Posts Tagged ‘Syracuse basketball’

A few weekends ago, the Syracuse  basketball team returned to the court, to start their 2012-2013 season against San Diego State in the 2nd ever Battle of the Midway. (Cue up the JAMS) Last year, as you may remember, Syracuse was one of the best teams in the country and received a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.  They posted an impressive 34-3 record, but failed to reach the Final Four.  Now, had Fab Melo been capable of reading above the level of an elementary level student, then maybe we’d be talking about a different postseason result for the Orange.  Syracuse has lost a lot this off-season; experienced seniors Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine, and super sophomore sensations Dion Waiters and Fab Melo to the NBA draft.  This may lead you to believe SU would look to rebuild this year. Wrong.  Syracuse still has Brandon Triche, C.J. Fair, James Southerland, Baye Keita, Michael Carter-Williams, Rakeem Christmas, redshirt Trevor Cooney and freshmen DaJuan Coleman and Jerami Grant, who are expected to help form one of the most dangerous (and big) frontcourts in the country.  When it comes to size, teams will find it difficult to compete with the Orange.  So what’s stopping this team from getting to the Final Four this year?  Well, we’re about to give you three key factors that could either make or break their chances.

1.  Michael Carter-Williams

With the season ready to start, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about this guy.  Carter-Williams saw limited minutes last year behind Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, and Dion Waiters, but how many other players would have seen extended minutes with that depth at the guard position?  If the scouts are right, then Michael Carter-Williams is about to be a stud this year.  He’s got incredible height for a point guard at 6’6” and his athleticism and skill give him unlimited potential.  There were only a few colleges Carter-Williams would not have started at last year and Syracuse was one of them.  Syracuse NEEDS Carter-Williams to meet and exceed these high expectations and be the anchor point guard in the backcourt that brings this team together.  The only thing in question for this guy is the immaturity of his game and the minimal amount of time he saw during Big East play last year.  His height and length make him a very dangerous threat in SU’s 2-3 zone, which will hopefully lead to many steals and easy baskets.

2.  The Big Men

After watching the exhibition games (yes we know who they played) we noticed that this team is HUGE.  The frontcourt is incredibly big with toughness, size, length, and the ability to finish, which is always good.  There can be nothing more frustrating than watching big men miss their layups, but this team has great potential in their big men and SU needs them in order to get to the Final Four.  Jerami Grant, C.J. Fair, Baye Keita, Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, and James Southerland are all listed 6’8”.  That’s scary big.  With the length on the defensive end, SU is bound to be among the best in the country in shot blocking along with forcing teams to stay on the perimeter.  Now, let’s talk offense.  DaJuan Coleman is a monster.  He’s the real deal.  He needs to have a huge offensive year and expect him to be their number two scoring option after Brandon Triche this year.  The various combinations of Coleman, Christmas, and Keita at center/power forward give this team the potential to be the strongest team in the frontcourt.  This length down low opens up the lanes for slashers, like Fair, shooters like Triche and Southerland, and most importantly allows the SU 2-3 zone to extend and be dominant.  This frontcourt has the potential to be the best in the country and help carry SU to the Final Four.

3.  Brandon Triche

Scoop is gone.  Joseph is gone.  And we’re left to wonder, who’s going to be the leader of this team?  Brandon Triche needs to be that guy.  If SU has any hopes of going to the Final Four with this youthful squad, they’re going to need their starting senior guard to show his experience and be the leader of this team.  Triche has started every game since his career for the Orange and has the ability to average 12-15 points per game this year.  Triche is a quiet player, a VERY strong athlete, and an above average shooter.  Triche needs to be the guy that brings the young players like Carter-Williams and Coleman together in order to make this team a powerhouse this year.  Triche does not need to be your typical vocal leader, but does need to lead by example.  Syracuse has typically benefited from strong, experienced leadership and that will need to come by way of Brandon Triche.  With inexperience in the backcourt, Triche will need to control the pace of games and keep the youth of the team in check, of course the Hall of famer Jim Boeheim will help too.  It is rare for a team to make a long run in the NCAA tournament without an experienced leader; Brandon Triche needs to be that leader for SU, statistically and as the floor general.

