Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Big 12’ 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 »

ACC beat down

Posted by syracusan on March 18, 2007

[A note to anyone reading this post after the tragedy at Virginia Tech: If you’ve arrived here via Google or another search engine, chances are you’re looking for information on the shooting. We apologize for the detour. Thanks for understanding. –CC]

Enough of all this rational empirical analysis, it’s time for some good old fashioned polemics and schadenfreude. The only redeeming quality of an NCAA Tournament without Syracuse involved is that there’s still plenty of teams participating that I hate, and it’s always fun to watch them suffer heartbreaking losses.

Duke? Gone. Virginia? Gone. Virginia Tech? Gone. Boston College? Gone. Georgia Tech? Gone. Maryland? Gone. The ACC sent 7 schools to the NCAAs this year, and 6 of them couldn’t get out of the opening weekend. Only North Carolina is still standing, which is appropriate since they’re the only team in that conference that’s as good as its reputation. The rest, in typical ACC fashion, coasted on the sails of a top-heavy league that ramped up their RPIs despite limited individual performance, found themselves with overvalued seeds in the NCAAs, and lost to supposedly inferior opponents that weren’t really inferior at all.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in ACC, Big 10, Big 12, NCAA Tournament, Pac 10, SEC | 6 Comments »

Syracuse Plays Fast

Posted by Tom on March 15, 2007

Big props to the “Big Ten Wonk” blog for this statistical report on the speed of play in the college basketball power conferences. The Big East finds itself solidly in the middle in average posessions per game (ACC at the top, Big Ten way at the bottom), and the Cuse connection comes in our guys being the fastest playing team in the Big East (9th in all the majors). One thing you can say about our man Devendorf is that he doesn’t wait around.

Also of interest from these guys is this chart of the distribution of Big East teams in terms of their ability to play offense and defense. Not surprisingly, we’re among the best in defense and in the middle of the pack on offense. And West Virginia can score points but plays worse D than anyone else in the Big East’s top 12.

Maybe the Big Ten Wonk can shed a little light on how Purdue and Illinois scored those at-large bids. Wait, don’t answer. Conspiracy! Scandal! Foul play!

Posted in ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Bracketology, Eric Devendorf, Pac 10, SEC, syracuse | Leave a Comment »

The Big East: Possibly Not Number 1

Posted by syracusan on January 17, 2007

I know it’s hard to believe, but there’s a slight chance that the Big East is not the best conference in America. At least not this year. Acknowledging this is a major concession on my part, so everybody better enjoy this moment of honesty while it lasts; it probably won’t happen again. Considering that the collective league RPI is hovering somewhere around 7th, I have to accept that there’s been a drop off from last year. Whenever you’re behind the PAC-10, you know something has gone horribly wrong.

That said, there’s a purpose to this intro. Even though the Big East has generally got it’s tail whipped by other conferences like the SEC and the Big 12 this year, and dropped way too many games to mid-level teams, there’s an interesting stat out there that I guarantee you’ll never hear Dick Vitale or Doug Gottlieb mention: the Big East has completely dominated the ACC this year.

You heard it here first. While the Big 10 continues it’s ridiculous yearly embarrassment at the hands of the ACC in their “challenge” series, the Big East once again has quietly kicked the ass of the allegedly premier conference. According to my calculations, the Big East went 8-5 against the ACC this year. I didn’t check to see if there are any more mid-seasons games between the two leagues, but in all likelihood there won’t be any more until the NCAAs. So 8-5 will stand. Here’s the results:

Big East wins:

  1. South Florida beat Wake Forest
  2. Notre Dame won at Maryland
  3. Louisville beat Miami
  4. Marquette won at Duke
  5. West Virginia beat NC State
  6. DePaul beat Wake Forest
  7. Cincinnati beat NC State
  8. Providence beat Boston College

ACC wins:

  1. GTown lost at Duke
  2. Rutgers lost at UNC
  3. Providence lost at Florida State
  4. Seton Hall lost to Virginia Tech
  5. St Johns lost to Maryland

The Big East had a slight advantage in home games, but they made up for it with more quality wins. The only good Big East team to lose to an ACC team was Georgetown. Meanwhile quality ACC teams like Duke, Maryland, and BC all hit the deck to Big East foes.  Also, the Big East accumulated this record despite having three of it’s best teams – Pitt, UConn, and Syracuse – not play any games against the ACC this year.

I’ll give someone a hundred dollars if they ever hear Vitale mention this stat.

Posted in ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Haters, Nonconference Games, Pac 10, RPI, SEC | 3 Comments »

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 »

conference scores

Posted by syracusan on December 5, 2006

I haven’t bitched and moaned about Big East disrespect in a while, so it’s time for a notable scores update in case folks haven’t been scanning the returns over the last few days. (Notable to me generally means Big East teams beating ranked and/or BCS teams.)

  • DePaul beat then #5 Kansas 64-57.
  • Notre Dame won 81-74 AT then #19 Maryland. Of the ACC. Bitches.
  • Then #3 Pitt won at Auburn of the SEC, 74-66.
  • Rutgers beat then 5-0 Nebraska of the Big 12, 75-73. (not a big name team, but I’ll take it)

I’m feeling unusually fair, so I’ll report on the losses too. The only head to head setbacks to BCS schools that I could find recently both come from Georgetown. The struggling Hoyas lost at home to 6-0 Oregon last week, and then hung tight with Duke down at Cameron until fading in the final two minutes. G-Town dropped from the polls this week, but looked good for most of the game against the Dookies. They’ll be fine.

For the record, during the Georgetown-Duke game on ESPN, Dick Vitale mentioned how many bad losses the Big East has this year and that the league doesn’t have the depth it had last year. No mention of any wins of note. In Mr. Vitale’s world the Big East is made up entirely of Cincinatti and Seton Hall.

