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Archive for February, 2007

5 Reasons To Love This Syracuse Team

Posted by Tom on February 28, 2007

1. Torn-meniscus Terrence Roberts. Somehow this knee injury has vaulted TerrenceRoberts.com from being a 3 1/2 year source of frustration to being my #1 reason to love this team. He’s always been all heart, but now with this injury it really shines. There’s no way he should be playing on this, but he knows it’s his last chance. The guy is like a wounded bear out there. Hobbling around, hungry, dangerous. If you crammed a Kodiak bear into a #33 Syracuse jersey and pushed him off in the direction of the court, you’d get a player who’d take up a lot of space in the middle, set some monster screens up top, have a rebound bounce into them occasionally, and maul anyone who made sudden movements in their direction. Sound familiar?

2. Boeheim realizing that he only has 5 1/2 decent players and just going with it. Seriously, Jimmy is like a guy on a cross country trip who gets a flat tire in Las Vegas and just says fuck it and floors it the rest of the way to L.A with the gas warning light on. He’s driving a car with three wheels with Matt Gorman and Josh Wright tied up in the trunk, and is going to run the remaining guys into the ground and live or die by the results. How can you not love watching Syracuse right now knowing that Devendorf, Rautins, and Nichols are going to play 40 minutes of EVERY GAME between now and the end of the season? Waiting for one of these guys to collapse is going to be the top dramatic sub-plot of the next few weeks.

3. D Nichols is going to win Big East player of the Year totally out of nowhere. Syracusan nailed it when he pointed out that this might be the most surprising thing that’s ever happened in Syracuse basketball. Who saw this coming at the beginning of the season? Who even saw this coming two weeks ago? He’s been putting up these numbers consistently all year, but he’s a pretty quiet player who just hits a ton of nasty jump shots. Everyone’s always thought he’d have a Shumpert-like European career, but I’m calling a solid 10 year career playing for 8 different NBA teams as the 9th man. Mark it down.

4. Andy Rautins playing out of his mind. Have we ever had two pure shooters this good? I say no. With the bonus of his 2-3 quality defensive turnovers forced each game, this kid is a Josh Pace – Kueth Duany type hustling glue guy who’s as essential to this team as anyone. Except that he still looks like a sophomore at J-D who could easily be mopping up sweat in the paint during timeouts. You’ve gotta love him!

5. Syracuse teams with their back to the wall are always awesome. This happens all the time. Syracuse comes into the season with high expectations, drops some bad games early, has a 3-4 game losing streak in late Jan – early Feb, drops out of the top 25, faces being only like the 4th Boeheim team in 31 years not to make the tournament, and can suddenly beat anyone in the country towards the end of the season. It’s the roller coaster of Syracuse fandom that ultimately makes rooting for them so satisfying.

Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East, Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Georgetown, Jim Boeheim, Josh Pace, Josh Wright, Kueth Duany, Matt Gorman, Preston Shumpert, syracuse, Terrence Roberts, Wins | 5 Comments »

Live from the so-called “Loud House”

Posted by Tim on February 28, 2007

Yesterday, we brought you some of the highlights of student reaction in the blogosphere to Syracuse’s big win over Georgetown. Today, we link to the indomitable Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, where you can check out the video of the court being rushed. Viva YouTube!

Meanwhile, Matt at Orange44 does not approve of all this court-rushing business. I guess I don’t mind; you can’t really blame the kids for getting excited about the only big win all year. But I do agree with the theory. You really only want to see the court rushed when it’s really warranted. Otherwise the students would be rushing to the football field after every win over Buffalo, and we obviously can’t have that.

Posted in Georgetown, Orange Blogosphere | 7 Comments »

Knowing is half the battle against Doug Gottlieb

Posted by Tim on February 28, 2007

Orange hater extraordinaire Doug Gottlieb must have seen a lot of pointed SU questions in his queue when he showed up for today’s ESPN.com chat, because he started it by saying this: “Ok—Let’s start with the Cuse–they were great last night and the big key was putting Wright on the pine and letting Rautins on the floor—barring a collapse in the BE tourney—I think they are in… Ok Cuse fans… .”

