NEW YORK — As the immediate hubbub surrounding Darius Bazley’s decision to decommit from Syracuse and turn pro has faded, the former Orange-bound five-star forward responded to nine days of emotional responses from the SU fanbase — many of them involving disbelief and shock — into a singular message.“I know the fans are great, despite the comments and stuff I’ve been getting from them,” Bazley told The Daily Orange on Saturday afternoon at the Jordan Brand Classic. “I’m still going to root them on. I had to do what’s best for me, and I just hope that they will respect that and cheer me on.”On March 29, Bazley, 17, decommitted from Syracuse to turn professional in the G League. The No. 9 recruit in ESPN’s 2018 rankings, Bazley committed to SU back in July 2017. The 6-foot-9 power forward out of Princeton (Cincinnati) High School headlined Syracuse’s 2018 recruiting class that features No. 37 recruit Jalen Carey and Buddy Boeheim, son of SU head coach Jim Boeheim.When Bazley’s announcement was reported, Carey was taking a nap at home. His father, John, woke him up. Carey thought his father was kidding at first, but he checked Twitter to get confirmation.Then, Syracuse guard Elijah Hughes texted Carey: “Talk to your boy,” according to Carey’s father.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSo, Carey texted Bazley no words — only the “eyes emoji,” a pair of eyes glancing slightly to the left. Bazley didn’t respond with “anything serious,” Carey said.“He’s going to miss something big this year,” Carey told The Daily Orange on Saturday.“I wish him nothing but the best,” John Carey said. “I wish he would have done this before recruiting, because then maybe we (Syracuse) could have picked up a guy that’s valuable. The timing can sometimes hurt.”This week, Bazley explained his decision in a first-person account in The Players Tribune. He said he had been thinking about the move straight to the G League for months.“At first, I basically dismissed it entirely,” Bazley wrote. “I just had trouble picturing myself doing that. A little time passed, then we all had another conversation, and for the first time the G League was brought up.”In March, Bazley became the third SU commit since 2012 to appear in the McDonald’s All-American game. He had 11 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes. On Sunday afternoon at the Barclays Center, Bazley will display his game for professional scouts and provide SU fans a look at what he would have brought to Syracuse in 2018-19.“I’m still an Orange fan,” Bazley said. “I didn’t make this decision because of anything crazy. There’s nothing wrong with Syracuse. I love the coaching staff.” Comments Published on April 7, 2018 at 2:48 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+
Box Score | Photo GalleryKATY, Texas – Having escaped Central Arkansas with a 67-65 win on March 2, Abilene Christian was aware how tough the Sugar Bears would be heading into Friday’s second round of the Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament. It was that knowledge that helped the fourth-seed Wildcats shake out of a first quarter funk and deliver an impressive performance at Merrell Center.ACU drilled a Southland Conference women’s tournament record 16 3-pointers while using a 22-4 run in the first half to break open a tight contest on their way to an 82-54 win over UCA, earning the Wildcats a 1:00 p.m. date against top-seed Lamar.WBB: Here’s the record-breaker for @ACUWBB. Mraz’s three-pointer was ACU’s 15th of the game, setting a new tournament standard. They’d add one more for good measure.#SouthlandStrong ??#ChampWeek #GoWildcats pic.twitter.com/ynciEeEHXQ— #SouthlandStrong (@SouthlandSports) March 15, 2019 “We talked all week about we’re going to go in and establish a new 3-point shooting record in the conference tournament,” said ACU coach Julie Goodenough. “That’s why we ran sets late in the game because we knew we were close to that.”The Wildcats (21-9) also broke the Southland Conference Tournament record with 35 3-point attempts as seven different players connected from long range. Second Team All-Conference guard Breanna Wright knocked down four treys for Abilene Christian before spending the fourth quarter on the bench. Wright finished with 14 points, leaving her a point shy of crossing the 1,000-point mark in her career.While ACU’s record-setting long range barrage was the highlight, the Wildcats defense played exceptionally well, holding No. 8-seed UCA (12-18) to just 33.9 percent shooting from the field. The Sugar Bears were a combined 7-for-30 in the second and third quarters when they were outscored by a total of 41-16.