Monday, March 21, 2011

You Can't Spell Suck Without SU

Note: these thoughts were written as the game was happening. So if they seem disjointed or lacking context continue to read.

This is the main problem with Syracuse: whenever they get a lead they get sloppy on offense and defense. They built a 19-9 lead, a few turnovers, a few uncovered shooters and its 21-21.

Gus Johnson is rooting for Darius Johnson Odom to do something so he can call him DJO. Likewise for Rick Jackson aka The Ruler. Len Elmore has co-opted his "ha ha" so I guess that's all Gus has left.

It amazes me how stupid Syracuse can be. Two boneheaded plays, Kris Joseph grabbing a guy and Scoop not holding for one. That turned a Syracuse 29-23, into an 11-2 run to end the half. Imagine if these guys didn't have a Hall of Fame coach all the mental mistakes they would make.

This is why you have depth. This is why you need bench players. They are all human and they dont't deliver the same level of performance every night. I love James Southerland but all he can contribute is outside shooting. If his shot is off, which it seems to be tonight you need someone else to come in and contribute. In this case it's Dion Waiters, the player who can drive to the basket without getting called for a charge.

I'm going to skip ahead to the end of the game now. 52 seconds left, Jim Boeheim calls timeout to set up a play with a 62-62 tie, and they can't even get the ball inbounds. Dion Waiters throws it backwards to Scoop Jardine who touches it, then puts his foot across halfcourt. Why didn't Scoop know he could go into the backcourt first to catch the ball? That play cost Syracuse a chance to win the game.

Coach Boeheim blows another one

Following that turnover Marquette exploited the zone by dribbling at two guys, leaving an open shooter and Darius Johnson-Odom nailed the game winning 3.

That is my number 1 complaint about Jim Boeheim, the 2-3 zone. Yes, it's effective sometimes but teams know how to exploit. A big reason why Marquette won, they are familiar with the zone having terrorized it once in the regular season. Their crucial 6-0 run at the end of the game came on 2 wide open 3-pointers. He doesn't work on or attempt to employ another defense for crucial late game situations when sticking to a man is more important than sticking to your principles.

#2: The mental mistakes. Syracuse was once again done in by their own turnovers, several of them incredibly stupid turnovers. In close games those giveaways mean everything.

#3: Free throw shooting. This one wasn't of particular import in this game because SU shot only 7 free throws (perhaps an indication they didn't take the ball to the hoop enough) but it has killed them at other times. Everyone says it and I'm sure it's borne out by facts, Syracuse is consistently one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the country. If I coached these guys I would have Rick Jackson (and Derrick Coleman before him) shooting 1000 free throws a day.

But it's results that matter, right? Everyone points to Boeheim's national title, and his two other final game appearances as proof he is a great coach. In the past 7 years Boeheim has missed the tournament 2 and lost in major upsets 4 other times. Over that span SU is 5-5 in the NCAAs, including two 3 vs 14s and a 1 vs 16.

And here is the total list of major tournament upsets against Syracuse in the past 25 years:

1986: #7 Navy over #2 Syracuse
1988: #11 Rhode Island over #3 Syracuse
1990: #6 Minnesota over #2 Syracuse
1991: #15 Richmond over #2 Syracuse
2004: #8 Alabama over #5 Syracuse
2005: #13 Vermont over #4 Syracuse
2006: #12 Texas ATM over #5 Syracuse
2010: #5 Butler over #1 Syracuse
2011: #11 Marquette over #3 Syracuse

Embarrassing. I just want someone else to get a chance to run this team and see if he can do better, even if it is Boeheim clone Mike Hopkins.

Syracuse fans always end up feeling like this

1 comment:

SCZA said...

They are one of the dumbest teams I've ever seen, and impossible to root for... I'm pretty sure my father killed a hobo after this loss.

But -- you can't call it an upset. Marquette went wire to wire to win the first matchup... why should seeding make anyone think the result would be different?