MBB : SU zone holds Walker to season-low point total

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ HARTFORD, Conn. — Dion Waiters laughed because it was so obvious. To describe Syracuse’s defensive game plan required only one word.‘Kemba,’ Waiters said.Kemba. That simple. Stopping Connecticut’s National Player of the Year candidate in Kemba Walker was SU’s key to victory on the defensive end.And stop him Waiters and the No. 17 Orange did Tuesday. Stopped the nation’s second-leading scorer, holding him to eight points, 16 fewer than his season average. Stopped him after four games of Syracuse’s 2-3 zone being exposed by players less talented than Walker. Stopped him en route to a 66-58 victory over the Huskies on the road.‘We know what he’s capable of doing,’ Waiters said. ‘He can take over a game. So our whole focus is just stopping him.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut stopping him was anything but simple. It required precise attention devoted to Walker, making other players beat the SU zone. It required all five Orange defenders. And it required a complete turnaround from Syracuse’s defensive performances during its four-game losing streak.And things didn’t look good to start. Orchestrating the offense, Walker picked apart the zone with crisp passes. Left and right. Finally, to the middle, where he found Alex Oriakhi for the game’s first basket. On Connecticut’s next possession, Roscoe Smith found Walker beyond the arc.Swish. And in a 5-0 Husky run to start the game, Walker was involved in both scores.‘Obviously,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said, ‘we got off to a very bad start.’It had to bring up signs of the Orange’s defensive struggles in its past four games. But from there, SU stifled UConn’s offense. And most importantly, it stifled Walker.Syracuse did so by keeping a watchful eye on him at all times. When Walker got the ball at the top of the key, SU’s rotating guard trio of Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche and Waiters didn’t let him get into the lane. When he got the ball beyond the 3-point line on either side, Kris Joseph or Rick Jackson shaded out of their spots. When he got into the lane, Baye Moussa Keita altered his shots.And it all added up to Walker’s worst statistical offensive performance of the season. The only time he has been held to single digits in the scoring column. Just 3-of-14 shooting from the field, including 1-of-6 from 3-point range.‘I think, as a team, we did it,’ Triche said of stopping Walker. ‘Me and Scoop, we more so focused on keeping him in front. If he got screened, I was going to be there to keep (Walker) out of the lane. Make sure I slam my feet and not give up easy shots.’Walker, for his part, was more frustrated than he has been all season. Later in the game, orchestrating the offense, he couldn’t find the openings like he did in those first two possessions.He made poor decisions, trying on one possession to fit through the slimmest of holes in the zone to drive to the lane. Meanwhile, fellow Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb carried the weight with 22 points on the night.Lamb was the only player whose performance UConn head coach Jim Calhoun would discuss after the game. Everyone else, including Walker, didn’t play well. Walker wasn’t there to lead a Husky comeback with Lamb.‘They just had two guys on me,’ Walker said. ‘They tried to make somebody else beat them besides me.’But that somebody else — Lamb — couldn’t do it alone. And in the game’s final seconds, it was Walker who tried to take over.Running down the court with 31 seconds to play and his team down by six, Walker went to the right side of the Syracuse zone. This time, Joseph stepped up. He stole the ball as Walker fell to the ground.‘It felt good,’ Joseph said of SU’s defensive performance. ‘We hadn’t won in about two weeks.’And that two-week losing streak ended thanks to execution. Delicate execution of the simple premise Waiters and the Orange keyed on all along.‘We know how dangerous Kemba is,’ Waiters said. ‘We had to make him continue to take tough shots. And make the other guys, the other guards — the freshmen — make them do something.’[email protected] Published on February 2, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img read more


first_imgAction between Letterkenny Rovers and Keadue at the AURA earlier this afternoon. Picture by Stephen Doherty.Letterkenny Rovers have won the Donegal Youth League for the FOURTH year in-a-row following a 2-0 victory over Keadue Rovers this afternoon.Goals from Eoin Slevin and Igor Arriel ensured that Rovers would be crowned champions after a tough encounter with Keadue Rovers.The game was played at the AURA and Rovers got off to a dream start when Slevin fired them ahead after seven minutes. Keadue delivered a determined and spirited display and pressed hard to get back in the match.They were unlucky not to draw level, but when substitute Igor Arriel scored with fifteen minutes to go there was no way back for Brendan Boyle’s side.Letterkenny Rovers have gone the entire season unbeaten and have shown remarkable consistency and attitude throughout the campaign.They are deserving league champions and we congratulate all the players and staff at the club on another brilliant achievement.   SOCCER NEWS: LETTERKENNY YOUTHS WIN FOURTH CONSECUTIVE LEAGUE TITLE was last modified: March 17th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:auraLeague TitlenewsSoccer. Letterkenny RoversSportsuccesslast_img read more