Monday, January 31, 2011

Syracuse Marquette Observations

Much like this VW, the wheels are at least half off the Syracuse Orange bus
This post is two days late and I don't want to write about Syracuse's loss to Marquette any more than you want to read about it.  It was the fourth straight loss for the Orange and while the team played better, especially in the second half, there's no doubt the wheels are coming off the bus right now.

Basically here are my thoughts on the game in a nutshell: another slow start doomed the Orange; Dion Waiters spent the game in the penalty box; James Southerland spent the day sitting next to him which will no doubt provide fuel to conspiracy theorists everywhere; SU still doesn't do a good enough job on the boards; and the team didn't get many calls. Plus Jae Crawford is a beast.  After the game people seemed pissed at Scoop and even though a couple of plays down the stretch didn't go his way, I thought he played well.  You don't hand out 13 assists playing the game with one hand on your dick.

So that's the extent of the analysis you're getting on this one from me. Besides, as an SU fan you are bummed right now.  Let me cheer you up by providing you with a quick story about how I spent my weekend, because there's nothing more humorous than other people's misery. It went a little something like this:

I get home from work Friday night and realized my roof was leaking.  It seems the extremely shitty weather we've had in the northeast joined forces with my extremely shitty roof to produce water in the domicile. This was an unwanted occurence to say the least.  A normal human would try and immediately rectify the situation, but not me. I crawl into my insulation filled attic, put a pan up there to catch the leak and went to he bar.  Because if you suck at home repairs -- and let me reassure you I am beyond terrible -- it makes sense to tackle such a project hungover.

So Saturday rolls around and the project begins. I won't bore you with all the details, but rest assured it consisted of 27 trips to Lowes and countless hours laying on my belly in the aforementioned attic trying to remedy a problem from the inside that needed to be dealt with from the outside. On one of those trips I purchased a roof rake, which in theory is supposed to help you remove snow from your roof.  What it doesn't do is remove ice.  A roof rake versus ice is like Alcorn State versus anyone. The rake had no shot -- but at least it cost $40. 

I didn't even watch the game live - I taped it and when I sat down to watch it was greeted with 20 minutes of Norfolk State - Morgan State to start the broadcast.  That was a bad sign. Two hours later Jimmy Butler was making a tough three to win the game and I almost wished the other game was still on.  An even worse sign greeted me Sunday when I realized I'd be spending more time in the attic. It seemed the leak was still rolling through the house like Seton Hall rolled through SU's 2-3 zone.

The bottom line is I need to get a significant amount of ice off my roof which just so happens to be extremely steep and not something I'm prepared to do - so if anyone's got a good recommendation on a reputable roofer in the Albany area, let me know.  Otherwise I'll be spending Monday calling companies at random because it's probably more practical to pay someone to do this than fall off myself and die.  Death sucks.

So, to recap, my fun-filled weekend has left me bruised, cut up from the insulation, pissed off at the fact that the problem isn't solved and looking forward to a potentially 24 more inches of snow on Wednesday....ah good times. On the bright side, I got a sweet roof rake out of the deal.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Things Syracuse Basketball is Better Than

During the dark days of Syracuse football -- commonly known as the Greg Robinson era -- our friend and contributor Poncho Sinatra used to fight through the pain with posts called "things Syracuse football is better than."  These were posted on his old blog, the Sport Hump.  I'd provide you with a link, but the thing seems to have disappeared.

Anyway, it's been a rough three game stretch for the Syracuse basketball team and more complaining isn't going to get us anywhere.  It's time to look at the bright side -- even in the team's darkest hour so far this season, here are just a few things SU Basketball is better than.


Syracuse could lose every game for the rest of the season -- and that includes DePaul -- and they'd still be better than everyone's favorite Jersey Shore meatball.  I can guarantee you no one on the team will never be accused of being an El Guapo impersonator.

Snooki - a role model for how not to live

Charlie Sheen

Chaz has been doing more blow than 2 and half men - or 2,000 and half men actually.  Well it's that or he just can't shake the giggles, we'll let you decide.  Even if Syracuse had to suffer through Jim Burr calling every game for the rest of the year, they are still better than Charlie.

Charlie Sheen, hookers and drugs and hospitalizations, oh my!
The Iowa Football Team's off-season work-out program

I don't care what happens the rest of the year, there's no way this SU team sends 13 people to the hospital.  It's not like Ron Artest has any eligibility left and can start a rumble in the stands.

Anyone want to trade places with these guys and try and explain away the mess at Iowa?  Didn't think so.

Stripper Shortages at the Superbowl

If you're going to waste thousands of dollars on SuperBowl tickets, or you're dumb enough to pay hundreds of dollars to stand outside the stadium, then there's no doubt you're expecting there will be enough ladies willing to get naked for money in the town Jerry Jones calls home.  Sadly, you're mistaken - because apparently the Big D is suffering from a stripper shortage.  And I think we can agree on one thing, unlike professional pole dancers in Dallas, the Syracuse Orange will always be there for us -- win or lose.

Get down to Dallas ladies -- there's plenty of work available
So keep your heads up SU fans, there's always a sunny side.  And here's hoping we don't have to do this post again down the road.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Live the High Life - Jimmer Style

Glens Falls native and BYU star Jimmer Fredette is having one hell of a college career. Last night he hung 43 on 4th ranked San Diego State, coached by Carol Burnett, and single handedily carried his team to another victory.  No one is going to want to play BYU in the tournament.  Even Fred Hill and Greg Robinson agree that there's no way in hell you want to face this guy.  The way they are playing right now, he'd get 70 against SU's zone.

