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Everybody Wang Chung tonight.
Thanksgiving is over, so I suppose that means I should get back to work with these recaps. This game was a little more of a joy to watch, rather than an agonizing exercise in futility and heartache. With the holidays over, it is time for the team to get back to work and continue to build on the success it has had, while correcting the bad habits it has exhibited.

Donte Greene again had an outstanding night with 25 points, ten rebounds, and shot 9-15 from the floor. This kid hit a big shot whenever a momentum shift occurred away from Syracuse. This is the kind of player you want on the floor. Greene seems to not make that many mistakes, has a pretty complete skill set in that he has an outstanding mid range jumper, and can stroke a three ball. He even managed to block three shots. Now that is an excellent night for the kid. If he continues to play like this, his game will have no ceiling at Syracuse.

The folks over at Cuse Country correctly assessed the problem during the Ohio State game. While I mainly sighted turnovers, they broke down the fact that the defense was about as good as an average NYS high school team. They stepped it up Friday, forcing a lot of turnovers against Washington. I have believed, and will believe in the reasonable future, that the key to victory for Syracuse is always winning the turnover battle. We all know that basketball is a game of runs, and Syracuse last Friday had several that helped us hold on and win. Turnovers help create these runs, and, while Syracuse had a number of turnovers as well, Syracuse created enough defense to seal a win with only a few minutes remaining.

This was especially key because of the lack of free throw success. Syracuse only shot 65.4% from the free throw line. To be successful in the Big East conference, it is crucial to hit free throws down the stretch of any given game. Being that the conference is so physical fouls will happen because teams will become more aggressive on defense. To win the game, you have to hit free throws. To borrow from some wise people, it ain’t rocket science. If we can get better at free throw shooting, I see this team as a top five Big East team.

Another troubling portion of the game was our lack of outside shooting. I suppose we cannot read so much into this because when your team is finding success in the transition and fast break games you go with it, but only sinking three three point shots is slightly worrying. I suppose that this will again improve as the season progresses.

For only being on the floor for 21 minutes, Jonny Flynn contributed with 16 points, ten of which were on free throws. Rick Jackson played a lot off the bench for a total of 20 minutes. The most interesting storyline of the game is the fact Syracuse had ten blocks and 11 steals. Syracuse traditionally has made steals, but blocked shots is something that Syracuse does not do too often, especially since the only real shot blocking threat from the previous season in Watkins has graduated. However, is this indicative of a team that is more active on defense, or simply a team that matched up well against a smaller team? We shall see

I think this game is good because it shows that they can correct mistakes. After an atrocious defensive night last Wednesday, the team has come back and recovered and left New York City with only one loss. This shows clear improvement and a willingness of this team to put in the work needed to have a successful season. While the team is now currently unranked, this team will be tough in the remainder of the non-conference schedule and hopefully will not lose another game until they reach the Big East Conference slate.

I apologies for this article coming out late, but coming off vacation it was necessary. The Cincinnati report card will be out early tomorrow. Later this week we will have another special three part series with a guest author or two, and we will further weigh in on the whole Robinson issue. Until then, hopefully getting back to school/work was not too unbearable today.

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