Posted on: January 14, 2010 10:41 pm
Call me crazy Syracuse fans, but the fate of the Orange is going to come down to the next couple days. This current three game swing away from the Dome is the longest time the Orange men will be away from the comforts of the bubble until late season tourney action. This team still has me stratching my head sometimes, but the next few days will determine how the season will pan out. Yes I know it's still early but I truy believe that if SU escapes West Virginia and Notre Dame with two victories, this team is poised to make even more noise to conclude the second half of the season. If they go 3-0 on this swing, I may declare them Big East champs, and dare I say, National Champs.
Okay, I may be getting ahead of myself, but the talent is there, they just need to play.
Here's my keys to the remeinder of the season:
1) THE BIGS: AO and Rick Jackson are taking a lot of heat lately for their play. I personally believe AO is the best center to walk through campus since John Wallace, but most wouldn't agree. He is a wide body, and to finish strong for the year he needs to utilize his gurth and push some people around. Both he and Jackson need to lower some shoulders, push some bodies and drop some hook shots over the top. They have the power, the finess and even some passing ability from the post positions, now they just need to battle.
2) To the Point: Before this season Scoop Jardine was lost in the Syracuse roster to me. He was a promising player who never got the opportunity. But I've been impressed so far this year. Teaming along with Brandon Triche, a freshy still finding his legs, they've formed a formidable tandem to run the offense. I think they need to score when able, because they are both capable, but need to be distributorts first, and push the nation - leading assist totals. At times the game has gone too fast for the team as a whole, they need to play through the point position and be patient. It's up to Scoop and Brandon to keep the poise.
3) Andy Rautins: Don't press and do what you do. Although, I'm not really sure what he's good at anymore because his stat line seems full after every game. Keep in mind Andy may not shoot 50% from 3-point range every night, most shooters don't, but he brings grit to this team, something that shouldn't be ignored.
4) The bench: Mookie Jones and Kris Joseph have been explosive this year, and have given valuable minutes on the court. Joseph is explosive off the baseline and seems to be where he's needed at all time. Mookie is instant offense and melding with the starters. with each in the 6'6" - 6'7" range, it is vital to have long bodies on the floor in the Zone, and both need to keep up the intensity.
5) Be the Star: Wes Johnson has been known to float through games, so says many bloggers and fans. That needs to stop. Game in and game out Wes Johnson is a 20 and 10 type of player that I don't expect to stick around very long. But he seems comfortable to let the game come to him, which is not his strength. He's athletic, an explosive leaper, a terrific spot up shooter and a terrible assignment for any defender (forwards are too slow, gaurds are too short). The key is for Johnson to be involved and aggresive. This team needs him to be the star.
So that's it. This weekend we shall see what the season has to offer. Mountaineers, Irish, here come the Orange!
On a side note, did you see the Lady Orange off to a 15-1 start? Congradulations to an imporiving program that has continued to take great strides the past few seasons.
Posted on: December 26, 2009 9:49 pm
As 2009 draws to a close, I could not be more excited for college basketball. My renewed commitment to follow the Orange have resulted in stellar performances in the first two months, and hope is they keep it up and score six big wins in March!
But what I say next will stir some heads and create some doubt, but I'm not sold on this SU squad just yet. Potential is something this team will neve lack, which is scary given the way they've played. But conference play has yet to begin, and my heart is lying on the side of caution when I crown a national champion.
I am not going to make any arguements about how SU's big wins against UNC, Cal, and Florida don't seem as big as they did at the start of the season, because no matter the year, these teams are tough and hard to beat, let alone by an average of 15 or so points.
The only reason I doubt the Orange heading into Big Easy play is because of how Seton Hall played 6th ranked WVU. The two teams were evenly matched despite WVU being the favorite, and my point is that Seton Hall is a good team, not a great team, and they took WVU to overtime today. I was surfing the net and saw some sports analyst had SU going undefeated in conference play, and as much as I'd like tosee it happen, it probably won't. The Big East is going to be a test game after game for the remainder of the season, no Colgates from here on out.
We will see how SU performs Tuesday against Seton Hall, and as th seaon progresses I will hope to be proven wrong. But even now it may be too soon to call the 5th ranked Orange National Champions.
We shall see, GO ORANGE!
Posted on: April 20, 2009 11:51 am
So I'm behind from this past weeked and noticed Johnny Flynn is officially in the NBA Draft (as he's hired an agent). First, congrats to a big season and obviously you think this is a big opportunity. Second, why? Flynn has a lot of potential, but maybe he should've simply tested waters and waited on an agent. He is a beast of a player, he's battle tested, and a professional player indeed, but now? Kinda questionable.
