Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Elvir Ovcina’ Category

We’re moving to CuseCountry.com

Posted by Tim on August 24, 2007

DC is Cuse Country

This is a photo of a sign blog contributor Josh made before a game against Georgetown in Washington. It became something of a running joke in our crew: Wherever we were, that was Cuse Country. When it came time to name this little project of ours, it seemed a natural fit. Holy crap, the Internet is Cuse Country!

Now, the time has come to move to nicer real estate. And with football season looming like an orange cloud of noxious gas, we’re moving to a new address that doesn’t have “hoops” in the URL.

So come visit us at CuseCountry.com. Same great stuff, new great home.

Posted in ACC, Andy Rautins, Arinze Onuaku, Assists, Baylor, Bernie Fine, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Big East Tournament, Blogroll, Bracketology, Canisius, Carmelo Anthony, Carrier Dome, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colgate, Conference Games, Craig Forth, Damone Brown, Daryl Gross, Defense, Demetris Nichols, DePaul, DeShaun Williams, Devin Brennan-McBride, Drexel, Elvir Ovcina, Eric Devendorf, Etan Thomas, Former Orangemen, Game Charts, Gas Face, Georgetown, Gerry McNamara, greg paulus, Hakim Warrick, Haters, Hofstra, Holy Cross, In the Media, Jason Hart, Jim Boeheim, Josh Pace, Josh Wright, kodiak bears, Kueth Duany, Lazarus Sims, Losses, Louisville, Marquette, Matt Gorman, Mike Hopkins, Mike Jones, Mookie Watkins, National Championship, NBA, NCAA Tournament, News of the Orange, NIT, Nonconference Games, Northeastern University, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Open Letter, Orange Blogosphere, Otis Hill, Pac 10, Paul Harris, Penn, Pitt, Preston Shumpert, Providence, Rankings, Rebounding, Recruits, Regular Season Games, Rob Murphy, RPI, Rutgers, Ryan Blackwell, San Diego State, SEC, South Alabama, South Florida, St. Bonaventure, St. Francis, St. John's, syracuse, Terrence Roberts, UConn, UNC-Charlotte, UTEP, Villanova, Virginia Tech, Walk-ons, West Virginia University, Wichita State, Wins, Zone defense | 2 Comments »

Under My Radar

Posted by Josh on August 6, 2007

July was a busy-ass month for me. I tried to keep up with all the SU-related summer action but missed some signings that went down a few weeks ago, including one major one:

Jason Hart is now a Jazzman.

Or, whatever you call an individual member of the Utah Jazz. A Jazz? Jazzer? Jazzerciser? (PS. I think an individual member of the Heat should be called a Calorie, or perhaps a Therm.)

His deal is 2 years, $5 mil. The Jazz were the first to offer him a deal and Jason, having experienced several seasons on the fringes of NBA employment, grabbed it without hesitation. They expect him to be the primary backup to emerging star Deron Williams, although they also signed guard Ronnie Price, Hart’s former Kings benchmate. The Jazz have not settled on a starting shooting guard yet either so it’s highly possible that Jason gets some time at that position during the season — he shouldn’t start at the 2, but there may be extra minutes available off the bench in that role. Salt Lake Tribune writer Steve Luhm, at the end of this piece, suggests that Hart could be the next John Crotty. Which is actually praise in Utah.

= ??

In news from Europe, Preston Shumpert will not be playing in the Italian League next year. He has signed with Besitkas Cola Turka in Turkey. Here’s the report, dated July 27, from the team’s official website. (OK, fine, here’s one in English. Babies.) This is the first non-Italian team he’s played for since the 02-03 season (his first year after leaving Syracuse) when he played in France.

Besitkas finished last season in fifth place, and was swept out of the playoffs in the first round by the fourth-place team. They also play in the ULEB Cup league, the second-level trans-European competition (one step down from the elite Euroleague — in a way, the Euroleague is like the BCS of European basketball, while the ULEB is the rest of the bowl games: Euroleague gets the top 24 teams from the Continent, while the ULEB gets 54 of the next-best teams from the same nation-based leagues [= conferences in this steadily weakening football analogy]). You may remember the ULEB being previously mentioned in this space because the teams that Elvir Ovcina and Otis Hill played for last year were both part of it (and are again this coming year).

Speaking of which, Elvir has re-upped for another season with Telindus Oostende, to try to help them three-peat(TM)* as Belgian League champs. No word yet on Otis’s status for 07-08, nor that of any of the other former Orangemen whose exploits are chronicled herein. But I’ll keep checking the news wires and let you know where folks end up for the fall.

