- CJ Fair earned another start in place of currently-ineligible Fab Melo. This marked the third game Melo hasn't played, but the first at home. Melo was with the team and on the bench, but in what is colloquially known as "street clothes."
- Player of the game awards probably go to Brandon Triche: 7-12 shooting for 18 points, two assists, and two steals in 24 minutes of action. He was the most consistent player for the Orange up and down the court, and hit shots when it counted. Of note, he was also 2-4 from three and 2-2 from the line.
- Though he didn't have a consistently good game, and at this point seems to be wasting everyone's time in shooting from three, Kris Joseph proves to be the go-to guy yet again. Clutch down the stretch, Kris finished with 13 points (including 5-5 from the line), hit the boards hard with seven, and also added three assists, two blocks, and two steals.
- Jim Boeheim was riding Kris real hard from the start of this game. Several times, Boeheim could be seen questioning Kris as "What are you doing?" or "What are you thinking?" It's clear coach is holding Kris to a high standard, and wants the very best from his senior leader.
- Also in the Boeheim doghouse was Rakeem Christmas. Rak was pulled early on in favor of Baye Keita, but as Keita got in foul trouble, Rak saw more minutes until finally fouling out. His one rebound, one block, and one steal effort in 14 minutes on the floor was anything but good. You want to know why we miss Fab Melo? That's why we miss Fab Melo.
- For his part, Keita did what he had to do. He's not gonna wow you with his play, and he won't light up the box score, but he did what he had to do. In 25 minutes: four points, five rebounds, and "three" blocks.
- With time running down in regulation and Syracuse up by two, West Virginia attempted a three-point shot. The shot fell short, was rebounded under the basket by Deniz Kilicli, who kissed the ball off the backboard before it was blocked by Keita. The ball went out of bounds, possession remaining with West Virginia with six seconds remaining. A desperation three with time expiring fell short, and Syracuse hung on for the victory.
- Keita's block was, of course, a goaltend. Had the officials called it correctly, West Virginia would have been credited with a 2-point basket, the game tied at 63, and Syracuse possession with eight seconds to go. Syracuse could have scored in that eight seconds to win the game, or the game could have gone to overtime. Instead, the officials missed the call, the Mountaineers retained possession with six seconds, and failed to score. That's it and that's all.
- Syracuse was once again killed on the boards, 40-21. Those numbers get better if Fab's on the floor, but not significantly. This is a team issue that needs to improve if Syracuse is to go deep into the Big East tournament or the NCAA tournament.
- Syracuse was 4-20 from three for the game, or 20%. Many of the misses came on wide open looks. There's the school of thought that says if you get the wide open look you take the shot. There's the other school of thought that if you can't hit the broad side of a barn you shouldn't take the shot. Each school has its wisdom, but my biggest gripe here is that these wide open misses are resulting in empty possessions. I'll take two any day and every day, over zero.
Labels: Syracuse Basketball
We all know this is just to sell jerseys. Syracuse is wearing their usual white jerseys at home after this, and orange on the road. So that's awesome. This is just to make a quick buck. And the worst part is they will sell. There is always a segment of people that will buy these. So thanks for being most of the problem. But this just isn't that great of a design anyway.
Every school is a gray jersey with their school's color down the side and their color sneakers. Not that creative. The designs on the back aren't that intricate. And last I checked we were the Syracuse Orange. Not the "CUSE" officially.
Either way, these are minor gripes. The real issue is that this kind of idea, were there is just a one off of a jersey just to sell them, is ridiculous and shameful. But it's just the kind of move I'd expect from Nike and Syracuse University Athletic marketing. After all, they are the ones that sold a wildly dumb 20-0 shirt.
The final point I'll leave you is the idea that complaining over what this team wears is stupid. While it maybe be "just a jersey" it represents the team. A team that would be playing in front of an empty stadium without fans and specifically alumni. The fact that Nike thinks you're a sucker and will just buy anything with "CUSE" on it should be an affront to your sensibilities. But maybe that's just me.
John: It's Nike being Nike. Let's not lose sight of that. We know they're gonna do what they need to do to make money, and if they think this is what will do that for them, then all the more power to them.
- Kris Joseph was your leading scorer for Syracuse (a go-to guy?) with 17 points on 8-11 shooting. Interestingly, though, Kris shot 0-3 from three, which means that he hit all shots within the arc (including some nice dunks).
- Other double-digit scorers were Scoop Jardine with 13, and Brandon Triche with 11.
- Scoop started real slow, but poured it on when it mattered, late in the game when Syracuse was really pulling away. Scoop was 2-4 from three.
