Sunday, February 28, 2010
Another great blast from the past is the Dome Ranger - who made a triumphant return to the Dome last night and remained true to the ideals of the 1980s. Watch him do his thing in this video.
Well, that was fun. The Syracuse Orange made a huge statement in front of a huge crowd and a national TV audience, dominating the Villanova Wildcats and cruising to a 95-77 victory. As you can imagine, the win made a little news. The front page of ESPN this morning featured Andy Rautins.
Meanwhile, over at CBS Sports, Scoop Jardine made the front page:
The front page of the Syracuse Post Standard demonstrates just how big the game was locally - although with the game ending after 11 pm, I wonder what the back up plan would have been if the Orange had lost.
The game was such a big occasion that the Dome Ranger came out of retirement, even though ESPN's Dana O'Neil had no idea who he is.
Image courtesy of Syracuse media, check out the entire photo gallery.
With number one Kansas and number two Kentucky both losing on Saturday, is Syracuse the best team in the nation? ESPN's gameday crew discusses the issue and Jay Bilas seems to think so:
However, Gary Parrish of CBS Sports still thinks Kansas is the best team since Syracuse has lost 2 home games. The last time I checked you don't play NCAA tournament games at home, and that is what determines a national champion, so that line of reasoning seems dubious to me.
Here are a few game thoughts:
With a week of crazy hype, an insane sold out crowd and a 9 pm tip time, I think the Orange came out a little "too pumped up." Some early turnovers and hot shooting by Villanova lead to an early Wildcat lead, but SU didn't let the game get away from them.
This goes without saying, but the crowd was spectacular. It is 180 degrees from the apathetic football crowds, but provides a very important lesson -- win and the support will be there.
When Louisville beat SU two weeks ago, both Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine struggled in the same game. It hasn't happened often this year and it certainly didn't happen last night. Scoop was HUGE coming off the bench to ignite the team with 16 points.
And before anyone asks, Triche should continue to start. Scoop has the perfect attitude coming off the bench and he knows he's going to get his chances. There's no reason to screw up a perfectly good thing.
I was also very interested to see if SU would be able to take advantage of their size advantage down low - and the answer was a resounding yes. Both Arinze and Rick dominated the smaller wildcats in the paint. Rick Jackson needs to get more recognition nationally for the player he has become. I also loved how aggressive Arinze was last night. There are very few teams that can match up with both of those guys - and the guards did a great job of getting them involved.
Kris Joseph hit a big three - and was also very aggressive out there. You have to love the fact that his jumper is rounding into form at the perfect time of the year.
Wes Johnson shot the ball poorly, but managed to get to the line 10 times. That's what good players do - they adjust their games when one part isn't going well. In Wes' case, he got to the rim and got to line.
In his post game interview Jim Boeheim said "we have seven starters" and he's absolutely right. The team has seven players and on any given night any of them can step up and carry the team. When six of the seven step up like they against Villanova, SU beats down very good teams.
Syracuse had one of their best rebouding performances of the year. Villanova was content to launch misguided three after misguided three and SU cleared the glass and limited second chance opportunities.
Andy Rautins was brilliant against Providence, scoring 28 points. Against Villanova he was equally brilliant - while he only had 12 points, he racked up 8 assists and 3 steals. He's the heart and soul of the team.
And I'll conclude by keeping this classy - to the Nova fan who left a comment in this post saying Nova would win by a "stress free" 8 points and SU would be eliminated in the second round of the NCAA tourney I say - suck it.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
It's rare when the worlds of "sports collectibles" and "Hollywood memorabillia" collide. But that's just the type of thing that T3I's Ebay Item of the Week staff keeps an eye out for.
A mere $209.00 will buy you a pair of pants that may have been worn by the actor that played Ernie Davis in The Express. I can see Daryl Gross running around his house wearing these pretending to be Ernie.
Personally I think screen legend Anthony Quinn's undershirt is a much better deal. Trading it for a slightly used van, now that's a steal.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
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.
The news coming out of Philadelphia today that Brian Westbrook has been released wasn't completely surprising, but as a die hard Eagle fan, it's hard nonetheless. While Westy often battled injury problems, when he was on the field he was as explosive as any player in the NFL. Standing just 5'8" the 3rd round draft pick from Villanova was often the most dangerous weapon in a pass first offense on a team that won far more than they lost when he was in the lineup.
It's always hard to see a player as integral as Westbrook move on - and if he's healthy and decides he wants to keep playing, I'm wish him nothing but luck. Farewell number 36, you may be gone, but you'll never be forgotten.
Here he is single handedly beating the Giants. For more Westbrook videos, check out the 700 Level and for some great perspective from a fan, check out the always outstanding Iggles Blog.
Of course, when the great Captain Janks of the Howard Stern wack pack celebrates this big occasion by pranking SportsCenter, you know it's a big moment in time. By the way - how could the screeners at ESPN have fallen for this? I caught it live and it was clear from the second he started talking it was Captain Janks.
