Elijah Thomas boosts Clemson with versatility in third season

first_imgElijah Thomas positioned himself atop the 3-point arc with his feet pointed toward the rim. Standing at 6-foot-9, ESPN ranked him as the eighth best center in his recruiting class. Back at Lancaster (Texas) High School, Thomas’ head coach Ferrin Douglas said no one could guard Thomas down low. But, in Lancaster’s state title game, Thomas stood behind the 3-point line and swished the jumper. “When you’re a basketball player and you don’t allow yourself under a position,” Thomas said, ”You’re able to put so many player’s aspects into your game, and that’s what makes me versatile.”Pacing Clemson (10-4, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) in rebounds per game (7.4), blocks per game (1.6) and tied for second in points per game (13.6), Thomas doesn’t like to think of himself in one position. The senior has established himself as a potent, multi-tooled force in the paint. His effective field goal percentage of 67.3 ranks 36th in the nation, and it will lead the Tigers into the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night to play Syracuse (10-4, 1-0).Thomas began his career at Texas A&M in 2015. Thomas had struggled with health in the preseason with a foot injury and concussion, according to a CBS Sports report. That December, after playing just eight games, Thomas knew he needed a change. Before the transfer, he averaged 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in just 9.9 minutes per game. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen Thomas looked at Clemson, he saw a rising program that could utilize his multifaceted talent. He joined the team for the 2016-17 season when he made nine starts. But by the next season, Thomas blossomed. On Nov. 16 against Ohio last season, he recorded 17 points and 15 rebounds — the first Clemson player to hit 15 and 15 in nine years. About a week later, on Nov. 24, he posted 26 points and 16 rebounds against Texas Southern. In that game Thomas made 10 field goals, showing his prowess for shooting. The once-recruited center is listed now as a forward.“It was a chance I took, and I love it here,” Thomas said.In January of last year, Thomas was thrust into a larger role when senior big man Donte Grantham suffered a season-ending knee injury. Grantham was a premier source of points (14.2), rebounds (6.9) and blocks (0.9). Thomas’ minutes per game increased two minutes to 26 per game to help cover all those areas.Thomas adapted and finished the season averaging 25 minutes per game with 10.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. His 2.3 blocks per game earned him ACC All-Defensive Team honors. The Tigers made a run to the Sweet 16 with Thomas in the middle.When Thomas faced off against Syracuse last March, he found success, tallying 18 points and six rebounds. He went 5-for-5 from the field. Despite being smaller than 7-foot-2 Paschal Chukwu and 6-foot-10 Bourama Sidibe, Thomas dominated the matchup. Chukwu tallied just two points (both on free throws) and Sidibe didn’t score.“He gives us a really good inside and outside balance,” Tim Bourret, Clemson’s 40-year radio broadcaster said. “He’s a guy every night that’s capable of getting a double-double if he can stay out of foul trouble.”Foul trouble has often been a problem with Thomas’ post play. In Clemson’s 14 games, the undersized big totaled four or more fouls in half of them. But Bourret said Thomas has the chance to become a top-10 Clemson big man, placed among Tree Rollins, Elden Campbell, Larry Nance Sr., and Horace Grant. Thomas has distinguished himself through his play style, the same versatility that has brought him to the ACC. Douglas, who also coached former NBA all-star Chris Bosh in high school, knew Thomas was different as a freshman in high school. Something that allows Thomas to play the way he does is his ability to shoot with both hands. Douglas remembers his surprise when he found out Thomas was a natural righty, having seen him take the majority of his shots left-handed. He could shoot just as well with the right.“Eli can play all five positions,” Douglas said. “He’s special, man.” Comments Published on January 8, 2019 at 5:07 pm Contact Eric: estorms@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Governor Gretchen Whitmer to speak at this year’s Ending Sexual Assault on Campus Summit