- In his second start, CJ Fair put in another solid effort with six points and six rebounds (four offensive).
- Sliding Rakeem Christmas over to cover Fab's spot resulted in nine rebounds from Rak, three blocks, and a solid player in the middle. I think he's done a lot of growing up over the past few days, and he's gained a pretty good understanding of this 2-3 zone.
- While Rak was active in the zone, he "held" Yancy Gates to 16 points. I say that because I really think Gates would have scored a lot more if the middle of the zone were exploitable like it was Saturday against Notre Dame.
- Cashmere Wright was the leading scorer for the Bearcats with 17, mostly aided from going 5-8 from three. Cincy started hot, especially from three, which gave us all that "Oh crap here we go again" feeling. Good thing that didn't last.
- Comparatively, Syracuse outshot Cincy 46.4% to 34.4%. Cincy held a slight edge from three, 32% to 25%. Syracuse edged by on the rebound battle 36-35.
Labels: Syracuse Basketball
- Syracuse's leading scorer was James Southerland off the bench with 15 points. He probably played the best offense for Syracuse looking at the game in total. He was 5-10 and 3-7 from the floor respectively. He also was 2-2 from the line.
- Kris Joseph was the leading rebounder on the floor for the Orange with five. CJ Fair and Rakeem Christmas each added four.
- Scoop Jardine, as usual, led in assists with seven.
- Syracuse missed Fab Melo. They only had two blocks in the game.
- Despite the fact that Notre Dame turned the ball over the least in the Big East going into this game, Syracuse caused 17 for the Irish, and had nine steals. Sadly that didn't equate to a win like it normally would. In the circumstances, it really didn't feed any transition offense in the vast majority of the turnovers.
- Syracuse shot the ball poorly. They were 18-53 (34%), and 7-23 (30.4%) from three. Syracuse missed 14 of their first 19 field goal attempts. The worst way to start a game on the road, let alone against a team in the Big East.
- Notre Dame, conversely, shot the ball better. They shot 50% both overall and from behind the arc.
- Syracuse only got 28 points from their starting lineup.
- Scoop Jardine was 0-5 and 0-2 in the game. His only points were two free throws out of four. He couldn't hit the ocean from a boat on Saturday night.
- While Fab Melo was not the reason Syracuse lost the game, and he would have only contributed a few baskets at the most, where he was missed was simply being in the zone. A seven footer makes players alter their shots and think twice about driving in the lane. He also blocks shots. He would have given Jack Cooley a run on his scoring.
- Baye Moussa Keita can't catch the ball worth shit. And he has no excuses as his thumb is healed and unwrapped. He couldn't catch it wide open, let alone hot underneath the basket. I mean, how is that possible?
- Similarly, Kris Joseph couldn't dribble in this game. At all. What's up with that?
- I defer to our friend Russ at the Three Idiots with this post. In it, about the blocks/charges he says "The block/charge call is ruining college basketball. The refs screw it up more times than they get it right and it takes the aggressiveness out of the game -- the flopping is worse than it is in a European soccer game. In my opinion, unless a guy is an absolute statue, the call has to be a block. If the game starts getting called that way, you'll see a lot fewer guys sliding over at the last second and taking guys out too." Nailed it. And I'll add that the charge that Waiters "committed" was a block. It was a secondary defender sliding over standing directly over the arc line. Stationary or not, that is a block by the new rules. In the arc as a secondary defender? That's supposed to be a block. Higgins called it a charge.
- Cooley, in a three person trap from the press of Syracuse, swung his elbows and hit CJ Fair. It was a textbook Flagrant 1 as the rule now states and it was called that after a review. Good for the referees. It was about the second or third one he committed on the day.
- No one player played completely bad from the floor on offense, but almost every player had a good stretch where they were just awful or made a terrible shot selection. Notable examples were Watiers, Fair, and obviously Scoop.
- Yelling "Overrated" at a team you are beating devalues the win. Most people know this except the one jackass that starts it in every student section in the nation. Also, as someone pointed out, if Syracuse was so overrated why are you rushing the court?
- Chanting "Fab Can't Read" is funny. Is it also over the line? That's debatable. You want to yell that? Fair enough. I expected that at UConn,WVU, Pitt, or Georgetown, but not at ND though.
Anyway, to the nitty gritty here. Today, Zach Tomaselli -- the third accuser in the Bernie Fine saga -- admitted that he had doctored emails he provided to the Post-Standard, and that he lied about things in order to get people to believe him. You follow that logic? Good. This, of course, is a huge blow to his already shaky credibility. With the Tomaselli accusations being the only potentially prosecutable case against Fine, these latest credibility issues really throw a wrench into that.
For the Feds (or anyone else) to bring Fine to trial on these accusations, they need to have credible evidence. Prosecutors have a duty to do justice -- which often times means not prosecuting a case if they don't have enough evidence for a conviction. In a sex abuse case where there is little to no physical evidence, the lion share of the proof presented at court will be the testimony of the alleged victim. Therefore, that alleged victim's credibility is of the utmost importance; if the jury doesn't believe the alleged victim, they have nothing on which to base a guilty verdict.
So let's count the credibility issues of Zach Tomaselli:
- He first contacts ESPN, who puts accuser Bobby Davis in touch with him. Then he goes to the authorities.
- He evidently doesn't know the difference between UConn and Pittsburgh.
- His school says he was in school when he says he was in Pittsburgh.
- He doesn't know how he got to Pittsburgh or who else was with him.
- He admits that he doctored emails he showed to the Post-Standard in order to get them to take him seriously.
- And, oh yeah, he pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a young boy and is awaiting a lengthy prison sentence.
- I vividly remember last year's game at Pitt. I watched on TV with Brian at The Green Derby, a local Elmira restaurant and bar. That game began with a 19-0 run by Pitt. Syracuse followed with a 17-0 run of its own, but eventually came up short.
- This year started much the same, only it was Syracuse that began with the big run to start the game. Though it was 13-0, that run provided the Orange with the cushion it needed to keep the lead in this game.
- Dion Waiters led the way for Syracuse with 16 points on 4-9 shooting, including 2-3 from three and 6-8 from the line. He's a gamer and one of the go-to guys. Take note, America.
- Three others had 12 points: Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine, and Brandon Triche. Rounding out the double-digit scoring for the Orange was Fab Melo with 10 points.
- Add to Fab's 10 points his 10 rebounds, and he has a double double.
- Scoop also had a double double: his 12 points with his 10 assists were Scooperific.
- Funny that CJ Fair doesn't get a mention until now, but check this: seven points, five boards, and three blocks in 28 minutes, including a monster flying dunk that made #1 on the SportsCenter top plays. Just another day at the office for CJ.
- Though he had a good game, including his double double, Fab Melo was a liability out there on the floor for much of the game. He was absolutely being abused by Pittsburgh, and the refs were hesitant to call anything. But when it came to Fab pushing the line, it was called post-haste. Fab fouled out eventually. It's the Big East, that'll happen. But Fab's hands were the liability. He just couldn't hold onto the ball. In fact, he had six turnovers. It got to the point where I was callling for Baye to enter the game, because I didn't think his ball handling could be any worse than what we were getting from Fab...
- And when Keita entered, I was proved wrong immediately as he had a turnover. Sure, that was his only one of the game, but that's only because he saved himself or his teammates bailed him out a few times. Can these guys just get some strong hands, please?
- What else was a big liability? Rebounds. We knew that would be a statistical category we'd probably lose to Pitt, who currently is one of the best rebounding teams in the country (proving that rebounding doesn't equal winning). The margin here was 40-28 favoring Pitt, but it seemed like it wasn't even that close. In my experience it's tough to win a Big East game if the margin is 10 or more, or if you can't even reach 30; but Syracuse debunked that. So, there's that. Which is nice.
- Defensively, Syracuse played the game they needed to, and didn't let any one Pitt player dominate: Lamar Patterson, Ashton Gibbs, and Cameron Wright all led the team with just 10 points.
- Statistically, Syracuse out-shot Pitt 46% to 39.3%.
- I'm not even going to do any more statistical comparisons, except for the one that mattered the most: free throws. Syracuse was 20-23 (WHAT?!? YES KEEP DOING THAT!), while Pitt was 12-23. Same number of attempts for each team, but Syracuse hit the eight that Pitt couldn't. The margin of victory was eight. You do the math.
- Kris Joseph led the Orange with 13 points on 4-10 shooting, hitting 4-4 from the free throw line. Dion waiters added 12 points, Scoop Jardine and Mookie Jones (yes, that Mookie) each added ten.
- CJ Fair again led the team in rebounding with six. There was a pretty even effort at rebounding in this game.
- Scoop Jardine almost had a double-double. He finished the game with nine assists.
- Dion Waiters continued his defensive dominance with four steals.
- Fab Melo had four blocks to lead the team. There were ten in the game for the Orange.
- Syracuse only had eight turnovers in the game, with Fab Melo committing the most with three. Providence had 22 in the game.