Monday, February 22, 2010
All 3 idiots have spent plenty of time competing in a wide range of rec league sports including: softball, basketball, bowling, golf, darts, volleyball and kickball. Yes, you've correctly read that last one. I was part of an adult kickball dynasty, we were '98 Yankees-esque...and it was a blast.
We've all been there: remembering your umps fees, scrambling to find another girl to fill out your co-ed roster, and developing a rivalry with the team that's a little too full of themselves. However, the absolute best part of these things is the post-game rehydrating that takes place at a local watering hole. It's usually accompanied by a few rounds of Quick Draw while you are busting on your buddy for screwing up a play during the night's game.
You've got to stay hydrated people.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Now, the Post Standard has the details on a new foundation they are launching that will provide help to children in need. Accompanying the story is a video, which is below. Now, we're not trying to belittle the charitable efforts of Syracuse's first family, but we like to have fun around here. Under the Post Standard video is an ad I found on YouTube for the Syracuse Spring Home and Patio show featuring Jim and Juli. It's safe to surmise that they shot the videos on the same day, since they are wearing the same clothes. I'm shocked the Syracuse Patio show couldn't spring for a wardrobe change....
|Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation|
Syracuse Spring Home and Patio Show Ad -
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I found the video over at Ballin is a Habit, so many thanks to that fine blog.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Well that was far more interesting than it had to be. In a game that went from laughable to terrifying in the span of 10 minutes on the game clock, the Syracuse Orange held off a furious second half Georgetown rally to defeat the Hoyas 75-71. The win gives the Orange a season sweep over the scourge on society known as the Georgetown Hoyas and keeps the Orange undefeated in venues not named the Carrier Dome.
Here are a few observations before I call it a night:
- Andy Rautins racked up a season high 26 points and the Orange needed ever single one of them. However, the most amazing play he made all night was the whip pass to Rick Jackson who managed to miss the dunk. That pass was Megan Fox beautiful.
- Rautins was 9-11 from the free throw line. He came to SU as a skinny spot up shooter and he's leaving as the most complete player on the team. Jump shooters don't get to the line 11 times. People don't realize it yet, but SU is going to miss Andy a lot next year - and not for his scoring.
- Missed dunk aside, Rick Jackson played well, especially given the foul trouble. Arinze was limited due to foul trouble.
- Speaking of which, I ranted about the officials a couple of days ago and it gets tiresome so I won't get into it fully again but......my God there were 48 fouls tonight. Really zebras? No one watches a college basketball game to watch you monkeys blow the whistle. And how old is Jim Burr anyway? Richard Alpert thinks he's old.
- Kris Joseph suffered through a miserable night for the first 37 minutes of the game. When it counted, he was amazing. He's the only guy on the team that can beat any opponent off the bounce. You won't see a better drive in a bigger spot than that one. With the play of Rautins and Joseph tonight, let's give back tomorrow. Hug the first Canadian you see.
- I absolutely loved the fact that after Joseph put the Orange up 3, Boeheim called for SU to foul. It just makes sense to not allow your opponent to tie the game up.
- I think DaShonte Riley has a bright future and man he was thrown into a tough spot out there tonight, but he needs to get meaner and more aggressive on the floor. I don't want to see him get all Reggie Evans mean, but he needs to find a nasty streak.
- Kind of an odd night for Wes Johnson. The other night he couldn't hit the broad side of the barn and hoisted up 20 shots, tonight Wes played much better and only took 8. He did add 8 boards, 5 blocks and a follow up dunk that was better than anything that happened in the NBA dunk contest last weekend.
- Give credit where credit is due - Greg Monroe was fantastic tonight. Likewise, Chris Wright played well, however it wasn't enough. Here's a fun fact, this is the first time all year Georgetown lost when Wright scored in double digits.
- Syracuse is 6-0 against ranked opponents this year. It isn't always pretty, but this team flat out gets it done.
- The Orange shot 90% from the free throw line. The major free throw offenders, Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku were largely kept off the line. Jackson was a perfect 4-4, Arinze didn't get any attempts. If you back both of those guys out of the equation, the perimeter guys shoot freebies pretty well. This bodes well for March.
- Brandon Triche, who was heavily recruited by Georgetown, came to DC and made the Hoyas regret they couldn't seal the deal. A very nice bounce back game from Brandon. The most impressive thing to me was the numerous times he pulled the ball back out instead of driving wildly to the hoop. He played under control -- which demonstrates how intelligent he is on the floor.
- It's midnight and Georgetown still sucks.
- And since Axe is dropping Rocky IV references in his post-game wrap up, I thought I'd drop some of my own -- while this game may have been seemed a lot harder than it should have been, remember SU fans, there's no easy way out. There's no short cut home. Especially when playing the Ivan-Drago like Georgetown Hoyas.
Here's a fun fact about this song. It is performed by one hit wonder Robert Tepper, who co-wrote Central New York favorite Benny Mardones' classic song Into the Night -- a fantastically cheesy song that seems to celebrate statutory rape. Yup, that's the kind of information you get here at T3I.
