CenterRakeem Christmas starts for Syracuse, but Baye Moussa Keita gets the bulk of the minutes for the Orange. Keita has played the best basketball of his career lately. Everything has started to click for the 6-foot-10 Senegal-born Keita, who sputtered through most of the season. He carried Syracuse in the Big East tournament semifinals against Georgetown and in the third round of the NCAA Tournament against California. But Keita will be up against Mitch McGary, one of the best centers in college basketball. McGary didn’t start for Michigan at the beginning of the season and played minimal minutes. But he has been one of the best players in the tournament so far, scoring 17.5 points per game. Advantage: Michigan Power ForwardC.J. Fair has been Syracuse’s rock all season. Guards Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche have had peaks and valleys, but Fair has been consistent throughout. Fair scored in double digits in 27 of Syracuse’s last 29 games. He relies on his mid-range jumper and attacking the basket. Glenn Robinson III, a former five-star recruit, has shown flashes of greatness so far in the NCAA Tournament after a topsy-turvy regular season, averaging 13.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He has the shooting and driving ability to bust Syracuse’s zone, but he may not have the experience to do so.Advantage: Syracuse Related Stories Not just yet: Boeheim reiterates he doesn’t plan on retiringLong and winding road: Beilein arriving at Final Four stage with decades of help, friendship from BoeheimCoaches reflect on Rice video, defend professionCarter-Williams, Burke renew 10th-grade duel in Final FourSyracuse-Michigan promises showdown of in-form shooters Southerland, Stauskas Point GuardMichael Carter-Williams has been unstoppable of late, averaging 18 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.5 steals over Syracuse’s last two games. The 6-foot-6 point guard is a nightmare matchup for opposing teams. He’s one of the best distributors in the country and is tough to contain when he doesn’t settle for jump shots. But Michigan has an electrifying point guard of its own in Trey Burke. Projected by many as a Top-10 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, Burke is lightning quick, drains 3s – including his game-changer against Kansas – and finishes at the rim. The point guard matchup is a dandy.Advantage: Michigan Small ForwardSyracuse’s downtown specialist James Southerland hit 83 3s on the season while shooting 40.3 percent from beyond the arc. Against Michigan, though, Southerland won’t only be counted on to shoot. He’ll play a key role in Syracuse’s matchup zone and will have the daunting task of closing out on Nik Stauskas, one of the premier shooters in the country. Stauskas, a Canadian sniper who’s shooting 45 percent from 3 and 85 percent at the line, doesn’t miss often when he has space. Southerland and Stauskas are two of the smoothest shooters in the game. Either one could dominate on Saturday, but Southerland gets the slight edge for his rebounding and defense.Advantage: Syracuse BenchBaye Moussa Keita, Jerami Grant and Trevor Cooney come off the bench for Syracuse. Cooney has scored in just one of the Orange’s last five games – a seven-point performance against Montana. But he’s capable of lighting it up from downtown. Grant’s best game of the season came against his brother Jerian and Notre Dame on Feb. 4. He hasn’t scored in double figures since then, but he can produce inside when called upon. Scrappy point guard Spike Albrecht gets minutes off the bench for the Wolverines, and Jon Horford and Jordan Morgan split time at forward. Both teams rely heavily on their starters, but Keita, who plays starters’ minutes, gives Syracuse the slight edge off the bench.Advantage: Syracuse -Compiled by Trevor Hass, asst. copy editor, email@example.com, @TrevorHass Comments Published on April 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm Shooting GuardAdvertisementThis is placeholder textBrandon Triche has been streaky all season. He has scored 20-plus points seven times, but he has also scored in single figures 10 times. Triche is certainly capable of lighting it up from downtown, but he’s shooting just 29 percent from beyond the arc on the season. His leadership will be key on Saturday. Tim Hardaway Jr. will likely guard Triche. Hardaway, the son of five-time NBA all-star Tim Hardaway, may pose problems for Triche. Both players thrive in big games but are inconsistent. Triche is a better defender and smarter player.Advantage: Syracuse Facebook Twitter Google+
Rebounding and boxing out will be the main focus for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team following a disappointing 70-62 loss to Alabama last Thursday.After holding a 13-point lead in the first half and taking a 38-33 lead into halftime, the Badgers (3-1) did not come out strong in the second half.“We just went cold in that game,” head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “We couldn’t really hit a basket, and we gave up (offensive) boards. So that hurts you, that’s a double-whammy right there.”Alabama took the lead with about 16 minutes left in the game and never really looked back from there.In that loss, the Badgers gave up 19 offensive rebounds, which turned into just a few too many extra possessions as the differential in the second half as Alabama got their first win of the season against Wisconsin.“They saw the ball and went and got it,” Kelsey said. “We didn’t keep them from getting it. That was kind of our Achilles’ heel in that game.”Kelsey believes that the team has it in them to rebound and box out better if they just showed a little more aggression during the games. Rebounding and attacking the rim are the two main points where she would like to see improvements as the season moves on.“We felt like we could have played a lot better, and we could have boxed out,” Kelsey said. “The game changed on the second-chance points that Alabama was able to get and going to the free-throw line.”Kelsey had nothing but positive things to say about senior Morgan Paige, who had an overall productive game. Although Wisconsin was perfect from the free throw line, Paige shot all 13 of them while Alabama went 18 of 22 from the line.