Posted on: November 16, 2008 9:52 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2008 4:57 pm
First, it was LeMoyne. Second, it was the first game of the season, so I am sure Beoheim went in with the same game plan he would with a "real" opponent. This team still cannot make free throws, and they force, but also allow, a lot of turnovers. Expect this team to score over 75 a lot again. They spread the ball around, because everyone on the court is a threat to score. Boeheim went to a "three guard" - or at least I call it a three guard lineup - with Mookie, and Harris on the floor with Rautins, Devendorf, and/or Flynn. I also saw a lot of brief man-to-man mixed into the zone from time to time. Overall, good start.
Johnny Flynn - He's as good as expected thus far this season, and he went to the hoop more than I thought he would. I thought he would act more as a facilitator, and pass first. Flynn's still pass first, but is nice to know he will still take the ball to the basket, and put it in the air on occasion, he could score 20 + a night if he wished.
Arinze Onuaku - Ok, so it appears I jumped the gun a little bit when I said he would average 16 a game earlier today (four, or five players will average right around 12, or 13 points, each taking over at different times throughout the year. Onuaku was pretty silent in this game, but scoring in double digits. He will become more important when Syracuse plays bigger teams.
Rick Jackson - He is defense, and rebounding only. He is not a viable scoring threat. So, Jeremy McNeal.
Andy Rautins - One of the best complete players on this team. No longer can you call Rautins a one-dimensional player. He can pass - can someone say nine assists? - plays good defense, causes turnovers, plays with spirit, and is still a good shooter.
Eric Devendorf - Should not be starting. Rautins deserves to be the starter, he has improved in all facets of the game. Devendorf still shoots too much, and is horrid with the ball in his hands. He traveled three times, taking a step before he dribbled, at some point you have to figure it out. He also does not play with the same passion as Rautins. He is, however, still good at getting to the basket, but settles for the jump shot too much.
Kristof Ongenaut - I like him. He plays harder (works harder) than anyone else on the court, and just has a knack for rebounds. He also creates turnovers, and made most of his shots in the shoot around. But, Boeheim played him very little, despite starting him both halves. He certainly deserves more minutes.
Paul Harris - Made his jump shots, 'nough said.
Kris Joseph - The better of the two frosh this game. Joseph was one of the first players off the bench. Joseph plays with some energy, and can rebound, and pass well. He has some range in his game, but does not make that shot consistently, yet, he likes to keep it close to the rim.
Mookie Jones - He is not afraid to pull the trigger. He made all of his outside shots during shoot around, but missed most in-game. Plays with a lot of intensity, and is extremely athletic.
Posted on: November 16, 2008 2:40 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2008 2:43 pm
...Not to be confused with a Big East preview, or any other kind of preview this is strictly a Syracuse Orange[men] preview. Sorry, the Big East preview will come before Big East games in December.
Syracuse Basketball Preview
In a few hours the Syracuse Orange[men] will be tipping off their season, by taking on LeMoyne; which means in a couple of hours I will have to leave to grab a good parking spot. But, before I do, here is the Syracuse Basketball seasonal preview… winners are in bold.
LeMoyne at Syracuse
Richmond at Syracuse
Oakland at Syracuse
Florida vs. Syracuse in Kansas?
I believe this game is in Kansas the winner of this game would go on to play the winner of Kansas vs. Washington, which I believe will be Kansas, in Kansas
Syracuse vs. Kansas in Kansas?
Yes, Syracuse will lose their first game against Kansas. Although losing most of their key players from the National Championship team, I have to favor Kansas in what will be a virtual home game. I will say that I think this is a game Syracuse can win, but not this early in the season. If Washington ends up here, or if Syracuse loses to Florida, and plays Washington I think the ‘Cuse win.
Virginia at Syracuse
Syracuse beat them in Virginia last season; I see no reason why they will not be able to handle them at home… take that ACC.
