Not that we had any reason to doubt a Hall of Fame coach, but Jim Boeheim was right. The Syracuse Orange are overrated right now and proved that in the team's 66-55 win over the Detroit Titans tonight.
The Orange got 27 points from Scoop Jardine and needed every single one of them as the team fell into a trap it lures so many of their opponents - hoisting quick long range shots against a 2-3 zone. Most of those shots didn't go in. They missed 23 of 30 from behind the three point line and it wasn't much better as they moved closer to the hoop.
Don't get me wrong, I still think this team can still accomplish great things but right now it's clear they are very much a work in progress. The most glaring difference from last year is that Syracuse is getting very little offense from its defense. It's easy to shoot a high percentage when you're getting 10 run outs a game from steals at the top of zone. They aren't getting those right now.
Some other quick observations:
- So far Kris Joseph hasn't exactly embraced the role of the "go to guy" this year.
- Scoop Jardine certainly has.
- Brandon Triche missed some few bunnies today. Gotta finish those.
- Baye Moussa Keita is actually outplaying Fab Melo so far. Didn't see that one coming.
- There was a stretch in the first half I swear SU went at least 10 possessions without even attempting to run an offensive set.
And now, in a new feature that I will be far too lazy to do all year long, let's give out some fake awards -- augmented by bad MS Paint cut and paste jobs.
The Mary Katherine Gallagher Superstar Award
Scoop Jardine easily takes this one with 27 points and 8 dimes. Last week I said Scoop would take crunch time shots. When the team needed someone to step up tonight, he did. Look for that all season.
The Person Who Should Be on a Milk Carton Award
Kris Joseph, who was saddled with foul trouble and really struggled on the offensive end of the floor. Tonight he had more fouls than points, assists, or rebounds. He's also averaging 9 points a game so far this year. Ouch.
Honorable Mention - Fab Melo.
The Player Most in Need of Icy Hot Award
James Southerland, who managed to hoist 9 shots in sixteen minutes of play, and missed 8 of them. James is now 2-18 in his last two games. I really like the energy and athleticism he brings to the team so let's hope he comes out of this shooting slump quickly. In the meantime, rest that arm James, rest that arm.
Rick Jackson who cleaned the glass to the tune of 22 rebounds. That's an insane number. It's Derrick Coleman-esque. Then again, with each team throwing up a ton of bricks, there were plenty of opportunities.
Syracuse next takes the floor on Sunday against William and Mary - a team that got pasted by Richmond, so they should have an opportunity to start working out their kinks then.