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Matt Gorman is very, very bad

Posted by syracusan on December 20, 2006

Matt Gorman is completely freaking terrible, I want to make this absolutely clear. There’s been a quiet trend in my crew to frame Matt Gorman as a potential ‘spark’ on this team. Some of the guys secretly think he should be getting more PT because they like his effort and his offensive potential. This is how the story goes: Gorman is the only guy on the team with legitimately smooth post-up moves; he’s got nice touch around the basket; he’s got a nice jump shot for a big man; he’d be helpful grease for a team with difficulty in the half court, etc, etc.

This is all bullshit. Generally, these arguments are brought up in light of frustration with Terrence or Mookie. Terrence makes one of his patented boneheaded plays, or Mookie fails to give 110%, and people suddenly want Gorman out there. I want to eliminate these absurd ideas here and now.

Matt Gorman is one of the least effective players in the history of Syracuse basketball. His inefficiency on the court is mind-boggling, he’s the worst defensive player on the team (and that’s saying something with Devendorf out there), and he must be the worst pound for pound rebounder we’ve ever had. He may not statistically be the worst, but his ratio of rebounding ability to height is unfathomably bad. Never has someone so tall and so large been so completely invisible on the boards and on defense. He’s 6’9″, 235 pounds, and he averages fewer rebounds per minute than Andy Rautins. WAY fewer.

But it’s not just rebounding. He does nothing well. He contributes very little in terms of points, assists, blocks, or any intangible hustle plays. He regularly gives up offensive boards to people 6 inches shorter than him, and I can count the number of offensive rebounds he’s pulled down this season on my fingers (literally). He can’t cover any DI player for more than a moment. He can’t flash out on jumpshooters, he can’t get back on the break, he can’t stop people from posting up. None of this has to do with effort of course, it’s pure lack of athletic ability. When he’s out there, he absolutely kills us.

The argument goes that all his deficiencies on defense can be made up on the offensive end. This would be a nice idea if it were remotely true. Yes, Gorman looks relatively smooth when he gets the opportunity to post up, but the reality is that he misses way more often than he hits at the end of those pretty moves (last year he shot 38.1%, this year 44% – not exactly good). And regardless of his occasional scoring or ability to hit the open J, the amount that he’s hurting the team in all other facets make his minutes nothing but detrimental. He would have to be scoring 25 a night to make up for how bad he is at everything else.

Before tonight, Gorman had played 171 minutes this year and pulled down a TOTAL of 18 rebounds. He also has 6 assists and 9 steals. Throw in 9 turnovers and 13 fouls, and you start to get a picture. His ability to be out on the court for long stretches and accomplish absolutely nothing is staggering. We’ve never had a guy capable of this level of invisibility. He simply adds nothing. He’s like Ryan Blackwell during his bad stretches, but he’s like that all the time. We’re playing 4 on 5 when he’s out there.

During the games earlier this year when Mookie was out and Gorman got the starts, he did the following:

Charlotte: 27 minutes, 6 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists.

Canisius: 20 minutes, 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist.

Holy Cross: 9 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 0 assists.

I remind you he’s 6’9″. 27 minutes and zero rebounds against Charlotte. As a freshman he played 76 minutes and got 19 rebounds; as a sophomore, 47 minutes and 14 rebounds; and last year he played 291 minutes and pulled down 61 boards. In other words he’s always had a terrible rebound per minute ratio, and this year he’s actually gotten worse. He’s averaged around 2 boards per game traditionally, but this year with bigger minutes he’s dropped down to 1.6.

If I had the energy I’d extrapolate his rebounds per 40 minutes ratio and compare it to Terrence and Mookie, but you know what it’s going to say. He’s unbearably ineffective. Watching him tonight, playing almost the whole 2nd half, I was struck that we were dependent on a guy who should be playing for Colgate. Not that I’m blaming Jimmy for playing him, with the injuries and fouls there was no choice, but there’s no way we can have any more talk of not wanting Terrence or Mookie on the court at all times. If this Roberts injury is serious, we’re screwed. I don’t see us beating anyone in the top 100 without him.

