- Joined: Oct 31, 2019
- Last Login: Jan 22, 2022, 3:32pm EST
- Posts: 12
- Comments: 2,205
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Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
Answer me this. What was up with Girard and Buddy today? Were Duke’s peremter defenders THAT good? Seemed like Syracuse just couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn today. The shooting was awful. Duke scored 79 on Kentucky this year (first game of their season) so defensively, SU wasn’t horrendous. The Oranges forced 15 Turnovers and didn’t get obliterated on the boards, though they got whomped by 10. It was just really bad shooting by Syracuse and flat out awful play by Buddy and JG3.
Would have been awesome if Boeheim would have emptied the bench once SU was down 30. The starters didn’t deserve to stay in there as long as Boehem played them. SU looked like a JV team today. SU was unprepared it seemed, just not ready to compete. Duke played very good defense and they moved the ball patiently so credit them for just destroying Syracuse overall. First game I’ve shut off with 5 minutes left in my entire life.
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Terrific Breakdown EZ- C!
What a cool article. Love the continuity and the conclusions, sprinkled in with quotes tying everything together.
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Lots of solid comments above and there are a few things that could be added.
The first is that if you look at the field goal percentage allowed, it’s atrocious. The Syracuse offense might win a few games but teams cannot shoot what they are shooting from the floor if fans like us expect to win here and there.
Teams are jacking up a record number of threes every single time out but they’re also shooting really high percentages from the floor.
The next takeaway that I would say has already been covered ad nauseam is the rebounding has gotten a lot better for Syracuse. I was impressed with the couple of minutes that Sidibe logged. The one move he made towards the basket was vintage NJ Bourama. Will he become an X Factor for the stretch run here which starts with Duke?
Moore historically kills Syracuse so is there any possibility that this poor Syracuse defense can contain him while also funding off all the other threats like Banchero?
Beyond these couple of comments I think you guys pretty much nailed it in this thread. Win lose or draw the Duke game is the whole reason that many fans buy into the ACC alignment. Personally I’d rather watch quality regional games by and large but I must admit this Saturday will be an enjoyable contest, win lose or draw. It’s a great opportunity for Syracuse to gain massive ground.
That said if the expected happens there will be lots of whining and moaning and I assure you I will be one of the people groaning as if I had just lost the last slice at the varsity, to an upstart freshman loaded with dollar bills. Someone quick on the draw. Hungry. Opportunistic even….
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Down Seasons Happen!
Any NCAA hopes and dreams for Syracuse start and end with the ACC Tournament. It’s win or go hang out at Faegans for a few weeks.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
That’s an interesting comment. Clearly SU.is not getting into the NCAA tournament on the strength of anything it does/did in the regular season. But, what if?
The ACC is loaded with middling teams this season. What if…SU were to get hot right at the end of the year and somehow, by way of a little luck or an actual Buddy Buckets miracle, win the ACC tournament outright.
They’d be in. It’s the only path at this point.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
Torrence usually gets SU right into the offense. Girard struggles when face guarded, he just falls apart.
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Very true Kevin. Way too much ISO ball going on still. But the offense isn’t the problem.
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Thank you algonquin17. Yes, no doubt they still aren’t where they need to be. SU did allow yet another team to shoot tons of threes. Some contested, but many simply too easy.
Yet, ’Cuse out rebounded yet another decent team. Still, the Seminoles shot 54.9% from the floor and as you pointed out— 60% from three!
Yikes. That’s porous defense. Awful stats against. That said, SU showed improvement defensively, but they are what they are at this point – a terrible defensive team.
Girard is awful at closing out on shooters. He gets too many minutes when he’s playing bad.
Thank you Scary McNamara, it was a winnable game, as were the previous two before tonight.
Comment 3 replies, 6 recs
The Zone actually looked a lot better today. SU got the vital stop they needed & had the ball with 30 seconds left, with a chance for the win.
On a number of occasions in the game, Girard should have been brought.out. His five turnovers were really inexcusable, that can’t happen.
Not playing Benny at all is not acceptable. Boehiem has to at least get him in games.
