemoaned by fans and those who follow Syracuse football. At a time when Syracuse needed its program to recover, the series has helped rebury the program. Director of Athletics John Wildhack and head coach Dino Babers have a chance to right the program minus a money grab (Syracuse made as much as $5 million per game and $3 million against Penn State, per Syracuse.com) holding SU back.“I get it that we get a lot of money and we’ll pay a lot of the bills and that’s really good. So that’s great,” Babers said. “I would hope that in the future that we’d get to play them in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“In the future, I’d hope to get teams like that in the Carrier Dome.”Jessica Sheldon | Photo EditorBabers said he wouldn’t hold his breath for a pro-SU crowd. It’s a good thing he didn’t. The announced attendance was 62,794, which is being generous (and maybe offensive to those who saw the crowd). At least 70 percent of the crowd was pro-Notre Dame. In 2012, the MetLife game drew 39,507 people, 61,202 attended in 2013 and 76,802 attended in 2014.The game was branded as the “Battle in the Apple” and “New York’s College Classic.” But “Over-hyped New Jersey Classic” would have fit just as well.Beyond the aesthetics of the game, the football aspect has been detrimental. The program played games against Southern California, Penn State and twice against Notre Dame. Each unsurprisingly have national brands, which is the only excuse to say the stadium was three-quarters full. SU, as a program, was only truly prepared to play USC at the time schedules were set. The Orange faced a weaker PSU team because of NCAA sanctions the season before the matchup. Maybe the series has given back what’s deserved. SU has served up games befitting of a contest that’s been misbranded.After four years of Doug Marrone’s tenure, when the football program appeared to be turning around, the game may have been appropriate. SU was good enough to play USC, then the No. 2 team in the country. With Marrone leaving, the games outpaced how good Syracuse could be under Scott Shafer.Kiran Ramsey | Digital Design EditorInstead of playing a game against a big-name team, it would have been valuable for SU to play a team it could manage. Next year, it’ll play Middle Tennessee State, the type of team the Orange should have been playing all along. SU will also play Louisiana State, another game against a big team for the Orange, the type of game SU doesn’t need. By no means is any game automatic, but getting a team on its slate that could get SU to a bowl game could have been more useful.Another win may have pushed SU to seven regular season wins in 2013 and could’ve earned SU a better bowl game than the Texas Bowl. Another win in 2014 could’ve helped SU blunt its loss to Maryland and get on track. With a team this season that’s on the fringe of a bowl game, another win could be key to SU making the postseason.Coulda, shoulda, woulda is gone now. SU played out its first contract with MetLife. And despite MetLife and SU saying it’d sign a contract to play 10 games over 20 seasons from 2019 to 2038, the two sides never did. As the workers cleared up those physical remnants, they scrubbed away only some of the series’ effects.The rest is left to Babers and Wildhack.Chris Libonati is an Asst. Sports Editor at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at [email protected] or @ChrisLibonati. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more