Who has actually bought a full-size Snickers bar? Count me out. However, if you ever pass a candy dish and see the "Fun Size" version laying about, it's almost impossible to pass it by.
What makes "Fun Size" so much fun? Flavor density.....the flavor has nowhere to hide.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
However, there is one thing that's ruining games -- officiating. It's easy to rip on officials, if they are perfect no one notices and when they blow calls it's all anyone can talk about. However, maybe it's just me, but this year there are too many games being marred by poor officiating.
Louisville has been victimized a couple of times by bad calls, Syracuse got the benefit of the doubt on a questionable call versus UConn, and tonight we had the latest example -- in overtime of the Mississippi State - Kentucky game officials called two phantom fouls on MSU v. John Wall and then missed a goal tending call that should have given MSU two critical points. While all three calls were close, all three were clearly wrong -- all three killed MSU's chances, and that's not good for the game.
So what's the cause of this? I've opined that I think some of these guys are just flat out too old. Another theory that probably has more merit is that officials are working too much. Fox senior basketball writer Jeff Goodman certainly thinks it is having an effect on games. After the refs brutally botched the Kentucky game tonight, Goodman tweeted,
"Questionable calls down the stretch, but that's the norm this time of year - refs working too many games & have huge impact on games."
He followed that up with this nugget:
"FYI - That officiating crew for tonight's KY-Miss St. game has called more than 200 games already this season combined."
Referees have an incentive to work an insane amount of games. In power conferences they can make up to $2,000 a game, plus travel expenses. While I have no proof, something tells me those travel expenses probably have as much padding as a teenage girl's bra.
So, which guys are working the most this year? According to Stat Sheet, it is the guy featured in the John Feinstein story I linked to above -David Hall. He has called 83 games already this year, in 21 different states. Here are the refs are trailing Hall in the quest to get Ryan Bingham like frequent flier miles:
Hall is 55 years old. He has already worked more games this year than NBA teams play in a regular season. It's only mid-February. You can't tell me that after flying nearly every day to games he's fresh and ready to make calls at 11 pm as a crucial game winds down. The guy in second place Rick Hartzell has called games in 32 different states this year. Third place contestant Mike Kitts has hit 37 states. Only snow has visited more states than these guys this year. Do you mean to tell me that calling college basketball games is so difficult we need guys flying to almost every state in the union in less than 4 months to work? Give me a break.
Goodman finished up tweeting on the subject by saying this:
I am not complaining about the quality of the officials in that game; rather how overworked they make themselves.
So while he's not complaining about the quality of the officiating in that game - I am. I may be just a dumb guy writing on a dopey blog that very few people read, but I love college basketball and too many games are ending in controversy. Too many old guys are trying to earn a living flying every day to games across the country so they can expense 20 ounce beers and bad steaks at Applebees.
The officiating needs to be addressed in the off-season. Limits need to placed on the amount of games a guy can work. More referees need to be groomed and ready to work at the Division I level. And when they are ready, they need the opportunity to prove themselves. I'm sick and tired of watching great games decided by over tired old men.
Colin Cowherd reacts in shock to the really nasty e-mail from Aunt Thelma
That being said, he's no Matt McClusky who is the GREATEST RADIO PERSONALITY EVER - mainly because he's insane enough to have me on his show from time to time. Anyway, tune in and if Jimmy B says something interesting, report back.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Jim Calhoun returns to the sidelines after growing a mystery "third hand"
If you have today off (I hate you by the way) and don't feel like watching Oprah or Judge Judy or whatever the hell is on at 3 pm eastern - ESPN's Outside the Lines is taking a look at "the contrasting fortunes of UConn's women's (dominance)and men's (Calhoun's future?) teams. Check it out if you're bored and report back. I'm sure Geno Auriemma will say something obnoxious and Jim Calhoun will be surly. They really are two lovable scamps....
Sunday, February 14, 2010
In October if you would have told any Syracuse fan that the Orange would be 24-2 and 11-2 in the Big East at this point in the season every single person would take that. If someone says they wouldn't have been happy with that, then they are a bigger liar than John Edwards (the politician or the scam artist/psychic, you can choose).
Unfortunately, loss number two came today at home to the the Louisville Cardinals and the guy with the bad tattoos pictured above, Mike Marra, had a lot to do with it. Marra, who is averaging three points per game and hasn't even made it into three games this season had 12 big points and one huge hustle play at the end the game to help Louisville pull off the upset and revive the team's NCAA tournament hopes.
While this Syracuse team is still in the midst of a special season, today Louisville simply wanted the game more and out-worked SU. Coming off an embarrassing effort against St. John's earlier in the week, many left the Cardinals for dead. However, Rick Pitino rallied his troops and got an inspired effort, especially on the defensive end, to hold SU to 60 points. The Orange misfired on numerous three point attempts, gave up far too many rebounds, got no production from the point guard spot, and were out-hustled.
Here are far too many observations on the game -- sorry for the length:
- Brandon Triche looked for his offense early, unfortunately he didn't find it. He's definitely an offensive minded player and has a lot of talent, but is struggling to find consistency like most young players. Triche missed all four of his shots from the field, include 3 from behind the arc. His offense will come, but it really feels like he's forcing it at times out there. Patience Brandon, patience.
- With Triche sitting next to Mike Hopkins for most of the game, the point guard duties were left to Scoop Jardine. He's had a very strong season to date, but this was a game where both point guards were off. Scoop had trouble beating the quicker Louisville guards off the dribble and was generally a non-factor out there. At times he struggled to start the offense and get the SU into sets against an active Louisville zone.
- After 6 minutes Louisville had 2 points, yet the Orange only lead by 8. If the Orange had executed better on the offensive end, the lead could have been much bigger -- and the tone of the game would have been completely different. Woulda, coulda, shoulda...
- The SU big men were active and involved early but didn't get a ton of touches. Rick and Arinze only had 11 shots combined the entire game. They made 9 of them.
- This was Wes Johnson's worst game in Orange. He was aggressive on the offensive end, but had poor (and very rare) day shooting the ball - finishing 5-20 from the field. You don't shoot almost 54% from the field during the season and have many of those nights.
- I'm not fashionista, but let's just say the turtleneck Doc Gross was sporting during the game isn't something I'd wear. In fact, I might go with a mesh shirt before I'd don one of those things.
- We had a Mookie Jones siting in the first half. I watched him closely, he's clearly working much harder on the defensive end. I don't think he'll ever be a great defender, but you can see improvement out there and a real willingness to bust his butt on D. Stay patient Mookie, your time is coming.
- The rebounding numbers are deceiving. SU out rebounded Louisville by 2, but the Cardinals had several big offensive rebounds, especially in the second half. While Kris Joseph did haul down 8 board on more than one occasion he failed to block out completely and gave up easy second chance points. A player as athletic as Joseph can get away with relying on athleticism to collect rebounds, but man oh man, they've got to put a body on guys.
- Len Elmore used the term "volume shooting" about 20 times. This was extremely annoying. Even when grading on a "Len Elmore" scale.
- Syracuse had a HUGE mental error at the end of the game when Jard Swoopshire missed the front end of a one and one and the whole team stood around and watched Mike Marra track down the loose ball. Words can't describe how bad that was.
- Andy Rautins might be too unselfish. On a night when Wes was cold, I could have lived with Andy putting up a few more shots. Sometimes a slightly contested shot from your best shooter is going to be a better look than wide open ones from guys that are stone cold.
- In the post-game interview that was replayed on ESPN 400 times, Pitino said that they wanted to limit SU's fast break chances, since 35% of the team's points come in transition. It makes sense, as this team has been struggling in half court sets lately.
- The Orange have scored 73 or fewer points in 5 of the last 6 games.
- After being limited by early foul trouble, Samardo Samuels really stepped up in the second half. The kid is a load in the paint.
- While the call did not - I repeat did not - cost Syracuse the game, the intentional foul called on Kris Joseph by Tim Higgins was absolutely absurd. Joseph got tangled with Jerry Smith and pulled his shoulder while going for the ball. Another black mark for Big East officiating this year.
- Syracuse v. Louisville in the last game at Freedom Hall on March 6th just got a lot more interesting.
- One more thing on Higgins - the man sure has evolved over the years.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
It was a rough day all around for Louisville, as Rick Pitino had to fight off rumors that he is interested in the New Jersey Nets job -- which is basically the equivalent of expressing an interest in running the Greek economy right now.
Coming off a terrific season last year that yielded a Big East Championship and a trip the Elite Eight, things have gone far less smoothly for Louisville this year. The off-season started with the Pitino sex scandal and this year the team has been victimized by bad calls and poor performances that have left them potentially on the wrong side of the NCAA bubble.
On the surface this looks like a game the Orange should handle - but Louisville does have talent and rumors aside, Pitino knows what he's doing. The Orange aren't sneaking up on any teams and I can see Pitino, with his team's back up against the wall, rallying them for a great effort. Louisville's season is on the line, I expect the Cardinals to get lubed up give the Orange all they can handle.
And then I expect to read more rumors about Rick's next job.
There isn't a Syracuse fan who grew up in the '80s that doesn't remember listening to Doug call play-by-play action on 570 WSYR AM radio back in the day. Nothing got you fired up for a big game like Doug's opening comments to the radio audience, "This...is MAJOR college basketball!"
We're raising a frosty one to you Doug, the true Voice of the Orange.
Whose magic on the typewriter starts things up at Channel 9? You know the answer.
Tri-R-Drugs gets it. Logan = sales
On the court there wasn't much controversy. I'm not even sure if George Blaney was awake when it happened. That came after, and now blowhards like Skip Bayless can rant and rave to their hearts delight.
Let's be frank about the situation. The officiating in the Big East, and college basketball in general, has been horrendous all year. Just ask a Louisville fan. They have been screwed out of two wins already this year.
