In a winter with what has felt like spring weather, sophomore guard Michael Flowers is blossoming into one of the top options coming off the bench for head coach Bo Ryan’s squad.”Right now he might be in the top-10 defensive players in the league,” Ryan said. “And offensively, his decision-making, his shot selection, and he’s feeling more confident now with his shot, that’s definitely improved too.”The goal-oriented Flowers says that while he may be a good defender now, he can always improve until he’s the best.”That is definitely a personal goal of mine,” Flowers said. “And it’s not a bad personal goal to have because if I do good that means that the team is doing good, but you know I just want to go out there and every time I step out on the court I want to produce for the team and I just want to make the team as successful as I possibly can.”Growing up dribbling a basketball around his house in Madison, the generally unselfish Flowers said playing in front of hometown fans weighed heavily on his decision to attend the University of Wisconsin — Madison and the chance to play for Ryan.”It’s the greatest thing in the world,” Flowers said. “I’m from around here and support and a lot of friendly faces and all, I mean if you’re comfortable, you’re going to have the potential to succeed.”Succeed he has, compiling 5.7 points per game, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists all while playing 24 minutes per contest. The Madison La Follette High graduate has appeared in all 20 games, and he is likely to play in tonight’s matchup against Illinois despite suffering a knee injury late in Saturday’s game against Michigan. “[Flowers] brings an intense competitive nature,” said Ryan. “Everyday at practice, diving for balls, taking charges, he just plays hard on every possession. And he does the same in the games — his intensity is always at a high level, he’s the student of the game, he’s gotten better in his decision making, in his reads, so it’s fun coaching guys who continually show that they have a passion for the game and that they want to get better and that’s Mike.”Even with all the positive impressions Flowers has made on his coaches with the intensity and mental toughness he brings to the court every night, he is hungry for more.”You know I’m never satisfied with my play,” Flowers said. “So you know, to crack the starting lineup is an individual goal that I’m working towards and it’s the best compliment that I can receive from the coaches and so I’m just trying to get the confidence up and have them trust me to be one of the five starters.”With more playing time have come higher expectations. Like the up-and-down game of basketball, the grind and pressure on Flowers can sometimes be too much to bear, so like many before him, Coach Ryan has helped him iron out the rough spots.”Bo Ryan has taught me to never have a bad day,” Flowers said. “As simple as that sounds, but it’s really hard to never have a bad day, I mean you face a lot of adversity out there on and off the court, you just have to handle it, and just the way you handle yourself and carry yourself about is really important. Plus, basketball is a big part of my life — I’m never going to get away from that.”When he’s not on the court, Flowers likes to, always with a basketball in hand, spend time with his family, listen to music, hang out and watch movies all at the same time. His favorite genre of movies is comedy.”If it’s funny, it’s funny no matter when it was made,” Flowers said. “I like, you know, ‘Old School.’ I like ‘Wedding Crashers,’ ‘Dodgeball,’ Ben Stiller movies, Vince Vaughn movies, Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, all those great comedians, I like them all.”Being a man of a thousand facial expressions himself, Flowers said there’s only one comedian that can portray what he represents to his friends and family.”I’d have to go with Martin Lawrence,” Flowers said. “He’s the more physical funny comedians, makes faces, just his gestures is really hilarious.”Despite all the pressure of being a Division-I basketball player, the fun-loving Flowers loves the game and is always readying himself to ignite his team to victory.
Courtesy of SU AthleticsChris Fox turned Syracuse from afterthought to champion as the head of the cross country program, and even Jim Boeheim knows how good of a coach he is. “Boeheim would always say to me,” former director of athletics Daryl Gross said. “‘Chris Fox is the best coach in the department.’”When athletes look to transfer, schools have all the powerIllustration by Lucy Naland | Presentation DirectorWhen college athletes want to transfer to another school, their own college can hold them back, “blocking” their transfer to specific schools. This happened to SU softball player Baylee Douglas when she tried to transfer from her previous college, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.John Bonamego had his dream job, not even cancer could slow him down Facebook Twitter Google+ Part of The Daily Orange’s coverage of Syracuse Athletics — and more — this fall is the numerous features written by our staff. As the fall semester comes to a close, we compiled a list of our 10 best-written stories from the past five months. In this list are stories about the photo of a cheerleader that become the symbol of the Pan Am 103 bombing, the tale of former football head coach Scott Shafer’s return to the Carrier Dome and how Gerry McNamara is still beloved in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.Read the whole list below.THE WHOLE PICTURE: How a cheerleader became the face of Syracuse University on the night of the Pan Am Flight 103 attack.Courtesy of Lawrence MasonIn the hours after Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988, Syracuse played a home basketball game. At the game, cheerleader Catherine Crossland, now Catherine Hauschild, turned and embraced fellow cheerleader Amy Jo Eveleigh as then-SU professor Lawrence Mason snapped the above photo which would soon become a vivid memory of the tragedy.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRUNNING IN PLACE: Eric Dungey has always said he will run less. Then he runs anyway.Jessica Sheldon | Staff PhotographerIn high school, Eric Dungey said he’d run less. Early in his college career, Eric Dungey said he’d run less. Before his junior campaign, Dungey said he’d run less. He didn’t.BEHIND THE NUMBER: The death Gabrielle Cooper’s father fueled her passion for basketball, which led her to become a star at Syracuse.Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerGabrielle Cooper’s father died in 2011, spurring her passion for basketball and setting her mind on wearing No. 11 to honor her late father. As the only returning starter for a Syracuse team two-years removed from a national championship run, Cooper will play a leading role for the Orange.Chris Fox molded Syracuse cross country from one of the worst college programs into a national powerhouse Courtesy of Paulette BonamegoJohn Bonamego had always wanted to be Central Michigan’s head football coach, but when he finally got the job he got life changing news: He had cancer. Never missing a practice or meeting, Bonamego beat cancer and was on the sideline as scheduled for the Chippewas and has been there ever since.Isis Young embraces her name’s roots over negative associationsJosh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerIsis Young is named after an Egyptian goddess, but recently, her first name has become associated with terrorism. Still, Young refuses to let the negative connotations of her name drag her down, instead choosing to embrace the roots of her name.Syracuse pulls off monumental upset of No. 2 Clemson, 27-24Todd Michalek | Staff PhotographerOn Oct. 13, a Friday night, then-No. 2 Clemson came to the Carrier Dome for a matchup with Syracuse. What ensued was one of the biggest wins in Syracuse’s history. The game stayed tight, but a few key plays — a late Cole Murphy field goal, a botched fake punt by the Tigers, a critical chain-moving run by Eric Dungey — swayed the game in SU’s favor.15 years after arriving at Syracuse, Gerry McNamara still beloved in hometownTodd Michalek | Staff PhotographerThere is little in Gerry McNamara’s childhood home to indicate he is one of Scranton, Pennsylvania’s, biggest stars. Elsewhere around town, like at Stirna’s Restaurant, McNamara is still idolized as a hometown hero.Former Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer to return to Carrier Dome as MTSU’s defensive coordinatorDaily Orange File PhotoSyracuse fired Scott Shafer as head football coach in late 2015 after SU knocked off Boston College in Shafer’s final game at SU. Two years later, Shafer returned to the Carrier Dome as Middle Tennessee State’s defensive coordinator helping guide MTSU to an upset of the Orange. Comments Published on December 13, 2017 at 10:36 pm