Sunday, February 04, 2007

Dr. Jeckle Shows Up

The Orange snapped their three game losing streak with a big win against DePaul, bringing their good brand of basketball instead of their poor. The heartening fact was they did it despite poor offensive nights from Demetris Nichols and Terrence Roberts. The disappointing fact was that they once again couldn’t finish out a game, this time nearly blowing a 20 point second half lead before winning down the stretch. I’m sure antacid sales have been very high in central New York this year, and it appears that the need will continue.

Eric Devendorf had his career best effort for the Orange, and Andy Rautins had his first big game for Syracuse.

Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician made a good point the other day about Syracuse struggling when the big guns (Devo, DNic, and TRob) aren’t making their points; nobody does appear to be stepping up in those down nights. Well last night, Rautins showed he may be part of the solution. I had meant to put together some numbers showing the impact of the lack of scoring from the big three, but haven’t quite finished it yet; not really sure if it really stands out statistically as well as we all can intuit.

Coach Jim Boeheim’s post game press conference had some comments relevant to the big nights for Devo and Rautins. When asked about starting Devendorf, Boeheim replied:

"I just though he had given us a lift coming off the bench and just thought it would help him. It helped him and it helped Andy (Rautins). They had something like 27 points in the first part of the game. Both guys adjusted well to it and I thought Eric and Andy just had big games. It was a huge game for them and us. (Demetris Nichols) struggled today. When we have a game like that and Demetris struggles, it’s a heck of a good sign. Terrence (Roberts) and Mookie (Daryl Watkins) struggled. It’s a pretty big win when those struggle and we win.”

When asked about Rautins shooting performance he replied:

“Well we have to work the ball and help get him open. I thought we did that today. Our patience was better and we didn’t turn the ball over and we passed the ball better. We had 18 assists. I thought all that was good. Andy needs help, he needs screens. I thought one thing we didn’t do was when they started switching late in the game, we should have tried to get the ball inside more and that’s something we’re going to have to do.”

I’ll be curious which Orange team shows up Monday versus UConn. This is a game Syracuse should take, and should be able to win big. But will it be Jeckle or Hyde that shows up?

No comments: