Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Archive for the ‘Villanova’ 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 »

Pre-draft Camp Wrapup

Posted by Josh on June 4, 2007

Neither of the two online sources I have found which were covering the NBA Pre-draft Camp on a daily basis — draftexpress.com and nbadraft.net — had anything to say about Demetris’ or Mookie’s final day at the camp, which suggests that neither of them did anything noteworthy in their final game. However, now the camp is over and it’s time to look at the overall picture.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Demetris Nichols, Former Orangemen, Marquette, Mookie Watkins, NBA, Pitt, Terrence Roberts, Villanova | 1 Comment »

“Like A Virus:” The Orange Road Invasion in Pictures

Posted by Tom on March 5, 2007

img_3622.jpg

Attending our game at Villanova this weekend, it was impossible to ignore a fact that most of our Big East rivals have probably long since come to terms with: Syracuse fans tend to be extremely obnoxious when visiting road arenas. “Like a virus” was the best description overheard from a Villanova fan in our section. However you want to put it, the Orange faithful have some real coconuts. Whether it be against St. John’s, Seton Hall, Georgetown, or Villanova, Cuse fans pour in by the thousands like the Vandals sacking Rome. They wear bright orange, stand out individually in a stadium crowd like fireflies, and don’t hesitate to cheer like they’re back in the dome. They stand and clap until the first bucket is scored, and they fire up “let’s go orange!” and “DE-FENSE” chants at any opportunity. Can you imagine UConn fans bringing that into the dome? No chance. I’ve never seen another team’s fans get away with this the way we do. We always seem to account for anywhere between 10-50% of the overall crowd, so I think it’s a matter of sheer numbers. If you were at that game in DC at the MCI center a few years ago when Gerry sank a last second shot to beat Georgetown, you know that we were about one security guard away from seeing the ultimate humiliation of Syracuse fans storming the court. Unbelievable.

So here is my tribute to the gall of the Syracuse fan, with some other photographically-documented Villanova game observations thrown in.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Big East, Conference Games, Losses, Paul Harris, Rob Murphy, Uncategorized, Villanova | 7 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 »

POY

Posted by syracusan on February 26, 2007

I don’t have a lot of time to ruminate on SU’s season-saving, awe-inspiring, enthusiasm-building victory over Georgetown tonight on national television. Grad school duties call, unfortunately. I’d like to debate the finer points of whether Mookie’s resurgence or Rautins’ development deserves more credit for the turnaround; discuss Terrence’s sudden role as inspirational leader; rip into the RPI and lay out all sorts theories on where we are and what more we need to do (or not do); talk about the chances of winning back to back games in the BE tourney with a 5 1/2 man rotation; and otherwise explore life in the new world of a team the gurus now think has locked up an NCAA birth.

ESPN front page cover story right this second:

Syracuse notched its biggest victory of the season on Big Monday. Just how big was its 72-58 victory over No. 10 Georgetown? Let’s just say the Orange can start making plans to dance in March.

But I don’t have time. Instead I’ll just say this: if Demetris Nichols doesn’t win the conference Player of the Year award this season, it’ll be a tragedy of justice. Regardless of what happens at Villanova next weekend, he’s already shown he deserves it from any objective measure. And the scary thing is, it’s not just based on stats. I think he might genuinely be the best player in the conference. That shows you it’s a down year for the league, but right now I could give a crap! The man’s going to win this prize, and it’s going to go down as one of the most improbable turns in the history of SU basketball. I would argue that winning the championship in ’03 was actually less of a surprise than what Nichols has accomplished this year. It’s stunning, and he deserves all the accolades that come to him. The man is an assassin, and he’s played tremendous second halves in the last two games – the two most important games of the season. It took him most of the season to figure out he deserves to be a ball hog, but now that it’s clicked, he’s become borderline unstoppable. It’s too bad he only showed this kind of spunk for one half of one season out of four total years, but it’s still a privilege to watch it unfold.

Come on Big East, give him the hardware!

Posted in Andy Rautins, Big East, Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Georgetown, In the Media, Mookie Watkins, National Championship, NCAA Tournament, Terrence Roberts, Villanova, Wins | 2 Comments »

Three Reasons to Win

Posted by Tim on February 14, 2007

Josh’s excellent analysis of the South Florida Bulls got me thinking about the consequences of a loss tomorrow night. They aren’t pretty. I’ve pointed out a couple of games already that I felt were must wins, but this game is really, really a must win.

Our NCAA Tournament hopes end if we don’t win tonight. Here are three reasons why:

1. Our RPI is bad enough already. Yeah, I know it’s not all about the computer rankings. But WarrenNolan.com has us at 64 right now, and that’s probably not going to get it done. In WN’s most recent tournament projection, we aren’t even among the last four out. Joe Lunardi at ESPN.com puts our RPI at 62 (Insider subscription required), which is good enough to make his list of four near misses. But more importantly, the lowest ranked at-large team in his field right now is Georgia Tech at 57. They have six wins against top 50 RPI squads. We have two. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why that math doesn’t work out in our favor.

