Thursday, April 3, 2003

It's kids play for Orangemen

Syracuse starts 2 freshmen, 3 sophomores

The Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - With two freshmen and two sophomores in the starting lineup, Syracuse has been learning on the fly. It hasn't slowed them down one bit.

"I think we just have to stop talking about freshmen and sophomores and all that," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We just have to realize the game has changed. Kids are more prepared when they come to college. Some freshmen are just more ready to play."

Exhibit A: Carmelo Anthony, who averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds a game this season.

Guards Gerry McNamara and Billy Edelin are two other freshmen who helped Syracuse (28-5) reach the Final Four, where it will face Texas on Saturday night.

"Coach has been good at letting us get in the swing of things," said McNamara, averaging 13 points and 4.5 assists. "He hasn't changed the way we play. I think that's why we're successful, especially with Carmelo, and letting him do what he does."

The Orangemen's run through the tournament included wins over two other Big 12 teams, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. In the East Regional final victory over the Sooners, Syracuse got past a team anchored by a senior class that included three standout guards: Big 12 Player of the Year Hollis Price, Quannas White and Ebi Ere.

"Freshmen, sophomores are going to make mistakes," Boeheim said. "But Oklahoma State had a lot of seniors, and they made 22 turnovers."

Syracuse has one senior scholarship player, 6-foot-6 guard Kueth Duany. He averages 11.2 points and has started every game.

Pirates 7, Reds 4
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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (Final Four Schedule)
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Wednesday's High School Results
Today's High School Schedule