1979: Syracuse wins 'brutal' basketball game against Penn State – Syracuse.com


When a person thinks of Syracuse versus Penn State, the mind automatically pictures the schools’ football rivalry, not basketball.

But on Jan. 10, 1979 the schools played a wild game at Manley Field House, a game in which many ways, was a preview to the rough and tumble days of the Big East Conference which got started later that year.

When it was over, all an exasperated Jim Boeheim could say was, “That was not basketball.”

Syracuse entered the game on a roll. The Orange were 11-2 and on a four-game winning streak. Their winning streak stood at home stood at 37, the best in the country. The Nittany Lions were going in the opposite direction, losing nine of their previous 15 games.

The game finished in a resounding 85-70 Syracuse victory, but the result was not what people were talking about the next day.

“It was impossible for the conscious mind to screen out the persistent madness” of the game the Post-Standard’s Mike Smith wrote in the next day’s newspaper.

Smith wrote that the crowd of 8,182 fans were treated to a game that mixed “brutality” with “exquisitely bungled offensive maneuvers” which he said, “created a delightfully comic rendition of the game.”

Those who made it to the end were “reduced to a stupor somewhere between exhaustion and deep slumber” as 56 fouls were called, three Penn State players fouled out and Syracuse making 33 out of 39 free throws.

The game also featured Penn State coach Dick Harter throwing his scorecard into the Syracuse student section and the fans raining down ice and pennies onto Penn State’s Jim Solic for a very hard football-like tackle of Syracuse’s Mark Cubit late in the game.


The box score of the foul-filled game at Manley Field House between Syracuse and Penn State on Jan. 10, 1979.
The box score of the foul-filled game at Manley Field House between Syracuse and Penn State on Jan. 10, 1979.  Copyright 2004 Heritage Microfilm, Inc. and Newspaperarchive.com

The main culprit for the game’s brutal play was Harter, who, knowing that his team had little chance against a talented Syracuse featuring Roosevelt Bouie, Louis Orr, Dale Shackleford, Marty Headd, Danny Schayes and Eddie Moss, decided to employ his “oft-maligned Kamikaze Defense.”

He admitted as much after the game, shortly after challenging SU fans who taunted him as he walked down the aisle:

“What kind of a chance are we going to have against Syracuse if we go soft and play a zone? We were mismatched at so many positions we had to play a tough defensive game to stay with them.”

“We had to play it this way to stay with Syracuse,” he explained. “And if we get a break in the officiating, we’ve got a chance.”

Syracuse was in the bonus with twelve minutes remaining in the first half and even earlier in the second, after Penn State committed seven fouls in the first three minutes.

An early second half 13-0 run by Syracuse, ignited by an Eddie Moss steal and pass to Louis Orr for a resounding dunk, put the game out of reach. Syracuse was led in scoring by Roosevelt Bouie, who scored 20 points and made 12 of his 14 foul shots.

Syracuse players did not like the style of the game but were happy that they were able to win the game.

Louis Orr said the game was not “his style” but he thought he showed that he could “hold his own.”

Guard Eddie Moss had the quote of the night:

“I’m not a muscle player, but I also don’t have to get physical to handle a game like that. You see, they have to catch me first before I have to get physical. I’ll be gone before they can get to me.”

Boeheim was described as “miffed” after the game but later said the game was a “good workout.”

Syracuse finished the 1979 season 26-4 and made it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament.

‘They wanted to hurt us’: Penn State ends rivalry with Syracuse in 1988

This feature is a part of CNY Nostalgia, a section on syracuse.com.
Send your ideas and curiosities to Johnathan Croyle: Email |
315-427-3958.



Can Gopher Basketball get back on track hosting Rutgers Big Ten Hoops – The Daily Gopher


Where

The Barn

When

11:30 AM

How

BTN

Who

Rutgers

Minnesota followed up a nice Big Ten road win with a home loss to a talented team. Up next is Rutgers, who is coming off a home upset of Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights are not very good, but their Ohio State win certainly shows that you have to do more than just show up to beat them.

Can they win? Let’s look. But first…

Pitino Tweet of the Week

KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN

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Box Out – Rutgers does two things well, one of them is crashing the offensive glass. Part of that offensive glass dominance was due to Eugene Omoruyi, but he dislocated his kneecap early in the Ohio State game. But the point still stands, dominate the paint and do NOT give Rutgers extra possessions from offensive rebounds.

Maroon_key_medium

Get to the free throw line…AND MAKE THEM – Getting there is good, making your free throws is better. For comparison’s sake, Rutgers is even worse than we are at making free throws, but that doesn’t put points on the board.

