Bio: I cover the Brooklyn Nets, the St. John's Red Storm men's basketball team, and the Brooklyn Cyclones. I support the Fort Hamilton Tigers football team, a 3-time city champion. I am a graduate of Fort Hamilton High School (2003) and Brooklyn College (2008).
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By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
St. John’s used a strong second half to beat Minnesota 70-61 in the opening night of the preseason NIT on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. They will face Gonzaga, who beat Georgia in the nightcap, in the championship game on Friday night.
D’Angelo Harrison led the way for St. John’s with 19 points despite shooting a dreadful 5-for-17 from the field, including 2-6 on three-pointers. He also had 9 rebounds and 2 assists.
Harrison said of the win, “First of all, it was a big win for us, but we’re not done yet. Coach (Steve Lavin) stressed that just now in the locker room. My teammates did a good job of staying with me, just say, shoot the ball, you’re a shooter, shoot it. Dom (Sir’Dominic Pointer) was one of the them, we started in it the whole game, we pulled it out.”
Rysheed Jordan had 18 points on 5-for-14 shooting (0-4 on 3-pointers), with 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Chris Obepka had 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Sir’Dominic Pointer had 8 points (4-6 FG, 0-1 3-pt) and 11 rebounds. he said of the team, “We’ve done it for four years, we have a good team this year so it’s time for us to grow up and come together. The first half we played like little kids. Missed some assignments. Second half we had to man up and we got in them, stayed together and we came back.”
Minnesota got off to a good start and led St. John’s 40-31 at halftime, led by 13 from Nate Mason in the first half.
In the second half, Minnesota kept their lead and were up 59-54 on Andre Hollins free throws with 6:29 left in the game. Those were the last points they would score for the next 4 minutes and 16 seconds, as St. John’s went on a 13-0 run in that span, led by 8 points from D’Angelo Harrison, to take a 67-59 lead.
Harrison had a four-point play at the 2:22 mark that made it 65-59 St. John’s.
He said of that play, “I saw the ball go in the basket and those kind of plays are St. John’s basketball right there, a lot of energy. Brought a lot of energy to the game. Big play in the game. Credit everyone. Team win, team win today.”
Hollins got a layup with 1:13 left to break the scoreless streak, and Chris Obepka hit a few free throws in the last minute to seal the win.
St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin said of the win, “What I shared after the game with the kids, with the group, with the team, was the fact it was clearly a total team victory. Sometimes in coaching, we use platitudes or cliches, they call it ‘coach speak,’ and it’s not really, you know, accurate. And this was a game that was a total team victory.
“And so that’s what stood out to me, you could feel it in the huddles. You could feel it on our bench, even with our reserves, our manager, Father Rock, the staff. People were locked in, and so that is what stood out to me, and I thought as a group, they really lost themselves to the game to defense to the front of the jersey, St. John’s, and there was a sense that it was just a very cohesive well-knit unit that was playing in concert together.
“That’s who we have to be if we are going to have a special season. I shared with them one of John Wooden’s favorite quote, it’s amazing what can get accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit. And I thought time was a selfless team, a selfless team, a selfless effort tonight,” said Lavin.
Minnesota Coach Richard Pitino said of the second half, “Well certainly give them credit. They turned up the heat in the second half, and they made a lot of hustle plays. They made a lot of loose ball plays. We talked about rebounding, was a huge key, and they beat us on the glass 51-39. They out-rebounded us; they out-hustled us, they out-scrapped us. So give them credit. They are a very talented team. We knew that and certainly we’ve got to give them credit because they were very good tonight and we were just not so good.”
On what Harrison brings as a clutch player, Pitino said, “Yeah, from the foul line, he’s a good player. I coached him as an assistant. He’s so lethal, just because he can make shots from anywhere. Six steals as well, you have to give him credit and he played 40 minutes in a fast-paced game and made a big shot when one think he was so tired. So he gritted it out. They gritted it out and you have to give them all the credit.”
Minnesota was led by Nate Mason, who had 15 points, just two of which came in the second half, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Carlos Morris had 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The Nets held on for a 99-91 win over the winless 76ers in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, outlasting them in the final minutes to avoid the indignity of being the first to lose to them.
Joe Johnson led the way with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting and 3-4 on three-pointers, with 4 assists and 2 rebounds. Deron Williams had a big night with 17 points (4-10 FG, 2-5 3-pt), 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Brook Lopez took advantage of the fact that the Sixers do not have much of a frontcourt, and he put up 19 points on 9-for-12 from the field with 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Kevin Garnett had 9 points and 9 rebounds in 28 minutes, continuing to prove that he is better when he is out there more.
Alan Anderson had 12 points (4-7 FG, 1-2 on 3-pt) off the bench in 28 minutes, includin the entire fourth quarter.
The Nets controlled this game early, leading 32-19 at the end of the first quarter and 49-41 at halftime.
The Nets opened the third on a 9-0 run capped by a Bojan Bogdanovic three with 8:57 left in the third that made it 58-41. The Nets maintained it, and another Bogdanovic three made it it 67-52 with 4:45 left in the third. The Sixers responded with a 10-3 run capped by Nerlens Noel free throws with 1:00 left that made it 70-62 Nets. Philly cut it to 5 on free throws by Brandon Davies with 19 seconds left that made it 72-67, and that was the score heading into the fourth.
The Sixers opened the fourth on a 7-0 run with a Michael Carter-Williams three and a couple of Nerlens Noel layups to go up 74-72. They traded baskets, and K.J. McDaniels hit a three to tie it at 82 with 6:48 left. Alan Anderson then made a three-point play to give the Nets an 85-82 lead, and they never relinquished the lead down the stretch.
Deron Williams hit a jumper with 2:45 left that made it 90-83 with 2:45 left which looked like it would take a lot of the energy out of Philly. Instead, the Sixers went on a 6-0 run, with Tony Wroten getting a couple of free throws followed by a layup with 1:31 left that made it 90-89 Brooklyn.
Kevin Garnett got to the line, and hit one of two free throws, and after a stop, he then hit a jumper with 32 seconds left that made it 93-89. Williams hit four free throws and Johnson a couple of them to seal the win.
The Sixers are now 0-15, three losses away from tying the worst start to a season set by the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets.
The Nets improve to 6-8 and have three days off before hosting the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center. They then have a pivotal back-to-back, as they travel to The Garden to play the Knicks on Tuesday and host the San Antonio Spurs the next night.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The Villanova Wildcats, ranked 14th in the nation, won the Progressive Legends Classic on Tuesday night at Barclays Center with a 60-55 win over #19 Michigan 60-55. VCU beat Oregon 77-63 in the Consolation Game.
VILLANOVA 77, MIGHIGAN 63
This was a tight game from the start, and Michigan had a 20-18 lead on a Chris LeVert three-pointer with 7:17 left in the first half. Villanova shut them out the rest of the way and took a 27-20 lead into halftime.
They then opened the second half on a 6-0 run, capped by a JayVaughn Pinkston dunk with 17:52 left in the second half. Michigan got their first basket of the second half on a Zak Irvin jumper at the 17:23 mark. That broke an extended scoreless streak by Michigan of 9 minutes and 54 seconds.
That started a big run by Michigan to take a 43-38 lead on a Kameron Chatman jumper with 9:02 left. Michigan expanded that lead to eight, at 51-43, on a Derrick Walton, Jr., jumper with 5:59 left. Villanova responded with a 9-0 run, with threes from Ryan Arcidiacono and Dylan Ennis and capped by a Josh Hart free throw with 2:03 left that made it 52-51 Villanova.
Michigan’s Chris LeVert made back-to-back jumpers to give them a 55-54 lead with 58 seconds left.
The final minute belonged to JayVaughn Pinkston of Villanova, who is a Brooklyn native. He hit a jumper with 16 seconds left to give them a 56-55 lead and then blocked a Zak Irvin layup with 4 seconds left. Arcidiacono hit four free throws after that to give Villanova the 60-55 win.
Villanova was led by Dylan Ennis, who had 15 points on 6-for-10 from the field and 3-for-6 on three-pointers.Daniel Ochefu had 10 points and 4 rebounds. JayVaughn Pinkston had 8 points and 9 rebounds, falling just short of a double-double.
Michigan was led by Caris LeVert, who had 16 points and 6 rebounds. Zak Irvin had 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Derrick Walton, Jr., had 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
VCU 77, OREGON 63
VCU’s HAVOC defense was in full force from the beginning of this one, as they hold Oregon scoreless for the first 4 minutes and 27 seconds. VCU jumped out to a 12-0 lead in that time, but Oregon battled back and pulled within two, at 27-25, on a three from Dillon Brooks at the 4:10 mark of the first half.
