Month: September 2020

Fiction but Fact: Gatsby’s great truth: Drawing a line between dreams and reality

first_img(Kevin Yin | Daily Trojan) Fitzgerald’s novel still carries a continuing legacy almost 100 years since its first release in 1925. Though “The Great Gatsby” takes place in the Roaring ’20s, its lesson about the dangers of confusing imagination with reality remains relevant today. With rich commentary on the foolishness of a class-based society and the inability to let go of the past, the novel touches upon various themes and pressing issues that parallel many similar difficulties faced in today’s society.  While “The Great Gatsby” was published during the 1920s, its message to readers about balancing dreams and the real world remains timeless. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) “While I have every hope and plan of finishing my novel [“The Great Gatsby”] in June, you know how those things often come out, and even if it takes me 10 times that long I cannot let it go out unless it has the very best I’m capable of in it, or even, as I feel sometimes, something better than I’m capable of,” Fitzgerald wrote to his editor Max Perkins in 1924.  Yet, unlike Gatsby, I had hindsight vision and the upper hand in figuring out the costs of letting the past drive and dictate your current dreams. Diving into the world of Gatsby as I voraciously read through the pages from the first-person narration by Gatsby’s friend, Nick Carraway, I watched the young Gatsby grow into a man.  I’m not saying to stop dreaming. On the contrary, I say to never stop doing so because the day you do is the same day that you forget how to strive for what’s best for you. You forget how to believe, how to love, how to wish.  Comparing Gatsby’s need for the future to resemble his past —as represented by the green light — and the everyday man’s struggle to achieve their dreams by recreating their past, Fitzgerald reminds us of the danger of not moving beyond what has already happened.  In a sense, the novel is open to varying interpretations as to what Fitzgerald’s true message is about people and society. That is the beauty of this book; it allows both you and me to take away whatever we want — whatever stood out to us in the midst of the well-written prose that is Fitzgerald’s writing.  As humans we are constantly being drawn back by the current as we attempt to row forward.  I, too, was hypnotized by the dark side of idealism.  Only then can we truly escape the struggle to transform our imaginative dreams into the real world.  I’ve always admired Jay Gatsby’s ability to dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, “The Great Gatsby.” An optimist like Gatsby, I cheered him on as he worked 10 times harder than the next guy to make a name for himself so that he could win over the heart of his true love, Daisy. center_img Reading it for the first time as a requirement for my English 3 IB class in high school, I quickly began to appreciate the work of art the novel is. I identified with Gatsby: his dream of financial success, his dream for love, his dream of unrealistic aspirations. All of it.  Reiterating this life lesson and tragic truth, Fitzgerald concluded his novel with Carroway narrating words that I will never forget.  But when it turned out to be that this dream ironically led to Gatsby’s own demise, I forced myself to reconsider my blind loyalty to the hobby of dreaming.    “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us,” Carroway wrote. “It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther …  And one fine morning — so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Aisha Patel is a freshman writing about fiction in parallel to current events. Her column, “Fiction but Fact,” runs every other Wednesday. While we obviously can’t ask the literary genius what he himself hoped readers would learn and grasp from his piece, we do know that he put his heart and soul into this project.  At USC, I know that sometimes it becomes hard to dream. Getting caught up in classes, being involved with several extracurriculars, trying to secure an internship — we can easily forget who we exactly want to be and what we want to achieve. But, as members among some of the brightest minds of the Trojan family, I remind us all (myself included) to never lose sight on what’s most important: believing in ourselves, dreaming and accomplishing our wildest goals.  Infatuated with recreating things just how they were in the past with Daisy, Gatsby becomes consumed by the undertaking. He does not give himself a second to just stop and truly think about the reason behind his actions and behavior and falls victim to living in the past instead of living in the moment — a situation that I, and so many others, are familiar with. I encourage us all to dream with the same passion as Gatsby, but at the same time, I ask us all to make time for introspection — to pause and observe one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings. By doing so, we permit ourselves to determine whether our dreams are balanced between reality and fantasy, and that they are not just manifestations from the past.  And to me, the most important enduring truth the novel teaches us is to never let the dreams of our past blind us from our goals for the present and the future. last_img read more