* – Please don’t sue us Pat Riley!

Posted in Elvir Ovcina, Former Orangemen, Jason Hart, NBA, Otis Hill, Preston Shumpert | 3 Comments »

Almost as awesome as 2003 (Pro Update 7-6)

Posted by Josh on July 6, 2007

Following on the heels of Elvir Ovcina’s championship in Belgium, Josh Pace has brought home the hardware from even further away.

In the last update we mentioned that Pace was the regular season MVP of the NBL in New Zealand, and that his team, the Nelson Giants, had made the finals of their playoffs. Well, Nelson laughed (‘haw-haw!’) in the faces of their opponents, the Easy LPG Bay Hawks, by sweeping the best-of-three series last week. In Game One, Pace had 23 points and 5 rebounds, leading his team to a 9-point win on the road. In Game 2, Pace had 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists, and the Giants celebrated the championship on their home floor. I haven’t found any news on who was named the Playoffs MVP (if they even do such a thing) but the smart money is on J-Peezy, who now has an NBL Championship Medal to go with his NCAA ring.

In NBA news, Mike Waters was first to report that Darryl Watkins signed a free agent contract with the Kings, and Gerry McNamara signed one with the 76ers. They, along with Demetris Nichols, will be playing in the Las Vegas summer league which starts today (in fact, Philadelphia is playing as we speak — the scoreboard shows the game at halftime, and Gerry has not got in the game yet). We’ll let you know how they do.

Posted in Demetris Nichols, Elvir Ovcina, Former Orangemen, Gerry McNamara, Josh Pace, Mookie Watkins, NBA | 1 Comment »

Vee Ars des Chaampioners (Pro Update 6-27)

Posted by Josh on June 28, 2007

Elvir Ovcina has some jewelry!

Elvir Ovcina Championship

Telinuds Oostende has won the Belgian League Championship. When we last checked in, they’d taken the first game of a best-of-five series. The series went the full five games. Euphony Bree won the second game, in which Elvir had 12 points and 8 boards. Telindus came back to dominate game three, winning by 19 — Elvir with 15 & 8. Game four was a nailbiter, with Bree erasing a 4-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, and squeaking out a 1-point victory on their home court. Elvir went scoreless in this one, and grabbed just 5 boards. This set up the deciding game, on Telindus’ home floor.

And it wasn’t even close. The superheroes from Oostende crushed the pretenders 100-77. Elvir had another 15 points and 8 boards. Thus overjoying tribal monk-chefs all over Belgium. Plus look at the size of that cup! And the jaw of the guy holding it!

oostende.jpg

Meanwhile, in New Zealand… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Craig Forth, Demetris Nichols, Elvir Ovcina, Former Orangemen, Josh Pace, Mookie Watkins, NBA | 2 Comments »

Belgian Playoff Fever! (Pro Update 5-30)

Posted by Josh on May 30, 2007

It’s that time of year in Belgium. The waffle crop is ripening on the vine, chocolate is falling from the sky nightly, and a young man’s thoughts turn to… Elvir Ovcina, #15 in your program:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Demetris Nichols, Elvir Ovcina, Former Orangemen, Josh Pace, kodiak bears, Mookie Watkins, NBA | 4 Comments »

Home Jobbed (Pro Update 5-13)

Posted by Josh on May 13, 2007

When we last looked at the Polish League playoff picture, Otis Hill and his team Anwil Wloclawek had just tied their best-of-seven playoff series at 2 games apiece. Game 5 was last Sunday, May 6, on the road. Otis had 16 points and five boards but Anwil got handled easily, losing by 14. This set up a make-or-break home game for Anwil on May 10, and they responded. Otis led the way with 23 points and also grabbed 6 rebounds in a ten-point win that set the stage for Game 7, back on the road. Alas, Anwil’s opponents Prokom Trefl took advantage of the home-court, shooting a whopping 45 free throws (nearly 20 more than Anwil) en route to a five-point win earlier today. Otis had 17 points and three rebounds, but fouled out in 24 minutes of action. Any time there is that kind of discrepancy in free throws, you know something ain’t right. Throw in the fact that it was the top team in the league getting all the calls, and maybe there is some tampering going on?!? I don’t want to make any bold accusations, but if you go to the league website, there is a Prokom player on the masthead. The NBA has been accused of this sort of thing in the past by disgruntled fans of underdog teams who feel like the stars and the top teams get more than their share of calls from the refs, with a few people subtly suggesting that the league office leans on the referees so that their star players don’t get eliminated from the playoffs early. This is probably the Polish version of that.