However, you can celebrate your love for Jimmer with this new t-shirt, which is 10,000 times better than the beer it borrows the concept from.  Miller High Life is vile swill (made with 100 percent real swamp water) - Jimmer High Life - that's delicious.

Hat tip to Searching for Billy Edelin for the great find.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ebay....I Mean UConn Item of the Week

We're taking a slightly different spin with this week's Ebay Item of the Week and guessing that a cool $3 million will get your name on the apparently-soon-to-be-formerly-named-Burton Family Football Complex in Storrs.

I love this story. Mr. Burton's philosophy reminds me of another man from wealth who believed "everybody has a price."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Disaster in the Dome - Seton Hall Obliterates Syracuse

Jeremy Hazell and Seton Hall torched Syracuse
The Seton Hall Pirates came in the Carrier Dome and absolutely embarrassed the Syracuse Orange, winning 90-68.  From a Syracuse perspective the loss was demoralizing and highlighted a glaring lack of leadership on a team that a week ago had risen to the number 3 spot in the country.

Three straight losses later this team has magically reverted to the one that barely beat William and Mary in November.  In case you're wondering, that team is 10-9 on season -- which is better than the 8-12 record Seton Hall put together before they treated Syracuse like a baby treats a diaper.  It's been a couple of hours and I'm still disgusted by the performance, so like a band aid, let's rip off these observations quickly and get it over with.

1.) If you want one word to describe the way this team played selfish is the one you're looking for.  I am so sick of seeing guys bring the ball over half court and hoist a bad shot without even attempting to run any sets or look for teammates.  As soon as they got behind, everyone went into hero mode and starting jacking horrific shots from everywhere.

2.) To prove my point, SU had 12 assists the entire game.  It's a team game and right now no one wearing Orange seems to get that point.

3.) For the third game in a row an opponent destroyed SU's zone.  Granted some of the shots Seton Hall made were very difficult, but others were wide open.  It demonstrates a fundamental weakness with a 2-3 zone - guys don't have to work when they are off the ball.  So when they jacking and making 25 footers, they are more comfortable than if they had been running off screens all night.  Now, SU's man to man was no better - but I would have liked to have seen Boeheim go to it in the first half for a few possessions, just to shake things up.

4.) There were some bizarre substitution patterns tonight.  James Southerland started in place of Fab Melo and for the third game in a row he was lost.  He's on the verge of playing himself back out of the line up for the second time this season.  Meanwhile Melo came off the bench, played 4 minutes, had 3 rebounds a bucket, and was never heard from again, which was strange since SU got murdered on the boards by a team that starts a 6-6 power forward.

5.) For the third consecutive game the guard play was atrocious. Putrid. Scoop continued stinking out the joint. We saw more poor decisions, quick shots and no attempt to run offense or get others involved.  He compounded that with foul trouble which then led to him not guarding anyone in the second half. Dion Waiters managed to do nothing but miss shots.  Check out the box score, 0-4 from the field, followed by a million zeros and one foul.  Plus he seemed to show Boeheim attitude in the first half, which then resulted in Mookie Jones getting some first half playing time.  Mookie promptly drained a three, had another one rattle out and then didn't get in again until garbage time -- despite the fact that SU desperately needed scoring.

6.) For as well as Kris Joseph played on Saturday, he was just as bad tonight.  He scored some garbage points, but they were meaningless.

7.) The absolute worst thing I saw tonight was the SU team basically quitting with 10 minutes to go.  I know guys got frustrated and as a result were hanging their heads, but the effort just wasn't there once they got down 20.  A top 10 team  bucks up, shows some pride and makes a run right there.  This team curled up in a ball, started sucking it's thumb and asking for mommy. After turnovers guys weren't hustling - on offense guys weren't trying to find each other.

8.) Mike Singletary may have flamed out as a head coach -- but this speech should be played on a loop in the Carmelo Center for the rest of the season. It's not about a single guy, it's about the team. Its about winners and wanting to win.

9.) In the span of one game, two debates that SU fans seem to argue about ad naseum were resurrected. While both arguments had faded away lately, be prepared for a lot of talk about whether the Orange should play more man to man and whether or not Mookie Jones should play more. It's like a gift from God to sports talk show hosts and message boards throughout Central New York. Ugh.

A week ago I thought this Syracuse team was good enough to go to the Final Four. Tonight I'm not sure they are good enough to make the NCAA tournament. The truth is somewhere in the middle, but unless an amazing turn around happens, it's probably closer to the latter than the former.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Coach Bobby Finstock's Keys to the Game

Bobby Finstock is a basketball coaching legend
Here at T3I we are lucky.  Over the years we've had some pretty special people visit us and give their unique take on the world of sports.  Last fall Mr. T. was kind enough to take a break from promoting the DVD release of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to help us predict Syracuse football games.

And this year, in an announcement that dwarfs Oprah's lame half sister news, we are pleased to announce we'll have another celebrity stopping by.  From time to time Coach Bobby Finstock will help us preview Syracuse basketball opponents and break down upcoming games with his unique point of view.  I don't have to tell you that it's a special day when Coach Bobby makes an appearance.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Coach's qualifications, we'll bring you up to speed.  Bobby led the Beacontown High team to the 1985 state title.  Much like Phil Jackson's first title, Finstock relied on a star player -- in this case Scott Howard -- to carry a scrappy bunch to an unexpected title. Here are a few highlights from that season.

Finstock showed his sports versatility by then accepting a job as the boxing coach at Hamilton University, however, no one seems to have noticed.