Spotlight shining on Kirsch

first_imgListening to Purdue quarterback Brandon Kirsch speak, you’d never get the sense he wasn’t in complete control.Sitting at a round table surrounded by reporters at the Big Ten’s annual Media Day in Chicago, he fields questions about everything from the new freshmen, the returning defense, even Penn State recruiting practices, without a single hint of anxiety or uncertainty, like he’s been doing it forever. Truthfully, it’s impressive listening to Kirsch answer questions. He’s honest, funny and gives no hint that his answers are rehearsed or un-genuine. He’s in complete control.And that’s the way he likes it.It’s easy to understand Kirsch’s affinity for control. The Lebanon, Pa., native has waited patiently for three years to get his chance at being the top signal-caller behind center.“I take it as a challenge,” Kirsch said of finally getting his chance to start.Kirsch had the misfortune to join the Boilermakers the year after Purdue great and current Chicago Bears quarterback, Kyle Orton. Kirsch gave Orton a brief push for playing time during his true freshman year, starting four contests and amassing 1,067 yards before ceding the starting role to Orton and watching him become one of the top passers in Purdue history.But this year, the tables have turned, and it appears Lady Luck is finally smiling down on the patient Kirsch. He couldn’t wish for a better situation to step into if he tried, as the senior is set to lead a Boilermaker squad that boasts 20 returning starters and 32 total seniors.But with such a veteran squad comes exceptional expectations, set forth first and foremost by head coach Joe Tiller.“One would suggest with the pieces of the puzzle in place, for the most part, we’ll go as the quarterback position goes,” Tiller said. “If we perform well at that position, we feel like we’ll have a better team this year than we did last year.”Kirsch won’t refute his coach’s statements; instead, he agrees wholeheartedly that this season’s success rests on his shoulders.“Coach Tiller is right in that aspect that we have 11 proven starters back on defense, seven proven starters back on offense and the rest are kind of fill-in positions: receivers that have played a lot in the past, running backs that have played in the past and the linemen that have played in the past,” Kirsch said.“I think my playing in the past wasn’t that consistent and, at the quarterback position, you need to have consistent playing time to understand what’s going on, so I guess the only question mark on the field this year is me, and he’s right in that aspect.”While much of the returning talent will be on the defensive side of the ball, Kirsch will be far from alone on the offensive side. Joining Kirsch on his own side of the ball will be a club almost identical to the crew directed by Orton last year. Gone are linemen Tyler Moore and David Owen, as well as the NCAA’s all-time leader in receptions, Taylor Stubblefield, but the rest of the team remains intact. Kyle Ingraham, Dorian Bryant and Charles Davis, Purdue’s second, third and fourth leading receivers last year, all return, as well as fifth-year senior Jared Void at running back.Kirsch will also have a pair of highly touted freshman targets to help him through the season in Greg Orton and Selwyn Lymon. Lymon was rated the No. 22 player in the nation by SuperPrep, while Orton was rated the No. 19 best receiver in the nation by the same publication.“I think Greg Orton is going to be very good,” Kirsch said. “He’s got a good body on him, great hands and he gets down the field for you. Really didn’t get the opportunity to see too many other freshmen when I got out of school this year, but Greg Orton really impressed me.”But make no mistake about it: the self-proclaimed “crazy gambler type” knows that even with many of the same targets his predecessor possessed at his disposal, he still needs to prove he can be as effective as the last two Purdue quarterbacks.“I’m an experienced new guy, meaning I’ve been there before and I know what to expect,” Kirsch said. “I’ve played in big stadiums and on big teams and I welcome the challenge, and I’m very anxious to get started.”last_img read more

Badgers relying on junior tandem

first_imgThe inexperienced University of Wisconsin men’s tennis team framed an inspiring picture for the upcoming fall season after encouraging results at last weekend’s Cincinnati Invitational. Greg Van Emburgh, who enters his second year as Badgers head coach, believes his squad’s competitiveness ranks among the highest in recent UW tennis history.”I think we have a great team this year, it is probably one of the best teams we have had here in a long time,” Van Emburgh said.The coach’s resounding optimism originates principally from two sources: Jeremy Sonkin and Nolan Polley. During the fall season, the talented tandem earned spots in the national preseason Collegiate Tennis Rankings.In singles, Polley ranks No. 74, six spots ahead of Sonkin. Wisconsin has not placed multiple players in the men’s preseason rankings since 2001, a fact which surely strengthens Van Emburgh’s enthusiasm.Nevertheless, Van Emburgh does not wholeheartedly endorse ITA rankings, and he implied Wednesday that Wisconsin might be underrated.”I don’t think the [current] rankings will be a reflection of where the team will be at the end of the year,” he said.Van Emburgh gave no indication as to which player would fill the team’s No. 1 singles spot next spring as both Polley and Sonkin are capable of holding the coveted top position.Polley, last year’s No. 2 singles player, recorded a team-high 30 victories last season. Sonkin’s profile is equally impressive, as he held UW’s No. 1 singles spot and was named an all-Big Ten selection last season.Team injuries are a principal concern for the young coach. Sonkin and Polley each missed this past weekend’s invitational. Sonkin hopes to return to action this Sunday for the All-American Tennis Championships, but Polley’s nagging shoulder injury will force him to miss the team’s next tournament and limit his play during the fall. Despite these setbacks, Polley, Sonkin and the rest of the team practice two hours a day, in a stalwart effort to improve from last year. A large banner hangs prominently at the Nielsen Tennis Center, with boxed-in names of every UW player named to all-Big Ten honors.Jeremy Sonkin believes this team possesses the ability to add at least a couple of names to that banner. “The one thing we were lacking [last year] was the will and the fight to win … but I think we have that this year,” Sonkin said, who credits two newcomers, freshmen Michael Dierberger and Michael Muskievicz, for improving team chemistry.On the contrary, the Badgers’ structural chemistry remains largely unchanged since last year, as Wisconsin lost no one to graduation.Van Emburgh selected his lone senior, Lachezar Kasarov, as team captain for the 2006-07 season. The head coach also recently named Evan Austin, a former player of Van Emburgh’s at Kentucky, the men’s new assistant head coach.”I think he’s going to be one of the top assistants in the country,” Van Emburgh said. “He’s a great guy and [was once a] great player. He’s had wins against [U.S. professional Andy] Roddick and other top players. We are real fortunate to have him here.”The Badgers’ two nationally ranked players, promising pair of freshman, seven returning starters and new assistant head coach gives the team a competitive edge. Van Emburgh has established a new foundation for the men’s tennis program, but perhaps more importantly, as Jeremy Sonkin articulated, he’s trying to instill a strong competitive drive for success.”He wants us to fight and play as hard as we can, It is really a shame to go into matches, with putting as much effort and work as we have into all our practices, to not give everything we have.”last_img read more

