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Congratulations to Syracuse winning their first bowl since 2001.

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Pinstripe Bowl Quick Predictions

No question, this one is for Rob.
I'm personally in unfamiliar territory. While I've been to the last two bowl games Syracuse has played in, including the last bowl win on this very day nine year ago. What is unfamiliar is the fact that for the entire time this blog has been in existence we have not gone to a bowl game. Therefore no criteria on how to preview or cover a bowl game here at Orange::44 has been established. But we will blaze new ground here and discuss Syracuse's first bowl game since 2004.
Syracuse enters this game, as does Kansas State, after a month of rest and preparation. That was much needed for the Orange as they were clearly beat up in the final month of the season and failed to win either of their last two games at home, even one against Boston College. The big problem was offense as Syracuse was unable to convert on third downs, sustain drives, and move the ball. The defense also had some set backs as they were unable to key in on various running backs and allowed teams to methodically move the ball down the field. But that was over a month ago now. Syracuse is well rested, healthy, and despite having lower numbers for various reasons, look to put a cap on an overall outstanding season compared to where we were a season ago. Syracuse will first and foremost use Delone Carter to establish a running game. While the weather is predicted to be sunny and clear and around 40 degrees of course the weather is never guaranteed. This game could be a game of inches and ground battles and Delone Carter is the perfect back for this kind of game. Some would argue the kind of game football was made for. This is similar to what Kansas State has done all year. They are a run first, pass later kind of team. They are headed by Daniel Thomas running the ball over and over. They are averaging 206 rushing yards a game as a team, good enough for 20th in FBS and Thomas himself has 16 touchdowns on the year. They run a lot of plays out of the wildcat formation and Syracuse will have their hands full limiting Kansas state to only a couple yards a carry. The interesting news is that Syracuse is actually averaging more passing yards a game than Kansas State. Carson Coffman is behind center for KState. He has about 200 less passing yards and four less touchdowns on the season than Nassib, but he does have a 64.2% completion rate, higher than Nassib's 56.1. But again this game will probably need to be won on the ground overall to allow play action for Syracuse and get a few big passes in. Syracuse will also need big games from Bud Tribby, Chandler Jones, Doug Hogue, and Darell Smith, who need to not take any plays off and continue to get penetration to stop the Kansas State run. The major X factor will be Syracuse special teams as they are without a true special teams coach and P Rob Long, who was a key piece of several victories through field position. He is also the holder for field goals and extra points. He has been in NYC working with the players to get them ready for this game to perform as well as he would have, but the questions still remain. If Syracuse can play well on special teams and limit field position for Kansas State they have a real shot in this game. The crowd and the weather will be heavily in favor for Syracuse, who will be used to the snow and will have a major contingency of Orange fans in the stadium. While that is nice, the players still have to play. I think they will be focused and ready and honestly I have a feeling they might be better prepared and focused than Kansas State due to not having to travel that far and they are used to this kind of snow. I think it will be a close, back and forth game. The type of game we saw at Rutgers or maybe even against West Virginia. I try in every preview to give an objective view of how Syracuse will do and then guess the outcome accordingly. While Syracuse has the potential to lose this game like all the others I just refuse to pick against Syracuse in this one. I like our chances and I look for Syracuse to pull off the win 20 to 17.
I'll be in NYC starting this evening doing some celebrating, but hopefully we'll be turning around and doing the same thing Thursday night. I'm guessing since this game is outdoors, and because the game is nationally available, I will not be doing much on the Twitter (@BH_Orange44) during the game, but I'll try to capture the before and after and all of the cool things you might miss if you aren't there. Check out @JBren to see what he's up to as well. I'm sure he'll be Tweeting next to me. He can't help himself. I look forward to seeing several friends and bloggers in NYC so if you see me say hello. I'll be creeped out for a second but then be alright with it. Orange::44 will be on sabbatical until 2011, but look for full Pinstripe Bowl Coverage when we return to the home office, as well as Notre Dame coverage. Until then, enjoy the Pinstripe Bowl and have a very happy New Year!