He returned to basketball in 1988, coaching at several institutions of higher learning but was unable to replicate his success or find a suitable werewolf that could thrive in his revolutionary 1 on 5 offense.  However, Larry Brown was intrigued and very quietly hired him as a consultant and the two men implemented Bobby's offense. Brown used Allen Iverson in the role of the wolf and took the 76ers all the way to the 2001 NBA Finals.

Citing burnout, Finstock again left the game of basketball and took a job as a manager at Harold Howard's hardware store -- unfortunately Home Depot came to town and ran it out of business six months later.  However, he's now rejuvenated and looking for work so Coach Finstock has agreed to periodically stop by and break down upcoming Syracuse games for us.  Today he breaks down SU's Tuesday rematch against Seton Hall.  The words below are his - take it away Bobby:

Coach Bobby's Take

From the Syracuse perspective, this is a classic trap game.  It's kind of like the time I was banging Chubb's mom on the side -- don't laugh, she was thin -- her son was the only fat one the family. Well this lady tells me she can't have kids, so the second I hear that, the condoms go out the window.  Bobby Finstock doesn't wear a raincoat when the sun is shining. And boy oh boy - I hit that thing more times than Charlie Sheen hits a pile of nose candy. 

Things are going well enough until I find out one day she CAN have kids - and she isn't even divorced.  Turns out, she wanted to make a Bobby Jr. and was trying to trap me into knocking her up -- and her husband was OK with it.  I guess he didn't want another fat kid in the family and let's face it, Finstock isn't making any chunky monkeys. 

What's worse is this pervert was actually hiding in the closet filming us! Can you believe that?  I never would have found out if I hadn't been talking to Stiles one day and he told me he sold the guy some black market video equipment on the cheap to pay off a gambling debt.

So that's how I see this game.  Syracuse needs to protect itself and wrap it up. Jeremy Hazell is like Chubb's mom - he used to be hot and even though he's not what he used to be, he's still dangerous enough to cause trouble.  And Herb Pope is like the old man - hiding in the closet but you never know when he'll come out and do some damage. They take care of those two things and everything will be cream cheese.  They don't - and who knows who gets knocked up.

There it is folks, you won't get analysis like that anyplace else.

What I Learned From The Dukes of Hazzard

Occassionally we stumble upon something so awesomely bad it makes us giddy. Tonight was one of those moments. Our award winning series of posts on Hazzard County life lessons is back after a brief hiatus. Tonight's thriller, "Strange Visitor to Hazzard," take it away Wiki:

"There's been some UFO sightings in Hazzard County lately, and it isn't long before Bo and Luke make friends with a space alien, whose spacecraft has crash-landed. The Duke boys have their hands full keeping the alien away from Boss Hogg and Rosco, who want to exploit the alien for profit; and a pair of fortune hunters, who create a false emergency (by contending that aliens plot to invade Hazzard), and looting the town after ordering a mandatory emergency evacuation. "

Here's what I learned tonight:

When extraterrestrials visit Earth, they will come to visit former moonshine runners in the deep South.

Bo and Luke, ambassadors for all of humanity.
Their new "Little Cousin" explains the secrets of interstellar space travel to the Dukes.

Spielberg has nothing on this sci-fi thriller.

You're welcome:

Pittsburgh Steelers - True Love

Ben Roethlisberger is familiar with unwanted sexual advances. Very familiar. So it was quite ironic that at the end of the AFC Championship game yesterday running back Rashard Mendenhall gave Big Ben a taste of his own medicine. That's right, he "Ben Roethlisbergered" Ben Roethlisberger.

Hat tip - Everyday Should Be Saturday

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nova Shoots Down the Cuse

Photo via the Syracuse University Facebook Page.

Well that sucked.  The Villanova Wildcats came into the Carrier Dome and shot the lights out, defeating the Syracuse Orange 83-72.  When you combine some torrid shooting from the Wildcats with a healthy dose of horrible guard play from Syracuse and toss in the fact that every SU big man with the exception of Rick Jackson treated rebounding as optional -- it all adds up to a disappointing home loss in front of 33,736 fans.

Syracuse is now on a two game losing skid, having dropped back to back conference games to top 10 teams.  So while neither loss is anything to be embarrassed about, this is what life in the Big East is all about. This isn't the ACC - when you play the top of the conference, you're playing the best teams in the country.  The schedule can't be an excuse, you have to step up every night. Let's get to a few observations.

1.) I don't have to tell you Scoop Jardine had a bad game - you're smart enough to figure that one out for yourself.  He shot 1-8, but what's more frustrating is the poor passing.  I lost count of the number of entry passes the SU guards failed to make.  Speaking of which....

2.) Rick Jackson was a beast and it was clear Villanova didn't have anyone that could handle the nation's fourth leading rebounder.  However, Rick only ended up with 9 shots, which is terrible when you consider Dion Waiters and Scoop Jardine took 20.  Feed the big fella for the love of God.

3.) Kris Joseph had a huge bounce back game.  He's playing now like the player everyone expected -- and he's getting better.  Without his play in the second half, this game is a blow out.

4.) For the second game in a row James Southerland was not nearly active enough.  The guy plays 16 minutes and grabs no rebounds.  Over the stretch of two games he's played 54 minutes and grabbed one board.  You almost have to try and do something like that. Only a week ago he was all over the floor versus Cincinnati.  I'm not sure what's going on here, but he's going to need to contribute  more when the ball isn't in his hands.  Maybe he needs some extra red bull before games or something.

5.) I liked Baye Keita's effort late in the game.  He's one the few SU guys willing to attack to the glass.  While it's true he had a rough outing versus Pittsburgh, he's SU's best hope for getting production of a big man not named Rick Jackson.