I get it, Jimmy sat a lot too and Torrence was needed because of Florida State’s tactics of face guarding Girard with 6’11 players that were quick enough to negate Girard’s ability to get past them. Torrence was able to smoke right into the lane and did a lot of good things off the bounce.
I guess it was just a bad matchup in coach Boehiem’s mind, in terms of getting Benny in the game. Still I don’t see how you can hold up to a team that runs 11 guys at you and yet somehow Syracuse was there at the end with a chance to win so we really can’t ask for much more than that from this team.
I’m pretty sure Benny did not come to Syracuse to sit on the bench though so this may be a really big problem for his parents to stomach and it’s not going to help his development to have him sitting on the pine the entire game. Coach Boehiem ultimately doesn’t give a flark about a player’s feelings or playing everybody. He’s there to win and that’s all there is to it.
Boehiem needed Swider to take a little pressure off the guards who really couldn’t handle Florida State’s ball pressure.
At the end of the game Buddy started acting as the point guard and suddenly Syracuse’s ability to get the offense started when out the window. I’d point to that little stretch more than anything tonight as to why Syracuse really lost this game. Those three possessions were Buddy dribbled around and nothing happened and then he did a bad job distributing were what probably cost Syracuse this game. I’d have rather seen Torrence in at the end, finding shooters.
Buddy acting as a point guard is not the way for Syracuse to be a dynamic offensive team.
One thing Boehiem hates most of all is losing. It seems like he will try anything to avoid this.
That said, I really do believe he’ll throw a game here in a game there if it means proving a point that the team needs to do things his way. However, at some juncture he will get completely wrankled because of longer losing streaks. This will drive him batty and he’ll start doing things he should have been doing some time ago.
Comment 2 replies, 2 recs
Personally I’d love it if the entire team came back. Look at the teams that have outclassed Syracuse in recent history, when it mattered most. Take Houston for example.
Houston was loaded with 5th Year seniors, seniors. Fourth year juniors..etc on and on.
In college basketball depth matters a lot. Coach Boehiem’s feelings get hurt easily and he’s been professing that carrying 11 scholarship players is where it’s at, then he goes on to explain if you carry 13 players then people won’t be happy and they’ll transfer out.
Yet those two extra scholarship players could make a big difference especially if they start improving and catching on and replacing people that just aren’t improving.
The college basketball season is fairly long and grueling and practices run a lot better when you have a few extra bodies. With 11 scholarship players if two people go down with injuries you can’t even go five on five in practice.
In this particular instance I’m not a big fan of Boehiem whining about not being able to carry 13 players. If you create a better atmosphere where kids feel important and like they’re part of something then carrying 13 players is easily possible.
However if you can’t even manage to play reserves for 2 minutes a game then you don’t deserve to have 13 players.
Boehiem’s not the type to play his reserves much and you can absolutely see that the defense gets tired and lazy as the game goes along. For example, how many games has Syracuse blown it in the second half this year alone? Would a fresher defense help? Duh, rhetorical question. Yes.
Players absolutely cannot maintain defensive intensity indefinitely. They need rests. They don’t need to rest long but they need to come out get a quick sit down, have a drink..etc.
It’s never fun to play against teams that keep coming at you in waves. Coaches have two choices. One choice is to just play your starters the bulk of the minutes and live with it and the other is to involve the entire team.
Leonard Hamilton, John Thompson and a host of other coaches have proven that it is actually possible to play a deep bench in order to maintain defensive intensity.
Likewise, guys like Boehiem and Mike Brey and whomever else just seem to play six or seven guys maximum every year.
I say it all the time but one thing Boehiem it’s most of all is losing and if he has to start reaching into his bench he’s going to be forced to do it. He really does need to do something because the defense stinks this year so maybe keeping everybody fresh would help a little bit. In this last win he started experimenting a little bit there and he reached into the cupboard more than he normally does. I hope he keeps it up and I kind of find myself hoping this every year as it’s one of my main criticisms with a hall of fame coach that I’m otherwise pretty darn supportive of.
Comment 1 rec
That’s a good point and I love to see Ajak getting the game. He definitely can rebound. Coach Boehiem said Ajak was playing really well in practice and that’s something fans don’t see but most of the faithful completely understands. It’s not something that’s a phenomenon to Syracuse either. Generally one players play well in practice they get game time.
