First...HI FAB MELO!
Tuesday night's 96-60 exhibition win over mighty Kutztown didn't do too much to showcase the starter and stars of the SU basketball team. It did, however, showcase the rising stars that could much more of an impact on this team and season than we thought (keeping in mind they were playing Kutztown...)
With the score close at the half, Boeheim sent his reserves out to start the second half. All they did was open the half on a 23-10 run that put the game away.
C.J. Fair said he was "nervous" about his first game in an Orange uniform. Once it started, however, those nerves didn't show. Fair finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two turnovers in 18 minutes of playing time.
"C.J.’s a smart player. He does get in the right places," SU coach Jim Boeheim said. "He’s a good finisher. A good rebounder. I thought he played well."
"I know Mookie, he’s a great shooter and whenever he does miss," Fair said, "he always misses soft, so I know to crash the boards and it would just be right there in my hands."
With Kris Joseph moving to the starting lineup, SU fans have been wondering who will be the next young player to make "the leap" from bench player to super-sub. All signs currently point to James Southerland, who put on a monster rebounding show (even if his shooting still needs some fine-tuning).
James Southerland's over-the-top screaming as the point man on Syracuse's full-court press elicited the thought of one name for Scoop Jardine. The verbal berating of the Kutztown in-bounder on the end-line and the rebounds added to the comparison.
And when combined with Southerland's surprising team lead with 11 rebounds on the night, it reminded Jardine and Kris Joseph of Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah.
Kris Joseph and C.J. Fair both led Syracuse with 14 points while Scoop Jardine added 11 and Rick Jackson added 10. Mookie Jones also scored 10 points, Baye Moussa Keita added eight points, six rebounds and four blocks while Southerland finished with six points to go with his 11 rebounds and four steals.
Boeheim's biggest reason for not playing the starters so much? He knows the schedule kicks off tough right from the get-to.
"This year, we’re opening up with an NCAA-quality team in the first game of the year so these exhibition games are important," Boeheim said. "Northern Iowa’s going to be very good this year. They lost a couple guys, but they’ve got a lot of good players. We know we’re opening up with that kind of game, and with the early games we’ve got we know we have to be ready early."
Videos and more links after the jump...
SU Takes Tuesday Night Tilt Over Kutztown...CuseOrange
FAIR START: In exhibition win over Kutztown, SU freshman Fair steals show...Daily Orange
Orange Bests Kutztown, 96-60, in Exhibition Opener...SUAthletics.com
Syracuse - Kutztown - Quick Takes...Three Idiots on Sports
First Impressions: Syracuse vs. Kutztown...Otto's Army
|Kutztown St. Basketball: Orange Locker Room|
|Syracuse vs. Kutztown St. Basketball: Coach Boeheim|