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Syracuse - Villanova Postgame Reactions OR COME ON?!

You cannot be serious ED!?!
That was quite a horrific game to be a part of. In my seat inside the Wachovia Center I was so excited for this game, only to have Syracuse get down early 10-2 very early on. And it was all down hill from there. While my liver had a good weekend, this game was all Villanova, as they win 102 to 85.

Jonny Flynn had another good game for Syracuse. He was talking some junk all week leading up to the game on Villanova, and to be fair, he delivered for Syracuse. He finished with 22 points and eight assists. The problem with Flynn on the day was that he got a Technical Foul at a crucial time that killed momentum for the resurging Orange. Flynn’s big contribution on the day was hitting 11 of 13 free throws.

Eric Devendorf, who was razzed to no end, finished with 21 points on six of 18 shooting, three of eight from long range, and six of eight from the free throw stripe. However, Eric was a big cause of the team not going on a big enough run. He ended up coughing up the ball seven times, and he of course led the team in this category again. While I realize that he did not play half of last season, the problem is that he should be improving this year, not getting worse. He also managed to travel once or twice in this game. Even though his point total was there, he was not good for Syracuse in this game. That many turnovers is unacceptable.

Paul Harris had a quiet 14 points, but really he was not very good in this game either. He shot several mid range jumpers, fairly open, that just would not drop. He also pulled his trademark throw the hands up and hope a foul is called move to no avail. He also only pulled down five rebounds. For Syracuse to do well, we need Harris rebounding and being more aggressive.

Rick Jackson finished with 12 points. He actually played a good game, and other than Kristof!, he seemed to be the most active on defense in the frontcourt. He finished 5-7 on field goals with six rebounds. He filled in nicely for the struggling Onuaku before fouling out.

Andy Rautins, after struggling with some early shots he took, managed to drain four from downtown. He finished with 12 points because of it. However, he only hit four of 11 shots from long range, and several of them were not good shots. He also had two turnovers and did not contribute with rebounds or steals as he has in the past if he was not shooting well. At this point, it seems like a confidence issue, rather than a physical problem.

Arinze Onuaku had another bad game for Syracuse. He only finished with four points, five rebounds, and he finished 0-4 on free throws. You could tell he was not as aggressive and was sluggish on the floor. I am not sure if he is just injured or had a bad game. Either way, Syracuse will not win without him playing at least better than he has been in the near future.

Kristof!, however, had a good game for Syracuse. He had nine rebounds for Syracuse, which led the team. He also had a big block and was clearly the energy that the entire team needed to feed off of. This guy just does not quit, and really he did a good job in containing Cunningham while he was on the floor.

The problem was, in spite of the fact that ‘Nova did not shoot that well from long range, the 2-3 Zone was not as effective on defense as it should have been. Villanova was able to shoot 34.5% from the field. Now the top five or six teams in the league will probably rarely be stopped with even good defense, and therefore your team still has to score too. Syracuse did not, only shooting 38.1% from the floor.

Additionally, there were only two referees for most of this game due to one becoming injured early on. That left notorious referee Ed Hightower to make ridiculous calls in this game, and the way the two person rotation seemed to work, Ed was always on the baseline when Syracuse was on defense. Nice. Again, Syracuse cannot beat a good team and the referees. There were over 50 fouls called in this game.

Either way, Syracuse will not have to travel to Connecticut on Wednesday to take on the #1 Huskies. Despite the game, I did have an excellent time in Philadelphia. I would like to thank John Brennan for joining me on my preview podcast, as well as all my friends who made it out to McFadden’s before and after the game. Special shout out to Matt Glaude from Hoya Suxa who made the trip down as well and is having an impressive Hate Week with Georgetown. You can view my photo gallery of the game here. Hopefully Syracuse can rebound from this terrible performance and at least keep it close in Connecticut. I do not want to witness two shit sandwiches in person in the course of a few days.

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