The most shocking moment of Wednesday night's 74-57 win over Memphis was not one of Wes Johnson's big plays. It was not one of Andy Rautins' three-pointers or Kris Joseph's dunks. And it was not one of Arinze Onuaku's made free throws, amazing as that phenomenon is.
It was the 13:50 mark in the 2nd half when James Arthur Boeheim tore off his jacket and slammed it to the floor.
From there to the 37.6 mark, Boeheim pretty much trolled the edge of the court named in his honor in purple shirt, loosened necktie and ever-surfacing scowl.
"I’m not happy about anything I saw out there tonight," said Boeheim. "I didn’t see anything I liked out there tonight. They basically didn’t attack us and didn’t get anything going. That’s not going to happen too many times. I don’t think we did anything good on offense and precious little good on the defensive end. That’s the way I see it."
For the record, during Jim’s coatless stretch the Orange roared, awakened the antsy crowd and outscored the Tigers 28-14 . . . and that was that.
Jimmy B had reasons to be concerned up until that point. The Orange played as poorly as they possibly could in the first half while still pulling even with the Tigers at the half. The 2nd half started slowly but leave it to old reliable (Wes Johnson) and new reliable (Kris Joseph) to put the Orange over the edge.
The first half was a mess of easy missed shots, a rash of turnovers, poor free throw shooting and a hot Memphis shooting hand. An ice-cold Andy Rautins finally warmed up later but it was obvious that Rautins is still working out whatever kinks have been bothering him the last few games.
Wes led the Orange with 19 points and 7 rebounds while Kris Joseph sparked SU from the bench with 15 points and 9 boards. Rick, AO and Rautins all added double-figure scoring as well. One by one all of the big men came together to ultimately take over the game for SU,
Memphis led SU throughout the first half. But underneath, the Orange bigs slowly chipped away. The frontcourt rotation of Wes Johnson, Arinze Onuaku, Rick Jackson and Kris Joseph nearly outscored Memphis itself with 54 points.
One dunk at a time, Syracuse rebounded from its first loss of the season.
While the Orange missed plenty of easy shots, it was one missed dunk in particular that swayed things away from the Tigers. A hotdog attempt by Memphis' Elliot Williams clanged off the rim and seemed to move the momentum-meter towards the Orange. "Victory by schadenfreude" as Alex O. put it.
The Orange move to 14-1 and complete their OOC schedule perfectly. The Tigers drop to 10-4 overall. Game highlights available here.
|Syracuse beats Memphis|