Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Andy Rautins’ Category

We’re moving to CuseCountry.com

Posted by Tim on August 24, 2007

DC is Cuse Country

This is a photo of a sign blog contributor Josh made before a game against Georgetown in Washington. It became something of a running joke in our crew: Wherever we were, that was Cuse Country. When it came time to name this little project of ours, it seemed a natural fit. Holy crap, the Internet is Cuse Country!

Now, the time has come to move to nicer real estate. And with football season looming like an orange cloud of noxious gas, we’re moving to a new address that doesn’t have “hoops” in the URL.

So come visit us at CuseCountry.com. Same great stuff, new great home.

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Posted in ACC, Andy Rautins, Arinze Onuaku, Assists, Baylor, Bernie Fine, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Big East Tournament, Blogroll, Bracketology, Canisius, Carmelo Anthony, Carrier Dome, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colgate, Conference Games, Craig Forth, Damone Brown, Daryl Gross, Defense, Demetris Nichols, DePaul, DeShaun Williams, Devin Brennan-McBride, Drexel, Elvir Ovcina, Eric Devendorf, Etan Thomas, Former Orangemen, Game Charts, Gas Face, Georgetown, Gerry McNamara, greg paulus, Hakim Warrick, Haters, Hofstra, Holy Cross, In the Media, Jason Hart, Jim Boeheim, Josh Pace, Josh Wright, kodiak bears, Kueth Duany, Lazarus Sims, Losses, Louisville, Marquette, Matt Gorman, Mike Hopkins, Mike Jones, Mookie Watkins, National Championship, NBA, NCAA Tournament, News of the Orange, NIT, Nonconference Games, Northeastern University, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Open Letter, Orange Blogosphere, Otis Hill, Pac 10, Paul Harris, Penn, Pitt, Preston Shumpert, Providence, Rankings, Rebounding, Recruits, Regular Season Games, Rob Murphy, RPI, Rutgers, Ryan Blackwell, San Diego State, SEC, South Alabama, South Florida, St. Bonaventure, St. Francis, St. John's, syracuse, Terrence Roberts, UConn, UNC-Charlotte, UTEP, Villanova, Virginia Tech, Walk-ons, West Virginia University, Wichita State, Wins, Zone defense | 2 Comments »

Around SU Blogland…

Posted by Josh on May 8, 2007

A couple of intriguing developments in the SU hoops program over the past few days. To wit:

For the love of Kristof. The Post-Standard has the story today, but OrangeFan had the rumors Tuesday and the scoop from one of the recruiting forums on Friday, that SU has signed a 6’8″ Belgian from a junior college in CA. O-Fan also got a scouting report. The guy’s name (Kristof Ongenaet) is going to be mangled by PA and TV announcers far and wide, probably worse than Boeheim used to get it (Jim Bow-HEEM anyone?) but it sounds like he is not an Ovcina clone — namely, that he is a strong interior-type guy rather than a three-point gunner. This signing adds much-needed depth to the front line, even if all he does is foul Hasheem Thabeet five times.

By the way, I am officially declaring this guy’s nickname is “Kong”. Spread the word.

Offense and Freshman Leadership. Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician tracked down a quote from Boeheim from an appearance at Keuka College on Friday, in which he says that “all four freshmen will play, and at least two will start.” First of all, there are five frosh in the incoming class so this is as good a signal as any that Sean Williams will redshirt. Secondly, it gives us a fresh opening to hypothesize starting lineups for next year. This statement, if true, would eliminate the speculated “default” combination of Dorf, Rautins, Harris, D. Greene, and Onuaku. Does Flynn step in and push Rautins back to the bench? Does Rick Jackson start as a freshman center? Is it at all conceivable that Harris doesn’t start next year, with [either] Flynn at the point and Rautins playing the baseline of the zone [or] a full load of beef with Jackson and Arinze up front, Greene and the two juniors on the outside? Or, does Greene back up Harris?

