Sunday, February 27, 2011

Syracuse Does the World a Favor - Beats Georgetown

Who's uglier - Gheorge Muresan, the GEICO Caveman, or Georgetown fans?
The Syracuse Orange went into the Verizon Center and despite the best efforts of Georgetown officials who tried to keep Syracuse fans out and the Georgetown basketball team that tried to sweep the season series against the Orange, put together a strong effort that led to a solid 58-51 win over the hated Hoyas.

Georgetown obviously missed point guard Chris Wright who couldn't play due to a broken hand.  However, Wright's absence shouldn't minimize Syracuse's win.  They beat a good team, on their home court, on senior night in the first game without one of Georgetown's leaders.  It's not easy to beat a team when they have that much emotion going.  All you have to do is look back to what the Denver Nuggets did in their first game without Carmelo to see how missing player can galvanize a team. Hell, it's the whole premise of the Sports Guy's Ewing Theory. Over the long run when a team misses a key player it usually catches up with them -- however the FIRST game is almost always tough for opponents.

For Syracuse, the win was the 24th of the year, a number every SU fan would have deemed acceptable at the beginning of the year. To put 24 wins in perspective -- over the last 20 years SU has failed to reach 24 wins 10 times.  So even with the four game losing streak and the truly bizarre rumors that have swirled from time to time, this team has already accomplished a lot and is in position accomplish even more.

While the team is dangerous, it certainly hasn't been a typical year for SU and the Georgetown game was a microcosm of that fact.  We had James Southerland come out of nowhere and usurp C.J. Fair's minutes, Fab Melo on the floor at crunch time and Kris Joseph's two biggest plays were a rebound and a stellar defensive effort to deny Georgetown.

Rising above it all was Mr. Antonio 'Scoop' Jardine.  Scoop played one his best games of the year, limiting his turnovers, putting his teammates on his back down the stretch, and making big shot after big shot.  He simply willed the team to a victory.  I've said all year that like it or not, at the end of the game Scoop is going to be the guy taking crunch time shots. That was true yesterday and he came through.  So while we all continue on Mr. Scoop's Wild Ride keep this in mind -- while he's as unpredictable as they come, but he isn't afraid -- and guys who aren't afraid are dangerous.

A few observations:

- As Fab Melo goes, so goes Syracuse?  Well not really, however Fab's game mirrored what happened with the rest of the team yesterday.  In the first half he got some playing time, he was active and even had a dunk. Syracuse led by 10 at the half.  When he was inserted in the second half, things didn't go as well.

- Kris Joseph was a ghost for 39 minutes but he showed when it counted, hauling in an important offensive  rebound and blocking Jason Clark's three point attempt to preserve a win.  While his defensive effort was  better, he's really been struggling lately and SU needs him to play much better on offense to have any chance of doing some damage in March.

- C.J. Fair was been playing very well, so it was a little odd to see James Southerland get so much time.  However, James got another shot at playing time and man did he deliver.  His 9 points in the first half were needed, but what was more impressive was the defensive effort and activity on the boards.

- Georgetown did a nice job of denying Brandon Triche good looks.  As much as SU needs productivity from Triche, this is also a good thing.  With teams starting to key on him, it should open up opportunities for other guys.

- Talked about Scoop a lot of there earlier, but the bottom line is that he won this game for SU.

- Dear Bill Clinton:  More rooting for Arkansas - less rooting for Georgetown -- and I don't care that you went there.

- Syracuse with a week off before getting DePaul next week at home.  SU is looking at closing the Big East with a 12-6 record and 25-6 overall.  Not too shabby.

Insert Your Best Caption Here

Photo: Nick Wass, AP
Courtesy of the Democrat and Chronicle's photo gallery of Syracuse's win over Georgetown.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stylin' with Clyde

MSG announcer and NBA legend Walt "Clyde" Frazier celebrated Carmelo Anthony's Garden debut in style. Smooth Clyde, smooth.

My first thought, was that of Sean Willam Scott's character "E.L." in the movie "Road Trip":

"Did you kill a cheetah?"

Never Forget

Defender of all things orange Matt from Hoya Suxa reminded us last March to never forget. Preach on Matt, preach on. I remember talking my parents into letting me stay up late to watch this game not knowing I'd be treated to "Fight Night at the Garden." By the way, Andre Hawkins vs. Michael Graham, I'm going w/ Andre, TKO in the 3rd.

