Assistant coach Knight uses own flaws to instill coaching values at Syracuse

first_imgBrendon Knight didn’t have a team to play for.His junior hockey league team had just lost its final game, and there were no Division I college hockey offers waiting for him. So he drove over 2,000 miles across Canada to Calgary and lived with his uncle while working a dead-end job filling orders in a grocery store warehouse.“I just found myself surrounded by my coworkers that had been working at that job for like 15–20 years and I was looking at them saying to myself, ‘I don’t want to end up like these guys,’” Knight said.SUNY-Potsdam assistant coach Jay Green heard Knight wasn’t playing anywhere and called him. Desperate just to play again, Knight accepted the offer.Twenty years later, Knight is in his third season as an assistant with Syracuse. After playing for the Bears, and then for Isle of Wight Raiders in the England Premier League, Knight began his coaching career. At SU, Knight focuses on the forwards and special teams units, including an improved penalty kill unit that has killed off 86 percent of opponent’s power plays in the last six games.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKnight teaches his players to not make the mistakes that he made when he played. Though he had trouble with listening to coaches when he was younger, as a coach he’s tried to connect with the players and show them they still have a lot to learn.“He does a good job of showing he knows the game and he’s a caring guy,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “I know he’s created a very good bond with (the players) as a group.”Despite being talented, boasting soft hands and an accurate shot, Knight frustrated a lot of coaches.When Knight would slack off during games, his father, John Knight, would yell “hustle” from the stands. But because no one in Quebec knew what the word meant, they thought John Knight was calling his son an asshole.A stubborn Knight thought he knew more than those trying to help him — including his parents and coaches.“If you’re the biggest fish in the pond, you’re not the biggest fish in the ocean,” John Knight said. “But if you’re the biggest fish in the pond, it’s hard to convince the kid to grow.”Too small for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which he was drafted into at 16, Knight wanted to play for a college in the United States.He received letters from D-I programs including Harvard, but unfamiliar with the NCAA recruiting system, Knight thought they were generic letters and he never followed up on the schools’ inquiries.“I wasn’t exactly the hardest worker off the ice,” Knight said. “I didn’t really put in a lot of time. I relied heavily on my so-called talent, I guess, and that only brought me so far.”At the age of 18, Knight wasn’t playing hockey in Calgary and felt that something was missing.So he had his dad shipped his hockey equipment to him and Knight started playing in a local men’s league. For the first time in his life, he started working out. After just nine months, he started playing for SUNY-Potsdam.Success with Potsdam soothed Knight’s relationship with the sport and after college he spent a year playing in England. For the first time in his career, he was put on the penalty kill and asked to be a two-way player, blocking shots for the first time.Knight was planning for another year in Europe when Potsdam called again about a coaching position. Wanting to extend his career with the sport that had consumed his life, Knight retired from playing in 2002 to start his career behind the bench.After three years coaching at Potsdam, then six at Hamilton, Knight made his way to Syracuse in 2012.Now, he tries to use his own strained relationship with coaches and hot shot mentality from his playing career as a cautionary tale to his current players.“I think that’s the biggest mistake with the young hockey players today, they think that they know it all,” Knight said. “And I’m here to tell them that we don’t … I don’t know if it works all the time but hopefully a couple of them understand that.” Comments Published on January 20, 2015 at 12:07 am Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

