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Syracuse – Marquette Postgame Reaction

Come on! One high five is all i'm asking for.
Holy crap! We beat a ranked opponent.

For the first time this season Syracuse earned a win over a ranked opponent. This case is particularly interesting because, frankly, we looked like garbage out there. This game, in my mind, is the complete reverse of the Pittsburgh game. I liked the result, but did not like the effort. It seems Syracuse is doing the old two steps forward, three steps back.

First the negative. Syracuse committed 20 turnovers. This is nine more then the previous effort. Eric Devendorf seemed to be making horrific decisions in between his fantastic drives to the basket. He was the worst offender committing seven himself. This is completely unacceptable and Jim Boeheim better give him an earful to that effect.

Syracuse returned to its old self last night by shooting only 60% from the charity stripe. This, again, in contrast to the 90% they put in against Pittsburgh. Demetris Nichols missed the front end of a key 1-and-1 late in the game that could have helped ice the game a little earlier then we did. Eric, who normally shoots well, only was three for six, and Josh Wright, who put away Pittsburgh during the Big East Championship last year with some late clutch free throws, only made five of ten. When we play a more physical team like Pittsburgh, Georgetown, or Connecticut we will need to earn more of the free points if we hope to be successful.

Again, the team looked tragic from behind the three point arc combining for a 3 for 14 effort (.214%). Nichols hit two, one at a very key moment at the end of the game that sealed the deal, but two is not enough for the scoring leader in the Big East. Devendorf also only hit one on three attempts. Not up to Syracuse standards.

Andy Rautins continues to be a disappointment. He only played seven minutes in this game and was zero for one in shooting and earned zero points. This is unacceptable for a starter, let alone a sophomore on Syracuse. He needs to find his stroke and provide some points in tough games or he might fade into second string territory rather quickly.

Generally, the team looked sloppy, which is disappointing considering I think they looked very sharp and focused against Pittsburgh in the Dome. Poor decision making is still haunting the Orange and will continue to jeopardize a winning Big East campaign. We need to remain progressive and continue to build upon the success we have already had, rather then regressing when facing a team that looks better then us on paper.

There were several good things present last night in Wisconsin. For the second game in a row the Orange outrebounded its competition. This is a pretty big statistic in my opinion because we were outrebounded in several non-conference affairs with teams that were shorter and less athletic. If Syracuse continues to dominate the boards only good things can come of it. Provided we don’t turn it right back over.

Paul Harris seemed to respond to Boeheim’s coaching because he did not attempt a three pointer. Rather, Harris focused on defense and creating scoring opportunities by slashing to the basket, a much higher percent shot.

Watkins has become quite the shot blocker. He earned five blocks Sunday night, as well as two against Pittsburgh. This is a good trend and if it continues, Syracuse will match up well against Connecticut and the other tougher teams of the Big East.

Josh Wright saw 39 minutes of action last night. He seemed in control and sharp most of the night, only committing four turnovers. This is good to see because of his concerning absence during the Pittsburgh game. If he continues to play and allow Devendorf to play the two spot, things should improve from the backcourt.

Devendorf, when not turning the ball over, was putting it in the basket. He contributed 20 points in 37 minutes of action. He had some drives that would make Dickie V get out from under Coach K’s desk and give it a look. He looked impressive when attacking the basket.

The zone defense looked outstanding. We created 23 turnovers from Marquette and wore them down so they had trouble from behind the arc. There was good movement and several athletic plays. Jim Boeheim = amazing 2-3 zone defense.

Like I said earlier, I loved the win, but didn’t like the way we played. For a team that looked good against Pittsburgh it was disappointing to see a sluggish, lackluster offense that turned the ball over a lot. Hopefully we can again move forward and learn from the mistakes of this game. If we play like we did against Pittsburgh, but earn some more wins we will obviously be in good shape. In this league anyone can win on any given night.

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