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Pittsburgh - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: We're back just in time for a rivalry game.
Syracuse is coming off a brutal lost to Florida State, a win that Syracuse was desperately seeking and could have earned. Now, dumpster fire Pittsburgh comes in the Carrier Dome reeling even more than Syracuse. Pittsburgh is a team in shambles. They've had about 13 different starting lineups, their coach is yelling at crowds, he doesn't know how to beat the Zone, and they haven't won a conference game yet this year. Pittsburgh doesn't score a lot, and they also turn the ball over. The game plan should be simple. Get as many points off turnovers as possible, and rebound the holy hell out of the ball on both ends. If Syracuse can do that, even the usual "where the hell did this guy come from?" unbelievable scorer can't hurt SU. Syracuse needs to just do what they do best, which is play defense. The rest, in theory, should come in this one. Syracuse needs conference wins, and although a home win isn't as good as a win on the road against a ranked team, Syracuse needs to avoid a 5 game losing streak. Ahh Pittsburgh, the cure for what ails you (this used to be BC, but they seem to be competent this year). I guess they should have tried to keep Jaime Dixon a little harder huh? I'm taking the Orange by 9. This game is available regionally at 9:00pm. Check your local listings here. Despite this being a home game, both John and I are in the respective home offices. Shit on Pitt. Yadda yadda yadda. GO ORANGE!

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Syracuse - Florida State Preview

Syracuse students agree: A big win on the road would really help right now.
Syracuse has had a rough go lately. Syracuse should have won at Wake Forest. Syracuse should have beaten a shorthanded Notre Dame, and played about as well as most of us thought against Virginia even though they lost. Now Syracuse has a chance to win on the road versus a ranked team. Something Syracuse needs right now like they need better shooting. Syracuse actually has a really great match up with FSU here. Florida State takes a whole bunch of three point shots and are only 6th in making them in the ACC. That's usually a great recipe for Syracuse to win the game by making rebounds off missed shots, getting fast break points, or limiting FSU to just one shot per possession. But I'm just not convinced that Syracuse can take advantage of that by scoring in the half court. And on top of that, I'm not convinced Battle and Howard won't turn the ball over a ton to keep FSU into it or ahead. So just on my gut, I'm taking Florida State by 13, however, again, because this is a good match up for Syracuse, and FSU is coming off another loss, SU could make magic today. This game is available regionally at 2:00pm. Check your local listings here. For everyone else, you can stream on WatchESPN. Both John and I are watching, but I'm at least watching in HD. Go Orange!

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Syracuse - Virginia Preview

Syracuse students agree: At least the Virginia students won't be in the building.
After an absolute let down on Saturday in a winable game against Notre Dame (you know, they had their two best players unavailable), Syracuse travels to Virginia to take on one of the best teams in the league right now. Virginia might have the best defense (besides Syracuse) in the league, and they also cause a lot of turnovers. Oh hey fun fact: SYRACUSE CAN'T SCORE. This is going to go well. Virginia is going to limit Battle and that means that Moyer and Brissett will have to do most of the damage. Syracuse will have to force a whole lot of turnovers for easy buckets to stay in this game. I think they will manage to get it somewhat close until around the last 8 minutes of the game. Then I see Virginia getting a lead and not giving it up. Bonus fun fact: TV Teddy allegedly on the call as well. Would you like a cup of piss with that shit sandwich? Syracuse could surprise some folks today. And god knows the resume could use a nice upset road win. But I just think this isn't the matchup where Syracuse will surprise folks. I'm taking the Cavs by 16. This game is available regionally at 7:00pm. If you aren't blacked out, on WatchESPN. John is rolling standard definition tonight. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is Internet Only. We'll see you out there. Go Orange!

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Notre Dame - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Syracuse has to beat a wounded ND team.
Syracuse had a bit of a snag when they couldn't seen to stop Wake Forest, a team they should have beaten on the road on Wednesday. But Dome sweet Dome, as Syracuse heads back to the Carrier Dome to take on an ailing Notre Dame team. They are missing Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson, which is good for Syracuse. Syracuse is favored in this game. They are home. Syracuse is now supposed to win this game. For some reason, Mike Brey is regarded as a very good college basketball coach. I think he's actually a terrible Xs and Os coach, and has gotten by on the fact that he's at Notre Dame and he can recruit. Regardless, with the talent lacking on his sideline today, Mike Brey will have to get creative, or his team will lose. Syracuse can only beat themselves today. Play solid defense, and REBOUND, and Syracuse should get a nice victory and a good win on the resume. I'm taking Syracuse by 13. This game is available nationally on ESPN 2 / WatchESPN at 3:15pm. I can guarantee John is in the Dome. I'm in the home office. Let's beat Notre Lame. GO ORANGE!

