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Notebook: Geno Thorpe debuts, other notes from Syracuse’s 84-59 exhibition win over Southern Connecticut State

first_img Published on November 6, 2017 at 10:54 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langer Geno Thorpe’s introduction for his graduate season at Syracuse involved an untucked jersey. As Thorpe entered SU’s second and final exhibition game, an 84-59 win Monday night over Southern Connecticut State, he lightly jogged out to midcourt five-and-a-half minutes into the game. He fidgeted with his white jersey, then tucked it in before scurrying to find his defensive assignment as the Orange trailed by eight to a Division II opponent. The untucked jersey epitomized Thorpe’s play Monday night in his Syracuse debut: He was slightly off, a step or two slower than he would prefer on drives and one-on-one matchups, but he tacked together a few plays to cap off a fairly productive outing. Within his first few minutes at SU, he forced a pair of steals and dropped in a layup, helping the Orange begin to claw back from an early deficit. Thorpe, who turns 23 on Wednesday, is Syracuse’s most experienced player. In his first SU game, he scored six points, dished out four assists and grabbed four steals across 22 minutes on the floor. Yet head coach Jim Boeheim said Thorpe is still healing from an ankle injury that decelerated his progression into the SU backcourt. “He just doesn’t have his push off of his ankle yet,” Boeheim said. “He’s just has a couple of days of practice really, in the last 14, so I think it will take him a while.”A year ago, Thorpe led South Florida in scoring. His 15.1 points per game would have placed second on SU, though he did not play in Syracuse’s first exhibition because of his ankle injury. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAgainst the Owls at the Carrier Dome, four days before Syracuse’s season opener against Cornell, SU needed life early. In the first half, Syracuse swapped out of its half-court 2-3 zone into a full-court press for the second consecutive game. What resulted was a Thorpe steal that produced a layup at the other end. Later, he showed that he is not at his full self. On a left-handed drive from the left wing, the ball slipped out of Thorpe’s hands and drifted out of bounds. He clapped his hands. He then missed three of his four 3-point attempts, as well as a layup. “Physically, I feel pretty ready,” Thorpe said. “Right now my ankle is still working back to 100 percent.”Backcourt mate Frank Howard, who scored 19 points, said Thorpe can create his own shot, get to the basket in one-on-one situations and “help me get off ball a little bit.” Howard acknowledged that Thorpe’s ankle is clearly preventing him from being at full strength, though he said Thorpe played well given his status. Thorpe knocked down one second-half 3-pointer, shot 2-for-6 from the field and earned one trip to the charity stripe. By the time his early jitters faded, he flashed a few smiles. He perked up from the SU bench several times amid SU’s 60-point second half. When freshman forward Bourama Sidibe blocked a shot around the 3-point line, causing the ball to float up and land in the SCSU bench, Thorpe giggled with Howard. “He’s good with the ball,” Boeheim said. “He doesn’t have his explosiveness and he needs that. It will probably take some time.”Paul Schlesinger | Asst. Photo EditorOnly the center rotation is setAll nine scholarship players played at least 12 minutes in the game, with no player eclipsing Tyus Battle’s team-high 29 minutes. Boeheim is still looking for the right group to emerge.“We just have to keep giving everybody an opportunity and see,” Boeheim said. “I think our centers are set. We know what we’re going to do there. Now we’ve got to figure out what else we’ve got. And it’s (going) to take a little bit of time I think.”Boeheim was largely happy with how his centers played in the exhibition. After men’s basketball media day Boeheim said he wanted the two centers, Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe, to split the minutes at center. They did basically just that with Sidibe playing 20 minutes and Chukwu 18.Chukwu got the start but was subbed out after the Owls made two 3-pointers from the same spot in the left corner. Boeheim said that Sidibe is better than Chukwu at closing out in the corners. Despite that, the SU head coach was happy with what he saw from his sisters. “Paschal and Bourama are doing a pretty good job inside,” Boeheim said. “I think they had about 19 rebounds tonight between them. Blocked some shots, I think they’re doing what we would like them to do.” SU better equipped for press this yearBoeheim hasn’t had the most straightforward relationship with pressing on defense. Two years ago in the Elite Eight, it fueled Syracuse’s improbable second-half comeback against Virginia. But the Orange didn’t use it much last year, as Boeheim said that he thought good teams would figure out how to crack it. Syracuse used the press to get back in the game after a slow start in the first exhibition matchup against Southern New Hampshire. SU deployed it