Jim Boeheim ready for season No. 37 at Syracuse

Jim Boeheim ready for season No. 37 at Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Jim Boeheim shook his head in mock dismay.

``Nobody knew about it. I shouldn't have told anybody,'' Boeheim said, ready for the start of his 37th season at Syracuse.

Everybody around here realizes it now. It's been 50 years since Boeheim enrolled as a freshman, and T-shirts have been printed to mark the occasion.

The 2012-13 season will be like no other in Boeheim's long tenure. It is Syracuse's final year in the Big East before the school moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Jim Calhoun has retired at archrival Connecticut, and when the Orange start practicing in earnest after Midnight Madness on Friday night it will mark the first time Boeheim will be without former assistant Bernie Fine in the preseason.

Fine, who started with Boeheim in 1976, was fired last November after sex-abuse allegations lodged by two former ballboys became public. Fine denied the accusations and has yet to be charged. A federal investigation is still under way.

Boeheim, soon to be 68 and just 10 victories shy of 900, says everything seems pretty much the same as it's always been.

``It does not feel different,'' he said. ``Next year I'm sure will feel different because you're in a whole different league. There will be an adjustment period. But this feels like a normal Big East season.

``I think that change is part of what coaches go through,'' he said. ``You lose players, you lose coaches all the time. You replace them. We're fortunate that we've got guys that love Syracuse and are really good. When you're good at this, it doesn't matter how old you are.''

The Orange won a school-record 34 games and lost only three last season. The year came to an end in a 77-70 loss to Ohio State in the final of the East Regional and deprived Syracuse of its fifth Final Four berth.

Syracuse lost a lot from that team - top scorer Kris Joseph, spiritual leader Scoop Jardine, Big East sixth man Dion Waiters, and big man Fab Melo. Waiters and Melo were first-round picks in the NBA draft.

``I don't know when we've lost our top four players,'' Boeheim said. ``I don't know if I can remember that far back. It's probably the most we've ever lost, and yet we played a lot of guys, so we have guys back with big-game experience. We've got a pretty fair amount of experience back considering.''

Syracuse was 29-1 last year with Melo in the lineup. The 7-foot Brazilian led the Big East in blocks and was named defensive player of the year in the conference, but his absence in the postseason - he was declared ineligible for the NCAA tournament - likely will end up helping this year's team.

Syracuse has a stable of imposing big men. Rakeem Christmas and Baye Moussa Keita performed well in place of Melo in the postseason, and local star DaJuan Coleman, at 6-9 and 288 pounds, is ready to make his mark as a freshman.

``I'll use my size to just push people around,'' said Coleman, a product of Jamesville-DeWitt High School. ``I think I'm pretty prepared.''

His coach concurs.

``He's played four years at a high-level program with a very good coach,'' Boeheim said. ``He got double-teamed all the time, so he's been in a lot of big games with a lot of defensive pressure on him. He has more big-game experience than probably almost any high school kid has.''

Michael Carter-Williams, who displayed dazzling ability in 26 games as a freshman, will take over as starting point guard alongside senior Brandon Triche.

``He learned a lot last year,'' Boeheim said of Carter-Williams. ``I think he'll be more than ready.''

The leadership of Jardine and Joseph will be sorely missed, but Triche, a three-year starter at guard, is ready to assume that role.

``This team is very good,'' Triche said. ``I feel very confident we can make another deep run in the tournament. We lost four key players, but we've got new, improved players ready to step up. I'm excited.''

Forward James Southerland, who had standout performances in the first two games of the NCAA tournament, also is a senior and will be counted on to lead. C.J. Fair, a strong rebounder and efficient scorer who struggled toward the end of last season, is a junior, and shooting guard Trevor Cooney is ready to contribute after redshirting and working diligently through a season of practice.

The Orange's freshman class also includes Jerami Grant, a 6-8 forward from DeMatha Catholic High in Maryland.

``I feel like we have a good team. I think we've got all the pieces,'' Keita said. ``We've got the talent. We're going to be fine.''

Syracuse thrived during the turmoil of last season. The Orange were ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 for the final three months, went undefeated at home (19-0) in the Carrier Dome for only the second time since the building opened in 1980, and won the Big East regular-season title with 17 victories, which matched the conference record.

Toss in three victories over Connecticut, the defending national champion, and two over Louisville, which made the Final Four, and Boeheim had a season to remember.

The question remains how many more might lie ahead. The head man says he has no idea.

``I've been saying the exact same thing for 10 years,'' Boeheim said. ``It's getting close, and I'm definitely going to leave sooner than later, but I have no idea when that's going to be. I just hope at some point in time you know when your time is up, when you're ready. And that hasn't happened, obviously.''

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Everything you need to know about the new and improved MLB Trade Deadline

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Everything you need to know about the new and improved MLB Trade Deadline

For a long time, Major League Baseball had the best, most exciting trade deadline among the four major sports. In recent seasons, that excitement has been eclipsed by the popularity of the NBA, but baseball still stands ahead of football and hockey in terms of in-season movement.

In an effort to shake things up a bit, baseball’s trade deadline underwent some changes in the offseason.

Notably, while July 31 has always been deadline day, in past years it was a bit of a misnomer. July 31 was technically just the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline in years past. The month of August has always allowed trades to be made as long as players pass through waivers. If a player is claimed off waivers, his team can either pull him back, let him go for nothing, or negotiate a deal with his claiming team only.

