Posts tagged "Pat Boylan"

Closing Ceremony at Tower Bridge

By Pat Boylan, Michael Nauman and James Jeffrey  |  BSU at the Games

At a pub near Tower Bridge in London, Olympic fans share their British pride.

Syracuse basketball coach doesn’t have an off-season this year

By Pat Boylan and Brandon Pope  |  BSU at the Games

Legendary Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim’s off-season hasn’t been typical. In fact, it hasn’t even been an off-season.

Instead of recruiting and “resting” for the year ahead, Boeheim is hard at work as an assistant coach for USA Basketball at the London Olympic Games.

Late last week we got the chance to go to a Team USA basketball practice and meet up with Boeheim prior to Monday’s final pool play game against Argentina. After a record-breaking, 83-point win over Nigeria, the U.S. struggled vs. heavy-underdog Lithuania, winning just 99-94.

“Sometimes we forget to give credit to the teams we play,” Boeheim said. “They played well. We missed some shots, missed some free throws and didn’t play the kind of defense we have been playing.”

Boehim was refreshingly honest, or at least it seemed. We interviewed nearly all of Team USA – and as expected – answers to a college program weren’t the most in depth. I don’t mean to say they shrugged us off. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised with the responses from most players, and the fact that they took the time.

But Boeheim was different. He gave long, insightful answers. You could tell he’s done this before and knows what the reporters want.

As with any coach, you’re not happy when your team underperforms. There’s no doubt the U.S. did that against Lithuania. But according to Boehim, the close victory could be a blessing in disguise.

“You don’t want to have those games, but you’re going to be in them so you have to know how to win them.”

There’s little doubt Team USA has the best talent of any country. I’ve always had a ton of respect for Coach K and Boeheim. But after just five minutes with the Syracuse coach, I have no doubt in my mind the U.S. has the best coaching staff as well.

Coming off their first test against Lithuania, the USA men’s basketball players were confident heading into their Group A match against Argentina. That confidence paid off, with the Americans topping Manu’s Argentianian squad 126-97.

Team USA knew what they had to do early in order to capitalize. Their bench played a big role in the game.

“We look forward to trying to have an impact in every game,” Andre Iguodola said, a key non-starter for the U.S. “We try to increase the tempo and our energy is always important for us.”

Now the U.S. just needs a similar performance as they head into the semifinals and a rematch with Argentina.

Pat Boylan is a senior telecommunications major and Brandon Pope is a junior telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Pat, Brandon and the BSU team at@patboylanbsu@bpopeizdope@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Daily Video: USA Basketball All-Access

BSU at the Games provides this “behind-the-scenes” look from a recent USA Men’s Basketball Team practice in London. Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Coach K and more visit with our crew.

USA Basketball All-Access

Daily Video: Monday’s Diving Report

Pat Boylan reports from the Olympic Aquatics Center after today’s 10m platform synchronized diving finals, featuring Indiana’s David Boudia.

Monday’s diving finals

Daily Video: Brendan Hansen’s lost medal

The finals of the men’s 100-meter breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympic Games are set for tonight, featuring USA Swimming’s Brendan Hansen. What did Hansen do when our Pat Boylan asked him about his lost medal in 2008? Watch this.

Brendan Hansen’s lost medal

10

Watching the Ceremony from the Midlands

By Pat Boylan and Michael Nauman  |  BSU at the Games

As the world gathered to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, all of the attention was understandably on London. A two-and-a-half-hour drive northwest, in Worcester, England, the excitement wasn’t quite like the host city, but it still had Olympic pep in its step.

Bushwacker Pub general manager Mark Humpage said the European soccer tournament just a month ago helped him judge expected attendance.

“We have had about double the attendance today for the Opening Ceremony. I think we will also have large crowds for track and soccer events,” Humpage said.

The crowded pub was focused on the television as the Ceremony played. Even the bartenders stopped to look at the big-screen as they poured customers’ drinks. And as the Queen made her appearance the city came to a halt. Unlike in the U.S., where President Obama may receive mixed reviews, the Queen had nothing but respect and cheers.

“The Opening Ceremony did a good job of representing our culture. They incorporated a great mix of history, music and the present,” Matt Penn of Worcester said.

Penn also believed the local flavor of the Olympic Games sparked his interest.

“Normally I pay very little attention to the Olympics, but I’ll definitely be watching.  I think the Opening Ceremony has done England proud.”

Despite a nearly unanimously positive reception, there was one disappointment expressed by many but summarized best by Penn.

“I can’t believe that we haven’t heard Adele. We’ve seen Mr. Bean, but not Adele.”

Pat Boylan is a senior telecommunications major and Michael Nauman is a junior sport administration major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Michael, Pat and the BSU team at@patboylanbsu@itsmichaelbrah@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Local shooter prepares for big shot

By Pat Boylan  |  BSU at the Games

Since as long as Danville, Indiana’s own Sarah Beard can remember, shooting has been a way of life.

Olympic shooter hopeful Sarah Beard. Photo courtesy: TCU Athletics

Her father was an Olympic shooter for the United States, and Beard picked up right where her dad left off.

