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Football

Hunt’s ability to run, pass proves effective in Syracuse’s gun-read offense

Logan Reidsma | Staff Photographer

Terrel Hunt works with Prince-Tyson Gulley in Syracuse's zone read offense in a 40-3 win over Central Michigan on Saturday.

Save for a few hollow possessions against Villanova, Syracuse’s win over Central Michigan on Saturday was the first opportunity to see how Terrel Hunt fits into the team’s new offensive scheme.

The Orange (2-0) beat the Chippewas (2-1) 40-3 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and the quarterback showed that his combination of speed and passing accuracy is the ideal skill set for SU’s spread-out, no-huddle system.

Not only did he find success on the ground (13 carries, 92 yards, three touchdowns) and in the air (20-for-30, 175 yards, one touchdown), but Hunt’s legs and arm combined to make the gun-read offense — which gives him the option to pass or run — a success.

“It all goes hand in hand,” SU head coach Scott Shafer said. “I mean that’s the whole idea behind the offense.”

“He’s a dual-threat quarterback and we’re a spread gun-read offense,” offensive coordinator George McDonald said. “When he’s out there you have the run, you have the pass and then you have the quarterback’s ability to scramble.”

With the zone-read package putting four to five receivers on either side of the field, Hunt had options to run, throw a bubble screen to the slot receiver or look for other options downfield. He established his arm and accuracy early in the game — which forced the Chippewas’ defense to man up on the outside and leave a light box to account for quarterback runs.

Here are his final rushing and passing stats by region of the field on Saturday:

Running

To the left: three carries, 9 yards, two touchdowns

Up the middle: eight carries, 60 yards, one touchdown

To the right: two carries, 23 yards

Passing

To the left: 8-for-14, 63 yards

Up the middle: 7-for-7, 72 yards

To the right: 5-for-9, 40 yards, one touchdown

20-yard run in first quarter 

Early in the game, Hunt rushed to the right side for 20 yards in a spread formation that had two receivers on the left side of the offensive line and two on the right.

When Hunt caught the snap, he gave a hard shoulder fake to insinuate a throw and the linebackers and defensive backs in the Chippewas’ zone scheme all jumped to a receiver. On the right side, the outside linebacker moved outside and the safety ran up to cover a potential bubble screen to Ashton Broyld — in the right slot — and the near-side cornerback dropped back into coverage. All of the movement gave Hunt room to run through the right side of the line with the linebackers and safeties all keying on a pass.

Once Hunt took off, the defensive end, outside linebacker and safety on the right side were already behind him. The safety was still covering for the bubble screen to Broyld while Hunt passed the line of scrimmage, with 

By the time Hunt got to the second level, the defense on the right side of the field was either sealed by blocks, too behind to catch up or not in position to make a tackle before Hunt collected a sizable gain.

36-yard run in third quarter

At the start of the third quarter, Hunt used an identical shoulder fake to shift the defense and run down the left side of the field for 36 yards. This time there was one receiver on the left side of the field and three more on the right, with senior running back Adonis Ameen-Moore in the backfield.

Once Hunt pumped to the right side of the field, Ameen-Moore ran through a hole in the line without the ball and sealed the middle linebacker with a strong block. He was the only player on the left side not locked into pass coverage, and Ameen-Moore’s block gave Hunt space for the 36-yard gain.

Moving forward

The multi-faceted offense requires defenses to make decisions. Central Michigan — which was tired by the second half and generally inept in the air and on the ground — wasn’t able to do so on multiple occasions. It made Hunt’s first full performance a promising one and it will be interesting to see how the gun-read works against Maryland, a Big Ten opponent, in the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

Football

Coaches poll hints at harder schedule for Syracuse’s 2nd ACC season

When Syracuse began Atlantic Coast Conference play last year, its schedule became harder than those of the recent Big East seasons.

And with the release of the preseason USA Today Amway Coaches poll on Thursday, it seems that the Orange’s 2014 schedule won’t be any easier than its first try at the ACC. In fact, it could be a lot harder.

Here’s a look at how the 2013 schedule looked at the time of last year’s preseason poll release — compared to this season.

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 1.17.17 PM

Top 25 opponents 

A year ago the Orange was prepping for No. 8 Clemson, No. 12 Florida State and No. 22 Northwestern. Now, No. 1 Florida State, No. 16 Clemson and No. 17 Notre Dame await.

Top 25 point system

The coaches poll scoring system is pretty clearcut. A coach’s first-place vote is worth 25 points, second-place vote 24 and all the way down to the 25th-place vote being worth one point. The difference between Syracuse’s Top 25 opponents from last year’s poll and this year’s poll is 510 points to the more difficult in 2014.

Total teams receiving Top 25 votes

Only opponents that cracked the Top 25 received votes in 2013. This time around, Duke and Louisville each collected votes despite finishing outside of the Top 25, giving the schedule some sharper edges. Duke grabbed 41 votes and Louisville 32.

Looking forward

Last season, ACC and divisional opponents Florida State and Clemson proved some of the strongest teams SU had seen in years, a visit to MetLife Stadium welcomed highly profiled Penn State and visits to Northwestern and Georgia Tech didn’t provide any breathers. The Orange was 0-5 in those games and three of those teams had appeared in the first coaches poll.

With five teams already promising to be staunch competition in 2014, the field is only strengthening.

Football

Video: Lewis makes highlight-reel grab in spring practice

Junior wide receiver Ben Lewis may only have one career catch through his first two seasons at Syracuse, but he wowed his teammates with an eye-popping grab at practice on Sunday.

Lewis burned sophomore cornerback Joe Stanard down the right sideline before laying out to haul in a one-handed grab. He posted a video on his Instagram later that day.

