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The Carrier Dome will miss you, Ricky!
To close out the regular season at home against DePaul certainly won't bring memories of hard-fought, down-to-the-wire tournament-implicating games of the past. But it's certainly a good sigh of relief to have that waiting for you. It's like running through an obstacle course and then, having to run to the finish line, someone instead picks you up and carries you there faster than you could run. A good opportunity to add one more W to your record. A great opportunity to try out some new plays, or a different lineup, or even the walk-ons. This game had it all. Coming off a week's rest, the Syracuse Orange destroyed the DePaul Blue Demons 107-59 on Saturday in the Carrier Dome.
  • Senior night at the Dome, and Rick Jackson was honored in a pre-game ceremony. It's been a pleasure to see Ricky grow into the powerhouse he now is, because boy he was real green when he first got to campus!
  • You wouldn't know it from the score, but Syracuse was losing at one point. DePaul grabbed the first basket and led 2-0. To say that Syracuse didn't look back from there would be a massive understatement.
  • A very even contribution from the entire team in this one. Except for the walk-ons at the end, every Syracuse player scored. But none had more than 14 points.
  • That 14 points was courtesy of the Man of the Night, Rick Jackson. In his game-high 27 minutes, he was 7-10 from the floor, pulled down seven rebounds, and blocked four shots. Just imagine how padded his stats would have been if he had played 10 more minutes!
  • There was another 14-point contributer, and this guy also had eight assists in 19 minutes of play. It was just Scoop Being Scoop. This is his new name.
  • Rounding out the starters, Kris Joseph had 11 points with four rebounds and five assists, Brandon Triche had nine points, and Baye Keita chipped in four points, seven rebounds, and three blocks.
  • The bench saw some heavy action in this one. In 21 minutes, Dion Waiters scored 12 points, two rebounds, three assists, and two steals. CJ Fair played 16 minutes and scored 11, had two blocks, and had one of the sickest slam dunks I've seen in a while at the Dome -- even making the SportsCenter Top 10. Mookie Jones scored nine points in 12 minutes. James Southerland racked up seven points in 14 minutes. But the best surprise off the bench had to be Fab Melo. In 16 minutes on the floor, he scored a career-high 10 points, grabbed six rebounds, and blocked a couple shots.
  • I said half a dozen times during the game "Somebody learned how to play basketball!" Yeah, I get it. Melo was playing against DePaul. He's not playing like that against Pittsburgh. But still, it was great to have him get some meaningful minutes, to score some points, to rebound the ball, to play defense. He needs the confidence and, quite frankly, I think the team is going to need him in some capacity in the post-season. He's not gonna be your go-to guy off the bench, but you need to be able to go to him. If that makes any sense.
  • On the Blue Demons side of things, starting forward Tony Freeland lit us up for 25 points. Take him away, and Syracuse wins 107-34. So, Tony, thanks for "keeping your team in the game."
  • DePaul also got 16 points from Moses Morgan off the bench. But that was pretty much the extent of the offense from DePaul. Just those two guys.
  • Statistically for the teams: Syracuse shot 71.4% for the game against DePaul's 39.1%. The Orange was also 77.8% from three (7-9) and was 10-11 from the line for 90.9%. You might not ever see stats that good on a Syracuse team. Savor them.
  • Syracuse won the rebounding battle 37-18. But one of the biggest stats is blocks: Syracuse blocked 12 shots, to DePaul's 0. That's solid defense. It's also size: Syracuse was big, DePaul was not so much.
  • I've read that the 48-point margin of victory was the biggest in Big East history. Ever. So, put that in the record books.
  • So, to DePaul's credit, when we eventually kick them out of the conference, there will be some record of them actually having existed in the conference at one time.
  • I was really pulling for Ricky to be the one to score Syracuse's 100th point, but it didn't work out.
  • When Jim Boeheim finally took Ricky out of the game for good, he had one hell of a standing ovation from the remnants of the 28,038 left in the Carrier Dome. As he hugged all his coaches and teammates, gameplay continued, but we were all just standing and clapping for him. It was great to be part of it, and kudos to the crowd for mostly sticking around for it. However, I did notice quite a few people leave at halftime.
  • Syracuse scored its 75th point with 13:44 left to go in the game, which has got to be the earliest Taco Time I can remember.
  • Interesting who that 75th point came from: Fab Melo. More interesting is how it got in the hoop. No, it wasn't a slam dunk. It wasn't a lay-up either. It wasn't even a foul shot. Fabricio Melo hit a mid-range jumper. I shit you not.
  • Dating back to the February 14 game in the Dome against West Virginia, I have had wine at each of the home games, including this one. Syracuse has won them all. Just sayin'.
  • Syracuse closes out the regular season with an overall record of 25-6, 12-6 in the Big East, and by virtue of this victory against DePaul, a four-seed in the Big East Tournament.
  • At the beginning of the season, I picked Syracuse to be a top-4 Big East team, and this record seems to be in line with what my expectations were. I didn't think that the team would have gone through what they did to get it, but it's what happens at the end that matters.
Check back to Orange::44 all week as we get back into the swing of things with lacrosse, we preview the upcoming Big East Tournament, break down the games, and look ahead to Selection Sunday. We're officially less than a week away! If you're not excited, you might want to up your dosage of Prozac.

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