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Thursday Notes

Pomeroy on the Orange
I know I've said this on more than one ocassion, but if you're not reading Ken Pomeroy on a daily basis, you're really doing a disservice to your hoops IQ.

In Pomeroy's latest blog entry, the efficiency guru takes time to highlight his power ratings and how the conference races haven shaken out so far this season. Leading the Big East is, not surprisingly, Villanova with Pittsburgh, surprisingly, only about seven points behind.

Syracuse has been slotted in the 39th position, 8th in the conference. What is particularly interesting about Syracuse's rating, however, is not it's position within the conference, but rather its strength of schedule.

The Orange has, accordingly to Pomeroy, the 162nd strongest overall schedule in the country. This, in and of itself, isn't mind-boggling or particularly noteworthy. What is interesting is that Syracuse's non-conference strength of schedule is the 161st strongest schedule in the country. Thus, Syracuse's conference schedule is, albeit barely, easier than it's non-conference slate of games.

[Insert the time-space continuum collapsing upon itself here.]

One final note on Pomeroy before I move onto some other stuff. Pomeroy, bless his heart, is a pythagorean genius and has put together a team page tracking Syracuse's schedule and its projected win/loss record. While the predictions are purely conjectural, they are an interesting way to gauge how Syracuse should perform on the hardwood.

Arinze Onuaku = Basketball Jesus
Well, maybe not so much Jesus as much as burgeoning demi-god.

Onuaku, in limited minutes this year, has begun to establish himself as the rebounding presence that Syracuse has been in the market for. The numbers here do not lie:

Individual Rebounding %age
PlayerReb. %age
A. Onuaku20.66
T. Roberts13.84
M. Gorman11.95
D. Watkins11.67
L. McCroskey11.56
D. Nichols10.10
L. Rautins5.47
J. Wright5.44
E. Devendorf4.896
G. McNamara4.56

If you're confused as to what this means, the answer is actually simple: when Arinze is in the game, he collects almost 21% of the rebounds available. That, for a freshman, is pretty damn impressive.

What isn't impressive is Darryl Watkins' numbers. That percentage needs a meteoric rise if Syracuse expects to bang in the post during the conference slate.

Trojans Hooked by Young
I saw Donovan McNabb pull of some crazy stuff while a student at Syracuse, but nothing compares to the effort that Vince Young put in last night in Pasadena. Holy cow.

Rutgers Will Always, Always Blow Me
Gregg Doyel is my hero. But his armor took a huge chink with his latest article.

In a piece designed to make us all believe that Rutgers will somehow, someday become respectable in something other than blowing my stones, Doyel contests that if the Scarlet Blight land this Lance Thomas fellow, the world will collapse upon itself and Rutgers will suddendly start hoisting banners to the rooftop of the fallout bunker they call an arena.

Note to Gregg: It doesn't matter if they land Thomas. Gary Waters will, like Greg Schiano and every other coach that Rutgers has ever employed in any sport, find a way to screw up a good thing. You just can't win at Rutgers.

And Finally....
Is anybody in Syracuse ever happy about anything?

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