Fair scores career high as Syracuse suffers 1st loss of season

first_img Published on December 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman Related Stories TEMPLE OF DOOM: Free throws cost Syracuse as Orange suffers 1st loss of the season to TempleGallery: Syracuse loses first game of season to Temple in Gotham Classic NEW YORK – C.J. Fair tried to singlehandedly lead Syracuse to a win. At both ends of the floor, Fair showed perhaps the most aggressiveness he has all season. When the game was over, though, the thought of what could’ve been is what lingered.Fair scored a career-high 25 points, grabbed seven rebounds and hit all eight of his free-throw attempts in his 38 minutes on the floor in Syracuse’s 83-79 loss to Temple Saturday. Where the Orange struggled as a team, Fair shined. He tried to bring Syracuse back, but his efforts weren’t enough and the few mistakes he made were what stood out.He started the game off with a thunderous dunk on the back end of an alley-oop that gave Syracuse a 4-2 lead. From that point on, Fair controlled the Orange’s offense.“I got going early, so I just had to be aggressive,” Fair said. “Mike (Carter-Williams) and Brandon (Triche) did a good job finding me. In the second half, it was just time to be aggressive but you just hate to come up short.”Fair’s performance was the only thing that really let Syracuse even have a chance at winning. The Orange shot 12 3-pointers and only hit two of them, missed 15 free throws and perhaps most importantly, Carter-Williams had nowhere to pass.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Owls limited his passing options by not moving off their assignments to help guard Carter-Williams. So they turned him into a scorer instead of a passer, and he scored only six points from the field.“They didn’t come off to help. He’s got to finish those,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “He missed some good looks, he got some good opportunities.”With Carter-Williams – and basically the entire Syracuse lineup – struggling, someone had to step up. Fair took the assignment.With 5:17 left in the first half, Fair made a huge block on Temple forward Jake O’Brien, then drove the lane hard at the other end for a layup, but was fouled by Quenton DeCosey. He hit both free throws to give Syracuse a 29-26 lead.He then hit two straight jumpers, sandwiching a 3-pointer from Khalif Wyatt, to give Syracuse a four-point lead with 3:54 left in the first half.“He was very aggressive. He was able to get the ball in the lane. I think he got fouled a lot. I think he’s one of the guys that actually made his free throws,” Triche said. “With him being so aggressive, it definitely helped our team out, just him playing at a high level.”He hit two more free throws and a jumper from the top of the lane to help Syracuse take a two-point lead into the locker room at halftime.Fair also kept Temple from making its lead insurmountable for the Orange. He fought through contact and made a layup with 14:05 left that cut Temple’s lead to four.His biggest points came toward the end of the game.With three minutes left, he knocked down a 3-pointer from the left corner that brought SU within two. Temple guard Scootie Randall then missed a 3 at the other end and Fair grabbed the rebound. He went to take another 3 from the same spot on the floor as his previous make, faked, and began a baseline drive for what would’ve been an open layup.Instead, he stepped out of bounds. When the game was over, Fair sat back in his locker and said that was the play that stands out in his mind. Not the 3-pointer that sent a charge through the Madison Square Garden crowd.On a day where he scored 25 points and played almost flawlessly at both ends of the floor, it was that final missed chance that bothered Fair. He had a stellar performance that pretty much went to waste.“The thing that’s in the back of my mind is the play after when I, same situation, stepped out of bounds,” Fair said. “I think I should’ve shot it. That play hurt us.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

COLUMN: Thursday night games are unfair

first_imgStudent-athletes everywhere are expected to shoulder the workload of their academic peers while traveling across the country and  representing their school on the field.It’s amazing that these athletes have the time to finish their homework, let alone study for quizzes, midterms and finals.As we approach Thursday night’s game against the Washington Huskies, I ask: Where is the line between student and athlete?As the Trojans prepare to face the Huskies tonight, it’s safe to assume that the football players will not be attending class. Since the Trojans have practice in the mornings on weekdays, most student-athletes have class in the afternoons and evenings. With a 6 p.m. kickoff, there’s no chance that players will have an opportunity to attend those classes.Luckily for the Trojans, they will have played three weeknight games in a row at home. If they were playing on the road, they would most certainly have to miss at least one or two extra days of class.If you’re a USC student, then many of you know that we are currently in the middle of midterm season. This means there’s a pretty good chance that some players will be forced to miss midterms, an injustice to both the student-athlete and their peers.Recently, UCLA’s head coach Jim Mora brought up the topic of weeknight games. His team will face back-to-back Thursday night games after a bye this week. Mora was not happy with whomever was in charge of UCLA’s schedule.After his team’s loss to Arizona State, Mora went on a rant about how the scheduling was an injustice to his players. “It’s unbelievable we’re calling these kids student-athletes,” Mora said. “Yet we force them to miss six days of school.”Mora has a great point. How can anyone expect a student to keep up with his or her classes if he or she is forced to miss six days of school? Even I can’t imagine what missing three consecutive days of classes would feel like.Most skeptics will point out that student-athletes are at a university to play sports and eventually go pro. However, the reality is that most players will never go professional in their sport, especially  football.There are currently 99 players listed on the Trojans’ roster, according to USCTrojans.com. The chances of all 99 players going professional are slim to none.Though other sports, such as volleyball and soccer, are faced with weeknight games, they are not affected as much as football. This is mainly because their games are usually scheduled for Friday and Sunday nights. Preparation for football is also drastically different than for  other sports. I remember in high school, our football  team would meet at 3 p.m. to start preparing for a 7 p.m. game.Weeknight football games also put pressure on students to skip class in order to go watch the game they paid for. I know I am not alone as the only person who has class during the football game. Luckily, my class is partially online, so the professor assigned us work to have done by Thursday instead of meeting in class. However, I’m sure that other teachers were not so willing to cut class because of a football game.After all, the main point of attending school is for the education, not for football.Weeknight games are a new concept as networks look for ways to increase their revenue. The Trojans didn’t play their first weeknight game until 2006, but they have played on a weeknight every season since. With the creation of the Pac-12 network and subsequent deals with Fox Sports and ESPN, weeknight games are not going anywhere.Similarly to how the NFL is extending its audience by adding Thursday Night Football, ESPN and Fox are hoping to accomplish the same thing with Thursday night college games. Unfortunately, these networks are more concerned with the athlete aspect of the term student-athlete.Until the University decides to step up and defend the student, networks will continue to schedule weeknight games. This means student-athletes are faced with an even harder task of balancing sports and academics.Someone needs to remind these networks and universities that school comes first, not sports.Nick Barbarino is a senior majoring in business administration. His column, “Beyond the Arc,” runs Thursdays.Darian Nourian is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Persian Persuasion,” runs Fridays.last_img read more