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That is not my name on the court! What the hell is this!?
The sad part about Wednesday evening is the simple fact that Syracuse is damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If they lost this game, it would be a bad non-conference road loss that would surely look poorly on an NCAA Tournament resume. The bad part about winning is that Syracuse really did not win this game, the fact that Sean Singletary was injured/sick/breathless was why Virginia lost the game. Even when Syracuse wins, they still will not get the respect that this team deserves. I realize from a Syracuse media source this simply sounds like more of the same old talk we always say, but the truth is that while there was much ado about Singletary on the bench and his faltering offensive on the floor, hardly any attention was being paid to a solid performance from the freshmen that are the current playmakers on this young Syracuse squad.

Allow me to start over. Syracuse played a well fought game and the real story of this game is how well the two starting freshmen played. Jonny Flynn and Donte Greene combined for 38 of Syracuse’s 70 points. Greene had yet another double double with ten rebounds in addition to his twenty points. Flynn proved in my mind, for the first time since his debut game, that he has a complete skill set for the point guard possession. He dished the ball extremely well, cut through the lane like a master, and hit a couple long balls as well. The freshmen duo had their best game as a set, and it could not have come at a better time.

Paul Harris turned out to be the rebounding machine of the game with 14 rebounds. He also happened to contribute ten points as well. Harris’ shot has really improved from last season when, as Len Elmore stated, he could not hit the ocean from a boat. This season he has added a jump shot from long range and mid range. This has added the missing component to his game and has made Paul Harris the player we hoped he would be.

Although during the game it did not look like it, but Syracuse actually won the rebound category. Syracuse managed to accumulate 34 rebounds. Syracuse also shot well from the floor, hitting 26-59, which was 44%. Apparently the right people were fouled as well, as Syracuse hit ten out of 11 foul shots. Syracuse also improved in three point shooting as well, making 8-21 for 38%. These were all good points which calmed my massive panic from last week.

Syracuse again lost the turnover battle however. I have only been saying for the past two seasons how turnovers are usually the key to a Syracuse victory. It was nice when Len Elmore at the top of the broadcast tonight echoed a similar sentiment. Jonny Flynn was the biggest offender with five. I guess the freshman cannot do everything in the same night. The freshman played like a freshman. He normally does not have five turnovers, therefore I find it easy to forgive the kid for this game. He is a long way from being the next Josh Wright.

The defense came to play a little longer this time. It seems as though the zone defense was a little more active during this game. Virginia seemed to live and die by the perimeter shot. If that is how the games go, I will love it. I have always thought that if Syracuse only allows teams to shoot from the perimeter, eventually they will miss enough to allow Syracuse to either gain the lead or keep it. Virginia had real problems attacking the 2-3, failing to pass into the middle of the zone, and only penetrating and kicking out a few times. On only a few occasions also Virginia managed to pass behind the zone to underneath the basket. I guess Virginia did not find it necessary to look at some Syracuse film before the game. The defense was more than satisfactory and created 13 turnovers, blocked four shots, and had eight steals.

Arinze Onuaku was the not story of the night. Virtually a non-factor, Onuaku played 33 minutes, but only earned four points and eight rebounds. This could be because Harris was a rebounding machine, or it could be that Arinze simply had an off night. Again, seeing as the starters are averaging double digits, and playing the vast majority of the minutes, this is not cause for alarm as of yet, but rather a storyline of the evening, and something to keep an eye on in the future.

That brings me back to Virginia. Syracuse played a great game to come back from a first half deficit, but will this be marred with the trash talking of people that will just say that Virginia’s best player was ill and making terrible shots, which helped Syracuse hold off a comeback in Virginia’s part? It should not be. Frankly, this game should quiet a lot of Doug Gottlieb’s who always put down Syracuse’s out of conference slate. This is a clear message to the selection committee from Jim Boeheim that Syracuse is not afraid to play outside of the Great State of New York.

On top of that, this win is a quality win. Every night you go out there and you are played the cars you are dealt. In the law there is a concept called the Eggshell Skull Rule. Basically it means that you take your victim the way you find them. Similarly, Syracuse came in and beat a Virginia team that had their senior leader ill. Syracuse found Virginia without a scorer that averages 20 points. It was up to Virginia to adjust. The quality of the win should not be diminished whatsoever for Syracuse because this could happen to any team on any night. It is the luck of the draw. Syracuse went in expecting a fight and still got one, because when Singletary faltered, Jones stepped up big hitting some three bombs. Therefore, I will publically denounce and debate any person that dare say that this was not a quality win for the ‘Cuse and the kids.

Syracuse will not travel out of the Carrier Dome until the conference slate starts up. Eat it selection committee! Those Dome Dogs don’t sell themselves. Syracuse will take on a menacing Rhode Island team this Saturday at 7:00pm. While there are no automatic games, I am hoping that Syracuse can enter the conference slate with only two losses. Frankly, if we cannot beat Cornell, while I drive home on December 23rd I may jump in a gorge in Ithaca myself. Regardless, it was a nice win, a fun game to watch, and we move on, one win closer to our rightful place in returning to the NCAA Tournament.

PS – F#ck you Gary Waters.

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2 Responses to “Syracuse - Virginia Postgame Reactions OR There's Your Road Game, Now Shut Up Already!”

  1. # Anonymous Sportzbelle

    Love the title of the post and photo caption! Seriously, enough already about playing in NY State!

    Even though we were wearing our neon uniforms, this team is still a lot of fun to watch.  

  2. # Blogger MariusJanulisForThree

    I did a spitlaugh when I read the photo caption. Well done, sir.  

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