Taurean Thompson thrives on offense, struggles on defense; Boeheim: ‘I’m not encouraged’

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first_imgAs Monmouth inched closer to Syracuse’s early lead, Jim Boeheim played the role of conductor. He tried willing SU’s defense into perfect positions, using his hands to pull, push and swipe on the sideline. But over and over again in the first half, the Hawks pierced SU’s zone through the middle or swept underneath it.When Boeheim tried nudging Taurean Thompson to rotate within the zone, the freshman didn’t notice until it was too late. Monmouth’s Sam Ibiezugbe cut beneath Thompson and the Orange defense to lay in two more of the Hawks’ 18 first-half points in the paint.In a game that was never closer than 10 points after halftime, Syracuse still got a dose of reality.Thompson is one of five players in their first year with SU. Inexperience is bound to rear itself.“It takes time, he’ll be fine,” senior Tyler Roberson said of Thompson’s defense. “It’s nothing I’m worried about. He’s still young. He’ll get it down.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIf nothing else, the Orange can use the early part of its nonconference schedule to work out the kinks. Despite early hiccups on both sides of the ball, No. 18 Syracuse (3-0) ran away from Monmouth (1-2) in a 71-50 win on Friday night in the Carrier Dome. In the eyes of Boeheim, it only took a series of defensive miscues to nullify Thompson’s 12 points in 13 minutes. The 6-foot-10 freshman was solely outdone by Andrew White’s 18 points, all in the first half, but sunk a couple key baseline jumpers when his team was scrapping on offense.With about two minutes remaining, Thompson laid in the last of his five baskets and landed awkwardly on his left foot. He was assisted off the court, only able to put pressure on his right foot. There was no update on him after the game.Tony D. Curtis | Staff PhotographerRegardless of his immediate status, Thompson’s performance was a microcosm of the team: promising, but lacking the necessary cohesion to stack up against the ACC powerhouses looming later in the year.“He was very good on offense, but he gave up about five baskets on the other end,” Boeheim said. “So I guess I’m not encouraged.”“…You can make two jump shots, (but) if you give up 10 points on the other end, that’s not a positive.”As the first half drew on, there was no secret as to where Syracuse was going to feed the ball on offense. White was the magnet. But upon entering the game after about five minutes, Thompson started finding pockets of space.Much like his other teammates, he wasn’t getting underneath the basket. But he found the short corner. He straddled the baseline and stuck with a pass from Tyus Battle, hitting his first shot to give the Orange a 13-11 lead.Not long after, White found an open Thompson after White failed to get through a swarm of Monmouth defenders in the paint. The fifth-year senior dished it off to the freshman, and Thompson made it 17-11.“For him to come in his first, real big-time game and to produce like that,” White said, “that just shows what he’s made out of.”Thompson hit three of his four shots in the second half, highlighted by a nifty and-one basket on a bounce pass from Tyler Lydon. Friday illustrated that Thompson can blend his size and mobility to put up sound shots. That’s not the particular calling card of the Orange’s other big men in Paschal Chukwu and Dajuan Coleman.Therein lies Thompson’s value to this year’s team, even if his defense could be a liability in the first steps of his college career. It’s too early to see how much of a detriment that could be. For now, Thompson is blanketed by one of sports’ most damning concepts: Potential.“I’ve said it to everyone who’s come around here,” White said, “By his junior year, Taurean Thompson’s going to be one of the best big men in the country. You could just see glimpses of it now.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 18, 2016 at 11:45 pm Contact Connor: cgrossma@syr.edu | @connorgrossmanlast_img read more