- Syracuse finished in the game shooting 43.5% (30-69) from the floor, 5-20 (25%) from three, and 13-18 (72.2%) from the free throw line. SU limited Providence to 35.1%, 21.4% (3-14), and 80% (12-15) respectively.
- Providence outrebounded Syracuse again. This time only by 1, 38 to 37.
- While Syracuse sent the same starting five onto the court for the 18th straight game this season, it wasn't the starters in the spotlight. The stars of this game were bench players Dion Waiters, CJ Fair, and James Southerland. Not only were they the three top scorers (at 20, 9, and 15 respectively) but they were the playmakers.
- Not to say the starters were bad, because they weren't. But they left a lot to be desired. Take Kris Joseph, for example. In 30 minutes, he was only 2-9 shooting (0-4 from three) and a perfect 4-4 on free throws for eight points. That's just abysmal shooting, and this team needs more out of its senior leader, especially one playing the most minutes for the team.
- In all, the starters were 12-28 (43%) shooting for 32 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists. The bench, meanwhile, was 16-35 (46%) shooting for 47 points, 22 rebounds, and six assists.
- Dion Waiters had a usual great game, this time in front of his hometown Philadelphia crowd (has that been mentioned much?). 8-13 shooting (including 2-4 from three) for 20 points, five rebounds, five rebounds, and two assists. Not to mention he rolled his ankle late in the first half and then still went out there in the second half and played like he didn't feel a thing.
- Scoop Jardine didn't wow anyone with his play, but he gave his Philly phollowers a memorable moment when he caught an inbounds pass near halfcourt from CJ Fair with time expiring at the half and banked in a three pointer.
- The banked three from Scoop was enough to get Dion to jump up out of his chair, limp-run over to Scoop, and do the most half-assed hip-bump I've ever seen. Surely, that was all adrenaline.
- The first half also saw Syracuse's patented offensive run, this time 20-2, to secure a lead they would not relinquish. That's good though, because for the second straight game Syracuse basically traded baskets with its opponents in the second half. In fact, Villanova outscored Syracuse in the second half 42-36.
- Remember when we were concerned about Syracuse starting games slowly and then having to fight back and build a second half lead? Yeah, that's over.
- With a team this deep and a pretty clear rotation of players, it's not a matter of endurance or being gassed in the second half. It's complacency. There may be turmoil in the Big East, but there games won't get easier. Syracuse gets beat in the game where they become so complacent that their opponent actually ties it up in the second half. And, of course, takes a lead and keeps it at the end of the game. That's how wins work.
- Villanova is not a good basketball team. Now at 8-9 on the season, 1-4 in the Big East, things look pretty grim. The Wildcats will be in the unfamiliar territory of a Tuesday afternoon Big East Tournament game and, unless they rip off five consecutive wins in New York, they will be missing the NCAA Tournament.
- Nova doesn't have any big-name players, any superstars, anything of note. They're young and I'm sure Jay Wright will work his magic and get them back up to Nova standards soon, but with Syracuse leaving for the ACC (sometime...), we might never see it.
- That said, Nova did have three players in double-digit scoring: Mouphtaou Yarou, Dominic Cheek, and JayVaughn Pinkston, all with 12. The rest of the team was... meh.
- Syracuse out-shot Villanova 44.4% to 32.8%.
- Syracuse also held the rebounding margin 40-36.
- The block party continues for the Orange, who had eight in this game.
- Baye Keita's play off the bench hasn't been talked about here, but he had a pretty solid 19 minutes. He knocked down two free throws, grabbed seven rebounds, and had two blocks. I just wish I didn't have to hold my breath every time he touches the ball. Nothing's wrapped anymore, so he has to be more confident in holding onto the ball. That would help me feel better.
- Jim Burr was on the call, along with Karl Hess and Michael Stephens. A much better officiated game than the last two we've seen, but how about that crazy blocking call on Fab when he had the ball! When asked about it after the game, Fab disagreed with the call. And so do I.
*West Virginia and Michigan jump the most. I just can't put WVU in the Top 10 with 3 losses, but they are close. Michigan deserves to be higher than the bowl losers. They also beat a tough VTech team, even though they always suck in the BCS.
*Sun Devils. Did anyone pick them against Boise except alumni? They barely hang on at #25.
*I would have put Baylor high for their offensive output (I do think RGIII is great), but that team didn't play any defense.
*No movement for USC. No bowl game to judge.
Anything crazy? Let me know. Otherwise we'll see you back here next year for more ballots.
- Syracuse came right out of the gate in this one and played a terrific first half.
- Great first half play was capped by a huge 19-0 run from 11:57 to 2:19. Talk about a scoring drought! Obviously, credit the Syracuse defense on that.
