Sunday, January 29, 2012

T3I Jeopardy

"Alex, I'll take Big East rivalries for $600."


"What are three names likely to start a riot if ever mentioned in a Morgantown sports bar?"



Photo: Dennis Nett/Post Standard


As for the above photo, I'm finding inspiration from former '80s WWF manager/announcer Bobby "The Brain" Heenan:
"I didn't see a thing Monsoon, my monitor went blank!"

BREAKING NEWS: Mike Brey Owns a Collared Shirt

Photo: AP/Jessica Hill

T3I News has confirmed that long time "master of the mock-turtleneck" Mike Brey actually wore a shirt with a collar as evident by the above photo taken at today's Notre Dame-UConn game.

Those darn Mayans may be onto something, after all it is 2012.  We can only speculate that an event so unexpected as this is an omen for things to come:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ebay Item of the Week: A Shameless Excuse to Play The Greatest Sports Soundbite Ever

Black and white 8x10 of Jerome Lane and Derrick Coleman...$19.99

Raft's epic call...priceless:

Did you hear about the new Syracuse uniforms?

Image courtesy Nike, via Syracuse.com


Well everyone is all abuzz about the new hoops duds debuted by the evil consortium plotting to ruin college athletics fine folks at Nike. 
Let's get a few things straight:

1.  I think these things are heinous looking.
2.  I wouldn't be caught dead in these things.
3.  I'm pushing 40 and not exactly Nike's target demographic.

My point is, yes these things look like they were designed by my 5yo son. Major demerits for the '80s Sacramento Kings inspired names-under-the-numbers.


However, I'm not a high school recruit trying to decide where to attend college.  If these things help with recruiting, then so be it.  Last I checked Nike's involvement with the Oregon football program seems to be paying off.   I can suck it up for one game.  After all, our current uniforms aren't exactly pleasing to the eye in my book.

While I long for the days of the "script Syracuse" uniforms,  I also long for the days of being 17 again and working the pre-game layup line with my high school teammate the Russianator.  I'm inspired by the wisdom of after hours restaurant aficionado Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino-- Derrick Coleman (nor his jersey) is walking through that door.  Times change Syracuse fans.


 This post is really making me sound old....excuse me while I go yell at the neighborhood kids for walking on my lawn.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

The 20 Game Syracuse Win Streak Comes to an Inglorious End

Digger was happy Saturday night - but he's still an assclown
With about five minutes to go in the first half of the Syracuse - Notre Dame game Saturday my wife was changing our young son and as soon as the diaper came off, he proceeded to pee all over the brand new orange and blue outfit we had dressed him in for the game. That act, more than anything else, summed up Syracuse's first loss of the season, as the Orange fell to Notre Dame 67-58.

The fact of the matter is it isn't 1976 any more and college basketball teams lose games. Especially in conference, on the road. There's no sense in over reacting, even if that is the world we live in today. Obviously losing to a team like Notre Dame, that is an NIT team at best this year isn't ideal, but that's life.

Give credit to Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey credit for a great game plan. He knew Notre Dame couldn't run with the Orange so he slowed the game down, had his team work the shot clock and time and time again his players delivered. I lost count of the number of times an opposing player made a tough shot with only a few seconds left on the shot clock.

The game plan was bolstered by a phenomenal effort from Jack "I look like a cabbage kid kid on steroids" Cooley, who was simply wanted it more. SU's big men had no answer for the man child as Rakeem Christmas is inexperienced, Baye Keita continues to disappoint and CJ Fair was too small.

I don't care what anyone says, not having Fab Melo certainly hurt SU - both in containing Cooley and just breaking up the general rhythm of the team and the season. Here's hoping his absence is short-lived, because right now the other big men probably aren't good enough to get this team to a national title.

The good news is that the loss will stop the ridiculous flood of moronic t-shirts that are being made and SU will have a chance to prove Saturday night was a fluke when they take on Cincinnati Monday in the Queen City. SU better be focused and ready, as the Bearcats are having an excellent season - when they aren't getting into ugly-ass brawls.

