Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

“We’re going to lose this game”

Posted by Tom on March 14, 2007

I’m not ashamed to admit that these words passed through my lips in between swigs of Imperial Costa Rican beer tonight while watching this South Alabama game in Park Slope. It was conforming to an all-too-familiar pattern. Sloppy first half by the Cuse, outrebounded by a smaller, inferior opponent, leaving the spunky opposition right in the game going into the locker room.

Generally these games go one of two ways. Either we stop them from scoring for about 6 minutes early in the second half and build a 12 point lead and crush their spirit, or we fail to pull away by the 10 minute mark, try TOO hard to dominate down the stretch resulting in stupid turnovers and bad shots, and eventually lose. At the 10 minute mark this was decidedly a game in the second mold, and it seemed like a loss pattern that felt all too familiar.

Thankfully, the team finally decided to play the kind of defense they’ve been playing for the last 6 weeks, and everything fell into place. Huge credit to Devo, obviously, for probably his best performance in a Syracuse uniform. Beyond the 34 points on 12-19 shooting, this is the culmination of him trending toward much more responsible play. He has officially improved since last year at this point, which is a relief. Solid play by Mookie as well. Mookie crush!

My theory going in was that while Syracuse seems to tank in the NIT following the disappointment of big dance exclusion, this year’s team would play hard with a chip on their shoulder for getting robbed. Unfortunately, this game seemed somewhere in between. They played it like a December game, and did enough to escape in the end, allowing them to live another day and us to continue to make the case for getting robbed by conspiracy theories.

Troubling observation: Paul Harris is the only guy on this team who follows his misses. Everyone else just stands there admiring their shot. Jimmy needs to point out that these shots go in only sometimes, and that when they don’t we’re giving up 5 rebounds a game by not following them.

Principled stand: I have not, and will not fill out an NCAA bracket this year. I absolutely buy the conspiracy theory that Jer spells out about the NCAA/NIT conglomerate needing some big name teams in the NIT for attendance and ratings. If the NCAA selection process had enough transparency for some nosy reporters to dig up some evidence, this would turn into a Florida 2000 election-type scandal. Some shady shit went down. I just feel it.

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2 Responses to ““We’re going to lose this game””

  1. syracusan said

    Following your shot is a very tricky subject. Certain players on the court always have the responsibility to get back on defense whenever a shot goes up, or else we risk giving up constant wide open fast breaks. Believe me, as upset as you are about missing offensive rebound chances, you’ll be a hell of a lot more pissed off if you’re constantly yelling at the screen “GET BACK!!”, while the other team cruises to layup after layup. Guards and small forwards are most often the ones who risk Boeheim’s wrath if they choose to follow their shot instead of getting back on D. If they follow it and happen to not get the ball, it’s trouble. Guys like Terrence and Mookie deserve your criticism for not following shots, but you can’t nail the other guys for it, since they’re probably acting on orders to start sprinting the other way.

  2. Matt said

    Telling stat – I believe USA (as a loudmouth in the section I was sitting in called them; how can you heckle a guy who is shouting ‘USA’?) had ZERO fast break points last night.

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