OrangeFan also found a report (mentioned in the post linked above about Kong) that Jackson has put on a couple dozen pounds of muscle this spring, so let that fuel the fires of speculation just that much more. Personally my hunch is Jackson starts over Onuaku, with Harris at the 4 and Greene at the 3. But I wouldn’t bet real money on it.

Posted in Andy Rautins, Arinze Onuaku, Elvir Ovcina, Eric Devendorf, Jim Boeheim, Orange Blogosphere, Paul Harris, Recruits | 4 Comments »

OK, now I’m prepared to comment on the uniforms

Posted by syracusan on March 7, 2007

B-Ballin’ to the Euro-beat. That’s what it looked like out there: like Berlin hoops aficionados circa 1984 (had they existed). But not in a bad way. The new “System of Dress” looked smooth, and even a bit cutting edge, which I’m sure is what Nike was going for. For the moment, I give them a tentative thumbs up. Devo actually looked bigger in the skin tight jerseys–which thankfully weren’t quite as skin tight as advertised–and Homebrew Drew didn’t look nearly as scrawny as I feared. It shows off how jacked these guys really are; even if some of them look less impressive in relation to one another, each of them sure as shit is in better shape than the average person.

I didn’t like the lack of orange. I also don’t buy the argument that “defenders won’t be able to grab your jersey anymore.” As far as I’m concerned, that means we’re losing out on the chance to draw 1-2 extra cheap fouls per game. The image of a pulled-taut jersey in an opponent’s hand is sure to draw a whistle.

On the other hand, we looked quick – like it was a downhill ski meet out there. And there’s a potential future benefit if recruits watching on TV get the impression that SU is a cutting edge place to play ball. It’s good to maintain an interest in your image, especially if you can come out on the right side of the ever-unpredictable hipness judgement. People like Pearl, DC, and Carmelo have kept SU’s rep on the street afloat with their overwhelming cred, but it couldn’t hurt to look young and on top of the trends as well.

Like I said, a tentative thumbs up. I invite the rest of the Cuse Country staff and our readers to chime in with a thumbs up/thumbs down in the comment box, if you’re interested.

*********

Apparently there was some sort of basketball game as well, which we won, which is nice. Honestly, I can’t believe we’ve beaten UConn in the Tourney 3 years in a row now. If we keep this up, I may have to lose my defensiveness about how Syracuse is always the 2nd team everyone associates with the Big East. Beast of the East indeed.

Oh yeah, and Devil Gottlieb just picked Syracuse to beat Notre Dame tomorrow.

Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East Tournament, Carmelo Anthony, Eric Devendorf, Former Orangemen, Notre Dame | 8 Comments »

Orange Plus (or Minus)

Posted by andrewgp on March 5, 2007

I don’t take credit for this idea, it was fed to me by the Cuse Country brain trust. But I found it so interesting that I spent the better part of the week trying to make it happen.

The point is this: Hockey players are ranked by a simple statistic that counts up all the goals scored by their team while they were on the ice and subtracts all the goals scored against their team while they’re on the ice. This way you can get a picture of what they bring to the game — maybe they help you offensively, but they take chances and hurt you defensively. By simply looking at their Plus / Minus rating, you can see whether their risks are worth their rewards.

So why can’t we have that for basketball? Well, at Cuse Country, you can.

I calculated the Plus / Minus rating for each Syracuse player this season, in each game of the season. Here’s the summary:

Player Season total First 5 gms. Next 5 Next 5 Next 5 Next 5 Last 4
ROBERTS, Terrence +198 +65 +46 +21 +5 +32 +29
NICHOLS, Demetris +217 +86 +54 +15 +5 +24 +33
WATKINS, Darryl +116 +39 +16 +12 +21 +11 +17
HARRIS, Paul +116 +90 +19 +5 +4 -5 +3
WRIGHT, Josh +80 +31 +39 +2 +7 -2 +3
THOMAS, Justin -3 0 -3 0 0 0 0
RAUTINS, Andy +171 +40 +22 +22 +30 +17 +40
BURACH, Todd -9 0 -3 0 0 0 -6
DEVENDORF, Eric +116 +75 +1 -10 +1 +29 +20
GORMAN, Matt +83 +52 +34 -8 +4 +3 -2
BRENNAN-McBride 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PRESUTTI, Jake -3 0 -3 0 0 0 0
DiLIEGRO, Ross -3 0 0 0 0 0 -3
TEAM MARGIN +215 +99 +38 +34 +13 +6 +25

Even better is the game-by-game analysis (click here). Among the trends you might notice: a great second half by Andy Rautins and a signifcant drop-off for Paul Harris.

It’s interesting to compare it to the team’s margin of victory (or defeat). A player who stayed on the court for every minute would end up with that same rating. (A couple statistical caveats here, for the nerds: substitution data was not available for a handful of games, which may throw off this summary comparison a bit. In addition, in some games it was not possible to determine the second-half starters. Best approximations were made.)

Posted in Andy Rautins, Defense, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Game Charts, Josh Wright, Matt Gorman, Mike Jones, Paul Harris, Terrence Roberts, Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

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).

Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East, Demetris Nichols, Jim Boeheim, Losses, Regular Season Games, Villanova | 1 Comment »

5 Reasons To Love This Syracuse Team

Posted by Tom on February 28, 2007

1. Torn-meniscus Terrence Roberts. Somehow this knee injury has vaulted TerrenceRoberts.com from being a 3 1/2 year source of frustration to being my #1 reason to love this team. He’s always been all heart, but now with this injury it really shines. There’s no way he should be playing on this, but he knows it’s his last chance. The guy is like a wounded bear out there. Hobbling around, hungry, dangerous. If you crammed a Kodiak bear into a #33 Syracuse jersey and pushed him off in the direction of the court, you’d get a player who’d take up a lot of space in the middle, set some monster screens up top, have a rebound bounce into them occasionally, and maul anyone who made sudden movements in their direction. Sound familiar?

2. Boeheim realizing that he only has 5 1/2 decent players and just going with it. Seriously, Jimmy is like a guy on a cross country trip who gets a flat tire in Las Vegas and just says fuck it and floors it the rest of the way to L.A with the gas warning light on. He’s driving a car with three wheels with Matt Gorman and Josh Wright tied up in the trunk, and is going to run the remaining guys into the ground and live or die by the results. How can you not love watching Syracuse right now knowing that Devendorf, Rautins, and Nichols are going to play 40 minutes of EVERY GAME between now and the end of the season? Waiting for one of these guys to collapse is going to be the top dramatic sub-plot of the next few weeks.

3. D Nichols is going to win Big East player of the Year totally out of nowhere. Syracusan nailed it when he pointed out that this might be the most surprising thing that’s ever happened in Syracuse basketball. Who saw this coming at the beginning of the season? Who even saw this coming two weeks ago? He’s been putting up these numbers consistently all year, but he’s a pretty quiet player who just hits a ton of nasty jump shots. Everyone’s always thought he’d have a Shumpert-like European career, but I’m calling a solid 10 year career playing for 8 different NBA teams as the 9th man. Mark it down.

4. Andy Rautins playing out of his mind. Have we ever had two pure shooters this good? I say no. With the bonus of his 2-3 quality defensive turnovers forced each game, this kid is a Josh Pace – Kueth Duany type hustling glue guy who’s as essential to this team as anyone. Except that he still looks like a sophomore at J-D who could easily be mopping up sweat in the paint during timeouts. You’ve gotta love him!

5. Syracuse teams with their back to the wall are always awesome. This happens all the time. Syracuse comes into the season with high expectations, drops some bad games early, has a 3-4 game losing streak in late Jan – early Feb, drops out of the top 25, faces being only like the 4th Boeheim team in 31 years not to make the tournament, and can suddenly beat anyone in the country towards the end of the season. It’s the roller coaster of Syracuse fandom that ultimately makes rooting for them so satisfying.

Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East, Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Georgetown, Jim Boeheim, Josh Pace, Josh Wright, Kueth Duany, Matt Gorman, Preston Shumpert, syracuse, Terrence Roberts, Wins | 5 Comments »

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!

Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East, Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Georgetown, In the Media, Mookie Watkins, National Championship, NCAA Tournament, Terrence Roberts, Villanova, Wins | 2 Comments »

Terrence’s knee

Posted by syracusan on February 24, 2007

It’s always something, isn’t it? Just when we’re in a position to get excited about the team, a major cloud starts to hover. Overall, this squad has worked incredibly hard to turn their season around, and a lot of individual players have made impressive strides. It’s very easy to root for these guys, when you consider how far they’ve come. But this injury to Roberts could easily derail the whole thing. There’s a developing major crisis of bench depth, and no matter how well the top 5 guys are clicking on the court, it’s an unsustainable situation to have zero healthy and/or quality guys in reserve.

There are several factors at play here. The first is that it’s become increasingly clear that Josh Wright not being on the floor is a major help. It probably would have happened a long time ago, but Jimmy had to stick with him because no one was stepping up with an alternative option. Boeheim needed one of three things to happen: a backup guard like Rautins needed to step up his play sufficiently to force his way into the lineup, Devo needed to prove he was capable of playing point guard, or Paul Harris needed to prove he could run the team in the half court with some consistency. Somewhere around mid-February, option 1 came to fruition. Option three is starting to look good as well. (Option 2, Devo running the show, is still non-functional in my opinion.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andy Rautins, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Jim Boeheim, Josh Wright, Matt Gorman, Mookie Watkins, NCAA Tournament, Paul Harris, Providence, Terrence Roberts, Wins | Leave a Comment »

maybe they should have reconsidered after the 30th miss

Posted by syracusan on February 22, 2007

I just caught the last minute of Jim Boeheim on Mike & the Mad Dog on YES. I didn’t hear much of substance, other than Jimmy briefly bitching that the media and fans could care less whether you have a great season if you then crap out in the NCAAs. He also mentioned that Providence is undefeated at home in the conference this year, which I hadn’t heard. Considering they have nine losses overall, that means they really are a different team when they get to play in Rhode Island. Sucks for us.

In the mean time, I checked out Providence’s most recent big win at home, over #18 West Virginia a couple days ago. A solid 64-61 win for the Friars, and an interesting box score to boot. The Mountaineers missed thirty-two threes in that game. They hoisted 41 overall. Christ, thank god I’m not a West Virginia blogger. I can only imagine the conniptions I’d be having if the SU offense put on a display like that. After the 25th or so miss, you think maybe they’d discuss trying a different tactic? They took 65 shots overall, and 41 of them were from beyond the stripe. From inside the line they actually shot 15 for 24, a great showing. All the more reason to burst a blood vessel watching them settle for three after three after three. I’m not even a fan, and it drives me nuts just thinking about it. I can imagine what kind of posts we’d get in this space if SU tried that game plan.

On the other hand, Andy Rautins is probably thinking right now about transferring to West Virginia.

Posted in Andy Rautins, Conference Games, In the Media, Jim Boeheim, Providence, West Virginia University | 2 Comments »

“Holy crap. We’re executing.”

Posted by Josh on February 18, 2007

uconnphoto.jpgThe title here is the complete content of a text message I received during the 2nd half of the UConn game from the syracusan. As usual, he succeeded in taking all the complex factors that make up an SU basketball performance and encapsulating them in a few select words. Execution was the name of the game Saturday, and while Syracuse’s was far from flawless, they made enough plays in the second half; meanwhile, the new-look Huskies obliged by making no plays.
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Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East, Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Josh Wright, Mookie Watkins, Paul Harris, Rebounding, Regular Season Games, UConn, Wins | Leave a Comment »