Tyus Battle ‘getting more comfortable’ after 2 exhibition games at point guard

first_imgLast season, when a Syracuse point guard dribbled toward the right wing for a handoff, Tyus Battle usually took the ball to attack left. But late in the first half Wednesday night in Syracuse’s 89-52 exhibition win over Le Moyne, Battle did the dribbling and handing off to Elijah Hughes, who pulled up to knock down a 3. Battle, after two exhibition games against Division II opponents as Syracuse’s point guard due to injury, is settling into his temporary role. He finished with five assists and no turnovers against Le Moyne.“I was low on turnovers, tried to find the open guy, tried to make the right play,” Battle said. “So I’m getting more comfortable with it as time goes on.”Battle, a 6-foot-6 junior, exemplifies the modern shooting guard. His size gives him the length he needs to blow by defenders with a quick, long first step. He operated most of last season, during which he averaged a team-leading 19.2 points per game, from the wings, where he could work off high screens to showcase the one-on-one ability that made him a near-NBA Draft pick.The former five-star recruit decided to come back to No. 16 Syracuse for his junior season. But he didn’t anticipate moving down from shooting guard to the point.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA series of injuries set him up as the Orange’s point guard, at least for now, with returning starter Frank Howard, freshman Jalen Carey and sophomore Howard Washington all sidelined with injuries in varying degrees. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said Wednesday night that he’s “not a doctor,” and doesn’t know exactly when his point guards will return to game action. SU’s regular season starts Tuesday, Nov. 6.“We’ll see how the health of our point guards is over the next few days, but at least now we’ve had two games where we’ve played with Tyus handling the ball,” Boeheim said. “That’s good for us.”Because Syracuse’s offense a season ago centered on three players — Battle, Howard and forward Oshae Brissett — Battle did a lot of ball handling himself. But then, Battle knew Boeheim wanted him to score. He’d receive a down screen and attack the basket. In SU’s two exhibitions, though, Battle’s movement has been more side-to-side, drive and kick to Hughes, Buddy Boeheim or Brissett on a wing. After Wednesday’s win, Battle spoke about the importance of the point guard recognizing the hot hand, and Hughes’ 21, Brissett’s 14 and Buddy’s 13 were due in large part to Battle’s facilitation.“This year, other guys score the ball and any player can get going on any given night,” Battle said. “And when they get going, we want to give them the ball.”Position change is not foreign to Battle over his Syracuse career. A year ago, he bumped down to forward when Syracuse played its three-guard lineup, usually due to foul trouble with its bigs. That put Battle at the bottom of the zone on occasion and in somewhat awkward spots offensively, because he wasn’t where he’s used to being: up top, near or at the wings. Entering 2018, before SU’s point guard injuries, this much was clear: He thrives as a true shooting guard.Yet Battle’s progression in reading the floor from the point is encouraging, he said Wednesday. He said he’s seeing plays develop and is hitting players with passes he may not have made a year ago. He also said he’s more confident in his ball handling, which was suspect during his first two seasons at SU. His ball-handling development could make him more of a threat when he returns to his usual role.“He’s a pretty good ball handler,” Boeheim said. “It’s hard to make that switch, he’s always been a scoring guard. I think he’s done a good job of it but he’s still more of a scoring guard. I think the thing he did tonight, what he’s gotta do is get to the basket, that’s what he does best.”When Battle checked out with 8:36 to go on Wednesday, he sat down with Howard and Carey to his left on the SU bench. They laughed on and off for the rest of the game. Battle said that at that point, the guards weren’t talking about playing point, just “playing around.”But come next Tuesday, for Syracuse’s regular-season opener, one of those three will have to run the show. Published on October 31, 2018 at 10:36 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more

Van Gaal rules out Bayern return while Hoeness is president

first_imgHowever, Bayern’s current head coach Heynckes, 72, has repeatedly said he will quit at the end of the season.The search is on to replace him and Van Gaal, currently without a club, would be an obvious candidate.The 66-year-old has won 20 club titles in his career, most recently the 2016 FA Cup in a two-year stint at Manchester United.He coached Bayern from 2009-11, losing the 2010 Champions League final, but winning the Bundesliga and German Cup titles only to be sacked the following season.The Dutchman says he “loves” Bayern, but ruled out returning.“I have always gone back, whether it was to Barcelona, the national Dutch team, AZ Alkmaar, but returning to Bayern? – I can’t imagine that,” Van Gaal told magazine Sport Bild.“As long as Uli Hoeness is at the club, I won’t work there.”Van Gaal was dismissed in April 2011 when Bayern slipped out of the German league’s top three — the Champions League places at the time.The Dutchman lifted the lid on working under Hoeness.“Uli Hoeness has cultivated special relationships with certain players and campaigns for their interests,” Van Gaal explained.“Like (Franck) Ribery, who according to Mr Hoeness, should always play.“In my opinion, that’s not good for the work of a coach.“The team is important and not the individual players – in this regard Hoeness and I differ.“After one conversation (with Hoeness) my wife told me I should quit FC Bayern.“I kept working there because I love the club.– Never give up –“The German mentality is also my mentality.“Hard training, fight until the end, never give up – the job was made for me.”Van Gaal says Hoeness would criticise him for blooding current stars, like Thomas Mueller and David Alaba who were inexperienced at the time.“I would always select Thomas Mueller (early in his career) and Hoeness would tell my wife in the VIP lounge ‘your husband has picked the wrong team again!’,” said Van Gaal.“Same with David Alaba.“He made a mistake in the last minute of a game which led to my dismissal.“Now he is one of the biggest talents Bayern has.”The Dutch disciplinarian confirmed two legends from his turbulent times at Bayern.He admits once pulling striker Luca Toni by the ear for slouching during a meal – “it was disrespectful to his team-mates and me”.He also hints that he pulled down his underwear in the dressing room, after defeat at Mainz, to show his stars he “had the balls” to drop them.“What happened with my players behind closed doors should remain so, but anyone who knows me also knows it could have happened. I am emotional,” said Van Gaal.Despite his personality clash with Hoeness, Van Gaal talked of his affection for Bayern.“Manchester United, the last team I coached, are a commercial club, Bayern are totally different,” he said.“The bosses, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness, are former players who know what they are talking about.“For them, football is the most important thing, not money, like it is at United.“That’s why I love FC Bayern.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Louis van Gaal, who went to watch Bayern and fellow Dutchman Arjen Robben lose in Paris in September, says he does not want to work again for the current leadership of the German club © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFEBERLIN, Germany, Feb 28 – Louis van Gaal has ruled out returning to Bayern Munich and succeeding Jupp Heynckes — as long as Uli Hoeness remains club president.Bayern are 19 points clear in the Bundesliga table and in the hunt for the treble of European, German league and cup titles.last_img read more