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We agree, Rick. You got boned.
After blazing through the non-conference schedule, Syracuse entered Big East play at 13-0. The first Big East opponent was the Providence College Friars, representing the home offices. In a tough battle, Syracuse outlasted Providence for the victory 81-74. Not wanting to overshadow all the awesomeness of a late-December football game for this program, we'll keep this recap relatively short and to the point, with a series of bulleted points to ponder.
  • Big East officiating is back, but not like we remember. I thought last night's Pitt/UConn game would be an anomaly, but it seems like the BE is going to be using their whistles a lot more this season.
  • Great to see Tim Higgins back in the house. He's always so kind and gracious and calls an impeccable game. Always.
  • A few games ago I surmised that Kris Joseph was saving all his good stuff for Big East play. If tonight was any indication, he was. He scored 17 in the first half, 27 total (for a game and career high), including 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Also of note, he shot 4-6 from long range.
  • Speaking of long range, Syracuse shot 9-22 for 40.9% from three, while Providence was a measly 8-30 for 26.7%. These numbers kept Syracuse in the game, and helped keep Providence out of it.
  • Others in double digit scoring for Syracuse were Scoop Jardine with 21, and Brandon Triche with 15. Rick Jackson was a point short with 9.
  • Rick hitting one more free throw would have given him a double-double, as he had pulled down 17 rebounds.
  • Rick was called for a technical foul in the 2nd half for holding onto a defensive rebound, getting fouled, and having a Friar run into his elbow face-first and flop to the ground. Certainly a BS call on a BS rule. However, it got a rather quiet 20,388 fans in the Carrier Dome riled up, and they stayed rowdy for the remainder of the game.
  • Marshon Brooks is a hell of a player for Providence. In addition to playing all 40 minutes, he was active on the court, scored 27 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. Not too shabby on a losing effort.
  • We definitely saw some vulnerabilities in the Syracuse defense. They gave the Friars the baseline virtually all game, and they exploited it. There also seemed to be too many straight drives through the lane where the Orange defenders just stood there and let it happen.
  • Speaking of defense, it is clear that while Jim Boeheim values his offensive effort, James Southerland's defense just isn't there yet. In the final minutes of the game, Boeheim freely substituted in Southerland for offense and Baye Moussa Keita for defense.
  • BMK again saw substantial minutes in this one, being first off the bench for Fab Melo. BMK played 11 minutes, while Melo only logged 5.
  • The other bench player seeing action was Dion Waiters, who logged 9 minutes in what was probably nine 1-minute stints into the game. Thanks for your 1 point, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 turnover.
  • The Catholic portion of the schedule continues for Syracuse this Saturday as Notre Dame visits the Dome before the Orange go on the road to play Seton Hall and St. John's.

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Providence - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: It's about time to start the league.
Syracuse beat Providence last season twice by an average of 15.5 points. But obviously that was a different Providence team. That team ended the year 12-19. Providence already has 11 wins this year with their 11-2 record. They have a big star in Marshon Brooks (23.1ppg, 8.9rpg), who is the main scorer for the team. He's hitting 35.5% from behind the arc which is dangerous. Providence is the same team they always were. They shoot a ton of threes, good for second in the league. They are making them at a clip of 31.5% however, which is fourth worse in the league. Syracuse also is defending the three well, limiting opponents to 28.6% from behind the arc. Providence is a classic live by the three, die by the three team. And against Syracuse, with a dominant inside presence, that could be fatal early. Rick Jackson has been a consistent double-double machine this season, and is leading the conference in rebounding with 11.8rpg. Syracuse seems to be doing everything right, shooting the ball better as of late (57.7% over the last four games), and still not turning the ball over that much. But the true battle tonight will be Syracuse's defense and rebounding. If Syracuse limits Providence from getting second chance buckets around the basket and getting more opportunities to recover after a missed three this game will get out of hand in favor of the Orange very quickly. I like the Orange in this game and will take them over the Friars (who's mascot is just a dude) by 17.
Editor's Note: We were going to have more of a fanfare to the start of the Big East by having a big Q&A with David of FriarBlog as we have the past few seasons, but he recently welcomed a brand new baby boy home so we'll forgive him for being distracted and send him Congratulations.

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Monday Morning Quarterback 12/27/10

Final stop? Concrete jungle where dreams are made of

The Syracuse Orange return to the bowl scene this Thursday as they will play the Kansas State Wildcats in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl at the new Yankee Stadium. Neither team has played in a month, so they both will be fresh, knowledgeable about the other team, and will leave it all out on the field.

Ryan Nassib will no doubt be taking the snaps for Syracuse. The young redshirt sophomore we saw grow up during the season had a very rough second half to the season, particularly November. But that was a month ago. That was with the grueling week-to-week schedule. He’s now had all this time to focus on the Wildcats, to find their vulnerabilities, to study film to his heart’s content, and to be ready to give it his all.

Important to Nassib’s success will be whether his receivers can play well. All season long we’ve seen a receiving corps struggle with drops, with errant routes, with not getting open. Really, though, I think the key to whether the passing game opens up rests on how successful Delone Carter and/or Antwon Bailey are at running the ball. It looks like the Kansas State defense is vulnerable to giving up a lot of yards on the ground, so hopefully Syracuse can exploit that.

Lastly, I sure hope Doug Marrone has been working these linemen hard during these extra practices. If the line can open up lanes for the running backs, the ground game will excel. If the running game takes off, Nassib will have the opportunity to mix things up and pass the ball more. I’m predicting an offensive explosion from Syracuse, with Nassib throwing for over 200 yards, and the two-headed running monsters racking up 200+ yards on the ground. I’ll be watching from Section 236, so I hope the Orangemen deliver for me!

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Merry Christmas From Orange::44!

Hopefully the last crying children of 2010.
As a Christmas present to all you loyal readers we won't bore you with reading about the Drexel smackdown. Instead we wish you a great holiday and we'll be back next week with a lot of coverage of the Pinstripe Bowl and Kansas State, as well as the start of the Big East in basketball. Until then, take care!

