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Nikola Vucevic to enter NBA draft

first_imgIn the final home games of the season, the USC student section would chant “one more year,” imploring junior forward Nikola Vucevic to return for his senior season.In a press conference at the Galen Center Friday afternoon, Vucevic announced that he would, instead, declare for the NBA draft, and sign with an agent, Rade Filipovich of BDA Sports Management, meaning that he is forfeiting the rest of his collegiate eligibility.“It was a tough decision,” Vucevic said. “I thought that if I came back we could have done a lot of good stuff, but at the same time, I wanted to take the next step in my life.”Had Vucevic not signed with an agent, he would have had until May 8 to withdraw his name and return to college for his senior season.“I feel like if you do something, you have to go into it 100 percent,” Vucevic said. “It is a lot easier when you have somebody who can take care of the scheduling part.”Vucevic said that he plans to continue taking classes this semester while preparing for the NBA draft, and to take summer school so that he can eventually graduate.“I am not thinking about where I am going to be drafted,” Vucevic said. “I just want to do my best at the workouts and impress people.”This past season, the 6-foot-10 Vucevic averaged 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, and was named to the All-Pac-10 First-Team. He had a double-double in his final eight regular season Pac-10 games.Vucevic was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Trojans, who lost to Virginia Commonwealth in the first round of the NCAA tournament.“Nikola’s great advantage is that he is going to be able to guard [NBA power forwards and centers], which very few people can do,” said USC coach Kevin O’Neill. “He is going to have to become an NBA three-point shooter. The lines on an NBA court are considerably longer, and it is a huge adjustment.”With forward Alex Stepheson set to graduate, USC will have an inexperienced frontcourt next season. The Trojans’ post rotation will include transfers James Blasczyk, DeWayne Dedmon and Aaron Fuller, as well as Curtis Washington, who played sparingly as a freshman.“Curtis is a lot like me when I was a freshman,” Vucevic said. “He is a young guy who works really hard everyday. He is one of the guys who works the hardest on the team.”O’Neill said that he plans to recruit one or maybe two new players.“When you lose a guy like [Vucevic], obviously it is going to be a blow to you,” O’Neill said. “It is our job with the guys coming in, and whoever else we end up signing in the late period, to make sure that we have a team that can be competitive in the Pac-10 and get into the postseason.”last_img read more

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Syracuse field hockey opponent preview: What to know about Harvard

first_imgDespite a surprising first-round exit from the ACC tournament with a 4-3 overtime loss to Wake Forest, Syracuse earned the No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. Third-seeded Syracuse hosts 16th-seeded Harvard this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at J.S Coyne stadium.All-Time series: This is the first ever meeting between the two programs.Common opponents this season: Both Syracuse and Harvard played four common opponents during the regular season, including Boston University, Cornell, Pennsylvania, and Boston College. The Orange went undefeated against the four teams, outscoring its opponents 14-2. Meanwhile, the Crimson managed a 3-1 record against common opponents, outscoring them, 10-6.The Harvard report: Harvard won the Ivy league boasting an undefeated 7-0 record in conference play. The Crimson ranked 15th in the nation entering the tournament.Harvard relies on its defense to keep opponents at bay. The Crimson rank 12th in the NCAA with a 1.44 goals against average.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Harvard attack comes from the midfield, where all three of its top point-scorers play. Senior Marissa Balleza leads the way for the Crimson with 13 goals and three assists on the season. She is followed by Freshman Bente Van Vlijmen, who has 8 goals in her first year with Harvard, and Ellie Cookson, who hasn’t scored a goal but has assisted on 10 this season.The Harvard offense, however, has struggled this season as it ranks 44th in the NCAA in goals per game averaging just over two per game.How Syracuse beats Harvard: The Orange is the more balanced team heading into the first round of the tournament. If Syracuse reaches its average number of goals, more than three per game, it will likely outscore a struggling Harvard offense. As the heavy favorites, it will take a standard performance from the Orange to outlast the Crimson this Saturday.Stat to Know: 6-0 — Syracuse is undefeated at J.S Coyne stadium this season. Harvard has lost three games on the road.Player to Watch: Bente Van Vlijmen, No. 10, Midfielder.The Ivy league rookie of the year has tallied four goals in Harvard’s last two games. If Harvard hopes to keep up with Syracuse’s potent offense, the Crimson will need an outstanding performance from the freshman midfielder. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 11, 2016 at 12:42 am Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img read more

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