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Syracuse - Wake Forest Preview

Syracuse students agree: It's important to win on the road in the ACC.
Syracuse starts ACC road play with a trip to Wake Forest. The good news is, it's not like Syracuse has to play Duke tonight. While there are no "easy" games on the road in the ACC, this is an easy game for Syracuse. Strangely enough, Wake Forest's leading scorer comes off the bench. Keyshawn Woods comes off the bench and leads their scoring with 15.7 ppg and leads the team with 29.2 minutes on the floor. He's making 40% of his three point shots, so Syracuse will have to cover him if they want to win the game. But really, this game should be close in the first half, and like the 2nd half against Virginia Tech, pull away and have a comfortable second half. Wake Forest is surprisingly not good this year, and dropped some games early to nobodys. Syracuse needs to avoid an upset here. The good news is Tyus Battle seems to have broken out of his slump and scored nicely against VTech. Also surprisingly, Frank Howard was able to drill some long range shots. I like Syracuse's offense in the new year so far. So I assume that will continue, at least in the second half at Wake. I'm taking the Orange by 12. This game is available nationally on ESPN U / Watch ESPN at 7:00pm. Both John and I will be watching. Stay warm, and be responsible if you have a snow day tomorrow like me. Go Orange!

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Virginia Tech - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: It's nice to win the first Conference game.
Syracuse starts conference play after a strong finish to the non-conference slate with a confidence building win against Eastern Michigan. Syracuse was able to pull away after being tied at the half. Syracuse's offense has been a bit stagnant in the last few games, but Syracuse seemed to snap out of it against Eastern Michigan. Virginia Tech on the other hand has had no trouble scoring points. They put up around 91 points a game. So obviously the big matchup in this game is the VTech offense, versus the stingy 2-3 and the tall shot blockers of Syracuse. If Syracuse is able to force turnovers and prevent three point baskets from VTech, Syracuse will have a good chance to win. Honestly, I'm confused as to how Syracuse is favored in this game. My only thought is because it's the first conference game of the season for both teams, and Syracuse is at home, they get the edge. I think Battle has gotten out of his slump and Syracuse should be able to score against Tech. It just comes down to if the Syracuse defense can find the shooters. Good news is Syracuse can rebound, so if Syracuse is able to harass the shooters, they are in good position to get the rebound and get a fast break. I think I'm taking Syracuse, again because they are at home. I'll take Syracuse by six. This game is available on ESPN U / WatchESPN at 6:00pm. John is actually, definitely in the Dome tonight. I'm in the home office. Happy New Years to you and yours! Go Orange!

Eastern Michigan - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: We're still not there, but with offense like this, who wants to be?
Syracuse is coming off a tough loss to a very good St. Bonaventure team. But Syracuse now has only one game left between them and the ACC Conference schedule. So Syracuse needs to get one last win tonight. And the team playing them is a familiar foe in Rob Murphy's Eastern Michigan Eagles. So you know what that means? You'll be watching a lot of 2-3 Zone. A little surprisingly, EMU is very good at steals and blocks. So this is going to be another grind of a game for Syracuse, and will probably be like the first half of Syracuse-Georgetown, where it will be mostly defense. It is imperative for Syracuse to limit turnovers and drive to the bucket to get good looks. They can't settle for outside shooting, as tempting as it is to try and shoot over the zone. However, the good news is Tyus Battle had a career day against EMU last season. So look for him to go off in this game, or at least draw enough attention for the other starters to get scoring opportunities. But really, the team that blocks and steals the most is probably winning this game. Syracuse needs to execute good half court offense to gear up for the Conference slate, so hopefully they will get a good final tune up against the last non-conference opponent. Syracuse should beat EMU, but probably not by a ton. I'm taking the Orange over the Eagles by 15. This game is available nationally on ESPN 2 / WatchESPN at 7:00pm. John is in the Dome. I'm in the home office. Enjoy the last easy game of the season. GO ORANGE!

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Buffalo - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: We're not on campus anymore.
Syracuse earned a very exciting overtime win against rival Georgetown on Saturday, but it's a fairly quick turnaround as Syracuse heads back to the Dome to take on nearby Buffalo. UB won't be a particularly tough team for Syracuse. Right now SU is an 10.5 point favorite. Buffalo is without Dontay Caruthers, the current Mid-American Defensive PoY. They also probably won't have Mizzou transfer Wes Clark. That leaves the talented guard CJ Massinburg, who shoots 47% from three, and averages 20 points a game. If Syracuse can locate him, and shut him down, Syracuse should have a fairly easy go of it. I expect the rebounding advantage, and obviously the steals from the top of the Zone for easy buckets at the other end. I'm taking Syracuse in this game, because Syracuse is fired up from the Georgetown win, and that momentum is going to carry over in this game. And really, if there is a team from New York on the schedule that Syracuse should be even a little worried about, that distinction belongs to St. Bonaventure, not the State University of New York at Buffalo. I'm taking the Orange by 17. This game will be available on WatchESPN / ACC Network Extra at 7:00pm. Another Internet Only affair. I think John will be watching in the Dome. I will be catching this one at a later date as I have family obligations tomorrow evening. But we'll catch you on the flip side. GO ORANGE!

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