Cuse Country

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Archive for May, 2007

More on Nichols

Posted by Josh on May 31, 2007

In the post below I mentioned that Nichols had a very good start to draft camp yesterday. Here’s another report about it, from And on his draftexpress profile page, there is a detailed breakdown of Nichols’ performance in the game, beyond the eye-catching statline.

kodiak bear

We’ll try to update you as much as possible about the goings-on at draft camp. Some of the games are being televised on ESPNU at various times this week… not tonight though, they’re showing the MLL draft instead (that’s lacrosse, folks!).


Posted in Demetris Nichols, NBA | 1 Comment »

Belgian Playoff Fever! (Pro Update 5-30)

Posted by Josh on May 30, 2007

It’s that time of year in Belgium. The waffle crop is ripening on the vine, chocolate is falling from the sky nightly, and a young man’s thoughts turn to… Elvir Ovcina, #15 in your program:

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Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Demetris Nichols, Elvir Ovcina, Former Orangemen, Josh Pace, kodiak bears, Mookie Watkins, NBA | 4 Comments »

None of that

Posted by Tim on May 30, 2007

We here at Cuse Country are extraordinarily vain, so we really like to see who’s visiting and how they got here. Since the end of basketball season, hardly anyone has. That wasn’t unanticipated, but it still made us cry.

Still, a few loyal readers have continued to check us out. To them, we say thanks. And to the smaller still group of people who come here looking for kodiak bears, we say this: “What were you thinking?”

Thanks to the amazing powers bestowed upon us by WordPress, I can count 35 times in the last week that someone has landed on this site after looking up “kodiak bear” or some variation on an internet search engine. That’s weird, right? Well, not really. Back in Februay, Tom wrote a post in which he likened to the world’s largest land carnivore crammed into an orange No. 33 jersey.

Many days, “kodiak bear” is the search term that brings the most visitors to our site. But it’s not always the most random. Just in the past week, we’ve had some really great ones, including “kiwi power,” “guys with skinny arms” (probably an apt description of all of CC’s contributors, incidentally), and “villanova girl.”

All I can say is this: It must be really frustrating for the person who ended up here last week after searching for “Can freshmen bring cars to Keuka College?” (The answer would appear to be yes, in case you were wondering.)

When it comes to SU hoops-related queries, a lot of people seem to be hoping that we have some inside dirt on which Cuse player is considering a transfer. Searches for “Eric Devendorf to transfer,” “Devin Brennan-McBride will transfer,” and “Paul Harris to transfer” all brought visitors here in the past seven days. Doesn’t look like anyone’s asked about Josh Wright, the most obvious choice in the opinion of your Cuse Country pundits.

Oh, and if you’re looking for information on kodiak bears, click here.

Posted in kodiak bears | 3 Comments »


Posted by Tim on May 29, 2007

Well, OrangeRay has wrapped up his look at the greatest Orange Men of all time. As he suggests (and others have mentioned this too), the poll’s final results are likely influenced by a healthy dose of selection bias.  After all, the kids on the Internets probably never saw Roosevelt Bouie play. Hell, a lot of them probably never even saw Rony Seikaly play. But darn near 100 percent of SU hoops fans saw The Block.  And nearly every college basketball fan has seen the disastrous consequences of Howard Triche’s failure to get a hand in Keith Smart’s face.

Look, I’m not saying we need an ESPN Classic just for SU hoops. But would it be so hard for the university, the NCAA and the networks to get at least a representative sample up on iTunes or something? I pay $1.99 for an episode of The Office, so why wouldn’t I pay for a Syracuse game from 1989?

Posted in Orange Blogosphere | 3 Comments »

green light on Green, follows freshmen phenoms

Posted by syracusan on May 25, 2007

Life is tough at the top, as Georgetown is finding out. The “new sheriff in town” got knocked back to the pack just as quickly as they climbed the mountain, thanks to Jeff Green’s decision to go pro. This is a huge loss for the Hoyas, and a major gain for the rest of the Big East. Unfortunately, the other half of the Dynamic Hoya Duo, Roy Hibbert, made the smart decision and opted to stay in school. Good for him, bad for us. However, Hibbert has never excelled against SU, so it’s a much bigger deal that Green is gone. He was the legit MVP of the league, and if he had come back the Hoyas likely would have been preseason #1 in the country. Now they’ll be in the bottom half of the top ten, and, more importantly, much more vulnerable on the court. Success breeds defections in college basketball, as Georgetown fans now know. It’s not so easy to build a franchise anymore; you need to get your ring when you have your chance, because your big ticket players might not be around for more than one run. Carmelo did us up right.

Which brings me to Kevin Durant and Greg Oden. Was anyone else secretly grinning when Durant got knocked out of the NCAAs early last year, and when Oden failed in the end? I like the perch that Carmelo sits on right now, and I’m not to keen to have anyone else match his accomplishments. Every year there are going to be hot new freshmen that inevitably draw Carmelo comparisons, and some, like Durant, will blow him away statistically. But as long as they fail to bring home a ring in their one-and-done seasons, no one can say they really matched what Melo did. Carmelo not only was utterly dominant on the floor, but he also had a will to win unmatched by anyone in Syracuse history. He exerted his authority in crunch time in a way that these other hot shots simply haven’t done, and that, in my book, is what ultimately made him special. Durant may be a once in a generation talent, but he allowed his team to lose when it mattered most. Same with Oden. Carmelo brought home the trophy for us before he left for the NBA; something none of these other freshmen have done, nor Jeff Green either.

So my new hobby during NCAA tournaments is to root against the overhyped Freshmen du Jour. Not unlike the old ’72 Dolphins who pop a champagne bottle each NFL season when the last undefeated team loses, I’ll give a toast every time Carmelo’s legacy is preserved — or even improved — by the new kids failing to bring their teams a ring before bailing for the NBA.

Unless of course Donte Greene wants to do it, for which I’ll make an exception.

Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Georgetown | Leave a Comment »

Going with your guys

Posted by Tim on May 22, 2007

Following up on The Syracusan’s post, I decided to take a crack at OrangeRay’s Top 10 Orangemen poll. On the whole I agree with the results, but I’m having trouble seeing why Hakim Warrick at #10 is crushing the rest of the field. Not that any of the other guys should necessarily be ahead of him, but it seems pretty weird to me that Warrick makes the cut and Danny Schayes doesn’t appear in the top 25. After all, the dude is the son of a Syracuse hoops legend, was an All-American and the leading scorer on an SU team that won the Big East Tournament as a senior. Not to mention he played in the NBA for close to 20 years. (You can read all about it here and here.) Granted, he was more of a glue guy (see the first few sentences of this Seth Davis article if you’re unfamiliar with the term) his first three years. But he deserves more love than he’s getting here.

Anyway, it’ll be very interesting to see how the voting turns out. Thanks to Ray for putting it together.

Posted in Orange Blogosphere | 3 Comments »

push polling

Posted by syracusan on May 20, 2007

Ray over at OrangeHoops put together a fun little distraction for the summer that’s worth a minute or two of your time. He set up a Rankopedia poll on the greatest SU basketball players of all time, and he’s asking people to go vote for their top ten. It’s an interesting exercise, and I’m as curious as he to see what our collective wisdom will come up with. He’s provided a list of the top 50 players (according to his historical analysis), and you can pick and choose amongst that group for your top ten. Stats are provided as a guide, and it’s up to you to choose how you want to interpret a one-year wonder like Carmelo as compared to a four year contributor with more impressive cumulative numbers (though Ray is asking people to value the overall career).

Interestingly, the top ten as it currently stands after a dozen or so votes exactly matches my top ten, though in a different order. I wonder if SU’s history has produced a convenient ten spot of transcendent players that clearly stand out above all the rest? We’ll know more once more people vote. The top three looks like it’s already a lock though, as Bing, Coleman, and Melo are collectively miles ahead of the rest.

Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Orange Blogosphere | 2 Comments »

thoughts on Hop

Posted by syracusan on May 15, 2007

The blogosphere and the sports internetosphere are abuzz over the upcoming announcement from the SU administration that Mike Hopkins will be officially designated as Jim Boeheim’s eventual replacement as head coach. I figured I’d throw up a post for news as big as this, just in case anyone out there only checks this blog for their Syracuse basketball info (which, I might add, is not a good strategy during the summer…) [Apparently Tom was typing his post below at the same time as me.]

Reaction around the community seems to be universally positive. The conventional wisdom is that Hopkins is a logical and promising successor, and I can’t directly argue with that. While I’m not as starry eyed as everyone else over Hopkins, I admit that there’s no other clear choice that makes sense. My problem is not with Hop himself, it’s that everyone seems so convinced that he’s a sure thing, which to me is premature. It seems to me that when the time comes, it would be nice if the AD had the option of picking the best available coach, rather than having his hands tied. That said, Hop has loads of talent and potential, and certainly has as good a chance of working out as anyone.

Troy Nunes is interpreting this announcement as a signal that Jimmy only has a couple years left. I wouldn’t be so alarmist. Sure, Boeheim isn’t getting any younger and he could bail in a couple of years, but I don’t think naming Hop as the designate is related to that decision. To me, this announcement signals that SU thinks Hop is a gem, and realizes that if they don’t give him some job security and guarantees, they might lose him. This locks Hop in for a long time — even if Jimmy wants to coach 10 more years, Hop will stick around now and wait it out.

Posted in Jim Boeheim, Mike Hopkins | 1 Comment »

The worst good news I’ve heard all year

Posted by Tom on May 15, 2007

Well folks, it’s official. Mike Hopkins has been named Syracuse basketball’s “head coach designate”, and will succeed Jim Boeheim in the throne. This is the worst good news I’ve heard all year.

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Posted in Jim Boeheim, Mike Hopkins, News of the Orange, syracuse | 3 Comments »

Jersey Mobsters Love SU

Posted by Tim on May 14, 2007

I’d love to be able to take credit for noticing this, especially since the end of the semester has kept me away from the blog. But I got it via Josh who got it from friend-of-Cuse Country Mike W., who’s holding it down in Chicago. So, giving all props to those two, here’s an interesting intersection between SU hoops and The Sopranos (major spoilers follow the jump, so don’t click through if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing):

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Posted in News of the Orange | 4 Comments »