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Three quick thoughts on SU's 13-11 win over St. John's in Big East opener

Three thoughts on Syracuse's 13-11 win over St. John's in the Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., including JoJo Marasco's five-point effort.

The Syracuse men’s lacrosse team won its first Big East game of the year in a 13-11 victory over St. John’s in the Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. The Orange (3-1, 1-0 Big East) were led by standout attacking midfielder JoJo Marasco, who had a goal and four assists. Derek Maltz scored a hat trick for Syracuse, and Luke Cometti added two goals. 

Here are three quick thoughts on the game:

Syracuse’s defense wasn’t great, but it will be all right.
Matt Harris got his first start of the year in defense, sliding over from defensive midfield to replace the injured Brandon Mullins. That moved Peter Macartney up to the longstick middie slot, and it seemed to heighten the rest of the Orange defense.
Goalkeeper Bobby Wardwell, in particular, had one of his better starts in goal, including making a brilliant save by charging out of the crease in front of a gaggle of red jerseys early in the first quarter to preserve a 1-0 lead. A win for the defense without Mullins, and with team captain Brian Megill having an up-and-down afternoon, should boost morale after a tough week.
Add in a breakout game by Maltz, who led the team in scoring a year ago, and Syracuse can find ways to win without its second-best defensive player.

This is JoJo Marasco’s team.
The senior attacking midfielder was looking to get his teammates involved early and often, and it left him open for some incredible shots, including a left-handed drop shot that found the net with about 12 minutes to go in the second quarter. The star of the team is still that Orange defense, led by fellow Major League Lacrosse draftee Megill. But Marasco, who was selected by the New York Lizards in January, may control the team’s fate, both as a scorer, facilitator and ability to connect the defense to the attack.

Brian Megill can do anything.
The senior defender and team captain made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes to allow St. John’s to get back into the game in the middle two quarters. But Megill, who appeared visibly frustrated, scooped up a ground ball with under two minutes to play in the third quarter and ran the length of the field to put the Orange up, 10-9 going into the final period. The longstick can score, too. He showed why the Denver Outlaws took him with the seventh overall pick in January’s MLL draft.

Defender Mullins sidelined by knee injury

Syracuse defender Brandon Mullins will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, the men's lacrosse team announced Thursday.

After a season-opening loss to Albany, the Syracuse men's lacrosse team went back to defensive basics in rattling off a two-game win streak over Army and Virginia.

That defense will have to adjust again, barely two weeks later.

Orange defender Brandon Mullins will be out for the season after suffering a knee injury in Syracuse's 9-8 overtime win over the then-No. 6 Cavaliers on Mar. 1, the school announced Thursday. Mullins collapsed after cutting hard on his knee late in the fourth quarter. The injury will require surgery, the team said.

Syracuse coach John Desko praised Mullins for his versatility, and said finding a replacement on defense who can get involved on both ends of the field may prove difficult.

"It's probably not as far as someone who does both," Desko said in response to a question about Mullin's versatility.

Mullins forced a turnover and two ground balls in two starts in 2013, and played a key role in an Orange defense that shut down Army standout Garrett Thul and Virginia attackman Nick O'Reilly. The latter performance helped earn him a spot on this week's Big East Honor Roll and propel Syracuse to No. 10 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse national rankings.

Desko said defensive midfielders Matt HarrisPeter Macartney and Joe Fazio, as well as defender Kyle Carey, may be able to slide into Mullins' spot.

As a freshman in 2012, Mullins started in the final 10 games of the year, helping to hold Cornell star attackman Steve Mock without a point in the Orange's annual rivalry game against the Big Red. He registered 27 ground balls, 13 turnovers and two shots as a freshman, consisently lurching forward into the offense.

At 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds, the bruising Mullins forsook offers to play small college football in favor of a role with Syracuse lacrosse. The first-team all-state and second-team all-american from Coppell, Texas, played in the Oil Bowl, an all-star game for high school football players from Texas and Oklahoma.

The Orange (2-1) will play St. John's (3-1) on Saturday in the Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.com.

"The standings are important now," Desko said. "The Big East can help us. We've got to be mentally prepared for this game."