Beat Georgetown!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ebay Item of the Week: Original Melo

Did you hear Carmelo Anthony was finally traded to the Knicks? We're commemorating this historic week in the NBA like any group of idiots would, by paying tribute to an '80s journeyman baseball player who happens to have the same first name. Ladies and gentlemen, with career numbers of .245, 108 HR, and 454 RBI, we are pleased to recognize Carmelo Martinez with our Ebay Item of the Week.

You'd call me an idiot if I told you for $2.00 I could get you fifteen of the above pictured 1985 Topps Carmelo cards. Well, call me an idiot.

Personally, I like the gun-show Melo flashes in this '89 Topps beauty.

Remember that minor league brawl a couple of years ago, where a pitcher attempted to throw a baseball into the opponent's dugout and ending up beaning a fan? The fireworks all began when Peoria Chiefs then-interim manager Carmelo Martinez pushed the opposing manager. The pitcher? He apparently ended up getting deported.

Go get 'em 'Melo!

The Carmelo Sandwich Will Turn You Into Hot Plate Williams

Eat up fatties - it's the Carmelo sandwich
Carmelo Anthony has finally made it -- he's got a sandwich at the Carnegie Deli named after him -- and by the size of it, the only current or former player who could get the whole thing down is John "Hot Plate" Williams.

I would hope it sells better than the A-Rod sandwich (#18) at the nearby Stage Deli.

John "Hot Plate" Williams always dreamed of getting the right side of a menu named after him

Kenny Loggins + The Boston Pops + The Syracuse Chiefs = ???

Music fans in CNY--- fantastic news. That long awaited Kenny Loggins/Boston Pops tour (no we're not making up this combination) rolls into Alliance Bank Stadium on August 28th. Personally, I was holding out for a Richard Marx/NY Philharmonic tour stop, but this will do.

Danger Zone WARNING: I feel the need...the need for speed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

UNC Asheville and Coastal Carolina Provide a Warm Up for NCAA Tournament

I'll be honest with you, I never thought I'd be doing a post on a Big South regular season game, but you have to check out the finish of the UNC Asheville - Coastal Carolina game tonight.  To set the stage, the game was tied at 58 a piece when when Coastal Carolina called a timeout with 2.6 seconds left to try and set up a game winning shot.  However, the inbounds pass was tipped and intercepted (known around these parts as 'pulling a scoop' - I kid, I kid) and the rest -- well check it out for yourself.

It reminds me just a little of one of my personal all-time favorite NCAA Tournament game endings - Bryce Drew beating Ole Miss. Man the tournament can't get here soon enough.

What Will The ESPN Ticker Do Now?

Photo: NY Daily News/AP
First Brett Favre retired (again), and now the much talked about Carmelo Anthony trade has finally taken place. With two of ESPN's "Bottom Line" favorite subjects now out of the rotation, the poor interns who program it will be left scrambling for other meaningless updates to scroll across America's TV sets.

In a T3I exclusive, our "ESPN Mole" gave us an inside look into what will take the place of Carmelo Anthony trade rumors on the Bottom Line in the coming weeks:

* PUJOLS: In case you haven't heard, the best player in baseball hasn't signed an extension....the ticker is here to remind you.

* AROD: Expect continuous updates on the snack foods being fed to him by Cameron Diaz during Spring Training.

* NHL: Up-to-minute playoff updates....wait a minute....who are we kidding....half the NHL news ESPN reports is completely made up by some guy in Canada.

* XGAMES: Like the NHL, I can't even make up a joke here.

* NFL LOCKOUT: It's a long off season, which means lots of Bryant McKinnie bar tabs to be picked up.

When Ugly is Pretty - Syracuse Defeats Villanova

Scoop reintroduced himself to his hometown tonight, leading the Orange to a big win
Photo via - Mocksession

In a game only a mother or an SU fan could love, the Syracuse Orange defeated the Villanova Wildcats and three incompetent refs in Philadelphia tonight, winning 69-64. The game was marred by some brutally inconsistent officiating, horrible shooting from Villanova and far too many turnovers from Syracuse.

However, the Orange made some key plays on offense down the stretch and when SU really needed to prevent Villanova from getting a clean look at a three, the 2-3 zone forced a turnover to seal the game. It was an important win for the Orange as the team jockeys for post-season seeding and happens to be their third W in a row.  While its too soon to say SU has righted the ship after 6 losses in 8 games, this much is clear -- in an overall down year for college basketball, anything is possible in the post-season.

