Countdown to Football Frustration

Next Frustrating Hoops Victory

Next Lacrosse Annihilation

Is this New York? This doesn't look like the Carrier Dome. That looks like this.
Syracuse has had quite the last couple of games. While the outcome of the Oakland game was never in doubt, the Florida game would be this team’s first big test. Syracuse entered Kansas City ready to see if they are the team that Syracuse fans all think they can be, and they definitely delivered. Syracuse beat Oakland 86 to 66, and they beat Florida 89 to 83.
Jonny Flynn was your leading scorer in the Oakland and the co-leading scorer for the Florida game. He also combined for eight assists in both games. He continues to quietly score baskets at will by slicing the lane or penetrating and making a quick dish on the wing to an open shooter. This is clearly Flynn’s team and he is an elite sophomore in the NCAA. He had the best jump stop I have seen in the last few years during that Florida game.

Harris also had a quiet 18 points in the Florida game. He went 7-11 from the floor and 11 rebounds. Harris also earned 11 points and eight rebounds against Oakland. Harris, although leading turnovers with five in the Florida game, is making some outstanding passes and has shown flashes of outstanding court vision. Finally we are seeing more of his mid-range game as well as his baseline work, which is delivering as promised his freshman year.

Eric Devendorf got 10 points against Oakland and nine against Florida. He combined for eight assists and continues to distribute the ball well. However, the turnovers for this young man are still extremely troubling as it seems because of the accident he has regressed in his decision making. He is making those bad choices he made at the very start of last year, but mostly stopped by December. Hopefully the learning curve is shorter this year, as with playing Kansas tonight and Memphis later, bad decisions could even haunt us in the non-conference.

Kristof! was recognized by Dickie V on the Florida broadcast as that blue collar hard worker that we love and need. He finished with a combined five points, and ten rebounds. While his offense is not something that is very productive, we really do not need it to be. He always works hard on defense (even when it appears not may others are), rebounds tough rebounds, and always hustles. Exactly the player Syracuse needs.

Arinze Onuaku is clearly the strongest player on the floor for either team and probably will be most of the year. He was 5-5 on field goals in the Oakland game and got 14 points. In the Florida game he went 5-8 with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Onuaku is clearly an elite inside player and as long as he receives a good pass he is the strong finisher that Craig Forth never was. Onuaku will be the key to victory in several games.

Kris Joseph has been excellent in the last two games. In the Oakland game he was 6-6 with 13 points and for the Florida game he was 5-8 with ten points and five rebounds. This freshman is very athletic and quickly becoming a member of the Jim Boeheim good list.

Andy Rautins has been dreadful until this point, but during this Florida game he finally became the Andy Rautins we missed last year. During the game he went 5-9 from three point range, earning 15 points. Now that he is over the mental block I feel like he will now be able to consistently contribute to the team.

Rick Jackson has been dreadful the past few games. Hopefully he will gain some confidence and start making strong moves to the basket.

Syracuse finished the Florida game at 51.7% from the floor and 40% from long range. Similarly, they finished the Oakland game shooting 52.8% from the floor, but only 29.2% from three-point range. The team overall is shooting very well from the floor so if they keep that up, victory should be at hand more often than not.

The free throw situation is really getting ridiculous. The Florida game was too close at the end because of the free throws, and it was only due to Syracuse’s quick thinking to get the ball to good shooters and Florida’s failure to foul Onuaku when the ball was in his hand that won the game in the end. Boeheim seriously needs to make sure that these kids are practicing them in a game type situation so that they are confident that they can make them. Face it, if someone gets a rebound it will probably be Onuaku or Harris, and they will be fouled. They need to be able to consistently shoot free throws down the stretch of a game.

The man defense was weak and Florida had the answer for Syracuse’s weak zone. They are just not gelling on defense yet. This will surely come by playing in the non-conference slate, but it is disturbing the ease of which Florida could get close to the basket for an easy dish. The defense needs to commit to being tough. If we had five Kristof!’s it would be great.

I do have to give a shout out from the Oakland game to Dan Waterstradt, formally of your Rutgers Scarlet Knights. He was the tallest, goofiest white dude basketball player I’ve ever seen, and he made his triumphant return to the Carrier Dome earning 0 points and one rebound in 15 minutes of play. Congratulations to Dan.

The Florida game was a huge step in the right direction for this team. Despite the outcome tonight Syracuse will return to New York successful. Beating #18 Florida was a good test for this team, and the only thing better will be beating defending National Champions Kansas in a rematch from the 2003 National Championship. If Syracuse can lock down free throws and play stronger defense, then Syracuse will be a really hard team to reckon with.


0 Responses to “Florida/Oakland - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR Great Road Trip So Far”

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).