How former walk-on Braedon Bayer became Syracuse’s 1st guard off the bench

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ In Braedon Bayer’s mind, six weeks of 8 a.m. workouts with former Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon and associate head coach Adrian Autry meant he’d earned a walk-on spot. Or at least the right to ask whether he’d be on the team in the fall. He was, after all, sleeping on Lydon’s South Campus couch for summer 2016.“I didn’t have a place to stay,” Bayer said. “I thought I would be living in my car. That’s how much I was like, ‘Screw it. I want to be on this team.’”Lydon played AAU basketball with Bayer and convinced him to try to make the SU team from a Division III school in Iowa. One day in July 2016, after several weeks of tryout-like workouts, Bayer asked Lydon for a little more help. Bayer was unsure if he was on the team. Lydon walked into the office of then-head coach designate Mike Hopkins to find out.“I don’t know, let’s go ask,” Hopkins said, and they walked nearby to head coach Jim Boeheim’s office. Hopkins asked the same question to Boeheim, who looked up from a USA Today newspaper.“Yeah, he’s on the team,” Boeheim said nonchalantly, then went back to reading.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat’s when Bayer, a 6-foot-4 guard from Lagrangeville, New York, earned a walk-on spot. After redshirting last season, he has progressed all of the way to the brink of the Syracuse rotation, a rarity in Boeheim’s recently thin system. As the Orange (16-8, 5-6 Atlantic Coast) continues to play its pared-down lineup — former graduate transfer Geno Thorpe left the program, freshman guard Howard Washington is out for the year due to injury and freshman Bourama Sidibe battles tendinitis — production off the bench could come from an unlikely source: Bayer. While he has played only four minutes across four games this season, Boeheim has said Bayer will see playing time down the stretch.“Braedon’s pretty good,” Boeheim said last week, about a month after Bayer became a scholarship player.Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorTo Lydon, Bayer is more than pretty good. They met as high school sophomores and grew close while playing for the Albany City Rocks, Bayer said. When Bayer told Lydon he was not fully enjoying his time at Grinnell College — “I just couldn’t do the culture out there” — Lydon promised that he’d enjoy Syracuse. Lydon would do his best to help get Bayer a spot on the team, he recalled.During Grinnell’s 2015-16 season, Bayer applied to four schools, three of which had shown interest in him as a high school player: Bucknell, Binghamton and Fordham. He also applied to a longshot: Syracuse. He sent his application to SU in mid-December. He was accepted by New Year’s Day. He quit the Grinnell team and arrived at Syracuse in January 2016. He watched SU’s Final Four run that semester from his bed. Whenever he could, Lydon would invite Bayer for informal workouts, and they’d sometimes grab food together.By May, Lydon told Hopkins that Bayer “wasn’t just going to be a typical walk-on that’s just on the team. He said I could actually help,” Bayer recalled. Hopkins trusted Lydon’s word and didn’t ask Bayer for any film. Bayer impressed enough in summer workouts that he was added to the team.“It was awe-inspiring,” Bayer said of those first few practices. “Scary and nervous, you know? At Grinnell, I could miss and get my own rebound.”Around the Syracuse locker room, players have echoed variations of the same phrase: “Stay ready.” Bayer is caught in the in-between, being told his time could come any moment but rarely seeing it come to fruition. Players first heard “Stay ready” during the double-overtime loss at Florida State, where Bayer played about one minute. Players said it throughout the rest of January as a “running joke,” Bayer said.Boeheim said after the loss at Georgia Tech last week that he should have played Bayer. Bayer heard “stay ready” before the Virginia game, too. He didn’t play, though. He finally got in the game Monday night at Louisville, a crucial road victory, during which Bayer traveled with the ball in the lone minute he played, right before halftime.“Stay ready: That’s been the funny joke until this point,” Bayer said. “I’ve gotten in (at FSU), but I’ve been told ‘Stay ready’ every game since. All of the guys on the team are like, ‘Hey, stay ready. Hey, stay ready.’ I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m ready.’ Always working hard, having a goal.”Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorThat goal was once to play college basketball, almost regardless of level. The Ivy League was Bayer’s dream, but he wanted to attend a school where his parents didn’t have to pay. As a result, he turned himself into a gym rat and drive-first player, said Bayer’s former coach Kenny Dawson, a trainer in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Bill Casson, his head coach at Trinity Pawling (New York) School. Bayer considered the possibility of walking on at Colgate, Bucknell or Marist, but Grinnell’s head coach told him he thought he could break the all-time assists record in his high-octane system. Bayer was persuaded.Bayer’s father, Greg, joined him as an assistant coach at Grinnell. Because he had spent a decade surrounding Bayer’s basketball life, he thought, why not watch his son’s college career? Bayer scored 20 points his first game as a freshman and, after just a year and a half with the program, finished Top 10 in assists, Greg said. But when Lydon said he’d have a chance at a Power 5 school, Bayer couldn’t say no.Bayer is unproven, but he has shown he can match up with his scholarship teammates. He scored 10 points in 38 minutes during the Orange-White scrimmage. Many other walk-ons played fewer than five, he said. Afterward, Boeheim’s wife, Juli, told Bayer’s father, “O-M-G.” She had texted her sons, Cornell freshman Jimmy and SU commit Buddy, saying “how great Braedon is.”For much of this season, Bayer has played the opponent’s best high-post man in SU practices. He mimics what the opposition’s post player may do, giving SU starters an idea of what they might expect in the upcoming game. He said he has become more involved in five-on-five work during practice.His goal was to get into Syracuse, see if he could explore his options for the basketball team. Then his goal was to be a walk-on. Then it was to be a scholarship player. With those behind him, he has renewed his focus. It is to never forget his trek from Division III, and it is to give starting guards Frank Howard and Tyus Battle a reprieve, whenever that may be.“This goal,” Bayer said, “is coming true.” Comments Published on February 7, 2018 at 10:05 pm Contact Matthew: | @MatthewGut21last_img read more