Tag: 上海夜网CI

first_imgFreddie Kitchens, Cleveland BrownsThe Browns have been a mess for years but they were supposed to be playoff contenders this season and many liked their +140 preseason NFL odds to win the AFC North. This team has many stars on offense and head coach Freddie Kitchens was expected to make them a deadly unit but so far they’ve struggled at both ends of the field and they’re just 2-6, including last week’s disappointing 24-19 loss against a Broncos team led by quarterback Brandon Allen, who was making his first NFL start.Kitchens’ bad decisions have cost the Browns. He has been his own worst enemy, here are some examples:Calling a draw play on a 4th and 9 when the Browns were trying to tie the score in the Sunday Night Football game against the Rams on September 22. The result was a handoff to Nick Chubb, who gained only two yards. The Browns gave the ball back to the Rams and eventually lost 20–13.The Browns had a chance to tie the game later and at 1st and goal at the Rams 4-yard line with 43 seconds to play and with three timeouts, Baker Mayfield threw the ball four straight times and was intercepted in the last one, which secured the loss. Kitchens made another strange 4th down decision in the 27-13 loss against the Patriots on October 27. Trailing 27-10 with just over six minutes to play, the Browns were on 4th and 11 at their own 24-yard line and he sent the punt unit but KhaDarel Hodge committed a false start, sending the Browns to their 19. Punting would have been the logical decision but Kitchens sent his offense back to the field and Baker Mayfield was sacked.How can the Browns be 2.5-point home favorites against the Bills? The Bills are 6-2, including 3-0 on the road (3-0 against the spread away from home) while the Browns are just 2-6, including 0-3 at home. The Browns opened as a 3-point home favorite in this game mostly due to public perception. They have played a much tougher schedule than the Bills, with their six losses coming against teams that are 35-17 combined, including the 8-0 49ers, the 8-1 Patriots and the 7-2 Seahawks. Strength of schedule and home field explains this line and let’s be honest, the Bills haven’t really played anybody, their six wins came against opponents with a combined record of 9-42. Four of their wins were against the 0-8 Bengals, the 1-8 Redskins, the 1-7 Dolphins and the 1-7 Jets.The Bills have struggled to stop the run recently and the Browns can win on Sunday if Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have a big game. Chubb is averaging 100.4 rushing yards per game and he has six touchdowns in eight contests while Hunt (824 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 181 carries in 11 games with the Chiefs last year) is expected to make his season debut and he can be a dangerous threat in this game. I’m not sure if I want to add the Browns to my NFL picks this week though.Adam Gase, New York JetsAdam Gase was expected to help the Jets improve this season but this team is actually worse under him. The Jets signed Le’Veon Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million deal in the offseason but some reports stated that Gase didn’t want to bring him in.Whether Gase agreed with Bell’s signing or not, he has to rely on him in order to save his job for a few more weeks.The Jets are just 1-7, coming off a poor effort in a 26-18 loss against the then 0-7 Dolphins and Gase’s future is in jeopardy. A loss against the 2-7 Giants on Sunday could lead to his firing. Can we trust in Gase to have the Jets come out fired up to this battle of New York? Should the Jets be considered for our NFL picks as 2.5-point home underdogs?Le’Veon Bell has to have a more prominent role in the offense, he is a versatile dual-threat running back but he has just 657 rushing yards and one touchdown on 125 carries in eight games this season, in part because he was given over 15 attempts in just four of those games (three in the first three weeks of the season).With Sam Darnold struggling, Bell can take some pressure off the second-year quarterback. Having a successful running game can be Darnold’s best friend and it can help Gase make a case to keep his job. The Giants are 25th in the NFL, giving up 127.9 rushing yards per game, including 129.0 in their last three contests and 149.0 in five games at MetLife Stadium, so involving Bell in the offense more would be a smart move by Gase. Dan Quinn, Atlanta FalconsOn paper, the Falcons had a high-powered offense led by Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu (who was recently traded to the Patriots) and Devonta Freeman, along with an improving, healthier defense but they’re just 1-7 after six straight losses.The Falcons just had their bye week and owner Arthur Blank reportedly met with some front-office executives to discuss what’s next for this team moving forward. That meeting obviously addressed Dan Quinn’s future and he could be out of a job if the Saints (14-point home favorites on the NFL odds board) destroy them on Sunday. Jay Gruden was the first NFL head coach to be fired this season but he won’t likely be the last. Gruden’s firing after an 0-5 start with the Redskins wasn’t surprising and now we wonder who could be joining him on the unemployment line? Freddie Kitchens, Adam Gase and Dan Quinn are all hanging on for dear life. Can they save their jobs for at least a few more weeks? Their teams beating the NFL odds on Sunday would help their case.MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting advice at Sportsbook Review Quinn has been Atlanta’s head coach since 2015 and he’s 37-35 so far, leading the team to a pair of playoff appearances, including Super Bowl LI, where they blew a 28-3 lead against the Patriots and lost 34-28 in overtime.Atlanta has to treat their next eight games as a brand-new season. Coming off a much-needed bye week should help but they have to visit a red-hot New Orleans team that has won six straight games. Also, star running back Alvin Kamara is expected to come back after missing the last two weeks with knee and ankle injuries. Can the Falcons be competitive and cover this large spread? If the Falcons want to keep up with the Saints, they have to improve their red zone execution. The Falcons are a dangerous 1-7 team, their defense is terrible but they lead the NFL with 316.8 passing yards per game and a healthy and rested Matt Ryan can at least keep them in this game. Keep an eye on the Julio Jones versus Marshon Lattimore matchup. The Falcons need Jones at his best against Lattimore if they want to have a chance on Sunday and help save Quinn’s job. I like Atlanta +14 as one of my NFL picks for Week 10.last_img read more