4. Outside Shooting

Last years biggest weakness is expected to have improved with the edition of redshirt freshmen Trevor Cooney, a young guard in the mold of great SU shooters of past. With Sutherland also capable of shooting the lights out on any given night, if one more player can step up every once in awhile this year should be at worst a team capable of hitting the occasional three pointer. With all the size down low, the guard’s ability to keep defenses honest will be key to the offense running smoothly.

The team faced a tough early season task against San Diego State (ranked 20th). It was up to the players to perform and Coach Boeheim to bring this team together and lead them to the Final Four, where they haven’t been since winning it all in 2003.  SU has the potential to be one of the best teams in the country if MCW and Coleman reach their potential, if the frontcourt is dominant, and if Brandon Triche delivers the necessary leadership. With the Big East having a “down” year Syracuse has no excuse to not be at the top of the conference during the final season in the Big East Conference.

– Ian and John

In honor of the return of arguably the best/most famous Syracuse basketball alumni, Carmelo Anthony, to the Carrier Dome this week, we took a trip down memory lane and thought about the top SU players of the past decade. We picked out the ten best Orange basketball players starting from the 2002-2003 season (the NCAA Championship Season) up until this past season.  We focused on STATISTICS, CAREER LENGTH (very few one year wonders made the countdown; sorry Donte Green) and FAN LEGACY. Keep in mind we did not focus on overall talent. This list had very little to do with the overall success the players went on to have professionally (or lack thereof). This is a SYRACUSE COUNTDOWN. Bust out the ‘One Shining Moment’ Montage and let’s begin.

10. Scoop Jardine (2007-2012)
Scoooooooop!!! Do we need to say more? The 5-year fan favorite had solid averages of 9ppg/4.5ast over his tenure, and was NCAA 6th man of the year his redshirt sophomore season. Jardine had numerous big shots for Syracuse his last 2 years on campus that helped land him on list. Not to mention he is 6th on the all-time assists list at Syracuse.

9. Demetris Nichols (2003-2007)
Scoring just under 19 ppg on his way to 1st team All Big East and Honorable Mention All American his senior year, Nichols was a deadly outside shooter who had a stellar senior year and a solid four-year career. He was also 5th all-time in SU history in three pointers made.

8.Keith Duany (1999-2003)
The lone senior on the Championship team during the 2002-2003 season, Duany was the anchor and leader of the perimeter defense in the 2-3 zone.  One of the most likable Orange players of all-time, Duany played the game unselfishly and still averaged over 11 ppg in his junior and senior seasons.

7.Eric Devendorf (2005-2009)
Either you love him or hate him (even we are split); Devendorf’s impact was undeniable. Devo was a key player all 3 years he played and left Syracuse with a 14.5 ppg average for his career. Devendorf will be remembered for a variety things (good and bad), one being the big moments like the UConn 6OT Big East Tourney game his junior year.

6. Kris Joseph (2008-2012)
Last year’s leading scorer comes in at number 6 on our list. A 4-year contributor who showed continual growth over his 4 years on campus, Kris was Big East 6th man of the Year his sophomore year, and finished his career as an Honorable Mention All American and All Big East 1st team player. A quiet leader, Joseph can only be described as consistent.

5. Andy Rautins (2005-2010)
Son of former SU player, Leo Rautins, Andy was a clutch three point shooter for five years at SU (redshirted due to an injury). Rautins was an AP All American Honorable Mention while averaging 12.1ppg/4.9ast his senior year. Rautins always put in the extra effort and was a scrappy player. His three point shooting ranks amongst the greats in SU history, as he is 2nd all time.

