UP TO SPEED: Desiree Elmore “won” the offseason and is ready to step into a bigger role

first_img Published on November 5, 2017 at 11:34 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Comments At the end of this summer, each Syracuse player wrote down the name of their teammate who had the most impressive offseason. About 80 percent of the ballots chose Desiree Elmore. The summer before that, the one before her freshman year, Elmore didn’t have any idea what to expect from college basketball, and it showed.“Desiree was a kid who had to develop a work ethic,” said Tammy Millsaps, her high school coach. “Sometimes when you come along in today’s generation of social media, sometimes there’s a mindset that I’m very, very good and I don’t need to do too much more.”Elmore was a five-star recruit and ranked No. 51 by espnW HoopGurlz for the Class of 2016. She graduated from Capital (Connecticut) Prep as a four-time state champion and, as a senior there, she averaged 26.7 points and 15.7 rebounds per game.Looking back on her freshman season at Syracuse and now understanding college basketball, Elmore said she wasn’t prepared for the pace. This year, she needs to be. The Orange lost four of its starters to graduation, returning only Gabrielle Cooper. There is opportunity and Elmore’s offseason mindset has her ready to seize it.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I noticed major change,” guard Jasmine Nwajei said. “Even in her aura and her demeanor, how she moves. She’s just more hungry about things.”Elmore’s freshman season was an adjustment. She wasn’t sure what to expect coming from a small high school in Connecticut to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Elmore averaged just nine minutes per game, a number that dipped even lower during conference play. She had three assists and 15 turnovers.In her end-of-season meeting with the SU coaching staff, Elmore wanted to know what she could do to “actually help the team throughout the year.” They told her number one was her conditioning. So she went home and did, “as much running as I could.”Leon Elmore Sr. said his daughter worked out more than she ever had. Before, he said, Elmore never needed to work that hard because she was just “that good.” It shocked him to see her waking up to get to the gym by 7 a.m. Elmore focused on her diet, her father said, and she drank strictly water.“That’s the first thing coach Q said, ‘Man, we’re gonna have to get her new uniforms. Look how much weight she lost,’” Leon said.“That’s a sign of somebody who gets it,” Leon added, “somebody who wants to be better. When you don’t have to be told what to do, when you just initiate everything and you go do it.”Elmore also faced the challenge that she didn’t know where she belonged on the floor. Her height, 5-foot-9, puts her between a guard and a forward. She’s been tasked with being a post player at SU, which meant she spent a lot of time working with Bria and Briana Day last season. Their messages have only begun to sink in for Elmore now, even after the twins graduated.“Every little thing that they’ve got on me about that they’ve told me for advice,” Elmore said. “It literally is all making sense this year.”When Elmore arrived back in Syracuse to start the Orange’s offseason conditioning program this summer, she took that advice and didn’t let up. Elmore and her teammates ran the steps on Euclid Avenue. They did a variation of 400-meter repeats, 800-meter repeats and even ran two-mile loops on the track.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorThe team ran a mile together about six times throughout the summer, junior guard Isis Young said. Each player was timed and expected to improve upon that mark on each run. Elmore’s performance in the last mile test was “amazing,” Young said. Some players dropped about 10 seconds from their times, and Young recalled Elmore shaving 40. At the end of the summer leading into her freshman year, Elmore remembers barely breaking eight minutes in the mile. This summer, her last mile time was 6:46.Though Elmore may have not known what to expect at Syracuse, she knew it was the place for her to go out of high school, her father said. Elmore wants to be a broadcaster for ESPN, Leon said, and was impressed that Hillsman himself recruited her and not just an assistant. So choosing SU over other high-major schools she considered, like Baylor and LSU, became easy.When Elmore committed to Syracuse in October of her junior year, the program still hadn’t reached the Final Four once. But a year and a half later, in the spring of Elmore’s senior year, the Orange made it past the Final Four to the national championship game. Those who once were not surprised with her commitment, Elmore said, now believed she couldn’t compete at that level.“There were a lot of people who doubted me after that, because they didn’t think I would be able to play on (a team) competing for a national championship,” Elmore said. “So it was just a lot of motivation to help me get to that point and it’s just something that I’ve always wanted.”On a team full of transfers and freshman, Elmore finds herself in a leadership role as a sophomore. Elmore said no one really understands the positions she plays. That means she now passes down the Day sisters’ messages.Elmore always excelled at taking charges, Millsaps said, and that as a slightly undersized forward she always relished the opportunity to shut down a taller opponent. Now, with the frontcourt starting spots wide open, everything is falling into place for the sophomore.“I call myself a whatever type of player because I’m able to do whatever is needed,” Elmore said. “I just feel like I can be more useful because I’m not as tired.”Instead of losing her breath, feeling winded and not playing much at all, Elmore feels ready to become a regular starter and help the team.“I think I’m just gonna have to keep doing what I’m doing,” Elmore said. “I can’t let up.”Banner photo illustration by Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff Photographerlast_img read more