Ultimately I don't think the Orange are good enough on offense to make a lot of noise in the tournament -- but at the same time this team has shown enough resilence and moxie that a deep run wouldn't surprise anyone.

Individual Performances:

Scoop Jardine: The mercurial point guard returned home to Philly and played a typical Scoop game - moments of brilliance mixed in with some bad turnovers and borderline insane decisions. However, with the offense stalled at times, Scoop stepped up and knocked down big shots.  He also found Rick Jackson for some easy dunks. SU doesn't win this game without his 20 points.  We might have to rename Scoop Mr. Excitement.

Rick Jackson: He was better than Villanova's big men and tonight his teammates helped him take advantage of that fact. There's no better story this season than the transformation of Rick Jackson from a serviceable big man to a dominant one. I love watching him fight for offensive rebounds because even when he doesn't haul the ball in he's making the opposition work. Rick wears people out.

Kris Joseph: Not the best performance from Kris.  Seven points, eight rebounds, some lackluster defense and fouling out.  The fact that the Orange won when he struggled, speaks well of the rest of the team.  I'm not sure what's going on with Joseph, but he's a better player than he's been in the second half of the season.

Brandon Triche: He didn't shoot it very well, but he made a huge 3 when it counted. Mark my words, he's a 15 ppg guy next year.

Baye Moussa Keita: A quiet game for Baye - which makes him getting a technical technical foul for no reason at the end of the first half all the more  ironic.

Dion Waiters: It looks like a trip home and some early foul trouble for his cousin was the medicine for what was ailing Mr. Waiters. His two free throws with 14 seconds left secured a needed 3 point lead. I'd like to see him take the ball to hole more instead of settling for jumpers, but this was a big game for Dion, who had been virtually non-existent for the past couple of weeks.

C.J Fair: Fair tweaked an ankle he hurt earlier in the season and it definitely threw him off his game. Not sure this is correct, but the ESPN box score says he went without a rebound, which is hard to believe from a guy who always finds himself around the ball.

Fab Melo: He played 2 minutes and was aggressive while he was on the floor. At this point I'll take it. You can see there's talent there. Hell, at some point I can see him winning a "most improved player" award in the Big East, and you'd have to imagine he'd be the first player to win it who was also the pre-season rookie of the year.

John Cahill, Ed Corbett, Michael Stephens: These three assclowns must have been drinking at Chickie and Pete's before the game.  The officiating was an embarrassment.  There was zero consistency.  Guys were getting killed under the rim and then nickel and dimers were getting called up top.  There was the joke that was the last 2 minutes of the first half.  Intentional fouls that weren't intention fouls, about 20 missed traveling calls and three guys who had no control of the game. 

We've railed on the fact that refs work too much before, but it's true.  These are old men chasing young athletes a third of their age.  In case you are curious, Cahill has worked 7 days straight, in 7 different states, Corbett has worked 71 games in 35 states this year and Stephens has worked 9 of the last 10 days and called 77 games this year.  The officiating has been bad this year.  I think the only thing that will fix it will be some horrible blown call in a tournament game, and that's a shame.  College basketball deserves better than what its getting from its referees this year.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vote for CJ Fair for Dunk of the Year

Have you heard of Dunks of the Year? Me neither. However, apparently more the 20,000 people have, so once again we are slow around these parts. This week C.J. Fair's sick dunk against Cornell has been nominated for this award. You can vote for C.J.'s dunk on the Dunks of the Year Facebook page, so vote early and vote often people. Speaking of facebook, don't forget to like the Three Idiots page while you are over there.

Syracuse v. Rutgers = Hair Pulling?

Syracuse's win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday afternoon wasn't exactly the prettiest affair to ever grace a basketball court - but a win is a win is a win.  However, when you check out ESPN's highlights of the game, YouTube has an interesting suggestion for those watching the highlights - the video of New Mexico State women's soccer player Elizabeth Lambert beating up BYU players.  Now, I'm not exactly sure our computer overlords are trying to tell us?  Was the game that ugly?  Are Rutgers players secretly female soccer players?  So many questions..... 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Interactive Ebay Item of the Week: Defending Deshaun

What Syracuse fan would want a signed Deshaun Willaims 8x10 photo? Arguably one of the most controversial Orangemen of recent years, I'm guessing this item won't find many takers.

We're not one to rest on our laurels with our regular features like the EBay Item of the Week (who are we kidding of course we are), so we're letting our faithful readers (both of them) weigh in with our new interactive feature.

