Maggie Morrison playing big minutes during the best stretch of her career

first_imgIt took nearly five years, but opponents are finally noticing Maggie Morrison.“She’s doing her job. She’s making her name known,” Syracuse guard Brittney Sykes said. “People know on scout, OK, Maggie Morrison. She’s a shooter. You got to guard her.”With a breakout 25-point game against then-No. 12 Duke on Jan. 3, Morrison put four and half years of irrelevancy behind her. She’s playing the best she ever has, leading SU in scoring off the bench and averaging more points per minute in conference games than anyone on the team.For the first time in her career, she’s playing big minutes in big games, and will look to continue her hot streak when Syracuse (14-4, 4-1 Atlantic Coast) takes on No. 3 Notre Dame (17-1, 5-0) at 7 p.m. in South Bend, Indiana on Thursday.“I’ve kind of established myself as another threat on this team,” Morrison said. “… It’s kind of like finally, you know? It took long enough, but I’m happy about it.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs a child, Morrison dreamed of being an impact player at the college level. As her career unwound, the results weren’t materializing.Morrison’s freshman season at Vanderbilt ended just 10 games after it began due to a knee injury. When she came back the following year, she saw limited action and totaled two points the whole season.The next year was lost as Morrison sat out because of her transfer to Syracuse.Sykes saw flashes of potential during Morrison’s redshirt junior year. She saw a player that could hit shots and make the hustle plays. All Morrison had to do was put the pieces together.Her production was limited again, though, as she averaged less than three points a game. And the first 10 games of the 2015-16 season were spent the same way — in the background.But then Morrison erupted with seven 3-pointers against Duke to lead her team in scoring for the first time in her career and jumpstart her own season.“I wasn’t surprised because that’s what Maggie does,” Sykes said.Since then, Morrison’s minutes have nearly doubled, her points have nearly tripled and she’s scored in double figures in each of the last two games.Her four games scoring double-digit points in the last seven contests are more than she’s had in the rest of her career.“Who would’ve known that I would come in and be playing all these minutes — granted my last four years?” Morrison said.Head coach Quentin Hillsman has let her play more freely and shoot the ball more, he said. A player that used to be forgotten about is now being chased off the line.Morrison stepping into a bigger role has taken the pressure off the Orange’s playmakers, Hillsman said. As teams key in on Morrison more, it leaves SU’s most notable shooters like Brianna Butler open more often.“She’s a spacer,” Hillsman said. “Anytime you can get floor spacers that can get out there and make shots and shoot the ball your offense is going to flow a little better.”Morrison has finally put the pieces together, Sykes said, and the results are in the stats. Though Morrison is playing the best basketball of her career, Sykes thinks she can still do more.“Is she playing her best?” Sykes said, “ah, not yet … But she’s playing really well for us right now and that’s what we need.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 20, 2016 at 11:06 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettuslast_img read more

Football: Running backs coach Thomas Brown to leave UW, take same position at Georgia

first_imgOne of Wisconsin’s top assistant coaches – and one of just two coaches to initially stay with new head coach Paul Chryst after Gary Andersen departed – has left Madison and returned to his home state.Wisconsin football’s running backs coach Thomas Brown has left UW and will take the same position at Georgia, his alma mater, reports said Monday morning.The Georgia Bulldogs official Twitter account later confirmed those reports.Welcome back Thomas Brown! He returns to his alma mater and will be @FootballUGA’s running backs coach!— Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) February 16, 2015Brown, along with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, were the only two assistant coaches who stayed at Wisconsin with Chryst after Andersen departed for Oregon State in December.Brown was influential in forming and saving Wisconsin’s incoming recruiting class for 2015, which includes four-star running back Jordan Stevenson, three-star running back Bradrick Shaw and four-star outside linebacker Arrington Farrar. He was also pivotal in gaining a verbal commitment from 2016 running back recruit Antonio Williams.Stevenson and Shaw signed their letters of intent to play at Wisconsin on Feb. 4. It is unclear how Brown’s jettisoning will affect their commitments, while Williams is the most vulnerable commit to flip.Williams, a four-star prospect from North Carolina, is currently ranked as the fifth best running back in the Class of 2016 according to Scout.com and is the Badgers’ lone commitment for 2016 so far.And now it really is just me. #GotToDoWhatsBestForMe— Antonio Williams (@A_B_Williams26) February 16, 2015 Staying off of twitter for a while. Not answering any questions at the moment.— Antonio Williams (@A_B_Williams26) February 16, 20152016 quarterback and Wisconsin prospect David Moore from Alpharetta, Georgia, also reacted to the news, demonstrating just how strong of a recruiter Brown was at Wisconsin.Brown was a running back at Georgia from 2004-2007, before playing in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and the Cleveland Browns. Andersen hired him in 2014 after serving as the running backs coach at Marshall in 2013.Chryst will now have to hire the Badgers’ third running back coach in as many years. Thomas Hammock left that role following the 2013 season to take the same job for the Baltimore Ravens. In addition to running back, Chryst has yet to officially announce a wide receivers coach yet either.Spring practices for the Badgers will begin in a month with the annual Spring Game taking place on April 25 at Camp Randall Stadium.Update: It appears as if Williams is no longer fully committed to Wisconsin. According to Benjamin Worgull of BadgerNation.com, Williams will visit Alabama on Feb. 28 and is “no longer 100%” committed to the Badgers now that Brown has departed for Georgia.New London (NC) North Stanly 4-star RB/#Badgers commit, Antonio Williams will visit Alabama Feb.28. No longer 100% after Brown’s departure— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) February 16, 2015last_img read more