Sports

Bracket: Choose Syracuse’s best player of all time

While Syracuse begins its run in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, we’d like to give you a chance to look back into seasons past. The D.O. editors have compiled a bracket of 32 of the best former Orange players in school history.

Every other day, we’ll cut down the field through reader voting and ultimately a greatest player of all time will be named.

So choose wisely, and have at it. A perfect bracket gets you a date with the sports staff member of your choosing.

Update: The third-round matchups are over and Final Four voting is live. Vote until 9 p.m. on Wednesday.


Men's Basketball

Live video: Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament press conferences

Men's Basketball

Getting to know Western Michigan

Syracuse (27-5, 14-4 Atlantic Coast) drew Western Michigan (23-9, 14-4 Mid-American Conference) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The 14th-seeded Broncos enter March Madness having won their last four games and 12-of-13. After clinching a double bye in the MAC tournament, top-seeded WMU used an 18-0 run to beat Akron in the semifinals. The Broncos then cruised by Toledo to capture their first conference title since 2004.

Senior guard David Brown is Western Michigan’s leading scorer at 19.4 points per game. He scored 32 points on 9-of-16 shooting against Toledo on Saturday. Senior Shayne Whittington — who hails from Paw Paw, Mich. — has been a force down low for the Broncos. He’s averaging 16.3 points per game on 52.6 percent shooting and has snagged 9.1 boards per contest. WMU shoots 46.6 percent from the field, which is 61st in the country.

The Orange and the Broncos will square off Thursday at approximately 2:45 p.m. in Buffalo, N.Y. Here are some things you may want to know about Western Michigan:

About the 2013-14 Broncos: Brown’s stats have consistently improved in his five-year career. He averaged 2.4 points per game back in 2009-10 before taking a medical redshirt nine games into his second season, in which he averaged 4.1 points. He scored 4.2 points as a sophomore, 11 as a junior and he’s up to 19.4 this year. Along with Whittington, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound Connar Tava also does damage in the paint. He averages 12 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, but is also the Broncos’ lead assist man, posting 2.8 per contest.

The head coach: Steve Hawkins is in his 11th season leading Western Michigan and has a 204-154 (.570) career record as a head coach. He coached high school ball in California for a while before serving as an assistant at South Alabama, Quincy (Ill.), St. Andrew’s (N.C.) and Quincy again, where he earned his first head-coaching gig. Then he went to Western Michigan in 2000 before taking over in 2003. WMU has only had three losing seasons in his 11-year stint.

Best wins: Toledo (twice) (38 RPI), New Mexico State (77)

Worst losses: Bowling Green State (193), Drake (168)

How they got in: In the Broncos’ win over Toledo, Brown dropped 32, Tucker Haymond scored 21 and Whittington finished with 20 and 13 rebounds. Western Michigan outrebounded the Rockets 46-27 and shot 68 percent in the second half.

About Western Michigan:

Colors: Brown and gold

Conference: Mid-American Conference

Facility: University Arena (seats 5,421)

Mascot: Buster Bronco. On Western Michigan’s website, it says Buster has been the official mascot since 1988 and is part of the cheer team. However, he is not officially sanctioned or governed by the NCAA.

A bronco horse statue designed by artist Veryl Goodnight was built on campus in 1997. It stands at 9.5 feet by 14 feet and weighs 1,800 pounds. Bet you didn’t know that. If you did, seriously, find some hobbies.

Additionally, Western Michigan used to be the Hilltoppers because the school rests on Prospect Hill. That led to some confusion, though, because other schools shared the same moniker. And when the school expanded off the hill, the nickname soon created confusion with the nicknames of other schools and was consequently changed to Broncos in 1939. At that point, it wasn’t Western Michigan, but rather Western State Teachers College.

Glad we cleared all of that up.

NCAA Tournament history: This is the Broncos’ fourth trip to the Big Dance. They made the Sweet 16 in 1976 before losing to Marquette, 62-57. They also qualified in 1998, upsetting Clemson in the first round before getting bounced by Stanford. In 2004, they lost to Vanderbilt in the first round. So, they’ve actually gotten past the first round two-thirds of the time.

Broncos in the pros: Don Boven, Dillard Crocker, Paul Griffin, Ben Handlogten, Reggie Lacefield, Walker Russell

Boven played for the NBA’s Waterloo Hawks in 1949-50 and averaged 10.6 points per game. Handlogten played for the Utah Jazz in 2003-04 and 2004-05. He averaged just 4.3 points per game in his brief two-year NBA stint, but shot 52.3 percent from the floor. Russell bounced around from the Detroit Pistons to Atlanta Hawks to Indiana Pacers and was an 80 percent career free-throw shooter.

Most notable player: Stane’s Bufford. His name is Stane’s Bufford. That’s pretty notable if you ask me.

About Western Michigan University:

Type: Public

Location: Kalamazoo, Mich.

Enrollment: 25,086

Founded: 1903

President: John M. Dunn

Director of Athletics: Kathy Beauregard

Famous alumni: Luther Vandross (singer-songwriter and producer), Tim Allen (actor, stand-up comedian), John Harbaugh (NFL head coach for the Baltimore Ravens), Greg Jennings (NFL wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings), John Saunders (sports television personality)

Fun Facts:

1.) The Broncos play in Kalamazoo, Mich., which is the original home of Gibson guitars.

2.) Syracuse head football coach Scott Shafer was the defensive coordinator at Western Michigan in 2005-06.

3.) When the Broncos last made the Tournament, in 2004, Tyler Ennis was 9 years old and Syracuse was the reigning national champion.

4.) Western Michigan’s College of Aviation has more than 700 undergrads and is one of the largest flight science programs in the nation. It occupies 92,000 square feet on 20 acres and boasts the second longest runway in the state of Michigan (more than 10,000 feet long).