4. Jonny Flynn (2007-2009)
One game could put Jonny Flynn on this list: SU vs. UConn March 12, 2009 Big East Tournament Semi-Finals. 6 overtimes. 34 points, 11 assists, 6 steals, 67 minutes. On top of that, Flynn led SU to a Sweet Sixteen appearance and averaged 16.6ppg/6ast in his two years.  Flynn entered the draft early and is still an SU legend. He had success in his first year in the NBA, making the all-rookie 2nd team, but has battled injuries since then.

3. Hakim Warrick (2001-2005)
Hakim is remembered for the game saving blocked shot to seal the championship game win against Kansas, but Warrick did much more during his 4 years. A 3 time All Big East Team (2 first teams, one third) and a senior year 1st team All American, Hakim finished his senior year with 22ppg and was known for some of the best dunks. Hakim has had a solid NBA career as a role player averaging 9.5ppg in his career.

2. Carmelo Anthony (2002-2003)
This is not a typo. Carmelo Anthony is number 2. It hurts me as much as it hurts you, I swear. Carmelo averaged 22ppg and 10reb on his way to being named Second Team All American and the NCAA Most Outstanding Player on the championship team of 2002-2003 before leaving to be the 3rd pick in the NBA draft. He was simply unstoppable his one year at Syracuse. He’s also by far having the best NBA career of any Orange. While being our only “one year wonder” exception on the list, Carmelo did bring home a National Championship. But, he also had the help of another player who was the heart and soul of Syracuse basketball for four years instead of one…

1.GERRY MCNAMARA (2002-2006)
GERRY! GERRY! GERRY! The epitome of the ideal college basketball player… and we all know “we wouldn’t have won ten #$%*ing games without Gerry McNamara,” as quoted by Jim Boeheim, not us… Gerry’s career and impact shouldn’t be measured just on his stats, which can make a case for themselves. Did we mention Gerry is 4th all-time at SU in scoring, 3rd in assists, and 1st in three pointers with 400 three pointers made? In Gerry’s senior year he single handedly carried the Orange to their second straight Big East Tournament Championship Title while winning four games in four days and becoming the lowest seeded team to EVER win the tournament. Gerry had more big moments than anyone else; some of our personal favorites include the Vermont Double Clutch and the Cincinnati Floater.

Honorable Mentions:
Dion Waiters, Arinze Onuaku, Brandon Triche, Wesley Johnson, Darryl Watkins, Josh Pace

Like it or Hate it, we still want to know. Comment or tweet us your thoughts- @icflick @johnMMatthews

-Ian Flickinger & John Matthews

Social media is all over campus. If you’re on Twitter, make sure you follow some SU athletes. They’re pretty good for laughs and they tweet at each other a lot!  I tried to pick out the most active players for you and they’re all guys, because, well, I like guys.

Scoop Jardine: Guard on the basketball team, #11. Did you know Scoop’s first name is actually Antonio? Jardine is a junior from Philly, majoring in health and wellness.

Van Chew: Wide receiver on the football team, #85. Chew is a junior communications and rhetorical studies major from Manassas, Virginia.

Kris Joseph: Forward on the basketball team, #32. Joseph was born in Canada and went to high school in Washington, D.C. He’s in the College of Human Ecology.

Chandler Jones: Defensive end on the football team, #99. Jones is from Endicott, N.Y. and was member of the Spring Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in 2010. Jones is a junior majoring in child and family studies.

Mike Holmes: Free safety on the football team, #35.  Holmes is a junior from Jacksonville, Florida. He’s is a psychology major and shares a name with a famous Canadian carpenter.

~Meghin Delaney

When you’re watching tonight’s basketball games, specifically Syracuse stomping all over Butler, spice it up a little with our home-made “March Madness” drinking game. Grab a few beers, an orange T-shirt, and your favorite handle for the 7:00 showing and follow these rules.

Take a shot/sip of beer every time:

  • Someone references the word “madness.”
  • You see Otto spin his head.
  • A cheerleader drops her stunt.
  • Wes Johnson smiles. (more…)