Williams says win against SA Women vital for team confidence

first_imgLEICESTER, England (CMC) – Without a win in four outings in their build-up to next weekend’s start of the ICC Women’s World Cup, assistant coach Stuart Williams has underscored the importance of West Indies winning their final official warm-up game today, in order to enter the tournament with momentum.The Windies take on South Africa Women in Oakham, 45 minutes outside Leicester, in a contest that takes on special significance with the Caribbean side searching for that elusive win after three weeks in England preparing for the June 24 to July 23 showpiece.Williams pointed out that winning breeds confidence and this was needed ahead of the Windies opening match of the tournament next Monday against Australia Women.“In terms of batting, runs give you confidence so winning gives you confidence,” said the former West Indies opener.“So it’s very important that we put in a good performance tomorrow and hopefully we come out with a win and that would give the girls some confidence going into the first game.”He added: “It’s just about getting that combination right and we haven’t played our best team yet so there’s no cause for panic or anything like that. By the time next week comes, we’ll be alright.”Their most recent outing on Tuesday against Pakistan Women saw West Indies go down by five wickets at Grace Road, despite posting a respectable 246 for seven from their 50 overs.They managed to reduce their opponents 63 for three before half-centuries from Nain Abidi and Bismah Maroof snatched the game away from them.Williams said while they were disappointed to lose, there was cause for encouragement with several of the performances.“The pleasing thing (about Tuesday’s game) is we made (nearly) 250 without the skipper’s (Stafanie Taylor) contribution and Hayley (Matthews) and (Deandra) Dottin got run-out in the 30s so the basic fundamentals are there; so we’re looking solid as a batting group,” Williams reasoned.“But cricket is just not about batting alone, we still have to get our other skills up to level in terms of the bowling and the fielding.”One of the stand-outs was the uncapped opener Felicia Walters who top-scored with 59 to gather her first half-century in West Indies colours.Williams said the 25-year-old had progressed well on tour so far and had taken on board the advice to increase her tempo at the crease.“One of the things she has improved on is her intent,” Williams explained.“She always has this longevity (about her batting) and sticking around, but what we’ve got her to do is to have more intent – rotating the strike and hitting the bad balls when they come. It was pleasing to see her get a half-century.”He continued: “Merissa (Aguilleira) again she continued her good form by getting 40-odd, Hayley getting 30-odd without any problems at all and Dottin being her usual self. Our batting group is getting there.”last_img read more

Syracuse basketball opponent preview: What to know about No. 20 Duke

first_img Comments Published on January 17, 2016 at 1:55 pm Syracuse (12-7, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) rides back-to-back conference wins into Cameron Indoor Stadium on Monday night to face No. 20 Duke (14-4, 3-2), who is coming off back-to-back losses against Clemson and Notre Dame. The Blue Devils fell to the Fighting Irish 95-91 on Saturday, while the Orange romped Wake Forest by 28 behind 25 points from Trevor Cooney.Here’s what you need to know about Mike Krzyzewski’s team ahead of the matchup:All-time series: 5-3 in Duke’s favorLast time they played: Then-No. 4 Duke scraped the floor of Cameron Indoor with the Orange on Feb. 28, 2015. Justise Winslow’s season-high 23 points lead the way for the Blue Devils. Syracuse shot an abysmal 19-of-62 from the field and 3-of-20 from beyond the arc. Tyler Roberson led SU with 16 points and nine rebounds, but his frontcourt counterpart Jahlil Okafor logged a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds in the lopsided win.The Duke report: The Blue Devils are fourth in the country in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency ranking behind Notre Dame, North Carolina and Southern Methodist. Duke hasn’t scored fewer than 80 points in any home game and only one game saw the Blue Devils put up fewer than 70. They rank second in the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage and are led by sophomore guard Grayson Allen, the ACC’s second-leading scorer with 20.2 points per game. Duke’s Achilles heel, though, may be down low with big man Amile Jefferson still sidelined due to injury. He’s factored in all four matchups with Syracuse over the past two seasons and his absence leaves the frontcourt duties to Marshall Plumlee and freshman Brandon Ingram.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLike last year with future first-round NBA Draft picks Okafor and Tyus Jones, Duke boasts an impressive crop of freshmen. Ingram leads the group with 16.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, followed by sharpshooter Luke Kennard (scored 30 against Notre Dame) averaging 12.9 per game and Derryck Thornton chipping in 8.6 points and 3.1 assists per contest.How Syracuse upsets Duke: Even though Syracuse is on the rise and Duke is reeling, this would still be a sizable upset for the Orange away from home. Duke opponents score 58.1 percent of their points inside the arc and that ranks sixth in the country, according to KenPom. With Jefferson out, teams are attacking the interior and Syracuse can do the same. Tyler Roberson has been more effective finishing at the rim for the Orange and so too has Dajuan Coleman, who made all three of his field-goal attempts in the paint. If the Orange can hit a string of outside shots early like Cooney did against Wake Forest, it will open up the interior and Syracuse can attack an already thin Blue Devils frontcourt.Numbers to know: Syracuse has the lowest percentage of bench minutes in the country, according to KenPom, but Duke isn’t much deeper. The Blue Devils bench players see only 26 percent of a game’s minutes on average, which ranks 321st in the nation. If Syracuse can wear down Duke in transition (it’s unlikely because the Blue Devils have the seventh-best turnover percentage in the country), Krzyzewski may be forced to dip further into a team that is already without one of its best players.Player to watch: Kennard may not be as prominent os Allen or Ingram, but the freshman’s season-high 30 points against the Fighting Irish puts him well on Syracuse’s radar. He’s scored in double figures in each of Duke’s five ACC games and has only had one game shooting below 50 percent from the field in conference play. Kennard can also get to the rim and draw contact, which SU may not want to incite since Kennard shoots a whopping 92.4 percent from the foul line, which ranks sixth in the country. Here’s a jab step he used against Notre Dame.center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Afterthoughts: During press conference rant, Jim Boeheim tees off on notion that Syracuse basketball is in 3-year downward spiral

