Despite a momentary brainfart to start the 2nd half, the Orange cruised to a 85-68 win over DePaul last night. Andy "All He Does Is Lead The Team In Scoring Every Time" Rautins kept it going with 17 points on 5-10 shooting from 3-point range. Paul Harris and Arinze Onuaku nearly pulled off a double of a double-double (is that a thing?) Harris had 14 points and 9 boards while Onuaku had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Harris also crossed the 1,000 point barrier at SU, the 50th player to do so. Mazel Tov, Paul. Jonny Flynn also returned to form with 12 points and 8 assists.
And then there's Eric Devendorf, who came off the bench to add 13. Devo's hip is still bothering him and it's evident from his stat line he couldn't do much else but shoot. But he's getting back on track and despite the injury he still played 30 minutes, more than some of the starters. He'll be fine.
The Axeman also wanted to make sure Rick Jackson got some love even if his stats didn't measure up:
Loved the way Rick Jackson played tonight. Most of his shots were high percentage and right around the basket (5-6 from the field), but it was how decisive he was with the ball that most impressed me. Rick has had a tendency in the past to pump fake or hesitate with the ball, even when he is open, but there was none of that tonight. He just went right up with it every time. He also had a nice game defensively and dished out 4 assists.
Kris Joseph and Kristof! were mostly non-existant all night, a disturbing trend for both players who are likely to get squeezed for minutes if the rest of the team stays healthy and confident.
If there's any downside to the game, it has to be the first five minutes of the 2nd half. Good God, what was that? It was like watching that final scene in Tin Cup where he keeps hitting it in the drink, only Rene Russo was there waiting for us after it was over.
At 15-1 and 3-0 in the conference, the question isn't whether or not Syracuse is a good team. The question is, are they an elite team? Sure, we sit at the tippy top of the Big East standings but we also haven't played anyone of note in the conference either. There's something to be said for a team that takes care of business, it's a trait we haven't seen much lately, so it's good to appreciate it. But the real tests begin soon.
- Check out the highlights, including some fantastic dunkage at ESPN
- CuseOrange wraps up the game as well
- Cuse Country says this Syracuse team is ridiculously solid
(AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)