Did Syracuse get the benefit of the doubt on this call? They sure as hell did. Did the call decide the game? No, it didn't. UConn still had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead and they couldn't capitalize. So while it was a bad break for them, they still didn't make a play when they had to.
Here's the thing - as a fan, you believe your team ALWAYS gets screwed by the officials. I've never met some one who says I love [X] team, but man, we really do get all the calls. Even Duke fans are in denial over this. Yes, I know Duke fans (feel sorry for me) who believe they don't get their fair share of calls. So, as a Syracuse fan I can tell you with a straight face there were many other calls during the course of the game that could have went SU's way but didn't. Did the Orange have one go their way at the end? They sure did. I am going to lose sleep or apologize over it? Not for one bleeping second. The shoe has been on the other foot many times before.
However, the officiating is a situation that needs to be addressed. When the integrity of the game is affected, there needs to be action and while I don't have all the solutions, here's a place to start. Many the refs working today are too damn old.
When you get older you don't move as well as you used to. I know, I'm in my mid 30s and I still play basketball once a week. Guys in a wheel chairs move better than I do now. And the last time I checked, basketball is a game played by wildly athletic young men. In order to be in the proper position to officiate a game played by these men, a referee needs to be able to move around -- and move well. This is hard to do for someone saw is old enough to have bought a new Edsel. So in this idiot's opinion, that's one place start. For what it's worth, it is up to the Big East, not the NCAA, to look into the controversial call.
OK, now that we've covered that, let's take a deep breath and watch some highlights of the game.
And here are a few quick fire observations:
* After years of having giants like Emeka Okafor, Hilton Armstrong, and Hasheem Thabeet roaming the lane and swatting away SU shot after SU shot, it felt good to watch the Orange big men return the favor. The Syracuse had 12 blocks in the game to Connecticut's 3.Arinze Onuaku lead the way with 6 himself. Way to that sh*t outta there big fella.
* That being said, UConn was aggressive on the backboards, tallying 16 offensive boards and outrebounding the Orange by 3. While I wouldn't trade this year's 2-3 zone for anything (except maybe an Edsel) consistently rebounding out of it, or any zone, will never be easy.
* It has been a while since SU hit on all cylinders offensively, and this was another one of those nights. Andy Rautins was 1-6 from deep and the Orange failed to convert on quite a few chances around the rim. This team is due for an offensive break out, here's hoping its Sunday against Louisville.
* While Andy didn't make many shots, we all saw how valuable he is to this team. He picked up his 4th foul and the 16 point lead the Orange built evaporated.
* Stanley Robinson may be the best dunker in college basketball. If he's not the best, he's top 5 for sure.
* Short of going 6 OTs again I don't think we'll see a third guy off the bench until next year. Check that, the Orange still have St. John's on the schedule, there's the chance for Mookie to get some PT yet.
* You don't need me to tell you the free throws at the end of the game were huge - but I'll tell you anyway - they were huge. Like Rex Ryan after an all you can eat buffet huge. I never thought I'd see this team hit 82 percent of their free throws in one game.
* Rick Jackson's game is so old school I sometimes expect him to just randomly show up in a Richard Roundtree movie on late night cable.
* My reaction to the new uniforms - they look like the old uniforms. However, they are a little better in that there's more orange the duct tape on the back is gone, which is an improvement.
* While UConn feels terrible right now, I'm guessing they don't feel as bad as Roy Williams right now. He feels "Haiti catastrophe" bad.
* Bring on Louisville.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
That aside, is Calhoun a good coach? Absolutely. He'll go down as one of the best. They don't put people in the hall of fame for nothing (unless your name is Dick Vitale) and Calhoun has a record that almost all of his competitors envy. We also aren't here to wish ill-health on anyone so we hope he makes a quick and full recovery from the medical issues that have forced him to the sidelines for the last six games.
However, those issues will keep Calhoun on the sideline for the Syracuse game on Wednesday. Andy Katz at ESPN says Calhoun remains on indefinite medical leave, so the job will once again be in George Blaney's hands.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Then things get a little confusing. Gary says he thinks Kansas and Kentucky are better - even though he has Syracuse ranked over Kentucky in his top 25.
He goes on to say he thinks if Kentucky and Kansas are on opposite sides of the bracket, he's picking those teams to go to the finals and if a team is going to win a national championship it needs to have 3 NBA players on the roster. Of course, Wes Johnson, Kris Joseph, and Andy Rautins all have a shot at NBA careers, but let's not go there. He then noted the exception to this was the 2003 Syracuse team. If you're having trouble following this logic, I have one word for your - strategery.
The other great thing about the video is that Gary apparently was calling in from 20,000 leagues under the sea. The audio is terrible. Come on CBS, you can clean these things up better than that - what's the California Almond Board paying for anyway?
Oh, Gary picks SU to crush UConn and says at the end of the video says if SU played Kansas in the Dome the Orange would beat the Jayhawks. Glad we got that cleared up.
