Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 5, 2013 at 12:19 am Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 C.J. Fair will be an NBA small forward. He knows it. Fans know it. General managers know it.That’s why he spent this summer honing his ball-handling and passing skills. Skills he showed in flashes last season, but will need to gain consistency in to succeed at the next level.Fair debuted his sharpened talents in Syracuse’s scrimmage against Division II Holy Family (Pa.) University on Friday, and it showed in his stat line. Thirteen points. Nine rebounds. Five assists. On Tuesday, he’ll look to follow up with another strong performance in the Orange’s preseason finale against the Canadian Ryerson University in the Carrier Dome at 7 p.m.Fair said one goal this season is to be more dynamic with his playmaking,“Just play all the games from start to finish,” Fair said. “Just making plays. We weren’t really making that many plays at times (against Holy Family). We got going a little bit in the first half, a little bit in the second half. We’ve got to keep our rhythm throughout the game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFair was slow to start against the Tigers, scoring just two points in the first half. But he came alive in the second with his most impressive plays coming on assists.After an emphatic two-handed slam earlier in the stanza, Fair made an acrobatic reach-around pass to Christmas on one possession.Then he drove and dished to freshman Tyler Ennis for an open 3-pointer on the next.“C.J. is going to make a lot of plays for us, not only scoring, but creating plays for others,” Ennis said. “I think getting him comfortable dribbling the ball more this year is going to be important.”SU head coach Jim Boeheim said he sees a visible improvement in Fair’s dribbling ability. He’s more comfortable with the ball on the perimeter, and that showed against Holy Family when he helped the SU guards break presses.“I think he’s worked hard in the offseason. I think he’s gotten better,” Boeheim said. “He’s improved his playmaking, as well.”The Atlantic Coast Conference’s faster-paced tempo necessitates deeper backcourts and more capable ball handlers. The Orange’s biggest question mark is that backcourt depth. Michael Gbinije struggled in his role as backup point guard against Holy Family. Freshmen Ron Patterson and B.J. Johnson are unproven.In a league with talented all-around wings like P.J. Hairston, Dez Wells and Jabari Parker, it’s an expectation – not an additional perk – to have a small forward who can bring the ball up and create offense.For all the great things Fair did as a junior — rebounding, finishing alley-oops or knocking down corner 3s — he seldom attacked the rim off the dribble.Fair is a proven leader. He’s the team’s most decorated player and the conference’s preseason player of the year.But with a target on his back as SU’s likely leading scorer, the Orange will need him to be a more complete player this season.“I know teams are going to focus in on me,” Fair said, “but we have other guys on the team that can lead when they are showing me too much attention.” Comments
In Premier League transfer news, Manchester City have made their fifth signing of the summer20 year old German winger Leroy Sane has joined from Schalke on a 5 year deal.Sane cost the club over 40 million euro.Meanwhile, Chelsea defender Baba Rahman is returning to Germany to join Schalke on a season-long loan.The Ghana international only arrived at Stamford Bridge from Augsburg 12 months ago.Rahman provided cover for first-choice left back Cesar Azpilicueta, making 23 appearances in all competitions in the last season. The Louth men are 1-0 down going into tonight’s third qualifying round second leg at Tallaght stadium.Kick off is at 8.Former Drogheda and St Pats player Damian Lynch says it will be hard for the Lilywhites to get the result they need.