Badgers’ bats come alive at Goodman

first_imgWisconsin fans are accustomed to seeing the football and basketball teams win by 17 points, but those who made it to Goodman Diamond Wednesday afternoon saw the Wisconsin softball team put up a combined 28 runs in a double header.Wisconsin (19-15) picked up a convincing series sweep over North Dakota (4-26) with a tone-setting 11-2 win in the first game. It followed that up with a 17-1 victory in the second contest, both finishing in five innings via the mercy rule.The Badger offense got off to a hot start in the first game. The 11 runs scored by UW were the most they have put across the plate this season.Three Badgers drove in two runs apiece, which included Maria Van Abel, Chloe Miller and Michelle Mueller, as the team collected 10 hits across just four innings at the plate.Wisconsin’s offense was charged early on by the sticks of the top of the batting order. Van Abel, Ashley Van Zeeland and Mary Massei started the bottom of the first with three straight singles. Then, the Miller, the Badger backstop, doubled down the right field line bringing home both Van Abel and Van Zeeland and advancing Massei to third. Mueller, the senior third baseman, followed that up with a double of her own, giving Wisconsin the 4-0 lead from which it would never look back.Senior ace Cassandra Darrah hurled five innings for the Badgers, allowing just two runs (one earned) on five hits. She walked only one batter and struck out two.Her performance in the circle was topped by sophomore pitcher Taylor-Paige Stewart’s outing in the second game. Stewart did not allow a base runner until the fourth inning, when North Dakota got its first hit of the ballgame. She allowed a run in the fifth inning but finished the game giving up only three hits. Out of the 15 outs she recorded, Stewart struck out 11 without walking any batters and greatly appreciated the run support she got from her squad.“Coach [Yvette] Healy is all about getting on a winning streak, so I came out with that in mind,” Stewart said. “[The run support] just makes it fun. If all cylinders are going, you’re just playing for fun like you’re a little kid again.”The first inning was essential in both games for the Badgers offensive explosion. After putting up six runs in the first frame of game one, Wisconsin erupted for eight runs in the first inning of game two.Following smart base running that pushed the first run across for UW in the second game, senior shortstop Stephanie Peace blasted a home run over the left-center field wall to push Wisconsin’s lead to 3-0.Two batters later, Mary Massei took North Dakota pitcher Megan Hedstrom’s first pitch deep to right center to increase the lead to 5-0.After another run crossed the plate, Mueller singled up the middle to bring two more Badgers to come across, making it 8-0.In the bottom of the second, Wisconsin picked up right where it left off, adding seven runs in the inning. Massei hit another two-run homer in nearly the same exact spot of her first bomb, which left her with two swings and two home runs on the game.“It felt good just to take some hacks and just to see the rest of the team excel also and getting a lot of runs,” Massei said. “We haven’t had much of a winning streak this year, so now we’re just going to roll with it.”Mueller added a grand slam later in the second inning, and Peace smacked her second home run of the game, a solo shot, to open up a comfortable 15-run cushion for the Badgers after just two innings of play.The offense slowed down in the third inning, as the starters made way for the bench players who got some playing time with the substantial lead. Caitlyn Warren’s two-RBI single in the fourth was the last of the scoring for Wisconsin.The five home runs by the Badgers was one shy of the team’s single-game record, which was set against Illinois in 2012. Their 17 runs tied the team’s single-game record.The two home wins were a welcome sign for coach Healy, even if they were against a lighter competition than it met earlier in the season.“I think we’ve really played a tough schedule and I think the team was excited to get back home, play in front of our own fans and have a chance to face a not top-25 [ranked] team,” Healy said.“On paper I think we’re just a little over .500 going into these games, but we’ve got some big wins. It’s been a great season so far, the only thing missing is a lot of wins … so for us to be able to get a couple of wins is a big deal.”last_img read more