6.) There's not a lot you can do when your opponent shoots 22-24 from the free throw line.  Keep an eye on free throw shooting stats for the rest of the year and remember them when you're filling out your brackets in March.  Teams that can make free throws advance in the dance.

7.) Jay Wright was rocking the purple yesterday.  Give the guy credit, he pulled it off - and he had his team ready to play -- they were clearly better yesterday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

P&D: Back Together

What started out as a bad joke on message boards and blogs has turned into reality. Coach P has reunited with good friend George Deleone down in Storrs.

Greatest Brett Favre Spoof to Date

What do you get when you combine Brett Favre's latest retirement with LeBron James' What Should I Do commercial?  Gold - that's what you get.  Pure Gold.

Via Foul Balls via Jerod at Midwest Sports Fans.

Separated at Birth

West Virginia got upset by Marshall tonight.  That will happen when one of your players - Deniz Kilicli - is actually Non from the Superman movies. You know Non, he was Zod's muscle.  They hung out with the scary chick.  No idea how he's got any eligibilty left.

Original Photo - AP.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ebay Item of the Week: Hmmmm....

Get your 1983 Kent State-SU game program right here. As far as the're on your own.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This Didn't Work Out So Well the Last Time New Jersey

While I was watching Seton Hall choke away a game they should have won against Georgetown tonight, I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that I'd seen this before.  Not a Seton Hall loss, that happens all the time.  It was something bigger.  Something deeper.

And then it hit me.  Like Sherlock Holmes solving a crime, the pieces suddenly fit together perfectly. A downtrodden New Jersey basketball program whose hopes for a revival rest on the shoulders of a new coach.  And that coach is the son of a famous college coach.  And that teams loses a game within its grasp against a better was like every Rutgers game ever played in the Fred Hill era!!! And new Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard is a dead ringer fabulous Freddie to boot. It's like they were separated at birth - and that's not a good sign for Seton Hall fans.......

Kevin Willard (l) and Fred Hill (r) seem to have a lot in common

Ana Ivanovic - Cannonball Queen

We got more snow this morning.  The commute was a mess, it is freezing out, Syracuse lost and it's Tuesday.  Tuesday is easily the worst day of the week.  Friday is still forever away and the joy you think you should experience because Monday is dead never materializes.  As Champ is fond of saying, Tuesday has no feel.

So there's only one answer to the Tuesday Blues - Ana Ivanovic in a bikini doing cannonballs.  The video comes from On the Go Tennis.  God bless them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Panthers Maul the Orange: Syracuse - Pitt Observations

Despite a valiant effort, Rick Jackson and SU couldn't overcome the Pitt Panthers

The Syracuse Orange 18 game winning streak came to end tonight in SU's personal house of horrors, the Petersen Events Center, as the Orange fell to the Pitt Panthers 74-66.  Pittsburgh jumped on the Orange, taking advantage of SU's inexperienced centers and inability to make a shot and ran out to a 19-0 lead.  However, when presented with a chance to fold, the Orange fought back and made a 17-0 run of their own and we had a game.

From that point forward the Orange battled mightily, but in the end were unable to get enough stops defensively and had too many empty trips on the offensive end to overcome a very, very good Pitt team on the road. The fact that Syracuse played the game without its leading scorer and best player Kris Joseph didn't help matters either.  That being said, Syracuse spotted Pitt nearly 20 points and still had a chance to win the game.

Here are a few quick observations:

1.) It goes without saying that both of SU's freshman centers got a brief, rude awakening to Big East play tonight.  Fab Melo and Baye Keita were revolving doors in the middle of the zone.  After Pitt ran out to the 19-0 lead, only Keita saw the floor again, and that was for about 10 seconds in the second half.  With both guys overmatched, Boeheim essentially went with 6 guys all game.

2.) SU was much better with Rick Jackson in the middle and James Southerland and CJ Fair on the wings.  However, with a couple of smaller, skinny guys on the back line, the Panthers beat the Orange up on the boards. Jackson was once again very good.  I thought SU should have continued to feed him more in the second half, but SU settled for some quick jumpers instead.

3.) I tweeted during the game that watching Scoop Jardine tonight was like watching a car careening down an ice covered hill.  He was exciting, all over the place, out of control at times, and someone you couldn't take your eyes off. The Orange don't get back in the game without Scoop, but there were more than a few decisions he needed a do over on.

4) CJ Fair played brilliantly at times and was key player in the comeback.  You have to be excited about his performance tonight.  He's got one glaring hole in his game right now - he's got no mid-range jumper.  Once that develops - most likely next year -- watch out. Tonight Pitt was giving him the 15 footer because it wasn't going in.

5.) You aren't going to beat the number 4 team in the country, on their home floor, without your leading scorer if you miss lay ups and free throws.  Syracuse did both.  Repeatedly.  Brandon Triche, Scoop, and Southerland all missed bunnies - and Dion Waiters had a dunk rejected emphatically.  SU needed more conversions.

6.) The difference  between this Pitt team and Pitt teams of the past is that this one can really shoot the ball.  Ashton Gibbs, Brad Wanamaker, Gilbert Brown -- all those guys can make threes, which is key because they also move the ball better than almost every team in the country.  I was really impressed with the way Pitt attacked the 2-3 zone tonight.  Even though he can't keep his ass in the coaching box, Jamie Dixon has these guys playing very well right now.

7.) Gary McGhee has no discernible basketball talent.  He's a defensive end playing basketball and his sole purpose is to take up space and wrestle the opposing team's big men all night.  I'm not fond of him. And he looks like cross between Britney Griner and a body double from the movie predator. Someone make  him go away.

8.) I love, love, love James Southerland and I'd like to see him a little more aggressive offensively, but a bigger area of concern is this -- how did he manage to play 38 minutes and grab ONE REBOUND.  That's uh, not good.

9) While officially SU officials have given no update (last item) on Kris Joseph or said the exact nature of his injury, he did tell Hakim Warrick via twitter that he suffered a concussion.  Make of that what you will.

The bottom line is that this team wasn't going to go undefeated and 18-1 is a damn fine record. CJ Fair, Southerland, and Dion Waiters all got some great game experience in one of the toughest venues in the country.  It was a loss, but a loss that will build character and pay off down the road and SU will need that character in hurry - Villanova comes to the Dome Saturday.

Watch That Ref: Road Warriors

Mike Kitts, David Hall and Roger Ayers work more than you
 Welcome back to another edition of Watch That Ref, where we highlight the stats of the men who call college basketball games. Today we get to know Mike Kitts, David Hall and Roger Ayers a little better - because judging by their workloads, their families don't know them all that well. You see, these three guys are tied for the most games worked so far this season.

Since the start of this year's college basketball season, Kitts, Hall and Ayers have worked more than 8 year olds making Nike's in Thailand.  All three men have already called 54 games this year.  Kitts' work schedule has taken him to 21 states, Hall has seen 16 and Ayers has made to 20 - and it's only the middle of January.

Kitts works mostly  Big East and MAAC games and officiated his first contest on November 12, 2010 -- meaning he's worked 54 of 65 days since the season began.  I'm pretty sure 11 days off out of 65 is some kind of OSHA violation.  At one point this year he worked 14 consecutive nights.  The old fella is like the energizer bunny -- that or he pounds a lot of Red Bull.

Hall works mostly Missouri Valley and SEC games and also called his first game on November 12.  He then proceeded to work the next 9 consecutive nights and has had another stretch just where he worked 8 consecutive days.  In the last two full seasons he's worked 106 and 107 games respectively.  That's insane.

Ayers, who works ACC and CAA games for the most part is the lazy guy in the crew, calling his first game on November 8 - meaning he's taken 14 days off out of 69.  That's downright sloth-like, although he did have a stretch where we worked 11 consecutive nights, so he's got that going for him, which is nice.

So if your favorite team's game is about to tip and you see Kitts, Hall or Ayers tossing the ball up rest assured, they probably aren't -- and they are probably working tomorrow.  Here's a chart of who is working the most at this point in the year.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Syracuse Slays the Bearcats

Juli Boeheim had all the Jim Boeheim's she could handle on Saturday
The Syracuse Orange, playing most of the game without Kris Joseph, took care the Cincinnati Bearcats today in the Carrier Dome, winning 67-52.  Joseph left the game with about 6 minutes to go in the first half after taking a nasty spill and smacking his head on the floor.  However, the Orange rode another strong performance from Rick Jackson and got great contributions off the bench from James Southerland and Dion Waiters and took care of Mick Cronin's team.

Syracuse started the game with an 18-3 run, only to have Cincinnati make a barrage of threes to keep it interesting.  The Orange then started the second half with a 16-0 run and the game was interesting no longer.  But it was fun.  Here are eight observations on the game.

1. Rick Jackson is playing at a level that four years ago I never thought he'd reach.  In the first half especially he had a few Hakeem Olajuwon type moves around the hoop. Cincy had no answer for him. What isn't being talked about enough is his maturity. He picked up his second foul with about 13 minutes to go in the first half and Boeheim didn't even consider taking him out the game. He finished the game with 2 fouls. In college basketball today, if you have a senior that is that good, and has that much awareness, it's a luxury.

2. How about the job Jim Boeheim is doing? So far this might be the best coaching job of his Hall of Fame career. After the William and Mary game there wasn't a person on the planet - other than the members of the SU team, that believed they would be 18-0 right now.

3. Fab Melo had his best game as a collegian.  6 points and 4 blocks was unexpected.  Hopefully this game will boost his confidence and he can continue to be a factor in Big East play.  He combined with Baye Moussa Keita to block 7 shots.  Next year you take both of these guys with another year of experience, add in Rakeem Christmas and teams might not be able to score at all on SU.

4. While people focus on James Southerland's ability to shoot (and rightly so) I loved the energy he brought to this game.  He was very active on both the offensive and defensive glass, tipping balls, saving balls, hell he got his hands on more balls than Jenna Jameson today - and it made a difference.

5. Right now Cincinnati looks like a paper tiger. They still don't have any quality wins and unless they improve in a hurry, I wouldn't be surprised if they end up in the NIT.

6. ESPN's Jayson Stark brought up a great fact on twitter - Syracuse is now 48-5 last 2 seasons and it's the SU's best 53-game stretch in last 75 years. Pretty awesome.

7. Mick Cronin sounds like the name of a washed up 80s rock star.

8. Whenever I hear the word Bearcat, it makes me think of ManBearPig from South Park.  Cincinnati should change their name to that - I know Al Gore would approve.

Don't forget to like us on Facebook - you can never have enough idiocy in your life - if you do, we'll give you the Dion Waiters salute.

Salutes are only acceptable at basketball games - not the Pinstripe Bowl

Friday, January 14, 2011

Breaking: Daryl Gross Fires Paul Pasqualoni Again

(Idiot News Service) -- The Idiot News Service has learned exclusively that Syracuse Athletic Director Dr. Daryl Gross has attempted to fire new Connecticut football coach Paul Pasqualoni. A source within the Syracuse administration, speaking anonymously to protect his job, has told INS that Gross, upon learning that Pasqualoni had been tapped to replace Randy Edsall, became very loud and excited before retreating to his office.

Pasqualoni was the head coach at Syracuse for 14 years before Gross unceremoniously fired him in late December of 2004. Upon hearing the news that UConn had hired his former coach, Gross was said to have been very supportive of the move.  However, he emerged from his office a few hours later and declared that he'd watched tape of the Dallas Cowboys defensive collapse in their late-season loss against Arizona and concluded that Pasqualoni wasn't the right man to lead the Huskies program into the future.

Gross then started rifling though the address books of his 27 cell phones before locating Paul's number. Our source was shocked when Gross reached him on the first try. Remarkably Pasqualoni still has the same cell number from his days in Syracuse, 315-MUL-TPLE.  The call lasted a few minutes as Gross explained that he and Nancy thought it was time the UConn program moved in a new direction.

We reached Pasqualoni after the call and he said, "That wasn't Jerry Jones playing a prank?  Seriously?  Jerry's been drinking Patron and hanging out with tranny hookers since the Cowboys season ended. What people don't know is that he really didn't want to hire Jason Garrett full-time. Turns out Garrett is his illegitimate son and Jason's mother was leaning hard on him to hire the guy or she'd tell Jerry's wife. He's in pretty bad shape.  I would have bet you my entire triple option filled playbook that was him."

While the highly unusual move is obviously not binding, it has caused a stir within the Big East.  When reached for comment University of Connecticut Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway put down the Syracuse Athletic Department Directory he was thumbing through (he's looking for a new swimming coach) and said, "Gross did what?  What the hell is wrong with that guy?  He hasn't been right since coming back from Seattle earlier this week. You know Pete Carroll invited him to come out to the Seattle Seahawks game last week don't you? After the game and he Pete were partying their asses off. Did you know they pranked me at 3:30 am Sunday?  Pete said he needed to borrow some money to buy Reggie Bush another Heisman and Daryl said he Mike Garrett's probation officer.  That guy is out of control I tell you."

Multiple attempts were made to reach Big East Commissioner John Marinatto, who was finally located in Keno Davis' basement where the two men were watching a Gossip Girl marathon on DVR. When asked for comment about another school's athletic director attempting to fire a different school's coach, Marinato sounded confused and said, "What sport are we talking about here?  Is this tennis or something?"  When told the incident involved Big East football programs, Marinatto got very defensive and shouted into the phone, "Get off my ass. TCU will fix everything!  They won a national title in 1938. They wear purple and purple is a fabulous color.  Fabulous I tell you. We've got 25 freaking schools in this conference and no one wears purple and I'm sick of hearing about it.  Well guess what -- we've got purple now bitch."  Without being prompted, he then added, "And there's no way we're kicking Providence and DePaul out out the conference, so don't even ask. Ray Meyer and Dave Gavitt are like Gods -- and they're also quite sexy."  Marinatto abruptly ended the conversation when Davis could be heard in the background saying the champagne coolies were ready.

Gross himself would not officially comment on the situation.  However, our same source said Gross will continue to push for Pasqualoni to be fired.  Apparently Pete Carroll has a little known brother named Fredo that Gross wants to take over the program.  Fredo Carroll is very close to Greg Robinson, who could be in line for a job should the younger Carroll ever take over a program of his own.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oregon Basketball Court Visually Assaults Viewers

Have you seen the new basketball court at the University of Oregon?  If you haven't, you aren't missing much -- the pic below - via the amazing mock session -- doesn't do it justice.  In addition to being flat out ugly, the glare requires you to watch the game with sunglasses on.  Seriously.

I'll give you $5 if you can find a halfcourt line on this monstrosity

Ebay Item of the Week: The UConn Coaching Search

Randy Edsall, Coach P....anyone else noticing a pattern here with our friends from Storrs? At this rate Greg Robinson will be coaching the Huskies in 2021. Here's the official documentary of the UConn coaching search.

Syracuse Smokes St. John's: Six Observations

The Syracuse Orange defeated the St. John's Redstorm 76-59 in SU's home* arena, Madison Square Garden.  After a slow start offensively, the Orange put together 30 minutes of excellent basketball, pulling away from an improved St. John's team that never got close to SU in the second half.  When you can end a Big East game with Brandon Reese on the floor, things went your way.  Here are six observations on the game.

1. The Orange appeared to be sleep walking through the first 10 minutes of the game.  I thought the tempo and sense of urgency picked up when James Southerland and Dion Waiters were inserted into the game.

2. If Rick Jackson could face the basket and make 15 footers he'd be a candidate for National Player of the Year, because that's the only part of his game that's missing.  Think about it, if he could stick the 12-15 footer in the lane, you add about 6 points a game to his scoring average.  Combine that with ridiculous rebounding numbers and excellent defense and that's the kind of stuff the national guys go nuts over.  The guy is having a monster year.

3. Brandon Triche's early season struggles are long forgotten and while he's now sticking open threes with regularity, his best play of the night was in the second half when he shot faked a three, took 2 dribbles, pulled up and absolutely buried a 15 footer.  It's a textbook play made by a guy who is really confident in his shot.

4. Including tonight Syracuse has held 12 of its 17 opponents to 60 or less points.  The 2-3 zone is an absolute beast this year.

5. The Scoop and Kris Show isn't just a series of videos posted on - these two guys, along with Rick Jackson and Brandon are carrying this team.  Scoop has found a nice balance between being aggressive and running the team and his 30 foot bounce pass to Joseph for a dunk in the second half was as pretty a pass as you'll see.  For Kris, the game is moving slower now.  He's more confident in his role as the top guy and he's struck his own personal balance between playing under control and being aggressive.

