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Why with the passes and the... with th... I... UHHH!
Well that was an interesting game. I do not think I was really entertained by it, nor was I upset over it. I am not sure how to feel about it. Yes, we advance in the NIT, but was that win impressive in the least? Not at all. Syracuse wins a close one, 87 to 81.

Donte Greene had a nice game with 27 points and five rebounds. I am still not that impressed with Greene however. His defense is a joke, and his shot is inconsistent at best. He did manage to hit six three point shots out of the 12 he took.
Harris had 19 points and looked the best on the floor for the Orange. He drove to the basket on the baseline and actually looked aggressive instead of being lackadaisical. “Do It All Paul” actually looked like he cared if we lost at home as a number one seed.

Kristof! Ongenaet also had a nice game, with a quite 13 points. Kristof! was the garbage man, earning rebounds and points off offensive boards. He also had a good game on the defensive end which will not appear on any stat line. Ongenaet is still fun to watch and one of the big success stories of the season.

Scoop Jardine also had a great game with 15 points off the bench. Like Paul, Scoop had a sense of urgency and importance in his play that some of his teammates seemed to lack. He played well and fought hard to get some great shots down. Scoop managed to brick a lay up late in the game though, so solid work on that son.

Flynn spent the entire second half on the bench with a back injury. If he is cleared for Thursday’s game he will play. Stay tuned to even more Injury Watch 2008. I thought we were done with this crap.

Lazy defense was again a big problem for Syracuse in this game. While the zone itself was working well and it gave Robert Morris problems in penetrating, there was very soft pressure on the outside shooters. This led them to earn 16 three point baskets, and take a total of 41 shots from long range. 41!?

Syracuse shot well from the field and the line. The team had 28 of 56 field goals (50%) and their free throw percentage was 66%, going 23 of 35.

As an aside, only 10,536 people showed up for last night’s game. Sad and pathetic. Even for a Tuesday.

Syracuse failed to handle the ball well though, and many, especially Greene, tried some ridiculous cross court passes that were intercepted. There were some absolutely atrocious passes attempted and rejected. They had 18 turnovers, and the only comfort is that Robert Morris had 20.

Syracuse also benefited from a rebounding edge over the Colonials. The Orange had 36 rebounds compared to only 22 by Robert Morris. Similarly Syracuse had 16 offensive boards, and only nine for the other team. This helped keep the score close when Syracuse was not shooting the ball well.

I have to give Robert Morris credit. They came to play, and Syracuse did not seem to be up for it at first. It took them a good portion of the first half to get into the game it seemed. But, in the end, it was Syracuse on top, and that is what matters the most. Syracuse now takes on Gary Williams’ Maryland squad. Williams is one of Jim Boeheim’s friends from the time he coached at Boston College, so it will be interesting to see this game from a multitude of angles. The first being that Maryland is, to borrow from my good friend Jimmy, just as Jekyll & Hyde as Syracuse is. They beat UNC, but lose to Boston College. Look for that game tomorrow as the NIT rolls on.

Additionally, before the game last night, Sean over at Nunes/Magician and I traded our usual eloquent banter and my answers to his questions are posted on his site in the latest installment of Orange::44 is an Absolute Magician. Enjoy my recounting of my St. Patrick’s Day, as well as some actual relevant sports knowledge, like the ladies making the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in 20 years. I am in Atlanta, Georgia until tomorrow, (special thanks to Orange::44 readers Cory and Adrienne for their hospitality) so that means regular Orange::44 action will resume just in time for more NIT, NCAA, and Syracuse coverage. Also, we will have our latest edition of Lacrosse Weekly which will recap yet another overtime win for the Orange lax squad. This time, it was rival Johns Hopkins who fell victim. Until then, I hope your St. Patrick’s Day was joyous, and remember that even though it is the NIT, as always GO ORANGE!

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