How Syracuse causes more turnovers than any other team in the country

first_img Related Stories Syracuse gets ‘program-changing win’ over No. 10 Florida State Evan Jenkins | Staff Photographer Published on February 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds With an experienced guard-heavy lineup, Syracuse’s athleticism and length makes it a fit for the press. Each year, layers have been added and Hillsman has recruited players for the press as it becomes a bigger part of the Orange’s identity.The key, players said, is paying attention to Hillsman on the sideline. If he calls “fist,” it’s a man-to-man press, Cornelia Fondren said. But whether his fists are pointed up or down determines whether to trap in the frontcourt or bait the opposition to get to half court before applying the pressure. If the call is “red,” SU’s defense traps as much as possible before half court. “Green” means to only feign the pressure. On any given possession, the entire package could change.Players on opposing teams have asked SU guard Brittney Sykes how the Orange does it. All she could do was chuckle. It’s tiring just to break a press for a full game, Sykes said, and even more challenging for offenses when it’s hard to detect what the Orange is doing.“It’s almost like boxing. You keep hitting them in the body and eventually they’re going to lower their hands and you finish them,” Hillsman said. “That’s how we are on defense. We just keep pressing them and then we go on these 10-0 runs that blow the game open.”In its biggest win of the season on Feb. 18, Syracuse forced Florida State, a team that averages 17.4 turnovers per game, into 10 first-quarter turnovers. In that quarter alone, the Orange varied its defense by disguising pressure on some possessions and attacking ball-handlers right as they crossed half court on others.FSU head coach Sue Semrau said her team was “shell shocked” by Syracuse’s press. Boston College head coach Erik Johnson had to switch who handled the ball. Clemson head coach Audra Smith said SU plays like sharks that smell blood.Syracuse’s press has been a major part of one of its most successful years in program history and now it carries the Orange into the postseason.“Most offenses they’re dictating to you,” Read said. “But if we got you on your heels and you’re uncomfortable, you’re unsure, we’re dictating to you.”For a comprehensive visual breakdown of Syracuse’s defense, click here. Commentscenter_img One fist or two. Thumbs up or down. Red or green.No matter what Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman signals, the appearance of the Orange’s full-court press, at first, is the same. Then it shifts. Then chaos sets in.Then-No. 10 Florida State committed 28 turnovers. Then-No. 16 Miami had 26. Then-No. 12 Duke coughed the ball up 32 times. Syracuse’s full-court press is nearly impossible to game plan for.The Orange leads the country with 25.5 forced turnovers per game. That’s given it had nearly five more possessions than it averaged a season ago. It’s also the most since SU averaged 28.5 forced turnovers per game in the 1979-80 season. It all stems from 40 minutes of deception.“It’s kind of like a football game in a sense where you have this team that’s giving you different looks and different blitz packages,” SU assistant coach Vonn Read said. “You don’t know where the traps are going to come from and it can really frustrate our opponents.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Thursday, No. 17 Syracuse (23-6, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) earned a double bye in the ACC tournament by blowing out Boston College and forcing 33 turnovers. SU’s 23 regular-season wins tied a program record and its 13 conference wins set one. And a big portion of the Orange’s success comes from a full-court press that’s rarely been cracked this season.Syracuse fully committed to the press a few years back because it wanted to reduce the time it spent in its 2-3 zone. Read said instead of having to sit back for nearly 30 seconds, SU only has to sit back for 15–18 by pressing. Hillsman had Syracuse press the full game and the zone defense improved. As the Orange stuck with the press, it improved.By now, the press has several formations: 1-2-2, 2-1-2, 2-2-1 or man-to-man. And the Orange has several wrinkles within each one: attack before half court or behind it, apply the pressure or only create the illusion, trap from the front or trap from the rear.“We used six players in practice to go against it,” Pittsburgh head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said after the Panthers committed 26 turnovers in a 23-point loss to SU on Jan. 14. “Constantly trapping and they’re just relentless.” Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Amb. Wallace Hails Deployment of 20 ECOWAS Volunteers

first_imgOfficials posed with the group of Volunteers and invited guests.A renowned Liberian Diplomat and advisor to the President on Foreign Affairs, Ambassador George W. Wallace, Jr., has hailed the deployment of 20 ECOWAS volunteers from four countries to Liberia to share knowledge and expertise with their Liberian counterparts as a show of African solidarity and fraternity, a release from the Ministry of Foreign Ministry has said.Amb. Wallace told the gathering that Liberians will forever remain proud and grateful to the volunteers and to their various governments.Wallace also noted that the transfer of knowledge and other policies that enhance regional integration have always been placed at the heart of Liberia’s foreign policy, which supports South–South Dialogue that is aimed at promoting social-economic development and regional cooperation.He currently serves as the Officer-in-Charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.According to the release, he made the remarks yesterday when delivered the keynote address at the Induction Training of ECOWAS Volunteers in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.Wallace represented Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, who is currently out of the country on official matter.He expressed extreme gratitude to welcome the newly deployed ECOWAS volunteers to the country on behalf of President George Weah; adding, “I hasten to tell you that Liberia is a place of peace, hospitality and friendship.”Wallace further asserted that as Liberia goes through the process of post-conflict reconstruction, the ECOWAS Volunteers Program will enhance the country’s development agenda, noting that the coming of the volunteers is timely as the country strives to address its postwar challenges.He also stated that Liberia has had a long experience with volunteers, dating back to the early 1960s when President John F. Kennedy of the United States dispatched the US Peace Corps Volunteers to teach in schools across Liberia.The Peace Corps volunteers took assignments in various technical areas, including agriculture extension, conservation, and health. “We are pleased to welcome the second deployment of 20 ECOWAS volunteers from Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Sierra Leone, who arrived in Liberia, since Saturday, February 10, to serve their brothers and sisters in promoting ECOWAS’ vision: moving ECOWAS from boundaries to ECOWAS peoples.Wallace used the occasion to thank the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel A. de Souza, for including Liberia into the pilot project, and called on him to extend the program across the length and breadth of the sub-region so as to enable West Africans benefit from this laudable initiative.Francis Njoaguani, Director of ECOWAS Youth and Sport Development Center, expressed delight over the occasion and on behalf of the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS, officially welcomed the new volunteers.Njoaguani emphasized that the workshop marking the induction training of the volunteers was the second of its kind for Liberia to receive a group of young, patriotic, enthusiastic and energetic West Africans, who passionately volunteered to come and render services to their fellow West African brothers and sisters in Liberia.The ECOWAS Youth and Sports Director then thanked the Government and People of Liberia, for availing all necessary supports and assistance for the second cycle of the ECOWAS Volunteers as they carry out their mandate.Mr. Njoaguani reassured the volunteers of ECOWAS’ unflinching support toward their stay in Liberia.The ceremony was attended by Ghanaian Ambassador, Representatives of AU and ECOWAS offices in Liberia as well as the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps and various line ministries and agencies.Through the ECOWAS Volunteer Program, the organization Commission aims to facilitate the engagement and participation of its young citizens in peace and development initiatives through volunteerism.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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