6. Gene Keady's hair is more disturbing than ever.  Check it out, via @akschaaf

* Per edict from national basketball "experts" every game played in the State of Syracuse is a home game.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Steve Lavin is Prepared for the Storm

Those of us living in the Northeast are dealing with another winter storm.  We're used to it.  Frankly it happens.  It's the trade-off we get for not having to deal with tornadoes, earthquakes, floods and bad celebrities like Carrot Top.

However, for St. John's coach Steve Lavin, a California native who spent the bulk of his career coaching in Los Angeles, this winter weather could prove to be a problem.  St. Johns fans are no doubt worried about whether the smooth coach with the slicked back hair can even make it to the arena for their game against the undefeated Syracuse Orange Wednsday night....especially given the fact that NYC doesn't exactly have a great snow removal track record this year.

However, fear not Johnnies - in addition to getting experience dealing with snow earlier this year, Lavin is no stranger to the great outdoors.  In fact a few years ago he went ice fishing with Brent Musburger and Erin Andrews.  Check it out:

After watching the video, I've got a couple of questions:

- How much action did Brent have on "who would catch the biggest fish?"

- Is Lavin really wearing sneakers?

- Why would Lavin ever leave the house when his wife looks like this?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Watch That Ref: Doug Sirmons Will T You Up

Referees have a thankless job - when they are perfect no one notices them, but when they screw up, you get idiots like us ranting and raving on the internet about how they are all bums. However, the fact that it's a tough job shouldn't absolve refs of scrutiny, especially since they are vital to outcomes of the games we all love.

In college basketball, there are a number of good refs out there working -- however, the system is broken and most of these guys -- who aren't young -- are working way too much.  In a sport that reaps billions from television contracts, referees are independent contractors (like the guys who built the Death Star), who make money based on the sheer volume of games they work.

But don't take it from me, check out this NY Times article from last March. 50 and 60 year old guys -- like Syracuse fan favorites Jim Burr and Tim Higgins, are working every night of the week, in different states.  And they are chasing 20 year olds, some of whom are the best athletes on the planet, up and down the court.

So, with that in mind and conference seasons in full swing, we launch "Watch That Ref" an occasional series that looks at what college basketball referees are doing, and using statistics available from Stat Sheet -- shines a light on what the hell they are up to.  Please keep in mind the Stat Sheet ref disclaimer as we move forward.

Technical Madness

When it comes to calling technical fouls, the 2010-2011 season leader is running away with the crown the way Tiger Woods used to run away from the field on Sunday Augusta. The current leader is a ref named Doug Sirmons (above).  Doug works mainly SEC games and has already worked 40 contests this year.  In those 40 contests, there have been an astounding 32 technicals called.  That's crazy when you consider the fact that the guy in second place on the T ladder is Pat Adams, who has had 20 technicals called in games he's worked.  That's one hell of a difference right there. Check it out:

Sirmons is on such a roll he's only 10 technicals shy of last year's leader for the entire year -- a ref named Doug Shows:

Doug's running hot this year and is actually within a couple of outbursts of topping his own season high, and it's still early January.

However, it's been a rough year for Mr. Sirmons, as he was the guy that blew that terrible whistle in the UCLA-Kansas game earlier this year. I bet he didn't get many Christmas cards from Southern California this year.

So let this be a lesson to coaches, fans and players alike -- if you see Doug Sirmons walk on the floor to call your game, keep your trap shut, or he'll T your ass up quicker than you can blink.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Syracuse - Seton Hall - Six Observations

As you know, the Syracuse Orange won their first true road game* of the year on Saturday, beating the Seton Hall Pirates by a score of 61-56.  If you missed the game have it on DVR, do yourself a favor and erase it.  It was an ugly win for the undefeated Orange.  In basketball terms, it was an over 50 pick up game at the Y ugly.  However, every game can't be a thing of beauty and as Herm Edwards taught us, you play to win the game - and SU won.  So mission accomplished.

Here are 5 quick observations on what we saw:
  1. I've said it before (I'm so modest) -- at the end of games Scoop Jardine is going to be the guy taking the big shot, or making the big play, and I'm comfortable with that.  He has no fear and he's a winner.  His drive to the rack basket when SU was up only 2 with under two minutes to play helped seal the win for SU.
  2. Eight minutes into the game, coach Boeheim had played 9 guys.  The pattern this year, and it's a good one, is to get a bunch of guys into the game early, so who's playing well and ride those guys in the second half.  Last week Dion Waiters got a ton of minutes in the second half, yesterday it was...
  3. Brandon Triche, who put the team on his back and carried them to a victory.  This isn't a deep thought, but it's all confidence with Brandon, he gets a couple to go down and he's not going to think so much, he'll just let it go. 
  4. Of course, the game wouldn't have been so close if they had just hit a few damn free throws.  Coming into the game the team was hitting over 65% of their free throws - against Seton Hall they were an abysmal 17-36 (47%).  Let's hope that was an anomaly, because you're not going to win many Big East games missing 19 free throws.
  5. Speaking of free throws, It was clear Wally Rutecki, Ed Hightower, Brent Hampton thought the fans paid money to watch them blow their whistles all afternoon, these three called 41 fouls and destroyed what little flow there was to the game.
  6. Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard is the anti-Snooki because I can guarantee you he's never  seen the inside of a tanning booth.   The guy makes Casper look dark.
So even though SU would have lost to just about every other team in the Big East (except DePaul) yesterday, they got the win and that's all that matters.  The Orange have a big game on the road against a vastly improved St. John's team on Wednesday, it should be fun.

