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Nunes::44 - 1/29/08

Yeah, I know I'm awesome. Marcy agrees.

It is Tuesday, which means it is once again time for the latest installment of Nunes::44. Today Sean from Nunes/Magician and I talk about basketball, the conference, and the ladies. It is a cavalcade of sexy, sexy sports talk. This time, 100% gossip free!

1. Orange::44: Did you see anything from the Providence game that seems encouraging for this team?

Nunes: Your first mistake is assuming I saw the game at all. (Your second mistake? Trusting the Belgians...) The unfortunate reality of my situation is that I'm usually going off some kind of Internet stat broadcast and/or a live blog of a game and rely heavily on the thoughts of others such as yourself to fill me in on the details of the game. I guess I'm old fashioned but I'm still not ready to pay for online broadcasts of games either.

Anyway, at the end of the day the most encouraging thing about these guys is that they're not gonna give up for a second. Even with a depleted roster, little experience and a brutal schedule, there's no quit in them and that's appreciated (or at least should be). No one's laying down under the expectations or the excuses that are being presented to them. With the Big East the way it is right now, it's certainly not crazy to think that these guys can still quite a few games this year and they seem to be thinking the same thing.

2. Orange::44: On a scale of alright to heartbreaking, how do you rate the Georgetown game?

Nunes: Fairly heartbreaking. More heartbreaking at the time then it feels right now. At the time, it really felt like that win could have changed the entire course of the season. It would have given these guys a boatload of confidence and good feelings and could have been a springboard to the top of the conference. In reality, would that have happened? I'm not so sure. In a conference where one of the worst teams can beat one of the best any given day, that win may have had very short-term effects.

That said, it was effin' Georgetown and it would have been damn nice to beat them again. The good news is, when the Hoyas come to the Dome we're feeling like we can win that game, right? I certainly do. And if we can win that one, then it'll make the loss go down a lot smoother. I'll take a home-and-home split with a top ten team any day.

3. Orange::44: The Big East conference is crazy this season with everyone beating everyone. Who right now has the best Home Court Advantage and who is the team to beat in the Big East?

Nunes: It would seem that West Virginia has the best home court advantage right now, even despite losing to Georgetown on Saturday. It was their first loss at home (they lost to Oklahoma in Charleston) all season and they only lost by one to the #9 team in the nation. Otherwise, they've pretty much been handling business there and it looks (at least on TV) like a fairly intimidating arena.

The team to beat still has to be Georgetown. While Pitt and Marquette fade and Louisville and UConn climb, they're the only team that's been consistent all year atop the conference. Everyone is still measuring themselves against them and a win over the Hoyas has to be considered a huge upset for anyone in-conference right now.

Naturally, they will lose to St. John's Wednesday night.

4. Orange::44: The ladies and Coach Q defended their #24 and will jump in the polls. The will travel to Chicago to take on closely ranked DePaul. Do they have a chance? Are you convinced this team is the real deal and can hang with the elite teams in the conference?

Nunes: From what SUAthletics.com tells me, HELL YEAH! And from what I've seen, why not? They seem like they can hang with just about anybody and they're truly earned that ranking. I still stand by my prediction that they will have a killer season culminating in a slightly disappointing NCAA Tournament run due to lack of experience. But I'm rooting for them, God knows we'll need someone to root for in the post-season.

5. Orange::44: Who do you most want to see have their number retired for Syracuse?

Nunes: I always used to say that Carmelo brought us the championship but it's Gerry McNamara we'll be talking about 20 years from now and that was before his Big East Tournament clinic. Gerry epitomizes everything that you retire a number for. He was a leader and holds plenty of records for sure but Gerry became the face of the team while he was here. He was one of those guys who played four years but it felt like six. And even if his stats don't stand up in showcasing his greatness, you have a highlight reel a mile long that does.

I always said about Derek Jeter that if you just took his stats, Jeter is a borderline Hall of Famer at best. But when I ask you if Derek Jeter is a Hall of Famer, isn't it a no-brainer? Isn't Derek Jeter exactly the kind of player the Hall of Fame exists to memorialize? Whereas Eddie Murray and Andrew Dawson have nice stats, can you give me five great memories of them? Can you even think of two? Meanwhile, you can probably rattle off five, maybe even ten memorable plays that Jeter has made, no problem.

That's Gerry, he's our Jeter. Others may look at his stats and say "Eh, he's overrated." But we know better.

And let the record show I'm a Mets fan and loathe the Yankees. Just needed to make that clear.

6. Orange::44: Finally, the tennis team won a big match recently, volleyball is doing well, the ladies keep winning, and the lax teams look to be fairly good again. Are things looking up for Syracuse Athletics on the whole in the near future?

Nunes: If you look at SU Athletics over the last two years and eliminate the "money" sports (football, men's basketball, men's lax), SU Athletics is doing amazing. Like you said, v-ball is up, the field hockey team is coming off a huge year, the women's lax team just got picked to win the Big East, the women's b-ball team is on fire...

Hate to say it but in that regard, DOCTOR Gross has done a good job (or has at least been present while it happened and therefore receives credit). It would be very cool if one day soon SU could refer to itself in the same manner UCLA does, the home of champions. We're getting closer. For the casual SU fan it's a nice little bonus, something we can stick in our caps.

But let's face it, we'd so much rather see the football team play in January.
Editor’s Note: This is another installment in the ongoing collaboration between Orange::44 and Nunes/Magician. Every other Tuesday Nunes::44 will appear here, while the following week Orange::44/Magician will appear on his site. Until then, enjoy Nunes/Magician articles and stay tuned to Orange::44 for complete postgame coverage from every Syracuse game.

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