Posted on: March 4, 2008 3:40 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2008 5:19 pm
 

What will it take?

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.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 24, 2008 3:15 pm
 

What's coming up?

Hey, anyone who reads my blog, I will have a few blogs coming out this upcoming week.

Baseball:
I'll have several draft reviews. For Fantasy Baseball players.
Division Previews - I'll be starting my baseball previews this week
Basketball:
Trade Analysis

Stay Tuned
Category: World Sports
Tags: General
 
Posted on: February 12, 2008 11:23 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2009 1:37 pm
 

Get Congress Out of Baseball!

What business does a congressional committee have in baseball affairs.  'Roids driven or otherwise?  Are they bored?  We don't have any wars, tax problems, illegal immigration, nagging lobbyist, etc?  I suppose I could raise a ruckus outside of the capital building.  Would that keep politicians away from the sport that i love?
    As I know, you all are aware, Roger Clemens is testifying that he has never taken steroids and the allegations by Brian McNamee in the "Mitchell Report" are undeniably false.  Brian McNamee, on the other hand, claims to have injected Clemens with steroids, several times.  More over he claims to have blood evidence.  Evidence that was not originally disclosed, when McNamee's accusations first came into the limelight.  Did Roger Clemens take steroids?  I don't know, and in all likelihood, I will never know for certain.  More importantly, I don't care.
    Regardless of how this situation shakes out, it will not make a large impact on the approaching season.  Furthermore, Roger Clemens is a Hall of Famer, either way. Say he took HGH/steroids in 2002 or whenever after.  He still has his years in Boston, with the Blue Jays and a couple of Championships with the Yankees.  Take away 2000-2004 and what is... a Hall of Famer.  No one, not a congressional committee, not Brian McNamee, and in a somewhere down the road, hundreds of sportswriters can take away from him.
   
    A day before the "Mitchell Report" came out Miguel Tejada was traded to the Houston Astros.  Many fans complained it was a mistake to trade for a player who may be named in the report, a day before it came out.  Their fears were confirmed when Tejada's name appeared the following day connected to steroids.  The question asked was, "How long will his suspension be?" But, no, no suspension was announced, a suspension remains to be unannounced.  However, Congress is now investigating into whether or not Tejada lied to them.  When he told a congressional committee a couple of years ago, that he was unaware of steroids in baseball, and he himself had never taken steroids.  Fans are no longer worried about a suspension hindering him from playing.  We are now wondering if Tejada will be in jail for the start of the season.  Jail? For what?  For lying to a committee of politicians, who are meddling in affairs they should not.  Essentially, they are threatening to imprison a man, and I do not believe Tejada's a citizen, for allegedly taking steroids.  This same situation could befall Clemens following his testimony.  Congress is baiting Clemens into testimony, so they can turn around and convict him (or McNamee) of perjury.  That is ridiculous.  Meanwhile, Congress has no intention of charging Rafael Palmeiro with perjury, who famously sternly pointed his finger at congress declaring, "I have never taken steroids."  Congress needs laissez-faire their role in baseball, and go back to what they are good at  -  like  -  increasing the deficit.
Posted on: February 10, 2008 6:00 pm
 

Bandwagon Hopping: 2/10/08 Louisville Cardinals

   [Sorry for the one month hiatus, Physiology tests, eh? Anyways back to the blog, and the premier segment on my blog... The Bandwagons of course!]

    There were times  earlier this season when I thought Louisville wasn't going to make the NCAA tournament.  They started the season ranked in the top 10, but lost to BYU, Dayton, and Purdue, with no significant wins.  They've gone 8-3 in the Big East, with wins against West Virginia and twice blowing Marquette away.  Then yesterday I witnessed, via the television, Louisville stun Georgetown in the second half. Beating them at their own style of basketball. The second half of that game was nothing, but perfection from Louisville.

    Prior to yesterday, it looked as if Georgetown would run away with the conference.  After a strong start West Virginia has fallen off the map, Syracuse's injuries prove to be detrimental to the teams ability to grasp their potential, and Pittsburgh has their own injury problems.  Marquette has begun to drop since conference play, Connecticut is still a bit young, and inexperienced, despite their promise, and although Notre Dame has been playing well during the Big East season, they still haven't showed that they are good enough to hang with Georgetown, or the elite teams in the country. 
   
    No team can win by the play of a single player, but Louisville's success has been stimulated by a catalyst, David Padgett.  He creates plays on both ends of the floors and despite average numbers (10 points 4 rebounds), he is the heart and soul of this Cardinals team. Following this season's end Padgett is unclear of what his future is.  He claims he's just concentrated on playing out his senior year. But, ifI were a betting man I'd say that he should look forward to next year, as I expect him to be taken in the late second round.  Terrence Williams is still a jack-of-all-trades type of player, and Jerry Smith has established himself as a good scorer.  Juan Palacios has never shown his full potential, but if he is finally healthy he could be a key to this teams success as well.  Louisville is my pick to win the Big East regular season title, and could play deep into March after a disappointing early exit last season.
Posted on: January 21, 2008 6:07 pm
 

Syracuse, Georgetown Game Preview


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.

Prediction

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
Posted on: January 21, 2008 5:14 am
 

Favre's Last Game?



After 17 seasons, a Super Bowl Championship, 3 MVP awards, and 274 consecutive starts, Brett Favre may have ended his career highlighting one of his many all-time records. Unfortunately for Brett, the Packers and the entire cheesehead nation, it was his record number interceptions. In overtime, of last nights NFC Championship game v. the New York football Giants, Favre threw one into the hands of Corey Webster in Packers territory. Leaving the team in a predicament only a Feely-like performance could get them out of. Lawrence Tynes made the field goal sending the Giants to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001, where they lost to the Trent Dilfer and the Ravens.

Back to Favre, this shouldn't be the way one of the greatest quarterbacks calls it quits. The last two offseasons he's created a stir, making us wondering if he would return or not. Last season it didn't seem right, he couldn't leave the game with a team that couldn't even make the playoffs. So, he returned. And this season has been nothing less than magical for Brett Favre and the Packers. It was a season Favre could hang his hat on with pride. But, that interception in overtime this evening was not. Favre has said that he feels he could continue playing. But, will he? Should he? Maybe its too much to ask for the perfect way to leave, he's had a near perfect career, what else does he want? Personally, I would love to see Favre come back and try one more time, but I don't see it happening. He already has a ring, and every quarterback record imaginable, the only reason he would come back is if Donald Driver, Mark Tauscher and the rest of the team try to convince him to stick around. I also think Favre will hang up pigskin... hang up pigskin? and his cleats, ah save, because he wants Aaron Rodgers to get his chance. A guy who resembles Favre in some ways, and someone he, Favre, feels confident in succeeding him. So, here's to a guy I call the greatest quarterback ever to grace the game of football, hopefully he'll make the best decision for himself and his family over the offseason.


Question to Consider: Why are the Giants referred to the New York "Football" Giants? A baseball team with the same name, "Giants" doesn't play in New York any more, are Giants fans just stupid and need to have the sport spelled out to them?
Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com