There isn't a lot of in-depth analysis anyone can do in regards to last night's Syracuse-Louisville game - Champ found the most interesting aspect of the game, the late meaningless dunk that lead to the back door cover. From a gambling standpoint, the last minute of the game was really exciting. Since we all follow the philosophy that you should never bet on games involving your favorite teams - the last minute for all of us was uhhhh - let's just say a little less than exciting.
Fundamentally basketball is a very simple game, put the ball in the hoop more times than your opponent and you win. Louisville is a very good defensive team and you can't take anything away from them, but Syracuse simply could not score enough to win last night. With the exception of Arinze Onuaku, no one in Orange had even a decent night on the offensive end of the floor. You're not going to win a lot of games shooting 29.1% from the field. You are also not going to win a lot of games when you get murdered by 18 on the boards.
Here's a two second synopsis of the offensive games of the 7 guys that are in the rotation:
Jonny Flynn: Lightning quick, very good passer, sometimes over penetrates, good finisher but sometimes struggles in the lane because of a lack of size, good shooter, but due to the offensive short comings of some of his teammates, doesn't get a lot of clean open looks from deep. Second best 3 point threat currently on the team.
Paul Harris: Strong, great first step, if he were 6'8" he'd be in the NBA, does an excellent job attacking the rim and drawing fouls. Very good interior passer, mid-range jumper has improved, he's no threat at all from deep, jump shot is too flat.
Kristof: Good rebounder, underrated passer, moves the ball well, stays within himself, doesn't force his offense, doesn't finish exceptionally well, can not create his own shot, provides little that opposing defenses have to worry about.
Donte Greene: Exceptional range, exceptionally shaky shot selection, very streaky shooter, improved ball handler, post game needs work. One of only 2 deep threats on the team, sometimes tries to do too much. Needs to add to his offensive repertoire when the 25 footers are not falling. Occasionally can create his own shot, usually needs help from teammates to get looks.
Arinze Onuaku: Solid post game, very soft hands, good but not great finisher, more aggressive lately attacking the rim, needs to work on his passing, uses body well to establish post position.
Rick Jackson: Good hands, better passer than people realize, needs to get stronger which will help him finish around the rim, nice jump hook, bright future, but can not be counted on for consistent offense this year.
Scoop Jardine: Unorthodox jump shot, tends to over penetrate, can be brilliant or awful, sometimes in the same possession, good finisher for a guard, tends to shy away from mid range game, not consistent threat from 3 point range.
So there you have it folks. SU has two guys that can legitimately shoot the ball, one is a point guard and the other is a 6'11" small forward. On nights when the shots aren't falling, there simply aren't many offensive alternatives, and if you they get outworked on the boards like last night night, wins simply won't appear. They can still make the tournament, but it's not going to be easy, the rest of the schedule is no walk in the park.