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Drexel - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: An undefeated non-conference would be great.
Drexel is the last non-conference game on the schedule for Syracuse, and the last game before Christmas for the Orange. Syracuse had a close one against Iona, but then had a monster of a win against Morgan State. But this Drexel team is tested as they already have beaten then unbeaten Louisville on the road. Actually, their only loss is to URI. The rest of the games they have handled. Their leading scorer Chris Fouch is averaging 19.7ppg and shooting 39.4% from long range. Additionally, Drexel is one of the best teams in the nation at defending the three ball, allowing only 25.6%. But as we all know, except for the last few games the long ball is not Syracuse's strength. It is the low post presence of Rick Jackson, as well as the inside play with crisp passing and the transition game. While Drexel is another physical team and a team that rebounds well with Samme Givens rebounding 11.8rpg, just like Jackson, Syracuse should be able to muscle past this team as Jackson has a size advantage. Drexel will not be intimidated by the Orange, and Syracuse lost to Drexel in 2006, but this team isn't the 2006 squad. CJ Fair is still injured, and Kris Joseph may still be fighting illness, but Syracuse should be primed and ready to take on Drexel and will grind out another win for the Orange to finish another perfect non-conference slate. Look for the Orange to beat Drexel by nine.

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Also doubles as a roster card

So I realize we're nearly 24 hours removed from what happened in the Dome last night, when Syracuse beat Morgan State 97-55. My gut reaction was to not do much of a recap and just let that speak for itself. Then my mind got the better of me, and I decided to let it all sink in. When today rolled around, and I still pretty much felt the same way. So, bear with me in considering the following tidbits and we'll just call it a day.
  • But for the injured CJ Fair and injury-redshirt DaShonte Riley, every player on the Syracuse roster made it into this game.
  • Place your orders now for authentic game-worn jerseys from Nick Resavy, Nolan Hart, Griffin Hoffmann, Matt Lyde-Cajuste, Brandon Reese, Russ DeRemer, and Matt Tomaszewski.
  • Syracuse shot 53.4% from the floor, including an astonishing 48% from 3.
  • Game ball probably goes to James Southerland who was 7 of 10 shooting (including 4 of 6 from 3) to register a career-high 18 points in 21 minutes. He got a lot of great looks against a Bears defense that didn't quite know what it was doing out there. I knew seeing Southy last year that he was going to turn into something special, and this game solidified that for me.
  • Rick Jackson looked comfortable out there again, and fell just one rebound short of another double-double. He came out (relatively) early and may have been a bit injured, but this looks to be of no long-term concern.
  • Brandon Triche is finally starting to live up to expectations consistently. If you've been watching him all season, you have to love the way he has played the past few games. Let's keep it going once Big East begins.
  • I'm thoroughly convinced that, speaking of Big East play, Kris Joseph is saving it all for then.
  • The crowd was pretty quiet. Sounded like being at a women's game. Must be because I wasn't there. They did, however, start to get into it when Syracuse really pulled away in the second half and the kids on the court really started having fun. It's fun to be a fan when the players are having fun on the court.
  • The only thing worse than being at the Dome and hearing Mike Veley's gems such as "Deuce for the Cuse" and "Thunder from down under" is watching the game on TV and still hearing it.
  • TWCS had fun at halftime interviewing Juli Boeheim, who we were reminded is the wife of head coach Jim Boeheim. TWCS then put their best photoshop experts on the job of putting a Kris Joseph-style hat on a picture of Jim Boeheim. Top notch, fellas. Top notch.
  • Syracuse closes out the non-conference slate tomorrow night against Drexel. I may or may not be there. Look for the usual Orange::44 preview and postgame reactions here.

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Morgan State - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Keep your daughters away from Todd Bozeman

Fresh off an 83-77 victory against Iona Saturday night, the Syracuse Orange are set to play the second of three games in five days Monday night as the Morgan State Bears visit the Dome. The Bears enter with a 4-4 record. Their leading scorer is Dewayne Jackson, averaging 15.4 points per game. Right behind him is Kevin Johnson, coming in at 14 ppg. Then there's quite a drop off for the rest of the team. As a team, Morgan State shoots 40.9% but only 29.5% from long-range. Hopefully this can play right into the Syracuse 2-3 zone, forcing the Bears to put up a lot of 3s that they won't (can't) make. However, that's just one piece of the puzzle. The Orange must grab those rebounds so the Bears don't get second chance points. Rick Jackson will be key here, as he seems to be the only one on the floor who knows how to time his jump correctly to grab the rebound. However, if Morgan State shoots a bunch of 3s, this might be a good game for Brandon Triche or Scoop Jardine to grab a ton of long rebounds. The key to a Syracuse victory today will be how well Baye Moussa Keita plays, in what will likely be his first start in place of the injured Fab Melo. Keita will get serious minutes in at center, possibly platooning with Rick Jackson at times. How well this team adjusts to these personnel changes will dictate what the scoreboard reads. Also with CJ Fair likely out to take some more time to nurse his rolled ankle, Mookie Jones may actually see some decent minutes. Jim Boeheim will keep him in as long as his defense doesn't stink. Syracuse wins this one by 11. Again, a bonus over/under prediction: 131.

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Iona - Syracuse Reactions OR I'm an Effing Seer!

Are you excited about 3s? Dion's excited about 3s!

This game was everything I knew it would be. I knew Iona would play tough. I knew Kris & Brandon needed to step up. I knew "Optimus Prime" would put on a show. I knew the over/under within two points. And I knew Syracuse would win by six. They did, 83-77.

