Beat Writer Q&A: Akhil Rekulapelli of The Cavalier Daily previews Syracuse-Virginia game

first_imgSyracuse tips off against Virginia in its season-opener Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome at 9 p.m. The Orange spent part of their offseason in Italy for exhibition games before winning two more in October. UVA, the reigning national champions, is led by Mamadi Diakite and Tony Bennett’s patented pack-line defense. The Daily Orange connected with The Cavalier Daily’s Akhil Rekulapelli to preview the matchup. The Daily Orange: Virginia enters as the defending champions, but the roster is a bit different than last year. What can Syracuse expect from the 2019-20 UVA roster? Akhil Rekulapelli: Obviously (Virginia) lost the three biggest players, what we call the trio of De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy. I believe they together averaged 50-55 points per game for UVA. A team based on (head coach) Tony Bennett’s system that doesn’t score very much because they have a high offensive efficiency to take the time to create shots. So losing their top three scorers like that they’re gonna have to rely on young and inexperienced guys. I think that’s going to be the biggest problem.D.O.: Do you think the combination of Virginia’s inexperience and potential early-season rust can hinder UVA Wednesday night?AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA.R.: Yeah, I think not necessarily rust, but definitely unfamiliarity. I think you have a lot of inexperienced guys heading into the Carrier Dome. It doesn’t get bigger than that, 34,000 all yelling and screaming. You’re not even in an environment that’s in a basketball stadium. … It’s a really, really tough place to play your first collegiate game. I talked to Casey (Morsell) at our media day and he was saying their excited for the challenge, but it’s a very unique environment. If they were going to be playing at (John Paul Jones Arena) or a more conventional arena, that’s different. From the start you’re going to see them pretty slow defensively, especially against the 2-3 zone. Even though Syracuse isn’t ranked, it’s going to be a tough game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this game be very close.D.O.: Other than Mamadi Diakite and Kihei Clark, who’s the one player that Syracuse needs to watch out for? A.R.: It’s definitely going to be Kody Stattmann. I mean, Kody Stattmann last year played sparingly. He played a lot at the end of games. For example, at the end of those conference games, you start to see him enter when the margin is in our favor like when we blew out Florida State. Last year he looked very uncomfortable with the ball. He looked uncomfortable on the floor. But this year, especially during the scrimmage, he looked more confident and a lot more sure of himself. … I think this year he’s made that transition. He played for Australia and he’s familiar with the FIBA 3-point line that is now the college basketball 3-point line. I expect him to be a great player for UVA at the start that a lot of people don’t know about. When it comes to getting open 3s and mid-range jump shots, I think he’s going to be lethal. That’s one player for Syracuse fans to watch out for.D.O.: Prediction time, who takes the season-opener? A.R.: That’s going to be tough. I think it’s going to come down to the fact that you have two really strong defenses going against each other. I’m going to say it’s a low-scoring affair, but I’m going to say Virginia squeaks out a win, 65-59, in the Carrier Dome. Starts off slow, I think Syracuse goes to the half up. But then the Cavs will get it together and pull off a win to start the season. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 6, 2019 at 1:36 pmlast_img read more

Šetkić in the second round of ATP Challenger in Canada

first_imgBIH tennis player Aldin Šetić has qualified to the second round of ATP Challanger Tournament which is being held in Rimouski in Canada worth 35 000 USD.In the first round, Šetkić defeated Hugo di Feo with 6:3 and 6:2.In the second round 25 five year old player from Sarajevo will play against Polish player Michal Przysiezny.last_img