again early and often throughout this second preseason game. “We couldn’t score,” Boeheim said. “So we might as well try and get a turnover and see if we can get something that way, that would help.” Even though the offense’s struggles were the initial cause for the press to be used, Boeheim said he does think that the Orange will be able to use the press more because it has two capable shot blockers. The only player who averaged more than one block per game last year was 6-foot-9 Tyler Lydon. Sidibe and Chukwu are both taller and better shot blockers. Twice, Sidibe played center field on the press. When the inbound pass would go over the top toward halfcourt, Sidibe stepped up and broke it up. On one play SCSU was throwing in from midcourt. The Orange was caught cheating into the backcourt and Owls player Luke Beesley slipped past the SU defense. He went up for the dunk but Chukwu hustled back, met him at the top of his jump and swatted the ball away.“We’ve been working on it, we’ve spent a lot of time on our press,” Boeheim said. “Just think of all those plays they either stopped or went back. Or we got a block. Or they missed a shot. And we didn’t have that last year.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Firehouse visits cheer 90-year-old

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Every few weeks, Reuben “Dobb” Kass boards a city bus or train at the North Hollywood subway station near his home, and heads off on another adventure. It doesn’t matter that the retired New York City firefighter is legally blind with only limited peripheral vision, or that he just turned 90 on Sunday. Vision and age have nothing to do with these little adventures Dobb makes. Memories and camaraderie do. “One day a few years ago he wandered into our station, introduced himself, and sat down,” says Los Angeles Firefighter Mike Hayes from Station 105 in West Hills. “Dobb’s trying to visit as many stations in the city and meet as many firefighters as he can. Just hang out for a few hours talking to them. Everybody loves him.” A few weeks ago, Dobb – who got his nickname as a kid from his older brothers in Kansas by passing the time sliding down the neck of an old, blind swayback horse named Dobbin – took the Metrorail to Vermont Avenue, a part of the city he had never visited before. “I asked someone where the closest firehouse was, and stopped in for a visit for a few hours. Wherever I go, the doors always open because all firemen are brothers, here or in New York. Retired or not. It doesn’t matter.” True, said the half-dozen firefighters from Station 105 who turned the tables on Dobb on Sunday, dropping in at a 90th’s birthday party being held at his daughter’s West Hills home. That’s when they saw the video Dobb made last year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Engine Company 69 in Harlem. “The guys back there searched the pension rolls to see who was still alive from the old days, and they found me,” he said. Sitting in the North Hollywood fire station near the Valley Village home where he and his wife, Frances, have lived since 1959, Dobb faced a video camera for the first time. In mesmerizing detail, he told the current firefighters of Engine Co. 69 and his own family the story of how he “died” at the big Harlem warehouse fire in the spring of 1943. He was a 27-year-old fireman working the graveyard shift when the alarm at Engine Co. 69 summoned him to a three-story warehouse fire. “When we got there, Jim McCarthy and I stretched some hose, called for water, and went in. The warehouse was filled with burlap rags, and the last thing I remember, Jim and I were crawling on our hands and knees on the second floor.” The rest of the story would be told to them later in the hospital. Because of the steel-shafted windows, it was hard to ventilate the warehouse and the men were overcome by smoke. “They found us laid out on top of a bale of rags,” Dobb said. “We were brought out, and a doctor from the hospital in Harlem pronounced us dead. “They wrapped us in blankets and laid us out on the sidewalk.” The fire raged on, and a second alarm was sounded. Riding in one of the fire ambulances was retired Dr. Harry Archer, 93, and working for the New York City Fire Department for $1 a year. “We were pointed out to him as being dead,” Dobb said. “One of the guys told us later that Archer said, ‘Who says so?’ He immediately put oxygen masks on us, and had other firemen straddle our shoulders, and push down on our backs with their elbows. “I woke up lying in a blanket on the sidewalk,” Dobb said. “Jim McCarthy did, too. They told us later that Dr. Archer, none too politely, suggested the doctor from the Harlem hospital return to medical school. “For the grace of God and that second alarm, I wouldn’t be here today.” But you are, Dobb – surrounded Sunday on your 90th birthday by loving family and brothers on the Fire Department. You can’t beat that. Happy birthday, and keep on visiting all those fire stations in the city. Old doc Archer would be proud. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Dennis McCarthy, (818) 713-3749 dennis.mccarthy@dailynews.comlast_img read more