Women’s basketball: Badgers survive, advance over Penn State in Big Ten Tournament

first_imgIn the first round of the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (14-17, 4-14 Big Ten) were able to prolong their season by at least a day. With a 65–57 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions (12-18, 5-13), Wisconsin will look forward to a matchup with The Ohio State — a team the Badgers lost to only six days ago.The scoring duo of Marsha Howard and Imani Lewis once again carried the Badgers combining for almost half of the team’s points. The remaining starters were able to chip in at least eight or more points as well. The Nittany Lions took a 3–2 lead just 37 seconds into the first quarter before the Badgers regained the lead on a Lewis three-point play. Lewis sparked an 11–2 run and the Badgers road that lead to the end of the contest.Penn State threatened at the close of the third quarter making it a five-point game as the buzzer sounded, but would not make a complete comeback. The game remained in reach for the Nittany Lions through the fourth, but they couldn’t overtake the Badgers’ balanced scoring in the final frame.Men’s basketball: Brevin Pritzl may be Wisconsin’s secret weapon this postseasonBrevin Pritzl was born and raised here in Wisconsin. Playing basketball at De Pere High School — just outside of Read…The Nittany Lions started the game without senior Teniya Page due to injury. Page mustered 14 points in her 26 minutes on the court. The hobbled senior finished her career as the first Nittany Lion to reach 2,000 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists.The win ends a three-game losing streak and a four-game skid against the Nittany Lions. However, an NCAA tournament bid requires four more wins in four days in Indianapolis.Wisconsin’s next opponent is a familiar one. The Badgers recently played the Ohio State Buckeyes (14-13, 10-8) and lost 61–50 in the Kohl Center. Howard led the team with 15 points, but the Badger bench finished with only two points from Suzanne Gilreath. Women’s hockey: Badgers defeat St. Cloud State to advance to WCHA Final FaceoffLast weekend, the University of Wisconsin Badgers (30-4-2, 18-4-2 WCHA) took on St. Cloud State (10-25-2, 5-19) in the first Read…While Wisconsin can hang with Penn State without major bench production, the Buckeyes demand a more balanced scoring attack.Graduate transfer Carmen Grande commandeers the Buckeye team. She played all 40 minutes in both contests against Wisconsin and is tied for the third-highest assists per game average in the Big Ten. The duo of Grande and Hungarian freshman Dorka Juhász can be lethal and should be the Badgers’ primary focus.Junior forward Abby Laszewski has been absent from the Badgers lately, averaging just 3.1 points in her last six games. A dynamic performance from Laszewski — especially defending Juhász well — could spell upset for Wisconsin.The game will start 25 minutes after the conclusion of the Michigan State-Northwestern contest, which tips off at noon. A win over the Buckeyes would set up a contest with Michigan. You can catch the game live on Big Ten Network or listen live at 100.9 FM, Badger Radio Network.last_img read more

Cummins says there are lots of potential leaders in Tipp panel

first_imgTipp FM will have live coverage of Kilkenny V Tipperary on Sunday, which will be brought to you in association with Alliance Medical. Former goalkeeper Brendan Cummins believes the likes of Seamus Callanan, John O’Dwyer and Noel McGrath have what it takes to inspire the team to victory in difficult matches like this weekend’s National League clash with Kilkenny at Nowlan Park.There was concern in some quarters late last year when a number of experienced Tipp players announced they’d be retiring from the intercounty scene.While Brendan doesn’t underestimate the difficulties this posed for manager Michael Ryan he’s confident those still at his disposal will prove their worth on Sunday and beyond.last_img

