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Nunes::44 - 4/30/09

Troy would love to do a US tour with Doug Marrone.
It’s Wednesday, which means it is time to exchange valuable knowledge with my cohort Sean at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician. Today we talk about Jim Boeheim’s comments, Doug Marrone’s barnstorming, the team's expectations, a little lacrosse, and dinner plans when time machines are made. Enjoy.

1. Orange::44: Weigh in on Jim Boeheim's comments about his former players and his current explanations. Do you think he is back tracking or were they initially misunderstood?

Nunes: I guess I'm willing to give Jimmy the benefit of the doubt. If he's telling the truth, then Andy Katz was putting words into his mouth by specifically saying "Brandon Triche" as the next point guard of SU basketball. But I find it hard to believe that Katz would blatantly fudge quotes and if the quotes are real, there's no other way to read the "I'll take Wes Johnson over Paul Harris" comments than face value.

Whether he said it or not, Jim's obviously in clarification mode. He did a mini-press tour the other day and Katz clarified the statements in his blog which means Boeheim must have contacted him and asked him to. He didn't change any of the quotes though.

I get the sense Jim is emotionally done with Paul Harris and Eric Devendorf. He probably doesn't like the way Paul Harris has handled the situation, and I can see his point if so, and he seems ready to let go of Devo and his baggage. He may have let his emotions get the better of him in this instance. Still, that's not the kind of comments you want to see coming from your coach. One day that could be you getting thrown under the bus, out of context or not.

2. Orange::44: Marrone is taking the US by storm. Your thoughts on this PR tour of the nation and what do you think will be accomplished by it if anything?

Nunes: It's a fantastic idea. Doug Marrone's Q rating is through the roof right now for Orange fans and he's barely done anything. It's the perfect time to parade him around the Northeast (and LA) to Syracuse alumni hotspots and get the fans some face time with our apparent savior.

Marrone clearly has no problem schmoozing with the fans and his likeability and desire to turn Syracuse into a competent program are commodities SU needs to be taking advantage of. He's an ambassador for the university and the program, which is what a high profile college coach needs to be.

Now, can you imagine if they had done this with Greggers last year? Would people have even showed up? (For the free food...yes).

3. Orange::44: Give me your expectations for the SU Football team next year. Do you think they will achieve them or not, and either way are you alright with it being that it is Marrone's first year?

Nunes:
Call me crazy but I expect Syracuse to finally make good on the Quest for Toronto and play in the International Bowl next season. I've said before on my site that this past season's Syracuse team was more talented than their record indicated. They were so poorly coached, they lost games they never should have. Inversely, I believe the team will be so much better coached this year that it will win them an extra game or two.

And if you think this sounds crazy, look at our first opponent of the year, Minnesota. From 1-11 two seasons ago to 7-6 and a bowl game last year. Never underestimate the power of a good coach.

All of that said, if the team ends up going 2-10, I'm not going to hate on Marrone, unless he's somehow revealed to be Greggers-esque, which I highly doubt. Marrone has the luxury of a free pass this year...though he's probably the last person to rest on that.

4. Orange::44: Lacrosse is back in the top spot in both polls. Do you see them rolling over Colgate and earning the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament?

Nunes:
If Syracuse lacrosse was a person, it would have a look on it's face right now that says "I have no idea how I got here but I'll take it." Syracuse hasn't been overly impressive most of the year but when it matters, they've won games. That more than I can say about Johns Hopkins. NCAA Lacrosse seems to value many things above just winning games but the Orange have done what has been asked of them.

Currently the Orange are #1 in both polls but even with a win over Colgate, which I think they will get, won't guarantee anything just yet. Duke has made a late-season surge that has catapulted them to the top of the lacrosse world. They've beaten Virginia twice, won the ACC Tournament, and have more RPI Top 20 wins than anyone by a mile. Their SOS is through the roof and, unlike Johns Hopkins, they've won the tough games too. I'm willing to bet the Blue Devils end up getting the #1 seed.