Men's Basketball

Bracket Breakdown: Beat writers examine the NCAA Tournament field

Chase Gaewski | Managing Editor

John Groat, a resident of Syracuse, is one of many Orange fans who'd like to see SU make another deep NCAA Tournament run. Syracuse enters the Big Dance on a 2-5 slide.

The Daily Orange beat writers provide insight on who to key in on as you fill out your tournament bracket, and who to stay away from in the field of 68. NCAA Tournament play kicks off Tuesday at 6:40 p.m.

Stephen Bailey

Final Four: Arizona, Florida, Louisville, Michigan State
The No. 4 seeds are the hot seeds. It’s hard to pick against the Cardinals and Spartans after winning their respective conference tournaments in dominant fashion. Michigan State is as complete a team there is in the country, while Louisville is tournament tested and, yup, Russdiculous.

National Champion: Michigan State
I know, the Spartans are becoming the trendy pick (I thought I was going to be the smart one). But looking past their talented, balanced and experienced roster, head coach Tom Izzo is as successful a March maestro as there is in the country.

Syracuse’s finish: Loss in Sweet 16
But it won’t be Andrew Wiggins and Kansas that knock SU out. New Mexico can feast on the Jayhawks’ frontcourt without Joel Embiid, and then do the same to the Orange. It’s not that Syracuse can’t make a deeper tournament run, I just don’t see the consistency.

Sleeper: New Mexico
The Lobos are led by 6-foot-9 power forward Cameron Bairstow (20.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and 7-foot center Alex Kirk (13.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg). Despite having never reached the Sweet 16, they have the shooting to balance out their offense and match up well with Kansas and Syracuse.
Others: Baylor, Connecticut, Oregon

Double-digit seed to take a chance on: Providence

Disclaimer: I’ve got Iowa State knocking off the Friars in the Round of 32. However, Bryce Cotton is good enough to lead Providence past North Carolina. With a different No. 3 seed, I’d put Providence into the regional round.
Others: Louisiana-Lafayette, Stephen F. Austin, N.C. State, North Dakota State

Top seed to fall early: Villanova
The Wildcats cruised through a fairly easy schedule, and each of the four losses they suffered were by a wide margin. If any No. 1 or No. 2 seed goes down in the first batch of games, it’ll be VU (they’re owed one after the Robert Morris game in 2010). But I’ve got Shabazz Napier and UConn beating the `Cats in the Round of 32.

Trevor Hass

Final Four: Florida, Michigan State, Arizona, Duke
I think Florida squeezes out a couple close wins against UCLA and Kansas. Michigan State is peaking at the right time and is as tough an out as any team in the country. Arizona has the easiest draw of any of the No. 1 seeds. Duke has the toughest path, but it’s Jabari Parker’s time to shine.

National Champion: Michigan State
Adreian Payne is a matchup nightmare, Gary Harris is a sniper, Keith Appling is healthy, Brendan Dawson’s a vicious rebounder and Denzel Valentine’s a great glue guy. The Spartans are fresh off a Big Ten tournament title and are hot and healthy at the right time.

Syracuse’s Finish: Loss in Sweet 16
There’s a reason Andrew Wiggins is being hyped up as the next NBA superstar along with Parker. He’s pretty good at basketball. Wiggins goes off, and Syracuse is bounced.

Sleeper: Baylor
Baylor’s knocked off Oklahoma State twice, Kansas State twice, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas since Feb. 1. It also beat Kentucky, Colorado and Dayton earlier in the year. There’s no reason the Bears can’t use their size and athleticism to take care of Nebraska and upset Creighton and Wisconsin en route to the Elite Eight.
Others: Connecticut, Kentucky, Tennessee

Double-digit seed to take a chance on: North Carolina State
You saw what the Wolfpack did to Syracuse. T.J. Warren is as proficient a scorer as there is in the country and N.C. State’s supporting cast is good enough. I’ve got the Wolfpack beating Xavier and Saint Louis. I don’t think it’ll beat Louisville, but if Warren goes berserk, it’s not out of the question.
Others: Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, Providence

Top seed to fall early: Wisconsin
I’m temped to pick American over Wisconsin, but I don’t think that’ll happen. After that, Oregon, Brigham Young, Creighton, Louisiana-Lafayette, Baylor and Nebraska are all capable of knocking off the Badgers, who haven’t made the Final Four since 2000. One of them will.

David Wilson

Final Four: Florida, Michigan State, Arizona, Duke
I originally had Kansas here, but Joel Embiid’s injury scares me. If he’s totally healthy, though, I like the Jayhawks to get to Dallas instead of the Gators.

National champion: Florida
It’s the easy one, but I do think the winner of KU-UF wins it all. Too much talent on both of those teams, plus coaches with national championship pedigree.

Syracuse’s finish: Elite Eight
Like so much of my bracket, this hinges on Embiid’s back. If he’s healthy, I think the Orange will struggle with Kansas. If not — and things don’t look promising for the center — SU should get to the Gators before falling.

Sleeper: Kentucky
The Wildcats are peaking, and probably the most talented team in the nation. Wichita State is a relatively favorable No. 1 seed for a No. 8 to be matched up against and never rule anything out when UK plays in-state rival Louisville.
Others: North Carolina, Connecticut

Double-digit seed to take a chance on: Louisiana-Lafayette
I’ve been riding UL-Lafayette really hard over the past few weeks. The ultra-talented Ragin’ Cajuns have a pair of potential first-rounders in Elfrid Payton and Shawn Long and can never be counted out of a game. They rallied from nine down in the final three minutes against Georgia State to win the Sun Belt Championship.
Others: Nebraska, North Carolina State, Iowa, Tennessee, Arizona State

Top seed to fall early: Wichita State
The Shockers got a tough draw. Texas Southern, a potential first-round opponent, is led by West Virginia-transfer Aaric Murray and former-Indiana coach Mike Davis on the sideline — not that they should lose to a No. 16 seed. That will probably come against preseason-No. 1 Kentucky in the round of 32.

