Countdown to Football Frustration

Next Frustrating Hoops Victory

Next Lacrosse Annihilation

Nunes::44 - 4/15/08

Greene leaves, Nunes fumbles... all is right?
It is Tuesday, which means it is time for our weekly chat between myself and Sean at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician. After a week hiatus because both Sean and I were on Brent Axe’s show, we come back after another great week in lacrosse and some time has passed on Donte Greene’s decision. I throw the hard questions, Sean gives me the good answers.
1. Orange::44: Many would have thought by now that the Orange would have run out of steam, but they continue to beat their opponents in lacrosse by large margins, and their schedule seems to be favorable the rest of the way. Will they win out the season and enter the NCAA Tournament with only the one overtime loss, or will they falter before the big dance?

Nunes: Albany (4-6), UMass (5-5) and Colgate (6-5) are all that stand between the Orange and a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. For a team like the Orange who have defeated #5 Georgetown and #16 Loyola and whose only loss was in OT to the #3 team in the nation, there's no reason to think they will lose again in the regular season.

It's been a pleasure to watch (well, in my case, read...) this season and in a weird way we have last year's disappointing season to thank for that. It reset our expectations and allowed us to appreciate a 10-1 Syracuse team when our reaction any previous year might have been "10-1? So what, call me when the Final Four begins..." We were kinda like the Atlanta Braves in that way. So good for so long that everyone stopped being passionate about it.

Now the big question is, once we get to the Big Dance and assuming we can return to the Final Four...can this team beat Duke? The Blue Devils aren't just beating great teams, they're decimating them. They beat Maryland 15-7 and defeated both UNC and Virginia 19-9. They're scoring at will and the closest anyone has been at the end of the game is 4 goals. Honestly, even with even records and similarly-tough schedules, it's silly that Duke isn't a unanimous #1 over Syracuse. They're that good.

2. Orange::44: Now that there has been time for reflection, what are your final thoughts on Greene jumping to the NBA Draft?

Nunes: Why were we shocked? Really, look back on the whole thing and we basically decided that 3-4 semi-joking comments by a 19-year-old overruled common sense and years of historical truth. Donte Greene didn't grow up dreaming of playing basketball at Syracuse, he grew up dreaming of playing basketball in the NBA. We should have known.

Yes, Donte Greene would benefit immensely from staying at SU another year. And we as fans felt like he was part of a very special puzzle. But at the end of the day, Donte doesn't owe any of us anything. He's his own man (or at least he will be) and 95% of people faced with the same situation would probably do the same thing.

I'm sure he's thinking that it would have been nice to win a championship at SU and ride off into the sunset like Carmelo. But really, does winning the NCAA title at SU have any bearing on Carmelo's day-to-day right now? Yes it vaunted him into the spotlight but he would have been the same exact player in the pros had SU lost in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament that year (and yes, he still would have left). Short term, it was an amazing experience and allowed him to be a huge part of history. Long term, it's a resume bullet point.

I'm sure that was Donte's thought process. I can become a millionaire and support my family and live like a rock star, or I can risk all of that so some strangers in Mattydale can feel better about themselves and my jersey sells like hotcakes in the student store, sales that I will receive exactly $0 from.

I wish Donte well. I don't agree with his choice but anyone who hates him for leaving is only doing so for their own personal reasons.

Here's a thought...was incoming recruit Kris Joseph's comments about he's staying for four years a dig on Greene or just coincidental? And how do the guys still at SU, who are certainly better friends with Greene than they are with Joseph, feel about it?

3. Orange::44: What, in your opinion is the biggest development in football related to the off season or spring practices?

Nunes: I was hoping I could say that the running game looks miles ahead of where it was last year but that doesn't seem to be the case. I think the most refreshing story has the arrival and subsequent ass-kickery of Mitch Browning. From what I've read he's completely broken down the entire offense. Goodbye West Coast. Goodbye Pistol. Goodbye Fatties. He's a man on a mission and at least in terms of his work ethic and his attention to detail, he's succeeding. Now we just need to see it translated on the field.