There were, of course, some losses to midmajors this week, most notably from Syracuse and Marquette. SU got stung a little in the polls, but I’m glad to see that Wichita State is getting respect for beating us, shooting up to 10th in the AP poll. The Golden Eagles took the worst of it though, plummeting 9 spots in the AP and ELEVEN spots in the Coaches thanks to their loss to North Dakota State. The media and coaches are so full of shit with their rhetoric about midmajors – why else would Marquette, who still beat Duke earlier this year, take such a hit? ND St is a solid team, who already beat up on Wisconsin-Green Bay and Princeton and only lost at Texas Tech by 4. It’s not a crime to lose to midmajors of this quality, yet Marquette and SU get nailed for it.

For comparison’s sake: Florida loses their 2nd game already, to an average Florida State team, and only drop from 4 to 7. Maryland loses that game to Notre Dame and drops no spots. Georgia Tech loses to a mediocre Miami team and drops only 4 spots. Some of this is ACC favoritism, but Michigan State lost last week to BC and went from unranked to 25th! There’s still all kinds of major program bias when judging the acceptability of losses, which is such crap considering how much lecturing the media gives big schools for being afraid to schedule feisty midmajors.

In related news, the polls have gone crazy this week. UConn is 10th in one and 19th in the other. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a difference that large. Frankly, they don’t deserve to be 10th, but that’s neither here nor there. Michigan State is 25th in one poll, as I mentioned, but approximately 37th in the other, based on votes. Is this parity, or just laziness?

FYI, Oklahoma State moved into the rankings at 22 and 24, so SU gets to play back to back games against ranked opponents. Not the norm for this time of year to be sure. If we win later tonight though, it’ll go a long way towards securing our reputation until the Big East gets going.

Posted in ACC, Big 12, Big East, Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Haters, In the Media, Losses, Marquette, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Pitt, Rankings, Rutgers, UConn, Wichita State | 3 Comments »

oral pleasure

Posted by syracusan on November 16, 2006

Gotta love college hoops. #3 Kansas lost at home tonight to Oral Roberts. Doesn’t it seem like Kansas does something like this every year, regardless of who’s coaching? More importantly, there’s no other sport in the world where underdogs can get the kind of wins that Vermont and Oral Roberts got over the last few days. #2 UNC tried to lose at home to Winthrop tonight too, but pulled it out by 7 after losing the whole first half. If Tim is feeling shaky about our 23 point win, imagine how Tar Heel fans feel. Or Jayhawks fans for that matter.

FYI, nice win for Georgetown tonight on the road in SEC territory. Vanderbilt isn’t great, but they’re decent. 17-12 last year and 7-9 in the conference. That’s a legit win for the Big East.

*****

I found myself in Bobst Library this evening, getting ready to dig into some global poverty-reduction macroeconomic strategies, when a little bird fluttered into my inbox providing a miraculous link to a live-action view of the SU-Northeastern game on the internet. I won’t go into the details of how this amazing connection occurred, but needless to say the poor of the earth were forced to wait a couple hours for my attention. Suddenly the public computer in sub-level II was my own private TV, and I spent the rest of the night fending off weird looks from other students.

I also spent a lot of time feverishly text-messaging Tom about the amazing transformation in Paul Harris happening right in front of us. He was literally a different player at the end of that game than he was at the beginning. He made at least two moves tonight that no one has made for us in years. First, a rim rattling facial of a dunk over some poor fool on a solo fast break that was humiliating in a way only Hak knows about. Second, and more important, a little play on the baseline where he faced up his man in the half court set, made one crossover move, blew completely by him, challenged the larger help defenders, and laid it in with relative ease. That play, my friends, we haven’t seen since Carmelo.

Paul doesn’t look any taller than Devo when you see them next to each other, which means he was at best the 8th tallest player on the court most of the night while he was pulling down those 12 rebounds. You couldn’t even see him in the pile under the basket, yet he relentlessly came out with the ball. He reminded me of Ryan Gomes, only a hell of a lot quicker. At his height, I’m not sure if he’s going to be able to pull that kind of board work off against the UConns of the world, but the fact that he has two double-doubles in his four college games is starting to get impressive. Late in the game he demanded the ball half-way through a disorganized offensive set, dribbled to midcourt, calmed everyone down, and called out a play. He ended up driving and passing it off, but it was a great maturation moment. With two seniors and two sophomores on the court with him, he was the one who took charge. Josh Wright isn’t going to be happy. He’ll continue to start for a while, but he may find his importance reduced unless we’re playing a pressing team.

Some other random thoughts…Mike Jones looked great on offense and defense. He’s incredibly smooth for his size…SU’s new “small” lineup is the biggest small lineup I’ve ever seen. For a while Jimmy had Roberts at center, Devo at point, and Nichols, Harris, and Jones handling the rest of it. Interesting to note, Harris permanently played a frontline spot on defense in the zone, while Nichols and Jones rotated at the two. Nichols playing defense up top is insane, if it works that’ll be amazing. No one will get a blip of light to shoot from outside. But Jones did most of the work up there, and he’s pretty huge himself…When Devo’s outside shot is falling, and we have Rautins and Nichols on the court with him, that’s an impossible situation for other teams. Several possessions in a row towards the end of the first half Devo blew past tight coverage and set up one of those other guys for wide open threes, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it…quote of the night from Tom: “It’s a good thing Paul Harris can’t shoot. Might keep him here longer.”

Posted in Andy Rautins, Big 12, Big East, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Georgetown, Jim Boeheim, Josh Wright, Mike Jones, Nonconference Games, Northeastern University, Paul Harris, Regular Season Games, SEC, Wins | 2 Comments »