1 Comments Published on 2.10.2011 by John Brennan
Just two of the many dejected faces; Carrier Dome; 2.9.11; 9:01pm
This game of Big East heavyweights was progressing just as you'd expect: each team fighting and clawing their way forward however possible. Neither team was particularly outplaying the other, and the score was reflecting that. The second-largest crowd in the Carrier Dome was orange-clad and into the game. The players were playing with emotion. The coaches were animated. This had all the makings a great rivalry game should have. But the normal plot would have brought this down to the final seconds and the outcome would depend on who could make the final shot, or the final mistake. Instead, Syracuse forgot how to play good basketball for the final six minutes and allowed Georgetown to build itself enough of a lead to make any attempt at a Syracuse comeback futile. The Hoyas beat the Orange 64-56.
- CJ Fair scored the last Syracuse field goal with 6:35 left to go. The score then was 53-49 Syracuse.
- From there, Georgetown went on a 15-3 run to end the game.
- I think the real do-or-die moment came when Jim Boeheim called a timeout with 4:43 left to go. Syracuse was grasping onto a 53-52 lead. I got this pit in my stomach. I knew Syracuse had two options on how to finish out the game: continue to be aggressive, score, and hold onto a slight lead; or, let the air out of the ball, probably end up with a bunch of empty possessions, and give up the lead.
- They chose the latter.
- I was extremely unimpressed with the possession coming out of that timeout. A couple passes followed by a horrible Scoop Jardine three-point attempt, no boxing out, and the ball going the other way.
- I'm real hesitant to say Syracuse gave up at the end of the game. So I won't say that. But what I will say is that they forgot how to play good basketball. They were making bad choices on offense: chucking up hurried threes, or taking too much time passing the ball around, or not driving at the basket like they had all game. And they weren't boxing out, seemingly not even trying for offensive rebounds. And defense? It seemed like they were so dumbfounded by the offensive play they had just run and by the lack of effort at rebounding, that they forgot to run back on defense. By the time it clicked that "Hey, we should be down at the other end," the Hoyas were already executing an easy layup or dunk.
- CJ Fair was the MVP for Syracuse on this night. 12 points and five rebounds in 28 minutes of play. He was especially good on defense, where he blocked two shots and really showed some quickness and active play.
- Speaking of the zone, I think the zone was the most active when CJ and Dion were both in. To say that about freshmen who probably had never played zone before coming to Syracuse says a lot.
- The middle of the zone, for most of the game, was occupied by Rick Jackson (4 points, 8 rebounds). After a lackluster three minutes to start the game, Fab Melo (0 points, 1 rebound) found himself on the bench for the remainder of the game. CJ Fair was added to the starting lineup at halftime.
- This, unfortunately, put Jackson right in the middle of a lot of action and, thus, a lot of fouls. He picked up his 4th foul at 14:40 to go, and promptly went to the bench.
- Luckily, Syracuse was fairing well without him. Baye Keita stepped up with four points, four rebounds, but an amazing five blocks. He was a defensive machine, and although his offense was lacking and you really want to see more rebounds from that position, his contributions kept Syracuse in this one in Ricky's absence.
- Let's talk about Scoop. We all love when he nails the three, when he hits the mid-range jumper, and when he takes it through the lane to the hoop. But otherwise, he's a bonehead and we don't like him. In 34 minutes (second only to Kris Joseph who played the whole game), Scoop chipped in seven points and six assists. The real trouble came in the last several minutes of the game, when he was doing a horrible job at the point - taking too much time, not creating plays, rushing his own bad shots... Scoop being Scoop.
- Scoop being Scoop is getting old, even for me to say. At first, it was funny. Now it's just sad. I really question why he does some of the things out there that he does -- not because I could do it better, but because I've seen him do it better, and I've seen others on the team (Brandon Triche, Dion Waiters) do it better. So why are we relying on this Scoop Jardine to run the offense?
- Georgetown played a good game, but they were by no means dominating. I really feel this is a game Syracuse would have and should have won, had things gone according to the normal aforementioned plot.
- The Hoyas' leading scorer was Austin Freeman with 14. Also in double digits was Julian Vaughn and Jason Clark (each with 12), and Hollis Thompson off the bench with 11.
- Georgetown outshot Syracuse 45.3% to 39.6%, including an edge in 3s 42.9% to 25%.
- The Hoyas also won the rebounding war 28-21, both numbers seeming low to me.
- Another game for Syracuse with double digit turnovers (14) and another loss.
- The Big East scheduled three opponents for Syracuse to play twice: Villanova, Seton Hall, and Georgetown. Also known as Syracuse's last three home losses. The good news is, if trends mean anything, Syracuse had already beaten Seton Hall on their home floor, and travel to Villanova on February 21 and to Georgetown on February 26.
- We all love to bitch about the officiating, and last night was no exception. They were terrible. But they called it both ways, and you can't blame the loss on the refs. That being said, this was one of the most frustrating efforts by the officials I've seen in a while. They went from calling very little in the first half (Syracuse only had five first-half fouls) to then calling everything -- and I mean everything -- in the second half. If you're going to call a loose game, fine. If you're gonna call everything, fine. But be consistent! Have you ever seen so many charging fouls in a game? You gotta feel for the players, not only having to adjust to the other team's gameplan, but the officials' enforcement of the rules!
- Big props to The UConn Blog for their Syracuse Love Day. They lost a bet fair and square, and took their day of devotion to Syracuse like a bunch of champions. We've praised them before here for "getting it," and this yet again proved that they are good people. Hopefully that can be an at least yearly tradition.