For those who don’t know, Gottlieb has been Public Enemy No. 1 at SU since early 2005 when, early on in his stint at ESPN, he accused some Big East teams, including Syracuse, of playing non-conference schedules so easy they were “fraudulent.”Gottlieb wasn’t the only one knocking SU’s early season schedule that year. Here’s Jimmy B.’s response to the haters:

They don’t know what they’re talking about so I don’t pay much attention to them. … One guy in particular was in our league for a minute or two but he couldn’t play in it. He seems to do the most talking, probably because he wasn’t a very good player and he’s not very smart about basketball.

The essential piece of information alluded to, but not explicitly said, in Boeheim’s response is that Gottlieb transferred to Oklahoma State from Notre Dame after his freshman year after he allegedly stole his roommate’s credit card and ran up hundreds of dollars worth of charges. So “fraudulent” probably wasn’t the wisest choice of words.

Now you know…

UPDATE: Visit our friends at TNIAAM for the latest shot Boeheim fired at Gottlieb.

Posted in Haters, Jim Boeheim | 4 Comments »

“Utterly crushed.”

Posted by Tim on February 27, 2007

Here’s some of what we’re reading in the afterglow of last night’s gigantic victory over the Hoyas:

  • Check out the Washington Post and Washington Times game stories. Money quote from JTIII: “We picked the wrong night to have maybe our worst day of the year.” Damn skippy!

  • G’Town fans are crying. HoyaSaxa.com offers an excellent rundown of the game, which, interestingly, is written in a way that kind of makes it hard to tell which team was more responsible for the Hoyas’ defeat. You could look at this as a natural reaction — when you lose, you blame your team for not being good enough. I choose to interpret it as an existential denial of Syracuse basketball. You can decide for yourself.

  • Dick Vitale thinks Georgetown is the best college hoops team in the MD-DC-VA area. Pretty sure this was before yesterday’s game. Doh!

On a separate note, you gotta love the exuberance of youth. I’m pretty sure this is the best of Syracuse student reaction from the wide world of the Web:

  • Exhibit 1: “…about six inches below my nose hung a throbbing, palpable funk, the hot, wet, sticky stench of sweat, beer and Dome Dogs, my own personal trip into Drew Carey’s hamper. It assaulted my senses; it was vile and it was shocking. It was the smell of victory.

  • Exhibit 2: “Paul Harris is from Niagara Falls. He’s my facebook friend! We see him in Schine all the time. He makes me happy. Sometimes Eric Devendorf is in Schine too when we’re eating brunch. I saw him in Kimmel. He and I go waaaaaay back. yo. I saw Arinze Onuwaku in Kimmel once! WHAT A GREAT DAY IN MY LIFE. I love Arinze Onuwaku. I’m naming my first born child after him. Devin Brennen-McBride walked into Augies today and we didn’t know what to do and we all panicked and just as he was leaving I smiled and gave him the double thumbs up and he laughed and everyone at my table started laughing. We’re best friends. I friended him on facebook. I’ll be crushed if he says no after a lovefest like that. Utterly crushed.”

  • Exhibit 3: “Then the buzzer rang – and we ran.”

Posted in Big East, Georgetown, News of the Orange, Orange Blogosphere | 2 Comments »

Time to get pumped

Posted by Josh on February 27, 2007

I was going to include this at the end of the previous post but then figured it deserved its own spot. Everyone sing along, you all know the words. Dance, if you are brave.

Posted in NCAA Tournament | 4 Comments »

Did You Know?

Posted by Josh on February 27, 2007

Going into tonight’s game:

  • Georgetown was 5th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up under under 57ppg.
  • Georgetown was 10th in the nation in FG% defense, with their opponents shooting 38.7% overall.
  • Georgetown was #2 in the country in FG% on offense, connecting on over 52% of their shots.
  • Georgetown had won their last 11 games by an average margin of 13. ppg.
  • Georgetown was entering the conversation as having a shot at a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Not in our house, bitches.

SU scored 72 on 44% shooting, while holding the Hoyim to 29.8%. Those are Esherick-esque shooting numbers there, guys. Did you bring back Kevin Braswell or something? Georgetown also turned it over 19 times, 5 above their average. Hell of a performance by the Zone Defense.