That leaves Syracuse and Virginia to battle it out for the #2 seed and head-to-head the Cavaliers hold the advantage. So despite the fact that the Orange are #1 in both polls, there's a decent chance they could be the #3 seed when the Tourney starts.

Detractors of the Big East Conference formation in lacrosse might point to this as a reason the re-alignment is a bad idea. The Orange's SOS might take a further hit next season if upstart programs like Providence and St. John's don't improve in a hurry and the ACC is a veritable SOS Candyland. SU's schedule can't compete with that...yet.

5. Orange::44: Do you think that SU will win another National Championship this season? Why or why not?

Nunes: I think the Orange have all of the tools necessary to get them back to the Final Four. Unfortunately, I don't think all the pieces are in place for the team to survive a gauntlet that includes Virginia, Princeton and Duke unscathed.

Defensively, the Orange can play with anyone in the country. Goalie John Galloway is the wild card. He's had some brilliant games, like last week's UMass win. At times, he's disappeared altogether and seemed overpowered. The Orange are going to need him to string together four great games against four elite teams and I just don't know if he can do that.

It's the offense that concerns me the most, and that's not something you hear often about Syracuse lacrosse. In almost every game this season the Orange have completely disappeared for a quarter or more. That they leave themselves enough time to right the ship and pull out the win has been a mixture of pure talent and a little bit of luck. The Orange can't afford an off-quarter in the playoffs. Teams that do that get eaten alive. It's one thing to have to come back against Albany. It's another to have to do it against Virginia in the Final Four spotlight.

6. Orange::44: Finally, what SU athlete would you want to sit down and have dinner with? Name a current player and one that has moved on.

Nunes: Great question. If we're talking about a current player, I think I'm gonna go with Andrew Robinson. Not a flashy pick and he's obviously not one of the superstars of Syracuse, but he just seems like a cool guy. Would love to pick his brain about the Greg Robinson Era and find out if he's really cool with the move. Plus, I think I can take him in the inevitable post-meal dart game.

As for a former player, how could I not go with Ernie Davis? I'd love to know the real him and see what he honestly felt and thought about his time at Syracuse. I know the glossy version that it told that paints him into a God-like creature, but I'd just like to have met the actual man. And, I'm pretty sure he would pay. Ernie was cool like that.

Editor’s Note: This is another installment in the ongoing collaboration between Orange::44 and Nunes/Magician. Usually every other Wednesday Nunes::44 will appear here, while the following week Orange::44/Magician will appear on his site. Until then, enjoy excellent Nunes/Magician articles as always and stay tuned to Orange::44 for complete postgame coverage from every Syracuse game.

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Lacrosse Weekly - 4/28/09

It was a fine day in Amherst for the Orange.
Syracuse has had a fine year with a few downs, but mostly ups. Heading into Saturday’s game versus #15 Massachusetts, #2 Syracuse had a record of ten wins and two losses. Syracuse has also lost the last two times they have traveled to Massachusetts, most recently preventing Syracuse from reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2007. That was no the fate of the Orange this time, as Syracuse wins big in Amherst ten to three.

The game started off back and forth, with Massachusetts scoring the first goal. It was a defensive battle the entire first half, as no team managed to score in the last thirteen and a half minutes in the second quarter. However after the start of the second half, Syracuse scored four unanswered, making it eight to two. UMass added their third and final goal with less than two minutes left in the third. Then Syracuse finished by adding two more in the fourth to win ten to three. Transfer Cody Jamieson almost added one more, but it was waived off for a crease violation. Either way, this was a strong effort on both sides of the ball. Syracuse’s defense led by Sid Smith was stifling on most occasions, and was tough on the UMass shooters. Syracuse’s offense also found much success on the net, as the shooters continued to paint the corners and hit far and contested shots.