But, in the event I'm not actually a seer, there must be some logical explanation for all of this. I'm sure statistically, this was all supposed to happen. This had to be the game (let's get real, Colgate last week doesn't count) where Kris & Brandon needed to show they could get it done against an opponent who actually had a win under its belt this season. And it almost didn't happen. In the first minute of play, Kris Joseph stepped just inside the 3-point arc and shot the ball. I'm pretty sure I heard Coach Boeheim screaming all the way from my seat in Section 309. At the first dead ball, Kris was on the bench, getting an earful from Jimmy. After instilling the fear of God in him, Boeheim sent Kris back out, and he made sure those minutes counted. Kris ended the night with 21 points and seven rebounds, leading the team in points and finishing one behind Rick Jackson in rebounds. Brandon Triche also stepped up his game, looking real aggressive whether playing the point guard or the shooting guard, finishing with 14 points and a team high seven assists.

Rick Jackson, Mr. Consistency on the team thus far, found himself in Jimmy's Doghouse for much of the second half of this game. He clocked 27 minutes, but only managed eight points and eight rebounds. Sure, that's a decent effort. But when you're the star senior forward on the team, your numbers should be much better than that. Rick's presence inside on offense just didn't feel right all night. Iona kept showing some zone looks, and I think Rick was having a hard time with it. Defensively, once Feb Melo went down with injury and didn't return, that really left a lot of responsibility to Rick. Unfortunately, the overall defense diminished as a result.

That's not to say the defense played horribly in this one. I liked how the 2-3 looked at the beginning of the game. It was long, it was active, and it forced Iona to put up a ton of 3s. 19 in the first half, and 18 in the second; but they only hit 11 of them. The only Iona player with any success inside the zone was the aforementioned "Optimus Prime," or as his parents call him, Mike Glover. He was everything advertised and more, completing a double double in the first half and finishing at 25 points and 16 rebounds from a 39-minute effort. Hey, congratulations "Optimus Prime" -- you're a great player on a team that's probably not going anywhere!

A few other random notes from this game:
  • Nice to see James Southerland come off the bench and make the most of his minutes (10). He finished with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting, including a 3 that sent Dion Waiters (pictured above) into quite a frenzy. A little more confidence rebounding and on defense, and Southy looks to be a great player.
  • Fab Melo started both halves, and that was about it. This injury is really dogging him, along with the fact that he still doesn't quite get basketball. The center position is really going to be the achilles heel for this team this year. No pun intended, since Melo doesn't have an achilles injury.
  • I've gone the whole recap without mentioning Scoop. Until now.
  • If anyone uses my point spreads or over/unders for betting purposes, please give me a cut of the money.
The Orange are back in action Monday night for the second game of their "3 games in 5 days" series to wrap up the non-conference slate. Check back here to Orange::44 for the Preview for that Morgan State game, which neither Brian nor I can attend since he's out of town and I have Court during the game. Don't worry, I'll DVR the game and give you my recap.

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Iona - Syracuse Preview


Syracuse students agree: Gaels speak an entirely different language


The Syracuse Orange return to the hardcourt after a week of finals to face the Iona Gaels tonight at 7pm at the Carrier Dome. If Syracuse loses a game before conference play starts, it's probably this one. After an 0-3 start, the Gaels have won seven straight games, starting with a double overtime win against the Richmond Spiders. Evidently Iona really liked how it felt after that win, so they decided to keep doing it -- against the likes of Albany, Norfolk, Canisius, Niagara, Long Island, and Fairleigh Dickinson. But, as Jim Boeheim will tell you, it's not who you play, but how you play. Iona has played well, led by some jerk-off they call Optimus Prime. In my experience this has been either a Transformer or an extremely alcoholic drink a bartender at the old Darwins concocted. But to give this name to a junior forward averaging 22.1 points per game on a 62.6 percentage seems a bit much (his actual name is Mike Glover, if you care). His numbers have been up in December, too. Syracuse will have to be strong in its zone to try to neutralize "OP" and put the ball in the hands of others. Luckily for Iona, as a team they have a 47.3% field goal percentage (including 35.6% from 3) and are averaging 80.3 points per game. If it's how you play, and not who you play, Syracuse must be at the top of its game and Iona must take a night off. Rick Jackson needs to continue his rebounding on both ends of the court to give Syracuse more scoring opportunities. It would be nice if Brandon Triche and Kris Joseph woke up from their relatively quiet seasons so far and just took over this game. Syracuse wins by six, with a total over/under of 158 (yep, bonus betting lines courtesy of your friends at Orange::44!).

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Malcolm Cater arrest Q & A

Even Syracuse players can (allegedly) behave badly
Over the weekend, freshman Syracuse linebacker Malcolm Cater was arrested by the Syracuse Police Department and charged with three counts of burglary, one count of grand larceny, and two counts of petit larceny. He is currently being held on $150,000 cash bail or $300,000 property bond. Cater has been removed from the football roster. Here at Orange::44 we know how much you all value understanding what this all means, so as a public service to our loyal readers, we present the following Q & A to hopefully put things in perspective.

Three counts of burglary. What does that mean?

It means there are three separate burglary charges. He could be charged with different degrees of burglary for the same incident, or it could be multiple incidents. In short, burglary is the unlawful entry or remaining in a building with the intent to commit a crime therein. Essentially that is 3rd degree burglary. The degree is elevated when the building is a residence, or when a weapon/force is used.

