We just beat a top ten team away from the Carrier Dome. Just sayin'.
Yes, the "it was MSG" caveats are already starting and Dick Vitale and his buddy were oh so kind to wait until the Orange had the game in the bag to pull out the "Syracuse doesn't play outside NY/NJ until mid-January" card, as if Syracuse's win needed to be qualified.
Here's the thing...they play something called the Big East Tournament every year in Madison Square Garden. Does Syracuse win the tournament every year? Um, they've only won it a handful of time in thirty years. That's a lot of losses on that court.
What's that mean? It means more often than not, the Orange win when they play well and they lose when they play poorly, whether it's in the Carrier Dome, MSG, Atlantic City or Guam.
In other words, your excuses mean nothing. Syracuse won the game. And they did so with time to spare.
Syracuse controlled the game for almost the entire evening and by the time it was late in the second half, a victory over Michigan State felt secure. Going back to the Dome with a 72-58 win over the highly-ranked Spartans is an enormous boost to this team's, and fanbase's, morale. All the problems aren't solved, many of the issues remain, but Syracuse is suddenly a legit 9-0 instead of a suspect 8-0.
Rick Jackson...I mean, I don't even know what to say anymore. If I could only have one wish, it would be to go back in time and put him on the cover of Orange Tip-Off. Talk about a lack of foresight. Then again...did anyone know he was going to turn into the kind of guy who throws down 17 points and 16 rebounds against Michigan State and we all just collectively shrug? My only fear is that RickJack is setting the bar too high for himself early in the season. A 25-25 game is not out of the question by any means.
Scoop...Scoop...Scoop. He led the Orange with nineteen points and shot 7-9 from the field. Yet he also had about nineteen "WTF" moments as well. Scoop has taken the Best-Most-Frustrating Player torch from Eric Devendorf and he is running with it full bore.
Bad Mutha Keita. Alright, I'm just gonna go ahead and call it...he should probably be starting. I don't know what we paid for Fab Melo (NOTHING! HUSH! QUIET!) but I don't see the harm in letting the better player play right now. No one's afriad of Melo and his first name should be changed to Foulbricio at this point. Keita is quickly becoming this year's Kristof! Not a lot of stats but he's the quintessential garbageman. So maybe he should remain on the bench...just to be our spark.
Kris Joseph...a very frustrating fourteen points. Nine games in to The Kris Joseph Era and we're learning that Kris isn't quite ready for it yet. He's trying too hard. Like Boeheim said, he's too busy auditioning for the NBA right now. What made Wes Johnson good was that he played like there was no such thing as the NBA. He was just as happy to dish and create plays as he was to make scores happen. Kris needs to calm the F down and let the points come to him.
C.J. Fair...he's athletic. Did you know that?
Brandon Triche...couldn't tell if losing the headband was a blessing or a curse.
Dion Waiters...Dion makes one good play and instantly thinks he's LeBron. EASY, YOUNG SQUIRE. Don't get ahead of yourself. We'd rather you buckle down on defense than try to wow us with your shooting prowess right now.
BTW, check out the boxscore. If you're wondering what Syracuse's rotation is probably going to look like this season, this is it. Eight guys played. No Mookie. No Southerland. And that's probably how it's going to go. I'm not saying MookieTransferWatch is on high alert, all I'm saying is keep an eye on the guy's Facebook status...
Great win for the program. Great win for the fanbase. Now let's go back to the Dome, finish off the OOC schedule right, work out the kinks and get ready for Big East play.