“My dad has been my coach from the beginning, but he never pushed me to start shooting.” Beard said. “I practically forced him to take me to my first match because he didn’t want me to feel that pressure, and there’s no way I would be where I am without that freedom. But my dad made the connection for me between seeing these amazing athletes on TV and realizing that I could actually become one.”

Beard currently shoots for Texas Christian University, which won the National Championship this past year in large part due to Beard’s efforts in the smallbore and air rifle. Smallbore uses pellets and compressed air while air rifle uses live ammunition and is outdoors, and both require pinpoint accuracy.

“(When indoors), I aim at something the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Outdoors, you aim at something the size of the eraser at the end of a pencil, and other variables such as wind need to be factored in,” Beard said.

Qualifications for this year’s Olympic Games are underway. Beard is having her tryouts June 6 through 8.

“Ever since I was a kid, I remember being obsessed with the Olympics,” Beard said. “Every sport was so complex and unique, and it amazed me that the athletes could reach a level of mind and body control that was so close to perfection.”

Pat Boylan is a junior telecommunications major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Pat and the BSU team at @patboylanbsu@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Media Summit yields more than 100 interviews

During the 2012 U.S. Olympic Media Summit, media members were split up into print and broadcast groups, as was our class.  I went to the broadcast side, where we would get Olympic athletes of all different kinds ushered in and out of our room over the three days. Unlike our partners on the print side, we were much more jammed for time. As opposed to bringing all of the writers to the athlete, they had to bring the athlete to the broadcasters.  This meant we had a time limit—six minutes—from when they walked in to when they walked out. This provided an incredible challenge. It usually took about a minute to get the athlete all wired up and get the cameras focused. All of a sudden we were down to five minutes.We shared the room with the Armed Forces Network and WebMD.  The AFN crew needed a personal message from the athlete to the troops and then for the athlete to do a station ID. This took about two minutes,  meaning we and the WebMD folks had a whopping three minutes, whether it was with a hopeful for the final spot on the gymnastics team or U.S. Soccer star Alex Morgan.This meant our questions had to be from the cream of the crop, and it was tough to get them to give us information. This also meant we had to be prepared.  We couldn’t simply ask questions to gather information about an athlete’s background. We had to know the background or else we would run out of time before we even had a chance for a quality question.On average we would get two questions from the athlete. Sometimes we lucked out and got three, other times only one, and occasionally if running late, we wouldn’t get a question at all.  There were about 50 broadcast media, and as you can imagine, “BSU at the Games” wasn’t a top priority (although the fact that we were a priority when ESPN, NBC and Sports Illustrated were within shouting distance was more than humbling).

A common question we would ask is, what does wearing the red, white and blue and representing your country mean to you?  It was incredible hearing all the different answers.  Responses ranged from “it’s pretty cool” and “it’s an honor” to having the athlete nearly in tears.

Often we were able to quickly research the athlete when they walked in the room and find an interesting angle for our story.

For example, Wallace Spearmon is the U.S.’s top runner in the 200 and has beaten Usain Bolt. But what we were able to dig up was that in 2008 he won a bronze medal only to moments later have it taken away due to being disqualified for stepping out of his lane.  As you can imagine, even four years later, he still is emotional about it.

We also found stories of a swimmer who had heart surgery and was forced to keep a defibrillator on site whenever she swam because doctors said her heart could give out at any time.

We heard stories of athletes growing up in poverty to make it, stories of athletes who were caught in drug scandals and have turned their lives around, stories of Paralympic athletes who lost limbs in the military and still compete at the highest levels of their sports.

It was an incredible process over the three days that saw us interview more than 100 athletes. Some personal highlights, of course, were the big names like Nastia Luikin, Maya Moore, Wallace Spearmon and, my personal favorite, Alex Morgan (guys reading won’t be asking follow-up questions as to why she was my favorite interview).

Coming to Dallas I was a bit apprehensive that I didn’t have enough material for London. Now we have so much material and so many story possibilities that we’re going to have to cut out some very good stories.

Be on the lookout for these interviews on the website.

Pat Boylan  |  Sports Reporter

@patboylanbsu

Rising women’s basketball star credits Indy legend

By Pat Boylan | BSU at the Games

When it comes to women’s basketball, you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger name than Maya Moore.  Moore was the 2009 John Wooden award winner for best women’s college basketball player and took two national championships at Connecticut.

Moore credits a lot of her individual success to Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings.

“Tamika has been a role model of mine growing up,” Moore said.

Catchings will take part in her third Olympic Games this July playing for USA Basketball.  She’s been a face for WNBA for a decade and has been in six WNBA all-star games.

It will be the first Olympic Games, on the other hand, for Maya Moore, who is excited to work with Catchings and the veterans she grew up watching.

“Tamika is a tremendous leader and has helped me out in so many ways on and off the court. She’s really taken me under her wing,” Moore said. “Growing up a lot of people compared my game to Tamika’s, which to me was the ultimate compliment.”

Catchings’ veteran leadership will be key to the United States’ success in London this year. Catchings is the oldest player on this year’s team and is tied for the most Olympic experience.

As Catchings molds Moore and the rest of the team for future generations, they’ll also be looking for a gold medal this year, which would be five in a row for the Americans.

Women’s basketball begins its competition in London on July 28.

Pat Boylan is a junior telecommunications major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Pat and the BSU team at @patboylanbsu@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.