Harriott cites a desire to put his family first as the reason for going back to mentoring high school players and if that is in fact the case, you can't blame the guy. That being said, you have to think he knew what he was getting into when he took the SU job.
While he was only with the team a few weeks,the Miami Herald high school sports blog called his tenure "brief but very successful." How anyone could draw that conclusion is mind boggling, but that's what the intertubes are for - some good old fashioned brain boggle.
Who knows what the real story is with this move. At the end of the day this probably isn't a big deal especially since this year's recruiting class is already locked up. Speaking from personal experience, my mother has a place in Fort Lauderdale and I can't imagine anyone moving from South Florida to Syracuse in January and not thinking twice about it.
So who will replace Harriot? Dave Rahme says the University will launch a national search, however, while it's just a rumor, Spaz Sports is reporting former University of Michigan and NY Giant running back Tyrone Wheatley could be the guy.
While we have no idea whether the Wheatley thing is true, it does give us an excuse to post this rap video featuring Tyrone from many years ago. Rob Murphy has nothing to worry about.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
The Syracuse Orange picked up another nice win on the road, beating Cincinnati 71-54 at Fifth Third Arena to move to 23-1 on the year. The game was back and forth until the midway point of the second half and when the Orange put the clamps on Mick Cronin's team and finished the game on a 28-5 run. That's not a typo.
The magical 2009-10 run for the Orange continues. The team has been so impressive Pat Forde thinks Jim Boeheim should be the national coach of the year. I obviously agree, but the real hardware everyone, including coach Boeheim wants, is another title.
It's late and I'm still in a food coma from the Super Bowl, so I'll be brief. Here are a couple of quick observations on the game.
* Mick Cronin is an odd looking man. However, he does look a little like Toby Flenderson from the Office.
* Speaking of Cronin, after the game he said if the Bearcats play the way they played tonight they will be OK. He probably should have said if they play the way they played for the first 28 minutes they'll be OK, but I get it. For much the game Cincy was tough and patient.
* Fifth Third Arena is apparently named after a bank. I'm not sure I'd put my money in a bank with that dumb of a name. Don't worry Key Bank, you can keep hammering me with your fees, I'm not switching just yet.
* With Wes Johnson saddled with foul trouble, Andy Rautins carried the team offensively in the first half, and Kris Joseph picked up the slack in the second. Joseph has simply been amazing in the second half of games this year. He's the second best closer in the state of New York right now behind Mariano Rivera.
* I was impressed with Ibrahima Thomas. He's a big kid that can play. He definitely gave Rick and Arinze fits at times.
* Cincinnati played 11 guys - Syracuse played 7, yet the SU bench outscored Cincinnati's 28 to 11. Sometimes it's quality not quantity.
* The greatest asset this team has is how balanced and unselfish it is. Today Wes Johnson struggled, so Kris Joseph scored 17. Brandon Triche didn't really get going, but Scoop Jardine stepped in and played 30 solid minutes and gave the team 11 points and 6 assists. You never really know who is going to step up, but you know someone will.
* We are officially at the point in the season where you start to wonder about March. What would constitute a disappointment? This team is good enough to win it all, but on any given day.....it's a great a thing to wonder about. It sure as hell beats bubble talk.
Let's look at some charts, courtesy of StatSheet.
Here's how the Orange fared in "factors of winning"
And here's the game flow.
Friday, February 5, 2010
That football game does inspire people to put a few shekels down on various outcomes of the game. The best of these are the prop bets. Since you'll be watching both games anyway, I thought it would be fun to tweak some the bets Vegas has on the board and tie them in with the SU game.
Now Vegas won't take any of these bets, and we'd never encourage illegal gambling. However, if you'd like to put some action on any of the props below, you should contact Poncho Sinatra and be prepared to wager your own Tom Selleck sandwiches. If that's the case, I'm sure he'll take your action. Oh yeah, he needs to know you're legit, so don't forget to use the password (it's Gillooley).
Let's get started:
What will occur more:
Safeties in the SuperBowl (+500)
Arinze Onuaku airballed free throws (-125)
Who will have more:
Reggie Wayne TDs (+125)
Wes Johnson spectacular dunks (-125)
What will happen more:
Boeheim nose picks (-700)
Sean Payton visor tosses (+825)
Who will have more:
Syracuse total team points (+100)
Peyton Manning audibles at the line of scrimmage (-200)
What will happen more:
Blown block/charge calls (even)
Blown pass interference calls (even)
Who will have more:
Syracuse players seeing court time (-175)
Colts/Saints total TDs (+50)
Who will have more:
Andy Rautins 3 point attempts (even)
Marques Colston receptions (even)
Who will have more:
Wesley Johnson (Points + rebounds) (-115)
Colts/Saints first half points (-115)
(that's an actual bet)
Enjoy both games everyone.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
A couple of years ago, the Pats-Giants Superbowl matchup had us less than thrilled. Well, this year's game actually has all three idiots looking forward to tuning in. Don't get us wrong, none of us are Saints or Colts fans. However, we've put toether 44 reasons (unless Daryl Gross retires this post) why we'll actually watch Saints-Colts.
