I haven’t gone on a good rant in a little bit, ok a good long while.
The last time I was ticked off at one of my favorite teams was two years ago when my Ohio State Buckeyes had a horrendous loss at West Lafayette to Purdue. You know that story; poor offense, poor play by Terrelle Pryor, yeah let’s not revisit that please.
Today my venom is being spewed towards the Syracuse Orange. To say I’m ticked off is an understatement… I’m pissed.
Two weeks ago the Orange were third-ranked in the country going into the Oakland Zoo to face the Pitt Panthers. Come this Monday they will barely be in the top 20 after suffering their 4th straight loss this time to a scrappy Marquette team in Wisconsin.
Except for the Pitt loss (Kris Joseph was injured), every loss has been unacceptable.
The Orange has fallen behind big in the early portions of each and has had to climb its way back. They fell behind 19-0 to Pitt, down by 12 to Villanova at the half, by 14 to Seton Hall and by ten today to Marquette.
They’ve been awful on the defensive end. Their patented 2-3 zone has been getting eaten alive as their last four opponents have shot over 48% from the field, 40% from three and each opponent has gotten to the foul line more than them and have been making them pay.
It’s like watching Lemoyne College instead of Syracuse basketball.
Rick Jackson is getting no help from anyone on the inside (Fab Melo has been atrocious in his freshman year) and Scoop Jardine’s shot selection has been terrible as he’s been chucking up ill-advised three’s and had found himself sitting next to coach Boeheim on more than one occasion in the last two weeks.
The bench hasn’t been much better either. Dion Waiters’ isn’t helping the team offensively and the same can be said for C.J. Fair. Boeheim has resorted to playing the seldom used Mookie Jones, which hasn’t done much either.
Today I woke up and saw that the Orange were playing and instead of getting ready for the game I sat in my house and followed on line. By halftime I was happy I did. Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom destroyed the 2-3 zone by cutting into the lane time and time again and then burned us from the outside. There was no answer for those guys. Even though our shot was falling for the first time during the 4 game drought, the defense just couldn’t get stops.
This was against Marquette! This team has killed themselves with their late game meltdowns (ahem, Louisville). They aren’t deep, cant shoot the ball well and are horrible in rebounding. We should’ve taken them to the woodshed especially after the Seton Hall debacle, which most was a horror show in itself.
Where’s the pride? Where’s the passion? Where’s the top ten team in the nation that I thought was good enough to win the Big East and get to the Final Four? Scoop, Brandon… anyone wake the hell up! Your season is currently getting flushed down the toilet!
I thought that Marquette and Seton Hall were teams that the Orange would beat up and could to them getting back on track (I’m not calling them pushovers but two teams at a combined 20-20 entering the week against the number 10 team in the nation? come on!). Instead of getting their act together The Orange take the losing streak to Storrs and face #5 UCONN, then after South Florida (not a gimme after this stretch) they face Georgetown at home, then Louisville on the road then West Virginia at home. Not to mention two road games against G’Town and Nova after all of that. SHOOT ME, PLEASE!!!
This current team can’t survive that stretch. Kemba Walker, Peyton Siva and Malik Wayans can kill that 2-3 with their speed and ball handling and Austin Freeman and Casey Mitchell can shoot them out of it. The Orange aren’t deep enough or skilled enough to handle this stretch. As a result, unless Kris Joseph goes all Carmelo Anthony on the Big East, the Orange are looking at dropping to a 8 or 9 seed in the NCAA tournament and becoming second round knockouts. It’s not impossible for the Orange to fix their problems on defense yet I don’t see it happening due to their lack of talent and lack of discipline on the offensive end.
Last year’s team could shoot them out of a problem, this year’s cant. Last year Jackson and Arinze Onuaku could beat down an opponent on the inside. This year Jackson is helpless. Last year the Orange were serious national title contenders, this year I don’t think they could beat Utah State or Maine in a one and done scenario.
Right now I don’t plan on watching much more Syracuse basketball. The next month is going to be ugly and rather than view it in horror I’d rather focus on hockey and hope Rakeem Christmas and Michael Carter-Williams get to campus fast.