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Find offensive rhythm – Rutgers is pretty solid on defense, though not outstanding. The Gopher offense has been horribly inconsistent this year and this morning’s game is one where finding that offensive rhythm is important.

PREDICTION

The Gophers are not consistent, they are not polished, but they are better than Rutgers. I suspect we win this one.

Minnesota – 68
Rutgers – 59



Florien teen with disability lives basketball dream – KALB News


Florien, La. (KALB) In the final minutes of Monday nights basketball game between Florien and Simpson High School, the Black Cats team manager Brently Miller, who lives with Cerebral Palsy, fulfilled his life-long dream of joining his twin brother Bailey on the court.

Melanie with her twins Brently and Bailey Miller and Florien Black Cats coach Eddie Jones.

“It’s an experience that I’ll never be able to forget,” said Miller. “I love just watching my brother play and all my teammates. There’s just something about the game that I just love.”

Brently’s mother Melanie said it touched her heart “At one point the entire student body and Simpson school were standing up, cheering for Brently. And when it was supposed to be their ball they kept chanting ‘white ball, white ball’ because they wanted to get him the ball so he could shoot again.”

But Brently’s miraculous story began nearly 18 years ago when Melanie suddenly went into labor at just 26 weeks. Bailey was born in on the side of highway 28 in Gardner as the Miller’s rushed to the hospital. Brently followed after a C-section at Cabrini hospital where the twins would spend three months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Melanie said the boys weighed only a couple of pounds and could fit in her husband’s hand.

Miller was flooded with emotion at the sight of Brently leading the team out of the tunnel in a Florien uniform before Monday’s game.

“As soon as they opened (the tunnel) and the music came on,” she said as tears welled in her eyes. “His face was priceless.”

At the age of seven, Brently ditched his walker and never looked back. The twins grew up playing ball for their uncle, Florien boys basketball coach Eddie Jones with Bailey on the court and Brently on the sidelines, always studying the game.

Coach Jones said he can’t help but laugh sometimes at Brentley’s comments during games. “He is Bailey’s biggest critic and more often than not what Brently says in the background is right and what needs to be said. So it’s like having another coach on the bench.”

“We’ll argue about it,” explained Bailey. “But he’s always right somehow in the end. Sometimes I think I take it (basketball) for granted and I just see him over there. I know he’d love to be out here playing with us…it’s stuff like that, making memories, making it count. Every moment.”

The fanfare for Florien’s all-star was also a special moment for the visiting Simpson High School Broncos.

“They realize that they are part of something bigger,” said SHS boys coach Jade Losavio. “They can make this guy’s high school career, letting him score and having a good time with it.”

Broncos manager Jackson Richardson was so moved that he lead a student prayer in the locker room after the game.

“It was very exciting but at the same time, it was very emotional. I could tell in his face that he was having fun. It just gave me like a rush of happiness. it was inspiring, it was very humbling for me. It let you see a perspective from someone who has lived a totally different lifestyle from you.”

The experience, illustrating a classic basketball mantra adopted by the Broncos–‘Sports don’t build character, they reveal it.’



Siena women's basketball coach helps fiance through cancer fight – Times Union



Loudonville

Ali Jaques and Marc Rybczyk were together in Venice, Italy, last August. It was the perfect working vacation for a couple of college basketball lifers who had gotten engaged just a month earlier.


Jaques was recruiting players for her job as the Siena women’s head coach. She bought Rybczyk, a Niagara men’s assistant coach, the plane ticket as a birthday present so he could tag along and enjoy his first trip to Europe.

There was just one thing wrong: the persistent back pain that Rybczyk, 48, had been experiencing for a couple of weeks.

“I wasn’t miserable, but I wasn’t comfortable at all there,” Rybczyk recalled.

“I knew something was wrong,” Jaques added.

What Rybczyk thought was a herniated disc became much worse when they returned to the United States. His back locked during a trip to Albany and he couldn’t walk.


On Oct. 19, after a battery of tests, Rybczyk finally got the diagnosis. He had stage 4 cancer, specifically Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.

It’s the most common type of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, accounting for up to one-third of patients with newly diagnosed non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in the U.S., according to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Rybczyk’s type of cancer mostly affects patients over the age of 60. Suddenly, specialists were telling him he wouldn’t even reach 49 without immediate treatment.

“It kind of hits you hard when you’re just going in for a little back pain and you think maybe a cortisone shot’s going to get you back, and now you’re talking about you’ve got two months to live if you don’t do anything,” he said.


He said his first reaction was resignation. He figured he’d enjoy the time he had left, perhaps stretch those two months into four.

But Jaques wasn’t willing to accept that. Both of her parents are cancer survivors. She contacted Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and arranged an appointment with Dr. Paul Hamlin, a medical oncologist.

