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Terrence... I fucking hate losing to Calhoun. Have a seat.
Something is rotten in the state of ‘Cuse. If there is a Job Award for college basketball blogging we may be nominated again. When you lose to the #1 team you look to beat every season it takes something out of you.

Syracuse was MANHANDLED on the boards during this game. UConn had 43 defensive rebounds and 17 offensive rebounds. Compaired to our 27 defensive and 7 offensive rebounds this game was pitiful. This is the stat of the game. This is why the team lost. It doesn’t help also when the team is on the business end of a 13-3 run in the last few minutes, but the rebounds absolutely too Syracuse right out of the game.

Our defense continues to be a problem as Syracuse allowed five UConn players to gain double digit points. They made eight shots from behind the arc and clearly put in a better shooting day from long range. Jim Boeheim must address the defense situation more if we hope to recover against more experienced teams.

Foul trouble and depth of bench were really a problem for the first time all season in this game. Roberts fouled out with a lot of clock left in the game, and Watkins fouled out shortly after that. Some of that is the referee’s bad, but most of that is shouldered on the low post players getting out of position, being beat down the floor, and generally playing unwise defense.

Nunes/Magician and I have been trading theories and must haves on the loses. We said that someone besides Nichols has to score, we said that it just one player does really well we tend to win, we said a lot of things. Really, when it comes down to it, Syracuse needs at least one consistent outside shooting threat to hit at least four or five long field goals to keep us in a game which consistently has a few great long ball shooters (great meaning actually a great shooter or just lucky that night). This will take the pressure off of Devendorf and Wright to force a bad pass, prevent people trying to drive in a lane they should not, cut down on turnovers, and generally make it easy for the low post players to score and rebound.

Turnovers were not a terribly big factor in Storrs. Syracuse had 12 and UConn had 13. The real problem was the assist-to-turnover ratio. While Syracuse had one less foul then UConn, they also had only five assists, in contract to the 10 that UConn had. 10/13 is a lot better then 5/12. Controlling the rock is a key element in the Syracuse attack and getting good looks to the people inside was an important element missing at Storrs.

I know there are some great referees in the Big East. I know there are some downright terrible ones. I know that I would like to put a hit out on Jim Burr. I have a strange suspicion the referees gathered before the game and their conversation went something like this:

Curtis Shaw: So Jim, how do you want to do this tonight?
Jim Burr: Well it’s Syracuse @ UConn. Clearly this will get out of hand if we don’t call everything early and often.
CS: Really? Are you sure? We usually let them play and call a normal game.
JB: Oh Yeah. We gotta call everything.

Awesome. Thanks Jim!

On the plus side, Syracuse shot fairly well from the free throw line. Syracuse went 12-14 for an 85.7% day from the stripe. Not bad considering that we struggle with them constantly, and they only get harder in a physical game.

But really, it looked like another game that Syracuse could have won if they decided to play down the stretch. This team needs to act like they are an elite Big East team because they can be if they play like it. I’m not sure if we are going to do well at the Big East Tournament, or make the NCAA Tournament, or even win at home anymore. I do know that Jim Boeheim knows what he is doing and will surely not sit idly by while a season falls apart. Stay tuned to the continuing soap opera that is SU Hoops 2006-2007.

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3 Responses to “Syracuse - Connecticut Postgame Reactions OR Requiem For A Season”

  1. # Blogger MariusJanulisForThree

    At this point I think we need to accept that this is "one of those years." If next year's class is as good as advertised, we'll look back on it as a good learning experience for young master Harris and co. and laugh to ourselves while celebrating the 2008 national championship sipping drinks with tiny umbrellas in them.  

  2. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    I'll see you in San Antonio then my friend.  

  3. # Blogger Adam Gerard

    I don't think I'm going out on a limb here in saying that this season is over as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned unless we make a run to the finals in the Big East. And really, we probably have to win the whole thing. Who have we beat this year that matters? Marquette. That's it, that's the list. And they were a bit injured when we did it.

    It's not over as far as learning experience, but that's a whole other story.  

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