A signed 8x10 Deshaun Williams photo would best be used for...
dart practice.
kindling on a cold winter night.
a motivational "Don't Be This Guy" poster.
a reality check for SU fans when they think things are bad.
a companion piece with a signed Greg Robinson photo. free polls

Joba Chamberlain Turns Brian Cashman into Rasheed Wallace

Joba Chamberlain showed up to spring training fat. Apparently he was eating all the Captain Crunch C.C. Sabathia took a pass on this off-season, but instead of covering the delicious sugary cereal in milk, he must have decided to cover it in a nice sausage gravy instead (note to self, give this a try).

Naturally the media wanted to ask G.M. Brian Cashman about this new development and that's where fun began. Cashman refused to discuss his pitcher's extra poundage and said over and over again, he's heavier, that's all I'll say.   The New York media termed Cashman's answers"careful" and  "reticent."  Here in idiot-land, we call them Rasheed Wallace-like.  Hit it Sheed:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

R.I.P. Uncle Leo

Uncle Leo is now saying HELLO to St. Peter
Uncle Leo, beloved father of Jeffrey, brother of Helen Seinfeld, brother-in-law of Morty Seinfeld and the favorite uncle to Jerry Seinfeld (no relation to little Jerry Seinfeld) passed away today.  Leo was a lover of hearty hello, took a keen interest in discarded watches and wallets, and most of all loved spending time with his family -- especially when they had none.

A part-time adonis, Leo often searched for love when he wasn't busy shoplifting or commiting crimes of passion.  He will be missed.  Calling hours are every week night at 7/6 C on TBS.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SUper Sports Classics

Raft- Bilas move over, it's Mowins-Jones time

Time Warner Cable, we love your SU Sports Time Capsule presentations. Tonight from January 14th, 1996 the eventual Final Four bound Orangemen hosted the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The good guys would go on to win 81-80. Cuse fans know the names of that '96 title game team well: Wallace, Sims, Janulis, Reafsnyder, Burgan, Cipolla, and Hill. Settling in for the first half I was blown away by Coach Boeheim's first half rotation which included playing time for Elimu Nelson, David Patrick, Bobby Lazor, and Elvir Ovcina. Heck, at the 6:24 mark of the first half Donovan McNabb checked in. Jimmy went 12 deep in the FIRST HALF of a Big East game. We're not talking garbage time in a blowout.

Hosting tonight's telecast was the Time Warner (then SUper Sports) announcing team of Beth Mowins and Vera Jones. Mowins found her way to ESPN where she's called college football, softball and WNBA action. Former Orangewomen and 1988 Big East Player of the Year Jones is now making her rounds in the motivational speaker world.
Some random thoughts on that '96 team:

* Was there a player who fell down more than Todd Burgan? Seriously this guy saw the floor more than my Swiffer Wet Jet.
* You had to love Z Sims...local kid, waited his turn and took the Orange to the title game.
* That old Dome floor looks really dated now. Of course this game is 15 years old (damn I'm getting old) so that's understandable.
* Otis Hill looks like he'd be a really fun guy to hang out with.
* I really thought John Wallace would have a decent run in the NBA.
* Marius Janulis looks like he's really good at math.
* Tim Higgins thought he was the star of the game even back in 1996.

Jason, show 'em:

Syracuse Vanquishes West Virginia

Even using an evil villian from the Superman movies was not enough to help West Virgina overcome Syracuse
The Syracuse Orange broke a two game losing streak with a solid win versus the West Virginia Mountainers tonight, winning 62-53.  While the performance was far from perfect, SU's 2-3 zone was more active and aggressive than it's been in quite some time and the offense was bouyed by another tremendous outing from sophomore guard Brandon Triche. 

That was enough to carry the Orange to their 21st victory of the year and continued Jim Boeheim's historically strong record against West Virginia golf windshirt model and head coach Bob Huggins.  However, the Hall of Fame coach took a strong exception to the fact that local reporters Mike Waters and Donna Ditota of the Syracuse Post Standard had the gall to mention that Rick Pitino has won 6 of the last 7 games against him.

That rant aside, the story of the game -- and what could be the story of the season -- is the emergence of Brandon Triche.  It's hard to believe that we are watching the same player that went 5 games earlier this season without making a three because right now he's playing like a guy that's about to break into the top level of Big East guards.  With Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine still struggling offensively, the success of the rest of the season could very well rest on Triche's broad shoulders.

And while it's easy to rip on teams and players when things are going bad -- it's really, really fun to watch a player like Triche develop.  College basketball is filled with a lot of guys who never realized their potential and those players are remembered for far too long after they are gone.  Everyone still knows who DeShaun Williams and Josh Wright are.  What people should also remember years from now is that guys like Rick Jackson and Brandon Triche came into a program without a ton of hype, worked their asses off and are now thriving in the best basketball conference in the country.  It's really fun to watch it happen before our very eyes.

Some other quick thoughts on the game:

- Kris Joseph was far more active defensively tonight than he's been recently. 

- C.J Fair is fearless and active.  You can see not much bothers him out there.

- Rick Jackson had a bounce back "Rick Jackson" game.  He brought the hard hat and the lunch bucket and battled down low.  No word on whether or not there were any cat calls on lunch break - we'll assume not.

- That was the best I've seen this team move and share the basketball in weeks.

- How do guys that starred in Super Hero movies 30 years ago have any eligibility left?

- I think Joe Mazzulla has been at West Virginia longer than Carl Krauser was at Pitt.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Welcome to the Yuck Center - Syracuse Louisville Observations

The KFC Yum Center was as welcoming for Syracuse as KFC is to diners

After watching the Louisville Cardinals defeat the Syracuse Orange 73-69 yesterday at the KFC Yum Center there's no doubt every Syracuse fan on the planet has a bad taste in their mouth.  Syracuse lost for the 6th time in 8 games and a season that a few short weeks ago was filled with promise is quickly collapsing into a 7 seed and first round exit in the NCAA tournament.

Like many of the teams that have beaten Syracuse recently, Louisville utilized some good ball movement  to get open shots against the 2-3 zone and then they knocked them down.  Rick Pitino understands how to beat his old boss' beloved defense -- as evidenced by his 7-1 record against Boeheim since taking the Louisville job.

And speaking of the zone, it does make it easier for opponents to prepare for SU because they only have prepare for one type of defense.  Boeheim simply isn't going to attempt to play anything else, stating a few weeks ago that this team "can't play man to man."  Frankly it's a premise I reject.  Every team in the country can play man to man - yet Syracuse can't? We are supposed to believe that?  Every guy on the SU team played man in high school. They played man in AAU ball and they play man in every pick up game they've ever played.  Show me a pick up game where guys are playing zone and I'll show you flying monkeys.  No one is saying they need to play 40 minutes of man, but being able to mix in for 5-10 minutes a game would be a nice luxury to have.

Speaking of the zone, it appears like appears the players don't always believe in it.  Especially after a team makes a couple of long threes, guys don't appear to be buying in to the concept.  Now no one will admit that and might not even be true -- but that's what it looks like to me when I watch this team play.

Let's do a quick run down of the individual performances.

Brandon Triche: Simply put, this was his best game at Syracuse.  I was down on him earlier in the year, but he has picked his game up tremendously.  He's the team's most consistent three point shooter, he's steady with the ball (zero turnovers yesterday) and he works his ass off.  He made a great hustle play to race back down the floor and prevent a sure Louisville lay up at one point in the game when it would have been easier to turn the guy loose.  By the time he's a senior I think we're looking at a 15-17 ppg guy.

Scoop Jardine: The mercurial point guard started the game hot and made some threes down the stretch.  Overall I thought be played pretty well -- but of course at the end of the game went ahead made a couple of ill-advised passes. Again.  In crunch time.

Kris Joseph: I don't know what's going on with him right now. I talked about this after the last game, but his defense has been horrible lately and yesterday was another shining example.  If he wants to be the leader of this team he needs to at least make an attempt at that end of the floor.  Right now he isn't.  He's regressing at a disturbing rate.  It got so bad that Boeheim benched him for James Southerland - who  had been benched a few games ago because he wasn't rebounding or playing defense.  Joseph had 2 rebounds yesterday.  

Baye Keita: He's going to be really good and he's giving some great effort out there.  7 rebounds in 15 minutes of play is pretty good.  On the downside, his hands are really bad and the wrist injury he's playing with isn't helping matters.

Rick Jackson: Louisville immediately doubled Rick every time he touched the ball and he did a nice job of finding some open guys.  However his game is really limited by the fact that he can't turn, face and make a 12 footer.  On offensive he's only effective with his back to the basket.

Dion Waiters: It was Brandon Triche's best game at SU - this was Dion Waiters worst.  He contributed more against Marquette.

James Southerland:  He got a little action in the second half when Joseph decided defense was optional.  He's still developing and limited offensively (its a jumper or bust for James) but he did grab 3 rebounds in 8 minutes - which was more than Joseph grabbed in 30.

