Wes Johnson's hand continues to give him problems. Kris Joseph tweaked his knee last week and has spent most of this week staying off of it. To a lesser extent, Mookie Jones is still out with a hand injury. The question as to whether or not to rest some of the players against Louisville has come up and there is some validity to it.
Not only are there the current injuries to worry about but also the chance of a Robbie Hummel-type injury. Perhaps it might be best for Wes, Kris and some of the others to spend the second half on the bench, even if it costs the Orange the game and the No. 1 ranking.
As far as I'm concerned, I hope we don't. I want to win this game. And I think Syracuse basketball needs to win this game.
Not so much because we need it for aesthetic reasons. These reasons are strictly psychological.
Reason No. 1 - Louisville owns us. They're 5-1 against us since returning to the Big East and 10-4 all-time against us. Not to mention the Orange haven't won in Freedom Hall since the Cardinals joined the conference. I haven't done the hard research but I'm willing to bet that's the worst record we have against any opponent we've played at least ten times.
Reason No. 2 - You can't get much more hostile than the environment the Orange are walking into tomorrow. Packed stadium, super-high emotions, Senior Day...that building is going to be saturated in anti-Orange sentiment. All karmic energy will be against SU. Find me a better tune-up situation for the NCAA Tournament...you can't.
Reason No. 3 - They beat us a couple weeks ago. We need to avenge that. Plain and simple.
The Big East Tournament is going to be tough, but let's face it, it's also going to be a collection of semi-home games. We own Madison Square Garden in a way that makes St. John's weep. It's not a hostile environment. But the Louisville game...that's going to take a lot of sheer will and mental toughness. The last thing I want to see if SU throw up the white flag under those circumstance. With the entire nation watching, nonetheless.
Marcellus Wallace would tell you that's just pride f**kin' with you. Well guess what, that's fine. Let it. This Syracuse team f**ks right back. They do not willfully go into the broom closet with Zed and The Gimp. They lull The Gimp into a false state of security and then choke him to death before going medieval on Zed's ass (figuratively).
When Syracuse's South American girlfriend asks us who's chopper we just rode up on, we won't say that we purchased it fairly and without incident. We will say it's Zed's. And when she asks who Zed is. We will tell her...Zed's dead, baby...Zed's dead.
Mike Waters talks about Louisville, Freedom Hall and revenge with TK99's 'Gomez & Dave'...Syracuse.com
We're Closing Down This Dump?...Orange Fizz
Many storylines converge when SU faces Louisville...CNYCentral.com
SU Caps Regular Season At Louisville...SUAthletics.com
One win would erase doubts about Louisville...FoxNews
A fond farewell to Freedom Hall...ESPN.com
The top-ranked Big East champions Syracuse Orange will look to solidify their hold on a one seed in the NCAA tournament when they take on Louisville. Jason Horowitz and Steve Lappas have the preview.