Late in the game Saturday, Syracuse has a chance to steal a win from Marquette and get off the schnide. All they seemed to need was one Eagle possession that ended with a score. If they could get that and then make something happen on their end of the floor, they stood a chance.
That sums up what's going on with Syracuse basketball. Not to absolve them of blame, but the Basketball God simply do not want SU to win basketball games right now. Opponents are hitting three-pointers at absurd levels and at any given crucial moment, way beyond what's explainable by bad defense.
We have lost the favor of the Gods. I'm not entirely sure why and I don't know how to fix it. But we better figure it out ASAP cause the season is starting to slip away.
Unlike the Seton Hall game, effort was not an issue in this game. Mistakes, however, were a-plenty.
After trailing by 11 points at halftime, Syracuse steadily closed the gap in the second half. Joseph trimmed Marquette’s margin to 55-52 with a 3-pointer at the 10-minute mark. After Marquette scored on a free throw, Brandon Triche hit a short jumper in the lane to cut it to 56-54. Triche then stole the ball from Marquette guard Junior Cadougan and fed Jardine for a transition layup to tie the game at 56 with 8:17 left.
Syracuse had two chances to take the lead earlier in the second half. The Orange had two possessions while Marquette led 58-57, but Syracuse turned the ball over on an inbounds pass and then Crowder stole the ball from Jardine out of a double-team.
Almost every time Marquette looked like they were going to put the score at an unreachable level in the first half, Joseph made a play to stop the bleeding.
He is not quite the consistent game-breaker people have been looking for, but did enough to add to this game and shake off the bad vibes from Seton Hall.
Scoop, Scoop, Scoop. Jardine actually set a career-best with 13 assists but you'd never know it from the post-game reaction by fans. Once again Scoop also committed plenty of turnovers (5) and made some strange mistakes late in the game. Enough to make Syracuse fans walk away from the game unchanged in their opinion that Scoop is not the answer at point. Which is more impressive than all those assists.
Brandon Triche, meanwhile, "only" had 9 points but seemed to be much more of a game-flow manager than Scoop. Especially when it mattered. Toward the end of the second half, it seemed like every time Scoop touched the ball, something bad happened and every time Triche touched the ball, something good happened. Maybe that's not entirely true, but that was the perception.
Baye Moussa Keita reinvigorated himself in the game, playing 18 minutes, scoring five points and grabbing seven boards before fouling out. On a night when the line-up was small and someone needed to step up, he did.
And C.J. Fair quietly did well, scoring ten points and making three blocks in 14 minutes of time.
As for Waiters and Southerland, well, first we'll deal with Waiters. He sat out the entire game. And let there be no mistake, that was not because he has been playing poorly, like Boeheim said.
"Yeah, he’s shooting 30 percent from the field, 30 percent from the 3-point line and not playing good defense,’’ Boeheim said when asked why Waiters didn’t play. "Other than that, I can’t think of any.’’
The Orange needed Waiters tonight, if for no other reason than to provide relief for Triche & Scoop. He sat out because he's on some kind of double-secret suspension, which was, one of the rumors floated around this week. The same rumor that Boeheim seemed to downplay but never outright denied on the radio Thursday. (Kudos to Danny Parkins for sticking to his guns on that).
The question now is whether or not Dion's double-secret suspension lasts another game or not.
As for James Southerland...I don't think we have any answer yet on how he went from starter to DNP. I'm sure we'll hear more about it soon. Weird.
Arinze Onuaku doesn't play for the Orange anymore, yet free throws seem to be more of a damaging issue this year than they were in the last two.
SU, a team that strives to create off the dribble, has struggled to get to the line these past couple games. Every opponent in SU’s current four-game losing streak has outscored the Orange from the line.
"Free throws were out of whack," SU coach Jim Boeheim said. "But that’s just the way it is."
A bunch of folks said this game was a "must-win." Well, what happened when you don't win a must-win? Do you pack it in? As I saw one person put it, are we destined for the NIT now? That seems crazy in spite of the losing streak. Especially when there are so many other Big East teams struggling right now.
Still...we gotta win a ballgame. The next one would be nice. So let's shoot for that.
- Syracuse Basketball vs Marquette The Sunny Side: Effort Not an Issue This Time...Brent Axe
- Syracuse Basketball vs Marquette The Dark Side: First Four-Game Losing Streak in Five Years for SU...Brent Axe
- Syracuse Basketball vs Marquette: This, That, and the Other Thing...Brent Axe
- Waiters sits out Syracuse's loss to Marquette...Mike Waters
- FOURTH KIND: SU falls at Marquette for 1st 4-game losing skid in 5 seasons..Daily Orange
- Orange lose fourth straight against Marquette...The Juice
- SU/Marquette: My Uninformed, Ill-Thought Out Post Game Musings...Otto's Army