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Yes Jim, those officials in Providence were terrible.
It's only been a few days into 2012 but it's already been fantastic for the Orange. Now 16-0, with three wins in the Big East, Syracuse is still riding high atop the polls. And with recent wins of Seton Hall over UConn and DePaul over Pittsburgh, Syracuse has become the team to beat in every measurable way. So before we take on Marquette this Saturday, let's look back at the week Syracuse has had.
Syracuse v. DePaul
Syracuse started the game strong against DePaul. Syracuse shot well and the defense was stingy. The Orange were up at the half 45-26, especially with DePaul shooting 30.8% from the floor, missing all eight three point attempts. That was the game. Syracuse and DePaul literally traded baskets in the second half, each scoring 42 points. Syracuse was the winner 87 to 68.
  • Kris Joseph was the leading scorer for Syracuse with 22 points. He also led with seven rebounds for the team. He shot 7-15 from the floor, and also 7-9 from the free throw line.
  • CJ Fair had 16 points off the bench and played 29 minutes. He went 6-6 from the floor and was 4-4 on free throws. He also added five rebounds. He is quietly having a fantastic season.
  • Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters tied for leading the team with three assists each.
  • Seven players had at least one steal. The team had ten.
  • Fab Melo finished the game with six blocks. He also added 12 points, hitting 6-7 shots.
  • Syracuse shot 58.6% from the floor.
  • Not as good was 25% from behind the arc (3-12).
  • The team had 11 blocks total, but did have 16 turnovers.
  • Syracuse limited DePaul to shooting 40.3% from the floor and just 3-18 (16.7%) from behind the arc.
  • Syracuse led in all statistical categories except free throws (Depaul hit 15-20) and assists (DePaul had 16, one more than Syracuse).
Syracuse v. Providence
This game was a little tougher for the Orange. The Providence fan base proved a little more noise and energy in The Dunk than DePaul. And Providence came out ready. The first half was a back and forth affair, with Syracuse only up by two at the break. Then Syracuse came out firing in the second half. While Providence fought hard, just like that Syracuse had a double digit lead. They never gave that lead up. They ended up winning 87 to 73.
  • Brandon Triche was the leading scorer with 16 points on 6-8, 4-5 shooting. He really gave Syracuse the lead in the second half with two huge three point shots.
  • Rakeem Christmas led Syracuse in rebounding with five.
  • Scoop Jardone scored ten points and lead the team with 11 assists. That's a double-double.
  • Syracuse again shot the ball well with 61.1% and 58.8% (10-17) from behind the arc.
  • Syracuse was outrebounded again 26 to 22. Guess they deserve to be ranked 4th.
  • Syracuse led in every other category except free throw percentage.
  • Providence way overachieved with their offense in this game. Shooting under 30% from behind the arc, they hit 46.2% from behind the arc, and scored 73 points. They scored 40 their previous game. This was their first conference game at home however.
  • This was easily the worst officiated game Syracuse has appeared in all season. By far. And no Tim Higgins or Jim Burr.
  • RIP Dave Gavitt.
Syracuse next takes on Marquette back in the Carrier Dome this Saturday. While this would have looked daunting a couple of days ago, they just blew a 17 point lead to Georgetown in DC, losing by three. So who knows which team will show up. But when you're #1 you have to assume your opponent will come out hot in their offense. Should be a fun one.

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