Colgat at Syracuse
Cornell at Syracuse
Long Beach St. at Syracuse
Cleveland St. at Syracuse
Canisius at Syracuse
Syracuse at Memphis
I think Memphis is overrated after losing CDR, Derrick Rose, and others, but at Memphis with Tyreke Evans. I am taking Memphis, but I think this game will pay dividends when Syracuse has to play multiple games on the road against tough opponents during Big East play, plus it helps SOS.
Coppin St. at Syracuse
So, I have Syracuse at 11-2 entering the Big East season, and ranked somewhere between 13, and 20, I am saying a firm sixteenth, so I can shove it in your face if it is right.
Seton Hall at Syracuse
Syracuse at South Florida
DePaul at Syracuse
Syracuse at Rutgets
Syracuse at Georgetown
Notre Dame at Syracuse
Syracuse at Pittsburgh
Louisville at Syracuse
Syracuse at Providence
West Virginia at Syracuse
Syracuse at Villanova
Syracuse at Connecticut
Georgetown at Syracuse
Villanova at Syracuse
Syracuse at St. John’s
Cincinnati at Syracuse
Rutgers at Syracuse
Syracuse at Marquette
So, we have Syracuse with a 23-8 record, and probably a ranking of 21 in the Coaches poll. What does this mean? Probably a five, or a six seed, depending on just how good, or bad they do in the Big East Tournament, definitely a NCAA team, though, finally!
Syracuse points leaders (points per game)
1. Arinze Onuaku 16.4
I think Onuaku is one of the most underrated players in the country, and having Devendorf, and Rautins outside is going to free up the big man inside. Yes, Devendorf, and Flynn will have a few games scoring high 20s, but Onuaku will be a rock all season, and anchor this offense. I like Harris, but his offensive production is going to drop a little with Devendorf, and Rautins back. Joseph will outscore Jones because he will find more playing time at the power forward position, than Jones will find anywhere else. If you were to compare their points/minute Jones would come up on top.
[I will have a Big East Preview and Big East Tournament Preview right before they begin, so, in December, and then in March. I will also weigh in on how the season is going for Syracuse, and the rest of the Big East from time to time, but am preoccupied with my ‘top prospects’ series to write often on the College Basketball season.]
Syracuse Orange - I have to type that once for it to be recognized by the SU hoops page, as a blog about SU hoops. Just a formality.
Posted on: March 12, 2008 11:19 am
I'm going to have to make this quick,I'm expected to be at a pals house to watch the SU game in an hour. \
8 Villanova v. 9 Syracuse
This games has the most NCAA tournament implications. The loser of this game is out. The other fights another day. Many say if Syracuse wins they are in, many other say Syracuse has to win it all, or make it the semi-finals. I'm not interested in the technicalities. If Syracuse loses, they are out. For, both Syracuse and Villanova, that is what matters today.
Both teams are running with two game win streaks, but I feel Syracuse has more momentum coming off their fifteen point victory against Marquette. Villanova and Syracuse split their regular season series, winning on each other's home court, so it is only just for these two to settle the dispute on a neutral court... Madison Square Garden. Wait. Neutral court? Syracuse is beloved in MSG, and Villanova is a Philly team. This could spell disaster for Villanova, or maybe Syracuse, since the visitor has won the previous two games.
For Syracuse to Win: Syracuse has to force, and avoid, turnovers. Create fast breaks. But, the key for Syracuse is to get the ball inside. Onuaku should have a field day against Nova's front court, and Donte Greene needs to do exactly what he did Saturday take the ball to the hoop, and avoid shooting lazy threes. On defense they need to extend the zone like they did against Marquette and contest Nova's shooter.
For Nova to Win: Make jump shots. Exploit the zone, because Boeheim's not coming out of it. If they can get Syracuse's big men into foul trouble early. Syracuse will be doomed if Onuaku and Greene have to spend extended times on the bench. On defense, they need to force Syracuse to take outside shots.
