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Nunes::44 - 2/12/08

Sometimes you just end up on your ass, right Troy?

It is that time of the week again to go deep into analysis of the alma mater with our friend Sean over at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. I believe this week I asked exceptionally tough questions and Sean responded accordingly. Enjoy the awesomeness that is bloggers uniting. Sean just needs to get some Lax knowledge and he’ll be all set.

1. Orange::44: After seeing the recruiting class Syracuse has attracted and signed, are you convinced better days are ahead for the program, despite who may be at the helm?

Nunes: From where I'm sitting, this was a pretty impressive recruiting class. It wouldn't have been impressive if we went 10-2 but we're 2-10 and we somehow managed to get some pretty solid players. That said, the reason we all think this class is really good is based on the opinions of a couple people. It's all theory.

In speaking with out friend AEM, he made a really good point in that we got some quality recruits at some key positions but we really didn't diminish any holes in some very key areas. Not that you recruit and expect sudden impact (least not SU), but I'm not sure how many of these guys will be making an impact on the field in 2008.

So in that roundabout way, my answer is that I do feel good about the progress of SU football, but I'm not sold that we're suddenly a bowl team cause Tom Lemming thinks we did a decent job recruiting.

2. Orange::44: Syracuse dropped a close game to Connecticut at home last week. Looking past the South Florida game for a moment, how do you think Syracuse will do against Georgetown this coming weekend?

Nunes: Isn't looking past South Florida just the kind of thing that gets us into trouble? Assuming (and that's a tall order in the Big East), we beat South Florida Wednesday, I'm feeling so-so about the G'town game. The Hoyas are playing with some extremely bruised egos right now. They almost lost to SU, they did lose to Louisville and then they scammed a win over Villanova. The luster is off and Georgetown looks beatable. Enter a frisky Orange team that knows it can hang with them. As far as I can tell, all signs point to...Georgetown whupping us.

I don't know, I guess it just feels like a trap. I'll stop talking now.

3. Orange::44: The ladies bounced back against Marquette at home. How do you see them playing out the remainder of their schedule?

Nunes: Short of playing UConn and Rutgers, I expect them to win every game they play at this point. I'm not saying they will but I think this team has done enough to prove they are more than a cute little storyline. They're a legit team to be reckoned with in the Big East Tournament and they should be fairly dangerous in the NCAA Tournament. Right now, it's all about acting like they've been there before and not letting the new experiences get the better of them. They can't play like they've earned anything, they've got to keep playing with that chip on their shoulder. And I think future Big East Coach of the Year Quentin Hillsman knows what he's doing. Get that man an extension!

4. Orange::44: Bracketology currently has Syracuse in the tournament as a 12 seed. Does this sound about right, or if not what do you think it will be?

Nunes: Yeah, cause to be honest I don't really think they deserve to be in at this point. Subjectively, what have they done really from an NCAA resume standpoint? Sure we've played some great teams but our best wins are Washington (13-11) and free-falling Villanova (14-9). Virginia is in the dumps so that win is null and void.

That said, Syracuse has every opportunity to earn their way in. They seem to be getting the benefit of the doubt at the moment thanks to a strong RPI but they need a signature win. Georgetown game anyone? That's the first of four-straight games against ranked teams. Honestly, SU has to go 2-2 in that stretch and then win out against Seton Hall and Marquette in order to be in a position to make the tourney as far as I'm concerned. Even then, it's gonna take at least two BE wins to seal the deal.

5. Orange::44: The ladies are listed as a six seed. Same question.

Nunes: At first it sounded low but then I thought about it and it makes sense. I think it's perfect for them. It's not too high that they get full of themselves and its not too low that they're looking at a #1 or #2 in the second round. It's just right.

6. Orange::44: Lacrosse season starts this Sunday against Villanova. What do you see is the biggest strength and weakness of this squad?

Nunes: What a horrible, horrible question. I know NOTHING of the strengths and weaknesses of the Orange lax team. I'm so fair-weather.

What I do know is that their schedule, which is almost always tough, is downright brutal this year. It makes me chuckle when opponents of SU joining the Big East Conference for lax note how the Orange will lose some of their strength of schedule. Meanwhile, even if the Orange traded in 4 ranked teams for rivals, they'd still have a ridiculously tough season ahead.
What is it about Syracuse in any sport that when they need to rebuild they schedule hard? Always gotta do this the hard way.

7. Orange::44: Finally, it is admittedly early to ask this question, but what would be your highlight of this basketball season if you had to pick today?

Nunes: If I had to pick one moment that sticks out to me, it would have to be The Paul Harris Incident. Paul Harris' admission after the Villanova loss. Harris just came out and said he didn't bring it, and furthermore he insinuated that he lost his heart for the game. It was a gutsy and honest moment that really let us into the mind of this kid and the pressure he's under. Ever since, he's been a new player. A weight was lifted and he finally found hid place on the court and in the offense. Simply, he seemed to rediscover his love for the game and it showed. It's been a pleasure to watch him since. Now, for the rest of them...

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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