Stephen Keogh led the Orange with three goals, two of which came in the forth quarter to earn him his 40th goal of the year. The goal at the 6:44 minute mark is in the video below, in which he gets a pass right in front of the crease and puts it through his legs and in the goal. Kenny Nims led in assists with three, and he also contributed a goal. Josh Amidon also added two goals of his own. Sid Smith set a career high for himself in picking up six ground balls. Four Orange players took a face off in this game. Jake Moulton won four of nine, Tim Harder won two of three, Gavin Jenkinson won two of four, and Josh Knight lost his one face off. John Galloway looked much sharper in this game. He did let one very soft goal go by in the second UMass score, but his third was just a good goal as Galloway made the initial stop but the deflection ended up right in the net of a UMass player and he put it right in. That one couldn’t be helped. He finished the day with 14 saves and only three goals against in sixty minutes of play. A significant improvement over his last few games.


Syracuse, as expected, led in the shot category. Syracuse took 37, while Massachusetts took 30. The Orange picked up 31 ground balls and the Minutemen only grabbed 19. This could be due to luck, but it was mostly due to the solid wing play of Syracuse. Massachusetts led the Orange in face off wins, taking nine of 17. Syracuse cleared 19 of 25 balls, while Massachusetts cleared 18 of 20. Neither Syracuse nor Massachusetts capitalized on two extra man opportunities. Finally, Galloway again made 14 saves, while Massachusetts goalie Doc Schneider saved 17 and allowed 10. The complete box score can be found here.

Syracuse improves to 11-2 on the season. Massachusetts falls to 8-5. Massachusetts set an attendance record for lacrosse with 13,722 people attending. Syracuse fans comprised a good chunk of the fans. This game was played at McGuirk Field, normally where UMass football plays. The last time lacrosse was played at McGuirk was against Syracuse. Before this game Syracuse had lost the last two games in Amherst, but they won big on Saturday. At the time Syracuse and UMass were ranked #2/3 and #15/16 respectively. Now Syracuse ascends to #1 in both polls, earning 15 of 20 first place votes in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and four of eight in the coaches poll. UMass is tied for 15th in the media poll and #15 in the coach’s poll. The media poll can be found here, and the coach’s poll can be found here.

Syracuse earns the top spot because of some interesting action over the weekend. Other notable scores were:

April 24:

Navy 9 – Colgate 8

North Carolina 16 – Maryland 10 (ACC Tournament)

Duke 16 – Virginia 5 (ACC Tournament)

April 25:

Dartmouth 7 – Princeton 14

Notre Dame 14 – Ohio State 8

Vermont 5 – UMBC 18

Rutgers 7 – Georgetown 15

Cornell 9 – Brown 11

Albany 12 – Stony Brook 13

April 26:

Navy 9 – Bucknell 8

Duke 15 – North Carolina 13 (ACC Tournament Championship)

April 27:

Johns Hopkins 12 – Mount St. Mary’s 5

For the complete Inside Lacrosse scoreboard click here.

Syracuse now turns to its final regular season game against Colgate in the Carrier Dome. This game has relatively low implications, but with a victory Syracuse should seal up a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. A loss will surely still allow Syracuse to go to the NCAA Tournament, but they will not have as good of a seed. At they very least they have locked up a top 4 seed though. If Syracuse continues to play well like they did in Amherst, they should easily reach the Final Four once again. But Syracuse should worry about getting through the end of the season with one more victory first. As I was at this game in person I have several fun pictures of the day, which you can view here.

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And USF is Back on the Board!

Does this look like a guy that would fire a gun in the air?
Obligated… blah… secondary mission… legal trouble, etc. You get the drill from the last article. It seems the University of South Florida is getting in on the action once again. This once again reinforces the argument that nothing good can happen after midnight when you are out in a fight and own a gun.

South Florida junior tight end Trent Pupello has been charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor, charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm and one count each of aggravated assault with a firearm and discharging a firearm in public, according to The Tampa Tribune and ESPN.com. It seems on April 10th, at about 2:50am a fight broke out in a restaurant parking lot involving 15 people including Pupello. He broke away, went to his car, and allegedly retrieved a handgun. He then approached the crowd, firing in the air, and proceeded to pistol whip three individuals, hurting all of them and breaking one person’s left orbital socket according to police. By Florida law, a battery becomes an aggravated battery if "during the commission of a battery, he/she: intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or uses a deadly weapon. It would be the deadly weapon theory at this juncture I would imagine. It is a second degree felony and that charge alone carries a possible $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison. Pupello was scheduled to miss all of the 2009 football season because of an injury to his neck in a car crash in October, but had planned to return to the field in 2010 for the Bulls. He is currently out of jail on $25,000 bail.