Tips for better home field

first_imgWhen the University of Wisconsin football team heads to Iowa City on Saturday to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten finale, the team will face an unusual and unique challenge: The team will have to fight off pacifism.Now, in case you’re wondering why UW would possibly be passive about playing a team that has made a living off of spoiling Badger seasons recently — dashing a Rose Bowl bid in 2004 and souring Barry Alvarez’s final home game last year — it is because not one member of the 2005 team has ever beaten Iowa.So why will they need to fight the urge to go out and pay more attention to the turf artwork than the action on the turf? Because they are going to have to prepare themselves in the infamous pink visitor’s locker room at Kinnick Stadium.Regardless of the official stance of Iowa, this is obviously a tactic aimed to give the Hawkeyes some sort of benefit on the field, making it even tougher than it already is to play at Kinnick.But why stop there? Why not even go to further lengths to ensure the strongest home-field advantage possible? With that in mind, here are some of the other techniques to help create the ultimate home field.Wet paintHaving a pink locker room might be calming, but if the locker room were freshly painted, it would be nauseating. What team would be ready to play after having to dress in a room with more fumes than a Port-o-Potty just vacated by Mo Vaughn?If you wanted to take it a step further, you could even add some paint thinner to the paint. That way, it will not only become a brain-cell cocktail, but also won’t dry, leaving open the possibility for some very messy uniforms.Crowd controlIt’s a given fact that a crowd can have a positive effect as to the outcome of a game (and occasionally a negative one, if Philly fans are throwing batteries at their own team again), and manipulating the crowd is an art that should be focused on.A strong, emotional pre-game montage can make the difference between a fast start and a lackadaisical opening to a game for a team. Having game time be at 7 p.m. and not 11 a.m. is a start.Also, playing the right songs at the right time can be beneficial. The UW game-day staff finally got it right this weekend by playing the true “We Will Rock You” following “Jump Around,” instead of the fake MIDI file-thingy. The result was a full student section alerting Penn State that they were about to be rocked, in unison. Very cool. In Wisconsin’s case, all songs that the students know and sing should purposefully be cut off early so the student version can be heard loud and clear.The Name GameIf you want to get under the skin of an opposing team — and get their heads out of the game — there is no better way of doing so than to have the public address announcer purposefully get the name over every single opposing player wrong. We are talking about being as accurate as a Rex Grossman pass.Even the levelheaded John Stocco would have to get flustered after being referred to as “Johnny Stucco.” P.J. Hill would not appreciate being called O.J. and I doubt Luke Swan would approve of being called Lynn all night long — or all day long, in the case of UW which just scheduled its 10 millionth brutal 11 a.m. start.Ant farmFire ants are not the most popular creatures on the planet. Planting several anthills on the opponents sideline would very likely be distracting to an opponent, especially if they literally had ants in their pants. Coaches would be forced to stand away from the sideline, causing faulty play-calling.Subs would be too busy washing themselves down with medicated ointment and looking for Band-Aids to worry about such a little thing as, I don’t know, getting in the game. Or even worse, the players could all try and get onto the field, which is ant-free, resulting in countless too-many-men-on-the-field penalties.Giveaway DayIf you want to make life miserable for the opposition, you need to properly equip the fans that are closest to them. Fun, free giveaways for the sections that are directly behind the opposing team’s bench would be a fantastic way to make sure the opposing team is constantly on its toes, plus there are plenty of options as to what to give out.Super Soakers would be ideal and could even be beneficial toward the players if they needed to wash off some ants.Another option would be to hand out leftovers from the morning’s farmers’ market. I don’t know how difficult it is to throw a kohlrabi, but I do know tomatoes can really stain a uniform well. Handing out megaphones would be fun too, just to help the fans root their team on louder and prouder than ever and ensuring that all verbal barbs thrown the way of the opponent would be heard loud and clear, like a Bob Knight mandate.All of these measures would help to create the ultimate home field advantage, would put Iowa’s pink locker room to shame and could help create the perfect atmosphere for game day … that is, for the home team.Dave McGrath is a senior majoring in English and journalism. If you have any other reasonable options as to how to create a more perfect home field advantage, write him at read more