Check this sweet photo from the Daily Orange. I’m not a huge court-rushing advocate, but still, it had to be cool to be in this mix:

Posted in Big East, Conference Games, Georgetown, NCAA Tournament, Wins, Zone defense | 1 Comment »

How we won: Syracuse shocks Georgetown

Posted by andrewgp on February 26, 2007

A chart showing who held the lead throughout the game, and by how much.

gtown.jpg

BANG IT HERE to see an archive of charts from this year.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

POY

Posted by syracusan on February 26, 2007

I don’t have a lot of time to ruminate on SU’s season-saving, awe-inspiring, enthusiasm-building victory over Georgetown tonight on national television. Grad school duties call, unfortunately. I’d like to debate the finer points of whether Mookie’s resurgence or Rautins’ development deserves more credit for the turnaround; discuss Terrence’s sudden role as inspirational leader; rip into the RPI and lay out all sorts theories on where we are and what more we need to do (or not do); talk about the chances of winning back to back games in the BE tourney with a 5 1/2 man rotation; and otherwise explore life in the new world of a team the gurus now think has locked up an NCAA birth.

ESPN front page cover story right this second:

Syracuse notched its biggest victory of the season on Big Monday. Just how big was its 72-58 victory over No. 10 Georgetown? Let’s just say the Orange can start making plans to dance in March.

But I don’t have time. Instead I’ll just say this: if Demetris Nichols doesn’t win the conference Player of the Year award this season, it’ll be a tragedy of justice. Regardless of what happens at Villanova next weekend, he’s already shown he deserves it from any objective measure. And the scary thing is, it’s not just based on stats. I think he might genuinely be the best player in the conference. That shows you it’s a down year for the league, but right now I could give a crap! The man’s going to win this prize, and it’s going to go down as one of the most improbable turns in the history of SU basketball. I would argue that winning the championship in ’03 was actually less of a surprise than what Nichols has accomplished this year. It’s stunning, and he deserves all the accolades that come to him. The man is an assassin, and he’s played tremendous second halves in the last two games – the two most important games of the season. It took him most of the season to figure out he deserves to be a ball hog, but now that it’s clicked, he’s become borderline unstoppable. It’s too bad he only showed this kind of spunk for one half of one season out of four total years, but it’s still a privilege to watch it unfold.

Come on Big East, give him the hardware!

Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East, Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Georgetown, In the Media, Mookie Watkins, National Championship, NCAA Tournament, Terrence Roberts, Villanova, Wins | 2 Comments »

Big Apple Seeds

Posted by Tim on February 26, 2007

Had anyone else almost forgetten what it’s like to get a big win? And beating Georgetown tonight was huge. Why? Because, for the first time in months, we have breathing room. Maybe, just maybe, we don’t need to beat Villanova next week to secure a spot in the Big Dance. In fact, Joe Lunardi at ESPN gave us a 12-seed just on the strength of winning the Providence game on Saturday.

But let’s not look too far into the future. We still have to get through the Big East Tournament. After tonight’s games, the top of the BE standings looks like this:

1) Georgetown (12-3)
2) Pittsburgh (11-3)
3) Louisville (11-4)
4) Notre Dame (10-5)
5) Syracuse (10-5)
6) Marquette (9-6)

SU has lost to every team ahead of it in the standings (except Georgetown, duh). So while it’s technically possible for us to finish in a three-way tie for third place if we beat Villanova, Louisville loses to Seton Hall and Notre Dame beats Rutgers, we’d still miss out on a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

The other side of that equation, however, is that we’ve beaten Marquette, so even if we lose to ‘Nova, we’ll still hold the tie-break over the Golden Eagles for the 5th seed. That’ll get us another rematch with St. John’s.

The X factor here is West Virginia. The Mountaineers, ranked seventh in the conference, stand at 8-6. If they can find a way to upset Pitt on the road then take care of business at home against Cincy to close the season, they could tie us — IF we lose to Villanova.

If anyone knows what happens to BE Tournament seeding if we’re locked up with WVU when all is said and done, please feel free to explain in the comments.

Posted in Big East Tournament, Bracketology, Georgetown, NCAA Tournament | 4 Comments »

Some light halftime reading

Posted by Tim on February 26, 2007

If you’re looking for something to do during halftime of the Georgetown game tonight, I highly recommend checking out the St. John’s intervention over at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. It’s highly reminiscent of his brilliant casting of Big East basketball teams as characters on Lost. Good stuff.

Posted in Orange Blogosphere | Leave a Comment »