2 NCAA bids for UW hoops

first_imgTrevon Hughes and the Badgers had a season highlighted by a win over eventual national champs Duke.[/media-credit]It was a tale of two teams for the Wisconsin men’s basketball program in 2009-10: with Jon Leuer and without him.With the 6-foot-10 Minnesota native providing an inside counterbalance to the outside scoring of Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon, the Badgers got off to a 10-2 nonconference start, including Maui Invitational wins over Arizona and eventual No. 4-seed Maryland in the third-place game.The next time UW hit the hardwood, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Bo’s crew pulled off what could be considered the program’s biggest win ever, downing Duke — the eventual national champion — 73-69, igniting the Kohl Center crowd and handing the Blue Devils their first Challenge loss ever.When Big Ten play got underway, Wisconsin collected wins over an Evan Turner-less Ohio State squad and at Penn State before predictably falling at Michigan State in a game where Leuer scored 21 of the team’s paltry 47 points.In the following outing, versus then No. 4 Purdue, Wisconsin earned the second of its three top-10 upsets, but lost Leuer to a broken wrist.Without Leuer’s post-scoring presence, the team managed to salvage a 6-3 mark by becoming a perimeter-oriented offense and with the emergence of sophomore guard Jordan Taylor.Upon Leuer’s return, it appeared the team had regained its stride, winning four out five to close the regular season.However, the Badgers were out of sorts in a Big Ten tournament loss to Illinois, even worse in an opening-round win over Wofford, and, at the end of the day, seemed listless and overmatched versus the Big Red of Cornell, falling 87-69 to end their season.For a team that was picked to finish as low as 10th in preseason polls, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team acquitted itself quite well, securing the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid in the Lisa Stone era.Just like the previous season, Stone’s squad jumpstarted the year by going 10-1 in nonconference play, highlighted by three Thanksgiving-weekend wins which earned the Badgers the World Vision Invitational title.But, the question went, could the team avoid the conference slump that had plagued it a year prior?And the team answered resoundingly, following two difficult road losses to Iowa and Illinois with four straight victories, featuring a signature win at East Lansing, 48-45, over then No. 20 Michigan State.Although UW traded wins for losses for most of the remainder of Big Ten play, the group closed strong, picking up a dramatic double-overtime win over border-rival Minnesota, dominating Penn State by a tally of 71-38, and narrowly falling in an overtime finale with Iowa, the team they would finish tied with for third place in the league.For good measure, the Badgers knocked off perennial conference-power Purdue to all but seal an NCAA bid — a bid they would eventually receive, as a No.7-seed.However, in their first game in the Big Dance in nearly a decade, the Badgers couldn’t contain an experienced (and large) guard combo from the 10-seed, Vermont, falling to the Catamounts in a disappointing first round.Nonetheless, the team’s regular season efforts earned Stone the Coach of the Year honors as voted by the coaches, and brought higher expectations for the year to come.last_img read more

Syracuse enjoys team-building activities instructed by Fort Drum troops

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Video: Syracuse participates in 5 different team-building activities at Fort DrumCustis works with the tight ends and other offensive observations from the 2nd practice at Fort DrumDefensive backs emphasize red-zone defense and other defensive observations from the 2nd Fort Drum practice Published on August 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbbcenter_img FORT DRUM, N.Y. — A day after Will Hicks and Syracuse put Fort Drum troops through an SU warm-up workout, Wednesday was the soldiers’ chance to teach the Orange some things.Half the roster went through marksmanship training, and the other half participated in various team-building activities. The drills tested the players’ athletic ability, memory, strength and trust and communication among one another.“As a group, we’re trying to be on the same page,” senior linebacker Josh Kirkland said after the activities, “communicating at a high level, just kind of like what we’re trying to do on the football field.”During the cognitive function training, the players had 15 seconds to study a layout of military equipment on a picnic table, including a pair of boots and a backpack. The Fort Drum troop then led the players through a log-lifting exercise before bringing them back to the picnic tables.“I got the boots! I got the boots!” safety Ritchy Desir repeated during his round of what the troops called “Murphies,” a core exercise.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe group then had one minute, using purely memorization, to recreate the layout on another picnic table.Although some players were sure they had perfectly replicated the arrangement, the troops were able to pick out some imperfections, and their attention to detail astounded Kirkland. For the soldiers, the slightest oversight could be the difference between a successful mission and a fatal outcome.“One of the guys was talking about how all the little details go into the work,” Kirkland said, “and how one little mistake can be very detrimental to any soldier in the crew.”At the next station, wood beams, straps and the shortest of the instructing Fort Drum troops awaited the players.The soldier told the players that despite his size, his fellow troops count on him to be capable of carrying just as much weight as they do, and the task he gave the players was a test of strength.The group split into two teams, captained by starting quarterback Terrel Hunt and tight end Kendall Moore. Using at least three of the straps, each individual needed to suspend himself in the air, and the group collectively had to hold it for a minute with each member hoisted off the ground.It took the sides a bit of time to analyze their strategy and figure out how to interlock straps with each other, but Hunt’s finished 30 seconds ahead of Moore’s.The competition among all the groups for the best performances had the players, especially defensive tackle Marcus Coleman, in great spirits at the end of the activities before the team began marching down the street.“I had to show them my athletic abilities, which are very impressive,” a smiling Coleman said, inciting laughter from a group of reporters. “My team is Alpha team, best team out here. We definitely dominated every task we went up against.” Commentslast_img read more