Thrown out back-court

first_imgEAST LANSING, Mich. — It was a rough night for the Badger backcourt. After scoring a combined eight points, Kammron Taylor could only shake his head, searching for answers, while Michael Flowers declined to meet the media after what was a very frustrating 64-55 loss to Michigan State.And for the second time this year, the No. 1 Wisconsin men’s basketball team watched another team’s fans storm the court in celebration.Against Indiana the Badgers could only tip their hats to IU’s defense and A.J. Ratliff’s lights-out 3-point shooting. This time around, though, UW could only blame itself for falling, as the team’s top players simply couldn’t come through.”[The team] looks to us; they look to us to carry them through times like this,” senior forward Alando Tucker said. “It’s all about how you bounce back.”While Tucker — who the Spartans mobbed at every touch like an ant colony does a picnic — was limited to just two points in the second half, it was the lack of help he received offensively, particularly from his backcourt, that proved to be fatal for UW.Taylor had his worst game of the season, going 0-for-6 from the field with no rebounds and just one assist, plus a turnover, scoring only two points from the free-throw line. That was while playing all but one minute of the contest.”I don’t know, I don’t know,” the somber senior said afterward, unable to assess what went wrong. “That was all me. I wasn’t as aggressive as I should’ve been.”Meanwhile, Taylor’s backcourt-mate Michael Flowers was only slightly better, scoring five points on 2-10 shooting.”Our shots weren’t going down,” Taylor said. “We were sort of flustered on the offensive end.”While the Madison native was able to corral five rebounds, distribute four assists without a turnover and poke away two steals, he also could only watch helplessly as the Spartan’s Drew Neitzel — Flowers’ primary defensive assignment — toasted the Badgers for 28 points on 10-17 shooting.[Neitzel] just caught fire,” Taylor said. “It’s hard to stop a guy when he’s putting up difficult shots and they’re still going in. He was hot and unfortunately for us he stayed hot for the whole game.”Neitzel’s sharp shooting was a little too much déjà vu for Tucker’s liking, however, recalling the Badgers’ loss to Indiana.”The two times we lost, we couldn’t contain shooters,” Tucker said. “If we want to win, if want to be successful, guys are going to have to be able to find ways to stop guys when they get hot. That’s the whole team collectively.”It was the first time Taylor had been held without a field goal since going 0-6 against Indiana in the 2006 Big Ten Tournament, also a Wisconsin loss.”Here’s the way you describe an off night: How do you respond the next night?” UW head coach Bo Ryan said. “You’ve just got to pick up the pieces.”Tucker expressed full confidence in his teammate’s ability to rebound from the rough night in time for what will be the game of the season for Wisconsin this Sunday, traveling to Ohio State with a Big Ten championship on the line.”Kam always bounces back, bounces back strong,” Tucker said. “I’m not worried about that.”As for Flowers, even Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo believed that Neitzel’s night was more of a superb individual performance than a lax defensive one by the UW junior.”I still think Flowers is one of the best defensive players in this league,” Izzo said.Flowers’ teammates agreed with Izzo’s assessment.”Some of the shots he was hitting, tough jumpers getting the crowd into it,” senior forward Jason Chappell said. “I don’t know who could’ve stopped some of those.”Having now watched fans of powerhouse programs Indiana and Michigan State rush the floor after the victories over the Badgers, though, it is quite clear UW has earned a level of respect possibly never before achieved in the program’s history.”I guess that’s how you know you’re good,” Chappell said. “Especially with those two teams, those two programs, it says something.”last_img read more

