Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Recruits’ 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 »

nothing says hung over like watching NBA summer league games on a Sunday afternoon

Posted by syracusan on July 15, 2007

I got a chance to catch some of the Knicks summer league game this afternoon on MSG. I can confirm that the hype on D-Nic is true. Our boy has already grown well beyond the explosive but uncertain one-dimensional scorer we knew and loved last season. All of a sudden he’s taking it to the rack with authority, scoring from all over, creating his own offense, and displaying an almost cocky level of self-confidence on the court.

Not only that, but he’s playing impressively intense defense. I can’t say he looked like a lock-down player out there, but the fact that he’s holding his own is a pleasant surprise. I thought his man-to-man would be a liability in the Association, but he’s ratcheted up his desire, effort, and energy level on that end of the floor to make up for his lack of lateral speed. He was even getting back in transition when other Knicks were lagging. Granted, he wasn’t shutting anyone down, but the key at this stage is to not show any obvious weaknesses.

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Posted in Demetris Nichols, Recruits | Leave a Comment »

Around SU Blogland…

Posted by Josh on May 8, 2007

A couple of intriguing developments in the SU hoops program over the past few days. To wit:

For the love of Kristof. The Post-Standard has the story today, but OrangeFan had the rumors Tuesday and the scoop from one of the recruiting forums on Friday, that SU has signed a 6’8″ Belgian from a junior college in CA. O-Fan also got a scouting report. The guy’s name (Kristof Ongenaet) is going to be mangled by PA and TV announcers far and wide, probably worse than Boeheim used to get it (Jim Bow-HEEM anyone?) but it sounds like he is not an Ovcina clone — namely, that he is a strong interior-type guy rather than a three-point gunner. This signing adds much-needed depth to the front line, even if all he does is foul Hasheem Thabeet five times.

By the way, I am officially declaring this guy’s nickname is “Kong”. Spread the word.

Offense and Freshman Leadership. Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician tracked down a quote from Boeheim from an appearance at Keuka College on Friday, in which he says that “all four freshmen will play, and at least two will start.” First of all, there are five frosh in the incoming class so this is as good a signal as any that Sean Williams will redshirt. Secondly, it gives us a fresh opening to hypothesize starting lineups for next year. This statement, if true, would eliminate the speculated “default” combination of Dorf, Rautins, Harris, D. Greene, and Onuaku. Does Flynn step in and push Rautins back to the bench? Does Rick Jackson start as a freshman center? Is it at all conceivable that Harris doesn’t start next year, with [either] Flynn at the point and Rautins playing the baseline of the zone [or] a full load of beef with Jackson and Arinze up front, Greene and the two juniors on the outside? Or, does Greene back up Harris?

OrangeFan also found a report (mentioned in the post linked above about Kong) that Jackson has put on a couple dozen pounds of muscle this spring, so let that fuel the fires of speculation just that much more. Personally my hunch is Jackson starts over Onuaku, with Harris at the 4 and Greene at the 3. But I wouldn’t bet real money on it.

Posted in Andy Rautins, Arinze Onuaku, Elvir Ovcina, Eric Devendorf, Jim Boeheim, Orange Blogosphere, Paul Harris, Recruits | 4 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 »

“Betta than any of them dudes”

Posted by Tim on March 20, 2007

Who reads Cuse Country? Tiki Mayben does. After Josh dissed the former SU recruit’s play in a post last month, Mr. Mayben left this comment this afternoon:

I’m betta than any of them dudes on dat team,,, the big east is fast and aggressive how I play ya dig,,, not slow fast-breaks wit teammates who r totally unprepared to catch the ball,,, Neva would I use excuses for how i play’d dis year but check da stats for my teammates when I was on da court compared to when any of SU’s guards was on da court and I bet we did way betta when i was on da court… U prolly don’t even play ball tryin to evaluate peoples games,,, stats dont alway’s tell u who won and who loss rather than who did good Individually, it’s a TEAM game…

Just for the record, here are Tiki’s stats at UMass this year: 2.9 points and 4.1 assists against 2.6 turnovers in 17.5 minutes per game.

Thanks for stopping by, Tiki!

Posted in Recruits | 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.

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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 »

McDonald’s hotness

Posted by syracusan on February 9, 2007

Everybody probably heard this already, but it’s worth taking a moment to smile about. We haven’t had much good news lately in SU basketball land, so why not allow ourselves a little daydreaming about what might be on the horizon? Two Syracuse recruits landed in the McDonald’s All-America game this year. That’s only happened once before ever for SU: in the 1986 season. And who were those two recruits? Derrick Coleman and Stevie Thompson.

If Donte Green and Johnny Flynn can come even close to those two, then the future is looking bright. I’m not sold on next year being anything but painful, because freshmen are notoriously unreliable, even if they end up being great later on. Plus with that kind of youth and lack of size on the front line, we’re aiming to take a beating. But when these two are sophomores (plus the other hotshots in their class), Harris is a junior, and Devo is a senior, then we might be on to something. Assuming no defections, of course. Fingers crossed.

Posted in Recruits | Leave a Comment »

That’s cold

Posted by Tim on December 16, 2006

I usually assume that everyone reading this blog also reads the Post-Standard’s SU basketball coverage. But in case you missed the Waters-and-Baxter blog this week (I know I did; goddamn grad school) you might not know that Orange recruit Rick Jackson is a cold, cold man. Check out what Kim Baxter had to say about his assassin’s demeanor:

I mentioned in the story how Jackson’s parents used to play him in basketball and beat him all the time. Well, he got his revenge last summer. He was playing his mom in the playground across from their house and he backed her down and dunked in her face. “Everybody said, ‘No you didn’t. Why’d you do that to your mom?'” Joyce Thomas said. “And Rick said, ‘Y’all don’t know what she used to do.'”

The man dunked on his own mother! If Terrence Roberts had that kind of attitude he’d grab 30 boards a game. Instead we get a 6’10” dude who wears his mom’s fur coat. Disappointing.

In other news, SU hoops recruit Sean Williams was summoned to save a dolphin from choking in China.

Posted in Recruits | Leave a Comment »

Jonny Flynn

Posted by Josh on December 14, 2006

Check out this 3-part feature story from the Niagara Gazette on incoming SU recruit Jonny Flynn. Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

Posted in News of the Orange, Recruits | Leave a Comment »