2. Our remaining schedule is too hard. The team can’t look past tonight’s game, but we can. Anyone who’s not developing an ulcer over the UConn game this weekend needs his or her head checked. This is a no-win situation for us: Losing to a bad UConn team at home is embarrassing, but we’re not going to get nearly the credit we deserve for beating them. And that game concludes the “easy” portion of conference play. After that we play at Providence, Georgetown in the Dome, and at Villanova. Oy. (Also, sorry for doubting ‘Nova earlier this year. They aren’t great, but they’re better than us.)

3. A loss would reveal SU as the tin men of the Big East. We should beat them. We have to beat them. And if we don’t, it will seriously damage any lingering confidence I might have otherwise had that we could finish the season strong or make a run in the Big East Tournament.

P.S. Mike Waters thinks a 3-2 finish capped by a Big East Tournament win gets us into the Big Dance. Maybe he’s right. But mark my words: South Florida can’t be one of those losses. After getting beaten at St. John’s, we can’t have any more stumbles.

Posted in Bracketology, Conference Games, Georgetown, NCAA Tournament, Providence, RPI, South Florida, Villanova | 5 Comments »

Sunday evening observations

Posted by Tim on January 14, 2007

A few random thoughts from the weekend:

1) Few opportunities for a statement win remain: Our remaining Big East schedule includes home games against Cincinnati (RPI of 144, according to ESPN.com), Notre Dame (32), DePaul (57), St. John’s (166), UConn (80) and Georgetown (58) and road games against St. John’s, Louisville (74), UConn, South Florida (181), Providence (54) and Villanova (27). Of those teams, only Notre Dame and Villanova have a higher RPI than SU (RPI of 53). While winning most of  these games will undoubtedly help our RPI, there’s hardly anything that will significantly separate us from the pack in the eyes of the selection committee. In fact, we won’t have an opportunity to pick up a win against a top 25 RPI team until the Big East tournament if things stay the way they are now. I haven’t done the math, but it seems clear that the Orange probably have a relatively thin margin for error from here on out; a 9-7 conference schedule, as predicted at Orange 44, likely won’t get the job done. Every team left on the schedule is beatable, and we need to beat a high percentage of them. If we don’t, we’ll be sweating on Selection Sunday.

2) Um, about that Wichita State game: The pundits were all but ready to punch the Shockers’ ticket to the tournament after their win over the Orange in the Dome earlier this season. But something rather, er, shocking has happened since then: Wichita State has fallen apart, losing to respectable foes such as Missouri State, Northern Iowa, and Southern Illinois as well as to slightly dodgier competition like New Mexico. What looked last month like a loss to this year’s Bucknell or George Mason now looks like a defeat to a team that’s in deep trouble in a conference not likely to produce more than a couple tournament teams. This could end up looking like a pretty bad loss by the end of the season if the Shockers don’t turn it around. (Kudos to the Syracusan for doubting the Shockers back before it was cool.)

3) Respect: Now that we’ve beaten Marquette and Villanova, no one can say we don’t have any big wins. The question is what they’ll be worth in March. ‘Nova in particular seems like the kind of team that could fall far in the RPI once the Big East season gets going. They’re 27th in RPI largely because they’ve played the 10th toughest schedule in the country, but the fact remains that they haven’t really beaten anyone besides Georgetown. On the other hand, Marquette apparently lost focus for a couple of games against Providence and SU but is otherwise a very solid team. The Wildcats might be our best win today, but the Golden Eagles could easily be tops by the time the selection committee gets to work.

Posted in Big East, Marquette, NCAA Tournament, RPI, Villanova, Wichita State | 5 Comments »

Villanova Game Stories

Posted by Josh on January 14, 2007

Posted in Conference Games, In the Media, Villanova, Wins | Leave a Comment »

That was nice

Posted by Josh on January 13, 2007

Offense clicking, defense smothering, Demetris shooting, Mookie controlling both paints, Terrence playing outstanding because he played to his strengths (I forgive him the 3-point attempt), Dome rocking, (partial) nation watching. Today is a bright shiny day in Cuse Country. (Metaphorically: it’s actually 28 degrees and cloudy in upstate NY right now.)

This is now undeniably a team on the rise, getting better as the weeks roll on. And in this year’s parity-laden Big East, they have a great opportinity to separate themselves from the pack. Upcoming schedule suggests a couple of “should-win” games, leading up to the road game at Louisville (can’t overlook them). Some tough matchups but I don’t see a single game on the remaining slate that they won’t have a fighting chance to win. Of course they won’t go 15-1 in the conference, but you have to like their chances overall to end up in the top 4 going into the BET. That is, if current trends continue.

Also, Rony loves Derrick:

Posted in Conference Games, Demetris Nichols, Mookie Watkins, Terrence Roberts, Villanova, Wins | Leave a Comment »

Can you watch the ‘Nova game?

Posted by Tim on January 12, 2007

Via the Syracuse.com 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 »