Men’s soccer loses tough battle against Spartans

first_imgDespite outplaying Michigan State University for the majority of the game, the University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team could not find the back of the net, losing 3-0 in their Big Ten home opener. In what was one of the hardest fought battles at the McClimon Soccer Complex in recent memory, the Spartans (6-0-2, 1-0-1 in the Big Ten) were able to light up the Badgers’ stout defense with three goals while stifling UW’s offense. The tough loss dropped the Badgers record to 5-3-2, 0-1-1 in the Big Ten. Much of the Spartans’ offensive success was the result of numerous defensive breakdowns and mental lapses by the Badgers. After 32 minutes of scoreless action, the Spartans drew first blood when Kenzo Webster drilled a shot past UW goalkeeper Alex Horwath after receiving a crossing pass from teammate Kevin Reiman. The Badgers never got a chance to catch their breath after the Spartans’ first score. A mere 35 seconds later, Wisconsin suffered a defensive breakdown and Michigan State’s Doug DeMartin was able to loft the ball over a defenseless Horwath. The Badgers played with a sense of urgency in the second half, taking nine shots on goal to go along with six corner kicks. With 23 minutes remaining, senior midfielder Erik Ortega blasted a shot from the left corner of the box that slid just past the far post. Later, Michigan State’s goalkeeper Chris Austin stymied another UW scoring opportunity after deflecting Bryan Gerster’s shot from in front of the goal. With 11 minutes remaining in the second half, the Spartans were able to quell any thought of a comeback for the Badgers as DeMartin was able to put another shot past Horwath on a pass from teammate Louis Stephens. DeMartin’s score dug the Badgers into a hole they never managed to find their way out of. Although the Spartans dominated on the scoreboard, the Badgers outplayed their opponents for much of the game. UW outshot the Spartans 16-8, and had eight corner kicks to MSU’s two. Despite the Badgers managing to double their opponent’s shot total, only 25 percent (4 of 16) of their shots were on target. The loss to the Spartans left many of the Badgers scratching their heads, especially after playing so well for the majority of the game. “We broke down three times, and they got three goals because of it,” said UW senior midfielder Dirk Pearson. “For 88 minutes of the game, I felt like we were killing them. Then one 2-minute span in the first half, we break down, and they got two goals in 45 seconds. This is the Big Ten, when you make mistakes, you are going to get punished for it.” Pearson took three shots in the game, only one of which was on-goal. “I thought we were putting together a lot of good stuff, but the stuff we did put on goal could have been much better,” Pearson said. “It’s getting towards the end of the season and we can’t have these type of losses anymore. Its unfortunate, but we have to look past it.”Head coach Jeff Rohrman was equally puzzled by the Badgers’ performance. “I thought if you took about five minutes of that game out, we were the better team. Yet we are walking away from a 3-0 game that we lost,” said Rohrman. “[MSU] was a good team, and they are going to punish you for those types of mistakes; that is the nature of the Big Ten. We just have to clean those things up a little bit.”The Badgers’ stifling defense was not up to its usual form Sunday, and allowed three goals for only the third time this season. “We are 10 games in, and we have had six shutouts, so [the defense] certainly [has] shown that they can do it, and they have done it,” said Rohrman. “At the end of the day, it’s a matter of the defense reminding themselves that they have done it, and they can do it.”The loss is especially hard to swallow since the Badgers face a tough Northwestern team next Saturday in Evanston, Ill. “I think we have to get a little sharper going forward, clean things up on the defensive side and gear ourselves for Northwestern,” Rohrman said. “They are a team similar to us in terms of how they play as far as the system. It is going to be a good game; it always is with those guys. There is a reason Northwestern is one of the top five teams in the country.”As the team heads onto the road yet again, it is important for the Badgers to learn from their loss and put the memory behind them. “We have bounced back from losses pretty well already this year,” Pearson said. Both Rohrman and the Badger faithful hope that Pearson’s words prove correct, and a win against Northwestern could be the signature win the team needs to get back on track to securing a Big Ten championship this year.last_img read more