VCU responded with an 8-0 run capped by a layup from Mo Alie-Cox with 17 seconds left. Oregon’s Jalil Abdul-Bassit hit a jumper with 4 seconds left cut VCU’s lead to 35-27 at halftime.
Oregon came out firing in the second half, starting out with an 11-4 run that cut VCU’s lead to 39-38 at the 14:14 mark of the second half. Briante Weber got a three-point play to start a 6-0 VCU run to make it 45-38 at the 11:43 mark. VCU was in control from then on, and went up 11, at 59-48, on a Treveon Graham layup with 6:54 left. Oregon got as close as six points, at 67-61, with 3:36 left, but VCU responded with an 8-0 run capped by a Mo Alie-Cox layup with 40 seconds left that made it 75-61 VCU.
All five of VCU’s starters scored in double figures. Melvin Johnson led the way with 19 points on 7-for-13 from the field and 3-for-6 on three-pointers, with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Treveon Graham had 13 points on 5-for-7 from the field and 1-2 on threes, with 4 rebounds. Jordan Burgess had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Briante Weber had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists, and notched 4 rebounds. Mo Alie-Cox had 10 points and 5 rebounds.
VCU Head Coach Shaka Smart said of having five starters in double figures, “It depends on the game, but we certainly have a lot of guys who are capable of getting double figures, not just our starting lineup. It’s good to have balance because we can’t just focus on one guy. I thought last night Villanova put a lot of emphasis on Mel (Melvin Johnson) and on Tre (Treveon Graham), and that’s what a lot of teams are going to do because they are probably our two best scorers. But I thought that Jordan (Burgess), Mo (Alie-Cox), and Briante (Weber) – those guys stepped up and JeQuan (Lewis) played much better. But as Melvin said, it starts on defense. We need to continue to get better on defense. I thought overall, we played with great effort, but tonight, we are still not at the level that we want. I think that our guys, on the quick turnaround, did a really good job locking in on what we needed to do.”
Smart said of the game, “Our guys did a great job following the plan that we put in place. Obviously it was a quick turnaround coming off of last night’s game. We talked about Oregon this morning, and what we would need to do against them. At the end of the day, these two guys (Burgess and Johnson) along with the other guys that played big minutes, made a lot of ‘toughness’ plays and that made the difference for us.”
VCU shot 50 percent from the field, or 28 of 56 shot attempts. They held Oregon to just 37.5 percent, or 21-for-56, from the field.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
Villanova beat VCU with a strong second half performance and Michigan outlasted Oregon on Monday night in the opening of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center.
On Tuesday night, VCU will meet Oregon at 7:30 in the Consolation Game, followed by Villanova and Michigan in the Championship Game at 10:00 pm.
VILLANOVA 77, VCU 53
The first half was a very intense, tight affair, and Villanova took a 32-30 lead into halftime.
VCU scored the first six points of the second half to take a 36-32 lead at the 18:41 mark. Villanova responded with a mammoth 16-0 run, with Darrun Hilliard scoring 5 points in the span and it was capped by a Josh Hart three-point play at the 16:18 mark that made it 48-36.
Villanova kept it up and took a 16-point lead when Kris Jenkins, who was fouled on a three-point attempt, made three free throws to make it 57-41 at the 13:18 mark. They expanded that lead to 20, at 69-49, on a Hilliard three with 6:25 left, and a Hilliard lay-up gave them their biggest lead, 24, at 77-53 with 2:03 left, and that would be the final score.
JayVaughn Pinkston led the way for Villanova with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Darrun Hilliard had 14 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds. Kris Jenkins had 13 points off the bench. Josh Hart had 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
VCU was led by Melvin Johnson and Briante Walker, who had 13 points each, and Mo Alie-Cox had 10 points and 4 rebounds.
Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright said of the win, “Great game for us. We’ve had a few games that we didn’t quite do everything right, tonight we made good shots. They are a very, very good team. It was a privilege for us to get that test this early against a team like that. The way the play just tests all your concepts, it tests your will, your stamina, and conditioning. We saw that on our schedule and we thought great – we’ll know where we are. We all know this could have been 20 points the other way. I really admire the way Shaka (Smart, VCU Head Coach) runs the team and his program.”
On team goals, Wright said, “We have been very fortunate to have this group of guys. The seniors demand focus of everyone around them. It is a joy to coach them. Now they’re 21 and 22 years old, and that can change instantly, so we have to stay committed, we have to stay hungry. We have to keep working.”
Pinkston, a Brooklyn native, said of playing in his home borough, “Coach and I talked about me coming up to play in New York, and play in front of my family. Remember to focus on defense and that’s what I did the first couple of plays.”
Pinkston said of the game, “We came out aggressive on defense. We were getting shots, keeping the ball moving ahead to the forwards, and making plays. We just have to continue and get better every day.”
VCU Head Coach Shaka Smart said of the game, “Congrats to Villanova. I thought they played really hard and it showed a lot of poise all game long. In the second half, they really got it going. They made some great plays off the dribble and made some timely three’s to extend the lead. I thought our energy was really good coming out of halftime, but after that initial six point run we had, we didn’t get stops. You can’t win games against anyone, particularly against a quality team like Villanova, if you can’t stop them. Over one stretch, they scored five or six times in a row and then eight or so times out of ten. It’s unacceptable. It’s a painful reminder that we need to get better on defense.”
On Villanova breaking the VCU press, Smart said, “They have sound ball handlers, they passed the ball well. I think it’s a combination of the talent they have in terms of those things. They pass it well and they don’t make unforced turnovers. We were not ourselves in terms of pressuring the ball, closing down traps, getting our hands on the basketball, flying around the way we need to fly around. You combine those things and that’s why they had single digit turnovers.”
MICHIGAN 70, OREGON 63
Michigan had a dominant first half, and took a 33-27 lead into halftime. In the second half, Oregon tied it at 40 on a three-point play by Elgin Cook with 13:45 left. Michigan responded with an 8-0, which included four points from Zak Irvin and was capped by a layup by Derrick Walton, Jr. Oregon pulled back to within a point, at 56-55, on a Dillon Brooks dunk with 4:09 remaining. Michigan never gave up the lead down the stretch, and an Irvin three-pointer with 1:25 left made it 64-59 Michigan and that sealed the win.
Michigan was led by Zak Irvin, who had 19 points and 5 rebounds, and Caris LeVert had 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ricky Doyle had 10 points and 3 rebounds off the bench.
Oregon was led by Joseph Young, who had 20 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. Dillon Brooks had 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. Elgin Cook had 13 points and 6 rebounds. Dwayne Benjamin had 8 points and 11 rebounds.
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein said of the game, “I have to applaud Oregon. They played so hard, they did a great job. Few times you will see someone give up 18 offensive rebounds and still get a ‘W.’ We did enough things to win the game. Low turnovers, got to the foul line, made some really big plays down the stretch and we shot the ball better in the second half from the perimeter. Ricky (Doyle) stepped forward tonight, Caris (LeVert) got a lot of things dialed up to him down the stretch and we did enough to get the ‘W.'”
Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman said of his team’s performance, “I thought we went to the boards pretty hard. We showed some aggressiveness, but we had a lot of wasted possessions offensively and did not execute what we wanted to. A lot of that was Michigan, but it also was our lack of organization. So, I was disappointed with the way our offense ran.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19 @BrooklynFans
The Duke Blue Devils beat the Stanford Cardinal 70-59 to win the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Barclays Center on Saturday night.
Duke senior guard Quinn Cook won the MVP, as he scored 18 points on 5-for-12 and 4-for-9 from the three-point line, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds. Cook had 17 points, 5 rebounds, and an assist in their win Friday night over UNLV in the opening game of the tournament.
Duke also got contributions from Justise Winslow, a freshman forward, who had 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists; freshman center Jahlil Okafor had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds; and sophomore guard Matt Jones had 10 points on 4-for-7 from the field, including 2-3 on threes, off the bench.
The game started off pretty even, with Duke clinging to a two-point lead for the opening ten minutes, then took a 28-21 lead on a Cook three with 7:33 left. Another Cook three at the 3:55 mark made it 35-25 Duke. The biggest lead Duke had was 13 points, at 40-27 with 37 seconds left, and a layup by Stanford’s Stefan Nastic made it 40-29 Duke at the half.