Comment 2 replies, 1 rec
The center for Syracuse has been covering corner threes since Boehiem has been running the 2-3 Zone. See Keith Smart shoots over Ronnie Seikaly to win national championship for details.
Comment 1 reply, 6 recs
Once he catches on defensively he will play a lot more. Right now he’s not keeping people in front of him. He’s leaving his feet every time somebody pump fakes and he’s not rebounding.
All of this is on him. He’s capable but he’s immature right now as a player. He wants to play so my guess is he’ll start improving as he gets more practice time.
Comment 2 recs
Exactly. Benny Williams can also completely force his way into the starting lineup at any juncture. If he works hard and applies himself then he completely controls his own fate. Worst case scenario he may be a three or four college player but he’s absolutely going to catch on, mature physically and adjust.
By the time he is a junior, he would project as the leader of this Syracuse team. It actually only helps Benny if Syracuse has a little depth that forward because he’s going to practice against that depth every day. Benny is getting comparable minutes to many other four-star freshman so far this season and his role will do nothing but expand as he goes along.
Comment 3 recs
Thank you John!
You did a great job and your efforts will be missed. Kevin can’t possibly hope to hold a candle to your work! Alas, now we’re in for it!
Thanks for your efforts all these years. I hope you enjoy the next chapter in your journey!
Comment 2 replies, 3 recs
Loved coach Boehiem’s game management in the first half tonight. Frank, Benny and Symir all provided valuable minutes. Would have liked to see them a little bit down the stretch but we will take the w and move on.
I’m glad for coach Boehiem and also happy for the players that they have kept believing in themselves no matter what all the naysayers harp on.
The focus is right where it needs to be and Florida state is the next victim in waiting. As bad as things have gone up to this point in the season, the schedule delivers a number of opportunities from here until the fat lady sings.
Coach Boehiem and his staff deserve a ton of credit for their focus and also their belief in their players. That said the team has a ton of work to do because they definitely need to get better.
Cole Swider not on the boards enough tonight but huge games tonight from Buddy and Jimmy.
Comment 1 rec
Good point & I wouldn’t have thought that either.
Nice to see!
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I was thinking there might be a remote chance that Syracuse could be a top third of the ACC team for once just based on a simple fact that we knew the ACC was going through a down year.
I also knew this would be a very bad defensive team who might be able to succeed simply by burying teams with a powerful fast break. Speaking of which I don’t think we’ve seen a fast break from Syracuse since Sherman Douglas, Stevie Thompson, Johnny Flynn, Deon Waiters and MCW graduated.
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Anybody watch the South Park Trolls episodes? Crazy funny, but the illustrations and characterizations of the trolls are really hilarious. I will stop short of calling anyone a troll but there is no doubt that they exist. Since they don’t get much positive attention, the negative attention at least makes them feel that their opinions matter or are taken seriously.
Syracuse.com used to be a place they could all go to talk to each other. Is the Syracuse herald even covering Syracuse basketball anymore?
Excellent post! Both accurate and cognizant of reality.
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Excellent post on Benny Williams. The last game he hit two mid-range jump shots one from both sides of the court and I think we saw the first glimpses of his shooting stroke which isn’t as bad as it may have looked up to this point in the season.
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Fortunately the one one thing coach Boehiem hates more than blown rotations and failing to find shooters is….loosing.
In the short term I expect a few wins here and there but they won’t change this team’s narrative.
It’s a down cycle for the once proud ’Cuse. We know what happens in down cycles. Fans stop paying attention. Attendance drops. Recruiting dries up…etc.
I’m still trying to process an article that ran in the Daily Orange at the end of last season. It was the best piece of sports journalism that I’ve read in the last few decades and it provides several insights into the state of Syracuse basketball.
I think the Ray Meyer analogy is apropos, given the truth of the situation at Syracuse.
For now I’m not going to be a fairweather fan. I hope that the players continue to believe in each other and I know that their coaching staff does believe in them.
That said the time for reckoning is approaching. I say that not because it’s nearing time to start all of the inevitable and off base "Replace the Hall of Fame Coach" rants that we’re going to be reading this offseason, but mainly because how much longer can coach Boehiem go?