Multiple positions, multiple roles for selfless Nagy

first_imgSenior lineman Bill Nagy filled in for center Pete Konz who left with an injury against Iowa. Nagy has played guard, center and tight end for UW so far this season.[/media-credit]After practice, he is sweaty and exhausted. His jersey is soaked. His taped hands, raw. His once shiny white helmet bears a plethora of scuff marks in more colors than he could count with his two massive hands.If the diversity of colors were meant to represent the variety of roles redshirt senior Bill Nagy has held, it would be a fitting metaphor.Nagy, who has played in all eight games this season and started six of them, has played right guard, tight end and center in his playing career as a Badger. In Sunday’s win over Iowa, he filled in at center in the second half for redshirt sophomore Peter Konz, who left the game due to injury and didn’t return after the first half.Despite his need to frequently adjust to different positions, Nagy isn’t fazed by his responsibilities.“I was ready to go. It’s just something we practice and prepare for everyday…Whenever your number is called, you have to be ready to seize the opportunity,” Nagy said.He also noted that, to him, the positions of center and guard are essentially the same. Playing tight end, however, is different due to the difference in play calls. Nagy has been filling in where needed since his sophomore year two seasons ago. After redshirting his freshman year, he stepped up at right guard for John Moffitt against Minnesota. In the following season, he replaced injured players on two occasions at right guard in addition to starting three games. Last season, he missed all but three games due to injury.After starting the first four games of this season at right guard, Nagy lost his spot in the starting lineup to Kevin Zeitler, but he was utilized as a tight end in the jumbo package in the Michigan State game and played against Ohio State and Minnesota. He also contributed at this position in the Iowa game before substituting for the injured Konz at center.Serving as a utilitarian, flex player as opposed to habituating oneself to a fixed position would understandably be frustrating for many players. Nagy, however, embraces his role whole-heartedly.“I just enjoy playing football at whatever position it may be, whether it’s guard, center, or tight end,” Nagy said.Nagy’s attitude and approach to his role are certainly not lost on his fellow players.“Bill did a phenomenal job of stepping in. He’s a huge part of this team…An offensive lineman should be tough, selfless and disciplined, and he exemplifies all three [of these traits],” quarterback Scott Tolzien said.Tolzien, who was challenged by taking snaps from two different centers over the course of one game, explained that there should never be a “panic situation” in a game. The Konz-to-Nagy transition was made smoothly, he explained, because of the way the team practices over the course of the week.Moffitt, UW’s starting left guard, also a redshirt senior, has some experience playing center in his career as well, and he praised Nagy for his poise and competence.“Bill played a clean game; he wasn’t fazed at all,” Moffitt said.What especially impressed Moffitt is that Nagy took only 40 percent of the reps at center in the week leading up to Saturday’s game, yet still delivered.“The blocking is a little different [compared to other positions on the offensive line]. You have to know what you’re doing schematically,” Moffitt said. “You’re making the calls, and Bill did an awesome job at that.”Even coach Bret Bielema acknowledged the impact Nagy’s play had on his team.“Billy Nagy pops in, takes off the tight end jersey number and steps in there. Unbelievable, selfless act to give us that win,” Bielema said after the Iowa game.Selflessness is paramount to having success for a player in Nagy’s situation. Nagy acknowledges his value on the team as a utility player, and instead of worrying about more stable playing time, the senior embraces his opportunities to contribute.“He’s really mature about the way he plays and handles his business,” Moffitt said. “He doesn’t make excuses.”“That’s my role, and I’m doing whatever I can to help the team win,” Nagy said.last_img read more

MBB : On his shoulders: As unassuming leader, Joseph carves own legacy at Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Kris Joseph was startled by being a focal point.In the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the Big East’s Sixth Man of the Year was no longer coming off the bench. Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku was out with a knee injury and Butler game-planned against Joseph in the SU starting lineup.‘They were kind of giving me the ‘Rondo treatment,” Joseph said, referring to Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, ‘where they were playing me in the key and forcing me to shoot.’Joseph shot just 3-of-8 from the field for six points, missing his only 3-point attempt, and the top-seeded Orange fell to fifth-seeded Butler in the Sweet 16 of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Joseph, then a sophomore, called the game a wake-up call that showed him just how much he needed to develop his all-around game. The Bulldogs played Joseph as a driving forward, daring him to shoot, and he couldn’t capitalize.Just more than two weeks later, Syracuse’s shining star, Wes Johnson, declared for the NBA Draft. The Big East Player of the Year was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fourth pick overall.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJoseph assumed his position as small forward of the Orange. With it came expectations, presumptions that Joseph would be what Johnson was — the star. They were the same height and Joseph weighed two more pounds. Joseph averaged double digits off the bench in 2009-10. He had to be great.In the two seasons since, Joseph has assumed a role as team leader. He hasn’t been Johnson, a player who captivated the Syracuse fans during one remarkable season on the court. But the senior from Montreal has found his niche as an unselfish, consistent player on the wing for Syracuse. And he is the Orange’s go-to player.Joseph will leave Syracuse as the all-time winningest player in Orange history —something he accomplished against Louisville on March 3. It has not been flashy, but he leads the team with 14.1 points per game and has scored in double digits in all but five games of his senior season.When all is said and done, he’s next in the line of talented swingmen to develop a legacy at Syracuse.‘He’s very talented, he’s very chill,’ SU guard Brandon Triche said. ‘He’s a guy you want to be around, and he’s getting his degree as well. Guys that stay four years really help the team out.’Joseph said the expectations entering the 2010-11 season, his junior year, did not bother him. He set high expectations for himself entering the year as well.Still, Joseph acknowledged the media hype surrounding him was that he was going to burst into the starting lineup and be the next star for the Orange. He chose to ignore it.‘I wasn’t thinking about whose shoes I had to fill because I don’t think that would necessarily help out the team,’ Joseph said.Joseph referred to himself as a facilitator. But he can score, too.He was a scorer for Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington D.C., the high school that bred SU’s all-time leading scorer, Lawrence Moten. And Joseph was a scorer off the bench as a sophomore at Syracuse.At Archbishop Carroll, though, he was one of the bigger and more athletic players on the court. He was relatively unknown heading into his sophomore year at SU.Now, he deals with the brunt of the opposing team’s defensive game plan. So he has no problem moving the ball to someone with an easier path to the basket.‘If you need him to score, he’ll score. That’s the thing about him,’ Johnson said. ‘If you need him to have a big night, he’ll have a big night for you. But he’ll really just try to get everyone else involved and score when he needs to score.’Moten is close with the player who shares both his high school and college alma maters. He said he remembers hearing about Joseph being a top talent in high school.  Like Johnson, Joseph possesses a similar game to Moten, too. The long-armed, slash-and-shoot wing players who have become staples of Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone and are dynamic on offense.‘It’s a gift of having a knack for the ball and knowing where to be in particular positions in the right place at the right time,’ Moten said. ‘And I see that in him.’Joseph’s junior season didn’t live up to the expectations that were in place for him. He averaged 14.3 points per game, but he did not do what Johnson did. He was steady, less exciting.Moten described Joseph’s style as ‘low-key.’ There is a lot of hard work behind the scenes. He is quiet and humble on the court.But at times, he is still able to step up. That’s been especially evident in his senior season, a full year after Johnson left SU.‘I think a lot of people were sort of hyping the situation more than they should have,’ Johnson said. ‘Just not letting Kris be Kris and putting a lot of stuff on him. But I think this year it’s working out for him, and I think the team is showing that, too.’The 2011-12 season can be Joseph’s legacy. Though Dion Waiters has been flashy, C.J. Fair has produced some highlight-reel dunks and Fab Melo is the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year, Joseph is still the player Syracuse can trust most with the game on the line.He knocked down a long jumper over Stanford guard Jarrett Mann to put the Orange up one with three minutes left in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game Nov. 25. Against Georgetown on Feb. 8, Joseph got open for 3 from the left corner to provide the clinching points in a 64-61 overtime victory. Joseph said that game is one of his favorite moments of his career.Joseph might have missed those clutch 3-pointers if he was the player of two years ago. He might not have taken them. But he developed that shot into a reliable tool to keep defenses honest. Joseph said he feels he’s more comparable to Johnson this year because of his shooting ability.And with the Orange heading into postseason play on fire, he still has a chance to do something that would make Johnson incomparable to him — lead SU to a national championship.He’ll want the ball in his hands for a shot in that game. Something that helps him fit right in with the other historic wings in SU history.‘When it comes down to it, I’ve been here four years. I’m one of the veterans on this team,’ Joseph said. ‘And I would trust myself with the ball in my hands in the dying seconds of a tie game. Whether I make or miss the shot, I’d rather have the ball in my hands.’ Commentscenter_img Published on March 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: | @mark_cooperjrlast_img read more