I have to say I normally just get to talk about street fights or the occasional booze fueled drug binge, but we have our Big East MVP right here folks. Whenever you break out the whole pistol whip, you know this guy is a badass, and not in the good way. I mean who does this guy think he is? A mob boss? A crooked cop? I find it absolutely reprehensible that this guy did this. Jim Leavitt, head coach of the Bulls, has absolutely done the right thing here by coming out and saying immediately "I am just learning of the situation. However if the charges were true, we would never allow anyone that is involved in behavior of that nature to be a part of the USF football program." Bravo. Randy Edsall could learn a thing or two from Leavitt in how to deal with discipline problems at UConn. Either way, of course Pupello is innocent until proven guilty, but when you have actual injured victims, it is not like it would be a difficult thing for the prosecutors to prove. Moral of the story, even if this guy is not held criminally, or even civilly, liable he will most likely not step on the football field in the Big East again.

I’ll be back later with my recap of the Syracuse/Massachusetts lacrosse game including pictures and a video.

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UConn Football Players Back In Action

This guy just looks like he loves a good fight. And booze.
As I am obligated to remind you readers every time the opportunity presents itself, a secondary mission of this notebook is to chronicle the legal troubles of fellow Big East squads, and most specifically the frequent flyer that is the University of Connecticut. A never ending well of legal issues, the Connecticut UConn Huskies cannot seem to help themselves. This time football gets back in the act.

Redshirt junior linebacker Scott Lutrus was arrested by UConn Police after a fight broke up at an off-campus apartment complex this past Thursday night, according to The Hartford Courant and ESPN.com. He was charged with interfering with a police officer and second degree breach of peace. Apparently he, his 23 year old brother, and UConn kicker Desi Cullin were talking near the apartment complex when one of them bumped someone as they walked. The person then later tried to attack the three with a box cutter. That is when a fight erupted, specifically with Lutrus. Then Cullin attempted to break up the extra curriculars with Lutrus’ brother as the police arrived. Sources reported that when asked to explain why his brother was involved, he was told not to talk. Now the article did not actually say who told him not to talk, which seems to me to be pretty important, but again they did not.

Lutrus was recently elected a captain on the UConn team. Now, I get it. I have been to a UConn Spring Weekend. It is just one big drinking weekend. You may remember the article a few years ago about how the police pulled 29 kegs out of a dorm room. A DORM! You have to tip your hat to that. And honestly if it is true that some guy attacked Lutrus and the others with a box cutter, he had every right to engage in a fight to protect himself from imminent injury. But if that was the case why did he just not tell the cop that he got attacked by some douche with a box cutter? And honestly, who told him not to tell the police what happened? I’ll admit I am a little biased in this regard with my relationship to the criminal justice system, but the police have a job out there, and they need to know what happens. When the police asked you what went down, you are supposed to tell them and tell then the truth. Sadly the Captain chose to be coy with police for whatever reason. Thus, he caught a couple of charges. Let this be a lesson to you kids, when you’re out there boozing watch your step. You never know who has a box cutter. Of course there was no word on this kid from Randy Edsall on the fate of this young man, but knowing him and UConn it might not be much of a punishment. He ranked third the Big East last season with 106 tackles, and let UConn in the category. He was a two year starter for the Huskies. H/T to Sean at Nunes/Magician.

As a side note, Friday in Syracuse was The Day. God bless The Day. If you went to SU, or you read this notebook regularly, you know exactly what I mean by The Day. Glorious.

Additionally I will be heading just a short drive up I-91 to Amherst, Massachusetts to watch #2 Syracuse (10-2) take on #15 Massachusetts (7-4). Massachusetts is not in the same class as Syracuse this season, however UMass is not the easiest place to play for the Orange in the past few years, having lost there in 2007, assuring that they would not make the playoffs for the first time since 1982, and losing in 2005 as well. It should be an interesting test for Syracuse however, as this is the fourth and last game for Syracuse away from the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome. It should be a good one, so I will actually have a recap of the game and some photos up by the end of the weekend.