Vardy Inspired Me to be a Better Player, Says Iheanacho

first_imgAlisson (in yellow) was robbed by Kelechi Iheanacho for the only Leicester goal saturday SportsXtraSuper Eagles striker, Kelechi Iheanacho has said that he derived inspiration from the story of Jamie Vardy just as he admitted that his Leicester City team-mate has given him the motivation to become a better player.The 22-year-old watched in awe as Vardy broke the record for scoring in consecutive Premier League games in 2015 when he found the net in 11 games straight and Iheanacho said he is now trying to learn from the England striker after joining City from Manchester City.   “I have been watching him and when I was at Manchester City I was really following him and when he broke the record against Manchester United, it was the motivation for me as well,” said Iheanacho. “So seeing him scoring 11 games straight, it gives every youngster motivation to know anything is possible in football.“I have been watching him since. I didn’t know I am going to come here so playing alongside him is a joy and I am happy learning from him and keep improving,” he added.Vardy’s rags to riches story is well known but Iheanacho’s humble beginnings in Nigeria makes his emergence even more remarkable, especially as he admits he hardly ever got to watch football growing up.While the adults were watching at communal screenings, Iheanacho was off practising his skills so one day they would be watching him.“When I was growing up I don’t have the chance to watch a lot of football because I can’t afford to watch football,” he revealed.“The viewing centre was a place you go to watch football in Nigeria but you have to pay to watch football at a viewing centre, so if you don’t have the means or the money to pay, you can’t watch.“The generators make a big telly and people gather to watch television and have argument about things and life and everything, so it is a very interesting place.“I couldn’t afford to pay to watch them. You have to pay to watch it so I didn’t have the chance, the opportunity to watch as much, the Premier League. It was expensive then and I didn’t have that much chance to watch.“I watched a little bit maybe important games I could save money and watch them, so I think I watch a bit of Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba when I was back home in Nigeria.“So many didn’t get the opportunity to watch it as well as me, so I just kick the ball and I just kick the ball and keep hoping that is what I do and if I get the opportunity to watch the game, if they allow me then I go but I have to fundraise but I get 10 per cent of the fundraising to watch the game.”Now they are watching Iheanacho in the viewing centres and the young striker hopes seeing him on the big screen will make his countrymen proud.“I think I have made them proud and I have to keep doing it,” he added.“I don’t have to stop. I have to keep doing it and the struggle continues. They are before me and they are proud and I will keep doing them proud.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Starlets ’91: Ali Jarah reveals how a 3-month camp in Germany inspired team to victory

first_imgEx-Hearts of Oak goalkeeper, Ali Jarah, says the 1991 U-17 winning team was a group of special talents whose victory in Italy was down to great preparations.Ali Jarah was the backup goalkeeper for Ben Owu as the team surged on to victory in the World Youth Championship hosted by Italy.Speaking on Citi TV’s The Tracker, the former Hearts of Oak shotstopper revealed that the team led by Otto Pfister was strong in every department.We are an all-round team and we also started the preparations two years before the tournament, so we knew ourselves very well.Ali Jarah also highlighted that the team prepared very well prior to the tournament in Italy.In our final qualifying game against Morocco, the game was forfeited due to the Gulf War that happened then. When we got there, we were not used to the weather as it was cold, it was only Yaw Preko, Odartey Lamptey and the guys who were already playing in Europe who were comfortable with it. So when the game was cancelled due to the war, everyone jubilated.The group were fortunate because right after that, we went to Germany for camping. We were there for over three months. So we acclimatized, studied the weather, played a lot of games and were also high in confidence.Odartey Lamptey, Yaw Preko all had European experiences of what the tournament felt like. The likes of Mohammed Gargo, Daniel Addo, Willie Brown and Ernest Opoku are extraordinary players. The calibre of players we had gave us so much confidence.We knew we could win the cup when we scored the German U-17 team 6-0 in one of our trial games and so we built up game by game. So we took it a game at a time before reaching the finals against Spain.last_img read more

Judo Championship fixed for March 9

first_imgThe Ghana Judo Association (GJA) in collaboration with Japan Embassy in Ghana, would on Saturday, March 9, organize the 14th Japanese Ambassador Judo Championship at the rLG D.G. Hathiramani Sports Hall, Accra Sports Stadium.The event, which would be attended by the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana and the Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), is aimed at strengthening the cultural ties between Ghana and Japan.A statement from the GJA said the event would be preceded by elimination stages on Friday, March 8, at the same venue.It added that, there would also be seminar for referees on March 7, to be handled by international resource persons.last_img

Fifa: No decision made on 2022 Qatar World Cup move

first_imgFifa has moved quickly to play down claims from its own general secretary that the Qatar 2022 World Cup will not take place in the summer.The sport’s governing body stressed no final decision will be taken until after the 2014 World Cup and only after lengthy consultation.It comes after Jerome Valcke told Radio France: “The dates for the World Cup will not be June-July.”He suggested it could take place between 15 November and 15 January.Fifa president Sepp Blatter had already said the tournament would take place in November or December, with organisers in Qatar still hopeful of hosting it in June and July.Following Valcke’s Radio France interview, a Fifa spokesperson said the general secretary had only been expressing “his view”. The spokesperson added: “The precise event date is still subject to an ongoing consultation process which involves all main event stakeholders, including both the international football community – Fifa confederations, member associations, leagues, clubs, players – as well as Fifa’s commercial partners.”The consultation process will not be rushed and will be given the necessary time to consider all of the elements relevant for a decision.”No decision will be taken before the upcoming 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil as agreed by the Fifa executive committee.”The Qatar 2022 Supreme committee said they “will be ready to host the World Cup regardless of the outcome of the consultation.”Britain’s Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce said he was “totally surprised” at Valcke’s statement and confirmed the decision had to be taken by the executive committee. The scheduling of the tournament has been debated since it was controversially awarded to Qatar in December 2010.Fears have been raised that the summer heat in the Gulf emirate would be dangerous for players and fans alike.Valcke said: “If you play between 15 November and the end of December, that’s the time when the weather conditions are best, when you can play in temperatures equivalent to a warm spring season in Europe, averaging 25 degrees. That would be perfect for playing football.”If the World Cup does go ahead at the end of 2022, it could pose problems for the Africa Cup of Nations, which is scheduled for January 2023.Blatter said two months ago that a firm decision on dates for the 2022 World Cup will be made in December 2014. Qatar organisers have indicated it would be happy to switch to a winter World Cup.Failed bidders Australia have vowed to seek compensation from Fifa if the 2022 World Cup is played in winter.None of the 19 World Cups to date have ever been played outside the months of May, June or July.last_img read more