USC captures season opening series against Utah Valley

first_imgFreshman infielder Ben Ramirez takes a swing against Utah Valley. Alex Zhang | Daily TrojanThe USC baseball team opened its season Friday at Dedeaux Field against Utah Valley University, the beginning of a three-game home stand. The Trojans entered opening day looking to rebound from a disappointing 2017 season in which the team went 21-34 and finished tied for last in the Pac-12 standings. USC would win the opening series 2-1.The bats on both sides were sluggish to start the season. Sophomore Chris Clarke and senior Jake Mayer, the starters for USC and Utah Valley respectively, were dealing in the early innings. Through four frames, the teams combined for eight strikeouts and five hits. The Trojans began the first three innings with hits, only to be followed by threestraight-outs each time.Utah Valley struck first, as first baseman Callahan Moltzan scored from second on a triple by third baseman Paul Estrada in the top of the fifth. Right fielder Jackson Overlund followed with a three-run home run off of Clarke in the sixth, making it 4-0 Wolverines. The Trojans mustered 1 run in the bottom of the sixth when junior left fielder Lars Nootbaar scored on an error, but the Trojans couldn’t keep momentum. A passed ball with a runner on third in the top of the seventh made it 5-1 Utah Valley, and the Wolverines held on to win by that score.“Their kid did a nice job, but we didn’t swing the bats like we’re capable of,” USC head coach Dan Hubbs said. “Whether it was first game jitters, excitement, whatever it was, it wasn’t like us.”Sophomore center fielder Matthew Acosta was one of several Trojans to go hitless on Friday. “It felt like nothing was going our way today, but you know, that’s going to happen in baseball,” Acosta said. “It’s a game of failure, you have to go through adversity.”For much of the second game on Saturday, it seemed that the result would be the same. The Wolverines took advantage of a shaky outing by junior starting pitcher Quentin Longrie, scoring two of their three second-inning runs on walks with the bases loaded.But the Trojans weren’t dead. With USC down 4-0 in the fifth inning, Nootbaar homered to right field. Two innings later, after sophomore right fielder Brady Shockey scored on a wild pitch, Acosta put the Trojans up by one with a 3-run bomb to right field.“I was looking for a fastball up, something I could elevate so a runner could tag up,” Acosta said of the play. “But I just got one I could control and put a good swing on it. [It was] just lucky I got one, lucky to help the team get the W. That’s all that matters.”The Wolverines got a possible game-tying runner to second with one out in the top of the ninth, but sophomore reliever Connor Lunn struck out the next two hitters to end the game with the save. Freshman reliever John Beller earned his first win as a Trojan.The Trojans opened the scoring in Sunday’s third game in the bottom of the second inning when junior first baseman Dillon Paulson scored on an error. The Wolverines responded by scoring 3 runs in the top of the third.After trading runs in the next two half innings, USC surged ahead in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded and no outs, Shockey singled up the middle, driving in Paulson and redshirt junior third baseman Angelo Armenta. A bunt single from redshirt sophomore catcher Kaleb Murphy turned into a score on an errant throw from Utah Valley third baseman Paul Estrada, allowing Ramirez to score from second.Junior second baseman Brandon Perez came through with his second and third RBIs of the day on a two-out single up the middle, bringing in Shockey and Murphy. Sophomore designated hitter Blake Sabol’s grand rule double to center scored Perez, bringing the Trojans’ runs in the inning to 6, making the score 8-4.“We were just trying to get a couple on the board just to get us some momentum going into the next innings,” Perez said of the onslaught. “Luckily we put up a big lopsided number and that usually ends up resulting in a win.”With 12 total hits, USC looked like a completely different team than the one that was blanked by Utah Valley in the season opener. “I thought the guys put good at-bats together,” Hubbs said. “We were able to get some free bases and then came up with a couple big hits. I was just excited about the at-bats the guys took throughout the game.”But nothing came easy for the Trojans this series, and this game was no different. A triple from Overlund and a sacrifice fly from catcher Drew Sims cut the USC lead to 2 runs in the seventh inning. Those would be the final runs of the game, however, as Lunn would close out the ninth for his second-straight save. Junior reliever Solomon Bates picked up the win.The bullpen was the saving grace for the Trojans; of the 15 runs Utah Valley scored across three games, the bullpen was only responsible for three, and shut the Wolverines down in Saturday’s nail-biter when they were needed the most.“All in all, I thought our bullpen was fantastic,” Hubbs said. “I was really pleased with what I saw. They came in and attacked the strike-zone for the most part. They all have good stuff and know how to use it, so that was definitely a bright spot.”On the flip side, Hubbs singled out the starting pitching as an area for improvement. “We’ve got to get our starters throwing the way they’re capable of,” he said. “We’ve got to have longer starts so our bullpen isn’t going five innings every game.” With a young team, there are going to be ups and downs. Hubbs is more focused on how his players respond to the rough patches.“The biggest thing was the resiliency of the guys,” he said of the series. “They were able to bounce back after losing the first game. I think that’ll go a long way for the rest of the year for this team.”last_img read more

Reports: Cellino fined €40,000 for tax evasion

first_img1 Massimo Cellino Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has been found guilty of tax evasion and fined €40,000 in an Italian court, according to reports in Sardinia.Cellino has been convicted for failing to pay VAT on an imported Range Rover in a court in Cagliari, according to Italian news website L’Union 58-year-old, who recently served a four-month ban by the Football League for failing to pay tax on a yacht, was acquitted of customs offences on the Range Rover, which had been imported from the United States.Cellino may now face investigation by the Football League to establish whether this latest conviction was confirmed by the court judge to be a dishonest act.The same judge in Cagliari, Dr Sandra Lepore, convicted Cellino of tax evasion in relation to his yacht, Nelie, last year and fined him €600,000 euros.That conviction led to the former Cagliari owner being disqualified from having any executive influence at Leeds for four months by the Football League.The League ruled that because the tax offence involving the yacht Nelie had been confirmed by the Italian judge to have been a dishonest act, Cellino failed its Owners and Directors test.Cellino was banned in December and failed to have his disqualification overturned at a Football League hearing in January.The ban was extended until the end of the season as a result of Cellino’s failure to disclose court documents, which confirmed non-payment of tax on Nelie had been a dishonest act.Cellino returned to office at Leeds following the expiry of his ban on May 3 and has since had his Leeds ownership status approved by the League.He is currently appealing against his disqualification through the Football Association’s arbitration process.Cellino’s legal team claimed the guilty verdict against him in Italy over his yacht Nelie should not be classed as a formal conviction until it has passed through three stages of appeal, an argument which was turned down when he challenged his League disqualification earlier this year.The former Cagliari owner also faces a separate court hearing in Italy for tax evasion in relation to a second yacht, Lucky 23, in October. That case was adjourned until October 16 earlier this month.News website Cagliaripad reported the yacht Lucky 23 had been imported from the US to Italy in a container in May 2011 and that Cellino had been charged with failing to pay 84,122 euros on tax duty.last_img read more

Do this in January and Spurs continue marching on to UCL football?