“I think this was probably the most locked in on defense we’ve been all year,” said ACU forward Lexie Ducat, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. “We executed it really well. Everyone in the background was talking. Our defense was a huge team effort.”“We lost focus,” said UCA’s second team All-Southland guard Kamry Orr, who finished her final game with 13 points. “We didn’t stick to the game plan.”Up 15-11 with 2:44 to go in the first quarter, the Sugar Bears’ season began come to apart. UCA missed seven straight shots during a scoreless stretch of 7:49 before Orr’s jumper closed the margin to 19-17. However, their momentum took a huge blow 12 seconds later when Orr was tagged with her third foul.“No secret to the run that we made,” said Goodenough of Orr’s foul trouble. “We really took advantage of that. She’s the heart and soul of that team. I told her at the end of the game, ‘you’re my favorite player in the league.’”WBB: @ACUwbb sets a #SouthlandStrong tournament record with 16 3-pointers, advances to semifinals. Grab that ACU magnet and run to the big backstage bracket!#ChampWeek #GoWildcats pic.twitter.com/S2aniA6Hdi— #SouthlandStrong (@SouthlandSports) March 15, 2019 With Orr on the bench, the struggling UCA offense went a stretch of over three minutes without a basket as part of a brutal quarter that saw them shoot just 3-for-13 from the field. The offense began showing signs of life near the end of the half, but any chance at carrying good fortune in the locker room were dashed when Wright buried a trey just as the halftime horn sounded, giving ACU a 38-21 halftime lead.UCA mounted a brief uprising early in the third quarter before the Wildcats put the game away by hitting five of six shots during an 11-0 run that Ducat capped off with a layup, giving ACU a 54-29 lead with 3:05 to go in the quarter.While the Sugar Bears found offensive life in the fourth quarter as coach Sandra Rushing cleared the bench, the effort fell far short to impact the outcome. ACU led by as much as 31 points early in the fourth as they pushed toward their record-setting performance.“We knew that Abilene could shoot the 3,” said Rushing. “I feel like we probably didn’t have any gas in our tank. We just couldn’t get anything going.”
Although Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez celebrated their health-care reform deal Monday with much mutual appreciation, it’s a bit early to be claiming victory. The Assembly approved a compromise deal that would make health insurance mandatory, affordable and within reach for virtually everyone in California, funded by an employer payroll tax, a $2 cigarette-tax increase and federal matching funds. But first there’s Don Perata to deal with; the taciturn leader of the state Senate has put the kibosh on more than one agreement between the Assembly and the governor. Perata said he wasn’t going to call the full Senate back in for a vote before the end of the year. Furthermore, he said he isn’t sold on this $14.4billion plan and will have to take a hard look at it in the context of a state budget deficit. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champIf that’s not challenge enough, the deal also requires voter approval on the November 2008 ballot, and it relies on federal funding that may or may not materialize. Also, the use of a cigarette tax is problematic because its reliability declines as more and more people quit smoking. In addition, all of that will be moot if federal courts stick to past precedents and find the legislation faulty because employers would be forced to provide health insurance. In this case, the measure doesn’t require private employers per se to provide health insurance, but it does force them to contribute up to 6.5percent of the payroll to a state fund if they don’t. Still, there is reason to be optimistic. After months of failed negotiations, it seemed that the governor and Legislature might end the year unable to compromise on their competing reform bills. To be sure, it will face serious opposition from insurers, the California Nurses Federation, legislative Republicans and the tobacco industry. They all have legitimate concerns. But the current system is shamefully broken, leaving working families unable to afford basic health care and an uneven burden on those with insurance to pick up the cost of the millions of uninsured. This plan certainly isn’t perfect, but right now, it’s the best California has got. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!