Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

whither Devo?

Posted by syracusan on December 6, 2006

This from Kim Baxter on the PS blog:

Eric Devendorf is very sick. He’s battling a stomach virus and has been since last Friday. Not sure how long he’s going to be out and he refused to talk after the game.

Pray that this is the truth. Pray. Because when I watch this team on offense right now, I want to to stab myself in the face. I’m glad to hear he’s not just sucking or in the doghouse, but what the hell kind of stomach virus lasts 4 days, but still allows you to suit up for two games, travel with the team, and play in 9 minutes of a major game on national TV? It seems to me that he should either be playing full strength or not at all.

There were stretches in the final ten minutes of tonight’s game where the only offensive play we could execute was to pass to Nichols and let him shoot an off-balance three from wherever he was. Every other play resulted in a turnover (or a Matt Gorman brick). I don’t want to go into the game details, everyone saw it. Most of the Cuse Country staff was at the game. The problem is obviously the offense, and has been for a while. Strictly speaking, from a basketball philosophy perspective, I’d rather have a bad offense and a good defense than vice versa. Because good defenses can keep the games close and spark comebacks – hence the two narrow losses. So at least we have that going for us. That’s another glass half full view.

Harris is a stud, but he’s not much of a threat outside of 5 feet, and top notch defensive teams like OK St are going to be able to keep him out of the lane in the half court. He’s amazing in space, as we saw in the final stretch; but unless we take Erich’s plan and press the whole game, there are going to be stretches where he’s not going to be putting up points. J-Wright’s an inconsistent role player who’s only going to put up numbers when others are playing well and opening up things for him to get sneaky baskets, so he’s not going to help much either against stud defenses. We need Devo, that’s all there is to it.


Remember when Roy Williams was at Kansas and everyone used to talk about their “secondary break” strategy? It was their version of a running, fast break offense, except they could execute it in non-fast break situations. The key is to push the ball every time off of rebounds and made baskets, and even when the other team gets back, you keep pushing the offense while their 5 guys are still setting up their defense. It doesn’t produce open looks as easily as real fast breaks, but it gives you a little more room to operate and keeps defenses disorganized. It’s a great time to penetrate, because the lane isn’t clogged yet. It requires a great deal of athleticism, timing, and decision-making, but it can be a big relief for a stagnant half-court offense. I think Paul Harris would be devastating in an offense like that. He’s totally unstoppable when there’s less than a crowd in front of him.

Just a thought.


2 Responses to “whither Devo?”

  1. Josh said

    re: Secondary Break — nice idea, but I don’t think we have nearly the rebounding this would require. The way we are not hitting the boards now will only get worse if guys are thinking about trying to leak out and get down court quickly.

  2. ech1 said

    “There were stretches in the final ten minutes of tonight’s game where the only offensive play we could execute was to pass to Nichols and let him shoot an off-balance three from wherever he was.”

    If you replace “Nichols” with “McNamara”, that starts to sound suspiciously like last year’s offense… and we all know how well that worked out.

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