Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.
Published on December 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm Contact Matt: email@example.com | @matt_schneidman A dejected Da’Shonte Riley walked off the court of EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. The 7-foot freshman didn’t score in just five minutes of action during top-seeded Syracuse’s 63-59 loss to fifth-seeded Butler in the 2010 Sweet Sixteen.He would never play again for Syracuse. After sitting out his sophomore season with a broken foot, Riley transferred to Eastern Michigan.Now a redshirt senior, Riley returns to SU on Tuesday as the starting center and leader of the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The No. 2 Orange (12-0) hosts EMU (7-4) in the Carrier Dome at 3 p.m.“Basketball-wise, I regretted it just because Syracuse has a lot of success and tradition there,” Riley said. “It’s been a slow process here at Eastern Michigan, but I take pride in the decision that I made in trying to build something here.”Riley, a Detroit native, knew he wanted to transfer closer to home, but didn’t know exactly what school he wanted to attend. Then Eastern Michigan hired SU assistant Rob Murphy, and it became an obvious choice. It’s a decision that he may not fully agree with in hindsight, but one he’s benefited from as well.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the two years since, he’s grown into a defensive stalwart and one of the best shot-blockers in the country. He ranks 13th nationally with 3.5 blocks per game and is pulling down 5.6 rebounds per game for a team that has only lost to a non-Top 25 team once this season.“I came to Eastern Michigan for personal reasons,” Riley said. “I had a good chance to be closer to my family, build closer ties and better relationships, and spend more time with them.”Murphy, who also recruited Riley out of Detroit Country Day School, was actually in the process of helping him find another school before he was hired at EMU.Once he was brought on, Murphy called the addition of Riley a perfect fit.“Both of us being from the area, having a prior relationship and knowing he was familiar with the concepts of the zone I wanted to play,” Murphy said, “it was very beneficial for me as a head coach starting with a new program.”The NCAA granted Riley a waiver that allowed him to play his first season at Eastern Michigan. He averaged 4.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game. In his second year for the Eagles, Riley stayed near four points per game, but raised his rebounding output to more than six per game.Back in Central New York, the Orange had turned its fate around in March and rebounded from its two early exits from the NCAA Tournament during Riley’s time there. Trips to the Elite Eight and Final Four the two years after Riley’s departure left him watching from home.Instead, he was helping lead Eastern Michigan to 14-18 and 16-18 finishes. Riley said he still keeps in touch with many of his former teammates.“I talk to James Southerland a lot, Andy Rautins a bit, Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph,” Riley said. “I talk to a few guys that I played with there, and we all have pretty good relationships. We just talk about life after college. They basically coached me through my college experience.”In his three years at Eastern Michigan, Riley has been instrumental in helping Murphy implement the 2-3 zone defense. Riley has worked with all the front-line players, and Murphy emphasized how essential it was to have someone who knew the intricacies and philosophies of a zone.On an individual level, Riley sought out to improve his level of play and preparation. He gained 20 pounds of muscle, Murphy said.And leading scorer and rebounder Karrington Ward said he saw that extra work translate to the court.“He’s a great teammate,” Ward said. “He scores, rebounds, and blocks shots.”Ward pointed out that Riley, along with Murphy, will be especially helpful in preparation for the Syracuse game. They know the ins and the outs of Jim Boeheim’s system.Riley’s practiced against Baye Moussa Keita. He’s played as a visitor in the Carrier Dome. He’s suffered a 36-point defeat to the Orange.But Riley has been able to put family above all else and truly maximize his experience at Eastern Michigan.It’s a decision that he regrets to some degree, but has made the most of.“What I gained most from Syracuse was just a hard work ethic and an understanding of what it takes to be successful,” Riley said. “We work hard every day and we’re prepared to come in there and play our best.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ read more
CALMAR — Top-ranked Newman scored six runs in the third on their way to an 8-1 win at South Winneshiek on Tuesday evening in non-conference baseball. Newman is now 7-0 on the season and travel to 9th-ranked St. Ansgar in an early-season showdown of ranked Class 1A teams. MARSHALLTOWN — Clear Lake’s Ashley DeLong and Tate Storbeck won the Class 1A state co-ed golf tournament on Tuesday at the American Legion Golf Course in Marshalltown. DeLong and Storbeck won the tiebreaker over Maddy and Ethan Streicher of Edgewood-Colesburg after both pairings finished regulation with a 73. Clear Lake’s other entry of Mattie Krause and Easton DeVries finished 27th with a 90. In the 2A state co-ed tournament at Cedar Pointe in Boone, Mason City’s Thea Lunning and JJ Wickman finished fifth with a 77, two shots behind the champions Taylor Sedivec and Nathan Petrak of Johnston. The Mohawks’ other entry of Sophie Lunning and Jackson Wickman finished with a score of 102. MASON CITY – NIACC softball players Hannah Faktor and Kaci Sherwood both were selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association junior college Division II all-Midwest Region first team.Faktor, a freshman who was also a first-team all-NJCAA Region XI selection, was selected to the all-region team as a catcher. She hit .416 with 12 doubles, five home runs and 33 RBIs.Sherwood, a sophomore who was also a first-team all-NJCAA Region XI selection, was selected to the all-region team as an infielder. Sherwood hit .453 with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs.DMACC placed five players on the all-Midwest first team. Kirkwood had three on the first team and one on the second team, Iowa Central landed two on the first team and three on the second team, and Iowa Lakes had two on the first team. — other baseball last nightCharles City 5, Decorah 3Humboldt 21, Forest City 4 (5 Innings)West Fork 13, Rockford 0 (5 innings) — other softballHampton-Dumont 6, Osage 3Nashua-Plainfield 16, West Hancock 5 ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS — Minnesota Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren will take over as the commissioner of the Big Ten Conference after Jim Delaney’s retirement at the beginning of 2020. Warren will begin duties in September and work alongside Delaney for a few months. Warren has been with the Vikings since 2005 and was with the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions prior to that. He has also served as a sports agent and an attorney. Warren says he’s thrilled to become the new Big Ten commissioner.Warren says he is grateful for the opportunity to take over the Big Ten.Warren is a former college basketball player at both Penn and Grand Canyon State, and has a Master’s degree from Arizona State and a law degree from Notre Dame. CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor hit two of Cleveland’s four home runs and the Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-2. Lindor hit a solo home run in the third and broke a 1-all tie with a two-run homer in the fifth. Roberto Perez and Jake Bauers added back-to-back homers in the seventh. Shane Bieber (5-2) gave up solo homers to Marwin Gonzalez in the second and Eddie Rosario in the sixth. He allowed two runs and struck out seven in seven-plus innings. MANLY — Central Springs scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the first and held off Clear Lake for a 3-2, six-inning lightning-shortened win in high school softball last night, as you heard on AM-1490 & 96.7-FM KRIB. Abby Pate had two hits and two runs batted in for the Panthers. Central Springs is 7-4 overall and will host Garner-Hayfield-Ventura tonight. Clear Lake drops to 2-2 on the season and will travel to Algona tonight in North Central Conference play. The baseball matchup between the two schools was halted in the top of the 5th with Clear Lake leading 14-2, but it is not an official game under IHSAA rules since five innings must have been completed. read more