What sort of punishment does a burglary charge carry?

For third degree burglary, this is a Class D Felony, carrying a minimum term of 1-3 years in state prison, a maximum of 2-7 years in state prison, with options for simply a year in the local jail, a split sentence of six months in jail with five years probation, or simply five years probation. 2nd degree burglary is a Class C (violent) Felony, carrying a minimum of 3.5 years in state prison and a maximum 15 years in state prison; a period of 2.5-5 years of Post-Release Supervision is also mandatory. For first degree burglary, a Class B (violent) Felony, the mandatory state prison time is 5-25 years, with 2.5-5 years Post-Release Supervision. No matter the degree, any sentence will usually include fines, surcharges, and restitution (if applicable).

What about grand larceny and petit larceny?

Larceny is the stealing of another's property. Petit Larceny generally refers to goods valued under $1000. Grand Larceny, with various exceptions (i.e. credit cards) covers items over $1000. Grand Larceny itself is broken up into various degrees with different sentencing schemes. Grand Larceny is the felony, where state prison time becomes an option.

Cater's bail is set at $150,000/$300,000. That seems quite high. What gives?

It is quite high. Bail is generally supposed to be a method to ensure a defendant appears for all future court appearances. Factors to consider when bail is set include: the severity of the charges; the defendant's ties to the community; the defendant's criminal history; the defendant's past track record of attending court appearances. There are other factors, but these are the main ones. From what we're hearing, Cater had somewhat of a troubled youth (football helped turn his life around); he's from Long Island; and he is accused of burgling (yes, this is a word) more than one residence on more than one date. These were no doubt factors the Court considered in setting bail as it did.

What's the next step in the legal process?

It appears Cater was formally arraigned on these felony complaints and misdemeanor informations on Sunday. If an attorney was not retained, the Court will assign him an attorney. He is entitled to a Preliminary Hearing for the Court to rule on whether reasonable cause exists that Cater committed one or more felonies and should be held in custody pending action by a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury must meet and hear evidence in order to formally charge him with the felonies for which he can be prosecuted -- this is called an indictment. If the Court, after the Preliminary Hearing, holds him in custody for possible Grand Jury action, the Grand Jury then has 45 days to hear his case. If the Grand Jury takes no action by then, he must be released. If a Grand Jury does indeed indict him on one or more felonies, then his case will be transferred to the Onondaga County Court for arraignment, motions, plea negotiations, and possible trial.

The evidence seems to be eye witness reports, and footprints in the snow. He's screwed, right?

In short, quite possibly. Whether it's him or someone else, the fact that footprints in the snow might be the most damning piece of evidence shows us that we're not dealing with a smart criminal. Though, many criminals aren't what we'd call smart. In any event, his defense attorney should be looking at whether he has an alibi (was somewhere else at the time of the crimes), and how reliable the eye witness is. Generally, eye witnesses are horrible. A number of things can go wrong -- the lighting could be bad, the person's memory might not be good, the description can be wrong. That's what I'd be probing as a defense attorney. But, it certainly doesn't help when the police recovered stolen items from your residence.

You were spot on with your prediction of how the Delone Carter case would be resolved. What are your thoughts on this one?

Knowing what I know at this time, I think Cater gets some jail time. Assuming all the stolen property was recovered, I assume he gets the split sentence of six months in jail followed by five years probation. That probation could then be transferred to Suffolk County, where Cater is from. This takes into account his unstellar history as a youth. To be eligible for this sentence, he must not be convicted of burglary in the second degree, which carries mandatory state prison. If the defense lawyer sees the writing on the wall, he (or she) is immediately negotiating with the District Attorney for a plea before the Grand Jury hears the case. He could agree to a Superior Court Information (SCI), instead of a Grand Jury Indictment, to get the case into County Court. If this SCI charges him with 3rd degree Burglary, then that split sentence would be a viable option. This is how I see things shaking out.

These are the most relevant questions I can think of off the top of my head. Anyone with further questions can post them to the comments section and I'll try to get the answers out there. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to keep checking in at Orange::44 for all the latest developments in this case and the legal interpretations.

