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Syracuse - Rutgers Postgame Reaction

When The Furor says shoot the 3... you shoot the 3.
Does anybody care about Rutgers Basketball this year? I don’t even think Rutgers does. Football, for the first time ever, carries the day in New Jersey. But over 7,000 fans managed to make it to the RAC last night to watch a pretty good game out of the Orange.

There was little that I didn’t like from Syracuse last night, so I’ll briefly touch on that. Syracuse, once again, saw more turnovers then a bakery. 15 total turnovers, with Nichols, Watkins, and Roberts all having three a piece, is again unacceptable. The true key to Syracuse winning games is limiting turnovers, getting more looks at the basket, and converting on the majority of them. Having less scoring opportunities have clearly hurt the Orange down the stretch of many a game over the least few years.

Again, a fairly poor three point shooting night. Nichols and Rautins had one each on four attempts. Devendorf was a bright spot shooting two for two, one of which came on a bizarre play in which he tripped Harris at half court, Harris recovered and passed it to him, then he squared up wide open to nail a trey. Other then Devendorf our star long ball threats did not deliver again.

We also we outrebounded by one. Against a shorter Rutgers squad this probably shouldn’t have happened. We need to establish good rebounding habits against the lower teams in the league so when it comes to playing the big time matchup games we perform well. Am I all that disappointed Rutgers bested us in rebounds though? Not particularly. We were hustling and getting second and third chance looks at the basket via offensive rebounds and still had an effective low post presence. All in all we rebounded fine.

Now on to the good stuff. We created 11 turnovers for the Scarlet Knights. This immensely helped our transition game, in which we were killing Rutgers with. Syracuse achieved 19 fast break points, while Rutgers only managed oh…. like… you know… ZERO. In Matt’s Pregame analysis you noticed that Rutgers plays a fairly slow tempo game. This obviously hurt them immensely last night against a very quick, good in transition basketball club.

Syracuse shot the ball well last night going 23 for 49 on field goals, which translates to a 46.9% outing. A good night for the Orange in the paint and at the post. We were pretty much “in the zone” last night in the first half, where we came out guns a blazing. Andy Rautins hit three shots in the first four minutes, which was pretty exciting. A nice night shooting for the Orange.

For the third game in a row, however, the shooting stud was not Nichols but Devendorf, contributing 19 points. He went 5-11, making all seven of his free throws. Why is Nichols so allergic to Big East play? That topic will be covered in another essay, but for now I’m just as confounded as you. He still looks great in the paint, but he has lost that loving feeling when it comes to the long ball. Gold star again to Devendorf though.

Speaking of free throws, we made a lot of them. 18 of 21 to be specific, which is 85.7%. Josh Wright rebounded off a five out of ten effort to hit four for four last night. The key to beating physical teams is cashing in on free throws. I like that we settled down and hit them when we needed them tonight.
The zone defense was tight. That is all I need to say about that.

All in all a great effort out of the Orange, however one stat looms large for me. Rutgers only shot 29.5% from the floor, in which they usually average 41% in shooting. So does this mean that Syracuse defense did their job, or more likely did Rutgers just have a terrible (and I do mean terrible) night? I think probably the answer is a little of both. Syracuse, on paper, clearly outmatched Rutgers in pretty much every way. Combined with an off night for your players and Rutgers goes down in a bad way. Syracuse probably should have beaten them by more then ten, but I’ll let them slide. We need some gas in the tank against Villanova on Saturday.

Some other things are worth a mention. Tim Higgins, referee and the thorn in the side of Jim Boeheim for many years, once again got his TV time last night. Do we really need to know how many Final Fours this guy has refereed? Let alone completely screwed up? No we did not. Thanks ESPN Plus.

My friend posed an interesting question to me which is worth sharing here in hopes of critically analyzing it, while gathering the opinions of the valued and loyal readers of this notebook. Does Andy Rautins need a tattoo? Would he look more badass with one? Would it help his shooting? All these questions need answers. I think it would probably be a bad idea for the kid, but it is worth a second thought probably.

All in all a good night in New Jersey (if there is such a thing as a good night if you are in New Jersey). The team looked sharp, played well, and delivered a win. That is pretty much all you can ask. Especially from a team with literally only seven players right now. I look forward to the ‘Nova game on Saturday and will again cover the aftermath of what could be a great or terrible game for Syracuse. We will also keep you posted on the conundrum that is Demetris Nichols right now.
Oh, and UConn is owned by Marquette.

5 Responses to “Syracuse - Rutgers Postgame Reaction”

  1. # Anonymous tim

    Tattoos make a guy like Terrence Roberts look tough. You see TR and think, I bet that guy can really devastate the rim. On Andy Rautins, not so much. It'll make him look like he had to do it on a dare. Also, not for nothing, but he'd probably want to get the Chinese symbol for "archer" or something corny like that. Given the likely quality of tatoo parlors in the Jamesville-Dewitt area, that means he'll probably end up with the symbol for "hangnail" permanently burned into his calf. Not cool.  

  2. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    As for Andy, I think maybe a nice Maple Leaf like the Canadian Flag on his arm would do the trick. Reflect on his Canadian heritage, along with saying to his competition "Hey, I like maple syrup too. I prefer syrup".  

  3. # Blogger TJ

    Seriously, with Quincy Douby gone, why the hell would anyone ever watch Rutgers?  

  4. # Blogger TJ

    I love me some Andy Rautins...  

  5. # Anonymous Fatty C

    I like the maple syrup idea...maybe a bottle of maple syrup impaling a basketball, a la Devo's basketball cross. Maybe all the players could pick some sort of corny symbol and work a basketball into it.  

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