The Syracuse Orange are No. 5 in the nation, 3-0 and have cruised to victory in every one of those games. They've made it look mostly easy and they've showcased a depth and talent pool that we haven't seen here in a very long time. By all accounts, they look every bit the part of the team most experts are picking as one of the best in the nation.
Naturally, Jim Boeheim has issues.
Otherwise, he wouldn't be Jim Boeheim.
Ever-ready to prop up an underachieving squad or bring a talented team back down to Earth, Boeheim has found his harping issue for the 2011-2012 season: Defense.
Tonight from the beginning we weren’t really ready to go. James Southerland really saved the first half -- he made a bunch of shots or it probably would have been a real close game--that’s not the way you want to play, that’s not a good way to play. Hopefully we learned something from this game tonight.
"I didn’t think we were as active defensively, that’s probably why we fouled a little bit more than we should have. You don’t want to put men on the line that many times."
We need to do better than that. We can’t keep putting people on the foul line that many times. Other than that we defended fairly well.
The Orange have caused near-panics by mixing up the traditional 2-3 zone with man-to-man and full-court-press. Boeheim seems to be using the early-season opportunities to work out a lot of kinks and prepare these guys for anything.
So long as the Orange continue their trend of keeping things even-keel, don't expect too much complaining out of Jimmy B. However, if and when the other shoe drops, you already know where his ire will be directed. Don't say you haven't been warned.
Video courtesy of Steven J. Pallone / The Post-Standard.