Commit to the Trip

first_imgA common occurrence in the active community is a little known ailment that goes by Insufficient Commitment Disorder. There are many brief spots in history where I have fallen victim to this pandemic. Someone will be riled up about a trip, hut-to-hut skiing perhaps or a biking afternoon at Carvins Cove, and I’ll be equally as excited and often times exclaim “that sounds awesome, count me in.” But as the adventure draws nearer, and excuses bubble to the top, somewhere in my head I know I’m not going to go on the trip.Everybody experiences this, the dissonance between “yes I’m going” and getting in the car. There are always many excuses readily available, but like elbows, everyone has them (and they don’t look that different from each other.)Maybe Insufficient Commitment Disorder can be looked at from a higher perspective. If I could live out all the lofty goals and expectations I have verbally committed to, I would be doing just fine for myself. Talk is cheap, and I love it, but action and movement are what will truly define your voice.Figuratively and literally easier said than done I’ve realize from experience. But now I think twice when asked to commit to the trip, think twice about the difference between “yes” and going, and realize that no matter what I say, it’s what I’ll do that will keep me moving.last_img read more

Malachi Richardson bounces back after rocky 9-game stretch from behind the arc

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Richardson had his first bad game of the season against Elon on Nov. 21. He said afterward that he compensated by attacking the rim. When Syracuse defeated then-No. 18 Connecticut in November, Richardson said he’d played his “worst brand of basketball” by going 1-of-4 from the field, turning it over twice and committing three fouls in the first half. When he made none of his 11 attempts against St. John’s less than a month later, he said to reporters after the game that he knew shots would eventually fall.He’s owned up to his freshman season struggles every time they’ve manifested themselves. But with Syracuse hanging on by a thread against the nation’s current No. 5 (UNC) and No. 8 (Miami) teams, it’s largely been due to Richardson’s renaissance. When Gbinije shot 0-of-7 from 3 against Miami, Richardson shot 5-of-6. When Gbinije again scored just 10 points against the Tar Heels, 16 from Richardson proved to be clutch.It hasn’t been enough to beat the best teams, but it’s enough to make a statement.“We don’t look at Mali as a freshman now,” Trevor Cooney said. “He’s played enough minutes in enough big games. We have the trust in him and the faith in him to go out there and make plays. We believe that he can do it and he’s done it.” Comments Logan Reidsma | Staff Photographer Published on January 12, 2016 at 7:17 pm Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3center_img Related Stories The best game of Malachi Richardson’s career was painfully incompleteMalachi Richardson pours in career-high 20 points against MiamiMalachi Richardson struggles in 1st half, thrives in 2nd as SU beats No. 18 UConnMalachi Richardson struggles from field against Elon but finds other ways to score Malachi Richardson cut across the baseline, curled around a Tyler Lydon off-ball screen and caught a pass. Richardson reset the offense out toward halfcourt along the sideline.Then, with 4:45 left and Syracuse facing a four-point deficit, Richardson powered through the teeth of North Carolina’s defense, switching hands with the ball and laying in a basket to cut that UNC lead in half.Richardson’s second-half scoring on Saturday had a knack for the dramatic. His first shot was a long, uncontested 3-pointer to end an 8-5 Tar Heels run that started the half. His second cut a three-point lead to one. And his final bucket gave the Orange a last-gasp chance at a comeback against the No. 6 team in the country.“I’m a confident kid and I believe in what I do,” Richardson said. “I’m always going to play hard no matter what. Whether the ball is going in the basket or not. I work hard. I know I can do it. That’s where my confidence comes from.”Before Syracuse played Miami on Jan. 2, Richardson hit a cold stretch in which he made 10-of-57 from behind the arc over a nine-game span. In the three games since, all against Atlantic Coast Conference competition, Richardson has made 15 of his 27 attempts from long range. As point guard Michael Gbinije struggled and consistency on offense was tough to find from others, Richardson experienced a breakout for the free-falling Orange (10-7, 0-4 ACC).AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe freshman, who had a career high in assists (five) on Saturday and a career high in rebounds (nine) the game before, will have a chance to continue to carry Syracuse on offense when it hosts Boston College (7-8, 0-2) on Wednesday in the Carrier Dome at 7 p.m.“He’s improved,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I think he’s become a better player and I think he still has a big upside. There’s still a lot of things that he can to get better. He’s having a tremendous year.”last_img read more