I. It's a great excuse for a pot of jumbalya
II. No cameos of actors staring in 24, House, Bones, or any other Fox show
III. Any office pool numbers are possible with these offenses
IV. TV lead-ins and fade-outs of the "scenery" on South Beach
V. Rare opportunity to see a sold out Joe Robbie, I mean Pro Player, I mean Landshark, I mean Sun Life Stadium
VI. Depaul and Rutgers are NOT involved
VII. The Saints gave us Doug Marrone, we are forever indebted
VIII. It's Sunday Night Football without Chris Collinsworth
IX. The Saints cheerleaders
X. We have $110 on "tails"....ok maybe not
XI. There is no Sunday evening Missouri Valley Conference hoops game on ESPNU
XII. The fleur-de-lis symbol brings back fond memories of the Quebec Nordiques (editor's note: obligatory Boss NHL post)
XIII. Dwight Freeney and Mike Hart....cue the "CNY in the Superbowl" stories
XIV: No Brett Favre!
XV: Each team has a guy named Pierre, how often does that happen?
XVI: It's the last football game for seven months
XVII: The chance to see what kind of bad hat Drew Brees wears after the game
XVIII: After the excitement of the Pro Bowl, how could we not tune in?
XIX: Jeremy Shockey could be the next Eugene Robinson
XX: What else will we learn about Jim Nantz?
XXI: What name will Jim Nantz butcher?
XXII: Because there isn't a Band of Brothers marathon on History Channel this weekend
XXIII: We can appreciate small market success, just not in baseball
XXIV: To support our fellow AAA baseball brethren
XXV: Beacuse the WWF Royal Rumble was last week and it has us fired up
XXVII: You can't help but feel good for the people of New Orleans
XXVIII: Quick name the Colts head coach. Neither could I. Maybe we'll learn something Sunday.
XXIX: It gives us an excuse to dust off our "Goin' to Miami" CD
XXX: Marvin Harrison told us to watch
XXXI: We'll be watching for crowd shots of Miami sports legend Constantine Popa
XXXII: We have a Mark Brunell sighting
XXXIII: Drew Brees is a real-life video game quarterback
XXXIV: In-game shots of Bourbon Street scene
XXXV: Shannon Sharpe is always good for a laugh
XXXVI: It's an excuse to eat lots of processed cheese products
XXXVII: Both the Saints and Colts have cool helmets
XXXVIII: The Patriots aren't playing
XXXIX: We won't get depressed from another Sunday night episode of 60 Minutes...who are we kidding, we're Idiots, we don't watch 60 Minutes
XL: We'll be watching Cuse-Cincy earlier in the day, might as well log a few more hours on the couch
XLI: Shannon Sharpe could say anything in the pregame
XLII: If we watch the game we won't have to watch SportsCenter for the rest of the week
XLIII: We're holding out for an MTV Rock-N-Jock Superbowl Reunion special, the guys from Naughty by Nature must be available
XLIV: Peyton's never on TV, this will be the only chance we get to see him
Now there are few rivalries that burn hotter than Pitt-West Virginia, and obviously this was a case of a few squirrel eating morons making every one else in the crowd look bad - but you can't be throwing stuff at people. Although when you it makes for great videos - which I found at Sports by Brooks.
Here's Huggins addressing the crowd after the first incident - note the warm up jacket. If he gets hit with something he doesn't have to worry about taking an expensive suit to the dry cleaners. I finally figured out why he dresses the way he does. Huggy's no idiot.
And here in the second clip, an announcer loses his mind over more stuff being thrown on the court. While he's right, the phrase "over the top" comes to mind....
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Here's a great idea: take all of the drivers who didn't qualify for a feature race and throw them into one big crash-up derby called the consolation race. Pure entertainment. And for those of you not fortunate enough to enjoy the sights and sounds of dirt-track racing, you call yourself an American?
We dedicate this entry to friend of the Idiots and frequent poster, The Captain who has always been a big fan of "the consie." Captain, this one's for you buddy.
Here's a quick cheat sheet of places to check out to get your recruiting fix:
SU Athletics has a page devoted to signees - and there's a 4 pm press conference scheduled to discuss who signed on the dotted line - Syracuse football signings.
Donnie Webb and the Syracuse Post Standard will be following it all day - Orange Football.
I'm 99 percent sure Sean will have more content than you can find time to read - NunesMagician.
And for the fine folks at the Orange Fizz, today is like Christmas, so refresh often -- the Orange Fizz.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
How about that for a terrible headline? I guess I'm not getting a gig writing headlines for the NY Post any time soon. Anyway, the only thing worse than my writing was the Providence interior defense, as the Friars had no answers for Arinze Onuaku and Kris Joseph, falling to the Syracuse Orange 85-68 in the Carrier Dome.
