Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘St. John’s’ 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 »

NCAA/NIT Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Jer on March 14, 2007

Was Syracuse’s snub from the NCAA tournament a bigger conspiracy than Watergate and the JFK assassination? Ok, probably not, but let’s revisit the possibility for a moment.

It has been rightfully noted that the three most suspect programs making the NCAA tournament (Arkansas, Illinois, and Stanford) had representation from their conferences on the Selection Committee, while the top schools excluded from the NCAA’s had no one to speak on their behalf. It’s very easy to imagine that if Mike Tranghese were on the Committee this year instead of the SEC Commissioner, Syracuse would be headed to the NCAA’s, while South Alabama would be visiting a Fayetteville that is much closer and warmer than our suburban paradise.

The fact that no one was there to stand up for Syracuse this year can be attributed fully to bad timing, as the Big East will assuredly have a member next year, and, although boosterism is annoying, it does not contsitute a conspiracy. (it should be noted that Tranghese was stunned that Syracuse did not receive a bid, but also publically believes this does not have anything to do with the lack of BE representation).

But let’s dig deeper (as my high school journalism teacher always called on us to do). Phil Sheridan at the Philadelphia Inquirer has pointed out where the true roots of the NCAA conspiracy may lie (thanks to JR for passing this along). Two years ago, the NIT brought an anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA for their requirement that any school picked for the NCAA tournament accept that invitation. So what did the NCAA do? They bought the NIT!

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Posted in Big East, NCAA Tournament, NIT, St. John's, UConn, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The curse of early afternoon road games

Posted by Tom on February 23, 2007

Tomorrow a theory put forth by my Dad’s friend Bill will be put to the test. We’ll call it “the Bill theory of hungover basketball,” which states that Syracuse always shits the bed in early (12:00-2:00) weekend road games – and plays particularly miserably in the first half. As you probably guessed from the name of the theory, this owes to an irresponsible party schedule the night before.

I’d love to know our actual record in these situations over the past few years, but this year the St. John’s game stands as our only example, and one in which the theory was unquestionably upheld.

Posted in Losses, St. John's, syracuse | Leave a Comment »

it could be worse

Posted by syracusan on February 13, 2007

While it’s been rough being a Syracuse hoops fan this season, I couldn’t help getting some perspective over the weekend. For instance, at least we didn’t get crushed on national TV by a mediocre ACC team the way UConn did. A few weeks ago, before UConn’s tailspin got really serious, Seth Davis on CBS said it was time to stop talking about whether or not Connecticut was going to make the NCAA Tournament, and start talking about whether they can even make the Big East Tournament. I got a kick out of that, and allowed myself at least 5 seconds of schadenfreude, before realizing There but for the grace of God go we. I also didn’t entirely take Seth seriously, but UConn’s craptastic young kids have made a seer out of him.

As recently as–I don’t know, say–6 weeks ago, most college basketball fans on the planet would have been willing to bet real money that UConn wouldn’t miss a Big East Tourney any time in the next 15 or so years. I’m not sure what odds someone would have had to give me to take the other side, but they’d have had to be steep. Almost impossibly steep. Yet here we are, Feb 13th, and UConn’s only a game out of being in the bottom 4. Despite beating us, there isn’t any evidence that they’re getting better, or that they can beat anyone without getting 6000 extra fouls called in their favor by the refs. I’d give it even odds they’ll slip into the Forgotten Four.

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Posted in ACC, Big East, Big East Tournament, greg paulus, Rankings, St. John's, UConn | 3 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 »

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 »

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before

Posted by Josh on January 24, 2007

St. John’s beat #21 Notre Dame tonight at MSG. Some unheralded dude hit a 3-pointer in the last minute for the final margin. ND missed 10 foul shots and their formerly potent offense made only 35% from the field.
The New Big East: Everyone’s On the Bubble!

Posted in Notre Dame, St. John's | 3 Comments »

How to ruin a weekend in New York

Posted by Josh on January 22, 2007

10 weeks into the season, I still don’t know what to make of this team. I thought things were becoming clear last week — they seemed like they’d turned a corner in their development, a logical progression for a team trying to find its new identity — but in the last three halves of basketball, against less-talented teams, there has been no hint that this team ever knew what it was doing. By the end of February, we will either be saying “How in the world did these guys lose to St. John’s?” or “How in the world did these guys beat Villanova and Marquette?” But right now, the season rests precisely on that knife’s edge, with a stretch of legitimately tough opponents looming. They have used up their safety margin. The clock starts now. (Cue ominous music.)

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Posted in Conference Games, Losses, St. John's | 2 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 »

Lack of Fire

Posted by Jer on December 22, 2006

I had the opportunity to snag an extra ticket for last night’s Duke-Gonzaga game in Madison Square Garden. I missed much of the sloppiness that defined the first 20 minutes of play, but what I did see had me thinking a lot about the Syracuse game I attended on this very same court against Oklahoma State two weeks ago. Even though both Duke and the ‘Zags were struggling at times, they played with an intensity that I haven’t seen from the Orange. Both teams desperately wanted to win this game, while Syracuse has more often seemed intent on not losing. Not coincidentally, this had led to three actual losses, the first time we have lost this many games before league play in eight years.

Granted, I haven’t seen the Blue Devils play much this year, but the Duke Basketball Report rightly places much of the credit for Duke’s intensity to Syracuse-native Greg Paulus’ heightened level of play. Last night, he seemed unstoppable. Scoring, passing, and even taking a header into a table along the sidelines chasing a loose ball.

Complacency from the Orange players has also spilled over to the crowd. MSG is supposed to be Syracuse’s other Home Away From Dome (besides this blog), but whereas Duke and Gonzaga fans filled the arena, chanting and cheering throughout the entire game, the Syracuse-Ok State game had many empty seats and too often the ‘Let’s Go Orange’ chant fizzled out before it had a chance to fully rock the house. This was dramatically different than the games I have witnessed at MSG over the past few years. New York City-area fans need to make sure to attend the January 21st game against St. Johns and leave no doubt in the minds of the Red Storm faithful that NYC is indeed Cuse Country.

Posted in greg paulus, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »