Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Matt Gorman’ 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 »

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 »

The Next Generation (Pro Update 3-1)

Posted by Josh on March 1, 2007

With so much current SU action, it’s been hard to find time to check in on the grownups. So get ready to dive in.

(HEY guess what! Europe news below has been updated with two new items since the original post.)
NBA

Grown-ups, indeed. Carmelo Anthony is going to be a daddy! His fiancee La La Vasquez is expecting to give birth in about a week. Melo has celebrated by leading the Nuggets to consecutive wins for the first time since Feb 10-12. Over the last week Baby Daddy scored 36, 34, 33, and 23 points (chronologically). The Nuggets lost those first two games (to the Jazz and Mavs) but won the latter two (against the Grizz and Magic). Carmelo also has been grabbing about 6 rebounds per game. Most importantly, with the exception of last night’s Orlando game, his shooting percentages in the other three games was back above 50% (and as high as 67%). These are his first games above 50% since he returned from suspension in mid-January. And he is still leading the Association in scoring.

My kid was up crying all night, I am EXHAUSTED!!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Damone Brown, Elvir Ovcina, Former Orangemen, Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Jason Hart, Kueth Duany, Lazarus Sims, Matt Gorman, Otis Hill, Preston Shumpert, Ryan Blackwell | 5 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.)

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 »

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 »

Better off next year? A point-counterpoint

Posted by Tom on February 12, 2007

Reading Syracusan’s post about our two incoming McDonald’s All-Americans led me to confront and issue that’s been bubbling under the surface of every Syracuse hoops fan this year. As we watch the 06-07 Orange seal their fates as mild to severe disappointments, we can’t help but look ahead to next year’s heralded recruiting class. Will we really be a better team next year?

I realize point counterpoints are traditionally composed by two people going head to head from different perspectives on the same issue, but I decided I’ve got enough hotly polarized ambivalence on this issue to fuel both sides. So here we go.

Thesis: Next year’s team will finish the regular season with a better record than this year’s.

Point: Two McDonalds all-Americans, and a highly regarded player coming in at each position constitutes a full reload.

Counterpoint: Losing an entire front line of seniors (and the only big-man backup) constitutes a completely blown load. Losing the experience of four senior contributors (including the team’s #1 scorer) is nearly impossible to replace with guys straight out of high school, no matter how good.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Arinze Onuaku, Carmelo Anthony, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Former Orangemen, Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Josh Wright, Matt Gorman, Mookie Watkins, National Championship, Paul Harris, Recruits, Terrence Roberts | 4 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 »

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 »

Gormania!

Posted by Tim on January 2, 2007

Ace Cuse Country contributor Josh, on the road with his band, just drove through Gormania, West Virginia.

His report: “So awesome.”

Posted in Matt Gorman | Leave a Comment »