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You know SU was up big with Mooke Jones in so early.
Syracuse played its yearly game with Colgate, a mere 30 miles away down I-90. The last time Colgate actually beat Syracuse Jim Boeheim was in high school. Colgate was not going to win this game, especially this season as they were 0-7 entering this contest. But I don't think anyone saw the beatdown coming that actually occurred.
Syracuse started pouring on the scoring early and often. But not just that, Colgate was epically bad at shooting the ball and the Syracuse defense was working well. Syracuse held Colgate to eight first half points, a Carrier Dome record low. Colgate managed to score some more points in the second half, but not many compared to the Orange. Syracuse then went on to win the game 100 to 43.
Rick Jackson was again the leading scorer for the Orange, who slammed the ball many times, occasionally over the members of the Colgate basketball team. He also had ten rebounds for yet another double-double. He continues to be the most consistent player on the team and the leader of this squad right now.
Dion Waiters had the next highest point total with 17 and that effort came off the bench in 22 minutes of work. He was 5-7 from the floor and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. The only one on the team to be perfect on the line. He also led the team with five assists. A great day for the freshman.
Brandon Triche finally had a good game offensively. he finished with 14 points and shot 5-7 including 3-5 from long range. He even managed a block in this game, along with a pretty wicked slam dunk, making up for the clanked one he had in the Michigan State game.
Syracuse shot 56.1% from the floor, obviously one of their best efforts of the season. Conversely Colgate was held to 17.9%. That makes sense when seeing the final scores. Additionally Syracuse finally found their stroke from long range. The Orange hit 44% from behind the arc (11-25), while Colgate had an abysmal shooting day hitting 7.7% from three (1-13). Syracuse also had huge advantages in every statistic: rebounding 45 to 28, assists 20 to five, steals 15 to seven, blocks 14 to four, and turnovers nine to 19. This was a dream game for Syracuse in terms of playing. As for a fan, it was pretty boring to watch save for the passing and the shooting and the dunking.
Syracuse is off until Saturday so they can be even more rested for the next contest. Clearly Syracuse came focused. The fact that Colgate is pretty terrible compared to Syracuse, or even a moderately decent team, means you cannot really draw any big conclusions about Syracuse from this game. But it was nice to see Syracuse go nuts on the offensive end. Something we have missed this season compared to last year.
Also, congratulations to the SU Orangewomen basketball team who are now 8-0 after beating #6 Ohio State this past Saturday in the Carrier Dome 75 to 66. This is one of the biggest wins in Syracuse program history and they deserve many congratulations for their effort.

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Colgate - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Colgate schmolgate.
Syracuse is playing Colgate who is 0-7 on the year. Do you know how much you truly have to be terrible to lose seven games in a row? They lost to such powerhouses as Binghamton, St. Francis (PA), St. Francis (NY), and Dartmouth. They have one pretty good player in Yaw Gyawu, who averages 13.7ppg and 5.3rpg, but that's about it. Syracuse should simply cruise in this game. Even if Syracuse has a severe scoring drought as it has at various points this season Syracuse should weather the storm just fine. Not much more of a preview needed. 0-7 v. #7 and 9-0 kind of do most of the talking. Look for Syracuse to trounce Colgate by 26.

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UConn Player Loves Kiddy Porn

Greg McKee in happier times?
This blog is a multi-functional service. Yes of course we chronicle the daily disaster that is Syracuse University Athletics (although that's been better the last couple of seasons). But we also provide written record on the internet of the instances when fellow Big East athletes run afoul of the law. This is no more evident than with the University of Connecticut, who has a long history in both football and basketball of law breaking. Traditionally however it's been laptops, smoking marijuana, stealing a credit card, and the like. But this time we've reached a new low.
The Hartord Courant is reporting on Courant.com that redshirt freshman OT Greg McKee has been arrested for allegedly possessing 20 videos and 20 pictures of child pornography. He has been charged with importing child pornography, obscenity, and promoting a minor in an obscene performance. He was arrested today and arraigned in Rockville Superior Court where his bail was set at $75,000. Police received a tip that there was someone possessing the pornography, traced the internet, and received a search warrant for his apartment in Rosebrooks Hall on campus.
McKee was a redshirt and didn't play at all this season so this shouldn't affect the team in terms of players playing. But considering UConn is now the Big East's representative for the BCS and going to the Fiesta Bowl this timing couldn't have been worse except if it was the week of the game. And this may be the ugliest crime any athlete at Connecticut has been involved in. And honestly, save for actual pedophilia no crime has a bigger yuck factor than this. Of course he is innocent until proven guilty, but it seems the Connecticut State Police have the evidence. Again, this probably will not affect the Connecticut football team too much, but this is just another example of a player under the not so watchful eye of Randy Edsall breaking the law. This time in a pretty egregious manner. But I doubt that UConn will do anything to address that seeing as they are BCSing. McKee for the record has been indefinitely suspended from the football team. Good call.
This won't be the last we hear of the criminal issues at UConn. Hopefully from here on out they stick to petty theft and punching each other instead of this kind of criminal endeavors. At the very least you could possibly understand stealing something or punching a guy. But no one thinks this is cool or right or good. Kudos UConn. Another great pick.