CJ Fair: Another excellent game for CJ. He's active, doesn't need the ball to score and he's always attacking the basket.  He's been a revelation this year and he's an easy guy to root for.  I'm really excited to watch him develop.

Ways to pass time during a Bruce Weber timeout

Screen shot from Sunday's Illinois-Purdue game.

Right now #22 has his hands full.

Saturday Night Fights

Donte Greene, The Contender.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Beat Louisville Chat

Stop by 12:00 Saturday.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ebay Item of the Week: Pearl Jam

Boy time flies on a dumb blog. Just three years ago, we began this semi-weekly Ebay Item of the Week feature as a peek into the world of "sports memorabillia."

Well, when we stumbled upon an old school #31 Dwayne "Pearl" Washington jersey, we've reached a possible high point in this stupid series of posts. Let's review:

One of the coolest Orangemen ever....check

Great script "Syracuse" font....check, seriously these jerseys need to come back.

Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and The Boss, nice:

Syracuse Georgetown Observations

The Georgetown Hoyas flopped their way into the Carrier Dome tonight and came up with a 64-56 win over the Syracuse Orange.  The Hoyas had a clear clear goal of trying to take more charges than a matador covered in red capes.  The game was an uneven, ugly affair filled with a lot of contact and officiating that was less than consistent to put it kindly.

The bottom line is that Syracuse couldn't make a play on offense down the stretch and Georgetown, stymied by the 2-3 zone for the first 35 minutes of the game, executed and made plays when it counted.  Give credit to John Thompson's team, they earned this win, as unpleasant as it was to watch.

Coming into the season an major, unaswered question was who would emerge as SU's "go to" guy down the stretch of close games.  Well, 25 games into the season, we still have no idea.  You don't have to be a MENSA member to know that's not a good sign.  Let's break down the individual Syracuse performances.

Rick Jackson: Hampered by foul trouble and officials who were more than happy to blow the whistle against him while he was dribbling, but not on the opponent while he was shooting, Jackson had his worst game of the year.  Rick doesn't shoot 1-6 from the field too often and the fact that the team seemed to play better while he was on the bench versus when he was on the floor says it all. Tonight was an anomoly. He's been SU's best, most consistent player all year long.  I suppose a game like this was bound to happen, although it was shocking to see. Let's just move on.

Kris Joseph: Kris carried the team early in the first half with some big threes and just when it looked like he was settling for too many jumpers, he started taking the ball to the rim.  Then he started running guys over and the trouble set in. Like the rest of him teammates, Kris Jo went cold down the stretch, but there's a bigger problem people don't seem to want to talk about.  He's been a pretty terrible defender lately.  Watch how many times a lapse comes from his area or his assignment in the zone -- and you'll see it happens too often.  Plus he played 40 minutes tonight and had 1 rebound.  That's terrible. It got James Southerland banished to the bench -- and rightly so.  He's averaging less than 5 rebound a game on the season.  Rebounding and defense are all about effort - and SU needs more effort from number 32.

Fab Melo:  I thought he was really active in his 3 minutes of playing time.  Seriously.  He tipped a few balls on the offensive end and was going to the glass.  Of course he got the extremely quick hook and never played again.  I wish Boeheim had him on a little longer leash, but that's not in the cards for this year.  I honestly believe he's going to be pretty good in a few years, but right now I don't see the point of starting him if he's going to play the first two minutes of the game and sit down. It's like he's a starting NFL quarterback and every game for Fab is the fourth pre-season game.

Scoop Jardine: Scoop faced a lot of ball pressure the whole game and while he was quiet offensively, he was steady and ran the team.  Then the last four minutes of the game rolled around and Scoop puked all over himself.  A bad forced pass to Keita, followed by hanging his head and not getting back on defense led to an Austin Freeman layup and the rest is history.  He did have a few pretty assists, but sadly no one will remember those.

Brandon Triche:  He ceded court time for a long stretch in the second half to Dion Waiters, but he had what is becoming a typical, steady Triche game. At this point he's the team's best three point shooter, although that's not saying too much.

