Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Orange Run the Friars Out of the Gym

Kudos to the Providence Athletics web site for working 44 into this headline

Providence coach Keno Davis must not have bothered watching any tape of the Syracuse-Louisville game. The cardinals like to play an uptempo style, however Rick Pitino watched film on the Orange and realized a ton of SU's offense comes in the open floor, so he slowed the game down. The result - an upset win over Syracuse that may get Louisville into the NCAA tournament.

Davis wants his team to run, shoot threes and play wide open game at a frenetic pace. Unfortunately for him, that plays to Syracuse's strengths. The Orange are an athletic team that has athletes that can get out and run, fill lanes, and they happen to be one of the best passing teams in the country. So when Providence decided to try amd match the Orange in the open floor, it was pretty clear this one wouldn't end well for the Friars. Even though the Orange played very little defense in the first half, it didn't, and Syracuse won 99-85.

Here are a few observations from the game:

- Andy Rautins and Rick Jackson combined for 56 points tonight - neither Illinois or Michigan reached that plateau as a team tonight.

- We had a Rautins dunk - how awesome was that? I will get all deep on you and break it down -- Air Rautins > Air Canada.

- I think Keno Davis studied defense under Greg Robinson.....or French military commanders. I have never seen a team that is LESS committed to playing defense than the Providence Friars. It was like a lay up line around the tin tonight. That being said, I hope Keno sticks around for a while, once Fred Hill gets fired I'm going to need a new coach to pick on - and Keno seems to fit the bill quite nicely.

- Speaking of a lack of defense, the Orange certainly caught the "I don't feel like guarding anyone" bug for most of the first half. When they did turn up the heat, it lead to a 26-2 run.

- The win earns SU a double bye in the Big East tournament - so SU won't play any "home" games in the Garden until Thursday.

- It was odd/nice to watch a game with so few fouls called. Now a lot of that was due to the fact that neither team exerting much effort defensively, but I can't remember the last time an SU game was over in an hour and 50 minutes - but I'll take it.

- I can't remember the last time Brandon Triche as made a three. Seems like it's been a while.

- Wes Johnson played all 40 minutes but was only 4-14. The Orange didn't need offense from him tonight, but they will at some point. Here's hoping he gets it going consistently soon.

- Bring on Nova.

- And courtesy of the twitter feed Andy Rautins Hair (twitter is fantastic) we bring you the new Air Canada logo.

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