Men's Basketball

Boeheim’s outburst leads to influx of memes on social media

Men's Basketball

Syracuse prepares to wear throwback uniforms against Boston College

Remember those throwback jerseys that Syracuse and Nike unveiled a few weeks back? Those awesome orange ones with the script type across the front to, for some reason, be worn with blue shorts?

Well, the Orange is wearing them against Boston College on Wednesday, and Nike provided a detailed look at them on Monday.

 

The cursive script, as Nike’s release notes, debuted in 1984 — the same year that Dwayne “Pearl” Washington made his debut for SU. This year marks the 30th anniversary of those jerseys.

All in all, those tops are worlds better than those grey ones with the names below the numbers that Syracuse wore a few years back. The shorts are a different story though.

The overall design is nice and “at Nike, it’s the small design details that matter.” The block “S” is a nice touch, too. But blue bottoms with orange tops?

Not sure about that, although Nike’s reasoning is interesting.

The contrasting jersey-short colors are bold, yet strategic; a symbolic tribute to Syracuse’s 1918 team that was top in the country. That memorable team wore dark jerseys and light shorts while becoming the Helms Athletic Foundation national champion.

 

Men's Basketball

Fans react to column claiming Ennis’ shot is best in Syracuse history

Tyler Ennis hit a buzzer-beater to send No. 1 Syracuse to a 58-56 win over No. 25 Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Beat writer David Wilson, who was in Pittsburgh to see the chaos unfold, calls it the greatest shot in Syracuse history. Some agree, while others don’t.

Men's Basketball

Biden calls Ennis to congratulate Syracuse star on 35-foot buzzer-beater

Tyler Ennis’ shot quickly turned an ugly game into an instant classic. It added to his growing legend at Syracuse. It earned the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays.

It even elicited a phone call from vice president of the United States Joe Biden. Biden, an alumnus of SU’s law school, called Ennis on Thursday after his 35-foot buzzer-beater gave the Orange a thrilling 58-56 win over No. 25 Pittsburgh the night before.

Ennis caught the inbound pass from Jerami Grant with 4.4 seconds. He took four dribbles, weaving around Pitt defenders. Then he pulled up from way beyond the arc, swishing the 3 as time expired. Ennis ran down toward the other end of the court before being mobbed by his teammates.

The shot kept No. 1 Syracuse’s undefeated season alive and bumped the Orange’s record to 24-0 and 11-0 in conference play. SU takes on North Carolina State on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.

Men's Basketball

Syracuse players begin rigorous Olympic curling training after practice

Jerami Grant and B.J. Johnson channeled their inner Haavard Vad Petersson and Christoffer Svae. Grant rolled a basketball forward, flaunting the same silky touch he’s developed around the basket. Johnson used a broom to brush away the imaginary ice as the ball trickled toward midcourt.

This wasn’t a weird drill. It wasn’t a secret Boeheimian tactic. It was simply toomfoolery.

The duo imitated curling, a sport Vad Petersson and Svae play for team Norway, which disposed of the United States 7-4 on Monday. Graduate assistant Nick Resavy Instagrammed a video that rivaled the skill level of that in the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Michael Gbinije and C.J. Fair watched and laughed inside the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center as Johnson bobbed his head and swerved the broom. He did everything in his power to will the ball to stop at midcourt. He even busted out a much slower rendition of the defensive slides he’s practiced for years.

It looked like the perfect roll by Grant. The ultimate form of champion-caliber marksmanship. But the ball had other ideas. It kept rolling past the line and onto the other half of the floor.

It wasn’t a bad effort by Johnson and Grant, but they’re probably better off sticking with basketball.

Men's basketball

Beat writers predict No. 1 Syracuse to top Notre Dame

David Wilson: Syracuse 67, Notre Dame 49
Don’t let me down
The Orange is coming off an emotional win against Duke and is now the No. 1 team in the country, but the Fighting Irish are coming off a grueling overtime win, as well. SU is simply the more talented team and will be able to pull out an impressive win even if it starts slow against UND.

Stephen Bailey: Syracuse 69, Notre Dame 55
Outta luck
Notre Dame dethroned Syracuse two years ago, but without Jerian Grant, this year’s Irish squad just doesn’t have the talent to hang with SU. The Orange locks down ND’s shooters and cruises to victory No. 22.

Trevor Hass: Syracuse 72, Notre Dame 58
Outfighting the Irish
Notre Dame upset Syracuse when it was No. 1 two years ago, but this year’s Irish team isn’t nearly as potent. Eric Atkins is Notre Dame’s main option now that Jerian Grant is out, and SU shouldn’t have any problem keeping him in check. The Orange’s pursuit of perfection continues.

Men's Basketball

5 things No. 1 Syracuse needs to do to avoid a letdown against Notre Dame

This seems like a tailor-made hangover game for Syracuse. The Orange is coming off an incredible overtime win against then-No. 17 Duke and is now the No. 1 team in the country. At 21-0, SU is off to its best start in school history, too. Last time a top-ranked Syracuse team set a record for best start in school history, it fell to Notre Dame. Here’s what the Orange needs to do to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself:

1. Stay poised.
That doesn’t seem like it should be an issue. Saturday’s 91-89 win was the first time SU really seemed excited after a win. The stoic C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis should be able to keep Syracuse steady to start and then hold it together down the stretch.

2. Stop the 3-point shooters.
The Fighting Irish have some talented shooters and the Blue Devils had no trouble getting shots from the perimeter against the zone. Knocking them down is a whole different task, but to be safe the Orange needs to prevent UND from getting the same kind of looks that Duke did.

