Blog Entry

No Onuaku. No Problem.

Posted on: March 21, 2010 3:37 pm

Syracuse 87, Gonzaga 65

Gonzaga was trying to become the second West Coast Conference team to upset a Big East opponent in two days.  Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, that didn't happen.  And it wasn't even close.  Syracuse completely dominated the entire game at both ends of the floor.  Like fellow one seed Kentucky, the Orange are peeking at the right time as they work their way towards the championship game.


All of the talk coming into this game was how Syracuse would fare without its big man Arinze Onuaku.  Without the senior center, 'Cuse uses a six man rotation with a big hole down low.  Syracuse's lack of depth and a post presence without Onuaku was exposed in the second half of their loss to Georgetown, but not today.  No Onuaku?  No problem.

Wes Johnson is a stud

Johnson is back to playing like the superstar he was in the beginning of the season.  He scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds against the Bulldogs.    When he plays like he did today, Syracuse is nearly impossible to defeat.

Orange Firing On All Cylinders

Wes Johnson's 31 points was a game high but he wasn't the only one lighting it up on Gonzaga's defense.  Andy Rautins went 5-9 from deep and scored 24 points, while freshman Brandon Triche scored 13 to spark the Orange.  On the opposite end, Syracuse's treacherous zone defense held Matt Bouldin to 8 points and forced Gonzaga into shooting three pointers.  The 'Zags never really found a rhythm and shot a dismal 3-21 from the behind the arc.

Leo Rautins is always on TV

That's all.


I really thought we could see an upset in this one.  Boy, was I wrong.  The Bulldogs return home to the west coast where they'll be unheard of until next March when we all question how far they are capable of going in the 2011 NCAA tournament.  See you then, Zags.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Gonzaga, Syracuse

Since: Mar 15, 2010
Posted on: March 22, 2010 3:22 pm

No Onuaku. No Problem.

The Zags didn't hit any of their open 3s, which allowed SU to pack in the zone & help out Riley w/ Sacre.  If they make a few, the game may have been different.  I agree Riley is much more athletic than A.O. and should be a solid player in the years to come.  March on, Orange!

Since: May 10, 2007
Posted on: March 22, 2010 7:02 am

No Onuaku. No Problem.

Spot on.
I believe the turning point was actually when 7 foot freshman Riley came in after Jackson picked up his quick 3rd foul.  Personally, although he didn't do much offensively, he's taller and more athletic than Jackson which played to a slight Syracuse advantage on Defense. The zone became much more active to help not expose young Riley and there weren't as many looks inside for Sacre because of it.  He just needed to not be a liability on Defense.  The Orange have enough talented scorers that they didn't need him to even take a shot.
Although that over the shoulder no look pass wasn't too shabby.


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