Certainly he’s very tenacious and he keeps himself in good overall health so he may last a few more years but at some point a true changing of the guard will happen because of nature. Nothing lasts forever and the Syracuse basketball program is in its final chapter of the Boehiem era. That chapter like I said may last a few more years — maximum.
Comment 4 replies, 2 recs
Reflecting back on Coach tenure at Syracuse, spanning the last 45 years, I would agree that he absolutely does have a dog house certain players wind up quickly going into it. Once they’re in there, getting out can be almost impossible.
That said, I think you’re being a little bit obtuse regarding Boehiem. You always say belittling things and you use the word old scornfully when you refer to him.
If you look back at Syracuse players who left and actually succeeded elsewhere, it’s a struggle to name anyone. Not that there haven’t been a few isolated cases, most notably – B.J. Johnson.
So if we use him as the shiny example to support your point, we see that what you are saying isvery off base. Johnson wanted to go somewhere where he would be an impact player.
LaSalle offered one of the best situations for him,‘’ Johnson said. "La Salle felt he would be the type of player who could help get them over the hump in the Atlantic 10.’’
Johnson’s father said his son’s transfer was not related to NCAA sanctions against the Syracuse basketball program. He also said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim had been straight-forward in their conversations about his son’s future.
"The coaching staff up there was great,‘’ Johnson said. "Coach Boeheim was as honest as he could be on situations and where he thought the program was headed. It made more sense to slow B.J. down and for us to ask for a release and go to another school where in another year, he’ll be more than ready to go. From a physical standpoint, I could see his body was changing for the better there. Now, imagine him in another year.’’
In recent years it’s been a little bit hard to watch Boehiem get on certain players excessively. Most defensively to me was the way he treated Tyler Roberson, who did nothing but work his tail off. Roberson just never did understand where he was supposed to be in the zone.
Roberson was probably the poster child for Boehiem’s dog house and he endured quite a pounding but he never transferred out so if it was really all that bad don’t you think a kid like him would have left?
There have been other players that went into the dog house and really never came out. Kaleb Joseph. Jalen Carey. Taurean Thompson. Alan Griffin. Each one of them left but maybe they were doing Syracuse a favor as they clearly weren’t meshing with the system Boehiem runs.
I could list over 100 players that meshed terrifically and a good number of them took constant verbal lashings and strong coaching from Boehiem.
‘Ya think Coach Boehiem might have yelled at Ronny Seikaly, Derek Coleman, Rakeem Christmas or Hakeem Warrick a few times? Boehiem will blast any player who is blowing there rotations and the reason is because Syracuse drills and drills and drills these rotations during practice. There really is no excuse for not being where you’re supposed to be.
Not every player masters the rotations during their time at Syracuse. For some it’s just not the right place to play. For others there isn’t a better college in the country to be at.
Comment 1 reply, 2 recs
I remember driving from Connecticut to Syracuse in February of 2009 to watch Syracuse host UConn. A pretty good storm was brewing that day and at one point I was driving into low visibility. I was rocking my Syracuse sweatshirt and I brought a good friend who was a Connecticut fan along for the ride. Several of my other friends from Connecticut were also going to be at the game and we met up afterwards at Faegan’s.
We met up at the varsity before the game for a quick couple slices of pizza and some wings and then it was off to Marshall Street to stock up on Syracuse paraphernalia. The atmosphere on campus was electric. The temperature outside was frightful. Honestly I didn’t feel the cold at all that day. It was downright magical. Syracuse was 23-1 going into the game.
Wesley Johnson had transferred in and he was putting up remarkably good numbers. UConn had a pretty loaded team that year as well and it was a really fun game.
The festive atmosphere after the game was awesome and we had a really fun night at Faegan’s.
The excitement of a good Syracuse team does make winter a lot more fun. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in Syracuse basketball and I hope that Syracuse fans get to experience a magical season sometime soon.
This season we are in a down year. It happens, unfortunately. Normally the MLB hot stove keeps temperatures above freezing but this year no such luck. At least we have NFL football to enjoy with the Bills and the Patriots both making the playoffs.