This obviously made for much more limited movement in August, but it was always an option. 

Not anymore. Now? July 31 the *only* deadline.

The August revocable waivers trade deadline was always a bit convoluted, and it never made much sense to have more than one deadline. So it’s logical to think the powers that be would want to simplify things for the league.

Reportedly, Major League Baseball is hoping the change will not only help simplify in-season moves, but also help jumpstart offseason activity. The thinking is if teams have even just one fewer option to improve their roster midseason, then contenders will be forced to get aggressive in the offseason.

It remains to be seen if that will come to fruition, but one forthcoming change does seem pretty obvious. The singular trade deadline should make for a much more active July.

Both buyers and sellers have to commit to a direction earlier in the season now. Last year, for example, the Nationals executed their mini-firesale in mid-August, once it had become clear they were not going to compete for the postseason. At the end of the July they were still undecided, which is why they held onto Bryce Harper.

Considering how long it can take major deals to come together, teams have to essentially decide by the All-Star break if they are in or out on competing for October. It will be especially difficult for teams to read the writing on the wall when they are hovering around .500.

As of this writing, there are 10 teams within six games of .500 in either direction, and that doesn’t include organizations like the Red Sox, Nationals and Athletics who have quality records but are way behind runaway division leaders. Will they want to trade away controllable assets for a shot at a one-game Wild Card berth?

General Managers who can forecast their team’s likelihood of competing, and respond accordingly, will be rewarded under the new system. Orioles GM Mike Elias already began his team’s sell-off, trading Andrew Cashner away weeks before the end of July. By contrast, in 2018 both Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman were moved by the Orioles with under an hour to go on deadline day.

It’s hard to perfectly predict all the ways rule changes can affect a sport, but in the case of the singular trade deadline, it’s obvious that teams are now required to commit earlier, with fewer games of information from which to work.

That’s exciting for a sport that could use some more player movement-related excitement.


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Summer Guide: The top restaurants and bars for before and after Baltimore Orioles games

Summer Guide: The top restaurants and bars for before and after Baltimore Orioles games

Last summer, NBC Sports Washington put together guides that detailed the best bars and restaurants to watch the Capitals' Stanley Cup run and FIFA World Cup. Earlier this summer we gave you some spots around Nationals Park too.

With summer 2019 halfway through and baseball in full swing, it's time to highlight the go-to spots to eat and drink around the ballpark that forever changed baseball. 

In no particular order, consider these: 

Pickles Pub, 520 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21230

  • Across the street from Oriole Park at Camden Yards
  • Always packed, it's the number one go-to bar for Orioles fans before and after the games 
  • A dozen beers on tap, both local and national brands
  • Great deals throughout baseball season

Sliders Bar and Grille, 504 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21230

  • Another bar adjacent to Camden Yards
  • Less crowded than Pickles, but just as good when it comes to snacks and drinks
  • Bottle, canned, and draft beer options
  • Gameday specials built around the Orioles season

Abbey Burger Bistro, 1041 Marshall St, Baltimore, MD 21230

  • A bit further (about a mile walk) but well worth it
  • Famous for, you guessed it, their wide selection of crafted hamburgers
  • Endorsed by Oriole legend Adam Jones, who even created a burger for their menu
  • Also make spiked milkshakes for adults looking to cool off with a tasty treat

The Yard, 110 S Eutaw St, Baltimore, MD 21201

  • Inside the Marriott Inner Harbor 
  • Quieter, less-crowded option compared to more popular pregame locations
  • Crab-based breakfast options for fans looking for an early start

Camden Pub, 647 W. Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21201

  • Two blocks from Camden Yards
  • Special discounts with game tickets
  • Variety of food options, including well-known wings

Quigley's Half Irish Pub, 633 Portland St, Baltimore, MD 21230

  • Federal Hill location, a block away from the stadium
  • Another less-crowded option, with standard bar fare
  • Just as likely to host baseball fans and neighborhood regulars alike

Pratt Street Ale House, 206 W Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21201

  • Three blocks from Oriole Park at Camden Yards 
  • Dozens of beer options, plus signature cocktails and wine choices aplenty
  • Well-known nightlife spot for postgame celebrations

Seafood Options:

L.P. Steamers, 1100 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230

  • Have to drive instead of walk (9 minutes by car)
  • Considered a go-to spot for Maryland-style seafood 
  • Mentioned specifically by Manny Machado upon his return to Baltimore

Phillips Seafood, 601 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

  • 20-minute walk to Camden Yards, right in the heart of the Inner Harbor
  • Huge letters outside the building a part of the local skyline
  • Famous for their crabcakes, but serve all kinds of seafood and non-seafood options

Rusty Scupper, 402 Key Highway, Inner Harbor Marina, Baltimore, MD 21230

  • Another slightly further, pricier option for local seafood
  • Beautiful view right on the water
  • Live patio entertainment
  • Happy hour from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Monday through Friday

Postgame Dessert Options:

Insomnia Cookies, Federal Hill, 1059 S Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21230

  • 20-minute walk from the stadium
  • Wide variety of deluxe cookie options, plus brownies, ice cream, cake and dessert sandwiches
  • Open until 3 a.m. every night

Polar Roll Creamery, 600 E Pratt St Suite 105, Baltimore, MD 21202

  • 20-minutes from Camden Yards, on the Inner Harbor 
  • Rolled ice cream
  • Watch yourserver roll the ice cream in front of you