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Time for More Magic

The next quarterback of the SU Football team?
God damn I hate Duke. Anyone that did not go there does as well most likely. My good friend Sean from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician just had to know what I thought about this guy. He also asks me about the Big East next season, some basketball, some lacrosse, and M Street bars of yesteryear. It is riveting as always. Enjoy the latest Orange::44 is an Absolute Magician.

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Nunes::44 - 4/15/09

Troy would never leave early. He's all in.
Today is Wednesday, which means my good friend Sean from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician and I exchange witty banter through the time tested formula of questions and answers. Today he answers my bright queries as we talk about such topics as the new look of the basketball team, how Marrone is doing at the helm, and what Sean would do if he had Chancy Nancy’s job. Enjoy.

1. Orange::44: Flynn has signed with an agent according to different sources. Is this a good move for him, considering you posted an article from a GM saying he might not be a lottery pick? Are we as SU Basketball fans totally screwed?

Nunes: I don't think anyone will know if this was a good move for Jonny until he actually gets drafted. If he goes in the lottery and ends up on a team that he can make an impact with, then I guess it works out. If he takes a Donte Greene-esque tumble to the end of the first round, you'd be hard-pressed to say it was a smart move. What's especially bothersome is the list of other Big East stars shuffling off to the NBA. Jonny would have DOMINATED the Big East next year. Not a question. He probably would have been the front-runner for Big East POY, Syracuse would have been a top ten team and Jonny would have been up for discussion in the top 6-7 picks overall. Arggg...

Brent Axe had a great line the other day, "Jonny Flynn wasn't bigger than Syracuse Basketball. He simply made it bigger." SU basketball and it's fans will move on, just like we did when Carmelo left. And we've still got some very talented guys in orange uniforms as well as some highly-touted freshman joining them. I think once we all accept this is what's going on we can let it go and move forward. As Donald Rumsfeld would say if he were our Director of Athletics, "You play basketball with the team you have, not the team you wish you had."

2. Orange::44: Let's assume Harris comes back. Who is your starting 5 next year for basketball and how do you think they will perform together?

Nunes: You know, I was about to say that's an iffy assumption but the way things have been going...who's to say??? I won't be surprised either way at this point. If Harris stays, I think there might be a bit of disappointment for him in terms of starting. I think the team needs another pure guard up top. But is starting Scoop worth benching Harris? I honestly don't know.

I mean, Rautins did work on his ball-handling before this season, possibly in preparation for the time when he would be called on. But I don't want Andy Rautins bringing up the ball, I want him shooting it from beyond the three point line. So I'm starting to lean with Scoop, Andy, Wes, AO and Rick Jackson and Paul Harris coming off the bench. And that's probably why I don't think Paul will come back.

3. Orange::44: What are your thoughts on the spring work the football team has put in and are you concerned about players leaving / switching positions?

Nunes: It all sounds great so far. I love hearing about the intensity and the way the coaches are all over these guys. That was sorely lacking from the previous regime. It really does make Greg Robinson's style look even more ridiculous, if that's possible.
I'm not bothered at all by the guys leaving. It is what it is. You've got a group of people used to a certain situation and now that situation is changed. If you can't recognize that the previous situation was bad, as evident by your wins and losses, and that you need this change...you probably shouldn't be here. And I know some of the guys might have left for personal reasons and that's gonna happen, coaching change or not.

The feeling I get from Doug Marrone is...if you're good enough, you work your butt off and you want to be here, you will play. And that's the kind of coaching that will win games with mediocre talent. Because it's going to drive these guys to work harder then they've ever worked before and they're going to be entrusted with these golden opportunities.

4. Orange::44: What was your favorite moment from the past basketball season?

Nunes: I mean, how do you go with anyone other than the 6-OT win over UConn? It was an experience unlike anything I've ever been through. I started watching the game in a bar, listened to the first OT on the radio in the car and then watched all the subsequent OTs at home. The whole time rotating between fingernail-biting excitement and are-you-kidding-me awe. Winning that game was the real coda on this season and this group of guys. It's the first thing we'll all think of when we think of the Jonny Flynn Era.

