Marek Dolezaj’s versatility shining through for Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Marek Dolezaj caught the ball at the left elbow and scanned the court. He was facing away from the basket and toward teammate Frank Howard who had just given him the ball.Dolezaj pivoted and looked right and left quickly, not seeing anything he liked. Texas Southern center Trayvon Reed stepped up to guard him. So, Syracuse’s freshman forward skipped a pass under Reed’s arm to Bourama Sidibe standing on the baseline. Sidibe went up and finished easily.“He’s just a smart player, man,” Howard said after the win over TSU. “His skill and his IQ is very high. He always makes the right passes from there.”Syracuse (3-0) has been fairly limited offensively, relying on Tyus Battle to create most of the team’s chances when things get stagnant. But SU has seemed to have found another option in Dolezaj, who has a seemingly intuitive ability to make the right pass and be at the right spot. He finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists against TSU and figures to be a prominent part of SU’s next matchup against Oakland (2-1) on Monday night.For most of the game, TSU deployed a zone against the Orange, leaving pockets of space open near the free-throw line. SU looked to take advantage.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Todd Michalek | Staff Photographer When asked what the power forwards are supposed to do from the high post, redshirt freshman Matthew Moyer said, “Supposed to look for your shot first, and then dish down, see what you can do. Just be a threat.”Though Moyer has started all three of Syracuse’s games, Dolezaj has seemed to be the bigger threat. Dolezaj has played more at the power forward spot, finishing with a team-high 32 minutes in Saturday’s game.There’s a difference in style of play, too. Dolezaj said that he looks to pass, rather than shoot, when he gets the ball in the high post. He’s happy with the reads he’s made in the passing game and feels confident in his scoring in practice, he said. But that hasn’t yet translated into games.Even if his shots aren’t falling, he finds other ways to contribute – namely, in running down loose balls.On one possession in the first half against the Tigers, Dolezaj had the ball by the free-throw line and went up for a floater. He missed badly, but gathered his own rebound and immediately found Geno Thorpe on the right wing, who canned a 3-pointer.“He’s not a shot maker,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “He missed a couple around the basket that he can make. But he made some plays out of the post that really helped us. Goes after the ball better than anyone on our team.” Todd Michalek | Staff Photographer There will be times when Dolezaj needs to be assertive and score the ball. On one play against TSU, he got the ball in the high post. Once again he scanned the court, holding onto the ball for a little too long. He eventually turned left and couldn’t even get his pass off as a TSU defender put his hand up and intercepted the ball.Still, Dolezaj’s instincts often result in him making the right read. On one play against TSU, the role was reversed, as Sidibe got the ball in the high post with Dolezaj on the 3-point corner. Seeing that, Dolezaj immediately cut inside and finished on a reverse layup.Dolezaj has also been the forward of choice when Syracuse goes with its three-guard, one-center lineup. His passing ability and mild threat of the shot help keep the ball moving.“It’s always good,” Howard said, “to have a guy you can put in the middle and make the right play.” Comments Published on November 19, 2017 at 7:38 pm Contact Tomer: | @tomer_langerlast_img read more

Oakland sues Raiders: News, reaction, where team will play in 2019

first_imgIn response, the Raiders announced they would not attempt to renew their lease at the Coliseum for 2019. Feb. 3 update: The Raiders have reportedly decided to play in San Francisco in 2019.Feb. 6 update: San Francisco lawmakers have opposed the Raiders playing in the city.Here is everything you need to know about the legal battle between the Raiders and Oakland, and how it impacted the franchise’s 2019 plans.MORE: Raiders deserve criticism for mistreatment of Reggie McKenzieWhy did the Raiders want to leave Oakland?The nomadic organization, which became a cultural icon during its days in Los Angeles and has since kept a national cult following, seemingly did not have the same motivations to make things work in Oakland as many other franchises do within their home cities.Raiders owner Mark Davis, son of the late franchise principal owner Al Davis, has long expressed a desire to leave the aging confines of the Coliseum, and if Oakland was not willing to pay up for a new stadium, he had no issue taking the Raiders elsewhere.So, after years of fruitless negotiations with Oakland and threats to head to other cities, Davis finally got his wish with a move to Las Vegas.In April of 2017, the NFL released its official statement of reasons why the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas. The statement of reasons clarifies the timeline of the application process that resulted in the Raiders’ move to Vegas being approved after they were denied a potential move to Los Angeles.Will the Raiders leave Oakland in 2019?After pledging not to sign a one-year lease at the Coliseum, the Raiders now seem destined to play elsewhere for a season, though they notably have not yet taken any options off the table.While Oakland hasn’t been officially eliminated as a possibility, Davis indicated he would not play in Oakland if the city sued his team and the league.Are the Raiders still going to Las Vegas?Yes, but the stadium will not be ready for the Raiders until the 2020 season.It will be a domed facility that will also house the UNLV college football team and likely other Las Vegas entertainment events.When will the Raiders’ stadium in Las Vegas open?Las Vegas Stadium is scheduled to open in 2020.The team’s new home will seat about 65,000 people, with an ability to add to that total in order to host a Super Bowl. It will have 10 levels, including two concourse levels, two mezzanine levels and two suite levels. The project is expected to cost an estimated $1.9 billion. Of that total, $750 million in public funding will go toward the construction and other associated costs.Why is Oakland suing the Raiders?The lawsuit comes after years of public bickering between a Raiders team eager to move to a new city and Oakland, which did not want to publicly fund a new stadium for the franchise given much-criticized renovations to the Coliseum in the 1990s that continue to cost taxpayers about $20 million per year.The Raiders first tried to move to Los Angeles, but when that proposal was shut down by the NFL in favor of the Rams and Chargers, they opted to relocate to Las Vegas.Oakland will lose the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco in 2019, and it has thus far been unable to lock down a long-term solution to keep the Oakland A’s, though plans for a new stadium were released this past month.Politicians have acknowledged a significant cultural loss from the departure of its long-held franchises, playing a role in the decision to sue the Raiders and the NFL. How have Raiders players reacted to the situation?Raiders quarterback Derek Carr recently spoke out about the prospect of not playing in the Coliseum next year, calling the dispute “crazy” from his perspective as a player. Carr was drafted by the Raiders in 2014 and has spent his entire career with the franchise.”Just, where you are going to play your home games?” Carr said, via ESPN. “That’s just weird, and it’s nothing anyone wants to go through.”There is no book on how to do this. I’ll figure it out the best way I can, day by day.” Despite ongoing animosity with the city of Oakland, the Raiders had planned to remain at the Oakland Coliseum next season before the franchise’s move to Las Vegas in 2020.But things changed when Oakland filed a federal lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL, alleging the league’s 32 teams have formed an illegal cartel colluding to force cities to pay for new facilities with public funds or face relocation. The lawsuit seeks monetary compensation from the NFL.last_img read more