first_img Get rid of Federico Fazio – click the yellow arrow above, right, to see four other things Tottenham must do to push on in after January – Toby Alderweireld has established a good partnership with Jan Vertonghen in defence and Federico Fazio is now fourth choice centre-back, with Kevin Wimmer ahead of him. Fazio made many Spurs fans wince when he played against Arsenal in the League Cup defeat and the 28-year-old is likely to be sold if someone offers some good money. Get the best out of Nacer Chadli – Chadli appears to be playing within himself this season and Tottenham fans are not seeing him at his best. Last season he scored 11 Premier League goals, including vital ones against Chelsea and Arsenal. This season he has one goal but has not been helped by injuries. If Chadli doesn’t look like finding his feet this term, then another winger is likely to be on Pochettino’s shopping list. 5 5 Maintain the unity forged under Pochettino – click the yellow arrow above, right, to see four other things Tottenham must do to push on in after January – Team spirit appears to be good at Tottenham. Pochettino got rid of the troublesome Emmanuel Adebayor, but he is still having to lay down the law to some players. Andros Townsend was recently dropped from first-team duties for his public spat with coach Nathan Gardiner and that could see the winger either sent on loan or sold in January. A happy camp is crucial. 5 Buy a better back up goalkeeper? – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see four other things Tottenham must do to push on in after January – Anyone filling in for the brilliant Hugo Lloris, has a lot to live up to. The France ace is one of the best goalkeepers in football and very popular among fans and for some at White Hart Lane, his understudy, Michel Vorm, makes them nervous when playing. His FA Cup howler saw Leicester progress in the FA Cup at Spurs’ expense last season, he let a Gareth Bale shot slip through his grasp in pre-season, while he recently palmed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot into the path of Mathieu Flamini in the League Cup loss to Arsenal. Better back-up needed? Tottenham are in form at the moment, but supporters will not be getting carried away yet.The club have only lost once so far in the Premier League and some observers have tipped them to break into the top four and secure a return to the Champions League.FRIEDEL: SPURS HAVE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO END CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HUNTHere, talkSPORT looks at five things the club can do to push on after the January transfer window has closed/slammed shut.SUPER COMPUTER: FINAL LEAGUE TABLE PREDICTED 5 5 Back Pochettino in January – click the yellow arrow above, right, to see four other things Tottenham must do to push on in the New Year – Tottenham fans may not be getting carried away just yet, however, under manager Mauricio Pochettino the team has developed into a solid and consistent side. The White Hart Lane faithful have had to be patient, but it looks like there is a side capable of challenging for a Champions League spot. If the manager is backed in the January transfer window, an additional striker could be bought, so Spurs can fight in the cup competitions and not rely so much on Harry Kane to score in every game. Maybe that will help Spurs “kill” games, as Pochettino said they should have done when 1-0 up against Arsenal. last_img read more

On the Go!

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champJan. 13 San Manuel Casino: Senior Day Trips will take a trip to San Manuel Casino on Jan. 13. Trip includes transportation and $10 slot card. Cost is $18. For information call (562) 698-0811, ext. 2444. Jan. 15 PALA INDIAN CASINO: The La Mirada Half Century Seniors Club will take a trip to Pala Indian Casino on Jan 15. For information call (562) 943-7598. Jan. 25 Monday VIEJAS CASINO: The Senior Day Trips through Life Connections of Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital will take a trip to the Viejas Casino. Cost is $13 per person. For information call (562) 698-0811, ext. 2847. Dec. 28 FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: The Palm Park Senior Club will take a trip Dec. 28 to Del Mar to see the Festival of Lights. Cost is $35, and includes lunch. For information call, (323) 728-3881. “HAIRSPRAY” THE MUSICAL: Senior’s Choice Trips will head to the Orange County Performing Arts Center, from 5-11 p.m. Jan. 25, to see the musical “Hairspray.” The bus will depart from Parnell Park, 15390 Lambert Road, Whittier. Cost is $40. For information call (562) 464-3350. Feb. 14 VALENTINE’S SHOW: The East Whittier YMCA will take a trip to see a Valentine’s Day show at the Castaways Center in Burbank. Cost is $79, and includes lunch and performance. For information call (562) 943-7241. Feb. 21 SAN ANTONIO WINERY & CATHEDRAL: Season’s Choice Trips will take a trip to the San Antonio Winery & Cathedral from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 21. There will be a guided tour at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, lunch, and free time to shop in Chinatown. Cost is $43. For information, call (562) 464-3370. Feb. 24 DEATH VALLEY DISCOVERY TOUR: The East Whittier YMCA will take a four-day trip to tour Death Valley, Scotty’s Castle, Devil’s Golf Course, Zabriskie Point, Harmony Boarx Works, and much more. There is a $200 deposit due by Jan. 24. For information call (562) 943-7241. March 16 “JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR”: The Forever Young Senior Adult Club will take a trip to see the musical screening of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Lunch is included. Cost is $40. For information call (562) 942-1736. – From staff reports160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more