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Picturesque, fun, something you try once right? YOLO?

After a two-day delay in getting this game in due to bad weather conditions -- IN SAN DIEGO! -- Syracuse played a true Veterans Day game on the USS Midway against San Diego State University on Sunday. It was fun, it was gimmicky, it was windy, it was chilly, and it was a win for Syracuse. Almost from start to finish, the Orange held the lead, and quickly adjusted to the elements. The Aztecs failed to adjust, shot horribly, and lost. The final score from literally on the San Diego Bay was 62-49.
  • This game for Syracuse was all about CJ Fair. CJ was 7-15 shooting (17 points total), including the only 3-pointer hit by Syracuse, and also grabbed 10 rebounds.
  • I think it's Fair to say (no pun intended, at least initially) that CJ Fair is the leader of this team. Maybe not so much a vocal leader, but more so a steady, lead-by-example type of guy.
  • Also with 17 points was Michael Carter-Williams, so was also quite steady on the court. He was also 7-15 from the floor, and grabbed 4 rebounds. Also of note for MCW was the 5 steals he had.
  • Speaking of the steals, Syracuse had 12 total, which is a good indication of how active their defense was. Playing the Jim Boeheim patented 2-3 zone, SDSU fell into the normal made against the zone: shoot the ball, lots of 3s. But what might work in a gym doesn't quite work on the deck of an aircraft carrier in windy weather. Despite facing the wind early and seeing its effect on 3-point shots, the Aztecs failed to adjust the game plan and kept chucking up the ball. Oh well, their loss.
  • Brandon Triche had 15 points on 6-11 shooting, but unfortunately turned over the ball five times -- not a stat you'd like to see from your senior point guard. It's early (you know, game 1) but Brandon needs to improve on this for Syracuse to be successful, especially against tougher opponents.
  • Not to say SDSU wasn't a tough opponent. Ranked #20 in the country coming into this game, I think the elements just got the best of them. This probably would have been a much closer game inside, but, I guess we'll never know.
  • As previously mentioned, the Aztecs' offense was quite anemic, scoring a Big 10-esque 49 points. Their leading scorer -- and the only one in double digits -- was Jamaal Franklin, who scored 11 points on an abysmal 3-12 shooting. And so it goes for SDSU, who as a team was 17-63 from the floor (27%).
  • Syracuse won the rebounding battle 45-44.
  • SDSU was 1-18 from the 3, or, for those of you who prefer percentages, 5.6%. Ouch. Congratulations to James Rahon.
  • Both teams wore specially-designed camouflage jerseys. Syracuse's was a version of the road orange jerseys. In the biggest upset of the day, I was actually not upset with how they looked.
For a game that almost didn't happen -- twice -- they decided to really milk this for all they could. The game lasted almost two and a half hours. The broadcast crew of Dick Enberg, Steve Kerr, and Erin Andrews did a good job, and though many people complained about not being able to find the game, I was able to watch on MSG+ and the picture was good. On the ship, there was the technical difficulties of the game clock not working properly (what was displayed was unofficial and would freeze then jump ahead), and the shot clock above one of the baskets was inoperable.

So while we might not want to do it again, it was fun to watch. After all, it was a Syracuse basketball win! Plus, it was a great ending to a great weekend for Syracuse Athletics. If they can all be like that, well then, we'd be spoiled! After the long trip back to the east coast, Syracuse prepares to take on Wagner in the Carrier Dome this Sunday at 1pm in the regular season home opener. I'll be there, and of course keep it right here at Orange::44 for continuing basketball coverage, and football coverage as we move toward hopeful bowl eligibility.

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