Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Regular Season Games’ Category

We’re moving to

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 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 »

live by the three, die by the three

Posted by syracusan on March 3, 2007

For my opinion on SU’s offensive strategy in this afternoon’s game against Villanova, please see this post from a week and a half ago.

The only way it’s remotely justifiable to hoist up 35 threes is if you’re demonstrably on fire from outside, and you’re in the process of burrying an opponent. But in reality the Orange were in the range of 6 for 30 from downtown, and falling further and further behind, until they hit three in the final minute or so. That’s absurd. You have to know to stop shooting it from deep and look for other ways to score. The inside game was working relatively well. We were drawing fouls and getting to the line. The refs were calling the game close, and we had a size advantage. You have to bang the ball inside in these types of games. Instead we wasted an afternoon going 9-35 from downtown, a miserable 26% clip that looked a lot worse than that until the frenzy at the end. From inside the stripe we shot 16-34, which is entirely respectable and effective. Where was Jimmy on this? He’s got to take a stand and get the message across. This game was so winnable it hurts. Villanova only played well for about 15 total minutes in this game (happened to be the final 15, but whatever). But when you play as dumb an offensive game as we played today, you don’t deserve to win.

The good news going forward is that whether or not they learn their lesson about relying on the three ball, it’s unlikely that Nichols and Rautins will be this collectively awful in future games, and we still managed to only lose by 3 to a fairly decent team. But it’s cold comfort, because now game 1 of the BE Tourney is officially a must win.


Demetris may have let the POY award slip away from him this afternoon, which is a shame. In fact the last 4 seconds of the game — with D at the line to shoot the techs and then getting the open 3 to tie it — was probably the deciding moment for his candidacy. If he makes those shots, I say he locks it up. Instead, they’ll probably use this game as an excuse to give it to Sumpter or one of the Georgetown boys. That’s too bad, because I don’t think anyone on an upper echelon team in the Big East has been more important or better than Nichols (thus I exclude Herbert Hill, who’s put up monster numbers for a mediocre team).

Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East, Demetris Nichols, Jim Boeheim, Losses, Regular Season Games, Villanova | 1 Comment »

“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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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 »

we’ve found the formula

Posted by syracusan on February 11, 2007

Finally we’ve figured out the magic formula for SU victories! All we need is for Demetris Nichols to play like Michael Jordan, to make sure we’re matched up against a really bad team, and to make sure the game is on our home court. With those simple and easy factors in place, we can just barely eke out gut wrenching victories by the slimmest of margins. We can even overcome miserable turnovers down the stretch and an unreal 0-6 series at the line in the final two minutes. Thank god we’ve finally found the grail.

I feel better already.

Posted in Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Regular Season Games, St. John's, Wins | 5 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.

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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.

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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 »

Can you watch the ‘Nova game?

Posted by Tim on January 12, 2007

Via the SU basketball forum, follow this link for a map of who gets to see the SU-Nova matchup on CBS (it’s a PDF). Here’s a hint: If you’re not in the Northeast, you’re probably SOL unless the Tennessee-OSU game is a blowout.

Thanks to TVOrange.

Posted in Conference Games, Regular Season Games, Villanova | 4 Comments »

What is this ‘road win’ you speak of?

Posted by Tim on January 7, 2007

I tuned into tonight’s game against Marquette just in time to see the Golden Eagles’ Jerel McNeal grab a couple of steals in a row midway through the first half. Since I’d just finished watching the Giants lose to the Eagles in a game that never seemed as close as the final score, I was worried that maybe I was a jinx. But I was pleasantly surprised by the first SU game I’ve watched all season that I never really thought we were in serious danger of losing. Sure, it was close. But the zone was working, everyone hit the boards, the half-court offense actually existed and there were even a number of really nice fast breaks.


  • Demetris didn’t play spectacularly, but he did drain an amazing jump-back three in the second half that showed a bad shooting night couldn’t hurt his confidence.

  • Eric Devendorf made an unreal leaping, slicing, scooping lay up in traffic. Wow, I thought, there’s no way he could do that again. Then he did.

  • The ESPN crew assigned to call tonight’s game weren’t shy about praising good play. Given the shaky start the season has gotten off to, it was a pleasant change to hear real live commentators say words like “Syracuse is playing really well right now.”

I often check right after a game to get a first look at the box score. Usually, at least this year, it has been an exercise in self-flagellation. I expected tonight to be different. But no! First thing I saw, staring me right in the face: “A lack of angry e-mails from ‘Cuse fans after the first Bracketology of 2007 brings great joy to Joe Lunardi.” Clicking through, I found this (subscription required):

I am so proud of our Bracketology readers this season. In years past, if I unveiled a bracket in which a “name” team such as Syracuse was excluded, it would have taken about eight minutes for the e-mail in-box to overflow. This season? Not a peep from Orange partisans (even before Thursday night’s home loss to Pitt). Slowly, perhaps inexorably, even the most blinded fans are beginning to realize that when their team loses to every Top 100 opponent on its schedule, bad things happen with respect to NCAA Tournament consideration.

It’s true that Syracuse hadn’t done anything to merit inclusion in anyone’s first look at a field of 65. But is the gratuitous cheap shot at SU’s fans (“the most blinded”) really necessary? Anyway, now that they’ve got a win over a team that beat Duke and Texas Tech, hopefully we’ll hear less of this kind of thing.

Posted in Bracketology, Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf, Marquette, Regular Season Games, Wins | 2 Comments »