CJ Fair: Fair probaby played his best game in Orange and that includes the Pitt game.  If you've ever played basketball you know hitting those weird floaters in the lane isn't as easy as he makes it look. It's a gift really.  What I really liked was how active he was on defense.  He's got long arms and great timing which make up for being a little undersized..  He's also a good rebounder which allows Boeheim to go small with Rick Jackson at center.  This is a good thing because Kris Joseph certainly isn't helping out in that area. CJ also got completely screwed early in the second half by the refs.  At one point a guy fouled Blake Griffin in LA and they called it on Fair,

Baye Moussa Keita: He looked a little lost in the zone early tonight.  In his first couple stints on the court he lost guys on the baseline and then all of a sudden -- boom goes the dynamite.  He played very well in the second half when Jackson picked up his fourth foul, anchoring the zone, running the floor, blocking shots and getting some key put backs.  I'm pretty sure he will be fighting CJ Fair this year as the fan favorite.

Dion Waiters:  Dion played very well in second half, working hard on the defensive end to get a few steals and get his offense going.  He was miserable from beyond the arc however, going 0-3 and posing after airballing a corner 3 in the first half.  Not the best time to break out the pose Dion.

The Holy Shirt guys: Initially these guys with their "I Bleed Orange" shirts and Boeheim masks were enjoyable and I may very well just be a cranky old man, but I'm already tired of their shtick.  That stuff doesn't have a long shelf life.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beat Georgetown

Do you ever wonder why Georgetown Coach John Thompson III looks so sad in almost every photo you see of him? Go ahead and do a Google image search for him.  You'll find pictures of him looking like his dog died or reacting to finding out his wife is sleeping the mailman (a step up for her really).

You have to wonder why.  Could it be the nagging sense that he'll never live up to his father's accomplishments?  Could it be that fact that he recognizes his mustache will never be as regal as Stan Heath's?  Or could it be the fact that he's never won in the Carrier Dome and is a meager 4-7 against the team that still works his father into a lather? Yeah, I think we've got our answer.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tom Mees Shoulda Been a Hoya

It's Georgetown week here in Syracuse fan-land.  As we get ready for another match up between good and evil, it's always fun to look back at some past Syracuse triumphs.  In this case, let's relive the 1985 Syracuse win over the Hoyas -- which is infamous for two reasons -- Pearl Washington's game winning bucket and the late Tom Mees doing his best Michael Graham imitation and throwing elbows all over the place.  I'm shocked John Thompson didn't give him a scholarship right there on the spot.

Sorry for the lack of activity around here, sometime life gets in the way of posting dumb stuff on the internet.

Friday, February 4, 2011

You Can Count on Slippery Pete

Well this has been a fun week on the internet: unsubstantiated rumors, poker web site message boards, and twitter feeds created a "much-ado-about-nothing" non-story.

As is the usual with these non-stories, people are citing their "sources close to the situation" to further their baseless message board posts and twitter tweets. Realizing that despearate times call for desperate measures, T3I is determined to find our own "insider source" who scoops mainstream media. Well, we've found our man, Slippery Pete. Famous for his "rogue electrician" ways and Russian mail-order brides, Pete is our contact to all things from inside the sporting world. Pete receives help from his long-time confidant Shlomo.

Today's insider scoop from Pete:

"**BREAKING NEWS** Rick Jackson's second cousin ordered a footlong Italian BMT at Subway this week."

Unfortunately, Pete's twitter account access was cut short when he couldn't find the needed holes to run his laptop. Plus, when it comes to computers, Pete's more of a "Frogger" guy.

Folks with tips like these, you can always count on Slippery Pete.

Prop Bets - Syracuse Style

If you don't have a team to pull for in the SuperBowl, there are other things to make the game interesting.  There's SuperBowl squares, wacky commercials, and of course, prop bets.  Let's face it, there's nothing more exciting than wagering on whether Fergie will wear a thong on the halftime show (you can really bet on that). 

We here at T3I love these wacky propositions so much we were inspired to come up with some Syracuse-based bets that will carry us through the duration of regular season (8 games). Feel free to leave your guesses or bets below.

How Many Times Will Announcers Mention Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters are cousins?

Over/Under - 11.5

How Many Times Will Jim Boeheim Get Caught on TV Yelling at Dion Waiters?

Over/Under - 273

How Many Times Will John Marinatto Put Mayonnaise in the toaster?