Duke came out firing in the second half, and opened up a 15-point lead, 50-35, on a Cook three at the 15:49 mark. A jumper by Randle Chasson cut Duke’s lead to 51-43 at the 10:57 mark, and Duke responded with a 10-2 run capped by a layup and a separate free throw from Jahlil Okafor to make it 61-45 Duke with 5:48 remaining. The closest the Cardinal got the rest of the way was 11 points, at 65-54 on an Anthony Brown layup with 2:19 left, and the final score of 70-59.
Stanford was led by senior guard Chasson Randle, who had 22 points on 8-for-17 from the field and 2-7 on threes, with a rebound and a costly five turnovers. Senior center Stefan Nastic had a double double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, but shot a disappointing 5-for-15 from the field.
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski said of the game, “We’re obviously extremely pleased to win the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. I thought our guys played really good defense again tonight. Our guys followed the lead of Quinn (Cook). He was a great leader for us and so was Amile (Jefferson). Amile was a warrior. We subbed him out because they were small and against the zone, Justise (Winslow) was a little bit better in the middle. Matt Jones was playing well. Matt came off the bench and gave us a big spark. I’m really proud of my team. It was a really good performance for us without it being pretty offensive. I liked the personality of our team.”
Coach K said of Stanford, “They’re such a well-coached team. They run a different offense – the triangle – and I thought that we defended that well. Then, they went to some alternate stuff.” (Wonder if Stanford can go over to The Garden to teach the Triangle to the Knicks.)
Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins played for and was an assistant coach for Coach K, and he said of coaching against him, “It was difficult to compete against a friend and mentor. Of course, it was very awkward. You get so used to being on the same bench and then you are somewhere different. I don’t think that’s something you look forward to. That’s why we don’t schedule each other. It happens in tournaments where you can run into each other, but it’s not something we intentionally try to do. I will always be proud that I was part of a (Duke) class that made such a contribution. I was fortunate to be there when it was just starting to form under Coach K’s leadership. I wouldn’t trade my place for anyone else’s place because of all that we went through together.”
Dawkins said of Duke’s Jhalil Okafor, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds against his team, “Okafor is a great player. He’s a force inside. We tried to give him as many different (defensive) looks as we possibly could…You just aren’t going to completely stop him. He is too good a player.”
Stanford center Stefan Nastic said of playing Okafor, “Jahlil is a great player. We definitely prepared for him. You have to respect a guy that is that type of threat. I just tried to give my best effort.”
CONSOLATION GAME: UNLV 57, TEMPLE 50
In the consolation game to open the doubleheader, UNLV beat Temple 57-50.
UNLV was led by sophomore forward Christian Wood, who had 18 points (8-15 FG, 1-2 on 3-pt) and 13 rebounds. Senior guard Cody Doolin had 10 points and 5 assists.
UNLV Head Coach Dave Rice said of the game, “It was a character win for us. We didn’t play very well last night. Stanford played incredibly well. It was a quick turnaround, but I could tell last night at the hotel as we watched game film that our guys were focused and ready to go. I had a lot of confidence going into the game that we would play hard and (play) together.”
Rice said of Christian Wood, “I thought that Chris was extremely aggressive down the stretch and did a great job scoring the ball in the post and rebounding the ball as well.”
Temple was led by senior guard Will Cummings, who had 21 points on 6-14 from the field and 2-3 on threes, with 7 rebounds and an assist.
Temple Head Coach Fran Dunphy said of the game. “I thought we challenged (UNLV’s) shot blockers way too much. We didn’t pay attention when we tried to drive and we should have kicked it out to open shooters. When we did have open looks we didn’t knock them down. We had some shots that just didn’t go in and they hit some big shots.”
Temple shot just 15 percent in the second half, making just 5 of 33 shot attempts. Dunphy said of that, “We need to work a lot more on our offensive game. Duke was a very good defensive team and (UNLV) was very athletic. When we tried to get it to the rim, they were not allowing it. We were not careful enough with our shot selection. We need to step up and make shots when we get decent looks.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The Texas Longhorns, the 10th-ranked team in the country, beat California handily in the Championship Game of the 2K Classic, 71-55, on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Texas dominated this game from the start, and they jumped out to a 14-4 lead on a Jonathan Holmes layup a few minutes in. They expanded the lead to 14, at 26-12, on a Connor Lammert layup with 5:33 left in the first half. They took a 31-21 lead into halftime.