How Cam Akers and the wildcat formation sliced up the Syracuse defense

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse expected Cam Akers to be good. It knew he could break tackles and cause problems in the open field. What the Orange didn’t know was that he could throw. And it most certainly didn’t expect him to play as quarterback repeatedly. “It was very interesting to have Cam Akers out there trying to throw the ball, playing quarterback,” Syracuse linebacker Lakiem Williams said. “I mean I’ve never seen that before.” Akers lined up at quarterback several times in Florida State’s 35-17 win over the Orange at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday. The Orange (3-5, 0-4 Atlantic Coast) said they hadn’t seen that many direct snaps to Akers at quarterback on film. Its lack of preparation from SU showed. Akers completed two passes for 26 yards on his first series at the position. He’d only throw once more but the threat opened up the ground game, where Akers finished with 144 yards and tied a school record with four touchdowns. “When you’ve got a first round draft pick and you’ve got 10 guys blocking, that’s a really really good formation,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said. “I would be very surprised if they don’t consider to use it throughout the year.” Babers explained the mismatch by saying that Akers now had less tackles to break than before. Instead of breaking three or four tackles, Akers had less players to go by to pick up big yardage. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFSU created this predicament in part not only by using a direct snap to Akers but also through its blocking scheme. On many plays, the Seminoles sent one or two offensive linemen pulling out in front of the nation’s 12th leading rusher. Then came a crack-back block, meaning someone, who lined up outside the offensive tackle, would come back inside and seal the edge. “I got to find a way to get through the double team then I got to identify who’s trying to crack back on me and got over the top of him,” Williams said. “So it just makes it difficult…It was kind of like a push everybody down and let him bounce it and hit it in a way.”The plays often featured another back lined up next to Akers, whom he’d either handoff or at least fake the ball to. On one play in the second quarter, he kept the snap, ran wide right and with a block from quarterback Alex Hornibrook, dove into the end zone for a touchdown. The next play, Akers faked a pitch to the running back beside him and waltzed into the end zone untouched for a two-point conversion. Both Williams and defensive tackle Josh Black noted that the hardest part about defending the wildcat was that it was something the Orange hadn’t seen on film. Syracuse’s defense would’ve normally set rules to fall back on but those became murky as the quarterback was really a running back. Unsure of assignments at times, Syracuse failed to fill their run gap responsibilities. Akers hit repeatedly off tackle, frequently cutting up field between the tackle and slot receiver. Then, he often broke a tackle, sometimes two. It was a wrinkle Syracuse wasn’t prepared for, and it paid the price. “This game is like a game of chess whoever has the move ahead is going to get the advantage,” Black said. “And they were able to do that on us.”  Comments Published on October 26, 2019 at 10:23 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img read more

Massa’s back as Uganda Cranes tame Slovakia 3-1

first_img21 January 20172017 AFCONEgypt – UgandaPort-Gentil, Gabon 11 January 2017FriendlyIvory Coast – UgandaAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates UGANDA WINS TOP AFRICA AWARD (click to read)Team A: Robert Odongkara (Goal keeper), Nico Wakiro Wadada, Joseph Ochaya, Timothy Dennis Awanyi, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Geofrey Kizito, Tonny Mawejje, Moses Oloya, William Luwagga Kizito, Faruku Miya, Muhammed ShabanTeam B: Dennis Onyango (Goal keeper), Dennis Iguma, Shafiq Batambuze, Murushid Jjuuko, Isaac Isinde, Michael Azira, Yunus Junior Sentamu, Khalid Aucho, Geofrey Massa, Geofrey Sserunkuma, Godfrey Walusimbi 8 January 2017FriendlyUganda 3-1 SlovakiaAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 6 January 2017FriendlySlovenia 0–1 UgandaDubai, United Arab Emirates Share on: WhatsApp 17 January 20172017 AFCONGhana – UgandaPort-Gentil, Gaboncenter_img Tunisian striker Naim Sliti in action against Uganda Cranes in their friendly. Tunisia won 2-0. PHOTO AFPRESULTUganda 3 Slovakia 1 (Oloya, Fiya, Massa)Captain Geoffrey Massa found the net for Cranes for the first time in over a year as Uganda, ranked 72nd in the world, tamed European side Slovakia (FIFA 25th) in an international friendly Sunday in Abu Dhabi.With the Nations Cup kicking off in a week’s time, the goal should herald a timely return to scoring for Massa, who last found the net for Cranes in a competitive match during the World cup qualifiers against Togo in November 2015.This was the third friendly in five days for newly crowned African Team Of The Year Uganda .Uganda Cranes were beaten 2-0 by Tunisia in their first build-up, beat Slovenia 1-0 in a closed door game on Friday, and for the first time in decades, faced a European nation ranked in the top 30 in the world. Uganda is ranked 72nd in the world.The Ugandan side are making a return to the Nations Cup Finals after 38 frustrating years. They last appeared in Ghana 1978.Uganda is grouped with Ghana, Mali and Egypt at the Nations Cup. Uganda vs SLOVAKIA LIVE#Amistoso ?? v ?? [ST 0-2] Moses Oloya adelantó rápido a @OfficialFUFA frente a @sfzofficial pic.twitter.com/Gd649qBl7C— Camino a Rusia (@caminoarusia) January 8, 2017 #Amistoso ?? v ?? [ST 0-2] @FaroukMiya aprovechó un balón suelto para el 2-0 parcial de @OfficialFUFA ante @sfzofficial pic.twitter.com/IuPlGEWpaS— Camino a Rusia (@caminoarusia) January 8, 2017Tweets about @OfficialFUFA 4 January 2017FriendlyTunisia 2–0 UgandaTunis, Tunisia 25 January 20172017 AFCONUganda – Malilast_img read more