Observations

* Mike Brey's commitment to the mock turtleneck borders on the absurd. Unless you started Apple, there's no reason any man should still be wearing these things. Put on a tie for the love of God. You just know Brey is the type of guy who wears a denim shirt and jean shorts for casual wear.

* After a week of drawing praise from us and virtually every one else on the planet, Scoop Jardine came out and promptly laid an egg. After five years in the program, SU simply can't have its point guard come out and put up 2 points when the team is struggling to score.

* Likewise there should be an APB put out for Kris Joseph. Look, Kris is a very good player and seems to be a fantastic person, but he's simply not a top banana from a scoring perspective. James Southerland has more of a scorers mentality than Kris does.

* I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and he correctly stated that he was concerned SU didn't have a "run stopper." Meaning someone that can get a couple of tough buckets when the other team is on a run. We certainly didn't find one Saturday.

* Like Joseph, Baye Keita seems to be a FANTASTIC person, but this hasn't been a good year for him. Like Melo, a lot of players make a big leap forward from year one to year two. Keita is a promising player, but we haven't seen any improvement from over last year. A big part of the reason is that he catches the ball like he's wearing oven mitts. Plus he played 25 minutes and had 2 rebounds. That's two more than Melo, who was 1,000 miles away.

* Prior to the start of the game, Voice of the Orange Matt Park tweeted this:



From now on I'll take the monotone Larry pregame speech instead.

* The block/charge call is ruining college basketball. The refs screw it up more times than they get it right and it takes the aggressiveness out of the game -- the flopping is worse than it is in a European soccer game. In my opinion, unless a guy is an absolute statue, the call has to be a block. If the game starts getting called that way, you'll see a lot fewer guys sliding over at the last second and taking guys out too.

* Syracuse didn't lose because of the refs, but it was a terribly officiated game. Cooley was shoving guys in the back all night and it wasn't getting called, SU was taking it to the rim hard with no calls, and the refs continually bailed ND out calling ticky tack fouls on the Orange late in the shot clock.

* The bottom line is that you're not going to win on the road shooting 30 percent from the three point line, 34 percent from the field and getting out rebounded by 13. That's what happened. Here's hoping SU puts it behind them quickly.

Go Orange

Wyoming is Orangemen Country

ESPN's "Sports Nation" poll....we own Wyoming



Dave and Doris Get Lost in Jack Cooley's Eyes


Yeah, yeah, yeah....the streak is over.   I'm sure my boy The Russianator will be offering some of his game thoughts soon.   What did I take away from this game?   I learned that ESPN announcers Dave Pasch and Doris "Droppin' Deuces" Burke have two serious crushes on ND forward Jack Cooley.  Jack's 17 and 10 night rivaled Wilt's 100 point effort based on their on-air gushing.

Doris and Dave, here's your long-distance dedication (insert Casey Kasem voice here):



Video courtesy ESPN Deportes

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fab-Free Beat ND Game Chat

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Syracuse Fans Enjoy an Easily Attainable Free Taco Standard

SU scores 75 points and it's Mexcellent party for everyone

Syracuse basketball fans who are also taco lovers should appreciate the fact that they have it much better than other fans bases.  You see, during Syracuse home games, every time the Orange score more than 75 points, ticket holders can redeem their stub for a free taco. Sometime when games get out of hand, chanting for tacos breaks out.

And make no mistake, when that magical taco-standard is reached, the food service workers on campus are ready.



And they better be ready often, as the Orange have hit the free taco mark in 10 of the team's 14 home games so far this season. To put that in perspective, every time SU plays a home game, there's a 70% chance attendees are eligible for a free taco.

Contrast that with the fans in Western Carolina, who need to see their team score 100 to snag a free, delicious mexican treat. If that were the standard in Central New York, fans would have had to pay for every taco they've consumed so far this season.

Of course, when Western Carolina actually wins by more than 100, I think the fans deserve a free burrito - or at the very least a quesadilla, but that's just one man's opinion.

