Freshman forward Ramin continues family legacy at Syracuse

first_imgHe may only be a freshman, but Ben Ramin is no stranger to Syracuse soccer.The Ramin family has been connected to the program for years. Ben’s father, Peter, played at SU from 1979 to 1980, while his uncle, Greg, played for the Orange from 1979 to 1982.Continuing the soccer tradition played a key role in Ben’s decision to come to Syracuse.“When originally I was making my decision I thought it would be cool to follow in my father’s footsteps,” Ramin said, later adding that while it wasn’t the deciding factor in his decision, “it was an added plus.”Ramin is a product of C.W. Baker High School in nearby Baldwinsville, where fellow freshmen Alex Bono and Andrew Coughlin also called home. They all attended high school together. Ramin stood out in his senior year, tallying 16 goals and eight assists.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAt C.W. Baker, his teammates noticed his work ethic.“He works really hard on and off the field every single day,” Bono said. “It pays off for him. He’s a good player because of it.”Not only has the work paid off for Ramin, but for his high school teammates as well. Ramin attributes part of his success to the fact that his C.W. Baker teammates were able to push one another in high school competition.“Being able to compete with them on a daily basis helps me be at a higher level,” Ramin said. “And we really push each other to be as good so we are all prepared for the high intensity of Division-I soccer.”Head coach Ian McIntyre has taken notice of Ramin’s dedication.“He wears his heart on his sleeve,” McIntyre said. ”He’s a tremendously hard-working individual.”Ramin’s work ethic landed him at Syracuse, where he is one of the members of a recruiting class that is unprecedented at SU. The class is ranked 14th nationally, the highest ranking for a recruiting class in Syracuse soccer history.While many could not fathom this quick of a turnaround for the SU soccer program following an abysmal 3-12-1 record in 2011, Ramin and the rest of the class saw an opportunity to change the culture of the program.They did exactly what they set out to do.Syracuse, with major contributions from the freshmen, soared to 12-6-0 this year, with a 5-3-0 record in the Big East.“This is our goal as a class coming in as freshmen to really help turn around the program,” Ramin said of his teammates.Ramin was not a major contributor this season. He only logged 108 minutes and scored his only goal in Syracuse’s 6-0 rout of Colgate back on Sept. 3.With a wealth of talented players contributing early in their collegiate careers, Ramin will only add more firepower to the Orange as it gets ready to prepare for the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013.McIntyre sees a bright future ahead of the young star.“He’s a physical player, and we feel that he can score goals,” McIntyre said. “His best years are ahead of him.” Comments Published on November 15, 2012 at 12:03 am Contact Danny: Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Syracuse walk-ons rarely play, but they dream big and cherish little moments

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Jim Boeheim’s rise as a Hall of Fame coach began when he strolled into Manley Field House as a walk-on guard. Without a scholarship, he just wanted to prove himself. During his first practice in the fall of 1962, he covered legend Dave Bing, who hit 15-straight shots on him. Afterward, Boeheim called his mother about the possibility of joining Syracuse: “I don’t know about this situation,” he told her. But the coach of Syracuse’s freshman team, Morris Osborne, pushed for Boeheim to earn the last available scholarship. In the summer of 1963, before his second year in Syracuse, he got one. He rose from walk-on to a starter in the SU backcourt — and never left. Syracuse walk-ons won’t follow the same path as Boeheim, now in his 43rd season as Syracuse head coach. What they do share is a similar dream to be on the court and an attention to detail in practice that helps prepare scholarship players for each game. The six current Syracuse (20-13, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) men’s basketball walk-ons rarely play in game, but they’re a key component to the program, maintaining an upbeat atmosphere and challenging players in the regular rotation behind closed doors. “People might be surprised by this, but offensively they’re tough to guard,” Syracuse junior guard Tyus Battle said. “They see the zone every day. They know how to move the ball, and they see the weak points. They’re really engaged in practice. There have been times where they kill us offensively.”Last season, Syracuse players and coaches had a running joke — “stay ready” — for walk-on Braedon Bayer. Against No. 3 Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament, when SU senior point guard Frank Howard fouled out, Boeheim called in Bayer. He’d spent six weeks on Tyler Lydon’s couch when he was trying out for the team, but he forced two jump-balls, picked up two steals and recorded a block on soon-to-be lottery pick Miles Bridges in the 55-53 SU victory to help the Orange advance to the Sweet 16.