1 Comments Published on 2.23.2012 by John Brennan
CJ Fair agrees: it's not the name on the front, the back, or the color on the jersey. It's the heart.
As I watched from my seat in 309 watching the USF/SU game Wednesday night, I got to thinking what the recap here would be about. As the game started, I thought, surely it would be the team's poor start, inability to score, inability to grab a rebound. Then, after the 8:52 mark in the first half, and all the way until the 17:29 mark in the second half, I was thinking it definitely would be about the amazing 26-0 run Syracuse had, stretching between the halves and 50 minutes of real time.
But as it happened, the recap would have to cover the whole game. Because once the Bulls figured out how to score again (and Syracuse forgot how to rebound again), it was an old fashioned brawl the rest of the way. And maybe, that's the story of the game. More importantly, the story is that Syracuse held on and won another Big East game. The Orange, in platinum, beats the Bulls, in green, 56-48.
- In a game like this, it's hard to say that any one player deserves credit, or Player of the Game accolades. Sure, Scoop had a great game. Fab was important down the stretch. Fair set the pace early. But I don't think you can point to any one player and say Syracuse would have lost that game without that player; because you could point to ANY player to say that. Maybe the better way to say that is that you can't point to just one player and say that one player is the reason for the win.
- I don't know if that's a good recipe for success or not; but the record doesn't lie: 28-1, 15-1 BE.
- Stats-wise, I suppose we should break it down: Scoop was the leading Orange scorer with 15 points on 6-10 shooting, 2-4 from three, and 1-1 from the line to complete the old fashioned 3-point play. I will take that from Scoop any night, especially when he minimizes the mistakes. He did have three turnovers but, I suppose, it could be worse.
- Other big scorers included the aforementioned CJ Fair with 13 points (4-10 shooting), Kris Joseph with 12 points (5-17), and Dion Waiters with nine points (3-6).
- Kris. Geez. You take 17 shots and only five fall? I know you're better than that. I hope you're saving it all for the Tournament!
- Rakeem Christmas started, logged one foul in one minute of play, and never saw the floor again.
- Though I rag on Kris for having a horrible shooting night, I have to give him credit for his rebounding effort. He led the team with nine, which certainly helped Syracuse in its 26-0 run.
- On that rebounding effort though, Syracuse lost 41-31. SU's failure to rebound prior to the run allowed USF to build its lead, and SU's failure to rebound after the run allowed USF to get back in the game and keep it close. Boxing out and positioning were just poor. Just poor. At times, it seemed like there were six USF players fighting five SU players for rebounds.
- It was a rough shooting effort from both teams; Syracuse lost that battle 38.5% to 34.5%.
- A big reason the Bulls weren't able to really come back in the second half is because they didn't make it to the foul line. USF was 2-2 from the charity stripe in each half. At the end of regulation, Syracuse was fouling just because they had fouls to give. Not often you see that in a Big East game.
- Anthony Collins and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick were USF's leading scorers, with 12 and 11 respectively.
- One more thing I want to note for Syracuse: ball handling. Though there were only nine turnovers (to USF's 18), it seems that most Orange players just can't hold onto the ball. I don't get it, but it's going to be a problem as the days and weeks roll along.
I know a lot of that was critical of the Orange, but don't get me wrong: I love wins. I'm enjoying this win. I'm enjoying that we're fans of a team 28-1 and staring a probable NCAA 1-seed in the face. But that's exactly why I'm critical. You see a regular season like this, and your expectations increase. And when you see flaws in the product you're rooting for, you want those flaws fixed so your expectations can be realized. And I like to think that most of the Orange fans out there think the same way -- they just might not express it that way.
One short note on the platinum uniforms: they looked AWFUL. I was there, in person. Awful. The little orange that was on the uniform looked too neon-bright. The gray/platinum looked too weird. It just wasn't the Syracuse team we're used to seeing. But we can't blame the team's poor performance on the jerseys (cough cough 26-0 run, cough cough THEY WON!), but part of me wants to blame the slow start on the jerseys -- it's a change the team had to adapt to. You train your mind to pass the ball to white or orange. When you don't see white or orange, you start second-guessing yourself. I assume. But hey, they were a one-game thing. So, heeeeeeeeeey SEE YA!
Syracuse returns to action Saturday night as they visit Gampel Pavilion on the campus of the University of Connecticut, who will again be without head coach Jim Calhoun. ESPN's College Gameday will be on hand (possibly wishing they weren't covering that train-wreck of a team), but we'll still watch intently. It is UConn, after all. Keep it here for Husky Hate coverage.