Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Josh Wright’ 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.

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 »

Younger Every Year

Posted by Josh on April 20, 2007

The Post-Standard has reported in the past few days that SU has verbal commitments from two players in the class of 2008 (a.k.a. the post-Josh Wright Era): Kris Joseph and James Southerland. OrangeFan (who has his finger firmly on the pulse of SU recruiting) has some prime info and links in his post about Joseph. Southerland’s announcement just came down the pike last night; I imagine that OrangeFan will have a boatload of more information shortly. In the meantime, the P-S story makes him sound like Preston Shumpert — a tall but slim wing player with a sweet shooting stroke. But this quote from his high school coach in that story simply baffles me:

“He’s got that one skill that you can’t teach. He can shoot.”

First of all, there are plenty of skills you can’t teach. Secondly, shooting isn’t one of them. Let’s review a bit. Here are some things you can teach:

  • passing
  • ballhandling
  • moving without the ball
  • setting screens
  • shooting
  • your children well
  • a smothering 2-3 zone defense

Things you can’t teach:

  • height
  • athleticism
  • heart/guts
  • court vision
  • clutchness (“Onions!”)
  • basketball instincts
  • Georgetown Hoyas

I’m sure there are others — what did I miss?

Posted in Josh Wright, Preston Shumpert, Recruits, syracuse, Zone defense | 7 Comments »

Jonny Flynn is probably better than Josh Wright

Posted by syracusan on March 29, 2007

The McDonald’s All-America game was last night, and I just saw that a Jonny Flynn dunk made SportsCenter’s top ten plays of the night. It was the only highlight from the game that made the list. The dunk was pretty sick, reminiscent of Paul Harris’ against San Diego State in terms of form, position on the court, and where his opponent was. Except that Flynn is only 6 feet tall and he was dunking over Michael Beasely, who’s 6’9″ and was the overall star of the game.

I tried to find a clip on YouTube or on ESPN.com, but no luck. But if you catch any episode of SportsCenter today before a new Top Ten is formed with tonight’s games, you’ll probably see it. They usually run that segment towards the end of the hour, and I think Flynn was #3. The P-S ran a story on the game, and mentioned the dunk right off the bat. Apparently Flynn also hit a three with a minute to go to bring the east within 112-114, but they could get no closer. Flynn was the overall leader in assists for the game, but our other boy Donte Greene apparently did not distinguish himself.

Most importantly, Flynn is capable of throwing down monster dunks and hitting clutch threes. That in and of itself suggests he’ll be getting more PT than Wright next year.

Posted in Josh Wright, Recruits | 3 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 »

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 »

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.)

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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 »

Josh Wright will transfer

Posted by Tom on February 24, 2007

Wow, a really satisfying win. Rautins is really coming into his own – beyond the shooting he’s creating 2-3 turnovers on the defensive end every game. “The Hustle” Harris seems to be finding his role well as a point-forward – as my brother pointed out he’s really pretty good at running the offense. Also, we’re really going to rely heavily on him if terrenceroberts.com‘s second half absence was due to this knee injury that had him limping 20 seconds into this game. Not good. Watkins has been solid lately except for his continued lack of a consistent hustle on the rebounding end, Devendorf is still a frustrating turnover machine, but overall these guys are starting to click.

Random gripe: Have we ever effectively run the clock out at the end of the first half this season? A situation where there’s more time on the shot clock than the game and we can hold for the last shot. I’ve easily seen five times where Devendorf charges in on a crazy drive with 15 seconds left, turns it over, and the other team scores to end the half. WAIT IT OUT, BOYS! Infuriating.

Random prediction: Josh Wright will pull a McCroskey and transfer this postseason. My totally unsubstantiated impression is that he’s not extremely well liked on the team, he’s lost his starting spot, and he was nowhere to be found in the second half of this game. Remember how he and DeShawn Wright were MIA in their freshman year NCAA tournament trip (Vermont game)? The rumor was that these guys were upset about their playing time and the issue boiled over in some way. Now DeShawn is long gone, and I predict Josh Wright will follow now that he may be falling out of Boeheim’s favor. By the way, disregard all of this if it turns out he had the flu today or something.

Posted in Eric Devendorf, Josh Wright, Paul Harris, Providence, Terrence Roberts | 12 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 »

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?

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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 »

Mike Jarvis is the worst basketball announcer of all time

Posted by syracusan on February 15, 2007

It’s funny, I don’t feel 7-5. But according to the standings that’s SU’s record in the Big East after beating USF tonight. I guess it’s a sign of how negative experiences carry more weight than positives: I can hardly remember us winning any of those games other than the last two; but the losses I can describe in great detail. Are we really two games over .500 in conference? How bad must the rest of these guys be?

USF came out of the gate in this one like a pack of wild dogs, out-hustling us to every loose ball, grabbing every rebound, dominating the offensive glass, and running and gunning all over the court. Luckily for us, they’re USF and not UConn, so they quickly wore themselves out, started making ridiculous turnovers, committing silly fouls, and missing easy layups. By the 2nd half it was obvious their energy was gone, and a few timely 3’s from Andy and Demetris broke their will for good. To beat this team all we had to do was avoid turnovers, and miracle of miracles, we managed it.

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Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East, Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Josh Wright, Paul Harris, Rebounding, Regular Season Games, South Florida, UConn, Wins | 9 Comments »