3. Contain Garrick Sherman.
The forward is the Atlantic Coast Conference’s leader in field-goal percentage, so if he plays in the high post he’s more of a scoring threat than Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee were on Saturday. Rakeem Christmas did a great job in his own right defensively and will need to continue to stop Sherman from beating SU inside.

4. More of that C.J.
Syracuse isn’t going to lose against the Irish if Fair plays anything like that again. Simple as that.

5. And a better Ennis.
Not that the guard had a bad game against the Blue Devils — he scored in double figures and dished out nine assists — but Quinn Cook did an excellent job denying him the ball. He needs to find a way to contribute on a more consistent basis if the Orange wants this to be a more comfortable victory.

Men's Basketball

Campout Chronicles: Life at Boeheimburg the night before Syracuse-Duke

It was the moment I had waited for for two weeks. It wasn’t being in the front row of the student section with a record crowd. It wasn’t watching Syracuse beat Duke, though those will also be great.

As I walked along the outside of the Dome, an SUV pulled up and the door slowly opened. Jim Boeheim stepped out and was met with a cheer from a crowd of media and students.

I had known he was coming. I left class, got a shower – you have to look presentable when meeting such a legend – and ran over to the Carrier Dome around 11. Already photographers, reporters and cameramen were packing into Boeheimburg.

I did a few interviews and then the fateful moment came.

Boeheim greeted us all, answered a few questions, took a tour of Boeheimburg and explained how he would’ve only lasted one night out in the cold, if that.

As a (somewhat) member of the media — a design editor at The Daily Orange — I try not to let the fan side of me take over, but getting to meet one of the greatest coaches in college basketball was too surreal.

He told me he was a boy scout and didn’t like camping when it was only 40 degrees, let alone the temperatures we have been dealing with.

Some players and other coaches also stopped by. They talked to everyone and took pictures. I even got to talk to Gerry McNamara about his playing days and when he lived on South Campus.

Otto the Orange was around and some cheerleaders were on hand giving out donuts and coffee.

As quickly as they came, they got back into their cars and left. A few people were still doing interviews, but most of the excitement died down pretty quickly.

These past few days have been filled with excitement and anticipation. The Dome is going to be electric on Saturday and I can’t wait. SU expects 35,446 people to be in attendance, but I bet it will sound like a lot more.

Men's Basketball

Beat writers offer split predictions for Syracuse-Duke outcome

David Wilson: Syracuse 71, Duke 67
Heaven or hell
A win would bring eternal jubilation, while a loss would ruin everyone’s life. Or something like that. The Orange may finally meet its match, but with Jerami Grant, C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis, SU has the better variety of offensive weapons. Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood are great, but the Blue Devils will need someone else to have a big game to win.

Stephen Bailey: Syracuse 65, Duke 63
Devil dodge
Syracuse narrowly edges the Blue Devils in the first of two matchups this season. Tyler Ennis has been too good at the end of games lately, and once the Orange 2-3 adjusts to Duke’s shooters in the second half, the Blue Devils will be in trouble.

Trevor Hass: Duke 65, Syracuse 60
Blue balls
I think this is the only game Syracuse loses all season – except for maybe Pitt on the road. Last year against Georgetown, with the stakes just as high, SU faltered and couldn’t hit a shot. I think a similar storyline will unfold on Saturday. The best way to beat Syracuse is to hit 3 after 3, and Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood are capable of doing just that. Mike Krzyzewski’s familiarity with Jim Boeheim’s zone will also help the Blue Devils considerably.

Men's Soccer

Syracuse adds 3 players to roster

Syracuse men’s soccer head coach Ian McIntyre announced three additions to the men’s soccer program Friday morning. Defender Liam Callahan, midfielder Julian Buescher and forward Korab Syla enrolled at Syracuse University earlier this month and are participating in spring training sessions.

“We are excited to welcome these three very talented players into our program,” McIntyre said in a statement. “These young men complement a strong returning squad and we are all working hard to continue to build upon the strong foundation that has been laid here at Syracuse.”

Callahan, who comes from Amherst, N.Y., arrives at Syracuse as a redshirt sophomore after two seasons at Villanova. As a freshman for Villanova in 2012, Callahan started the first three games on defense before suffering a season-ending injury. Last season, he returned to start 18 games, contributing to six shutouts.

Callahan was ranked the No. 16 player in New York by TopDrawerSoccer.com as a senior at Sweet Home High School in Amherst. At Syracuse, Callahan is reunited with former Empire United club teammates Alex Bono and Stefanos Stamoulacatos.

“Liam is a tough, determined player who will immediately compete for a role on the left side of our team,” McIntyre said. “He is an experienced player who possesses the drive and commitment to excel.”

Buescher, a freshman from Duelmen, Germany, has been a member of the U-16 and U-18 German youth national teams. He was named the top midfield player in the U-19 German Bundesliga in 2011-12.

“Julian has the technical ability and experience to make an immediate impact here,” McIntyre said. “He is an intelligent, creative player with the ability to deliver the important final pass. We look forward to quickly integrating him into our young side.”

Syla, who is from Yonkers, N.Y., joins the Orange after two years at Herkimer County Community College. He led the Generals to the NJCAA Division III national title in 2011 and 2012. He was also named the NJCAA Player of the Year in 2012 after logging 27 points on five goals and 17 assists.

“Korab is a direct, powerful player who possesses the ability to go by opponents and provide excellent service from wide areas,” McIntyre said. “He has already enjoyed tremendous success in college at Herkimer and we hope that such success continues here at Syracuse.”

Men's Basketball

Campout Chronicles: Life at Boeheimburg 1 day from Syracuse-Duke

My first shift in Boeheimburg Thursday started at 4:30 a.m. After a night at The Daily Orange I was exhausted and ready to pass out. I didn’t care whether it was in my tent or in my room, but I had too much work to do.

Shockingly, it was somewhat challenging to come up with Public Service Announcement ideas for hydraulic fracturing while focusing every bit of energy I had to simply stay awake.

After classes, I came back to the Dome around 8 p.m. for one of the most fun nights I’ve had at Gate E. The campers got free hot chocolate, free mugs and Otto even paid a visit. He was determined to force-feed everyone four or five cookies each.

We gathered around for pictures with Otto and a few news cameras filmed the somewhat chaotic fiasco. Someone started the cheer “’Cuse, ‘Cuse, ‘Cuse…” which is actually more difficult to cheer than you think.

Next came the “Let’s go Orange!” chant, but no one could clap when the time came because we all had mugs in our hands. I’m sure the awkward silence accompanied by laughter made for great television.

A few new signs were held up for everyone to see, which brought loud cheers from the members of Otto’s Army.

A cameraman stuck around and a few people did some light-hearted interviews. We were all harassing each other and making fun of everyone’s answers to questions.

A couple people thought the boom for the camera looked like Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s hair so they started a Twitter account, @CoachKToupee.

There’s only one more night until the game. Thirteen days of camping outside of the Carrier Dome are about to come to an end. I was actually a little disappointed to leave at 11 and not spend the night last night.

We’ve all become a family. We may be crazy, but everyone student should camp out at least once during their time at SU.

Men's Basketball

Otto’s Army, Cameron Crazies bring varied perspectives to college fandom

Daily Orange file photo

Some members of Otto's Army are camping out for 12 nights to reserve the closest seats in the student section on Saturday,

Otto’s Army
Founded: 2006
Tent city: Boeheimburg
Size: 5,000 (maximum capacity)
Notable chants: “Let’s Go Orange!”; “ Whose house? ‘Cuse House!”; “Who’s He?” “So What?”
Fun fact: Otto’s Army was born when a group of five students devised a list system for seat placement to Gerry McNamara’s last game.

Touted as one of the premier fan bases in college athletics, Otto’s Army makes its presence known through the number of fans attending games. The student section can reach a capacity as high as 5,000 people, a number that could surface during Saturday’s matchup with Duke.

But in the mind of Otto’s Army president Ben Glidden, some of the group’s best performances have been on the road.

“Some of my favorite memories of Otto’s Army are the trips to away games,” he said. “The students who go on the bus trips to games are some of the most committed.

“When you’re thrown into an opposing team’s arena or stadium, you’re put in an interesting position. Otto’s Army is always the loudest.”

As Otto’s Army prepares for its most amplified home game in recent memory, the chant of “Let’s Go Orange” will likely draw the attention of the expected record crowd of 35,446 in the Carrier Dome. While the cheer is simple in nature, it’s a message that connects with Syracuse fans across the country.

Glidden couldn’t help but find himself impressed with how he heard the chant in Miami while watching the game on television.

“That’s unbelievable,” Glidden said. “Can you imagine how great that must feel as a player or coach to know that you have fans backing you up even when you’re 1,400 miles from home? It’s amazing.”

Otto’s Army will have an opportunity to display why they are the best student section in collegiate athletics. A fan base that has received the reputation of obtaining such honor is the Cameron Crazies, the ruckus crowd at Duke basketball games.

Originated in 1986, they have a historical edge over the Syracuse fan base, which hasn’t even existed for a full decade.

But Glidden believes that Otto’s Army is the tougher student section by camping out for basketball games in frigid temperatures.

“The average high temperatures are 50 degrees in Durham, N.C. this time of year. That makes camping out easy,” Glidden said. “We camp in frigid temperatures, often below-zero temperatures. It shows how committed we are to the basketball team.”

Glidden says that Otto’s Army stands out because of the commitment to every sport at Syracuse University. While the Cameron Crazies are a basketball student section, Otto’s Army represents all sports.

“We have thousands of students at football games,” he said. “We pack the hill at soccer games. We’re out there supporting no matter what the sport is.”

Cameron Crazies
Founded: 1986
Tent city: Krzyzewskiville
Size: 1,200
Notable cheers: “Let’s Go, Duke!”; “See Ya!”; “You let the whole Team Down!”
Fun fact: The Crazies are believed to be the creators of the “Air ball” chant often heard at games.

Krzyzewskiville.

Population: 1,200 ravenous college students, many of who don blue wigs and face paint.

But when their beloved Duke Blue Devils take the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium, they go by their alter ego.

They become the Cameron Crazies. And they turn the intimate 9,314-seat gymnasium into a raucous bandbox.

“We have 20 percent of our student body out there jumping up and down in blue paint supporting a team,” Cameron Crazies head line monitor Gabrielle Hodgins said. “That’s pretty cool, and it’s pretty cool to be a part of.”

For the Crazies, the party begins outside the arena.

Because students are not guaranteed a seat inside Cameron, a campout in Krzyzewskiville is more often a necessity than an act of team spirit.

Luckily, the team and school do all they can to make the experience enjoyable. The Devils might organize a NERF gunfight or some other diversion, and school officials often reward campers with free pizza.

Then, the real fun happens inside the 74-year-old venue.

The Crazies approach every home game with ardent fervor, and their first duty is always their “homework.” While Hodgins moderates communications with the team prior to each game, the other line monitors dig up whatever dirt they can find on the Blue Devils’ opponent.

Once armed with an array of taunts and poster fodder, they tell the rest of the students to prepare for war.

When the ball is tipped, the directive is always the same.

Make noise. Lots of it.

Hodgins said there’s no better example than Duke’s comeback victory against hated rival North Carolina in 2011.

“ESPN documented that the inside of Cameron was as loud as a space ship taking off in the second half of that game,” she said. “It was nuts.”

