Thursday, March 15, 2007

First Stanford, Now Duke...

NIT Challenge

In the First Annual and Hopefully Last Cuse Country NIT Pick-em, It seems like the DutchHart bracket is making a push. Sitting in second after sweeping Wednesday nights games at a total of 13 points (16 possible), I've found that the NIT isn't as bad as it seems. I'm actually getting excited for the Orange to make a run in this.

As for last night. The game against S. Alabama, to me seemed like a culmination of every Cuse game played in the last two years.

Recipe for Syracuse hoops:
1. Come out flat.
2 Get down on yourselves and down middle of the first half.
3. Make a solid push towards the half.
4. Screw the pooch right before the half.
5. Come out decent at the start of the second half.
6. Mid way through, someone (read: GMac, DNic, Devo) decides to turn it on and carry the team.
7. Heres where theres two options:
A) Player from step 6 carries team to victory (Devo last night, Gerry every night)
B) Player from 6 plays well but rest of the team is so god awful that game it doesn't matter (DNic vs St. Johns)

Devendorf was absolutely incredible last night with 34pts and 6 dishes. Nichols finished with 15 on an off day shooting, and Mookie had another solid day of 8pts, 11rbds, and 3 swats. He was showed up by Ernest Little of USA though, grabbing an impressive 17 pts, 18 rbds, and 5 blocks in the game of his career/life. Respect goes out to him for bringing his "A" game when some people could have been intimidated in the Dome. The Cuse is on deck against San Diego State on Monday at the Dome at 7pm. Hopefully we'll show up with the 17k fans that broke an NIT attendance record last night.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Jaguars....

Well I can't particularly believe I'm doing this... or in a position to be doing this for this matter. Come 7pm tonight the Cuse will open the NIT against the University of South Alabama Jaguars. It also seems to be that the Orange will be taking their aggression out on the USA.

The University of South Alabama is apparently in Mobile. Something I was unaware of, due to the fact that I didn't know the school existed. I digress though, as it does seem to be a fine academic institution.

On to the hoops squad:

University of South Alabama Jaguars
Overall Record: (20-11)
Conference: Sun Belt (13-5)
The Jags ended the season on a four game skid, losing the last two in overtime vs Troy and vs Middle Tennessee St. in the Sun Belt Tournament.

Results against some notable opponents:
Fresno St. - L 63-73
Mississippi St. - L 46-84
Ole Miss - L 72-82
Auburn - L 71-82

Scoring Threats: Demetric Bennett - 15.3ppg, Daon Merritt - 13.0 and Ernest Little - 12.8
Perimeter: Merritt is 5'10" PG who i'm assuming is quick. Bennett is a 6'4" swing who is their go-to guy.
Post Threats: Little is a 6'9" 230lb C who can score, it seems.
Boards: Little @ 9.0rpg and Bennett @ 5.5
Outside: Bennett... .423 (74-175) from behind the arc. Merrit (.371) Leandro Buboltz (.358) and Carlos Smith (.338) are also not afraid to huck it from long range.


Eric Devendorf 6'4"- PG - Daon Merritt 5'10"
Andy Rautins 6'5" - SG - Carlos Smith 6'0"
Demitris Nichols 6'7" - SF - Demetric Bennett 6'4"
Terrence Roberts 6'9" - PF - Leandro Buboltz 6'7"
Mookie Watkins 6'11" - C - Ernest Little 6'9" .

We've got a size advantage, even with Wright at the point (never thought I could say that). Their bench seems as shallow as ours, with only a 7 man rotation. Stephen Cowherd, a 6'2" SG seems to get the majority of the minutes off the bench. He's another 3pt threat at .376 on the year, though hes not as likely to pull the trigger, if hes shooting it will probably be from behind the arc (Homebrew Drew anyone?). Of 132 shots taken, 85 have been threes. As a whole, 40.7% of their shots come from long range.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Well, at least we get to play in Syracuse?

Alright guys, my blood-red vision and desire to maim anything that has the letters NCAA on it (not even necessarily in that order) seems to have died down a touch. Now lets look at the issue...

I can't remember, and I don't believe so, but today I will do my homework a touch and see if any other 22 win team with 10 conference wins has ever been snubbed by the selection committee before (I think we may be setting a precedent here). This is Bush League at its finest my friends...

Here's who DID make it:

A Villanova team which we split the season series with has made the tournament. They have the same record as the Orange, and a one game worse in-conference record, yet were able to go dancing.

Arkansas, ARKANSAS, (21-13) A team that only made the 20 win plateau with a barely above average showing in the worst conference tournament in America, and subsequently getting throttled by Florida in the Finals...

Stanford (18-12), not as much of an issue, as they have OOC victories over BobbyKnight Tech, and UVA, along with PAC-10 splits with UCLA and USC. But still, 18-12? Honestly...

Courtesy of teams like Butler and Nevada losing in their conference tourneys, and not receiving the automatic bids, we are left out. Instead we get a #2 seed... Yes, a #2 seed in the National Invitational Tournament...

Road to Cuse's NIT Final Four?

#1 Seeds: Air Force, WVU?, Mississippi St?, Clemson?
Somehow, Syracuse at 22-10 in the Big East isnt good enough for a #1 seed over WVU who we have a better in conference record on, Mississippi St. who was 18-12 in the SEC... and Clemson, 21-10 and winners of the choke-artist of the year award?

The Most Likely Path...
Round 1: Perennial Powerhouse Southern Alabama
Round 2: Always dangerous Missouri State
Round 3: Choking things better then Bobby Knight at the present: Clemson
Semifinals: Air Force or Huggy-Bear's K-State Squad
Finals: Florida State or OK State

Lets see if Jimmy can get the boys up for this one, maybe send the seniors out on a tournament win and get the rest of the crew ready to play for next year...

Sunday, March 11, 2007


im just gonna leave it at that