Brett Favre gives advice to Josh Allen after helmet-to-helmet hit: You can’t ‘play as reckless’

first_img“I don’t think anyone would question his commitment or toughness,” Favre said. “It’s obvious when a player is or is not committed. Players and fans alike know this kid really, really wants to help this team and this city win. We get that.”The hit sparked some controversy, leaving the Bills upset as coach Sean McDermott said: “There’s no room in football for that.” Patriots coach Bill Belichick, on the other hand, defended the play, saying, “[Jones] did what we’ve coached him to do.”Allen, 23, has completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 903 yards this season and has six total touchdowns, leading the Bills to a 3-1 start. His status for Week 5 against the Titans remains uncertain, though McDermott said he’s preparing both Allen and backup Matt Barkley for Sunday. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski needs season-ending surgery, report says “From a coach’s standpoint, they’re going to have to demand that he not play as reckless as he has,” Favre told The Athletic. “What I would tell him, from a physical standpoint is, ‘Hey, Josh. I get it. I see you diving and running over people. I was that guy, too. But listen, man. Take it from a guy who’s played a long time and learned maybe later than I should’ve, there’s a time and place when you try for extra yards. That wasn’t it. You’ve got to be smarter.'”Now, he’ll say, ‘You’re right, Brett. I know.’ But it may take a few more hits before he goes, ‘You know, Brett really is right.’” Related News Tyreek Hill injury update: Chiefs receiver (shoulder) to resume practice Jay Gruden on Redskins’ QB plan for Week 5: ‘We don’t have one right now’ Here’s the hit on Josh Allen.pic.twitter.com/J9HCYhM9Pp— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 29, 2019Favre said he always took hard hits until then-Packers coach Mike Holmgren sat him down and threatened him with a $5,000 fine every time the quarterback didn’t slide — with the exception of needing an important first down. “Was he serious? I don’t know, but it got my attention,” Favre said.Favre went on to say Allen’s teammates and Bills fans will still respect the quarterback, even if he’s not as agressive. Hall of famer Brett Favre gave Josh Allen some sound advice after a big helmet-to-helmet hit Sunday put the Bills quarterback in the concussion protocol.Favre said Allen shouldn’t play as “reckless” as he’s played recently, adding Allen needs to be smarter about avoiding hits like the one leveled by Patriots defensive end Jonathan Jones. Favre later admitted he struggled with toning back that level of competitiveness during his playing days.last_img read more

IEDA gets update on River City Renaissance project

first_imgDES MOINES — The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Board of Directors this morning heard from Mason City representatives about the progress of the River City Renaissance project. The IEDA Board had contingently approved a maximum benefit of almost $9.2 million for the downtown project through the state’s Iowa Reinvestment Act. The $38 million Renaissance project includes the new multi-purpose arena scheduled to open in early December in the former JC Penney location of Southbridge Mall, a $24 million, 112-room Hyatt Place hotel in the eastern part of the main parking lot of the mall, a convention center complex that includes the hotel and Music Man Square, and a performing arts pavilion on the mall’s north side. Some of the contingencies that the board had put in place were past due, but the board approved a new set of contingencies to keep the project moving. The biggest one extends the deadline to March 31st for the submitting of a letter acceptable to the IEDA Board that financing for the hotel construction has been secured by Gatehouse Capital. IEDA director Debi Durham thanked the leaders on the project for bringing things together since G8 Development defaulted on being the hotel developer.  The board also approved another contingency that says weekly updates from city officials will continue to be provided to the IEDA staff. Board member Chris Murray thanked City Administrator Aaron Burnett for bringing together the partners in the project to move things positively forward. last_img read more