5. Orange::44: Do you think SU Lacrosse is the #3 team in the country or would you have them somewhere else?

Nunes: They only have two losses and they are to the #1 and #2 teams in the nation. #3 is absolutely where they should be. If things keep playing out the way we expect them to the Orange will likely be the 3-seed in the Tournament, which is fine. I expect Virginia to retake #1 at some point or get the 1-seed in the Tourney, setting up an SU-Princeton rematch in the Final Four. Bring it.

6. Orange::44: Devendorf got a lot of hate directed at him from both opposing fans, as well as the Syracuse faithful. Are you sad to see him go, or had his talking finally pushed you to say good riddins?

Nunes: I'm not saying good riddance but I completely understand why he would want to leave and I'm fine with it as an SU fan. I think the unwanted attention and derision that Eric carries with him crossed over onto an entirely different place at the end of the season and it would be a constant distraction for him and for the entire team next year. You know that we'd all be waiting for him to slip up again and I'm sure he'd be thinking the same thing in the back of his mind. It's like he was on double secret probation and the entire world wants him to fail. I don't know about you but I'd want out of that as well. Now he can go to another country with a clean slate, get paid to play basketball and provide for his daughter. I think he can walk away from SU with his head held high and know that we appreciated "most" of the things he did on the court here, though his legacy will be up for debate for a long time.

All of that said, I'm not-so-secretly happy he's going. Eric already felt he was the true leader of this team...just imagine what he'd be like next year as a senior and with no Jonny. He'd throw up 20 three's a game and take crazy breakaway shots just because he could. You just get the feeling that a regime-change is happening with this team. It's not his time anymore. Next year's team is going to be all about Andy, Wes & AO, amongst others. And that's not such a terrible thing.

7. Orange::44: Finally, if you were appointed Chancellor of Syracuse University, what is the first thing you would do, both school related and athletic related?

Nunes: Athletics-related is easy...I'd restore #44. It's a dumb thing done for dumb reasons and it's dumb that it's still going on. 44 is a carrot we should always be able to dangle out there for the next great running back. And if we're all so worried about a disappointing player wearing it, we'd make a rule that only juniors/seniors could wear it. Either way, that's part of our identity and it's a shame we're not keeping the tradition going.

Overall, I would take a good hard look at the SU Judicial Board and see just how fair and balanced it is. I'd look at past cases, the facts and the end result and see if it was truly serving the University and it's students to the best of it's ability. And if not, I would make necessary changes to ensure that SU students have a fair legal process they can trust in.

Orange::44: The lawyer in me agrees completely with you Sean.

Editor’s Note: This is another installment in the ongoing collaboration between Orange::44 and Nunes/Magician. Usually every other Wednesday Nunes::44 will appear here, while the following week Orange::44/Magician will appear on his site. Until then, enjoy excellent Nunes/Magician articles as always and stay tuned to Orange::44 for complete postgame coverage from every Syracuse game.

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Is This The Worst Advertisement Ever?

I would rather watch 20 football games coached by Greggers than this crap.
As you loyal readers know I currently live in Springfield, Massachusetts. In case you aren’t familiar with the area my apartment is about five minutes from the State of Connecticut. Thus I am sadly subject to the marketing machine that is the University of Connecticut. Thus this was on television during one of my DVR’ed programs.


I just about threw my remote at my television. I figured I was safe in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Apparently not. So I leave it to you the viewers. Is this the worst advertisement for a football team you have ever seen? At least it isn’t this masterpiece.