Over/Under - 7.25

How Many Posts Will Nunesmagician Have on the Chipotle Curse? (Sean is ineligible to bet)

Over/Under - 3.5

The Number of Internet Rumors Linking Syracuse Players With Sexual Assault of a Goat (poker 5 rumors do not count)

Over/Under - pi = 3.14159265

Jay Wright Will have a Soup Stain on his tie for Syracuse Rematch

+ 100 million

The Number of Towels Mookie Will Chew Through

Over/Under - 156

The Number of Times Bernie Fine Will Fart on the Bench

Over/Under - 17

The Number of Times He Will Blame it on Lazarus Sims

Over/Under - 18

The Number of Games Fab Melo Plays More Than 10  Minutes

Off the Board

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

UConn is Syracuse's Slumpbuster

Slumpbuster - thy name is Connecticut

The headline comes courtesy of a text message I received from Champ seconds after Syracuse defeated Connecticut 66-58 at the XL Center.  The Syracuse Orange were in desperate need of a slumpbuster and luckily for the Orange, the Connecticut Huskies were happy to oblige.

Syracuse held Kemba Walker to eight points (never thought I'd type that) and turned in the best defensive effort they've had in weeks in the upset of Jim Calhoun's team.  And it was a good thing they did, because for the first 15 minutes of the game Syracuse was a mess on offense.  As much as it pains me to say this, you could have mistaken this one for a Big 10 game -- minus the leaders and legends of course.

The defense was keyed by a huge performance from Baye Keita, who gave Syracuse another guy willing to hit the glass.  He was also very disruptive defensively and handled his responsibilities in the zone well. He is going to be a very good player in a couple of years.  Very, very good.

This Syracuse team has gone through a lot of nonsense over the past 24 hours -- so with that in mind, I am going to change the usual observations format.  Instead of talking about both the good and the bad, tonight I'm going to point out something nice about every player's performance.

Kris Joseph - While he struggled with his shot the whole game and wasn't much of a factor offensively, Joseph was huge at the end of the game.  His three point play to put Syracuse up 7 sealed the game.  That's what a leader does. Kris really stepped up when it was needed.

Rick Jackson - 13 points and 13 rebounds were impressive, however it's almost common place for Rick this year.  What he deserves some extra praise for is his passing.  He passes the ball very well out of the double team and his slip pass to Baye in the second half was beautiful.  The fact that Keita lost control of the ball and it still went in is proof the basketball gods enjoy and reward big men who can pass the rock.

Brandon Triche - He tied a career high with 16 points and just as impressively, he was confident and made some tough shots when SU was struggling from the field.  These came after a first half when he didn't make many shots.  It didn't affect him.  You can see Brandon trying to will this team to wins.

Scoop Jardine - Even with his rough shooting night he did have 6 assists versus only 2 turnovers.  Not bad against a team that likes to play pressure defense.

Fab Melo - He looks better now that he's shaved.  You've gotta look good to play good.

Baye Ketia - As was mentioned above, he was simply huge tonight.  SU had been getting wiped out on the boards with Jackson playing center.  Keita played 27 strong minutes and grabbed 11 rebounds, blocked a couple of shots and amazinly was credited with 6 steals - not too shabby for a freshman center.  This team needs a guy besides Jackson to rebound, Keita could be the guy.

Dion Waiters - He returned from the penalty box and was a big factor tonight.  Playing under control, Dion had 9 points but more importantly was really active on defense, as evidenced by his 3 steals.  If Dion plays defense, Dion will play.

C.J. Fair - He might be the best guy on the team at getting into the lane and getting his shot off.  Fair brought energy and contributed 18 solid minutes tonight.  He's also fearless.

James Southerland - He only played a minute, but did manage to squeeze in a missed three and a foul.  No Club Trillion for James. You gotta respect that.

This was a nice win for a team that needed it.  Jim Boeheim has never lost five in a row and let's hope we don't have to talk about that stat again this year -- or any year.

Don't forget to like Three Idiots on Sports on Facebook - all the kids are doing it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bobby Finstock's Keys to the Game

Coach Bobby Finstock is back to provide his unique insight into Wednesday night's Syracuse - UConn game.  Bobby is a man that lives by certain rules -- these rules:

We asked Coach Bobby what rules Syracuse should live by if they hope to beat UConn. Here's what he said:

1.) Never play cards with Jim Calhoun. He cheats - and he smells like old cheese.

2.) Do not hitch a ride with Diana Taurasi. When she gets behind the wheel there's a good chance she has more booze in her than David Hasselhoff when he's ripping through some Wendys.

3.) Always keep an eye on Jeff Hathaway. He's the guy who shows up at the cocktail party after being dumped by your ex-girlfriend and proudly announces to the whole room that he's marrying your ex-wife. You can never trust a guy like that.

If Syracuse follows these three rules, the game will be cream cheese -- and they walk out of the XL Center with a win.