Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

live by the three, die by the three

Posted by syracusan on March 3, 2007

For my opinion on SU’s offensive strategy in this afternoon’s game against Villanova, please see this post from a week and a half ago.

The only way it’s remotely justifiable to hoist up 35 threes is if you’re demonstrably on fire from outside, and you’re in the process of burrying an opponent. But in reality the Orange were in the range of 6 for 30 from downtown, and falling further and further behind, until they hit three in the final minute or so. That’s absurd. You have to know to stop shooting it from deep and look for other ways to score. The inside game was working relatively well. We were drawing fouls and getting to the line. The refs were calling the game close, and we had a size advantage. You have to bang the ball inside in these types of games. Instead we wasted an afternoon going 9-35 from downtown, a miserable 26% clip that looked a lot worse than that until the frenzy at the end. From inside the stripe we shot 16-34, which is entirely respectable and effective. Where was Jimmy on this? He’s got to take a stand and get the message across. This game was so winnable it hurts. Villanova only played well for about 15 total minutes in this game (happened to be the final 15, but whatever). But when you play as dumb an offensive game as we played today, you don’t deserve to win.

The good news going forward is that whether or not they learn their lesson about relying on the three ball, it’s unlikely that Nichols and Rautins will be this collectively awful in future games, and we still managed to only lose by 3 to a fairly decent team. But it’s cold comfort, because now game 1 of the BE Tourney is officially a must win.

*****

Demetris may have let the POY award slip away from him this afternoon, which is a shame. In fact the last 4 seconds of the game — with D at the line to shoot the techs and then getting the open 3 to tie it — was probably the deciding moment for his candidacy. If he makes those shots, I say he locks it up. Instead, they’ll probably use this game as an excuse to give it to Sumpter or one of the Georgetown boys. That’s too bad, because I don’t think anyone on an upper echelon team in the Big East has been more important or better than Nichols (thus I exclude Herbert Hill, who’s put up monster numbers for a mediocre team).

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One Response to “live by the three, die by the three”

  1. Josh said

    I’m not sure the BET game is a MUST win, but a loss would indeed make things dicey. And, I’m a bit worried because we’re playing UConn (St Johns beat PC this afternoon). Does anyone think SU will be able to outrebound the Huskies by 10 again? Also I am concerned that Devendorf’s success in the Nova game might make him overconfident about driving the lane in the next game — Nova does not have a real shotblocker, while UConn has 2 or 3 on the floor at all times.

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