Anyway, Otis’ season is now over. His line for the year since leaving his Croatian team for the Polish League back in December: 28 games, 16.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg. His highs for the year were 35 points (in an overtime game) and 10 rebounds. Both efforts came against the same team in consecutive weekends.

Elsewhere in Europe (namely Italy), Preston Shumpert’s season has also ended. In Benetton’s penultimate game Preston had 25 points and 5 rebounds; he then concluded the season with a 10-point, 7-rebound effort. They lost their final game; even if they had won, they would have missed the playoffs by one game, thanks to the points penalty they incurred. Preston’s final numbers with Benetton: 22 games, 13.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, with highs of 30 points and 12 boards. If you include the first part of his season with Climamio Bologna, his averages overall are 12.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg.

This leaves Elvir Ovcina as the only former Orangeman whose European season is still going. The stats website I usually link to has not been updated for a couple of weeks, strange because they are usually right on the ball with that. I don’t think it’s the official league site though. This other site shows that his team (Telindus Oostende) won their next-to-last game (back on May 2), and this site has a mini-report in English on their final game, which they also won (click on “Results Div 1 (Final Round)” to read it, it’s near the bottom of the page). Elvir and the boys finished the season as the #2 seed; their playoff series (vs the #3 team, Antwerp) begins Tuesday. Hopefully the site with the box scores will be back up to speed by then.

However, there is better stuff from Belgium. You may recall that earlier this season we shared with you the “Elvir Is In Jail” photograph from the team’s official site. Here it is again if you’ve forgotten:

Well, the marketing wizards at Telindus have come up with a new campaign: their players as superheroes. It’s all a Flash site so I can’t embed the images, but trust me, a quick peek is totally worth your time.

Meanwhile, as the European seasons wrap up, New Zealand is still going strong. Josh Pace had 16 points and 5 rebounds in a surprising loss last weekend to the middle-of-the-pack Mountain Airs. But this weekend they bounced back, cruising to a win over the bottom-dwelling Otago Nuggets. Josh had 20 points and 5 boards. There are five more weeks in the regular season.

Back in this country, the Albany Patroons have had no games with published online boxscores since we last checked in. Their “stats to date” which include only eight of the thirteen games they’ve played (even though the page says “Statistics through 5/12/07”) show that Craig Forth has played in a total of five games, averaging 3.6 ppg. This page on the Patroons’ website confirms the hypothesis posed in the previous Update, that Craig is only playing in home games while he is still teaching. So he probably won’t see much of an increase in playing time anytime soon.

In future pro news, both Demetris Nichols (as expected) and Darryl Watkins (more surprisingly) were invited to the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando. This is technically unconfirmed, as the NBA has not yet released the invitation list to the general public, but Mike Waters had it on the Post-Standard hoops blog so it’s legit. The camp will be held in the last week of May, and there will be plenty of coverage online even though the top 20 (or so) players generally skip the camp.

Posted in Craig Forth, Demetris Nichols, Elvir Ovcina, Former Orangemen, Josh Pace, Mookie Watkins, NBA, Otis Hill, Preston Shumpert | Leave a Comment »

Around SU Blogland…

Posted by Josh on May 8, 2007

A couple of intriguing developments in the SU hoops program over the past few days. To wit:

For the love of Kristof. The Post-Standard has the story today, but OrangeFan had the rumors Tuesday and the scoop from one of the recruiting forums on Friday, that SU has signed a 6’8″ Belgian from a junior college in CA. O-Fan also got a scouting report. The guy’s name (Kristof Ongenaet) is going to be mangled by PA and TV announcers far and wide, probably worse than Boeheim used to get it (Jim Bow-HEEM anyone?) but it sounds like he is not an Ovcina clone — namely, that he is a strong interior-type guy rather than a three-point gunner. This signing adds much-needed depth to the front line, even if all he does is foul Hasheem Thabeet five times.

By the way, I am officially declaring this guy’s nickname is “Kong”. Spread the word.

Offense and Freshman Leadership. Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician tracked down a quote from Boeheim from an appearance at Keuka College on Friday, in which he says that “all four freshmen will play, and at least two will start.” First of all, there are five frosh in the incoming class so this is as good a signal as any that Sean Williams will redshirt. Secondly, it gives us a fresh opening to hypothesize starting lineups for next year. This statement, if true, would eliminate the speculated “default” combination of Dorf, Rautins, Harris, D. Greene, and Onuaku. Does Flynn step in and push Rautins back to the bench? Does Rick Jackson start as a freshman center? Is it at all conceivable that Harris doesn’t start next year, with [either] Flynn at the point and Rautins playing the baseline of the zone [or] a full load of beef with Jackson and Arinze up front, Greene and the two juniors on the outside? Or, does Greene back up Harris?