“We’ve been through a lot as a couple and, to me, there wasn’t an alternative,” she said. “You don’t give up on things. You fight, and you find the best doctor and you find the best people and I called Sloan right away.”

Rybczyk said Sloan Kettering assured him that with prompt treatment, doctors there were “very confident” he could be cured within six months.

“I felt like I was a boxer that was knocked down, and I needed help getting up,” he said. “Once I was able to get up, I was ready to fight it.”


He said he couldn’t have gotten off the canvas without his fiancee, and Niagara head coach Chris Casey. Rybczyk took a medical leave of absence from his job and moved in with Jaques at her home in Waterford. They’re building a townhouse in Albany that they’re planning to move into in March.


The one blessing of Rybczyk’s disease is that it’s brought them closer together after years of traveling between Buffalo and Albany to see each other around the hectic coaching schedule.

“We finally have a chance to live together,” Jaques said. “I’ve discovered I’m capable of cooking dinner every night and we have fun together.”

She’s also seen Rybczyk at his most vulnerable. He lost his hair and 25 pounds during the four sessions of chemotherapy he has completed at Sloan Kettering with Jaques by his side.

During the worst periods, he’s been unable to use the bathroom or get into bed by himself. He was on crutches for a while, though he’s walking now.

“If you want to be around me then, you definitely love me,” he said with a laugh.

He said he’s feeling better now and even set a goal of returning to Niagara by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament at Times Union Center in March, even if it’s ambitious.


Rybczyk has two chemotherapy treatments remaining. He will have PET (positron emission tomography) scan in two weeks.

“I do feel better than I have, absolutely, than the first three sessions (of chemotherapy),” he said. “I don’t want to say I’m 100 percent, but better than I did. I have a little energy. I can function normally. I can do things on my own.”

Rybczyk acknowledged it isn’t easy to rely on someone else. He’s an “alpha male,” in Jaques’ words, a fine basketball player at Central Connecticut State University who once led the nation in 3-point shots.

“I didn’t want to be in a position where people have to feel sorry for me or anything like that,” he said. “I feel bad for her. She’s got to work a full-time job and be a full-time caregiver at the same time. I give her a tremendous amount of credit.”

Meanwhile, Jaques played at New York University before going into coaching. Settling into that hectic life, she didn’t anticipate getting married until she and Rybczyk happened to meet at a hotel in Trumbull, Conn., when both were staying there for a basketball doubleheader five years ago.

“Finding a man who respects what I do and how I do it and isn’t intimidated by that, it makes me whole,” she said. “He accepts me for me and he loves me for me, and that’s hard to find. So I’m lucky I found him.”


msingelais@timesunion.com ■ 518-454-5509 ■ @MarkSingelais



Louisville basketball rally falls short in overtime loss to Pittsburgh – Courier Journal


Brian Batko, Special to Courier Journal
Published 10:46 p.m. ET Jan. 9, 2019 | Updated 11:37 p.m. ET Jan. 9, 2019

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Whatever spell Louisville had over the Pittsburgh men’s basketball program, it has now been broken after nine years, 13 games and six head coaches from both sides combined.

Oh, and the Cardinals also happened to be the ones to let the Panthers earn their first ACC victory since Feb. 18, 2017, a 23-game skid halted under first-year coach Jeff Capel — but it took an extra frame for all those streaks to be broken.

Not since the days of Jerry Smith and Edgar Sosa had the Cardinals visited Pittsburgh and been handed a loss, but 18 turnovers, a miserable start and “deplorable” defense — that’s coach Chris Mack’s adjective — left Louisville reeling with an 89-86 overtime defeat Wednesday night at Petersen Events Center.

More: Louisville basketball and Mack are aware of challenge ahead in ACC play

“Until our team starts to play with more dirt under their fingernails than they played with tonight,” Mack said, “we’ll continue to get more [butt] kickings in this league.”

Freshman guard Trey McGowens corralled a long rebound off a missed 3-pointer by Ryan McMahon and took it to the other end himself for Pittsburgh’s go-ahead layup with 38 seconds left. 

McMahon missed from deep again on the ensuing possession, Pittsburgh split a trip to the free-throw line to make it a three-point game and Steven Enoch couldn’t connect on a 3-point try to tie it. The rebound went out of bounds with 4.3 seconds left, but Jordan Nwora was off from the corner on the inbounds, Louisville’s 20th miss from long range on a night it shot just 25 percent (7 of 28) from outside.

“The game isn’t going to come down to Ryan or Steven or Jordan missing 3s,” Mack said. “I thought they were all good looks. Jordan’s was tougher. … We have guys that just struggle to keep the ball out of the lane.”

