Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Night the Platinum Almost Died: Syracuse Survives Against USF

Brandon Triche expresses how we all feel about these uniforms
The Syracuse Orange showed up on Jim Boeheim Court sporting their hideous Nike designed platinum uniforms and promptly scored 5 points in the first 10 minutes of their game against South Florida. The Orange/Platinum rallied to defeat a scrappy South Florida squad 56-48, but the game was as ugly as the jerseys on the players backs.

With any luck platinum will go the way of the blue jerseys and we won't be visually assaulted by these monstrosities for a long, long time. I wish I could say the same for the damage Bob Wenzel did to our ears tonight, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Here are 5 observations from the win

1. Scoop Jardine has never been afraid to step up and try to make a play when the team needs it. As we all know it hasn't always worked out well in the past. That's all changed so far this year. As the season has gone along he's gotten better and better and better. With the Orange floundering on offense in the first half, Scoop stepped up and got the team going on both ends of the floor. When USF made it interesting late in the second half and SU couldn't throw the ball in an ocean from a rowboat, Scoop stepped up again. You need great point guard play to go deep in March - right now SU has it.

2. Conversely, Dion Waiters and Brandon Triche are locked in a deadly battle to see who can struggle more. Brian Barrett pointed out that Triche hasn't hit double figures since January 28th. While Dion is playing better, he's not sharing the ball as well as he was early in the season and is drawing the ire of Boeheim more and more. Both of these guys have to figure it out soon because the Orange need more production from that spot. James Southerland also looks lost lately, but the team doesn't rely on him the way they do Waiters and Triche.

3. Huge kudos to Kris Joseph for attacking the basket and being aggressive on the offensive glass. He really struggled with his shot but didn't let that stop him from getting points in ways other than jump shots. I'm not sure we would have seen that last year. Kris and Scoop willed this team to victory.

4. If I had to watch 30 South Florida basketball games I'd become a field hockey fan. I know Stan Heath is just doing what he has to do to win, but it saps the enjoyment out of the game. I had some kid duties I had to attend to and didn't get to the game right at its start time - so I caught up watching the game on DVR. Let me tell you, those 30 second USF offensive possessions in the first half were brutal, especially when I had the fast forward button available to me. I couldn't quite get get myself to skip through those possessions, which is kind like not fast forwarding through a Richard Simmons workout.

5. Bob Wenzel as an announcer makes Bob Wenzel the coach look like John Wooden. I didn't write every dumb thing he said down because I'd develop instant carpel tunnel. but at various times throughout the broadcast he informed us that -- the USF point guard can penetrate through things; he said SU should play man to man (they haven't played a minute of man since December) and he expressed shock that Fab Melo made a free throw (Fab makes 2 out of every 3 free throws). Clearly there are too many Division I teams if any network needs Bob to call a game.

Bob Wenzel is smiling because he knows he's about to ruin your night

And with that, let's agree never to discuss this game again.


JM said...

Looking at the hideous "platinum" unis, one thing that struck me that made them even worse was that they said 'CUSE on the front. Am I alone in being annoyed when people call Syracuse "'Cuse"? Do I need to lighten up?

Anonymous said...

Great post as always Neph!

USF style of play reminds me of Big-10 Hoops:ZZZZZZZZZ!

A good ugly win. I agree the platinum uniforms must go. Wenzel was pretty bad too. Take care,

Uncle Dave