Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Defense’ 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 »

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 »

Jim Boeheim and the offense of the go-to-guy

Posted by Tom on February 16, 2007

Everyone always gives a lot of well deserved lip service to Boeheim as the master of the 2-3 zone, but have you ever heard anyone specifically put Jimmy’s offensive coaching style under the microscope?

What got me thinking about this was seeing the UConn women’s team play following our loss to the Johnnies in the garden. After the game, they let everyone stick around to see the Ladystorm (or whatever they’re called) take on the lady Huskies immediately afterwards. Let me tell you, seeing those ladies play, especially after our ugly loss, was humbling. Almost every trip down the court involved at least 4 quick passes in the half court set, and culminated with someone who was open (or facing a defender that wasn’t set yet) taking a traditionally “good” shot. No one except the point guard ever seemed to hold the ball for more than a second or two. And since they can’t consider dunking, their layups are totally automatic. I left with a big crush on these ladies’ fundamentals. Quickly, I started noticing a similar style of play on certain men’s teams. Watching Notre Dame’s 63 point first half dismantling on January 30, the buckets they were hitting weren’t lucky shots. They were open shots. And they were making lots of quick passes to get them. So I started to wonder… what offense are we playing?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andy Rautins, Assists, Carmelo Anthony, Defense, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Etan Thomas, Former Orangemen, Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Jason Hart, Jim Boeheim, Josh Wright, Lazarus Sims, Matt Gorman, Mookie Watkins, Notre Dame, Preston Shumpert, syracuse, Terrence Roberts, UConn, Uncategorized, Zone defense | 6 Comments »

Foul Mood… and a theory on this team’s inner-workings

Posted by Tom on February 6, 2007

Because I’m having trouble making sense of this year’s team, and I’m in a foul mood in general following my team’s second straight bocce league loss to start the season, I’m feeling a need to declare a festivus and air my grievances.

I watched bits and pieces of tonight’s UConn loss at the bar during the aforementioned bocce game, and saw the following:

1. Watkins attempting a post move while fully covered, missing badly, and three UConn players fighting only each other for the rebound.

2. Terrence Roberts  repeating incident 1, but with a fairly sincere (though failed) attempt to grab the board back off his miss.

3. Paul Harris coming out of nowhere to get twice as many rebounds as any 6’5 guard has any business getting (10 in 29 minutes, double the total of the next highest ‘cuse rebounder)

4. Eric Devendorf committing a turnover in a 1-on-3 dribble drive out of the half court offense at a clutch moment toward the end of the game.

Does any of this sound familiar?  It should, because I guarantee you that if you take a random five minutes from ANY Syracuse game this season, you’ll see at least 3 of these 4 occurrences go down.  I haven’t even mentioned the things that you won’t see, such as a Demetris Nichols rebound. Because despite being 6’8 and playing 38 minutes on the front line, my man couldn’t be bothered to chase down more than 4 of them.  That’s 2 per half.  That’s probably close to the number of balls that came off the rim directly at him, if even.  And before I let Devendorf off too easily, I’ll leave him out to hang on his box score line. 36 min, 5-13 FG, 1-5 3PT, 1REB, 1AST, 5 TO, 13PT.

In an attempt to try to offer some analysis beyond the gripes, I’ll throw out my theory on this team’s inner workings.  I think it all goes down on the practice floor. That’s where all this shit they try, the Devendorf dribble drives into defenders, the Watkins/Roberts “dribble, dribble, lunge-shot” post move, all actually goes down most of the time, eliminating the need for these guys to rebound or follow shots. Think about it.  We’ve got Watkins probably working on Gorman most of the time, which makes him feel like Hakeem Olajuwon.  Roberts is working on… Brennan-McBride?  A little muscle and he’s open.  Rautins is working on Harris, so he’s long since given up any notions of driving or attempting a shot that’s not a long 3.  And clearly Devendorf is going against a walk-on.  This practice theory is the only thing that makes sense.  That these scrimmages are soft on defense and large on flashy passes and scoring that just don’t work when you’re playing another league team that ups its intensity level for games.

