Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘UNC-Charlotte’ 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 »

Matt Gorman is very, very bad

Posted by syracusan on December 20, 2006

Matt Gorman is completely freaking terrible, I want to make this absolutely clear. There’s been a quiet trend in my crew to frame Matt Gorman as a potential ‘spark’ on this team. Some of the guys secretly think he should be getting more PT because they like his effort and his offensive potential. This is how the story goes: Gorman is the only guy on the team with legitimately smooth post-up moves; he’s got nice touch around the basket; he’s got a nice jump shot for a big man; he’d be helpful grease for a team with difficulty in the half court, etc, etc.

This is all bullshit. Generally, these arguments are brought up in light of frustration with Terrence or Mookie. Terrence makes one of his patented boneheaded plays, or Mookie fails to give 110%, and people suddenly want Gorman out there. I want to eliminate these absurd ideas here and now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andy Rautins, Canisius, Demetris Nichols, Drexel, Eric Devendorf, Holy Cross, Jim Boeheim, Losses, Matt Gorman, Mookie Watkins, Nonconference Games, Paul Harris, Terrence Roberts, UNC-Charlotte | 12 Comments »

All Paul

Posted by Tim on November 23, 2006

The Post-Standard is really, really high on Paul Harris. And why shouldn’t they be? If you read today’s paper, you’d know that he pumped up Demetris Nichols before last night’s game and locked down Charlotte’s best player on defense, all while displaying a great team-first attitude. Oh yeah, and he scored 17 points, pulled down nine boards and dished out four assists in 30 minutes coming off the bench. So I guess you can’t really blame Waters, Baxter and Poliquin for giving him nothing but love, can you?

Posted in Demetris Nichols, News of the Orange, Nonconference Games, Paul Harris, Regular Season Games, UNC-Charlotte, Wins | Leave a Comment »

Bungle in the Jungle

Posted by Josh on November 22, 2006

Just got back from my first live look at the Orange this year, attending the game vs. Charlotte. The game was in a weird way both closer than the final score indicated, and also not as close. Mookie was out after aggravating his nose injury (never thought I would type that phrase) so Matt Gorman got the start (never thought I’d type that either).

The first half was very sloppy. SU had 10 turnoversIan Anderson, had committed a lot of fouls (Devendorf had 3 with something like 8 minutes remaining in the half), were not getting good rebounding position (which led to some of those fouls) and were giving up too many open looks from 3, including two nice-looking shots by Ian Andersen. Boeheim tried tons of different player combinations, hoping to find something that would click. The flip side of this is that he had the legendary “quick hook” working tonight. Bad passes, missed defensive assignments, any generally poor move usually resulted in a seat being reserved for you on the bench. And there were plenty of those to go around.

SU was down for much of the first half. But Charlotte was also not sharp, and they were unable to take enough advantage of SU’s poor early play to build much of a lead. (See the Score Track below.) SU’s biggest deficit was 7 points with about 5 minutes remaining, but they rallied at the end of the half, hit a couple late threes, and went into halftime leading by 1.

When they came out for the second half, the Orange were a much sharper team. That is, they cut down on the turnovers and sloppy ballhandling, and did a better job controlling defensive rebounds. The offense was still not creating good shots. It was at this point that Demetris Nichols remembered that he is a good player. He scored 11 of their first 13 points of the second half, on three 3’s and a jumper in the lane. After the 11th of those points, a 3 from the left wing, Nichols backpedaled down the court with his arms raised and the crowd finally making some noise. Most of these shots basically consisted of Nichols rising up and just shooting over the defender. On a night when the half-court offense showed very little flow or ability to free up shooters, Demetris created some offense on his own — a highly encouraging sign.

The defense was also better in the 2nd half. Interestingly, SU played man-to-man for almost the entire half, after Charlotte had run some effective plays against the zone in the first half. I think it helped get the team a bit more energized.

After Nichols’ burst gave the Orange an 8-point lead, they methodically built the lead up, playing tight D and taking good shots, until they had pushed the lead to nearly 20. Then they relaxed somewhat, and Charlotte was able to whittle it down a bit by the final buzzer — but the outcome was not seriously in doubt anymore. (In fact, Charlotte was obnoxious at the end of the game — fouling to put SU on the line, calling timeouts after they made baskets, as if they were down by 4 or 5 when really the margin was around 15 with under 2 minutes to play). So, the first half was very close (due to sloppiness), but when SU decided to show up and play it was clearly no contest. They just need to figure out how to bring the effort from the opening tap.

