Friday, February 25, 2005
Pulling the seniors' pants down
Red Storm Quelled
Syracuse jumped out to a big lead, held off a St Johns run and finished the game strong without Gerry McNamara. There were a lot of positives coming out of Wednesday's game.
The Sophomores played well- For the first time in two yuears the Sophomores as a group played very well. I'll leave McCroskey out of it because he was playng well before the St Johns game, but Roberts, Watkins and the forgotten man, Demetris Nichols all contributed. All of them are still very raw, but there are flashes of why this was a heralded recruiting class. Watkins and Roberts can crash the glass and Nichols is long and if he can find some confidence, has a good outside stroke. If Watkins and Roberts can clamp down defensively and learn to play the zone this team could make a deep run this season in the Tourney.
Josh Wright- Well Boehim dusted off Josh Wright and gave him some Playing time in the first half and then Wright got the bulk of Gmac's minutes in the second half. Wright is very fast and very quick, but he needs to learn how to harness it. On one play he blew by Daryl Hill at half-court and had a layup and missed it. With some more game playing experience he'll slow down at the rim and lay it in. The Big Question is whether Wright will get minutes in the Big East tournament. You have to like how he looked for a guy that hasnt played a meaningful minute in 2 months.
Warrick explodes - You had to see a performance like Warrick's coming. He totally dominated a thin Red Storm front line. Lets see if those performances can carry over to the more physical teams in the tourney.
GMac down, SU blows out- After McNamara went down, SU could have gone in the tank. The break the Orange got was that Wright had gotten some minutes so he was in the flow of the geame already. I loved what I saw from the Orange when McNamara went down. Everyone stepped up. Nichols hit two FTs and a foul line jumpshot. Roberts was more tenacious and Wrigh did a good job bringing the ball up the floor. Very encouraging.
Where for art thou Billy?- The Edelin saga continues. No minutes. This time Boeheim said that Billy hasnt taken care of his personal issues yet. What does that mean? Will we ever find out? Speculation is rampant that Edelin isnt going to counseling sessions. No one knows if thats true of not. We'll see how it plays out, but dont expect Edelin to be a factor the rest of the year.
GMac Down, Please get up- Another reason of why one play can ruin your season. If McNamara or Warrick gets hurt SU has no chance to win. It's so brittle. Ask Cincinnati when Kenyon Martin broke his leg., Its impossible to replace players like that. X-rays were negative on the ankle so GMac is just sore. After the Providence game the Orange has a week off and then could get another 3 days after if they secure a bye in the BE tourney. GMac shold have plenty of time to rest. We know he's gonna need it.
Boeheim unhappy- Boeheim said he doesnt want to play a big lineup with Roberts at the 3 spot and I agree. Roberts is already foul prone enough and if he starts playing a wing spot in the zone he'll foul out even quicker. If Nichols can get back into it he would be prime for the 3 spot because of his shooting ability and length. I wouold like to see Nichols ply more against Providence and their zone to see if he's capable.