Sometimes, though, opposing fans counter that it can get too crazy, and that the taunts cross the line. Hodgins disagreed and said much of the venom results from the program’s sustained success.

“If you go to a Maryland game, you’ll hear them say stuff like, ‘F**k Duke,’ but we would never do something like that,” Hodgins said. “Coach K has made it so clear to us that we’re there to support our team, not bring another team down.”

But that doesn’t mean the Crazies aren’t aware of their effect on opposing teams. They know they can make Cameron seem downright hellish.

“There’s a reason we’re a Top 10 venue to watch a game in,” she said. “Playing in Cameron is something you’re going to talk about for the rest of your life.”

Men's Basketball

Campout Chronicles: Life at Boeheimburg 2 days from Syracuse-Duke

Courtesy of Ari Gilberg | Contributing Writer

Syracuse fans have been camping out in Boeheimburg for days. They'll get to finally see Syracuse-Duke Saturday night.

My three-hour shift Wednesday night, from 6-9 p.m., came with little excitement. Yes, my friends and I played some lively music for the campers at Gate D. This time the main performance was “Milkshake.” Quick—who’s the artist behind “Milkshake?” It’s…OK, I’ll wait. No? Nothing? I’ll give you a hint.

“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard/And they’re like/It’s better than yours/Damn right it’s better than yours/I can teach you/But I have to charge”

First, don’t lie, you just sang that out loud, or at the very least in your head. Second, the correct answer was “Kelis.” Yes, Kelis. Don’t worry if you didn’t get it right. No one did.

Now, jamming out to “Milkshake” was good fun and all, but that wasn’t the main thing that stuck with me from my short three-hour shift. What really stayed with me was the Otto’s Army meeting that we were all able to attend.

It wasn’t just a break from the cold, although that was amazing, it was a room full of students that have so much dedication to their school, and are giving so much support to this team. Being able to come to together as a community of die-hard fans has been fun and rewarding.

Over the past week I’ve learned that the ability to overcome all problems and all obstacles is what makes us stronger. Camping out in general isn’t easy. Camping out in the cold isn’t any easier. Camping out, in the cold, and having to balance everyone’s schedule so you always have enough people in the tent at all times, is extremely freaking stressful.

Even though my friends and I are a large group (three groups of four), there are still times where we have to struggle to make sure we have at least one member from each group. It forces us to make sacrifices. Skip class (and be very studious and make sure we get all the missed notes from a fellow studious classmate), skip going to the gym, miss our favorite shows, etc…

However, I have news for all of my fellow campers making similar sacrifices – it’s going to be worth it. All the times when you slept on cement floor rather than your comfy bed. All the times when your hands froze just trying to text or use your laptop. All the times where you fell asleep, only to wake up in a cold sweat. It WILL be worth it.

This is an experience that will last a lifetime. A scenario that will never happen again. The first-ever conference game between two of the biggest powerhouses in college basketball history. It pits the two winningest active coaches in NCAA men’s basketball. Two of the top freshman dueling it out. A projected record-breaking attendance. College GameDay. Syracuse’s 20-0 undefeated record put to the test.

When we enter that Dome, it will be worth it. All the hardships many of us have had to endure over the past week will make us even that more intense.

Beat the cold. Beat Duke.

Men's Basketball

Campout Chronicles: Life at Boeheimburg 3 days from Syracuse-Duke

Ari Gilberg | Staff Writer

The campers are only three days away from watching Syracuse-Duke.

Being a college student, I don’t get much sleep. When I started living out of a tent, not much sleep changed to little to no sleep.

Monday night I left The Daily Orange around 4 a.m. By the time I made it back to my dorm room it was 4:30 a.m. I had a night’s worth of homework to do. Oh yeah, and I had to go back to the tent at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

My midday naps of last semester have been replaced by semi-productive work sessions at Gate E. It’s finally warm enough to get work done without my hands freezing.

I try my best not to fall asleep in class, and luckily I haven’t yet. But, sometimes I’m needed at the tent and classes like international relations no longer seem to fit into my schedule.

I’m not sure what kind of impressions I’ve made on my classmates. Those of you who have seen me in class have probably seen me walk in, shed two or three layers and drop my pillow next to my chair.

The entire campout has gone by pretty quickly. I’ve gotten used to going from class, to my tent, to class, and repeat. My body has basically been running off of pizza and Mountain Dew for the past week and a half.

As the days have passed, our tent has grown more comfortable. We added another sleeping bag, but what I’d really like is some sort of mattress pad. Maybe we’ll get that next year.

Tuesday was like any other day in Boeheimburg. I did homework and even fell asleep for a little. It was even warm enough that I couldn’t actually see my breath while I was inside the tent.

At night there was an Otto’s Army meeting, which gave us a break from camping out. We went over details for Saturday and brainstormed new ideas for cheers and signs.

It turns out we’ll be waking up at 5 a.m. to get ready for GameDay. It’s early, but it’s for GameDay — the ultimate spotlight for a school’s student section.

After the meeting I ended up falling asleep until the next person took over around 1:30 a.m.

To be completely honest, I’ve enjoyed my time at Gate E and every hour of lost sleep has been worth it, but Saturday can’t come soon enough. I’m ready to beat Duke, but I’m also ready to move back into my dorm room.

Men's Basketball

Campout Chronicles: Life at Boeheimburg 5 days from Syracuse-Duke

Last night marked the eighth night since I started camping out in Boeheimburg. And even though it was terrible at first, it has gotten easier.

My group has had some bumps along the way. Someone opened the emergency doors of the Dome blowing our tent over twice and a huge puddle formed underneath the tent soaking everything inside, but we changed locations and everything seems to have dried out.

For me, the cold isn’t really an issue anymore. It’s warmed up a little. At this point anything above 0 degrees is great and 30 is practically bathing suit weather.