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This happened a lot in the Garden.
Easily the biggest test to date, Syracuse had barely been doing what was necessary to win. Offense is the big mystery as Syracuse has disappeared for large portions this season. And yes, they did a bit on the floor of Madison Square Garden. But in the end this was a huge win and Syracuse did it by bringing the ball inside. Sorry Sparty. That's four in a row for the Orange.
Syracuse took the lead with 15:25 left in the first half and never relinquished the lead. Syracuse amassed a 11 point lead in the first half and went on several scoring runs before closing the half up 38 to 29. Then the now infamous Syracuse scoring drought occurred early in the second half for about three minutes allowing Michigan State to close the gap between the teams by three points. But then Syracuse starting hitting shots, causing turnovers, and generally disrupting Michigan State which led to easy lay ups. Kaboom. Syracuse earns the biggest win of their season so far by beating #7/8 Michigan State 72-58.
Scoop Jardine was your leading scorer tonight with a far more reasonable and responsible 7-9 from the floor. He hit everything he shot from inside the arc, however most of them were lay ups. But his decision making was clearly good on the floor, and no goofy floaters or passes through four other players occurred. Scoop was clearly one of the best players on the floor.
Speaking of another great player on the floor, Rick Jackson was extraordinary. He finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds. He was 8-15 from the floor in 37 minutes of work. When he is active on the boards and cuts on offense he is a massive problem for other teams. He continues to improve however he does need to get closer to the basket before attempting hooks. One more dribble would help.
Kris Joseph had another good scoring night with 14 points, but they mostly came from free throws, hitting 8-9. He was sadly 3-10 from the floor. Not another good night for the player most people thought would be the clear cut star of this year's team.
Brandon Triche was also not that outstanding on the offensive end. He managed nine points on 1-7 shooting, but was 7-8 from the line. However he continues to be the best defensive guard Syracuse has. He also led the team with four assists.
Dion Waiters, CJ Fair, and Baye Moussa Keita were the only players in off the bench in the game. They combined for 13 points. Keita saw the most minutes with 27, and his defense was outstanding for a freshman in the center position. He added three blocks, three rebounds, and three assists.
Syracuse did a far better night on offense this evening than they did against NC State. They shot 44.4% from the floor and cashed in on the free throws, hitting 75.9%. Conversely Michigan State only hit 38.9% from the floor and a dismal 56.3% from the free throw line. However State did shoot better from long range, hitting 7-24 (29.2%), while Syracuse only hit 2-11 (18.2%). Syracuse led in rebounding 31-26, and also were better in turnovers 16-11. That equals more possessions for Syracuse, and they took advantage in scoring. Additionally they scored around 20 points off turnovers, which is huge. Additionally, Syracuse owned the paint scoring 42 points to State's 24. That is huge disparity and shows just how manhandled State was in the post.
Syracuse played their best game by far all year. They looked like a team making extra passes, played unselfishly, and looked for outlets. Additionally this was the best the zone defense has looked all year. Syracuse truly earned a top ten victory. They rose to the occasion. Now they just need to keep playing that way.

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Michigan State - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: This game is the biggest of the season so far.
This is by far Syracuse’s biggest test on the season. #6 Michigan State comes in 6-2, but don’t let that record fool you. They are playing great basketball right now and their losses are only to a streaking Connecticut and #1 Duke. The chief concern for Michigan State is ailing Kalin Lucas who has had a sore foot and has been pretty tired. He sat out the second half of their last game. That can only be good for Syracuse as he leads State in field goal and three point percentage. Syracuse also needs a big shooting day. They had an abysmal shooting day against NC State hitting 38.3% from the floor and only 2-16 from behind the arc. Surely they can’t have two bad shooting days in a row right. The key to this game is find success getting the ball inside. Rick Jackson and Kris Joseph have found success on the floor. And Keita, Fair, Waiters, and Melo will have to add some scoring in their time on the floor, even if it is limited. Full strength I’d be worried about Michigan State, but because Lucas has had issues recently I think Syracuse probably manages to sack up and win a big game. I think this game will be extremely close and favor Syracuse, or Michigan State will blow the doors off the Orange. I barely think the former will occur though. I’m picking Syracuse, but barely. Winning by 2.

This game is on ESPN at 9:00pm as part of the Jimmy V Classic. The game before this is excellent as well with Memphis taking on Kansas. Check out all the action from MSG and go do something to help fight against cancer.

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Yes Jim. We all feel this way.
Syracuse was coming off a 20 point win against Cornell, one of their few blowout wins of the current season. NC State was coming off an equally bad blowout loss to Wisconsin. Syracuse should have continued their winning ways, and they did, but in a far closer fashion than they should have.

Syracuse started the game on a roll. They amassed a 13 point lead before playing an absolutely dreadful stretch to end the half, only ending up by four points. Syracuse again played poorly on offense. NC State actually managed a six point lead but then Syracuse started playing great defense the last six minutes and prevented NC State from scoring a field goal. Syracuse ended up hanging on by tough defense, a press that managed to cause some turnovers, and scoring on free throws. Syracuse hangs on 65 to 59.

Scoop was the leading scorer with 23 points, but he did it on a 7-21 shooting day. He needs to take less shots and distribute the ball more, as Boeheim and many other people noticed. However, when he sees the team in a huge scoring drought he panics. Not the best quality in a point guard.

Jackson had another solid night with 16 points and eight rebounds. He was 7-12 on the day, which is about right as he had free reign early but was double teamed and even triple teamed later.

It’s a short review as I’ve been short on time in the home office. Stay tuned for a Michigan State preview coming shortly.

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BlogPoll 2010 - Week 15

*The top 14 spots are holding tight. Honestly Auburn and Oregon are probably interchangeable at 1 and 2, and the rest have been how I've ranked them for the previous few weeks.
*South Carolina takes the biggest fall with seven spots. Maybe too big of a fall since they were playing Auburn but to allow the Cam Newton buzzsaw to score six touchdowns is pretty outrageous.
*NIU played a very exciting game against Miami of OH for the MAC, but them losing in the upset means they are out. Hawaii is in.
*No, I'm not ranking UConn with four losses. I don't care what bowl they are playing in.
This should be the last rankings before the bowls and the end of the season. Let me know how i did or didn't.