California came out strong in the second half, and cut it to 6, at 33-27, on a Tyrone Wallace jumper with 17:02 left. Texas responded with an 8-2 run, capped by a Demarcus Holland three-point play to make it 41-29 at the 15:39 mark. The closest Cal got after that was 43-36 on a Tyrone Wallace jumper with 13:36 left. From then on, Texas was in full control, and blew it open when Cameron Ridley hit a jumper to give them a 17-point lead, at 60-43, with 5:12 remaining.
Texas senior forward Jonathan Holmes won 2K Classic MVP honors with 21 points on 6-for-11 from the field (1-3 on 3-pointers) and 13 rebounds in 32 minutes. Junior guard Demarcus Holland had 11 points and 5 rebounds. Junior forward Connor Lammert had 6 points and 9 rebounds. Junior point guard Javan Felix had 9 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Freshman forward Myles Turner had 5 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
CONSOLATION GAME: SYRACUSE 66, IOWA 63
Syracuse lost to California in the opening game on Thursday night, while Iowa lost to Texas, setting up the consolation game to start Friday night’s doubleheader.
Syracuse led Iowa 34-29 at halftime and opened up a 50-35 lead eight minutes into the second half on a layup by Chris McCullough. Syracuse maintained that lead for the next few minutes, going up 14, at 57-43, on a Michael Gbinije dunk with 8:36 left.
Iowa responded, and went on a 15-2 run over the next five minutes, led by forward Jarrod Uthoff, who had 8 points in the stretch, Aaron White, and Adam Woodbury. Syracuse responded, as McCullough got a dunk to make it 61-58 with 2:21 left, and White responded with a dunk of his own to cut it back to a point.
Syracuse got a big layup from Trevor Cooney with 1:25 left, and Iowa got a layup from Adam Woodbury to make it 63-62 with 55 seconds left. Syracuse’s Kaleb Joseph missed a jumper with 40 seconds left, leaving Iowa with plenty of time to get a go-ahead basket. The Syracuse defense tightened up, and Iowa was forced to call a timeout with 14 seconds left, and when they came out of that, Syracuse’s McCullough got a steal. That was essentially it, as they traded free throws in the final 10 seconds leading to Syracuse’s 66-63 win.
Syracuse was led by Bronx native, freshman forward Chris McCullough, who had 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting and 9 rebounds in 38 minutes. Senior center Rakeem Christmas was able to do whatever he wanted on offense, and he finished with 18 points on 7-for-11 from the field, and 6 rebounds. Junior guard Trevor Cooney finished with 14 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds.
Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim said of the win, “In the first part of the second half, I thought we finally got our offense going. We were able to get different guys to get into position to score and we played really the best offense that we’ve played and then with the lead they came with a three-quarter-court trap and we threw it away fur times. That allows people to get open shots and now they’re back in the game. Kaleb (Joseph) made a good play when we had the and-one and then he tried to win the game with a jump shot when he should have really been thinking about trying to get the ball inside to Chris (McCullough) or Rak(eem Christmas), but freshmen are going to do that.
“I thought at the end of the game Chris (McCullough) made a great steal, came across our trap and just made a great play and that was the game. If he doesn’t come across and get that one, we don’t win. It was a great play. You know, we obviously have a lot of work to do on offense. I thought Trevor (Cooney) and Kaleb (Joseph) were more aggressive today and that’s good and Chris (McCullough) and Rak(eem Christmas) were good, we just got to do a better job of getting them the ball down low, but we did a fairly good job, but we’ve certainly got a lot of work to do on the offensive end,” said Boeheim.
Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffrey said, “In the first half I thought we attacked the zone pretty well, early. We were getting the ball to to the rim, we fumbled it out of bounds, we fumbled a lob that looked like it was going to be a dunk. You shouldn’t turn the ball over 11 times against the zone. That really put us in a tough spot, down five at the half…First part of the second half I thought we were really good, which is an important step because last night coming out of the half we weren’t very good. we played better, then they go on a run and give them credit for how they played and how they executed at that point of the game. They stretched it a little bit but we didn’t panic, we didn’t collapse, we kept executing, we pressed them, we got positive play from our press, created some offense, Jarrod (Uthoff) hit a couple of big shots, we played with a lot of energy and managed the game well, I thought. We put ourselves in position to win and that’s a good step for us.”