Though we started out with one sleeping bag and one blanket in our tent for the coldest of the days, we now have double-bag sleeping bags. It gets so warm I’ve had to remove layers to be comfortable.

That being said, it’s definitely not a walk in the park.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I no longer get to shower on a daily basis and yes, I’ve had to brush my teeth in the bathrooms of Newhouse 3.

In the past 24 hours I’ve been to my dorm room maybe three times, and I’ve been at the tent for 16 hours. I’ve started to pack a 24-hour backpack in case I don’t get back to my room for a whole day.

My body had gotten used to sleeping in my own bed for the last few days and wasn’t happy with me after last night. I woke up feeling like a 60- or 70-year-old man with arthritis.

My neck, knees and back all ached.

For the first time I remembered a pillow – I had been sleeping on my backpack, so essentially a few books and a laptop.

Tempur-Pedic pillows are great for normal use, but it’s like sleeping on a stone block when they get cold. I’m not sure which option is better, the hard pillow or my backpack, but between that and lying on concrete, it certainly wasn’t the greatest sleep I’ve ever had.

A problem with moving our tent is that lights now shine in at all times. When you’re inside the tent you can’t tell the difference between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. I woke up several times thinking I had to go to class soon, only to find it was 3 in the morning.

The night wasn’t all bad, though. Around 7:30 p.m. there was a list check and we were surprised with Tully’s chicken tenders donated by an alumnus. Then we got Insomnia Cookies later in the night.

If there’s anything greater than free food, I don’t know what it is.

Last week was the hard part, but now the fun starts. The food, along with players and coaches visiting the campout.

If I’m not there when Jim Boeheim shows up, I’ll have to try again next year. But I don’t know if I’ll do 13 days next time.

Men's Basketball

Campout Chronicles: Life at Boeheimburg 6 days from Syracuse-Duke

Now let me just start by saying I am not a fan of the cold. It’s not that I’m not used it to it — I grew up in northern New Jersey. I just prefer the warmer temperatures so I can wear my speedo and show off my “sexy bod.” Okay, that’s a lie. But, seriously I am just not a cold-weather person.

When some of my friends brought up the idea for camping out for the Duke game, I was reluctant to say the least. Eventually by the beginning of last week I agreed… c’mon it’s Syracuse vs. Duke. However, after freezing every fiber in my body walking in -11-degree weather the next day just to go to class, I IMMEDIATELY regretted that decision.

So you could expect my joyous reaction after finding out I was scheduled to sleep in our tent the very first night. The inaugural overnight, a 14-hour shift from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m.

In the very beginning I thought I was fine, comfortable even. I had two pairs of socks, a long-sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and a jacket. I brought a sleeping bag, pillow, and my laptop. Two of my roommates and I just chilling and watching the end of the Michigan-Michigan State mens’ basketball game.

Then it got worse, much worse. After my roommates left, and two of my other friends came to take their place for the overnight shift with me, the temperature quickly dropped to 10 degrees. We tried to take our minds off the cold by watching some TV on our laptops and eating some food. By 1 a.m. we decided to just try to go to sleep, if possible.

That lasted a solid three hours, until I realized I had to go to the bathroom. Hey, when nature calls, nature calls. You know that feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night and you know you have to get up to go the bathroom, but you’re just too lazy to get out of bed and walk down the hall. Try walking in the frigid cold. Not fun.

After another three hours of sleep, I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and just gave up. With a potentially mild case of frostbite on my feet, and my hands somewhat numb, I laid motionless, counting the minutes until I was relieved of duty, just praying to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You know, C.J. Fair, Tyler Ennis, and Jim Boeheim.

When the next group came to take over, I jumped out of the tent and made my way back to the Boland Brewster Brockway dorms. Relief and happiness swept over me. However, that was quickly replaced by dread and despair after realizing I was scheduled for tonight’s overnight as well. Yup, back-to-back overnights.

We better beat Duke…

Men's Basketball

Campout Chronicles: Life at Boeheimburg a week from Syracuse-Duke

With the rest of my group occupied for most of Friday, I was stuck with the first major shift in Boeheimburg.

Nine a.m. to 4 p.m. Only one break for a class.

The temperature warmed throughout the day, however, making the tail end of my shift difficult only for a lack of food.

Before heading back for the night shift, I made sure I was dressed appropriately. Three pairs of socks, three pants, two shirts, a sweatshirt, two down jackets on top, two pairs of gloves, a scarf and a beanie. No, I couldn’t move my arms.

I arrived at the Carrier Dome around 8:30 p.m., mostly prepared for the elements but not quite ready for the amount of time I was about to spend in the same five layers of clothing.

As I sat in my sleeping bag watching a movie, I noticed a rather confused looking deliveryman saunter down the steps of Gate E. He looked around before shouting the name of the person he was looking for, who came out of nowhere.

The deliveryman grilled his customer with questions, from the simple, “Why?” to the obvious, “How cold is it?” When properly satisfied, the deliveryman awarded the man his pizza and turned to leave after whipping out his phone to take a picture of the campsite.

Some people entertained themselves with “snow pong” right next to the Dome, and joked with a Department of Public Safety officer who came down to check on us. Others listened to music and minded their own business, but the area quieted down pretty early for a Friday night.

I found it surprisingly easy to fall asleep in the sub-freezing temperatures. I was fairly comfortable lying on a mattress pad under a sleeping bag and three blankets, and I awoke only once from being too cold.

In the morning, the tenants of Boeheimburg were awoken by a role call to ensure we were all still manning our tents. Afterward, we were ushered into the Dome to watch Lacrosse scrimmages, allowing us a break from the cold.

I was finally relieved at noon after 15 long hours outside. I’m definitely enjoying this experience, but also very glad to be sleeping in a bed tonight.