- Leading the way for Syracuse was Kris Joseph, who in a game-high 38 minutes scored 17 points on 5-8 shooting, including 4-4 on threes, had four rebounds, four assists, and two steals. You want solid play from your senior leader? That's it. Do it that way every night, Kris!
- Brandon Triche had another monster game, again dropping in 16 points on 5-12 shooting, 4-9 from three, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block. Brandon's stat line is impressive, but it doesn't tell much about how clutch it was. The shots that he hit, the rebounds that he grabbed, if you look at where in the game they happened, they all really helped Syracuse keep its lead.
- Kris and Brandon were the only starters in double-digit scoring. Fab had six in 18 minutes, Scoop just three in 24 minutes, and Rakeem scoreless in his token five minutes.
- Rakeem just wasn't cutting it today. In his five minutes, he missed two shots, grabbed a rebound, and fouled twice. Head Coach Jim Boeheim quickly realized this wouldn't be the kind of game where you can rely on a freshman forward who isn't so used to the extreme physical play of the Big East.
- Rakeem's benching allowed for the healthy-enough-to-play Baye Keita to log 20 minutes. Baye only scored four points, but two of them came on free throws down the stretch that, as Boeheim noted, really helped seal the game for Syracuse when Marquette was within two. Baye was also active in the zone, with two blocked shots. Of his five total rebounds, three came on the offensive boards, giving the Orange a chance for second chance points.
- Two of my favorite players on Syracuse lately are Dion Waiters and CJ Fair. The minutes and the determination they provide this team off the bench are no doubt the envy of the league. CJ scored 13 points in 30 minutes, while Dion tallied 12 on 28 minutes. Fair was all over the boards with eight (leading the team with Fab Melo in that category), and Waiters dished out seven assists to lead the team.
- Bottom line with those two guys, CJ and Dion, is that they just go out there and produce. They're consistent and they're good. If CJ is the glue guy (he's more than that), Dion must be the concrete guy. He doesn't break easy, and he's solid as concrete.
- To give credit where credit's due, Marquette played a great game. They were physical, they shot the ball well, and they made the adjustments at the half necessary to go out there and close the 37-19 halftime gap. And close it they did!
- Golden Eagles coach Buzz Williams got the most out of his starters, with three of them in double-digit scoring (Darius Johnson-Odom with 19, Jae Crowder with 15, and Junior Cadougan with 10) and the other two starters with nine (Davante Gardner and Vander "Powder" Blue).
- Buzz had a constant rotations of substitutions, going to four bench players to keep his starters fresh. While the bench logged 45 minutes, the bench scored four points. I mean, Todd Mayo scored four points.
- If you were in the Dome for this one, you know that Buzz Williams was the biggest source of consternation for Cuse fans. Being on the court and being beyond the line of the coaching box is Buzz's style, and in this one he went wherever he wanted. At one point, literally the entire Carrier Dome crowd of 25,412 was on its feet chanting "GET OFF THE COURT!"
- It doesn't bother me that a coach might be fired up and coming out of the coaching box to help out his players. What bothers me is that this coaching box rule was solidified by the Rules Committee a couple years ago, and became a point of emphasis. A violation (usually after a warning) is supposed to result in a technical foul. I think Jim Boeheim had to change his in-game coaching style a bit when that rule came down (I believe he actually led the charge on that, actually), so to see him abide by that rule and others just totally disregard it -- with no consequence from the officials -- is what bothers me about it all. So, am I mad at Buzz? No, because he saw he could get away with it. I'm mad at Tim Higgins, John Cahill, and John Gaffney.
- Higgins, Cahill, and Gaffney were the officials in this game. We didn't think things could get much worse than what we saw in Providence last Wednesday, but it sure seemed like this was worse. Fab Melo was in foul trouble virtually the entire game, and picked up a flagrant for throwing what they must have determined to be an inadvertent elbow. I haven't had the luxury of seeing the replay on that, but in real time from my seats in section 309 I didn't see anything other than a heap of powder blue fall to the floor.
- You might not believe this, but Marquette had 21 personal fouls to Syracuse's 18.
- Syracuse shot an abysmal 39.3% from the floor vs. the slightly better Golden Eagles' 40.4%. At the end of the day, the difference came from three-point shooting (Syracuse won 40% to 23%) and free throw shooting (Syracuse won 74% to 61%).
- Syracuse out-rebounded Marquette 40-34. Syracuse also won on the offensive boards 13-9.
- Uncharacteristic for the Orange, the turnover margin was only +1 (16-15).
- 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).
- 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.