* Technically it was the Orange's first road game, now can we just move on.  The last time I checked you don't play road games in the NCAA tournament and SU has already proven itself in neutral arenas this year.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nick Resavy Has Competition

Syracuse walk-on Nick Resavy put together a fantastic trick shot video earlier this year that we really enjoyed. Well if Nick's going to do another one, he might want to recruit Austin Groff from Twin Valley South High School in Ohio, because he's got some skills himself -- and he did this in a game no less.

The bad news for Austin's team - they lost.

Happy Friday everyone - don't forget to like us on Facebook and get more idiotic goodness in your Facebook news feed.  Let's be honest, it's better than reading about where some kid you barely new in high school is eating dinner or finding out that your Aunt Edna is dating.

Video via - Ted Williams Head.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ebay Item of the Week: Air Forth One

Craig Forth signed 8x10, that's all you need to know. Not convinced? As the great Warner Wolf would say, "Let's go to the videotape."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Lesson for Georgetown Fans

So, did you hear that the pathetic excuse for a basketball program known as the Georgetown Hoyas won't sell tickets to SU fans for the February game at the Verizon Center?  At first I didn't believe it - I mean a supposedly major Division I basketball program has a fan base that's so pathetic they can't sell enough tickets to keep the fans of their rival out of their own building? Then I thought about it for a second and it is Georgetown we're talking about here.  It's a school that employed the head coach of Mauritania for far too many years.

So, now that we've established the fact that Georgetown fans can't understand simple concepts like "showing up to big games," we here at T3I are going to give Hoya fans a very simple lesson on how to avoid these scenarios -- and we're going to do in a very simple way, because  that's clearly the only way to get through.

Dear Hoya fans:

This is how you represent at home in game against your rival -

This is what you'll want to avoid -

Your friends (not really)
The Three Idiots

Monday, January 3, 2011

Randy's Dream World

Well this Randy Edsall story gets even better. First, an unnamed Husky player reports that Mr. Edsall made NFL bound RB Jordan Todman address the team in person to declare his draft intentions immediately after the Huskies' Fiesta Bowl loss. After making his player stand face-to-face with his teammates, Randy chose a much easier route for himself. Classy.

But then came today's tremendous press conference where Randy, his new AD, and his wife all alluded to the fact that the Maryland job is his "dream job." Maryland football? Dream job? Really?

We're gonna take this and run with it, and do what we do best: make some incredibly bad jokes on this incredibly bad blog. Enjoy.

Randy's Dream Car: The Classic 1998 Ford Taurus

Randy's Dream Meal: All You Can Eat Soup, Salad and Breadsticks at The Olive Garden

Randy's Dream Vacation Getaway: Beautiful Altoona, Pennsylvania

Randy's Dream Concert: New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys....on one stage!

Randy's Dream House: Attention College Park, MD Realtors

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Right Man For the UConn Job

Seriously Huskies, this would be a great hire for you.

Syracuse - Notre Dame - 5 Observations

Mike Brey looks better in a tie
Fair warning, I've been sick as a dog for two days, so if this post makes even less sense than usual blame the meds.  As you know the Syracuse Orange are now 15-0, having scored an impressive 70-58 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday in the Carrier Dome. The team is off to its best start since the 1999-2000 season.  I can't wait to see how they do on the road against Seton Hall on Saturday.

Here are 5 quick observations on the Notre Dame game:
  1. James Southerland's emergence has been huge.  He gives the team a desperately needed outside threat and he's an athletic freak.  The interesting thing is he's actually playing a lot of minutes at the 4, with Rick Jackson anchoring the middle.
  2. Rick Jackson is really shot putting the ball from the free throw line right now.  If he's not careful he's going to destroy a backboard.  As my junior high hoop coach taught us - shoot it out of the phone booth Ricky.
  3. Call me crazy, but I'd like to see Dion Waiters be  a little more aggressive offensively.  You could tell at the beginning of the year that Boeheim was trying to get him to play more within the confines of the offense, but the kid is so freaking talented a couple of extra shots won't hurt anything.  Of course at 15-0, this is pure nitpicking on my part.
  4. Kris Joseph is finally comfortable being "the man" on offense.
  5. I complain about this every year, but Mike Brey's refusal to wear a tie drives me nuts.  Does he really think a mock turtleneck looks good?  As you can see above, I gave him some formal neckwear and it's clearly an improvement.   Mike - leave the ugly turtleneck to this guy and let's class it up a bit.

T3I Presents: Great Coaching Tenures

Mike Haywood's career at Pitt, 16 days and one arrest
George O'Leary had more lies on his resume than wins at Notre Dame

Mike Price -- apparently unaware of Alabama's policies against strippers and hookers, he never coached a game
Billy Donovan lasts 5 days in Orlando, his Florida teams haven't been any good since
Wally Backman in Arizona - more DWIs than wins
In their best decision in years, the University of Pittsburgh officially fired recently hired coach Mike Haywood after Haywood's arrest for an alleged domestic violence incident. His two and a half week stay at Pitt brings back memories of other lengthy coaching tenures from the sporting world.

Let's get the "Rich Rodriguez to Pitt" rumors up and running.


Fantastic images provided by the Hartford Courant.

Husky fans did not believe this was the 40th edition of the Fiesta Bowl since, according to them, major college football didn't exist prior to 2002. Anyways, we dedicate these pictures to the classiest fanbase (cough, cough) in the Big East-- U-C-O-N-N