Outcome: I have Syracuse winning 79-68
Posted on: March 4, 2008 3:40 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2008 5:19 pm
There's been plenty of discussion recently regarding the hopes of Syracuse basketball fans - is there is any? Is the season over? Or, is there any chance they could still be dancing later this month, and us, the 'Cuse faithful with them. Outside of the Ivy League hope springs until you are eliminated from your conference tournament. Unfortunately, for us as Orange fans, that means we still have to keep our eyes open. We are forced to believe in miracles, because not so long ago we were forced to. But, as we painfully brave games like last Saturdays we have to wonder, what will it take to keep hope alive?
Today the 'Cuse are tied for ninth in the Big East standings, 7-9. There are two more games left on the schedule, so if Syracuse wins those two games, at Seton Hall and Marquette, they will be 9-9, with 19 total wins. A very mediocre .500. Last season Syracuse missed, maybe unjustly, the tournament with a record of 10-6. So, realistically what will it take?
I've been reading two-and-two, that's what ESPN is saying, at least. Those are wins at Seton Hall, and against Marquette, neither of which will be easy. Then Syracuse has to play their way into the Big East Semifinals. I've drawn out a bracket, assuming Syracuse wins the next two games. As the nine seed Syracuse would face Cincinnati followed by Georgetown. Two teams Syracuse as lost to. But, two teams Syracuse can beat. I look at bracket drawn up, and I don't think its impossible, but I think it would be difficult.
Obviously, I am not telling anyone to uncross their fingers, or to quit pulling at your hair, though, purpose of this blog aside, if you begin to feel blood, you should really quit pulling at your scalp and go get a doctor. If Syracuse is one thing, its young. And for me to understand that, I have to put in the fact that only two members of the rotation are older than I am. That's a scary thought. We all expect a lot from this group. Their talent, well, there talent is overwhelming. Throughout the season we've seen glimpses of the teams potential. Early we saw Flynn take a long three pointer to win a game. We have seen Donte Greene make effortless three pointers, and Paul Harris push his way to the basket regardless of whose in front of them. We see this, and then we see Donte Greene miss the rim, we see him brick five or more times in a row. We see Johnny Flynn miss a dunk, when we are all screaming for a layup, and we even see Paul Harris turn his back to defenders and allow them to take the ball and win. We, as fans, become frustrated, we scoff, we cry, we hurl profanities, and us, we are just the fans. They, they are the players, they are the young, very young men, who are weighed and measured everyday based on what happens on that court, and often they are left wanting.
As 'Cuse fans we believe in only two things. We believe in disappointment, but we also believe in miracles. We have to, thats what we encounter when we watch basketball. Other fans, maybe Duke fans, or North Carolina fans, Kansas, UCLA, and many others, believe in other things. Things like, consistency, things like pride. Maybe its easier to be a fan of UCLA, or Duke than a fan of Syracuse, there is a lot less heartache. But, when a miracle comes around, like in 2003, or the 2006 Big East Tournament, I think every fan wishes they could what we feel. I think sticking around for moments like that make us Syracuse fans, but I think that there is another part to that. I think we have to expect it. Its called faith. While the rest of the Big East, and while the rest of the country, and every sportswriter begins to scratch the Orange off their brackets, somewhere deep inside us, still believes.
March 12th, maybe it'll be Cincinnati, maybe it will be someone else. The opponent doesn't matter. This Syracuse team has played with and beaten the best [Georgetown]. They have the potential. We have seen it before. What we haven't seen is two straight games where everything clicks. When Syracuse beat Georgetown, there were no heroes, just a great young team, that clicked. I am not a psychic. I can't tell you with any conviction how many games Syracuse has to win to make the NCAA tournament. What I do know, is that if this team "clicks" for four days, we could witness another miracle. They may lose in the conference finals, and consequently miss the NCAA tournament. But, that semifinal game may be worth it. A friend of mine, David, a big Syracuse fan as well, often poses the question, "How do we measure success?" Now truth be told, its never pertaining to college basketball. But, I think the question applies. What is success for this team? I think we, as fans, can agree, if we see three or four consecutive good games, that this team has succeeded. Come tomorrow night, and next week maybe Syracuse's chances rest upon a miracle, some would call it false hope, but I'm expecting it.