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NC State - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: ACC deez nuts
As most of you know, the basketball previews here on Orange::44 are typically a paragraph long and include some tidbits on Syracuse's opponent, a few players to watch on that team, the keys to victory for the Orange, and the predicted margin of the final score.
This one will be slightly different.
The North Carolina State Wolfpack, from the "powerhouse" ACC, is neither a rival nor a regular foe of Syracuse. In fact, their last matchup was several years ago in the Carrier Dome, where the Wolfpack beat the Orange. But a fateful recruiting decision in 2001 eventually resulted in great things for the Orange, and not so great things for the Wolfpack.
In putting together his 2001-2002 recruiting class, Jim Boeheim was looking at Julius Hodge. A New York City hooper, this was prime recruiting area for the Orange, and Hodge came highly touted, winning many awards, recognitions, and accolades. Syracuse wanted him. But it turns out he didn't want Syracuse. He instead signed with NC State at the last minute, leaving Boeheim & Co. to scramble to sign a player. Along on the radar comes a tall lanky kid out of Philadelphia. You may have heard of him: Hakim Warrick. Of course, we all know how his story with the Orange ends: an integral part of the 2003 National Championship, the two most memorable plays in Syracuse history (i.e. "The Block" and "The Texas T-Bag"), the 19th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft to the Memphis Grizzlies, and still in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns.
Hodge, on the other hand, had an okay career for a "meh" NC State team, was drafted 20th in the 2005 NBA Draft (ha!) and now balls it up in Australia. Maybe.
So it's with this backdrop that we take a look at this evening's matchup. The Wolfpack is coming off a drubbing against Wisconsin, 87-48. At 4-2 this season, they have tasted the sourness of defeat. So another one won't be too much of a shock. They're a rather young team with freshman Lorenzo Brown and sophomore Scott Wood their leading scorers. Harking back to Jim Boeheim's mantra of "It's not who you play, but how you play," this is really one of those games where they Orange need to step up and show they're the better team. On paper they sure are, but paper doesn't win basketball games. It could be easy for the team to say "NC State just lost by 39 points, they suck, I'm excited about playing Michigan State at MSG on Tuesday Ooo yea that's hot!" It could be easy for them to say that. But if I know anything about Jim Boeheim, it's that he WILL NOT let this team say that. Or think that. Or play that way. The Cuse plays NC State on the Deuce tonight at 5:15 (or 5:30?) and so in honor of the Deuce, I'm picking Syracuse to again win by 20.

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The Orange::44 Podcast Episode 3

We're bowling. Get the info.
Syracuse has accepted their Pinstripe Bowl bid. But that's not all that's happened lately. Orange::44 Correspondent John Brennan and I spend 55 minutes talking about much more. We start out talking about the end of the football season. But then we venture into Syracuse's and the Big East's bowl picture. We then talk about the hot topic of TCU joining the Big East, and we finish off with some basketball talk with where the team is, and what will happen in the upcoming games the team will play. It's what you've come to expect from our podcasts. Listen below, or download this or any previous podcast here.

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While he may not have scored much, he stole the show.
Syracuse has had a pretty lack luster season so far. Having close game after close game against teams Syracuse would have blown out by 25 last season, it was nice to have a 20 point win. But Cornell sucks. We honestly should have won by more. However, there were some great individual performances and there was good and bad.

Rick Jackson was your leading scorer and rebounder. He had another double double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. He played really well going 7-9. He doesn’t quite have the same finesse as Arinze Onuaku had near the basket, but to be fair Jackson is usually starting farther away from the hoop than he did. He was clearly the best player by far on the floor.

Kris Joseph also had an excellent game with 16 points and shot 2-4 from beyond the arc. However, he only shot 7-12 overall. He had absolute flashes of brilliance in this game though. About time we saw that.

Fab Melo was far better in this game, but still not a dominant force that we need him to be. But he’s improving. He finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and four blocks.

Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine combined for nine points. By combined I mean Brandon Triche had nine points. They did combine for ten of the 20 turnovers Syracuse had though. Triche made some dumb mistakes by dribbling into traffic and making dumb passes, but Jardine was absolutely dreadful in this game, both in attempting to score, and in the passing and driving aspects of his game. Hopefully he will bounce back as this was his worst game of the year thus far.

Dion Waiters continues his good shooting performance as he is probably the best freshman on the team right now. However, CJ Fair stole the show with a simply ridiculous dunk in the second half that let the crowd to erupt. That kid has got some talent. In This week’s Mookie Jones’ watch he scored 7 points. One on a long ball, and the other four on free throws. He played really good defense actually, and when he drove to the hoop was fouled. He needs to drive more instead of just blindly chucking threes up, as he was 1-5.

Syracuse shot the ball well overall, shooting 50% from the floor. However, they were only 27.3% from behind the arc. They were also only 66.7% from the charity stripe as well. The good news is that Syracuse held a massive rebounding edge, pulling down 41 to Cornell’s 26. But 20 turnovers is too much, and Syracuse was outscored 41 to 40 in the second half. Jim Boeheim was justifiably pissed at the second half effort. It was lackluster and they looked to be on autopilot.

All in all this was a good game, but Syracuse still lacks that killer instinct. Syracuse had too many mistakes in the second half, and while Cornell sucks now, again Syracuse really should be playing better. But after winning against two pretty good teams last week, and beating Cornell by 20, hopefully a week of practice will have them ready for NC State this Saturday.

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