The bottom line is, if you're a Syracuse fan who goes to home games, you have access to a bounty of free tacos that others can only dream about, so if you want to know why SU plays so many home games, the answer is simple - the University is trying to feed the community......with free tacos.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ebay Item of the Week: Cuse Kross


Nothing relaxes me after a long day of work quite like putting on my  Syracuse Starter jersey, turning my jeans around backwards and cranking up some early '90s rap, all while chugging down a Crystal Pepsi.  Love you '90s.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Syracuse Scoops Pitt Out of the Dome



The number one ranked Syracuse Orange improved to 20-0 with a solid victory over Jamie Dixon's Pitt Panthers Monday night, winning 71-63. The victory moved Jim Boeheim into a tie with Adolph Rupp on the all-time college basketball victory list. Syracuse is now 20-0 for the first time in school history and the win is the program's first victory over Pitt since the Big East tournament in 2006.

All in all, it was a good day.

Syracuse received typically balanced scoring, putting five guys into double figures, but for my money, the story of the game was the play of Scoop Jardine. The senior point guard handed in a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds assists (brain cramp on my part) and only one turnover (which could be really been credited to Baye). Lost in the hoopla of this season is the very steady, strong play the team has been receiving from Jardine.

Hopefully people take notice because if you want to go far in March, you need steady play from your point guard and that's what Scoop has been giving this team. It's also not really fair to the guy since this fan base loves to lose its mind after one dumb pass from Scoop, yet it seems to ignore him when he's playing well -- and right now he's playing outstanding. So #TeamJardine, take notice - we see you out there and we appreciate what you're doing.

Observations

* Feb Melo had an up and down game. The down, he flat out didn't catch the ball well tonight. The up - just about everything else. You know you've got an intimidating big man when your opponent is missing point blank shots at the rim because they are afraid of getting their shot sent back. That's what Fab is giving this team. Even when he's not blocking shots he's lowering the opponents shooting percentage.

* As I noted about, Scoop is playing very well and Jim Boeheim recognizes it, as Scoop played a season high 37 minutes tonight. They were 37 well-deserved minutes.

* The Orange started quickly because they were able to get out in the open floor and get transition buckets. This team is deadly in those situations, as Kris Joseph, Dion Waiters, Scoop, and CJ Fair are all fantastic finishers. There is not a team in the country that can run with SU. That's a fact.

* Dion Waiters had an amazing finger roll in the first half. For you youngsters out there, we're talking George 'the Icemam' Gervin style finger roll.



* As he did against Providence, JB employed an effective full-court press to change the tempo and get SU some easy buckets. I can't tell you how much I personally love it when this team presses. With big men that can run the floor and protect the rim, it is such an effective weapon and one they haven't been able to effectively employ in the past. I think SU would have pressed more but the half court offense bogged down and they couldn't get enough made baskets to set it up.

* As shown above, CJ Fair had the dunk of the year with his Hakim Warrick style throw down in the first half.

* Not to harp on this because I've mentioned it before, but Baye Keita is in a sophomore slump. He's not catching the ball and isn't a factor on defense. There was a good reason he only played 10 minutes tonight.

* In the second half the Orange went cold from the field and ironically didn't handle Pitt's 2-3 zone well. They fell into a trap usually held for SU opponents and took too many long threes, and didn't make many, finishing the night 5-18 from beyond the arc.

* The Orange continued its stellar defense, limiting Ashton Gibbs to only 10 points. Gibbs can really score and tonight the zone found him. It's something SU hasn't done in past years. Obviously this team is different.

* SU made 87% of its free throws tonight. Don't look now, but this team is shooting  70% from the charity stripe this year.

* Former SU quarterback Perry Patterson's younger brother Lamar plays for Pitt and fouled out, proving once and for all no Patterson ever plays well in the Carrier Dome.

* I would have have liked to have seen Brandon Triche some more, but with Scoop playing so well, he split minutes with Dion. What a fantastic problem to have.

The Go-To Guy

Let me wrap this up with a thought that might not be too popular with SU fans. At halftime on ESPN Hubert Davis said Syracuse didn't have a go-to guy. On twitter Orange fans immediately took umbrage and mocked Davis the rest of the night.