And was I the only one reading that Daily Orange article from yesterday thinking that when Greg Robinson gets fired, Mitch is the first guy whose gonna get interviewed? Made me wonder if he was as much Daryl Gross' hire as Greg's.

4. Orange::44: What do you think are the reasonable expectations for the football team next season and what would be the proper measure of success for Greg Robinson?

Nunes: Well, the opinion outside of SU and by the ill-informed would probably be that Syracuse has to go 6-6 in order for Greg Robinson to keep his job. In reality, I think four wins gets Greg a one-year extension.

Looking at the schedule, there's three games that SU absolutely has to win (Northwestern, Akron & Northeastern). There's three games we're almost likely going to lose (Penn State, West Virginia, South Florida). That leaves Pittsburgh, Louisville, Rutgers, UConn, Notre Dame and Cincy. How we do in those games will ultimately determine Robinson's fate. If the Orange go 4-8 (2-5), both of those numbers are improvements, however slight, and they will be able to point to the upticks as a reason for keeping the status quo.

Personally, I feel that if Robinson is able to get this team to 5-7, that's my personal acceptance level for giving him a one-year extension. I won't like it, but I think that with this schedule and all things considered, that will be enough proof that the corner is turned. I think.

5. Orange::44: What is the level of achievement that the basketball team needs to accomplish next season?

Nunes: If we can go all season with any cheese-steak theft, I think we'll have accomplished what we set out to do.


Obviously, this team needs to make the NCAA Tournament. That's beyond a shadow of a doubt. Paul Harris cannot and will not be the face of Jim Boeheim's first NIT three-peat. But making the tournament isn't going to be enough for these guys now. They are serious expectations based on the growth of Flynn, the maturation of Harris, the return of Devo and Rautins, the size of Onukau and Kristof! and the arrival of Kris Joseph et al. As of today, if you polled SU fans, I think you would find that most of them fully expect this to be no lower than a #4-seed, maybe #5-seed kind of team. Possibly even higher.

Now if this team does falter and misses the tourney, well, I can't even imagine what the Boeheim boo-birds are going to be saying.

6. Orange::44: Finally, Axe has had a week of shows in. How's he doing?

Nunes: Horrible. Absolutely horrible.

And by horrible, I mean great.

I listen pretty much straight through for the first three days and when I can since and I'm very rarely bored, which I would think in radio terms is the goal. Admittedly, I'm not invested in the Syracuse Crunch and the Chiefs so those segments I tune out but then again I'm not the audience for that.

I'm just really happy for him and it's been cool listening to all of the older listeners call in and express their appreciation for his return. I wasn't privy to Axe's first time around but I imagine the way it ended left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. It's also a testament to his appeal, that he's connected so well with the online crowd while also appealing to the truckers and blue collar guys out there.

Not sure if many others are listening on the webcast but it's been pretty solid, save for two things. #1, no pause button. I listen to Sirius online as well and that's a huge bonus. To be able to walk away and come back and not miss a beat makes a big difference. #2, I'd like to be able to listen to a lot of the segments and interviews (namely my own) at a later date. I know they're working on it so I figure we'll be seeing that feature soon.
At the end of the day, it's just to listen to some intelligent talk about a topic we all love. Was that so hard for everyone to figure out?

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.

Labels: , , ,

0 Responses to “Nunes::44 - 4/15/08”

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link


  • Air Your Grievances

  • This About Sums It Up

  • I am less smart for having read your blog.
  • - Anonymous Georgetown supporter.
  • You are an idiot...
  • - Anonymous Nunes/Magician Reader.
  • Congrats on not being very good at what you do.
  • - Anonymous ACC supporter.
  • You are a dweeb, my friend. Grow a backbone.
  • - Anonymous UConn supporter.
  • ...vacuous, asinine, and mind numbing...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • Honestly, just admit that you are pathetic...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • You just don't have hoops experience.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • Leave the journalism to talented people. Brian is just another hack and another fair weather fan.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • A bad blog about Syracuse athletics.
  • - UConn Fan on Twitter (after winning NCAA).