Posted in Andy Rautins, Assists, Conference Games, Defense, Demetris Nichols, Devin Brennan-McBride, Eric Devendorf, Losses, Matt Gorman, Mookie Watkins, Paul Harris, Rebounding, Regular Season Games, Terrence Roberts, UConn | 1 Comment »

it’s everyone’s fault

Posted by syracusan on February 2, 2007

After watching Jimmy’s clock management in the final minutes against St John’s and Louisville, I began to wonder if he was throwing games to improve our draft position. Then with the way the team came out against ND, I figured maybe it wasn’t just him, maybe it was everyone. Then I remembered there’s no draft, and that bad years in College Basketball do nothing but beget worse years.

There’s no sense in analyzing the Notre Dame game. We’re not in their league, which is pathetic and shocking. No one or two players should get a lion’s share of blame, they were all lifeless. Terrence and Nichols had good box-score games, but in real life they were just as much to blame as the rest. Devo went 0-11 from the field, but it hardly matters; offense wasn’t the issue anyway. Don’t be fooled by that late game run to make it “respectable”, the Irish had merely succumbed to the human instinct to relax with such a huge lead. Our defense never turned it on, ND simply started missing because they ruined their own rhythm. If they had kept their foot on the gas, we would have lost by 30.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Assists, Conference Games, Defense, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Jim Boeheim, Losses, Louisville, Mookie Watkins, Notre Dame, Paul Harris, Rebounding, Regular Season Games, St. John's, Terrence Roberts | 3 Comments »

where to begin?

Posted by syracusan on January 21, 2007

It may seem opportunistic to rag on Andy Rautins right now: given his performance this afternoon at the Garden he’s an easy target and the timing of the criticism might come off as overly convenient. But I assure you I had planned to bring him up after the Cinci game, I just didn’t have time. The fact is, his play is killing this team, and it’s getting harder and harder to understand why Boeheim is giving him the kind of minutes he’s getting.

Against St Johns Rautins inexplicably got 24 minutes of PT, and contributed a Gorman-like 1, 1, and 1 in the box score. Though his defense has gotten more–shall we say–‘energetic’, he’s becoming a detriment on the court through his combination of non-productivity and ever more atrocious shooting percentages. He put up an 0-5 today (all 3’s, like usual), dropping his season output to 35%. From beyond the arch he’s down to 30%, well below the likes of Josh Wright, despite that shot being his alleged specialty.

I can’t shred Rautins thoroughly the way I did Gorman earlier this year, because I still believe he’s capable of contributing, and I bet at some point in his career he’ll have a Nichols-like awakening with his jump shot. You can tell watching him that he has shooting talent, and he’s probably just going through early career jitters right now. Plus, he plays with good flow and rhythm on offense, seems to understand the game, and at least has decent positioning on defense. That said, at this moment in time he’s killing us. And if there’s going to be an inexperienced player on the court working through offensive growing pains, that player needs to be Paul Harris.

To be fair, the argument for Rautins starting is reasonable. It comes in three parts: 1) Devo has rejuvenated himself as a high scoring 6th man, and Jimmy isn’t ready to mess with that chemistry; 2) Harris, for all his defense and rebounding, is totally lost on offense and heavily disrupts the flow of the team when he’s on the floor (see Cinci game), so Andy is preferable; and 3) even when Rautins isn’t contributing, the threat of his long range shot opens things up for others and his sound fundamentals and understanding of how the offense operates allows the other four guys on the floor to function well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andy Rautins, Cincinnati, Conference Games, Defense, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Jim Boeheim, Josh Wright, Losses, Matt Gorman, Mookie Watkins, Paul Harris, Rebounding, Regular Season Games, St. John's, Terrence Roberts | 1 Comment »