I'm no fan of Hubert and mocking him is always acceptable,  but I don't think he's totally wrong. It's true SU has multiple guys that can take over a game and get a shot in crunch time, but at this point in the season if a game comes down to one possession we have no idea which player Boeheim will dial up a play for. Loosely translated, that means SU doesn't have a true "go-to" guy.

Right now I think that guy is Dion, but that's far from decided, especially given the fact that the Orange have blown out so many of their opponents, so it's not totally unfair assessment. The fact of the matter is we don't know who SU is going to turn to in a tight game down the stretch, because we haven't seen it. It's not a fatal flaw and it's not something that can keep this team from winning a title, but it is a fact. There are a lot of teams playing right now that don't have an established go to guy.

I have a feeling the bitching about "no go-to guy" comment is going to have legs and frankly it's exhausthing. I'm siding with our friend Brent Axe who correctly stated that lack of respect we SU fans perceive from the media is a myth. Bitching about every perceived slight from the media only adds to that myth.

On the one hand it's a good thing that the season is going so well we can focus on such trivial matters, but I'm tired and have better things to do -- like mock Dickey Simpkins. What I don't have the time or energy for is fighting with Doug Gottlieb on twitter, castigating Ron Morris for his ridiculous AP votes, or mocking Hubert Davis for some "analysis" he made for 10 seconds at halftime on a Monday night and reason is simple -- none of it matters.

This is college basketball. The winner is decided on the floor, not by polls and computers. Talking heads and ill-informed voters have no bearing on who wins or loses the national title because thankfully this isn't college football.

So while I certainly think there are some dumb things said about Syracuse in the media, the uproar, outrage and indignation we show as a fan base are at times equally as dumb. This team is good. Really good. As of tonight they are historically good. SU has been ranked number one for six weeks in a row, so when something derogatory is said, we have the ultimate comeback -- the scoreboard.

People are trying to poke holes in this team because this team is on top. That's how it works. There's no sense in getting worked up like a bunch of amateurs and fighting with every person that looks cross-eyed at us. We are all better than that - and so is this team.

Go Orange.

Beat Pitt Chat

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Beat Providence Chat

6pm stop by.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ebay Item of the Week: Somewhere Matt Gorman is Pantsless


Yeah, we know.  Things have been a little slow around here due in part to our boy The Russianator becoming a daddy.  As far as my lack of blog productivity, I'm just chalking it up to plain laziness.  It's time to get back in the game.  To quote the immortal Frank Costanza, we feel reborn, like a Phoenix rising from Arizona!

We've been down this road before with Matt Gorman.  However, when you get a chance to own a pair of his game worn shorts from the 2003 title season, you just can't pass that up.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Syracuse Blows Out Villanova

It's been over a week since we've posted anything here and readers with strong deductive reasoning skills can probably figure out why -- in the previous post I ranted about my inability to put together a pack-n-play. Two days after that post went live, my son was born and that pack-n-play is now being used. I'm proud to report he is awesome and the pack-n-play hasn't fallen apart..........yet.

However, much like the college basketball season, the show must go on here at T3I. It certainly did for the number one ranked Syracuse Orange Wednesday night as SU went to Philadelphia and handily beat the Villanova Wildcats 79-66 in a game that wasn't as close as the final score.

It's a down-year for Villanova and frankly that's disappointing. As a fan I want Villanova to be good. Syracuse-Nova games always have a certain intensity that makes the games fun. The rivalry has been a very good one that's been developed over the years and when you play a rival in an atmosphere that was as lame as the one at the Wells Fargo Center tonight, it takes out some of the fun. I guess that's how fans of other programs felt when they played SU in football during the Greg Robinson era.

The game had the feel of an DePaul or South Florida game. You knew Syracuse was going to pull away, it was only a matter of when. The Orange used a patented run to do it in the first half, and while the Wildcats did make a small run in the second half and nearly got the game to single digits, it was clear they didn't have the offensive firepower to seriously challenge SU.

