Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Baylor’ 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 »

Paging the Syracuse Offense

Posted by Josh on December 19, 2006

LOUDSPEAKER (voice of Carl Eilenberg): “Syracuse Offense, paging Syracuse Offense. Please pick up the orange courtesy phone. “

SU OFFENSE: (picks up phone, loses grip and drops it on the floor. Scrambles to pick it back up hoping nobody is looking.) “Hello?”

DARYL GROSS: “Well, there you are. What the heck have you been doing, you were supposed to be back on the court for the start of the second half.”

O: “Sorry, I kind of got bogged down.”

DG: “I’ll say. Did you see what happened without you? We lost to Drexel!”

O: “But I told Demetris to take care of things while I was gone.”

DG: “Come on, you know there is only so much one man can do. Everyone knows he covered for you during the Baylor game so you could be out at the holiday party hitting on the women’s soccer team. You can only go to the well a few times before it starts to dry out.”

O: “What about Mookie? Me and him were hanging out like long-lost brothers in the first half.”

DG: “Yeah, well, when you decided not to come out for the second half, the ball didn’t find its way into his hands all that much. You should have seen it — ill-advised jump shots, lazy passes that got intercepted, missed layups, balls fumbled out of bounds. It was like Oklahoma State all over again.”

O: “I told you a million times, it wasn’t my fault I missed that game — my flight to New York City got rerouted through Tampa! This is why I always tell you not to schedule any road games in the fall, no matter what Vitale says. You can’t trust the airlines these days–“

DG: “Fine, fine. I don’t want to get into that argument again. But do you want to tell me where you were during the second half?”

O: “I went outside the Dome for a smoke at halftime and forgot to get my re-entry stamp.”

DG: “Try again.”

O: “Um… I was busy wrapping Terrence’s knee in an Icy Hot patch?”

DG: [silence]

O: “Fine, fine!! I wanted to see that new NBC game show Identity. That guy Penn from Penn & Teller is hosting, and he’s so awesome! He can do magic tricks! Much cooler than Howie Mandel.”

DG: “Identity, huh? At any point, did the thought cross your mind that the team is desperately in need of its own offensive identity?”

O: “Ha ha. How droll. What do you want, a Pulitzer or something?”

DG: “Hey, don’t change the subject jackass. This is your last warning. You better get to the gym and get yourself in shape for the rest of the season. Lay off the fruitcake next week too — you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you and we need you in top condition.”

O: “Don’t be so melodramatic. You know I’ll be ready when the real games start. I always am.”

DG: “One of these years it’s going to catch up with you. It better not be this year, or…”

O: “Or what?”

DG: “Or we’ll promote the Lacrosse Offense to Men’s Basketball and you’ll be reassigned to–“

O: (trembling) “Women’s basketball?”

DG: “No. FOOTBALL.” [click]

O: (stares at receiver for a long moment, pale and shaking. Lets it fall to the floor and runs screaming towards Manley Field House.)

Posted in Baylor, Demetris Nichols, Drexel, Losses, Mookie Watkins, Nonconference Games, Oklahoma State, syracuse | 1 Comment »

An eventful Saturday night

Posted by Josh on December 17, 2006

Before my thoughts on the Baylor game, in my unofficial capacity as SU-NBA chronicler I must mention the massive brawl between the Nuggets and the Knicks tonight, in which Carmelo was thoroughly involved (he punched Mardy Collins in the face). It’s likely he will get suspended for at least a few games. My assumption is that he was mad at Collins for snitching. More on the brawl and its aftermath in the next Pro Update in a day or so, once the dust settles.

I got to watch most of the Baylor game and overall I actually felt good about the team’s play (for the first time in a while). They appear to have used the week between games to legitimately address some of the areas in which they’d been struggling. They did a much better job rebounding on the defensive end (in fact gave up only 4 offensive rebounds). The offense looked a lot smoother. There was quite a bit of ball movement with purpose, not just tossing around the perimeter haphazardly. They worked it into the post. Watkins had several offensive sets go through him. Josh Wright had 9 assists, only took 2 shots, and generally played under control. There were a couple times he forced the issue but for the most part he was just what the team needs him to be. And they hit their free throws (Mookie 7-10!). Plus Nichols is looking more and more comfortable at being the offensive leader and getting his shot, while the rest of the team is looking to find him when he is feeling it. He also was showing a bit of spunk and emotion — even on such simple things as SU being awarded the ball out of bounds after a rebounding scuffle. He looks like he is on his way to being The Man. (With apologies to Eugene Levy.) I am anxious to see how he does against the more athletic defenders in the Big East — if he can keep his game up in conference play, the prospects for the season will suddenly be a lot brighter.

