Thursday, November 30, 2017

Early Evaluation for 2017-2018

The Orange have played six games, and are sitting at 6-0.  It is still early in the season, but we do have a bod of work we can evaluate.
So what do I think of the Orange so far?
I think we will be a competitive team this year, which is all I really can ask for. We may get to our 20+ wins, and to the NCAA tournament, which would be a welcome return.
This team is unlikely to ever be proficient at making 3’s. There aren’t any pure shooters on the squad. But it is a team with a lot of athleticism, a lot of hustle, and a strong ability to drive to the hoop.
You can win a lot of games playing solid defense, crashing the boards and diving for loose balls. Jamie Dixon made a career at Pitt by coaching teams to do just that. Dixon never had an offense you would care for.
The exciting thing is that a few of our weaknesses and concerns from the summer currently are not being displayed. Our point guard play from Frank Howard has been solid through seven games; so much so, that Howard Washington has barely played, and Geno Thorpe hasn’t even backed up the point position.
We thought we had a black hole at center, and instead we have not one, but two centers playing the position well.  
We thought we wouldn’t have a solid #2 scorer, but Howard is providing that element right now. Oshae Brissett is showing that he will be #3. People thought that we would need Thorpe to be #2, and he has been a non factor.
We thought Marek Dolezaj would be a project for future years, and possibly even redshirt. Instead the kid is a key/vital element on the team.
We thought we would be playing a lot of three guard offense; that has barely been displayed.
Bottom line… there’s a lot we didn’t know about this team. It’s young, its inexperienced. We are looking at a small sample size. Yet, they keep checking the boxes off as the proceed game to game.
Go Orange!

Friday, November 17, 2017

1000 Wins At One School

Most Syracuse fans are like me, and they probably bristle anytime talks about the career win total for Jim Boeheim. I know I only recognize what Boeheim has actually occurred, which is 1,006 wins, as opposed to unjustly punitive and excessive NCAA 'official count' after wins were vacated. All in all, I can roll with it... because I know what the true number is.
Yet, the celebrations that the national media wanted to make when Mike Krzyzewski became the first men's coach to win 1,000 games for one school really rubbed more wrong.
I'm a big fan of Coach K, and I have a ton or respect for him. He's a heck of a coach, and deserves all the accolades he gets. But I'm pretty sure that the main reason that Coach K dismissed this acknowledgement is that in deference to his friend Boeheim, Coach K knows he isn't the first to reach this milestone.
My mood on this might have been tempered if any of the articles had footnoted Boeheim, but he was totally left out of the picture. I get that the NCAA has its protocols, its rules and its record books. What I don't get is why ESPN, CBSSports, USAToday, ignore the 'truth' and bend over to the NCAA.... there is no law/rule indicating they have to goose step with the NCAA. These sites/publications are reporting the news... report it. Don't whitewash it.
So, I'll go on record and congratulate Coach K on being the second Division I men's basketball coach to win 1,000 games at one school. Well done young man.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day 2017

On this Veterans day, as I have done each year past, I would like to thank all those who have served our country, putting their lives on the line to do those tasks that need to be done. The Orange basketball team has had its share of veterans over the decades. And has been tradition at OrangeHoops, I would like to recognize those former basketball Orangemen who did serve. I acknowledge this is not a complete list; only those I know of (each year I add a few more). I imagine more Orangemen were in the service that I am omitting; if so, please post a recognition here! Also please feel free to recognize any other veterans in the comments.

In World War I, the following served:

Albert Ackley
Bradley Barnard
Ross Bibbens
Meyer Bloom
Jim Casey
Ed Cronauer
Charles Fasce
Russ Finsterwald
Loyal Greenman
Ken Harris
Ted Huntley
Bernie Kates
Ken Lavin
Nathan Malefski
Danny Martin
Harry Martin
Walter ‘Dutch’ Notman
Walter Peters
Elias Raff
Billy Rafter
Horace Ruffin
Courtland Sanney
Clifford Steele

In World War II, the following served:

Jim Ackerson
Earl Ackley
Lou Alkoff
John Baldwin (Balsavich)
John Balinsky
John Beaulieu
John Beck
Gene Berger
Milton 'Whitey' Bock
Leo Canale
Dick Casey
Larry Crandall
Wilbur Crisp
Dan DiPace
Les Dye
Bud Elford
Alton Elliott
John Emerich
Bill Estoff
Bob Felasco
Paul Ferris
Billy Gabor
Ed Glacken
Joe Glacken
Marc Guley
Mark Haller
LaVerne Hastings
Lew Hayman
Bill Hennemuth
Bill Hoeppel
Tom Huggins
George Jarvis
Ed Jontos
Walter Kiebach
Jim Konstanty
Christian Kouray
Stan Kruse (Kruszewski)
Glenn Loucks
Guy Luciano
Saul Mariaschin
Bob Masterson
Paul McKee
Don McNaughton
Tom McTiernan
Francis Miller
Joe Minsavage
Andy Mogish
Roy Peters
Hank Piro
Paul Podbielski
Edward Pond
Phil Rakov
Joe Rigan
John Schroeder
Bill Schubert
Bob Shaddock
Wilmeth Sidat-Singh
Red Stanton
Mike Stark
Chester Stearns
Bobby Stewart
Joe Sylvestri
Charles Taggart
Ray Tice
Joe Weber
Ray Willmott
Bill Wyrick

In Korea the following served:

Reaves Baysinger, Jr
John Beaulieu
Bernie Eischen
Paul McKee
Paul Podbielski
Fred Serley

In Vietnam, the following served:

Reaves Baysinger, Jr
John Beaulieu
George Crofoot
Rick Dean
Sanford Salz

The following were veterans who served but were fortunate to miss a war era:

Vinnie Albanese
Art Barr
Mel Besdin
Rudy Cosentino
Roy Danforth
Ronnie Kilpatrick
George Koesters
Tom Jockle
Jack Malone
Frank Reddout
Eddie Rosen
Chuck Steveskey

Five of the aforementioned players deserve special note, as they sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Harry Martin was killed in 1923 when his plane crashed during takeoff at Kelley Field, Texas.  He was a Lieutenant and an Army Aviator.  Martin had served in the AEF in France in World War I.

Wilmeth Sidat-Singh was a member of the Tuskegee Airman, and was killed in a training accident when his plane crashed into Lake Michigan in 1943.

Joe Minsavage was killed in World War II on June 19, 1943 when his ship was attacked and he was lost at sea.

Charles Taggart was a member of the US Navy serving aboard the USS Frederick C. Davis, and was killed when his ship was torpedoed by a German U-Boat on April 24, 1945. Taggart and 115 crew members perished.

Gene Berger was killed in 1961 during flight maneuvers. He was a Commander in the U.S. Navy and a Naval aviator, and his plane would crash into the Pacific.