For Nova fans the highlight was the shot of former guard Mike Nardi in the crowd. Nards apparently is trying to look just like Eminen and he appeared to be accompanied to the game by two strippers. Former star or not, two strippers is just ambitious.....and a little risky because later in the night it will double your risk of getting your wallet stolen.

For Syracuse, Dion Waiters put together another spectacular performance on the floor in front his hometown fans. Since I haven't slept more than a couple of hours a night in a week, I'm too tired to go over to twitter and see if he followed it up with another epic retweeting binge,  but smart money says yes.

We were also treated to another great Jim Burr performance. Burr appears to be transitioning into an old lesbian before our eyes.

However, in what is a complete rarity for a blow out, the most spectacular play of the game came at the final buzzer with Fab Melo giving us a 360 dunk that Terrance Stansbury would have been proud of.....check it out.



Posting will be a little sporadic around here, but it's good to be back. Thanks for reading and checking out this space, we really appreciate it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Syracuse Dunks the DePaul Blue Demons

Dion Waiters and his SU teammates dunked all over DePaul
Photo: Orange Update
Happy 2012 everyone. We hope your New Year's celebration was festive. It certainly was for the Syracuse Orange as they started off 2012 by throwing a dunk party in Chicago and beating the DePaul Blue Demons 87-68 in the process.

DePaul coach Oliver Purnell likes to press for 40 minutes a game -- unfortunately for Oliver Purnell, Syracuse has experienced guards that don't turn the ball over, a ton of athletic wings and big men that can really run the floor. When you take those three things and add in a healthy dose of superior overall talent, the Blue Demons didn't stand much of a chance. I personally think the way you beat this SU team is to slow the tempo down, make the Orange run half court sets and turn the game into a rock fight. Running and pressing is asking for an ass-kicking and DePaul got one.

I'm not going to lie, I didn't watch the game intensely. I actually spent most of the first half putting together a Pack N play, which, when I was a kid, was known as a playpen. I have no idea why these things aren't still called playpens.  Playpen worked just fine. It was an accurate description of the apparatus. If I had to guess I'd say a focus group told manufacturers mothers didn't want their kid in something called a "pen" and boom -- welcome to the world of pack N plays.

So you'd think putting something like this together would be rather simple. Basically all you'd have to do is take it out of the box. That's what I thought anyway -- but au contraire, how wrong I was. It turns out these things have changing tables, bassinets and different levels all built in -- and you need to assemble all these various items. Then you need hook them up to various battery packs that all require different sized batteries, once you unscrew the battery compartment. Since I'm a mechanical moron, all of this took three times as along as it should have. Not that you care, but here's the exact model.

There's more to playpens than their used to be
I was doing this because my wife is due with our first child in a few days and I've spent the last few weeks getting the house ready while we wait for our little bundle of joy. The fact that I struggle to put together a playpen does not portend well for the one million other things I'll have to put together over the next 20 years. To put it succinctly, I am screwed - and my kid better be very careful using anything daddy puts together since there's a 60 percent chance that thing is falling apart.

So while I was distracted by baby furniture and impending fatherhood in general, I did pay close attention enough to the game to know this:
  • Kris Joseph bounced back in a big way after being held scoreless last game
  • Fab Melo keeps rolling. He's got 16 blocks in two conference games.
  • Dion Waiters would average 25 ppg if he played Jonny Flynn minutes
  • James Southerland did more than just shoot threes
  • DePaul has a way to go before the are competitive in the Big East, but I can tell you this, in a few years the DePaul - SMU game will be bananas.
We were also audibly assaulted by Dickey Simpkins for the second game in a row, which should be illegal. He is easily the worst broadcaster working today -- and given the fact ESPN alone has about a million people calling games, this is actually something of an accomplishment.

In no particular order, here are people that are better basketball broadcasters than Mr. Simpkins:
Syracuse's next game is Wednesday against Providence. The Friars played Georgetown tough this past weekend, but are still ranked dead last in the latest ESPN power rankings, so the Orange have a very good chance of still being undefeated when they take on Marquette on Saturday.