first_imgFollowing Syracuse’s 77-66 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday, head coach Jim Boeheim took aim at a Syracuse.com article that stated the Orange has been on a downward spiral over the past three years. Since Tyler Ennis hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give SU a dramatic 58-56 win at Pittsburgh three years ago, Syracuse has been “a rather ordinary entity,” the article states.SU hadn’t beaten the Panthers since — until Saturday, when the Orange jumped out to a 21-point halftime lead and eased to an 11-point victory in the Carrier Dome to improve to 2-1 in conference play. The win came less than a week after an embarrassing 15-point loss to Boston College to open its ACC slate.Boeheim didn’t have any more questions to answer at the 4:55 mark of his postgame press conference but raised the issue on his own, before upholding a back-and-forth “entertainment” session that lasted almost 10 minutes. You can watch the full rant here, starting at around the five-minute mark: Comments Published on January 8, 2017 at 9:21 am Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+ Boeheim, in short, states that Syracuse would probably have won one or two NCAA Tournament games in the 2014-15 season had it not self-imposed a postseason ban. He also argues the Orange’s 12-loss regular season in the 2015-16 campaign didn’t matter since Syracuse ended up making a surprise appearance at the Final Four as a No. 10 seed.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textUnlike any press conference in recent years, Boeheim neared a shouting match with the reporter, eventually turning the back-and-forth from an attack into a laughable session that the SU head coach chided that viewers pay to see anyway.“When you go to the Final Four, you could lose 20 games. It doesn’t matter,” Boeheim said. “Those are just numbers that you put in the paper that don’t mean anything.”Syracuse fans will remember the 2016 Final Four run over an 0-4 start in conference play and a 12-loss regular season that included two defeats to Pittsburgh – and one more in the conference tournament – and a 12-point loss to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. Yes, Boeheim is right in claiming Tournament results trump regular season records.Three seasons ago, the Orange suffered an upset loss to 11-seed Dayton in the second round. Two seasons ago, SU wasn’t eligible for the NCAA Tournament after self-imposing a postseason ban. One year ago, the Orange squeaked into the field as a No. 10 seed and was the third-to-last team standing.In the end, Boeheim’s point was that regular-season records don’t matter as long as his team makes it to the Big Dance. Few cared about the 25-0 start since No. 3 seed Syracuse was upset by a No. 11 seed. In the 2014-15 season, SU’s regular season was rendered meaningless once it wasn’t eligible for postseason play. And even though the Orange lost 12 regular season games last season, it didn’t matter. What Syracuse does in the NCAA Tournament — if it makes it there this season — is what it will be judged on.“Last year was the fifth-best year I’ve ever had here. Ever. 40 years. The fifth-best year that I’ve had here,” Boeheim said. “ … If you just count wins, that means nothing.”MORE COVERAGE:What we learned from Syracuse’s 77-66 win over PittsburghSyracuse offense has found a groove with better efficiency The Final Word: Beat writers discuss SU’s win over Pitt (Podcast)Syracuse shuts off Jamel Artis in high post to stunt Pittsburgh offenseJohn Gillon plays ‘as good as you can get’Graphical breakdown of Syracuse’s victorySuperlatives from SU’s win against Pitt: Stud, dud, highlight, big moment and morelast_img read more