PODCAST: C.J. Fair's shot and Brandon Triche's back

A weekly look at Syracuse sports, featuring reporters from TheNewsHouse.com — your resource for news, sports and what's happening at Syracuse University.

Taking another look at Syracuse athletics, sports producer Tyler Greenawalt and basketball writers Mark Volain and Joe Diglio decide the Orange are what they are at this point, and re-evaluate the team in the final week of the regular season.

PODCAST: Otto and the Orange

A weekly look at Syracuse sports, featuring reporters from TheNewsHouse.com — your resource for news, sports and what's happening at Syracuse University.

The usual podcast gang returns to the studio to look back at a pair of disturbing results for the basketball teams and some good news for both lacrosse programs.

PODCAST: Jim Boeheim vs. The World

A weekly look at Syracuse sports, featuring reporters from TheNewsHouse.com — your resource for news, sports and what's happening at Syracuse University.

 In this week's podcast, men's basketball writer Mark Volain and men's lacrosse writer Sean Walker analyze Jim Boeheim's relationship with ESPN's Andy Katz, as well as the Orange's upset loss to Albany in men's lacrosse.

Loss to UConn marred by Boeheim's postgame comments

Syracuse's recent upset loss at UConn may have been overshadowed by a confrontation between the long-time head coach and an ESPN reporter in the post-game press conference.

The Syracuse men's basketball team suffered a shocking 66-58 loss at Connecticut on Wednesday night in the teams' final Big East regular season meeting.

But the fireworks weren't limited to the on-court effort.

Orange coach Jim Boeheim reportedly sparred with ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz in the post-game press conference, calling Katz an "idiot" and "disloyal" while refusing to answer questions from the journalist.

The ESPN reporter was reportedly asking a question about the significance of the Syracuse-UConn rivalry, and what is has meant for both programs. But Boeheim took exception to the one posing the question.

The Post-Standard reported Thursday that Boeheim's tiff stemmed from Katz's attempted on-camera interview in the midst of the Bernie Fine investigation. Katz tried to interview Boeheim at the Preseason NIT Tipoff, and Boeheim consented — reportedly under the condition that Fine not be discussed. But Katz continued asking about the allegations, and Boeheim (and several of his staff) were disgusted by the prodding, according to the newspaper's Bud Poliquin.

Andy Katz responded to the Syracuse coach's story here.

No reason was given to Boeheim's dismissal of Katz, but rumors began circulating late Wednesday regarding Katz's reporting during the James Southerland academic investigation. Katz also wrote an article about the culture of Syracuse basketball during the recent Bernie Fine investigation that may have ruffled Boeheim at the time.

Katz reportedly later told to the press contingent that he is "not getting paid by Syracuse U."

Full audio of the exchange from the press conference can be found courtesy of WAER Sports.


Photo: courtesy Wikimedia Commons/ Phil5329 at en.wikipedia

PODCAST: GameTime Talk Episode Three

A weekly look at Syracuse sports, featuring reporters from TheNewsHouse.com, your resource for news, sports and what's happening at Syracuse University.

In this week's episode, Mark Volain sits down with women's hoops beat writer Joe Diglio and men's hoops writer Fred Imbert to discuss basketball, including another women's team milestone and the return of James Southerland to the men's team. The guys also break down the incoming and outgoing football players with National Signing Day and the NFL Player Combine, and talk about big commitments to the men's soccer program.


PODCAST: GameTime Talk Episode Two

A weekly look at Syracuse sports, featuring reporters from TheNewsHouse.com, your resource for news, sports and what's happening at Syracuse University.

The NewsHouse sports producer Tyler Greenawalt and men's basketball beat writer Mark Volain are joined by women's basketball beat writer Joe Diglio to discuss the best start in team history for Kayla Alexander and the Orange women's team.
Also, the guys talk the upcoming season for men’s and women’s lacrosse as the preseason winds down, and break down what went wrong in the men's basketball team's improbable loss at Pitt, and what Jim Boeheim's team needs to do to right the ship against Notre Dame and St. John's.
All that, plus a discussion of the future of SU football as National Signing Day approaches and one last look at Super Bowl XLVII. 

PODCAST: GameTime Talk Episode One

A weekly look at Syracuse sports, featuring reporters from TheNewsHouse.com, your resource for news, sports and what's happening at Syracuse University.