Jason Schott and Lloyd Carroll debate their thoughts on “Horrible Bosses 2″
Lloyd Carroll – The 2011 comedy “Horrible Bosses” was not a great film by any stretch of the imagination but it found an audience because of a simple, yet rather underutilized, story line; namely that a lot of workers have bosses who are either unappreciative or are bullies. The only film that I can recall where that was a central theme was the 1980 Dolly Parton vehicle, “9 To 5.”
Whereas “9 To 5″ was a smart comedy, “Horrible Bosses” was pure slapstick where three buddies who are being humiliated at work plot to kill their respective bosses. It was more “Three Stooges” than it was “The Sopranos.”
Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) are back with another caper in “Horrible Bosses 2.” The guys have developed a product called “Shower Buddy” and they are looking to be entrepreneurs instead of employees. An appearance on a local LA morning TV show draws the attention of a major appliance distributor who offers them a deal that sounds too good to be true.
As is generally the case, it was indeed to good to be true and the distribution company executives, the father and son team of Bert (Christoph Waltz) and Rex Hanson (Chris Pine), snooker the guys by using a bridge loan to steal their product out from them legally. The idea of bringing in lawyers and CPAs to look over any contract is apparently an alien one to our heroes.
Be it as it may, Nick, Kurt, and Dale are down but not out. They come up with the idea of kidnaping the odiously spoiled Rex, who flaunts his wealth in the faces of everyone he meets, in exchange for a princely ransom from his father. Predictably Murphy’s Law kicks in and everything that can go wrong, does. One unforeseen complication is that Rex has his own reasons to extract money from his dad and winds up commandeering things from the guys.
“Horrible Bosses 2″ is not horrible but the film makers are lazy as is frequently the case with a comedy sequel. Jokes run on far too long such as one about gay oral sex in the first scene as well as the obligatory finale chase scenes through the streets of downtown Los Angeles . Director Sean Anders, who also doubles as a screenwriter, lets his cast have fun by allowing them to ad-lib to their heart’s content.
The best thing about the film is its talented and game cast. Jason Bateman once again plays the straight-arrow in a comedy who has to do numerous slow-burns being the voice of reason. Jason Sudeikis, as was often the case when he was a key cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” plays a clueless but confident and upbeat character. The only weak lead is Charlie Day who is a poor man’s Bobcat Goldthwait playing the “Nervous Nellie” here.
The supporting cast is even better than the leads. Kevin Spacey returns in a cameo as the ultimate emasculating boss who makes Alec Baldwin’s tough-guy character from “Glengarry Glen Ross” look like a wimp in comparison. Chris Pine delivers as a handsome sociopath. Jennifer Aniston once again steals the film as a sex-obsessed dentist whose salty language about her proclivities would make a longshoreman blush. Say what you will about Aniston’s box office failures as an actress; she certainly has courage playing a role that is the antithesis of her iconic Rachel Green character from the old “Friends” TV series.
“Horrible Bosses 2″ is a harmless under two-hour film but I would wait until it comes out on DVD or when it makes it to premium cable. It’s not worth today’s high movie theater ticket prices.
Jason Schott – “Horrible Bosses 2″ had its moments, and the highlights were Chris Pine, who stole the show, and Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Aniston were at their best in cameo roles that provided the most entertaining moments.
There was nothing that special about the three leads. Jason Bateman plays the same character he always does, the smartest one in the room who knows all the right decisions, no different than his character on “Arrested Development.” Jason Sudeikis did much the same thing, playing the same, sly character he does in every movie and most of his characters on “Saturday Night Live,” including his send-ups of Mitt Romney and Joe Biden. Charlie Day was not very good and was highly annoying at times. Seeing all the big stars in this movie and what they commanded, it’s obvious that they saved money on the goofy member of the trio.
The movie brought its expected lowbrow humor from practically the first scene, where in a convoluted way, while demonstrating their shower product on a morning show, they simulate a sex act. It did not get much better from there, as the cursing and graphic language were uncomfortable at times. A common theme too was their making fun of gays, which is par for the course in these kind of frat house comedies.
Some of the funniest scenes are with Kevin Spacey, whose character is shown talking to Nick, Kurt, and Dale in prison to hilarious effect.
Overall, it’s a good watch, but I agree with Lloyd, save your money and wait for it to come to cable.