OrangeFan also found a report (mentioned in the post linked above about Kong) that Jackson has put on a couple dozen pounds of muscle this spring, so let that fuel the fires of speculation just that much more. Personally my hunch is Jackson starts over Onuaku, with Harris at the 4 and Greene at the 3. But I wouldn’t bet real money on it.

Posted in Andy Rautins, Arinze Onuaku, Elvir Ovcina, Eric Devendorf, Jim Boeheim, Orange Blogosphere, Paul Harris, Recruits | 4 Comments »

Lose And Go Home (Pro Update 5-3)

Posted by Josh on May 3, 2007

The Syracuse presence has been purged from the NBA playoffs, unless you count Marvin Aufrichtig who is calling games for TNT. Last night the Denver Nuggets were bounced by the Spurs. After winning game 1, Denver lost the next four in a row to San Antonio. The Spurs’ defense was relentless, frustrating the pants off the Nuggets who scored well below their season average in all four losses. Carmelo Anthony played very well in all four games but didn’t get enough help from his teammates. Melo averaged 26.8 ppg and 8.6 rpg in the five games. He shot 48% from the floor overall. But Allen Iverson got stuffed in games 2 thru 5, scoring 20.8 ppg but shooting only 34%. With AI struggling to put the ball in the hoop, and the role players basically a no-show on offense (other than Nene), Denver was unceremoniously dumped. Carmelo will probably call this a disappointing season because of the playoff loss but in most respects he should feel good about the year. His scoring and rebounding averages were both career highs, and his 28.9 ppg was second in the league behind Kobe. He shot nearly 50% from the field, made his first All-Star team, and generally cemented his position among the NBA elite. You just have to overlook this. All of the Nuggets’ main contributors are signed through next year at least with the exception of Steve Blake (who, though a starter, wasn’t a huge factor this year, especially in the playoffs) so, barring a significant trade, this year’s Nuggets team will look a lot like next year’s.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Craig Forth, Demetris Nichols, Elvir Ovcina, Etan Thomas, Former Orangemen, Josh Pace, Mookie Watkins, NBA, Otis Hill, Preston Shumpert | Leave a Comment »

Win Or Go Home (Pro Update 4-24)

Posted by Josh on April 24, 2007

The NBA Playoffs have begun, extending the seasons of two former Orangemen. The other two get an extra 6 weeks of vacation. There are still several guys active overseas too.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Damone Brown, Elvir Ovcina, Etan Thomas, Former Orangemen, Hakim Warrick, Jason Hart, Josh Pace, NBA, Otis Hill, Preston Shumpert | 1 Comment »

Crunch Time (Pro Update 4-18)

Posted by Josh on April 18, 2007

I wish I could dunk!No, this is not a post about Syracuse’s minor league hockey team. It’s going down to the wire in the NBA for Jason Hart and the Clippers. Last night they toppled the Suns who admittedly did not have much to play for, but still played their usual starting lineup and player rotation. Hart had 16 points, 4 assists, and 5 rebounds, with only one turnover. He also made two game-clinching free throws with under 8 seconds remaining to put LA up by four. But LA still trails Golden State by one game going into tonight’s final game of the season. This is because GS has won their last three games, while LA has only gone 2-1. The loss was a bad one, Monday vs. the bottom-dwelling Sacramento Hart-Benchers, a game in which Jason had 6 points and 6 assists. Last Saturday they beat Portland, with Hart tallying 4 points, 5 rebs, and 5 dimes. The tough luck for LA was that last night while they beat the Suns’ regulars, the Warriors trounced the Mavericks in a game where Dallas did not play Nowitzki, Stackhouse, or Howard, and Jason Terry played only 17 minutes. Dallas has already clinched everything so you can’t blame them for resting their guys, but it does dent LA’s hopes. The Clippers can still get in, but they have to win tonight vs. the Hornets (no sure thing) and hope Golden State falls to the Trailblazers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Craig Forth, Damone Brown, Elvir Ovcina, Etan Thomas, Former Orangemen, Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Jason Hart, Josh Pace, Mookie Watkins, Otis Hill, Preston Shumpert | Leave a Comment »