In the inaugural edition of GameTime Talk, the sports podcast brought to you by The NewsHouse, lead sports producer Tyler Greenawalt and men's basketball beat writer Mark Volain discuss the last week of Orange sports, including a stunning victory over Louisville to a lackluster loss at unranked Villanova.

The guys then tackle the women's basketball team, including a stunning game-winning shot by freshman Brittney Sykes at St. John's, and a career milestone for senior Kayla Alexander in a loss at Villanova.

Also on tap is big news regarding a high-profile transfer for the men's lacrosse team, and analysis of a disappointing Senior Bowl performance by quarterback Ryan Nassib and the senior football players. And of course, a breakdown of Sunday's Super Bowl -- with picks by Greenawalt and Volain. 



Former congressman tells students to challenge their viewpoints in college

Artur Davis, a former Alabama congressman, spoke at Syracuse University’s Watson Theater Tuesday, Oct. 2.

There are few periods of life quite like the four years spent in college.

And it’s a time that needs to be spent challenging your viewpoints, Artur Davis, a former Alabama congressman, said Tuesday while speaking in Syracuse University’s Watson Theater.

“This is that one little stretch in your life when you are allowed the freedom to think about and to entertain different philosophies and different ways to look at the world,” Davis said. “This is the one space in your life where you get to regularly interact with people who don’t think like you do.”

Davis, who served in the House of Representatives from 2003-11, spoke at a College Republicans-sponsored event. He admonished a crowd of about 100 people to stretch their ideologies and viewpoints — no matter how developed they feel those ideologies may be.

“I like to be able to say to people, ‘Develop your viewpoint,’” Davis said. “It is not just enough to say on which side of the line you lie.”

Speaking to a crowd of primarily Republican voters and supporters, Davis targeted the virtues of liberty, opportunity, prosperity and a civil society as core to the conservative platform in all eras.

“I would submit that when conservatism has been its most effective ... it has consistently taught about all four of those values,” he said. “Freedom, but also opportunity, prosperity and a civil society.”

Davis, the co-national chair of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, switched his party affiliation in 2012 after a failed bid for the Alabama governor’s seat in 2010.

After delivering a nominating speech for Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Davis turned around and delivered a headline address at the 2012 Republican National Convention in strong support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

That movement across parties gives Davis a unique vantage point for critiquing both ideologies, said James Ward, president of the College Republicans.

“He’s a unique person, because he came from one side and is now on the other, so he sees the positives and negatives on both sides,” Ward, a mechanical engineering junior, said. “He is an ex-congressman, so he’s trying to represent the people and represent an ideology that makes for a better civil society.”

Challenging one’s viewpoint was a crucial portion of Davis’ lecture for many in attendance.

“It takes a lot for someone to have an ideology and then question it every day,” Ward said. “I think what he was trying to say is that not enough people do that; they’re too partisan in what they believe in, and they aren’t willing to question [it].”

Davis stressed that Republicans should no longer be referred to as the “party of no,” but said they bring new ideas and a fresh viewpoint to many policies.

“I really liked his appeal to a more proactive conservatism,” said Giovanni Malloy, 17, a senior at Jamesville-Dewitt High School. “He had a valid point that we need to show American policies that are meant to lead us to a future that is better for our country.”

Appealing to Americans of all political ideologies may be key in this year’s election, said Malloy’s classmate, Zach Shapiro, who came to the speech with the school’s Young Republicans Club.

“He talked about appealing to the average American, and that the Republicans can do things that support any American,” Shapiro, 17, said.

Darcy Joyce, an Earth sciences and English and textual studies senior, appreciated that need for internal questioning of one’s ideals.

“I think that’s a really valid argument,” said Joyce, vice president of the College Republicans. “A lot of people will vote for their guy, no matter what, and I think that’s what has gotten them into trouble in the first place.”

Davis’ presentation helped show the diversity of the GOP party, Joyce said.

“It’s a diverse group, ideologically for sure, but also ethnically,” she said. “It’s not the agrarian, rich, white old man that it used to be in the 1950s. The party has changed a lot.”


Photo via Youth Radio/flickr