“She’s a great free-throw shooter. But other people need to create offense by going to the basket and getting fouls,” Kelsey said. “We need to cause them to foul us a little bit and get more people to the free throw line.”She also praised Paige’s play during the game as one of the only bright spots for the team in the loss. Paige was able to mix up shooting and driving perfectly to be successful against Alabama.“She’s really crafty getting around the basket,” Kelsey said. “She did a nice job of shooting her three and then creating stuff off the dribble. You have to be able to do both. You can’t just do one thing and be one-dimensional.”Thursday’s game was the first time so far this season that Paige has played extremely well. Kelsey hopes Paige will continue this attacking style of play in which she was so successful.Another factor in how the team will play once conference play begins is getting their other key players back on track to score.“Hopefully, we can keep Morgan going, get (Michala Johnson) back on track, get Taylor (Wurtz) — you know, you’ve got to have two or three scorers out there that make it hard for the defense,” Kelsey said.Wisconsin has until just after New Year’s to figure out their scoring and defense before B1G play opens.Morgan was not the only Paige family member with a big game this weekend. Her younger brother Marcus played a crucial role in helping North Carolina knock off No. 3 Louisville on the men’s side of the ball.“I said, ‘must be something in the Paige water they’re drinking at home,’” Kelsey said.The Badgers are looking forward to heading down to Nashville to play in Vanderbilt’s Thanksgiving Tournament. Their first game Friday will be against Mercer (3-2), and then they will either play Elon or Vanderbilt Saturday.The tournament will also be a time for all the players to sit down and bond with the other players and their families.“A lot of families are going to be there, and they’re going to celebrate with us,” Kelsey said. “So it’s just a time to bond and be together as a group. We’re excited about the opportunity to just go to Vandy and play two worthy opponents.”Nashville is going to be a little escape from the cold weather of Wisconsin, but Kelsey said she can’t help but be a little bit jealous of the men’s team being down in Cancun.“It will be a fun trip for us,” Kelsey said. “I’m jealous, the men are in Cancun. Nashville’s not quite Cancun.”
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0 COMMENT Published on SHARE July 20, 2016 COMMENTS hockey SHARE SHARE EMAIL Known for his dribbling skills, Mohammad Shahid caught the imagination of the hockey world in the 1980s and was considered one of the most gifted players to have played the game for India.Hailing from Varanasi, Shahid created a flutter in world hockey in the late 70’s and early 80’s with his mesmerising stick work.Such was his control over the game that his dazzling play flummoxed his opponents and he had the capacity to break the most formidable defensive line-ups.On the pitch, Shahid was most feared by opposition teams but off it he was a polite, humble, down-to-earth human being who was ever ready to help his compatriots and juniors.Born on April 14, 1960, in Varanasi, Shahid burst onto the international stage at the age of 19 in 1979 against France at the Junior World Cup.However, he came to the limelight in 1980 when he made his debut with the senior side in a four-nation tournament in Kuala Lumpur under the captaincy of Vasudevan Baskaran.Speed and ability to dribble the ball with wizardry was the hallmark of Shahid’s game, which earned him accoldaes and fans from across the globe.Shahid’s attacking partnership with Zafar Iqbal was well known.“He was the most gifted player I have ever come across in my life. It is a big loss for the hockey fraternity. We shared a very good understanding on the field. He will be missed,” a disappointed Zafar said about his team-mate and dear friend, who passed away this morning at a private hospital in Gurugram.Shahid, 57, was recently admitted to a hospital as he was suffering from liver and kidney ailments.Awards and accoladesShahid was awarded the ‘Best Forward player’ at the 1980 Champions Trophy in Karachi. He was a member of the Indian team that won the country’s eighth and last gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Shahid was also part of the Indian team that won silver at the 1982 Asian Games and bronze at the 1986 Asiad.Shahid also led the Indian team in 1985-86 and was selected in the Asian All Star side in 1986.Shahid played in an era and in a team when India had a number of brilliant stick work masters like Zafar Iqbal, Mervyn Fernandez, Charanjit Kumar, M M Sommayya, Surinder Singh Sodhi and M K Kaushik. But the soft—spoken man from Varanasi made his own mark with his artistry on the field.Shahid was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 1980—81 and Padma Shri in 1986.Shahid was a strong critic of foreign coaches and in a recent column for a newly—launched Hindi sports magazine had written that Indian hockey’s obsession with strategic plans was holding the past masters of the game back.“If those foreign coaches are so good then they would have been coaching their own country. We are eight-time Olympic champions and we are proud of that fact but as per the current scenario we should not expect any medal from the team in the upcoming Rio Olympics,” Shahid wrote in his column.“The world has learnt hockey from Indians and from my point of view this is totally absurd that foreigners can teach us the game of hockey better. Why should we learn from them? A lot of foreign coaches have been changed in the last two decades and the outcome is that neither the players have adjusted with the coaches nor have the coaches hit the right tone with the players.”Working as a Sports Officer with Indian Railways in Varanasi, Shahid’s last few days were confined to the Intensive Care Unit at Medanta — The Medicity hospital in Gurugram after he was airlifted from his home town.On and off the pitch Shahid was a fighter to the core, and the quality was evidently visible in his last days as he fought hard in the company of his family, friends and hockey fraternity before succumbing to his illness.Shahid is survived by his wife Parveen Shahid and twin children Mohammad Saif and Heena Shahid.