Syracuse’s two tallest players have struggled with foul trouble during the team’s perfect start

first_imgWith 4:04 left in the first quarter during Syracuse’s 81-70 overtime win over Stony Brook on Nov. 30, SBU’s Cheyenne Clark got past her defender and drove the open lane. Digna Strautmane, late on the rotation, scrambled to get in position and threw her hands up to stop the shot.Clark drove her shoulder into the 6-foot-2 Strautmane’s chest and missed. Before the ball could roll away, the referee made his call: blocking foul on Strautmane. SU head coach Quentin Hillsman pursed his lips and wiped away forehead sweat. He’s grown accustomed to managing foul trouble early in the season, and this game would be no different.Despite Syracuse’s (8-0) undefeated start, its two tallest players, Strautmane and freshman center Amaya Finklea-Guity, haven’t been a consistent factor. The lack of production stems from the frontcourt’s foul trouble. Strautmane has accumulated the most personal fouls on the team (27) and has recorded at least four fouls in half the team’s games. Finklea-Guity is tied for third in fouls (16) and has played more than 19 minutes just twice. Hillsman has attributed the fouls to poor on-ball defense by SU’s guards and poor positioning by the forwards.“They’re both freshmen,” Hillsman said. “This is their first college games. They have a lot of responsibility.”When on the court, the pair contribute. Strautmane leads the team in rebounds per game (8.3) and blocks (19). Finklea-Guity ranks fourth in rebounds (4.9) and second in blocks (6).AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe duo will look to stay out of foul trouble against a Colgate team that sports four forwards taller than 6 feet on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome.“We know better,” Finklea-Guity said. “We just have to be more aware of those silly little mistakes…There’s only two of us right now.”Kevin Camelo | Contributing Digital Design EditorSyracuse only has three bigs on its active roster: Miranda Drummond, Strautmane and Finklea-Guity. When on the court together, they anchor SU’s 2-3 zone. Drummond, 6-foot-1, and Strautmane flank out wide. Finklea-Guity is 6-foot-4 and protects the rim. On SU’s bench, there is no player taller than 5-foot-9. So, when a member of Syracuse’s frontcourt gets in foul trouble, opponents have exploited the height advantage.In Syracuse’s most recent contest against Stony Brook, Strautmane committed her second foul with more than seven minutes left in the first half. Before she could receive a third, Hillsman benched her for Finklea-Guity. Two minutes later, Finklea-Guity earned her second foul and in another two minutes joined Strautmane on the sidelines. To replace Finklea-Guity, Hillsman turned to 5-foot-8 Jasmine Nwajei. The Orange were outrebounded by the Seawolves, 7-1, and allowed four layups to close the half after Finklea-Guity exited the game.“We need to guard out the man that we’re on,” guard Tiana Mangakahia said, “and make sure that they don’t get into foul trouble by helping.”In overtime against Stony Brook, a help-defense foul occurred with 2:51 left in the period. A Seawolves’ guard had broken through the zone and charged down the baseline. Strautmane switched over but didn’t set her feet and was called for her fifth foul of the game. For the second time this season, Strautmane fouled out.Part of the issue, Hillsman said, is Strautmane and Finklea-Guity committing “guard fouls,” such as slapping a player when going for a steal or reaching over an offensive player’s back to tip a pass away. Instead, Hillsman wants his forwards to save the fouls for later in the game, when tighter, foul-prone defense is necessary.Finklea-Guity started her Syracuse career with 23 points in two games. Over the next six games she’s scored 27 total. Strautmane led SU in its season-opening win against Morgan State on Nov. 10 as she dropped 17 points, pulled down 11 boards, blocked four shots and assisted on three others. Since then, she hasn’t scored double-digit points. Both figure to be a part of SU’s future success, if they can stay on the court and out of foul trouble.“I want to play,” Strautmane said. “If I want to play, I’ll have to keep myself in a good position so I don’t get fouls.” Comments Published on December 6, 2017 at 12:42 am Contact Nick: nialvare@syr.edu | @nick_a_alvarez Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Ndubuoke Faults NFF on Choice of Cities

first_imgIt raises doubt on fairness, equity and sincerity of purpose in the entire bidding exercise given the fact that one zone alone, out of the six geo-political zones in the country, was alloted three cities namely Benin, Uyo and Asaba while the South West was given two slots (venues) in Lagos alone.Agreed that some parts of the country may not be favourably disposed towards female participation in sports, the South East is certainly a home for women football.That such a zone was not considered by the NFF and the Bid Committee is unacceptable. That the South East which has been the nation’s feeding/recruitment ground for female footballers in the country since the commencement of the women game was suspiciously omitted in the provisional choice of cities to host the proposed FIFA Women World Cup is unfair and unjustifiable.The South East, over the years, has produced more than 70% of national team players in all tiers of the female national football teams. Same goes with clubs in the women domestic league in the country. It therefore becomes very surprising if not shocking to observe that the zone with five states and world class football stadia and solid sporting facilities was exempted in the provision of cities for the global sporting fiesta.Moreover, the South Eastern governors have shown immense commitment towards sporting excellence in the country. These are factors that should have been considered while this decision of national importance is being contemplated.Recently, Imo State governor, Emeka Ihedioha voted millions of naira for the rehabilitation of the Dan Anyiam Stadium to prove his commitment towards taking sports to the next level in the state in particular and the nation at large. Ihedioha made it clear during his campaigns before his election into office that sports will be giving a paramount place in his administration to engage our youths gainfully and take them off the streets. This will further act as catalysts to curbing crime. With less than 100 days in office, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives has lived upto his pledges, promises and campaign vows. He is fast turning Imo State into the sporting centre of the entire South East.“It is expected that these should have been considered by the bid team constituted by the NFF while coming up with its decision or choice of host cities for the proposed sporting event.“On these premises, one can only call on the NFF and its bid team/committee to do a rethink, beat a fast retreat and make a bold u-turn in this unfair decision to exempt the South East from this “developmental project”. You don’t deny the hen that lays the golden egg her honour of feeding, even if you decide not to give her more food than others!”concludes Ndubuoke.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Former board member of the nation’s soccer governing body, NFF, Chief Fan Ndubuoke has faulted the NFF on the choice of cities chosen to host next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, should Nigeria get the nod of the world soccer governing body.Ndubuoke in a statement yesterday, noted that the NFF erred by ignoringcities in the South East zone, even as he called for a rethink.The statement by Ndubuoke: “The decision of the nation’s football governing body, NFF to ignore and exempt the South East among the cities selected across the geo-political zones in the country considered to host the proposed FIFA U -20 Women World Cup next year is to say the least most unfortunate, unacceptable, very questionable and above all, insensitive.last_img read more