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Belgium: Home of the EU and a damn fine player.
What a difference a week makes. Last Saturday Syracuse plays one of the most disappointing games in the history of the program, and then we play one of the best games against a ranked opponent all season. It was sure fun to be in the Dome for this game, and a nice cap on a season, building momentum for the games coming up in New York City. “America’s Bubble Team” has rejoined the conversation about punching a ticket to the Big Dance with a statement win over #20 Marquette 87 to 72.

Kristof! was the man of the hour. He had a couple amazing plays, capped of by a steal, going coast to coast, and then slamming the ball with authority while getting fouled. He finished the day with nine points, five rebounds and four assists. He also managed to take down a Marquette player only using the ball and his Belgian wit. While Greene, Flynn, and Harris continue to get most of the hype from this team, Kristof! is exactly the kind of endearing player that will not be famous, but will be famous to Syracuse fans. It is extremely rare for a JUCO transfer to play so well on this level, but Kristof! continues to play tough defense, grab rebounds, and make excellent passes, getting in points here and there. Kristof! is not just a good player, he is Syracuse fan’s favorite kind of player.

Donte Greene scored 21 points and pulled down four rebounds. He decided to implement a low post game finally over the smaller Marquette team, and it worked well. Syracuse continued to hammer the low post and they were rewarded, as the mismatched Marquette team could not stop the Syracuse penetration. He played a good game, and wow, he only took four shots from long range. Amazing. Maybe he should continue this trend next season. I think Greene was simply just playing like a freshman, and perhaps he has decided to grow up a bit. Then again, maybe it was just the simple fact that going down low worked well in this game. We shall see in the Big East how Mr. Greene does.

Jonny Flynn also had 21 points and seven assists. He continues to do well, and unlike Greene, I have never hated him this season. If he does not get Big East Rookie of the Year it will be a sad day.

Onuaku had a similarly good day in the low post, earning 14 points and five rebounds. Harris also had 14 points and six rebounds. Harris had some great plays and Onuaku looked strong. He seemed to somewhat be more competent shooting free throws this time as well. Scoop had some key plays off the bench as well, earning six points and two assists in 13 minutes of play.

Turnovers were “low” for Syracuse, as they had less than Marquette. Syracuse committed 14, while Marquette had 18. They were pretty evenly distributed across Syracuse, and none of them were too offensive to my fragile basketball sensibilities.

Syracuse had an excellent day shooting the ball. Syracuse shot 58% from the floor, making 29 of 50 attempts. Syracuse hit five of 11 from long range, earning 46% on the day. The team also did well from the free throw stripe, making 24 of 35 for 69%.

Syracuse defense also did well on the day. Paul Harris led the way with three steals, but it was Kristof!’s two, along with his three blocked shots that highlighted the defensive effort. Despite the height advantage, the rebounding was pretty even, so nothing sexy to report there. Overall it was an excellent defensive game for the ‘Cuse, despite Greene again being lazy on a few shots from long range by Marquette.

All in all, it was the best played game for Syracuse this season, and it could not come at a better time. Syracuse had a clear offensive game plan, a very active defense, and people who made some solid plays on both sides of the court. In a season which can best be described as “interesting…”, the team really responded with a “do not count us out yet” attitude and played a great game. We now see the team heading to New York and the comfy confines of the Garden, where magical things seem to happen when Syracuse is there for the Big East Tournament. Specifically, when Syracuse is seeded ninth. Syracuse will take on Villanova, a team they split against in the regular season, at noon on Wednesday. I will have a complete preview of the Big East tournament either tonight or tomorrow morning before the game. Hopefully you will be able to take a peak at the game even if you will be at work or school. I’ll also have my Lacrosse Weekly article coming soon, as well as the latest Nunes::44. A special congratulations goes out to the women’s basketball team for an excellent season in getting back to the Big East Tournament in Hartford. Although they lost a close game in overtime, the team will most certainly get a tournament big and it will be exciting to see how the ladies will fare in the big dance. Congratulations to Coach Q and his squad for a very successful season.

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1 Responses to “Marquette - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR Above All, This Team Is Fun To Watch”

  1. # Blogger Amanda

    Fragile basketball sensibilities? Nothing sexy to report? Mmmm, were you a few Jack & Diets in while writing this? :)

    And, thanks so much for that fabulous picture of Kristof! I definitely agree that he'll be famous to Syracuse fans, kind of like Forth, but maybe more so since he seems to be a more consistent player.  

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