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I never thought I’d be playing in this stage at all,” Bayer said after the game. “Just thought I’d be watching it from the bench. I’ve worked my whole life for this.”Most walk-ons will never shine in the moment that Bayer did, but still work each day to bring an intensity to their teams. The main role for walk-ons is to play on the scout team, helping players in the lineup prepare against upcoming opponents. Nolan Hart, who played for Syracuse from 2010-14, tried to imitate opposing star guards. During one practice, Hart mimicked Kemba Walker — a former All-American for UConn who led the Huskies to a national championship — against then-sophomore Michael Carter-Williams, who later became the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. “Of course I’m not Kemba Walker,” Hart said. “But I gotta try to at least emulate his game. My job is to make it super frustrating for them and to be the best.” Last month, freshman walk-on Brendan Paul studied North Carolina star point guard Coby White. He watched him on film and tried to replicate his tendencies: looking to attack the paint and get to the rim, or to create separation on the perimeter for a quick-release three. For some, practicing with the scout team is crucial. Wesley Johnson, who transferred to Syracuse following two seasons with Iowa State, was forced to redshirt the 2008-09 season due to transfer eligibility rules. During that season, Johnson played alongside the rest of the SU walk-ons on the scout team, former SU guard Jake Presutti said. Presutti, now the director of basketball operations for Marquette, said Johnson’s season playing as a member of the scout team elevated his game. He learned how to break down Syracuse and play against one of the nation’s top teams alongside walk-on talent. The following season, Johnson earned Big East Player of the Year honors. Syracuse walk-on Brendan Paul dribbles outside an SU huddle. Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerBoeheim’s earliest teams only had one or two walk-ons, former players said. During a practice in the late 1980s, walk-on David Bartelstein repeatedly beat former guard Mike Hopkins in a drill. Hopkins had enough, and punched him in the face, according to Bartelstein. Boeheim rushed over. “What happened?” he said. “I made Hop look bad in a drill,” Bartelstein recalled saying. “He didn’t like it, and he punched me.”“You’re a walk-on,” Boeheim told him. “You’re here to help us, not cause problems.”Bartelstein said he was reprimanded for the incident. The punch resulted in five stitches on his lip.Still, pushing the starters in practice is a major part of the job, Presutti said, maintaining high-energy levels. Despite sometimes playing only a few minutes in total during an entire four-year career, their role each practice could help determine the following game’s result. “They’re just as important as any scholarship player,” junior forward Elijah Hughes said. “They’re there before practice, they keep us upbeat. They all love the game and understand this is a lot bigger than any one of them.”Syracuse walk-on Antonio Balandi holds up his framed jersey on Senior Night. Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerGrowing up, Presutti dreamt of being a coach. In his four years, he rose from a team manager to walk-on to scholarship player, and he studied how coaches drew up plays, instructed practices and motivated players. Hart, meanwhile, knew he wasn’t going to play professionally. The summer leading into his freshman year, Hart thought he would be able to have one last summer at home hanging out with his friends. Instead, he was in the team practice facility by 6 a.m. before heading to class. Then, following classes, he headed back to the gym for afternoon workouts. “I treated it like I was going to go to the NBA,” he said. During Syracuse’s Final Four matchup with Michigan in 2013, Hart remembered sitting on the bench as Syracuse star guards Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche fouled out. Late in the game, Syracuse trailed. The Orange needed a 3-pointer, something Hart thought he could deliver. Boeheim looked at Hart. Hart looked back. Then Boeheim turned his attention back to the court. “I think about this a lot,” Hart said. “Maybe if I worked a little harder or didn’t forget the play in practice, maybe I’m in there. Who knows. That’s the sh*t you dream about as a kid.”center_img Published on March 19, 2019 at 9:24 am Contact Matthew: | @MatthewGut21last_img read more