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Mr. Flynn goes to Draftington

Yes, I want that pile of money. Yeah that one.
We. Are. Boned. My god, I thought we would be alright, and frankly I was not convinced that all three of Jonny Flynn, Eric Devendorf, and Paul Harris. Well it looks as though Devendorf and Flynn are or are going to sign with an agent. And Harris has yet to decide. But let’s face it, Harris is the weakest player of those three. And until today, Flynn was looking like he was coming back. Apparently not the case, as he is expected to sign with Agent Leon Rose, who represents LeBron James. James openly lobbied him to go pro and sign with Rose. Shady. So yeah, we just went from a top 5, legitimate National Championship contender, to a barely top 25 team. Outstanding. A Lax Weekly article should be published sometime tomorrow. Right now, I’ll think of Marrone working the football players through drills and lacrosse being ranked #3 to feel alright.
PS - Do you also think we are boned?

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Michigan State is a Fine University

Because Matt's been too busy to post stuff like this. Sorry little Calhoun.

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Time To Grind Some Gears

Peter knows how to do it.
My time is thinner this time of the year due to my school workload. I have a motion due this week and a trial the next. Therefore my time to blog is thin, but over the past few days there have been some really juicy things to talk about. Thus, it is time for a seldom used here, but often impact filled “grinding gears” segment made famous by one of this country’s most eloquent poets Peter Griffin. Additionally, I just provide my commentary on several issues on the hot stove. Less gear grinding, more commentary and analysis that you’ve come to expect from Orange::44. Maybe there’ll be a Lloyd Carr rumor. You never know!

Connecticut Violations
If you know me, or have read this blog for any length of time, you know that I hate UConn for several reasons. However, additionally if you know me you know that for the past several years I have been saying that UConn recruits dirty and they Calhoun will sometime be involved in recruiting violations at some point in his career. Sure enough it finally happened. The NCAA has launched an investigation, but it seems like the proof is already at hand. Asked to comment earlier last week and Jim Calhoun basically denied a lot of the stuff, seemed uninterested, and didn’t seem to care about what the investigation was about or anything like that. However, later was a much different tune as a more contrite Calhoun admitted that a mistake could have been made. Yeah, apparently so. The original Yahoo! Sports report seemed to have plenty of facts including phone records and records of text messages to prove, based on the preponderance of the evidence, that violations have occurred. It will be interesting to see what the NCAA does. Do I think any games will be taken away from Connecticut? Probably not as Miles, the player at the center of this controversy, never played a game for Connecticut (because he was tossed off the team for violating a restraining order before the season even started. Great pick UConn!). But will UConn get hit with fines, lose scholarships, and be banned from postseason play? It is quite possible, as the main violation is not that these things happened, but rather that they happened, UConn knew about them, and did nothing about it.

UConn Linebacker Kijuan Dabney
One of the secondary missions of this notebook is to chronicle the off the field legal issues that fellow Big East and oppositional players get into. We take extra pleasure here at Orange::44 when it happens to be from UConn, for good reasons. Junior Linebacker Kijuan Dabney was arrested early Sunday morning at the UConn Student Union for a fight with another UConn student according to the Hartford Courant. He was charged with second degree breach of peace and had to be removed from the university sponsored event at the Union. Dabney started all 12 football games for Connecticut as a freshman, mostly on special teams as a strong safety, and six games last season as a reserve linebacker. He is expected to return to the team as the reserve linebacker this fall. Dabney is currently out on $500 bail. Leave it to UConn football to not even suspend a guy a game or something for getting into a fight. Then again this is nothing new for Coach Randy Edsall, who has a nice track record of letting his players run buck wild. I can get the proof, but unless you are a UConn fan trolling my site, you can take my word for it. Frankly UConn fans and Syracuse fans alike should remember the UConn player’s incident at the Wingz Over Storrs when a manager got punched because a player wanted to use a stolen credit card.
“The ‘Ville”
Honestly, congratulations to Louisville for making it to the Elite 8. But really, does anyone think a basketball pep band should wear hockey jerseys? Yeah I’m a band geek and I analyze this kind of stuff but I’ll take the hit on this one. I take pride in my past, as again if you are a long time reader you know I was in the Sour Sitrus Society, the basketball pep band at Syracuse. I’ve been in the band when we received standing ovations at the Big East Tournament, and had other bands decline to play because we were better than them. Now, Louisville’s band sounded alright, but to be foolish enough to think that you look alright at a basketball game in a hockey jersey is a complete dork and has a serious slipping grip on reality. Wearing a rugby, t-shirt, polo shirt, hell even a shirt and tie would be alright, but a hockey jersey makes no sense at all. On top of that it just says “The ‘Ville”. Come on. Put Louisville, or even just “L’ville” because that is how you say it. But to have “The ‘Ville”? Please. Way to look ridiculous on national television over and over again.