Krautman misses pair of field goals in Syracuse’s loss to Cincinnati; Smith continues streak of 100-yard rushing performances

first_imgCINCINNATI — The inconsistency of Ross Krautman, which seemed to have evaporated when he connected on all four field goals against Connecticut, has resurfaced.Krautman went just one for three in Saturday’s 35-24 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday, with one of his misses pulled to the left and the other blocked for the second time this season. It dropped his season average to a lowly 55.6 percent, tied for 10th worst in the country among kickers who have enough attempts to qualify for the rankings.Afterward, Krautman said he planned to go back and look at the film in practice to determine if there was anything wrong with his mechanics. But he insisted that head coach Doug Marrone believes in him, and that he has confidence in himself as well prior to each kick.“Wherever on the field should be the same thing as long as you line up right,” Krautman said.Like the game against Rutgers, Krautman saw one of his kicks blocked as a result of terrific penetration by an opponent. This time it came from the left side, as defensive lineman Brandon Mills surged forward and got his right hand on the football, which appeared to have a low trajectory from the start.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe kick would have pulled Syracuse to within 14-13 early in the second quarter.“You miss a field goal, which is really on me,” Marrone said. “I drilled it all week. I just kept hammering home. If you don’t feel comfortable, then you have to make some changes. And that’s coaching. I knew exactly the way they were coming, and we worked on it all week and they couldn’t execute it.“The block is like a turnover in my mind.”Later in the game, Marrone sent Krautman onto the field to attempt a 42-yarder early in the fourth quarter. Syracuse trailed by 11 at the time, and Krautman’s kick would have made it a one-possession game. But he pulled his kick to the left, sealing a Bearcats victory.“The snap and the hold was fine; I just missed the kick,” Krautman said.Marrone OK with officiatingThere were two plays in Saturday’s game that drew the on-field ire of Doug Marrone. He fumed, yelled, cast aside his headset and implored the officials to rule on Syracuse’s favor.The first was an apparent fumble by Cincinnati tailback George Winn on a read-option play by Munchie Legaux. SU linebacker Dyshawn Davis emerged from the pile with the football, parading toward the sideline in celebration as he and his teammates believed the Orange offense would take over inside the Bearcats 20 yard line.But after the play was reviewed, it stood as called with Winn ruled down by contact.“Upstairs, they say it was a fumble. Down on the field, they didn’t really have it,” Marrone said. “They didn’t really know about the recovery issue. Again, the guys worked hard, and as long as they communicate and tell you what’s going on, I’m fine.”Later, Legaux took a quarterback keeper on a first-and-goal from the 5 yard line and raced toward the front right corner of the end zone. He fumbled inches shy of the goal line, with the ball bouncing backward into the field and then out of bounds inside the 1 yard line.Marrone and his players craved a touchback call from the officials, thinking the ball had gone over the goal line and out of bounds through the end zone.But once again the replay confirmed that a close call would swing in Cincinnati’s direction following an official review and explanation.“I thought the officials — it was a great crew, they do a great job, they did a great job of communicating,” Marrone said. “I don’t have any problems with the calls and what they’ve done.”Smith continues to shineFor the third straight game, Syracuse running back Jerome Smith topped 100 yards to carry the offense. He carried the ball 21 times on Saturday for 116 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season.Smith was stopped short of the goal line on consecutive running plays from inside the 5 yard line midway through the third quarter. But on the third try he leaped up and over the offensive line to give the Orange a 24-21 lead.In his last three games, Smith has run for 376 yards and boosted his total to 731 yards on the season. Comments Published on November 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm Contact Michael: | @Michael_Cohen13 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Familiar Eastern Michigan rounds out Syracuse’s tough nonconference slate on Tuesday