There were not too many highlight plays in this game, save a nice fast-break “alleioupe” from Harris to Roberts late in the game. Several times, SU players made nice moves to get to the rim, but missed layups. Josh Wright did this a couple times in rapid succession; Nichols did it once early after sidestepping a defender; and Harris had a sick move on the baseline where he had the ball about 15 feet out, made a move like he was just going to dribble back outside, lulled the defender and then suddenly shifted directions and took it to the rim on one bounce — the finger roll popped out, otherwise you’d definitely see it in the highlight reels.

Speaking of Harris, he was definitely the steadiest player on the floor tonight. With the exception of an ill-advised 3-point try early, he was essentially mistake-free. He played tight man defense, crashed the boards better than anyone else on the floor, didn’t make bad passes or fumble the ball out of bounds, and for the most part did not try to force anything on offense (that is not to say he didn’t take it strong to the hole a few times!) and just played very consistently. No other player on the team played nearly as well for the entire time they were out there. Josh Wright’s play was particularly uneven — he only has 3 turnovers in the box score but it sure seemed like more than that. Several times he forced his dribble into traffic and lost it, or tried to do a crossover move and lost control (I think it was hitting the defender’s foot but it was hard to be sure). He really needs to work on letting the game come to him. Maybe Harris will give him some lessons.

One final note on Charlotte. They have this guy on their team, name of Phaler:

tattoo you

Dude, your arms are waaaaaayyy too skinny to have that many tattoos. Either hit the weight room, or hit the dermatologic surgeon’s office. Seriously.

Posted in Demetris Nichols, Josh Wright, Matt Gorman, Mookie Watkins, Nonconference Games, Paul Harris, Regular Season Games, UNC-Charlotte, Wins | Leave a Comment »

Domecoming

Posted by Josh on November 21, 2006

When the basketball schedule came out, I was incredibly excited to see that there would be a game on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I’ve been spending Thanksgiving in Syracuse for several years now, and I am always pumped when there is a game at the Dome during my visit. (Although it was cool going to Preseason NIT games at MSG when the family would gather in NYC in the old days.) The opponent: Charlotte, formerly known as UNC-Charlotte. “Hmm,” I thought to myself when I saw the game on the schedule. “Not even sure what conference they are in. Even though SU has lost their leading scorer from last season, they return some skilled role players who are ready to step up, plus some talented freshmen. It should be one of those typical early-season games where they play a little sloppy but ultimately overpower the visitors, have some fun and win going away. Maybe the walk-ons will get in the game. I better make sure I don’t miss it. It will mean I have to get the hell out of DC as early as possible on Wednesday (once I am done with my school-based responsibilities) and hit the road before the traffic is too wretched, so I have a chance to get to Cusetown in time to stop home, give a quick hug to the parents, and make it to the Dome in time for tipoff.”

Which is exactly what I did.

On November 26, 2003.

Those of you who were there will recall the sluggish Orange defense getting lit up by a miniature sharpshooter by the name of Plavich, then staging a furious rally behind Gerry’s 34 points only to ultimately lose in the first game of their National Championship defense. (box score) I still have hanging on my wall the free 2003 National Champions poster they passed out at the game, but that was pretty much the only good thing about that night. The final result put a damper on the rest of the weekend. We pretended to take solace in the fact that they’d lost their season opener the previous year as well, but in our hearts we knew that the honeymoon was over. SU has changed nicknames since then, and Charlotte has changed conferences (now they are in the A-10), but this should be another solid early-season test for Syracuse, and if they falter again, it will once more ruin my weekend.

The major difference between then and now, besides the fact that (due to some immense oversight) SU is not the defending champions, is that this year the team has 4 games under their belts, games in which they learned something about their ability, personality, and identity as a team. The adjustment to Life After Gerry is already in progress, and the players have some idea of their new roles. They’ve also tasted a bit of adversity. So they should be better prepared as a team to face the 49ers than the 2003 team was.

A few historical notes about the 2003 game: it was the only time in his 3 seasons that Edelin was around for the season opener. Plavich’s 10 3-pointers were a Dome record. Also it was the Syracuse debut of a few fellows named Roberts, Nichols, and Watkins. Let’s hope those guys have long memories, or I might be writing another post like this one in 2009.

See you at the Dome, suckers!

Posted in Carrier Dome, Demetris Nichols, Gerry McNamara, Mookie Watkins, National Championship, Terrence Roberts, UNC-Charlotte | Leave a Comment »