3 things Quentin Hillsman said at his pre-national title game press conference

first_imgBeing the first-ever African American male head coach to reach championship game is significant, but not too significantHillsman was the second-ever African American male head coach to reach the Final Four and now the first to reach the championship. He recognized the importance because it’s “tough being the first,” but he also pointed out that he hopes everyone has opportunities like he’s had.“Whatever your nationality is, whatever your religion is, whatever your race is, this is an amazing seat to sit in. It really is,” Hillsman said. “It’s an amazing seat to be sitting in playing in the national championship game against the best. … I’m very happy that the landscape of basketball is changing and there’s a lot of opportunities for a lot of different people.” Comments Daily Orange File Photo Published on April 4, 2016 at 4:29 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Related Stories 3 things Geno Auriemma said at his pre-national title game press conferenceBeat writers predict Syracuse-UConn national championship gameWhy Syracuse’s best shot blocker decided to stop blocking shotsStorify: Syracuse community reacts to women’s basketball’s Final Four win over WashingtonSyracuse advances to national championship game with 80-59 win over Washington Hillsman would root for Breanna Stewart if she wasn’t playing SyracuseStewart, the defending three-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player, grew up in North Syracuse and was recruited by Hillsman and the Orange. She was the No. 1 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 by HoopGurlz and spurned her hometown school to go to UConn because she wanted a chance to win four national titles.On Monday, Hillsman disputed any claim that he has a poor relationship with the Stewarts. He said he still texts her dad, Brian, and they both encourage each other. If Syracuse wasn’t playing in the title game, Hillsman said he’d be rooting for her to claim her fourth national title.“Bre and her family are good people. I’m really, really happy for her. She’s a great player and a great kid,” Hillsman said. “And Connecticut, can there be a better story line a kid from Syracuse playing against Syracuse? I don’t think there can be. I was hoping that we could fulfill the back end of it because I think everybody has the front end already planned.” INDIANAPOLIS — Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman addressed the media on Monday morning one day before his team’s national championship game meeting with Connecticut on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The No. 4 seed Orange (30-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) will try to upset the No. 1 seed and three-time defending national champion Huskies (37-0, 18-0 American Athletic).Here are three things Hillsman said at his final press conference before SU’s first-ever national title game appearance.Syracuse’s attendance doesn’t matter to HillsmanThe Orange finished the year with the third-to-worst attendance numbers in the ACC. SU averaged 1,018, which includes two home NCAA tournament games that significantly helped boost the season averages. Over the prior three years, SU drew an average of 674 last year, 599 the year before that and 662 three years ago.But Hillsman said on Monday that attendance doesn’t matter to him and it’s frustrating how often it’s brought up.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’re always told you can’t get here because you don’t play in front of big enough crowds,” Hillsman said. “All these crowds going to affect you? Obviously not. It obviously has not affected us at all. Because we’re here. It’s about the players that’s on the floor and playing the games. It’s not about the crowd. It’s not about anything else. It’s really not.”MORE COVERAGE:Why Syracuse’s best shot blocker decided to stop blocking shotsThree things Geno Auriemma said at his press conference on MondayBeat writers make predictions for Syracuse-Connecticut in the national title game Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

3 things Dino Babers said: ‘Don’t bet the house’ on Syracuse beating Clemson, Cordell Hudson and the bye week

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Dino Babers addressed the media at his weekly press conference on Monday ahead of Syracuse’s (4-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) matchup with No. 3 Clemson (8-0, 4-0) Saturday at 3:30 p.m in Death Valley. It was the first time Babers spoke since last Wednesday’s Atlantic Coast Conference teleconference — his only media availability during the Orange’s bye week.Here are three things Babers said.‘Don’t bet the house’ on Syracuse winningBabers described Clemson as “different” from any football team he’s seen. He said the Tigers have no weaknesses, are extremely talented and have a lot of guys that will be millionaires some day.Clemson is undefeated, boasts the 11th best scoring defense in the country and the 26th best scoring offense. The Tigers won the ACC championship last year and lost in the national championship game to Alabama.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBabers said Syracuse would have to play its best game for a shot at a win, Clemson would have to play “not its best game,” and the Orange would need to get several bounces to roll its way.“Then maybe, maybe we get a chance,” Babers said. “Maybe. But don’t bet the house on it, brother.”Bye week and this week’s scheduleBabers opened his press conference running through what the Orange staff and players did during the bye week last week and its schedule for the current week. Here’s what he noted.Syracuse held early practices on Monday and Tuesday at around 6 a.m. following the win over Boston College. Then the players had off through Saturday.“We still wanted to practice the underbelly of the team,” Babers said, “get our threes and twos a lot better, but at the same time we have to get our ones healthy because we’re playing games from the beginning all the way to the end.”The assistant coaches spent the week recruiting, reviewing film of Clemson while they were on the road. Babers went to Texas A&M on Thursday to watch his daughter play volleyball.The coaching staff reconvened on Saturday and started putting together the game plan for Clemson on Sunday. They’ll finish it up tonight.Practice resumed on Sunday with Monday as the normal day off. The players will practice Tuesday through Thursday before the team flies to South Carolina Friday night.Cordell Hudson is not out for the seasonStarting cornerback Cordell Hudson has missed the last two games because of injury. He was notably missing from the pre-Clemson depth chart released Monday.Babers said Hudson is “not a guy that’s out for the entire year.”“It’s a medical thing,” Babers said. “It obviously has to do with when he feels better. … We don’t want to put people back in until they absolutely feel like they’re ready to go. And when the medical people give us the clearance, he’ll be back in.”Redshirt freshman Christopher Fredrick has started in Hudson’s place while he’s been out. Comments Published on October 31, 2016 at 1:14 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettuslast_img read more