Facebook Twitter Google+ As Syracuse started its first-half run to pull away from Colgate on Monday, it did so with reserve guard Ron Patterson providing a spark on the court.Seated on the bench alongside Jim Boeheim were freshmen starters Kaleb Joseph and Chris McCullough, who watched as SU’s depth flourished in the blowout win.It was a snippet of the opportunities nonconference play can present the Orange’s bench players, and the results the backups can deliver. Continuing with Syracuse’s (7-4) 2 p.m. matchup with Long Beach State (5-8) on Sunday, SU figures to be in position to give its depth — namely Patterson, forward B.J. Johnson and center Chinonso Obokoh — more experience as the team readies itself for Atlantic Coast Conference play.The team as a whole is still rounding into form, and its reserves are no different.“I think we’ve still got a long way to go to get better,” Boeheim said after defeating Colgate. “That’s just what it is. We’ve got guys trying to figure out what they’re doing out there and we haven’t had that in six years.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlthough the Orange’s existing rotation isn’t thinner in numbers than it’s been in recent years, it’s thinner in experience.Forward Tyler Roberson, who started SU’s first four games, was the only one of the Orange’s three subs against No. 7 Villanova last Saturday to log more than seven minutes on the floor. Boeheim didn’t turn to Johnson or Obokoh until foul trouble forced him to. He didn’t turn to Patterson at all, even as three of the Orange’s starters fouled out in overtime.But as Syracuse reverted to lower-level nonconference play and cruised to a 30-point cushion by halftime over the Raiders on Monday, the head coach had the luxury of giving them all first-half minutes without much risk.Guard Trevor Cooney and forwards Michael Gbinije and Rakeem Christmas did the heavy lifting, but the bench still contributed.While McCullough and Joseph combined for four points by game’s end, Patterson shot 5-of-9, including a trio of 3s, for 13 points to go with four assists and a pair of steals. Johnson scored eight points on 3-of-6 shooting while grabbing six rebounds and Obokoh pulled down three boards and dished out an assist.“It gives guys confidence to be able to come in the game, hit shots,” Joseph said. “As long as they keep doing that when they get the opportunities, it’s only going to help them.”Still, Boeheim can be as bluntly critical of his reserves as he is of his starters.When asked about Johnson’s first career start on Nov. 25 against Loyola (Maryland), Boeheim laughed and said “I don’t know” three times. When asked on Monday if Roberson is starting to figure things out, Boeheim said he thinks Roberson knows he’s in Syracuse.And when asked about Patterson’s breakout showing against the Raiders, the head coach brushed aside any optimism by pointing to the past, during which the guard has developed an inconsistent track record.Now ACC competition is a week away, and the next two games are Syracuse’s last chances to get its depth prepared for it.“Everybody’s important,” Gbinije said. “It may not reflect that in the minutes or the stat sheet, but every game’s going to be different and we may need people to step up.” Comments Published on December 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb
How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler will start for the Dodgers and will have Clayton Kershaw available in the bullpen, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. There is no other option for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers but to go all in for Game 7 of the NLCS at Miller Park.Scouting report | Updates: In-game box score | Pitching matchup |The Brewers started right-handed pitcher Jhoulys Chacin, but brought in hard-throwing left-hander Josh Hader to begin the third inning.Christian Yelich hit a solo homer in the first inning for Milwaukee, while the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger responded with a two-run homer in the second. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Related Articles Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Follow along for live updates of Game 7 in the National League Championship Series between the Dodgers and the Brewers. Our reporters are covering the game at Miller Park when gates open until the final postgame interview.Trouble viewing on a mobile device? See full stream.