Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Keys to the game?

Posted by Tim on March 8, 2007

Here’s a lesson from The Black and Green Irish Men’s Basketball Report on how easy it is to be technically correct in picking out the keys to the game yet still not accurately predict anything.

The four key points:

1. Two-man offense: Nichols and Devendorf combined for 37 points against Connecticut. No other Syracuse player scored in double figures.

Advantage: Syracuse. I would never have guessed we’d lose a game that saw Paul Harris scored 24 points and pulled down 15 boards in 22 minutes. Apparently TBGIMBR felt the same way.

2. Rebounding battle: Darryl Watkins, Terrence Roberts, and frosh Paul Harris each average about 7 boards a game. Harangody and Kurz must establish an inside presence and provide the Irish with some second chances.

Advantage: Syracuse. Watkins, Roberts and Harris outrebounded the entire Notre Dame team. All eight of ’em.

3. Keep Andy Rautins down: The sophomore scored in double figures for each of Syracuse’s five straight wins down the stretch. He had five double figure games the rest of the entire season.

Advantage: Notre Dame. Rautins scored 3 on 1-of-6 shooting. Kind of crazy that he was on the court 28 minutes and only managed half a dozen shots.

4. What you must do, do quickly: ND’s problem on the road is getting down early. In the previous matchup, the Irish scored 62 first half points. That’s not all needed tomorrow, but Colin Falls and Russell Carter should be able to make some early baskets and get the offense flowing in the opening minutes.

Advantage: Syracuse. As you can see here, we dominated for stretches during the first half. After allowing about 100 points in the first half in the their first matchup against ND, the Orange locked down the little green buggers for 32 points before halftime. Unfortunately, they scored 57 in the second half.

Alas, if you allow your opponent to hit 40 percent of the 30-plus threes he attempts, most of the other keys to the game are gonna go out the window. Ditto if you don’t execute from the line.

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One Response to “Keys to the game?”

  1. Josh said

    I was sure that when Rautins buried the first 3 of the game that he’d shaken off the minislump. But now that opposing defenses are paying more attention to finding him, his looks have not been quite as clean as they were a couple weeks ago. He did have one completely open look that I remember, late in the 2nd half, on a fast break maybe, or some kind of thing where the defense was scrambling. But there was no defender within 10 feet of him and still he missed. I think that’s because he’d been sufficiently hounded during most of the game that (1) he didn’t have a comfortable stroke established and (2) he was thinking about being wide open. We are going to need his offense to bounce back. The ND blogger pointed out the salient fact — the 5-game winning streak coincided with Rautins’ high offensive production.

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