Colgate v Syracuse

Can Ron Patterson step up for Syracuse in his sophomore season?

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With Syracuse losing freshman point guard Tyler Ennis to the NBA Draft, the Orange are left with plenty of questions about their backcourt entering the 2014-15 season.

Sophomore shooting guard Trevor Cooney returns to the starting lineup and Syracuse added four-star point guard Kaleb Joseph to the equation, but after those two, depth becomes a huge concern for the Orange, much like it was last season.

Head coach Jim Boeheim can’t expect a true freshman like Joseph to match the incredible season that Ennis just had, so Syracuse has to hope that freshman guard Ron Patterson continues to develop over the summer as he heads into his sophomore season.

Patterson recently worked with his former grassroots coach, Chris Hawkins, as the coach spoke with Mike McAllister of to break down the plan for Patterson’s summer improvement.

One of the critical areas of improvement for Patterson will be shooting more consistently from the perimeter. The freshman only shot 31 percent from three-point range last season.

”The first day, we really just focused on shooting,” Hawkins said to McAllister. “Working on his mechanics and coming off of screens. Things like double baseline screens where when he comes off of it, we try to get his footwork right. Going straight up on his jumper, just trying to get his mechanics right.

”Anything we can do to make sure he’s shooting consistently.”

Since Joseph doesn’t have much help at the point, the duo also worked on Patterson’s handle as the guard plans to spend the summer on campus working as well.

”We also worked on ball handling,” Hawkins said to McAllister. “Some cone drills to help him come off of screens. Working on tightening up his handle so he can work in small spaces, so he can push through double teams and things like that. Coming off the screen to be able to isolate him one on one so he can take guys off the dribble.

”Working on different angles that coach McNamara likes to do with him during one on one workouts. Just getting him a lower handle and a solid base. Being able to push off and be more explosive in smaller spaces. Being able to take one or two dribbles and get to the rim. We’re trying to make sure he’s ready to play so he can be a big time player for them next year.”

More than anything, it’s interesting to hear that Patterson is working on playing both guard spots to potentially spell Cooney or Joseph. Syracuse could really use a third guard to give Cooney more rest so his shot doesn’t become more flat like it did at the end of last season and Joseph is a true freshman and it’s uncertain how he’ll adapt to the ACC.

North Carolina to wear black jerseys December 19 vs. UCLA

UNC Athletic Communications
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While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.

Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.

Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.

Villanova forward to undergo hip surgery

Jay Wright
Associated Press
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Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.

“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”

Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.

Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.