Redskins

No. 9 Syracuse rips Pace 99-63 in exhibition

201211011910690013022-p2.jpeg

No. 9 Syracuse rips Pace 99-63 in exhibition

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Last season, Jim Boeheim didn't follow the norm at Syracuse and gave his bench a lot of playing time and the results were impressive - a school-record 34 wins.

Maybe it marked the dawn of a new era as the venerable coach gets set for another season at his alma mater. On Thursday night in the No. 9 Orange's exhibition opener against Division II Pace, Boeheim gave eight players 17 or more minutes, and they responded with a 99-63 victory.

Senior James Southerland scored 18 points and sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams had 16 points and seven assists to lead five players in double figures.

``It was a good overall first game, better than some others we've had,'' Boeheim said. ``I'm not experimenting. We're going to play nine guys. It's no experimenting. There's no experimenting. We're going to play nine guys.''

Got it, Coach.

The Orange began with a starting lineup of Carter-Williams and senior Brandon Triche at guard, sophomore Rakeem Christmas and junior C.J. Fair at forward, and freshman Dajuan Coleman at center. Guard Trevor Cooney, who redshirted as a freshman last season, did not play. He's recovering from a tonsillectomy.

Fair finished with 16 points, backup center Baye Moussa Keita had 14, and Triche and the 6-foot-9, 275-pound Coleman both had 11. Christmas had seven points and five blocks, and freshman Jerami Grant had six points.

Jonathan Merceus had 15 points and nine rebounds to lead Pace and David Eismeier had 14 points, all in the second half.

Boeheim, soon to be 68 and just 10 wins shy of 900, begins his 37th year when the Orange open the season at San Diego State on Nov. 9 before returning home to face Wagner nine days later.

The tallest players in Pace's three-guard starting lineup were 6-foot-6 forwards Keon Williams and Merceus. No surprise that every time the Setters tried to drive the baseline they were met by the long arms of the Orange. Syracuse registered six blocks in the first 10 minutes of play, three by Coleman, and finished with 14.

Carter-Williams played in 26 games as a freshman, sitting often while Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and Triche played the bulk of the time. Carter-Williams, who lost his temper in an exchange with Boeheim on the bench in early February, played sparingly in the final four games of the regular season and in the Big East tournament, then became just a spectator in the Orange's four games in the NCAA tournament.

All in the rearview mirror now, Carter-Williams logged a team-high 30 minutes against Pace and was all smiles afterward.

``First game, first exhibition game, get the feel for my teammates, I think it was a good game,'' said Carter-Williams, who had four steals and four turnovers. ``I felt like I was back in high school. I learned from great players. They prepared me for this year. I'm ready.''

Pace's Williams scored the first basket of the game, then Syracuse reeled off 16 straight points as the Orange hit nine of their first 10 shots. Carter-Williams and Fair both converted a three-point play and hit a 3 to key the spurt.

Jaylen Mann's 3-pointer from the wing at 12:30 cut the Syracuse lead to 20-7 and was the first basket for the Setters since Williams scored in the opening minute.

The Orange responded with a 10-0 run keyed by three-point plays by Coleman and Triche, and Syracuse went into the locker room with a 55-29 lead.

The Orange had to replace their top four players from last season's team, which lost only three times. Gone are top scorer Kris Joseph, Jardine, Big East sixth man of the year Waiters, and big man Fab Melo, defensive player of the year in the Big East in 2011-12. The core four averaged 41.2 points on a team that averaged 74.1 and won by an average margin of 13.1.

They weren't missed against the Setters. Syracuse shot 75 percent (21 of 28), hitting 4 of 5 from beyond the arc, and registered 14 assists in the first half. Syracuse finished 37 of 64 (57.8 percent) and had 23 assists.

``I don't see a lot of high Division I basketball night in and night out, but they looked awfully good to me,'' Pace coach Jim Harter said. ``They've just got some new pieces that they've got to work in. They're good, though.''

Quick Links

Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

jay_gruden.jpg
USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

Yahoo! Sports ranked all 32 head coaches in the NFL and Washington Redskins fans may not be too happy with where Jay Gruden ended up.

Entering his fifth year as head coach, Gruden was ranked as the No. 27 head coach in the NFL. Here's Yahoo!'s rationale behind his ranking:

"Four years, one playoff berth, one plus-.500 season, one franchise quarterback run out of town."

