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Is it wrong I have so much irrational hate for Georgetown? Naaaaah!
I am back from my Syracuse Basketball weekend. Sadly, I am back with two losses, one of which was extremely exciting, thrilling, and heartbreaking. Although, the game was great, the outcome was not in favor of Syracuse so I had the saddest ride on public transportation I have probably ever had. Alas, there are some very good things to take away from this game. One thing is for sure, as I always say, there is nothing more HiDef than reality, and being there definitely brought me back to being in the Student Section or in the band going nuts during crunch time.

In yet another game, Jonny Flynn was the leading scorer. He earned 24 points, four of which were on shots from behind the arc. This kid played admirably against a team that was extremely difficult to penetrate against. While he did not become the hero of the day, he played well and gave it the old college try. Overall a good game from the kid.

Greene was next in scoring with 15 points and nine rebounds. Greene also scored three from long range. It was also refreshing for him to not be in foul trouble for the majority of the second half. I give Jim Burr and the crew credit for calling a true Big East game and sticking to the muggings. While I felt there were some calls that Georgetown got in terms of contact that Syracuse did not, it was fairly close on both sides and a very entertaining game as a result.

Arinze Onuaku had one of the best games of his career production wise versus the competition he was up against. Having the daunting task (although not too daunting in my opinion) of guarding and matching up against Roy Hibbert. He earned 12 points and 13 rebounds. He played and defended very well overall. I just wish he could hit some god damned free throws. His free throws could have really helped as he missed 4 out of the six he shot. Overall, a good game though.

Paul Harris only got seven points, but he was key on the boards. He earned ten rebounds and looked aggressive out there. He really came back from a terrible (self admitted) game against Villanova and played with a fire we have not seen from Paul in a few contests. He definitely kept us in the game.

Speaking of rebounds, would you have expected Syracuse to outrebound Georgetown? Not this guy. Nevertheless, they did in fact earn 38 rebounds, compared to Georgetown’s 29. Similarly, on the offensive glass, Syracuse amassed 16, while Georgetown only got three. This is immensely encouraging for Syracuse, as Syracuse has occasionally been outrebounded by teams half its size. It seems the kids can step when needed.

One thing, I have to say, that Syracuse does extremely well is inbound plays for quick scores. On more than one occasion during the game Syracuse would pass it in to a player off a screen near the basket and they would get an easy jump shot or a lay up. Frankly, it is really cool when they do this, and shows the level of strategy that Jim Boeheim puts into his job. Great stuff.

Syracuse limited its turnovers to 13, only six in the first half. This is also encouraging for Syracuse as they have turned the ball over quite a bit in the last few contests. This time they played with much more poise and control. Donte Greene was the biggest problem with six, and Scoop Jardine had four of his one. Either way, the team overall did much better with turning the ball over.

Syracuse had an atrocious day from the line though. They only managed nine of eighteen; 50%. Worst of all, there were missed free throws in the overtime period, which just killed us. If you get fouled in overtime or late in a game, if you do not convert free throws, it might as well be a turnover. In fact, I am for my friend Jayme’s proposal of counting two missed free throws as a turnover. Either way, we did not convert many down the stretch. Georgetown did, managing ten of 14 for 71%. It cost us. Most likely the game.

These kids need to learn, and soon, if you are having an off night on shooting, stop taking shots. It is easier said than done, but really if Donte Greene is not on, he should be trying to drive inside or draw defenders and make passes, not chucking the ball up and have the team fail to grab a rebound. It does no good for anyone.

I also feel the defense was not too good during the game. Georgetown got a few easy looks inside, and they were uncontested from beyond the arc most of the time. Granted, this is mostly part of the strategy of the 2-3 Zone. You allow your opponent to live or die by the three. That is fine, but in the first half, when John Wallace friggin lights it up from long distance, it is possibly time for Flynn to step up and put a hand in his face even remotely near the three point line. Just a thought.

Scoop Jardine was virtually dead weight out there. He managed zero points and one assist. Kudos to you sir. You played your worst game against the best team. Just what inspires confidence. Kristof, in contrast, I thought played a hell of a game off the bench. Kristof’s energy seemed to be off the chart compared to Scoop’s, and even when he is not scoring or rebounding, you just feel like he is contributing positively with his hustle. It might be time for Boeheim to consider a little role reversal and give Kristof!, The Belgian Waffle, a look at the starting job.

Why dwell on the negative however. That game was one of the best college basketball matches I have seen all season. It is just unfortunate that Syracuse could not pull one out of the old awesome basket and give the visiting fans (yes, there were quite a few, some my classmates) a big win on Big Monday. We next face a Providence team that beat UConn recently on Sunday at 2:00pm in the Carrier Dome. I will be there hoping that from now until then they have learned how to shoot a free throw.
Also of note is another installment of Orange::44 Is An Absolute Magician on Nunes/Magician. He asked the hard questions, and I gave the answers as best as I could. I’m sure you will enjoy that as always.

Special thanks and hat tips to everyone who made my extended weekend travels great. Notable, big shout outs to my fellow fans with me in 309, John, Ben, and Matt, Brent Axe for being very cool to a blogger he did not have to give the time of day to, my travel partner down to DC Erin, my gracious hosts Jen and Kristen, my good friend and colleague Jason, and all my other friends who I saw along the way. Also, excellent timing to former Sitrus drummer Tom for pulling out “Hey Brian, what time is it?” as soon as the overtime ended. To which I, of course replied, “It’s 9:11”. He the responded “… and Georgetown still sucks!” How true sir. How true.

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