Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

we gave up 31 to a guy named “Tweety”

Posted by syracusan on December 17, 2006

Remember when Demetris Nichols blew the biggest game of the year by missing a wide open layup? Me either. Ever since then, he’s been raining buckets like his name was el nino. He’s 32 for 50 since that miss, including 13-24 on threes. Tonight against Baylor he went 12-16 and complained afterwards about missing too many shots. I’m cautiously optimistic.

I was out tonight at a show so I didn’t see any of the game or listen to any broadcast, and I haven’t read any reaction from anywhere other than the AP story. Overall the box score looks great though. I can’t give a narrative of thoughts since I didn’t witness it, but I’ll list out some random items I noticed:

  • It was a dominant rebounding performance (38-23), which is a pleasant surprise. I need to see a trend develop before I get excited though.

  • 25-30 from the line is a miracle. We’ll win every time with those numbers, but I’ll bet my left ass cheek we don’t see numbers like that with any frequency. What I do like is dominating our opponents in FT attempts. That’s something this team should do almost every time, and can be a huge boost even if we miss 40% of them.

  • Rautins got a start in Devo’s slot, presumably to try to jumpstart the offense. He stayed his usual gunner self and missed a bunch of shots in limited minutes, but put up 10 points and probably opened things up for Nichols a bit. His shot-per-minute ratio is a little high with all the other weapons on the team, but starting him is an interesting idea. It might help prevent slow starts.

  • Nice game from Josh. 9 dimes and only 3 turnovers in 28 minutes. And he barely shot the ball at all.

  • Twenty four assists on 31 made shots. Great for chemistry, great for scoring 90+ points. It’s amazing how an offense opens up when an individual player can dominate, a la Nichols recently.

  • Devo again got big minutes despite coming off the bench, and again got to double digits. He missed a lot of shots but got to the line 9 times. I’m cautiously optimistic about him too.

  • Paul got 15, 8 and 4. Solid numbers overall, which would be satisfying if not for the bizarre fact that he got all of them in the 2nd half. The reason? He only played 1 minute in the first half. I don’t know what the deal is with that (maybe someone will find out if there’s a story there), but he clearly responded well by totally dominating in the 15 minutes he got in the 2nd frame.

I’d like to think this win will count for something down the road since Baylor is a Big 12 team, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If Baylor ends up doing decently in that league then maybe we’ll be able to point to this game as the moment SU gave us a sign they’re bouncing back. The Big East got raped by other BCS conferences on Saturday too, so it’s nice to get this one at least.

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