Gorman runs up the court, runs down the court, runs up, runs down, and contributes zero. Terrence is a man out there, playing tough defense, flying around, blocking shots, throwing down vicious dunks and leading the team in rebounds (8.6 per game). Yes, he makes 2 to 3 plays each game that make you want to gouge out your own eyes, and his basketball intelligence seems to decrease with every game. But he can also be a beast out there when he’s on his game, and he’s completely vital to this team. His contributions on defense don’t show up in the stat sheet, but it’s clear what happens to this team when he’s missing: we give up 84 points to freakin’ Drexel. Boeheim’s been saying all year that Terrence is our best defensive player, and it’s time to accept that it’s the truth. Without him standing tall on the front line, the other teams big men are going to overwhelm Mookie and shoot high percentages. Mookie’s going to get in foul trouble, and then we’ll be done. Terrence may be the all time Syracuse leader in bonehead plays, but focusing on that means you’re only watching the offensive end of the floor. Basketball is a two-way game.

Though I thought Josh’s post below was hilarious, the fact is we scored 79 points tonight. That should be more than enough to win 95% of our games. The offense has come around recently, and the only serious problem still to address is the turnover issue. Otherwise I thought they looked fine out there. Layup misses are flukes; the key is that the team looked decent, moved well, got Nichols the ball, and put up enough points to win. This loss is all about the defense, which is going to crumble if Terrence misses any real time.

*****

Paul Harris’ PT is dropping, but his production remains good. He’s the anti-Gorman. 7 points and 7 rebounds in just 16 minutes. I think Jimmy’s struggling with finding a lineup that he likes, and Harris is on the short end of some experiments. But I maintain he needs to be out there getting starter minutes. Even though he’s not dominating like we hoped, he contributes constantly when he’s on the floor.

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12 Responses to “Matt Gorman is very, very bad”

  1. Mike said

    Thank you for saying that about Gorman. I have said what you have for what seems like forever now. I keep hearing that he is good and will really contribute when getting the chance.

    I also hate how he always tries to shoot a three. It is like the times when Elvir Ovicina thought he had a sweet outside shot and would heave up three pointers, rarely making any. But, he would make one every blue moon which he thought gave him the right to shoot them often and at the most inopportune times.

  2. […] Not much else to say about the game itself. We looked great in all facets. I lit a fire under Matt Gorman, and he came through with 10 and 5; but he still sucks. Mike Jones is shaky. Josh Wright needs to do some maturing. No complaints about anything else. […]

  3. Orange said

    How about all of you people try out for the SU Basketball Team and perform better than Matt? Didn’t think so!

  4. Corey Foote said

    Matt Gorman is by far the best player on the bench….he made the team for syracuse….i bet you that you fat old reporters can’t make the team so get off his back!

  5. Tom said

    Perhaps it’s worth revealing “Syracusan’s” true identity in the face of these detractors. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to introduce… Craig Forth.

    Now that we’ve cleared that up and established you as someone who has made the team and performed (marginally) better than Matt Gorman, let the criticism continue, big fella.

  6. Mike said

    WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TO SAY THAT ABOUT HIM,YOU LOWLIFE? WHO PUTS OUT THE TIME TO MAKE A STUPID BLOG ABOUT HOW TERRBLE MATT GORMAN IS? YOUR NAME IS SYRACUSAN? FACT OF THE MATTER A TRUE ORANGE FAN WOULDNT TALK SHIT ABOUT A KID WHO WON AN NCAA TOURNEY, 2 BIGEAST TOURNEYS, AND POSSIBLY AN NIT. I GUARUNTEE THAT YOU COULDNT EVEN COME CLOSE TO BEATING HIM ONE ON ONE. YOU CAN TALK WHEN U HAVE GAME EXPIERIENCE. SO WHY DONT YOU GET YOUR LAZY ASS OFF THE COMPUTER DESK AND MAN UP

  7. Tim said

    Mike 1, fat reporters 0.

  8. ech1 said

    Matt Gorman “won an NCAA tourney”? Funny that… zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists, zero blocks and, on the positive side, zero turnovers in zero minutes played.

    So, yeah, Syracusan, you really think you could have matched those numbers?

  9. TwistyDragoon said

    HEY! Dont say that my teacher mr. gorman is the brother of matt gorman.

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  11. Desirea said

    ok now listen when u wanna talk shit talk about the walk ons ok matt is way bettert than any of them and he actually tries instead of bein glazy like half the players wow seriously leave him the fuck alone

  12. bayhime said

    you suck.

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