The Old Ball Coach
Doug Marrone has gotten right down to business. I have it on good authority that the only thing he has on his desk in his office are his computer monitor and a big, white binder that says “The Plan” on it. Seriously. Already he has had players tackling in drills, and some players are complaining about the work they have had to put in for Marrone. To that I say damn right. Your ass should be dragging after a good practice. You’re a football player. You should be tough enough to hack it during practice, and if not you should quit. Football isn’t for pansies. Oh and what a novel concept, having players actually tackling in practice. Does anyone miss Greg? Not Greg the elloquent wordsmith, but Greg the football coach mind you.

Starting QB
Marrone, based on a week of practice has decided that Redshirt Freshman Ryan Nassib will be the starting quarterback for your Syracuse University football team. Frankly if Marrone is that impressed with him then that is good enough for me right now, considering the season is 156 days away. Second string is now Cantley, who endeared himself to Orange Football fans everywhere by leading the comeback victory over Notre Dame in South Bend last season. Andrew “I guess I’m not very good at being quarterback after all” Robinson has either chosen, or the coaching staff has recommended, to make the switch to tight end. This is much like the epic switch Matt Saracen made from QB to wide receiver on the popular television drama Friday Night Lights (thankfully renewed for two more seasons). Robinson probably knows the routes already, so he could prove to be an ample target, and could be utilized in possible trick plays in the future. However, judging by his completion percentage as a starter that is probably a terrible idea.

Happy Birthday To Us
What a strange trip it has been. Orange::44 turned four this March. It seems like only yesterday I joined writing for this notebook at the behest of my good friend and mentor Matt Glaude. As I like to say, even if we aren’t the best, we were definitely the first. In the past I have posted some of my favorite stories that are the best representation of what this notebook produces, but I will forgo that again this season and wait until our fifth anniversary. Yes, I promise you there will be a fifth. However, I do have to thank some people because in this internet age, four years (starting March 12th of 2005) is a long time. Thanks to Matt Glaude for starting the site and giving me a chance to write for it, even when at the beginning some of my articles were not very good at all. Also thanks to him for continuing to blog after handing over the reigns to Orange::44, as he is brilliant and hilarious. Thanks to all the SU bloggers out there for reading and being so supportive and talented themselves. Special thanks to Brent Axe (The Axeman), Sean at Nunes/Magician, Danny at The Sport Hump, and all of The Three Idiots for being so awesome and continuing to do great work. Thanks to all the other talented Big East bloggers out there for stopping by, trading knowledge, and realizing that we can all have some good fun at each other’s expense once in a while. Thanks to my network of friends and informants that continue to tip me off to the inner workings of the Athletic Department, especially those that would surely get in trouble if they knew they were friends with a blogger. Keep up the good work guys, and your secrets are safe with me. That is those that I can’t post here. I also have to thank the Athletic Department, because without some amazing incompetence or overstated minor victories, as well as extreme ineptitude or success on the field of play, half the fodder for this notebook would not exist. The mission of chronicling the daily disaster that is Syracuse University Athletics is not taken lightly around here. Finally, thanks to you, the average reader for continuing to stop by and enjoy some Syracuse stories, analysis, commentary, reporting, or just plain goofiness. On occasion we strike a chord that resonates across the internet, but more often than not we just plug along, giving you information that you can just find in a box score, but somehow you find what I write entertaining or enjoyable enough to waste your time here. For that I’m grateful and continue to be inspired to write new and occasionally funny articles. I have to take breaks here and there because of real life, but you are the reason that I keep coming back, occasionally against better judgment. Maybe some day I’ll actually let someone else write for this… but I doubt it. As for me, I’ll be here so as always GO ORANGE!
PS - Maybe someday I'll stop saying "we" and just say "I" because it's just me around here.

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