Christen Cunningham poured in 20 of his team-high 23 points in the second half to lead the Cardinals, and Steven Enoch added 14 points off the bench. But Pittsburgh freshman guard Trey McGowens went for 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting, even getting to the free-throw line 10 times and missing half of them. His freshman backcourt mate Xavier Johnson scored 21 of his own and Terrell Brown had 11.

At the end of regulation, the Cardinals trailed, 79-77, but had possession with 56 seconds left. McMahon missed a step-back jump shot, but the Panthers knocked the rebound out of bounds with 29 seconds left. More important, there were eight seconds left on the shot clock, and Dwayne Sutton — who finished with 12 points — scored inside to tie it with a little less than 20 seconds to go. Neither of Pitt’s freshman guards could get a handle on the final possession, which ended without a shot attempt.

Louisville trailed by as many as 16 points with 14:30 remaining, but whittled away that deficit slowly, then quickly. The Cardinals went on a quick 7-0 run to make it 63-60 with 7:50 to go, led by Cunningham attacking the basket in transition. 

Also: Louisville basketball feeling brunt of declining attendance trend

But the Panthers answered with a quick two, a bucket from beyond the arc, two free throws and a dunk to get it all right back and then some to go ahead by 12, and that spurt took just 1:01 to string together. It didn’t slam the door, though.

Pittsburgh took a 38-28 lead into halftime, thanks to a sweltering performance by McGowens, who surpassed his second-highest point total of the season in the first 20 minutes.

Louisville will try to pick up its first road ACC win Saturday at No. 12 North Carolina, which pounded Pittsburgh, 85-60, last weekend.

“Bad night for our team. I thought Jeff’s guys were a lot harder-playing than our team,” Mack said. “I thought maybe the whipping they took over the weekend fueled them. They came out and played a lot harder than we did.”
 



Kansas basketball coach Bill Self exploring idea of pulling redshirt off freshman guard Ochai Agbaji – KUsports


Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji is pictured on Media Day, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Photo by Nick Krug

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji is pictured on Media Day, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Even though there are seven inches and 60 pounds difference between them, one unexpected benefactor of the season-ending wrist injury to Udoka Azubuike could be Kansas freshman Ochai Agbaji.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,” KU coach Bill Self said Monday when asked if Agbaji’s redshirt was now up in the air. “We haven’t made that decision, but just to be real candid with you, Ochai and mom and dad and myself, we’ve all talked about it.”

Entering the season, KU’s depth and long list of talent opened the door for the 6-foot-5, 210-pound guard from Kansas City, Mo., to redshirt.

But with Azubuike out and KU likely to play a large percentage of four-guard lineups the rest of the way, there may be an increased need for another body on the perimeter to offset the high volume of minutes expected to go to starters Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes, Lagerald Vick and Marcus Garrett.

“If the number is real high with the four guards, which it should be, you don’t have a lot of bench,” Self explained.

Utilizing Agbaji would give KU another option off the bench at three of those four guard positions. The only one he would not play would be point guard.

That doesn’t mean the move is automatic, though. With forwards David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot available to pick up some of Azubuike’s minutes in the front court, the seventh-ranked Jayhawks (12-2 overall, 1-1 Big 12) have the option to shuffle the deck and see how they can tweak things without pulling Agbaji’s redshirt. But given the fact that Self and others continually have called Agbaji the best pure athlete on the team, the chances of seeing him in a KU game at some point this season seem to be very real.

“I haven’t made a decision to do that whatsoever, because if you bring him out, you bring him out to play him,” Self said. “Is he good enough? Absolutely. There’s no question. But the reality of it is, it’s a different pressure that he hasn’t had a chance to experience.”

By that, Self’s not just talking about facing Big 12 competition or playing against Division I talent.

“The games that he played in high school, even though he was a really good high school player, (weren’t) state championship games,” Self said. “So (his) first taste is not even a Michigan State. (His) first taste is going on the road in a hostile place and having to deliver. He’s been great in practice and he’s gotten a lot better. But it’s a different type of environment that he’s never experienced before.

“Are we thinking about it? Absolutely. But have we made a decision yet? We have not.”

As for what his teammates think of what Agbaji could bring to the lineup, KU freshmen Devon Dotson and McCormack both had high praise for Agbaji’s all-around game.

“We haven’t seen him shoot too much,” said McCormack when asked if Agbaji could help KU’s 3-point shooting woes. “He’s more of a slasher, just to play to his athletic ability. He’s a great energy guy, great mindset, very athletic and he plays with pace.”

Added Dotson: “He’s been great. He can run the floor with the best of them. He’s really athletic, really fast, a high-flyer. He could really help us out.”