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Villanova - Syracuse Postgame Ractions OR VillaNoChance

My team is sucking enough without you making terrible calls!
Another game against Villanova in the Dome and there was another crowd over 30,000 fans. Only this time Syracuse lost to Villanova, the far better team on the day. I don't mind losing to a better team, but when it is because your team doesn't play well... well that is the most frustrating scenario that could occur.
Syracuse jumped out to the early two point lead quicker than I've ever seen Syracuse score. Brandon Triche earned a lay up off the tip from Fab Melo in two seconds. But then a hail storm of three point shots from Villanova gave them a fairly large lead in the first half. Syracuse would manage to keep it close, slashing the lead down to five or six points, but they never could get it closer than that. Syracuse was down at the half 40 to 29. Syracuse again got back in the game and kept it close, but several mistakes in this game, as well as Villanova playing so well, put this game out of reach with a couple minutes to play. Villanova pulled off a top 5 win 83 to 72. Other thoughts.
  • The leading scorer was predictably Kris Joseph with 23 points. He shot 8-15 and 4-7 from the floor and behind the arc respectively. He was by far the best player on the floor for Syracuse on the day.
  • Rick Jackson played well himself, but had trouble catching the ball. He had 16 points and 15 rebounds on 7-9 shooting in 39 minutes. Just a monster day statistic wise. He tied for the team lead with five turnovers. Joseph also had five.
  • Brandon Triche had 14 points, but it was on 5-12 shooting. Triche was 4-8 from the three point line. While he played the least sloppy of the guards he still did not have the game Syracuse needs out of him. He needs to create more opportunities and get to the hoop more. Otherwise he wasn't too bad.
  • Melo was being Melo. He had two points and played eight minutes before sitting down for good.
  • Scoop Jardine had the worst game out of any of the starters. He scored two points and had three assists and was 1-8 and 0-3 on the day respectively. He also had two turnovers in 22 minutes. What was not his fault however was when the ball was thrown out over his head while not looking. That was Dion Waiters fault for not making sure Scoop was going to catch the ball as Scoop was calling out the play.
  • Speaking of Waiters he played 25 minutes and got six points on 2-12 shooting and 17 shooting from long range. He had a bad game for the Orange in terms of scoring, but he did distribute the ball well earning five assists and he also got four rebounds.
  • Baye Moussa Keita went 2-3 earning five points and four rebounds in 13 minutes. However he again was a slight liability on the defensive end.
  • CJ Fair had a bad day, earning one point and one rebound in ten minutes. He continues to shoot free throws at what seems to be a 50% rate. A failing grade at Syracuse.
  • James Southerland earned three points and one assist in 16 minutes on the floor. He was 1-1 on three point attempts.
  • An interesting statistic from the game point out by Jim Boeheim in his postgame press conference: Fair and Southerland combined for 26 minutes on the floor and one rebound. That is really not good from the forward position. While Syracuse outrebounded Villanova 32 to 26, those rebounds did not come at opportune times to close the gap at the end of the game. If the time gets tight and you know your team will be shooting several three point attempts, then you need to be prepared to be in position to potentially grab rebounds from those missed attempts. Syracuse did not.
  • Villanova shot a ridiculous 11-24 (45.8%) from three point range. About seven percent above their usual three point defensive percent.
  • The zone was not strong in this game. One game does not a trend make however. Teams are going to occasionally shoot hot. And when Syracuse adjusted by giving better coverage outside of the arc the percentage of made three point baskets dropped. The defense was a bit bad on the day, but I do not think this is part of some overall trend that the team is all of a sudden bad on defense. Villanova is a pretty good team after all.
  • Free throws made a difference in this game. Villanova shot 22-24 (91.7%) from the stripe, which is really high and helped keep the gap in Villanova's favor. Syracuse conversely made only 8-12 (66.7%). While that is not a lot of opportunity they left four points on the table and that is still a very low percentage.
  • Syracuse had 15 turnovers in this game. Syracuse needs to limit turnovers to single digits to increase their chances to be successful in the league.
  • Syracuse next takes on Seton Hall in the Carrier Dome Tuesday evening at 7:00pm. That should be a somewhat easier game being at home and not against a ranked opponent.

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