Comments Published on December 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 After eleven games, the routine has become familiar. Rakeem Christmas, the highly touted freshman, starts the game at power forward for Syracuse only to be replaced within the first five minutes.How much playing time he receives from that point on ranges from little to very little, as head coach Jim Boeheim usually opts for C.J. Fair and James Southerland instead.But on Tuesday, Christmas stormed out of the gates by scoring the first seven points for SU. It didn’t matter. Just like he had so many times before, Christmas went to the bench after 5:17.‘I don’t know why he didn’t get back in,’ guard Brandon Triche said. ‘I would have been kind of mad if I was him and scored the first seven and didn’t get back in. But he was so active, it’s something that we need out of him. If he is able do that, I think we’re unbeatable.’High praise for Christmas, but warranted on the heels of his best game of the season. After his deluge in the opening minutes, Boeheim rewarded the freshman with extended minutes to start the second half. The result was a career-high 10-point, five-rebound, two-block performance that aided Syracuse in an 80-61 win over Bucknell on Tuesday, as Christmas played 14 spirited minutes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLess than four minutes into the game, Christmas held a 7-4 lead over the entire Bucknell team. The outpouring was anything but expected from the player that came into the game averaging just 3.3 points per contest, yet it showcased some of his talents that will continue to blossom as the season progresses.After aggressively pursuing a rebound, Christmas was fouled and opened the scoring for Syracuse by hitting one of two free throws. Kris Joseph found him posting up down low on SU’s next possession, and Christmas nimbly tipped the ball to himself before finishing the play with a dunk.‘Rakeem got off to a great start, and I thought he was very good, very productive,’ Boeheim said. ‘He’s learning the game. But I thought tonight he did some really good things.’Two possessions later, he created a bit of offense for himself with an awkward-looking, yet effective turnaround jumper in the lane. And he finished the spurt with a putback off a missed jumper by Joseph.But at the 14:43 mark, Christmas got the hook. And there he remained as usual until the start of the second half.‘He’s basically he’s too nice, and he’s got to get more physical on the basketball court,’ Boeheim said. ‘He’s got to get stronger, and he’s got to be a warrior down in there. And right now he’s a nice kid. He’s got to be able to go on the court and be a warrior. He isn’t right now.’Undeterred by his time on the bench, though, Christmas opened the second half with glimpses of the toughness and inside presence Boeheim might be looking for going forward.Just 2:45 into the second half, Bucknell forward Mike Muscala drove baseline on the right side and rose up for a dunk. Christmas, who was playing on the opposite side of SU’s 2-3 zone defense, glided over and pinned the ball against the backboard to deny the 6-foot-11 Muscala.Moments later, Brian Fitzpatrick’s layup attempt was swatted away viciously by Christmas who rotated over after Fab Melo bit on a pump fake along the left baseline.‘I usually don’t get as many minutes, so I was just trying to take advantage of what I could do,’ Christmas said. ‘I didn’t think I was going to get that high to block that shot, but I obviously did. And it got me really hyped up.’Christmas played the first 9:01 of the second half without respite, and he capped off that extended run with another strong post move. He received a high-low pass from Baye Keita on the right block for a short turnaround jumper to extend the SU lead to 19 at 55-36.It was a breakout performance that caught the attention of every one of Christmas’ teammates, in addition to Boeheim.‘That’s how we need him to play, getting on the offensive glass and making aggressive moves to the basket,’ Joseph said. ‘ … Rak just showed a little bit of what he can do. He hasn’t even scratched the surface of his potential yet.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+
Stabbed several timesHours after the cries had died down, it was discovered that fashion designer, Dexter ‘3D’ Pottinger was stabbed several times, and became one of Jamaica’s latest murder victims.Pottinger, was a well-respected make-up artiste and fashion designer whose creations were worn by some of the country’s leading models and fashionistas. His tragic death has hit some folks hard. Despite cries of ‘Murder!’ and ‘Help!’ in the wee hours of Thursday morning, residents of Yarisco place, an upper middle-class Jamaican community in Kingston, did nothing.Not one of the residents thought it wise to call the police to assist a neighbor who was clearly in distress. Regular hue and cry curiously absentHowever this time the regular hue and cry which accompanies the murder of gays was curiously absent.Early indications are that Pottinger was killed by a member of the gay community, even as police report their probe into the macabre murder is in its infancy.The fact that no one thought it fit to find out what was befalling their screaming neighbor hit home hard among those who loved and cherished Pottinger.Social media was abuzz with disparaging remarks, especially against a female neighbor who told reporters she did in fact hear the screams but did not know what was taking place so decided not to interfere.More than 1,000 murders have been recorded on police blotters in the island since the start of the year. Blood everywhereAs news of his death spread, scores of persons gathered behind the yellow crime scene tape at his home. According to the police, there was blood everywhere.Pottinger was openly gay and was a member of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) a gay advocacy group that has long branded Jamaica as a homophobic society that attacks and kills gays because of their lifestyle.
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