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and former First Lady of Michigan, Sue Snyder, have announced the fifth annual Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault Summit. This year, Governor Whitmer will be the keynote speaker.One in five women, and one in 16 men are victims of sexual assault while they attend college in Michigan. Whitmer says these numbers unacceptable. Sexual assault program coordinator at Hope Shores Alliance, Jillian Ferguson, regularly works with students transitioning to college. She says taking a proactive approach is the best way to end the problem.“I think its important to recognize that everyone is responsible for their own actions and to stop this excuse culture. Victim blaming and rape culture are just everywhere. And so when a high school student is entering college, and moving into that college age, they have to recognize that they are responsible for their own actions.”Ferguson says over 90 percent of survivors on campuses never even report their assault. That’s why this years summit theme, focusing on the roles individuals and institutions play in preventing assault, should be important to everyone.“When it comes to deciding what’s discussed at summits like this, education is the most critical piece. We see ways that survivors of sexual assault are negatively impacted on campuses over and over and over again, and we haven’t done good enough at stopping it.”This year’s summit aims to change that by creating a safer culture, continuing the conversation and providing resources. The event will be held Tuesday, December 3 at Eastern Michigan University, but it’s never too early to start making a difference.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Gretchen Whitmer, Hope Shores Alliance, Jillian Ferguson, Sexual Assault, WhitmerContinue ReadingPrevious Alpena Community College breaks ground for updated nursing facilityNext Alpena man arrested for selling narcotic from his homelast_img read more

Lakers notes: Robert Sacre playing bigger role, no longer Mr. Irrelevant

first_img“That non-guarantee is overwhelming a little bit,” Sacre said. “But the Lakers knew what they wanted. They’re happy with me and I’m happy being with this organization.”It’s still a challenge considering Sacre has sat on the bench for 15 games because of D’Antoni’s preference to have a stretch forward. Sacre posted only two points on four shot attempts in five minutes against Toronto.“He has to go with the mindset to bring us energy and run the floor,” D’Antoni said. “He’s done that and done it well. But there’s a lot of people that have that role so we go back and forth at times to his detriment.”The Lakers also like Sacre’s team-first mindset, which he partly credits toward Nash.“He’s one of the hardest working guys even though he’s older than most people,” Sacre said of Nash, who turns 40 in February. “He’s always in the gym working his game, trying to improve and get better himself. I try to mimic my game after that.”Heavy roleJodie Meeks has remained in high spirits all season, and why shouldn’t he? He’s played for at least 40 minutes for the past eight games, because of long-term injuries to the Lakers’ backcourt.“It’s fun. I’m not complaining,” said Meeks, who posted 11 points in the Lakers’ win over Toronto. “I’ve been on the other side of that with not playing at all.”Meeks has managed such a role partly after reducing his sugar intake and lowering his body fat percentage from nine to six percent. He has also averaged a career-high 14.6 points on 44.6 percent shooting, with D’Antoni attributing it to improved outside shooting, drives to the basket and defense.“Sometimes last year I didn’t see the game as well,” Meeks said. “I wasn’t playing many minutes understandably since I was behind Kobe [Bryant] and he was healthy. This year, I’m getting more of a feel of things I can do.” The Lakers are, too.“He got us right through customs easily,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni joked.The Lakers like Sacre beyond travel conveniences. After being tabbed Mr Irrelevant as the 60th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Sacre has assumed a more relevant role with the Lakers, averaging 4.6 points and 3.4 rebounds through 14.2 minutes both as a reserve (18 games) and starter (eight).“I look at it as a blessing in disguise,” Sacre said of his draft standing. “It kept me hungry and kept me on my toes in getting better.”The Lakers sensed enough in Sacre’s improvement this offseason on his post moves, pick-and-roll execution and defense to sign him to a three-year extension worth $2.6 million, with the first two seasons guaranteed. TORONTO — A swarm of Canadian journalists hovered around his locker, latching onto every word he spoke.Steve Nash making a return to a country where he’s served as a living inspiration for all Canadian basketball players and the national team’s current general manager?Nope. Nash is training in Vancouver to heal the nerve issues in his back. Instead, Lakers backup center Robert Sacre took over ambassador duties.“I don’t think of it as that,” Sacre said before the Lakers’ 112-106 win Sunday over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. “But I’m very proud to say that I represent Canada.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Wayne Rooney scores incredible goal from inside his own half for DC United

first_imgRooney produced a moment of magic to put DC up 1-0 at Audi Field with his ninth MLS goal of the season. The former Manchester United and England star spotted Orlando City goalkeeper Brian Rowe off his line to score from well inside his own half.The wonderful goal put DC on track to end a five-match winless run in MLS.Take a bow, @WayneRooney! You are ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/On1oDnp8dX— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 27, 2019 Wayne Rooney scored from inside his own half with an incredible strike for DC United against Orlando City on Wednesday.last_img