MBB : SU’s transition offense returns to top form against USF

first_img Published on February 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm TAMPA, Fla. With his snatch of a South Florida alley-oop attempt, Kris Joseph keyed the ignition. An ignition that started Syracuse’s blazing transition offense. A transition offense that only took three seconds to move basket to basket.In SU’s 72-49 romp over South Florida on Saturday, it resurfaced in its full-on light-speed form. The Orange scored 10 fast-break points to the Bulls’ two and 18 points off turnovers while committing only eight. For the first time since SU’s 18-0 start to the season, the Orange’s up-tempo game ran another up-tempo team out of its own building.‘A lot of teams that like to get in transition don’t like getting back,’ SU guard Brandon Triche said. ‘We weren’t really worried about them.’Triche, SU point guard Scoop Jardine and head coach Jim Boeheim said the fast breaks were enabled as a result of Syracuse’s revitalized swarming defense. It held the Bulls to a paltry 49 points. The game was shades of the only other times opponents were held beneath 50: Nov. 12 against Northern Iowa and Dec. 11 against Colgate. Joseph’s highlight was the perfect example on the afternoon of what SU’s defensive web can produce on the other end of the floor.‘When our defense is better, you get more of those,’ Boeheim said. ‘When our defense is good, you get the transition offense. Tonight our defense was better, we forced some turnovers.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAt the 19:31 mark of the second half, Joseph provided the most graceful turnover of the game that steal by skying to pick off an Anthony Crater pass intended for Jawanza Poland.One second later, his feet hit the ground. And at the 19:28 mark, Triche laid the ball in the SU basket.Ninety-four feet in three seconds.Jardine credits the defense, his own increased personal maturity, Triche and the other guards for the transition offense’s success. They have to stay patient and composed for plays like Joseph’s to happen. They can’t cheat. ‘Guard leakage,’ he calls it.Saturday, every possible hole was clogged.‘Us guards just leaking out, we weren’t waiting ‘til our bigs got the rebound,’ Jardine said. ‘In this game, we were getting rebounds, they were getting it to me, and I was picking my spots.’Jardine picked his spots all right, bothering and pestering the USF defense when it was out of position. But he was just one of the many keys in the north-south Syracuse attack. Eight contributing players ran down the St. Pete Times Forum floor for the Orange. Each played at least five minutes in the first 16 minutes of the game.There was Rick Jackson on the backside hauling in rebounds as well as Joseph’s three steals starting it all up. There was Triche and Dion Waiters, finishing at the other end with fast-paced fluidity.There was also C.J. Fair, one of the most important parts in the transition offense Saturday. Fair was everywhere. He helped Jackson by grabbing nine rebounds while also kickstarting fast breaks on his own by blocking shots with his long frame.A frame Jardine compared to the most integral part of SU’s transition game a year ago: Wes Johnson. In his sole season playing for the Orange in 2009-10, Johnson excelled in tipping passes like Fair, while also soaring for steals and dunks like Joseph and Triche.Johnson, of course, couldn’t do it all by himself in three seconds, though. A trio can. Saturday, SU had eight players vying to be one of the three. On one play, even burly freshman center Fab Melo got up the floor to take part. The same Melo that Boeheim has ridiculed time and again for not being worthy to play if he can’t run the floor.In the second half, Melo was ahead of Jardine on a break. In a split second, his eyes widened and head tilted as he screamed at the point guard for the ball. He wouldn’t get it.But letting Jardine know he could fit the system was all that mattered.‘I ran. I ran the court faster than them,’ Melo said after the game. ‘They are not used to me running fast like that. I wanted the ball.’aolivero@syr.edu Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Shafer publicly introduces new coordinators, assistants from past jobs at Northern Illinois, Western Michigan

first_imgScott Shafer reached into his coaching past to build his new staff at Syracuse. The Orange’s new head coach hired coaches who share his football values and philosophies, but also on-field systems and schemes.Shafer introduced the bulk of his staff at a press conference Monday in the Iocolano-Petty Football Wing of Manley Field House. He hired George McDonald as his offensive coordinator and Chuck Bullough as his defensive coordinator. Shafer also named DeAndre Smith as his running backs coach, Tim Lester his quarterbacks coach and Clark Lea his linebackers coach.“It’s great to get the band back together with people that have the same philosophical view on how you develop a young man through this great sport,” Shafer said.McDonald worked with Shafer at Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. McDonald was hired as Arkansas’ wide receivers coach in December after spending two seasons at Miami (Fla.) in the same role, but left the Razorbacks only a few weeks later to join Shafer.“I’ve been chasing this dream for a long time. I’m very excited to be here,” McDonald said. “This has been my dream, to be an offensive coordinator.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFormer Syracuse offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett left the Orange early this month to join Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills, but his system will remain in place. McDonald and Hackett worked together at Stanford and developed a philosophy together on how to learn offense.McDonald said Hackett was in town last night to visit his family, and they had a chance to speak. But McDonald said they’ve always spoken about once a month.While he’ll have a new-look offense with the Orange, McDonald said Hackett brought the assistants here for a reason.“There’s really good wide receivers here, maybe some that nobody knows about. There’s really good quarterbacks here, maybe some that nobody knows about,” McDonald said. “I think this is exciting to me because you actually get to come in on the ground floor and develop a quarterback, develop a receiver.”McDonald said he’ll keep the up-tempo offensive approach, but will also build an offense that’s physical.McDonald also brings a strong recruiting background to Syracuse. With his coaching at Miami, he knows the coveted South Florida area well, a place where the Orange has recruited in the past. McDonald was also named a top-25 recruiter by Rivals.com, and Miami’s Class of 2012 was ranked eighth nationally by ESPN.com.Bullough spent the last two seasons as a defensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns. He was the linebackers coach at UCLA from 2006-2008 and the Bruins’ defensive coordinator in 2009 and 2010.The Bruins’ defense struggled in 2010, giving up an average of 30 points per game in UCLA’s 4-8 season. Rick Neuheisel fired Bullough after the season, and told reporters he wanted the Bruins to use a 3-4 scheme, not Bullough’s 4-3.Bullough was also the linebackers coach at Western Michigan in 2005, when Shafer was the Broncos’ defensive coordinator. He said his defensive scheme will look a lot like the one Shafer has run for the last four seasons.“It’ll be very familiar. We’re both 4-3. We both have the third-down package, it’s going to look very familiar,” Bullough said. “ … It’ll look the same, but there will be little things in there obviously.”Lester, Syracuse’s new quarterbacks coach, spent the last five seasons as the head coach at Division-III Elmhurst College in Illinois. Lester was the quarterbacks coach at Western Michigan in 2005 and 2006.He said Monday he hasn’t seen much of the quarterbacks already on the roster, but is planning on calling Hackett to get more information about them.One of Lester’s first tasks will be to develop the Orange’s next starting quarterback, with Ryan Nassib graduating after a record-breaking season.“Playing a first-time starter is not easy, but it can be done. It can be done successfully. You see it in the NFL, you see it in college,” Lester said. “I’m excited to get to work with those guys physically and mentally as soon as we get done with recruiting.”Shafer and his new coaches have been on the road recruiting, which will wrap up with signing day Feb. 6. They’ll get to know their players better after that, and perhaps most importantly, learn the Atlantic Coast Conference.“Obviously, going into the ACC, we’re going to have our work cut out for us,” Bullough said, “but we’re going to be ready for that.” Comments Published on January 22, 2013 at 2:00 am Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more