There were (of course) some warts. A few times you could tell that they were not focused or were being too casual with the game (for example, TerrenceRoberts.com taking a 3-pointer with 10 minutes left and only a 10-pt lead). The defense particularly suffered at these times — Baylor even converted a Gerry-to-Hakim-esque alleyoop behind the back line of the zone. (Minus the rim-destroying dunk.)But this behavior was much more intermittent than it was in earlier games, when they were often listless for long stretches. Also, Paul Harris was not really on his game for the 2nd straight contest — though he scored 15, a lot of that was late when the outcome was not in question. And he and Devendorf did most of their damage from the foul line. On one hand this is a good sign — that these guys know to get to the line to create points. But it is questionable whether such an approach will be as successful in Big East play. I’d much rather see them score in the half-court.

More tidbits: Andy Rautins got his first career start, with Devendorf coming off the bench. This is the second straight game with Devo out of the starting lineup — although he has got to be over his illness by now, because he played starters’ minutes. I’m curious whether this is just a psychological thing to help Devo’s game, or if he is in the doghouse somewhat, or if it is just early-season lineup tinkering. Time will tell (I hope, because JB sure won’t). Mike Jones had a few good minutes, though he got the classic Boeheim Hook (and a bit of the gas face) for failing to hustle after a loose ball. He’ll learn. D-B-Mac got in at the end and did not look totally terrible. If he gets pressed into emergency duty sometime in a game that matters, well, it will still suck but I no longer think that I will have to turn away from the screen.

By the way, where is Rautins’ famed shooting stroke? He was only 2-8 on threes. A couple seemed rushed but others were the kind of shot that he is being paid to knock down. (Figuratively speaking of course.) His best looking shots were those where he took a dribble to get the defender to go by him — it helped his rhythm a lot. But that is a luxury he won’t have most of the time. Leo, run your boy in some catch-and-shoot drills eh!

And finally, this photo from the game shows Jim Boeheim bellowing an incantation and reaching deep into his soul to summon the Great Power as he prepares to do battle against the Dark Lords of Evil:

(Coach Murphy appears unconcerned.)

Posted in Andy Rautins, Baylor, Carmelo Anthony, Demetris Nichols, Devin Brennan-McBride, Eric Devendorf, Gas Face, Jim Boeheim, Josh Wright, Mike Jones, Mookie Watkins, Paul Harris, syracuse, Terrence Roberts, Wins | 1 Comment »

we gave up 31 to a guy named “Tweety”

Posted by syracusan on December 17, 2006

Remember when Demetris Nichols blew the biggest game of the year by missing a wide open layup? Me either. Ever since then, he’s been raining buckets like his name was el nino. He’s 32 for 50 since that miss, including 13-24 on threes. Tonight against Baylor he went 12-16 and complained afterwards about missing too many shots. I’m cautiously optimistic.

I was out tonight at a show so I didn’t see any of the game or listen to any broadcast, and I haven’t read any reaction from anywhere other than the AP story. Overall the box score looks great though. I can’t give a narrative of thoughts since I didn’t witness it, but I’ll list out some random items I noticed:

  • It was a dominant rebounding performance (38-23), which is a pleasant surprise. I need to see a trend develop before I get excited though.

  • 25-30 from the line is a miracle. We’ll win every time with those numbers, but I’ll bet my left ass cheek we don’t see numbers like that with any frequency. What I do like is dominating our opponents in FT attempts. That’s something this team should do almost every time, and can be a huge boost even if we miss 40% of them.

  • Rautins got a start in Devo’s slot, presumably to try to jumpstart the offense. He stayed his usual gunner self and missed a bunch of shots in limited minutes, but put up 10 points and probably opened things up for Nichols a bit. His shot-per-minute ratio is a little high with all the other weapons on the team, but starting him is an interesting idea. It might help prevent slow starts.

  • Nice game from Josh. 9 dimes and only 3 turnovers in 28 minutes. And he barely shot the ball at all.

  • Twenty four assists on 31 made shots. Great for chemistry, great for scoring 90+ points. It’s amazing how an offense opens up when an individual player can dominate, a la Nichols recently.

  • Devo again got big minutes despite coming off the bench, and again got to double digits. He missed a lot of shots but got to the line 9 times. I’m cautiously optimistic about him too.

  • Paul got 15, 8 and 4. Solid numbers overall, which would be satisfying if not for the bizarre fact that he got all of them in the 2nd half. The reason? He only played 1 minute in the first half. I don’t know what the deal is with that (maybe someone will find out if there’s a story there), but he clearly responded well by totally dominating in the 15 minutes he got in the 2nd frame.

I’d like to think this win will count for something down the road since Baylor is a Big 12 team, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If Baylor ends up doing decently in that league then maybe we’ll be able to point to this game as the moment SU gave us a sign they’re bouncing back. The Big East got raped by other BCS conferences on Saturday too, so it’s nice to get this one at least.

Posted in Andy Rautins, Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Josh Wright, Nonconference Games, Paul Harris, Regular Season Games | Leave a Comment »