I'm not surprised Syracuse won, I'm surprised at how easy it was, especially after that first half.
Kansas State was dominating on the glass, just throwing it up and getting the rebounds. But for some reason they didn't do that as much in the second half, and the back line of Christmas and Southerland did a great job rebounding. For the game, SU got 23 defensive rebounds, and Kansas State had 22 offensive rebounds. Just for the record, getting two-thirds of your opponents misses is bad, getting only half is terrible.
Or turrrrrrrrible as Charles Barkley might say. During halftime he said the zone is the easiest defense to play against because you can do exactly what K-State was doing, penetrate then get the rebounds. Kenny Smith agreed. And I have been saying it for years.
But Syracuse won despite that weakness because of other things, mainly, shot-making. Scoop Jardine did make 6 turnovers, but he also made all 3 of his 3s, including 2 in the run that took the lead from 2 points to 10. Jardine also showed great hustle diving over the scorer's table for a loose ball. Yes, those are his feet.
All season we wondered why Boeheim bothered to start Rakeem Christmas if he was just going to pull him from the game and never put him back. Now he see his real potential. He did a great job inside, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks and then he got going on offense, with those three straight layups when he got open inside and the point guards found him.
The other charged with making up for Fab Melo's loss is James Southerland. An incredible all around game with 6 rebounds and 3 blocks and a couple other good hustle plays, including a big save on a loose ball. And he contributed his normal shooting, adding 15 points and making both his 3-point attempts. Wait, Southerland played also those minutes and only attempted 2 3-pointers? Yes, and that was a big difference, because he is realizing he can contribute in other ways.
My only complaint about his game is that he had his socks pulled all the way up to his shorts. He looked like Payne Stewart out there.
Those three guys were key, but you can't overlook Dion Waiters who continues to be exceptional. Joseph had a rough shooting game but he made his free throws. Those thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifwo hit 14 of 15, and as a team SU made 80% from the line.
Billy asked me who was the crazy guy with the beard they always show at SU games, it's Scoop Jardine's father:
The other crazy guy was Joe Biden. What's he doing there? I know he went to Syracuse but still.
After Thursday's disputed game I think SU did get some unfavorable calls (no foul on Christmas on a missed dunk, Henriquez jumped backwards, was called for a travel and then it was changed to a foul, and a play in the first half when I yelled "make a video of that and put it on the internet" but now neither Bill nor I remember what it was), but I don't think it was a makeup. Referees' calls like everything else come in streaks and even out over time.
But I have never seen so many jump balls in as there were in the game. Not saying good or bad, just every time there was a contested play, they called a held-ball.
Thank Frank Martin halftime speech was bullshit. He was all calm and quiet, you know he erupted on them as soon as the camera crew left.
At least Syracuse cheerleaders are cuter than Lehigh cheerleaders.
Glad those big-head Boeheim idiots make the trip. But who are these guys? Normally you'd think people who have enough money to get these tickets and pay for hotel and airfare might be a little more sophisticated than to were a cardboard faux-face. But I guess not.
My guess is we'll seem them in Boston, just like we will see all of you.