first_imgC.J. Fair smiled right before he spoke.Usually around this time of year he fields questions about why Syracuse’s nonconference schedule isn’t tougher.This year, though, the questions were the opposite. He was asked how Syracuse’s difficult nonconference schedule has helped prepare the team for conference play.“We’ve had a tough nonconference schedule,” Fair said, “and usually people criticize us for that.”No. 2 Syracuse (12-0) will face Eastern Michigan (7-4) on Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the Carrier Dome in its final nonconference tune-up before entering Atlantic Coast Conference play for the first time. The Eagles, though less intimidating on paper than some other opponents, are the end of a stretch of formidable non-ACC teams SU has faced.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse won the Maui Invitational by beating Minnesota, California and then-No. 18 Baylor, survived St. John’s in Madison Square Garden and surged by then-No. 8 Villanova 78-62 on Saturday – all before conference play.“I think when we get through this nonconference schedule we’ll have been tested,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said, “probably a bit more than we have been some years.”The Orange’s first test of the year came against an unlikely opponent in St. Francis (N.Y.). SU trailed 50-48 with fewer than three minutes to go, and the once-seemingly impossible loss became a legitimate worry for the Syracuse faithful.But Syracuse closed the game on a 10-0 run as St. Francis crumbled. It was a game that Boeheim insisted SU should have lost, but the Orange escaped.“They should have beat us,” he said of St. Francis. “They were the only team that really should have beat us this year. They had us beat.”In the Maui Invitational, it wasn’t entirely smooth sailing for Syracuse. Minnesota cut its deficit to just two with 2:14 to go before SU pulled away. California was within one point with 11 minutes to go. Baylor lost by just seven.Those three teams currently hold a combined 30-7 record and will likely all be dancing in March.The Orange embarrassed Indiana in a game that was part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, but was anything but a challenge for Syracuse. And St. John’s gave SU a scare in Madison Square Garden before Syracuse won the battle for New York supremacy.The Orange has played strong teams early on in years past. Last year SU faced San Diego State, Arkansas and Temple. This year, though, the string of matchups – and wins – has been even more impressive.“These games,” Boeheim said, “you don’t need to play a hundred of them, but we’ve played enough of these games that are really going to help you.”Saturday’s win over Villanova was SU’s biggest win of the season to date.Even Tyler Ennis, who never got a flavor of Big East basketball, knows the historical significance and the importance of such a marquee matchup early in the year.“It’s a big win,” Ennis said. “It’s a rivalry. They’re a really good team this year, especially being Top 10.”Next up is Eastern Michigan. Syracuse has trounced EMU the last two seasons by identical scores of 84-48. Despite the lopsided history between the two teams, the Eagles are an improved team this year.They trailed Kentucky by just three at the half, hung around with Massachusetts and lost to Purdue by only five.Eagles head coach Rob Murphy, who was an assistant coach for SU, has implemented a zone defense that has held opponents to 37 percent shooting on the season. EMU, meanwhile, is shooting 44 percent.Eagles’ center Da’Shonte Riley spent his freshman season at Syracuse and is also very familiar with Boeheim’s zone.With EMU’s recent success and familiarity with Syracuse, SU guard Trevor Cooney knows his team can’t sleep on the Eagles.“Eastern Michigan’s a really good team,” Cooney said. “We’re not worried about conference play right now. Just worried about them.”Boeheim said Murphy has molded EMU into a difficult team to play against. He expects another tough challenge on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.Then, for Syracuse, the tough sledding through nonconference play is over. It’s on to the ACC.“It definitely helped a lot,” sophomore Jerami Grant said. “Knowing that we’re going to the ACC there’s going to be a lot of good teams to play against, so it helped us a lot to prepare for what to come.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm Contact Trevor: | @TrevorHasslast_img read more