Sunday, December 04, 2011

A Fun Win

The Florida - Syracuse game was a fun game to watch, one of those games that if Syracuse had managed to lose the game, I likely would have still enjoyed the viewing experience.  I wouldn't have been happy with the outcome, but it would not have been a wasted evening.

The Orange played well as a unit for most of the game.  Scoop Jardine had far more highlights than lowlights, and made a strong positive difference in the game.  Fab Melo had a coming out party in the first half of the game, though he was strangely silent in the second half.  Brandon Triche played a strong all around game, as did C.J. Fair, and Kris Joseph was a typical solid Kris Joseph.

We did have James Southerland tossing up a donut despite having plenty of opportunity in the game, and Dion Waiters struggled offensively.  Rakeem Christmas disappeared again, and the nature of the game kept Michael Carter-Williams on the bench the whole game. 

The beauty of a deep squad is that if your best offensive player (Waiters) struggles, you have three other guards to turn two, and four or five other offensive options.  If a freshman like Christmas doesn't develop quick enough you can count on a C.J. Fair (11 rebounds) to help out.

The game was fun. Syracuse had a strong defensive effort for most of the game, and Florida played well on their end.  The Gators made some long range three point shots to keep the game close until about 5 minutes to go, and the game could have go either way.  But it came out in the Orange's favor. 

So what makes a game fall under the 'fun' category, when winning isn't necessarily required as the final outcome?  Typically, I think the following criteria come into play (this isn't a conscious criteria by the way):

  1. The game has to involved a ranked opponent so that the game has some value in that both teams are perceived to be good teams.
  2. The game has to have no meaning regarding the final outcome of the season. That is, it cannot be an NCAA tournament game, where a loss ends the Orange season. Nor can it be a Big East tournament game.  The Orange aren't going to win every game of the season, so I can accept losses, under certain circumstances. 
  3. The game cannot be against UConn, Pitt or Georgetown.  Nope... losing to a hated rival, regardless how we played, is never any fun. 
  4. The game has to be competitive.  That is, both teams have chances of winning the game in the second half.
  5. The game has to have some bright offensive moments and bright defensive moments.  The game has to have a good flow to it.  Moments of the game where you can just enjoy the effort by both teams and really appreciate it.
Keep in mind that all games do have 'meaning'.  A win against a top 10 team surely helps in the NCAA seeding time, and a loss likewise can hurt. But I think you can appreciate what I mean by it having no meaning (or perhaps I should say lower meaning). 

Anyhow, the Orange have passed their second big test of the early season. They won the NIT for their first test, and now took out a top 10 team from a major conference.  A few more challenges come up before the Big East season begins.

Let's go Orange.

No comments: