Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

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!

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2 Responses to “POY”

  1. Josh said

    “Tragedy of Justice” is quite a turn of phrase. Kind of like the “Cuse of Metal Illness”.

    I’m not sure Nichols ought to be POY, honestly. Definitely conference first team — he’d have made that even if they didn’t have 10 such slots these days. But Player of the Year? I don’t think he does enough besides scoring. I’m expecting someone like Herbert Hill who rebounds the crap out of the ball and blocks shots in addition to scoring, or Russell Carter who is a scorer and has a rep as a tenacious defender, or Jeff Green who is a “do-it-all” guy (except in the Dome where he does NUH-THING! He does no things. Woot!)

    Nichols is hurt by the fact that on this team, his job is pretty much to get open and shoot. Other guys do the rebounding and passing, and the 2-3 won’t showcase much personal defense. I think Nichols would be the top candidate for Offensive Player of the Year if there was such a thing. But the other aspects of his game do not command enough attention, even though he is solid in all of them.

  2. Tim said

    “Except in the Dome where he does NUH-THING! He does no things. Woot!” If we don’t win a Pulitzer for this post, I’m gonna slap somebody.

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