We wait to see what Harris and Devo do (unless I missed that too) and next years team will be interesting.
Any takers on how they do?
Not a rebuilding year as many still coming back, but if all three leave, where does the team go?
Posted on: April 10, 2009 9:35 am
So it was reported that Johnny Flynn, Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris are testing the NBA waters. To all the naisayers out there saying their not ready, your probably right, but neither are most of the underclassmen that come out of college.
This is not a tragedy as long as none of them higher agents, since as far as I kno they can still play next year without question if they look without one.
(AND noone should be surprised about any of these names, NOONE!)
lastely, if they leave, don't kiss any top ten rankings good bye, they're not our only players folks. They're great but at some point we would have to pla without them.
With that said, I hope the team stays together for next season, but best of luck to all with they're endevors.
Posted on: March 30, 2009 12:01 pm
The Final Four is set, with the best four teams in the tounrament squaring off in another week. But with all the madness, I can't help but feel calm and disappointed. Why? No Johnny Flynn, no Devo, no Andy Rautins draining threes from the next county. No AO or Jackson plowing through defenders, and no Kristoff pouring his sweat onto the floor as he skids into the first row. No, this is not happiness or madness for this sports fan, but baseball IS right around the corner ...
But I'd like to take a moment to reflect on a rather successful year. The Orange bolted out to a 16-1 record (only loss to a VERY underrated Cleveland St. team) and joulted up the rankings. Sure they hit a rough patch, going 7-7 in the conference before realing off an imporbable 9 of 10 to finish the year, but in that 7-7 stretch, they played some 8 ranked teams, and only two losses all year were against unranked opponents (Clev. St and Providence).
I am upset about the Sweet 16 game, but hey, they were there right? And beside a crucial 8 or so minute stretch, they played right with OU, and I know the OU players had probably given up, but SU closed a 27 pt gap to 13, so in an essence outplaying OU for a considerable stretch. Oh by the way, their starting point gaurd Johnny Flynn was run over by Blake Griffin, looked to really have injured his back, and still played 38 minutes! During the final 10 game stretch, Flynn averaged over 41 minutes per game. In case you didn't know, regulation games are only 40 minutes long!
Okay, so now next year. Johnny Flynn has been my pick as the best PG in America, and he has shown it with his tenacity and game management, and his athleticism and ability to take over games and scoring and ... you get the point. If he decides for sure to return to SU next year, that means they should return all 5 starters and a decent bench outside of Kristoff Ongenaut, who for the record will be missed more then people realize now. He did not score alot, but that wasn't his role. He was a fighter, a spark, a force on every inch of the court. You'll be missed.
But let's not dwell. If the team came with expectation coming into this year, imagine the possibilities next year? This is a Big East tested, Sweet 16 team that has found itself and grown. Next year, the sky is the limit assuming all the pieces fit.
But in other news, let's go Mets!
Posted on: February 4, 2009 9:43 pm
The Orange finally compiled a good game against the Mountaineers to maitain their winning streak in the Dome against WV (dating back to 1996). Paul Harris was Paul Harris tonight, with some 14pts and 13 boards, although he was most active in the first half where he nearluy had a double double early on.
I'm a little concerned about AO and Andy Rautins, although yo could tell their presence was felt. AO pushed people around a bit early while he could go, even if he did only score 4pts he was a presence.
I would like to send my props to Kristof Ongenaut. No, he doesn't score a lot of point and I've seen message boards light up about his inability to play with the big boys in the BE. People, he started most of the games last year and pretty much all the games in BE play, he knows how to battle. He doesn't score but that what he does, battle. I saw a block shot tonight that was Hakim Warrick'esk from the '03 championship. I like this guy and like him off the bench, he's energy!
Also, my player of the year ballot goes to Johnny Flynn ... plain and simple he leads this team and is the catalyst for one of the highest scoring teams in Basketball. He can do no wrong!
Until next time ... GO CUSE!!!
Posted on: February 4, 2009 3:57 pm
Here's a few thoughts for my first piece ... You see my favorite teams, theres a trend here folks - ORANGE AND BLU. Honestly, I used to be a Knicks fan, but that's just frustrating!
I'm looking for the CUSE to get back to their winning ways tonight against WV ... and they'll make the push they need to get a prime seed in The Madness ... Johnny Flynn and Paul Harris and the 00ne Rick Jackson will be in full force tonight ... MORE AFTER THE GAME ... GO CUSE!
Opening day is only a couple months away and I may start to do a season long Mets blog, keep up with me here!
Football season is done, and Hockey is only good in my hometown, so those will have to wait till next year.