All that is ... not false, but the whole franchise quarterback being run out of town thing is at least debatable. And even if the ranking is fair, it's still okay to be upset because it's the middle of July, training camp hasn't started yet and the offseason is the perfect time to get irrationally angry about things like these.

Elsewhere in the NFC, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur checks in at No. 23, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is No. 17 and the Eagles' Doug Pederson is No. 2.

Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick was ranked No. 1; he may be the greatest of all time when all is said and done, if not already. The top five rounds out with Pederson at No. 2, New Orleans's Sean Payton at No. 3, Minnesota's Mike Zimmer at No. 4 and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin at No. 5.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

alex-cobb-orioles.jpg
USA Today Sports

Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman gave up hits to the first three Baltimore batters Saturday.

The Orioles got just two more hits the rest of the afternoon.

Stroman pitched seven sharp innings for his second win in three starts and Toronto beat Baltimore 4-1 for its sixth straight victory over the struggling Orioles.

"He started working both sides of the plate with his sinker and I think that threw them off a little bit, especially late in counts," Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile said. "Overall it was just kind of vintage Stroman."

Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb picked up his major league-worst 13th loss. The Orioles dropped to 1-8 against Toronto this season.

"I absolutely hate seeing that win-loss in parentheses next to my name," Cobb said. "It's sickening."

Stroman (3-7) allowed one run and five hits. He threw a season-high 107 pitches, the first time this season he has topped 100.

Stroman is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month. He went 0-5 in seven starts before the injury.

"Since he's come back from the DL he's been really good," manager John Gibbons said. "I just think he's pitching like he's always pitched."

Stroman said he's focused on forgetting his early season struggles.

"I know I didn't have the first half I wanted but I've always been someone who prides myself on the second half and finishing strong," Stroman said. "That's something I'll look to continue to do this year."

Friend and teammate Devon Travis likes what he's seen from Stroman since the right-hander returned from injury.

"He's got that fire back," Travis said. "He's really under control. I think he's locking in on every single pitch."

Seunghwan Oh worked the eighth and Ryan Tepera finished for his seventh save in 12 opportunities.

Baltimore scored one run or fewer for the 27th time, the most in the majors.

The first three Orioles batters all singled, although Jonathan Schoop was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. After Adam Jones gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead with an RBI hit to right, Mark Trumbo grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Blue Jays answered with a three-run fourth against Cobb, taking advantage of a key Orioles error.

Justin Smoak opened the inning with a walk and, following a video review, was ruled safe at second after Cobb's high throw pulled shortstop Tim Beckham off the base on at attempted force play.

"That's not it in a nutshell but I can understand why that's the focus, a play we haven't been making," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Randal Grichuk followed with an RBI double, a second run scored on Diaz's double play grounder, and Maile capped the rally with an RBI single.

Diaz had four hits Friday, including the game-winning single in the 10th. He went 2 for 3 Saturday with a pair of singles.

The Blue Jays made it 4-1 in the fifth when Teoscar Hernandez doubled, advanced on a fly ball and scored on Cobb's balk.

Cobb (2-13) lost his sixth straight decision, allowing four runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings. Showalter said Cobb was removed to avoid worsening a blister on his pitching hand.

"I was only going to have a few more pitches going into the sixth so he felt like the risk-reward was not really worth it," Cobb said.

Grichuk made the defensive play of the game, a running catch on the warning track in left center to retire Trumbo for the first out of the ninth.

GOING DOWN?

Jones and Chris Davis got stuck in an elevator at the team's downtown hotel following Friday night's defeat. Jones documented much of the saga on Instagram. The players and fellow passengers were eventually rescued by Toronto Fire Services staff. The sound system at Rogers Centre played a few bars of Aerosmith's `Love in an Elevator' before Jones batted in the fourth inning Saturday.

NO HOMERS

Toronto won without hitting a home run for just the third time in 26 games this season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Baltimore is expected to demote a reliever when RHP Andrew Cashner (neck) is activated off the 10-day disabled list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Cashner (2-9, 4.56) last pitched July 10, when he allowed five runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings against the Yankees. Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29) is 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA in three July starts.