Watching from the comfort of my couch, the game had an odd feel to it -- after a quick start by the Orange, Wes Johnson took a horrific tumble and the crowd got quiet. After that play got sloppy and Providence made a game of it. Syracuse came out with an early spurt to start the second half and cruised to the team's 22nd victory in 23 outings this year.
Here are some quick observations on the game, typed while I try and wrap my head around the premier of Lost. If I operate in parallel universe, please forgive me.
* Any discussion of this game has to start with the play of Arinze Onuaku -- the big fella has had a very uneven senior year, but he was huge tonight. Every good thing about AO's game showed up - soft hands, the ability to finish around the rim, and a strong defensive presence that resulted in 4 blocks to go along with 20 points and 7 boards. He even airballed a free throw for good measure - that's always fun.
* Sometimes I swear Andy Rautins passes the ball as if he gets extra credit for the degree of difficulty. I appreciate the effort, but sometimes there's beauty -- and effectiveness -- in simplicity.
* I really love Providence's commitment to not playing defense. These guys don't have much of a desire to guard anyone - hell, I think the 1990 Loyola Marymount team was more effective on that end of the floor.
* Unlike the last two games, Syracuse came out ready to play from the opening tip. The Orange started the game 8-9 from the field and more importantly they made EVERY hustle play, which lead to some easy hoops. Just a wild guess here, but I'm thinking Boeheim just mmmmmmmmight have put some added emphasis on starting the game quickly.
* After Wes Johnson took a hard fall, the team became a little unsettled. The last five minutes of the first half were sloppy -- I'm talking 3 am sorority house sloppy.
* Champ sent me a great text during the game that read, "Keno Davis is a great name for a game show host." We can see it now, tune in next week to the new Match Game with your host Keno Davis!
* Providence, despite a lack of size, out-rebounded the Orange by one.
* John Sanders and Doug Gottlieb worked the game, and while Gottlieb is usually the one taking heat from SU fans, Sanders really, really needs to retire. The guy called Andy Rautins "Leo" at least 5 times, he rambles about his childhood and his diet is most likely limited to soft, bland foods. The man is a step away from needing a homing chip implanted in his neck like Walter Bishop.
* It was a rough night for the Friars and things aren't going to get any easier for them. The rest of their schedule is absolutely brutal.
* I was on Matt Mc's Sports Fix not too long ago (wow that sounds pretentious, I'm terrible) and Matt asked me an interesting question - which player could SU least afford to lose? I said Andy Rautins because of the multitude of different things he does on the floor. While Wes Johnson is the team's best player, Kris Joseph is playing so well he can make up for the loss of Wes more than any other player on the roster could make up for the loss of Andy -- and Kris proved that with another stellar game tonight.
* That being said, here's hoping Wes is 100 percent for Sunday's game.
* Jamine Peterson is the most explosive man named Jamine to ever play the game. In all seriousness though, this kid is an athletic freak. I was impressed with his play tonight.
* Syracuse is 22-1, so let me be very clear here when I say I'm not complaining but it would be nice if JB could work Mookie in for a few minutes in each game. I know his defense isn't great, but when he was seeing floor time, I really thought he was progressing and as the Wes Johnson fall proved tonight, Syracuse is only one play away from needing him.
* Syracuse was a better team tonight and they took care of business. The special season continues and I couldn't be happier. Here's the box score for you stat heads out there.
Lost fans know that half the fun of the show is talking and dissecting each episode after it's over. Trying to figure out what's going on with Locke, bitching about Jack being a pain in the ass and trying to figure out what evil things Ben is plotting next makes the show that much more fun.
There's certainly no shortage of sites devoted either partly or solely to the show, so I thought I'd share my favorite sites for Lost wrap ups:
What's Alan Watching - The blog is written by Alan Sepinwall, the TV critic for the Newark Star Ledger, and it's exceedingly well done. I only discovered the guy about a year ago, but he's easily my go-to writer on all things TV.
Jeff 'Doc' Jensen - Every Lostie knows about Doc Jensen's obsession with Lost - he's famous for 3 million word columns that espouse theories that could sometimes confuse Stephen Hawking. Nonetheless, his work is always a must read.
The Big Lead - Believe it or not, the Big Lead always has a Lost wrap up post the next day. While the content of the post usually doesn't have anything too revealing, some of the stuff people come up with in the comments is very insightful and makes you think about what you watched the night before.
So, if you don't watch the show you probably aren't still reading, for those of you that do, feel free to share your favorite post-Lost wrap up sites below - it will guarantee my Wednesdays this fall are even less productive than they should be.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Of course, as soon as the report broke, people started having fun with it. And if we can't have fun with dumb ideas no one would ever talk about a single proposal that comes out of Congress, because talking those ideas would be too depressing.
There were tweets like - "Know what this tourney needs? Every NIT team."
Blog posts that describe the proposal as "a flop that would be on par with new coke."
And this excellent piece from the Onion, which really cracked me up.
I found the clip above while over at the Friar Blog - and while I'll certainly be rooting for Syracuse to crush Providence, go check out the site - they do some good work over there.