There has been a big discussion on the Syracuse page, arguing over whether Saturday's loss to Pittsburgh was Boeheim's fault for slowing down the tempo at the end of the game, or the players'. I've been a large supporter of Boeheim. He's strategy, although classic predictable Boeheim, gave the team the ball with a lead with the shot clock off. You can not ask for anything else, as a coach, he gave the team a chance to win. It was up to the players to protect the ball and they didn't. I am not saying that everything Boeheim does is right. Many people have also said that they want him to step down, and let Hopkins run things. I think Boeheim has the right to step down on his terms, whether it be at the end of the season, or three years from now. I think he, like Bob Knight has earned that.
Many people talk about next year, rather than this one. Assuming Greene sticks around, as he should, Devendorf and Rautins will be back, we have some good freshmen coming in, and Syracuse will have, not only one of the most talented teams, but also one of the deepest. If this season ends in disappointment, next season could certainly be looked as a fresh start. And maybe it would be best if Boeheim stepped down, and let Hopkins take over a team that could succeed. I'm not saying it should happen, or it has to, but it could be for the best. That's all I will say about it for now.
Again, like I like to say often, thank you for those who stopped by to read this, please post any comments agreeing with or feuding with my opinion. Good Luck Syracuse! I'll be back in town for the BE Tournament. Oh, and if anyone is still tearing their hair out, please, go see a doctor, its not worth it. Chew on your finger nails if your nervous.
Posted on: January 21, 2008 6:07 pm
Tonight at 7:00 the Syracuse Orange[men] take on the #8 Georgetown Hoyas in the Verizon Center. Syracuse is 2-3 away from the Carrier Dome, and 1-2 in true road games. They also have not won a game on the road in the Big East, losing to West Virginia and a mediocre Cincinnati team. I wouldn't go so far as to say this game is a must win for Syracuse, but with a 13-6 overall record, 3-3 in the Big East, I think this is a game that could set the tone for the rest of the season for the Orange[men].
Key Match ups
Georgetown is once again loaded with talent. They are led at the 5 by Roy Hibbert, college basketball's greatest true center. He leads the team in both points and rebounds, and although some don't believe his numbers are overwhelming (13.1 and 6.5), he does however, play great defense and is a terrific passer for a big man. Fortunately for Syracuse they have one of the Big East's greatest surprises in the emergence of Arinze Onuaku who's numbers outshine Hibbert's (scoring 13.4 and averaging 7.8 rebounds).
Donte Greene is the second leading scorer in the Big East and is the most important piece to Syracuse's puzzle. He ranks in the top ten, in the Big East, in scoring, blocks and 3pt shooting. Opposing him is DaJuan Summers a 6-8 sophomore. He ranks second on the team in points and rebounds.
Keys to Victory
For Georgetown to win: They need to play their style of basketball. They have to keep the low, and prevent Syracuse from scoring on the fast break. They need to contain Donte Greene, and assert Hibbert inside. They also have to play around Syracuse's zone and make their 3pt. shots.
For Syracuse to win: Donte Greene must, MUST, stay out of foul trouble. They also need to force turnovers and keep their track shoes on. Syracuse will not be able to win scoring less than 70 points, and they absolutely cannot settle for 3s. Challenge Hibbert inside early and often. The first 3-4 possessions I would go inside to Onuaku, and then allow Greene to get open outside.
Georgetown should win this game. But, if Syracuse scores 75+, and I believe this will only happen if Greene plays 35 min+, then they will win.
Georgetown 68 Syracuse 65