Michael Vaughan trashes ICC test team rankings; says India and Australia miles better than…

first_imgImage Courtesy: CricWizz/Fox SportsAdvertisement 2m2r4NBA Finals | Brooklyn VsbxwpWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E51971( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 63lgbh0Would you ever consider trying this?😱if3Can your students do this? 🌚cn1fRoller skating! Powered by Firework The International Cricket Council has started off their much awaited World Test Championship this year, and Team India has been the absolute top performer in the tournament yet. The championship, which plans to run till 2021, is yet to see the Men in Blues lose any series, and Virat Kohli and co have ascended to the peak position in the ICC Test rankings. However, according to English cricketing legend Michael Vaughan, the team that deserves the top spot along with India is Australia.Advertisement Image Courtesy: CricWizz/Fox SportsThe Aussies are currently ranked 5th, behind New Zealand, South Africa and England, and Vaughan feels the ranking is not justified. Currently working as a commentator, Vaughan spoke to Australian daily The Sydney Morning Herald.“I will be dead honest about the ICC rankings. I think they are absolute garbage,” the 45 year old told reporters.Advertisement Although the tie in the Ashes in September, the Aussies won the Pakistan test series earlier this month, and are leading 1-0 at the stumps of the second day of the test series versus New Zealand at home. The Black Caps, although ranked second, were defeated by the hosts on the first day of the series by a staggering 296 runs at the Optus Stadium on 15th December.“I have no idea how – New Zealand have won plenty of series over the course of the last two years – but for them to be second, and where it stands out for me that the rankings can’t be right is that England in Test match cricket are third (now fourth), and England for three or four years have struggled in Test match cricket, particularly overseas.” Vaughan added.Advertisement However, the Yorkshire star justified India’s ranking.Vaughan continued- “I think there are two teams- India and Australia, they are the best test match teams in the world, without question. I think there is only one team that can come here and put Australia under pressure, that was 12 months ago, that they won here India.”During the Pakistan test series earlier this month, Vaughan tweeted on Australia’s marvellous performance, while also concluding its only the Men in Blue are comparable to them on home soil.A monumental 600 test cap holder, Vaughan praised India’s progress in the Batting and Bowling department in the format, especially with Kohli leading the Test Batsmen ranking with a rating of 928.That Indian attack has got the pace, it has also got the spin, the batting unit has got all the experience. I only see only one team at this stage that can compete with Australia here and that is India,” Vaughan added.Also read-Michael Vaughan with high praise for Virat Kohli: He’s the best batsmen across formats in this era!Michael Vaughan: Only India have the tools to beat Australia at home in tests Advertisementlast_img read more

SANTA ANITA ANNOUNCES 2016-17 WINTER MEET STAKES SCHEDULE; GRADE I MALIBU & GRADE I LA BREA HEAD OPENER DEC. 26; PRESTIGIOUS GRADE I AMERICAN OAKS TO BE RUN DEC. 31

first_imgA TOTAL OF 58 STAKES, INCLUDING NINE GRADE I EVENTS, TO BE OFFERED THROUGH  SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY, APRIL 8                 For a complete roster of Santa Anita’s Winter Meet stakes, please visit santaanita.com. ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2016)–Santa Anita Park, which will offer 58 stakes races beginning with opening day of its traditional Winter Meet on Dec. 26, has announced that the prestigious Grade I, $300,000 American Oaks, which was most recently run in May, 2015, will now be run on Dec. 31. Santa Anita’s 72-day Winter stand will conclude on April 9 and be followed by its Spring Meet, which will run from April 14 through July 4.A blockbuster card consisting of four graded stakes will await fans on opening day, with a pair of Grade I, $300,000 races at seven furlongs–the Malibu for 3-year-old colts and geldings and the La Brea, for 3-year-old fillies, highlighting a 10-race program. The Grade II, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) and the Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Handicap, at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, will round out the graded stakes action.Heading Santa Anita’s Grade I Winter Meet stakes lineup is the $1 million Santa Anita Derby, which has produced 17 Kentucky Derby winners, and will be run on April 8. The Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap, to be contested for the 81st time, will be run on March 11.Additionally, there will again be a similar number of $75,000 overnight stakes as well as a robust menu of California-bred stakes offered throughout the meeting.HERE IS A COMPLETE ROSTER OF SANTA ANITA’S GRADE I WINTER MEET STAKES:                Dec. 26                  $300,000 Malibu Stakes                Dec. 26                  $300,000 La Brea Stakes                Dec. 31                  $300,000 American Oaks                March 11             $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf)                March 11             $400,000 Triple Bend Stakes                March 11             $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap                March 18             $400,000 Santa Margarita Stakes                April 8                   $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks                April 8                   $1,000,000 Santa Anita Derbylast_img read more