Fiammetta: Badgers’ weaknesses persist

first_imgThe sense of relief at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday afternoon was so blatantly obvious that it left many Wisconsin fans wondering, “Why can’t we play teams like Purdue on the road”?Scheduling gripes aside, the Badgers got back on track this weekend, cruising to a 62-17 win over the Purdue Boilermakers. Finally, all was good as the Badgers finally returned to Camp Randall after the massive heartbreak of the past two weeks. Wisconsin might not be able to push the losses at Ohio State and at Michigan State out of their heads forever, but they can at least bump them to the backs of their minds now.Control of their own destiny – if there is such a meaningful thing halfway through the season – is beyond the Badgers’ reach, but with some very feasible help from the rest of the Big Ten and/or the BCS computers, a BCS bowl berth is still attainable.But as much as Wisconsin is hoping for losses from Ohio State and Penn State, the Badgers will reap their own benefits from improving on some weakness that were highlighted throughout that brutal road stretch and apparent even Saturday against Purdue.Settle the special teamsThe Badgers now rank second-to-last in the Big Ten in kickoff coverage, a testament to how dire the special teams situation has become in Madison.“Dire” might seem a bit exaggerated following a 62-17 blowout, but the nightmares in Columbus and East Lansing proved just how critical special teams miscues can be. Granted, the Badgers finally prevented a kick or punt from being blocked and Phillip Welch’s 52-yard field goal at the end of the first half was a tremendous confidence booster for the senior kicker.However, that also strengthened the spotlight on Wisconsin’s coverage issues. The Badgers are No. 115 in the country with 139.9 yards allowed on kickoffs per game and No. 74 with 22.09 yards allowed per kickoff, two staggeringly alarming rankings for a team that otherwise plays generally clean football.After the game Saturday saw Purdue’s freshman returner Raheem Mostert average 41.2 yards on five kickoffs with a 49-yarder on his first and a 74-yarder on his second, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema pointed out a need to evaluate the personnel and assignments the Badgers send out on kickoffs.But how many changes can they really make? Wisconsin also naturally struggles covering punts, ranking No. 76 in yards allowed per punt return (809). Wisconsin’s remaining opponents, Minnesota, Illinois and Penn State, rank seventh, 12th and fourth, respectively, in kickoff returns and fourth, 12th and 10th in punt returns, respectively. But with only three regular season games left, can the Badgers really afford much tinkering when they essentially must win every game?Ignite James WhiteThe sophomore running back was one of Wisconsin’s most electric players in 2010, averaging 6.7 yards per carry en route to a 1,052-yard, 14-touchdown season. This season, White is down to 5.1 yards per carry and he’s been trending downward since rushing for 87 yards on 13 carries (6.7 yards per) against Indiana. Against Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue in the subsequent weeks, White’s averages have dipped to 3.8, 3.2 and 2.9, respectively.Sudden spells of an inability to move the football have been the Badgers’ kryptonite this season – most notably in their two losses – and White has barely provided a spark since his season-high 95 yards and one touchdown against South Dakota Sept. 24. At Michigan State, White rushed 11 times for 42 yards and caught one pass for 12 yards. One week later at Ohio State, he contributed only five rushes for 16 yards and one catch for six yards.Explanations for White’s stunning ineffectiveness have ranged from a perceived lack of explosiveness to the fact there’s no longer last year’s element of surprise with him in the game. White has also taken a more secondary role behind Ball this year, whereas last season saw him contribute as a centerpiece of Wisconsin’s Three-Headed Monster with John Clay, Ball and himself.Regardless, White’s contributions have diminished this season, and at times, they’ve been lethal to Wisconsin’s offense. The Badgers remain as dynamic a unit as there is in the nation, but those offensive droughts that have developed in the middle of games – on the road, no less – can halt any momentum Wisconsin will gain with victories in its final three games.Discover a concrete No. 3 wide receiverThis issue has permeated throughout the season, beginning during the Badgers’ stellar performance in non-conference games and rising steadily in prominence with each of the challenges presented since. With opponents well aware of Nick Toon’s skill and Jared Abbrederis’ emergence as a legitimate No. 1 receiver, Wisconsin seemed to be in need of one more firm receiving option.Tight end Jacob Pedersen has developed into UW’s latest promising tight end, catching 24 passes for 310 yards and seven touchdowns this season. The redshirt sophomore has proven to be good for about three catches a game in Big Ten play and a reliable security blanket for Wilson, but in the search for weapons that will further open up defenses and create options for his quarterback, Pedersen generally lacks big-play ability.Augmenting the issue is Toon’s sudden disappearing act; the redshirt senior has not caught more than three passes since Oct. 1 against Nebraska and hasn’t scored since then either. Sure, as the team’s No. 1 wideout, Toon draws the majority of the opposing defenses’ attention. But also, as the No. 1 wideout, isn’t he supposed to beat it consistently?So behind Toon and Abbrederis, the Badgers have yet to see a true answer emerge at the No. 3 receiver spot. Jeff Duckworth has taken the snaps at that role this season, though he’s caught more than two passes in a game once which was against Indiana Oct. 15. Against Purdue Saturday, he saw arguably his most snaps in a game and caught two passes for 78 yards, 66 of which came on one pass in the first quarter.Sophomore Manasseh Garner is next in line and was widely expected to emerge this season, though surgery to repair a hernia cost him the first three games of the season. Since then, he has only suited up for the Sept. 24 South Dakota game and Saturday. In those games, Garner’s caught two passes for 45 yards.Mike is a senior majoring in journalism. What’s the biggest issue for this Badgers team? Let him know on Twitter @mikefiammetta and be sure to follow @BHeraldSports for all the latest Badgers news.last_img read more