The Boeheimeter - The Worst of Times, Best of Times

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After the second or third miracle thirty-foot three pointer that Cincinnati hit in their opening barrage, I couldn't help but think of last year's winter swoon. Following the 2010-11 Syracuse squad's 18-0 start, they dropped four straight Big East games against Pittsburgh, Villanova, Seton Hall, and of course, Marquette. The way this game began was so eerily similar to Saturday's Notre Dame game that the writing seemed to be on the wall. There were a ton of reasons why Syracuse should have lost at Cincinnati, a solid Big East squad with a very hostile home crowd behind them. However, the team's senior leadership stepped up and clenched victory from the jaws of defeat, and taught us a lot about this team's resiliency in the process.

As you can see above, a new arrow was added to the Boeheimeter. This represents the overall team's grade. While the Cincinnati game may end up being the much more significant event this season, the Boeheimeter wasn't a fan of losing the chance for an undefeated season. The grades after the jump, however, are going to be a bit slanted towards the Cincinnati game. Otherwise, things would be pretty ugly around here.

PG Scoop Jardine - 7.5 PPG, 35.7 FG%, 2-6 3PT, 6.5 A/TO, 2 RPG, 1 Stl

Last Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium

While it's never good to go 0-5 from the floor, Scoop's one of the only players from the Notre Dame game who I didn't think played all that poorly. It's obvious that he's taken on the role of pass-first point guard really well, so even though he only scored two points, I was impressed with his seven assists and only two turnovers. Against Cincinnati, Scoop was brilliant. He dropped six dimes without turning the ball over, penetrated the Cincinnati defense well for a few layups, and hit two huge shots from the arc. Scoop put together a game where he flashed the heady point guard play he's shown this year with the clutch scoring ability "Good Scoop" brought to the table in games last season. The Cincinnati game was one of the finest he's ever played.

SG Brandon Triche - 8.5 PPG, 42.9 FG%, 2-4 3PT, 2 A/TO, 3 RPG, 5 Stl

Last Week: Grumpy_medium_medium_medium This Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium

It was nice to see Brandon come out of his shell a bit in yesterday's game. While he only took two threes, he saw that he needed to take the ball to the basket, and while it had somewhat mixed results, that's the aggressiveness that I've been hoping to see from Brandon for three seasons now. His four steals were huge against Cincinnati as well.

SF Kris Joseph - 14.5 PPG, 52.2 FG%, 1-8 3PT, 1 A/TO, 5.5 RPG, 1 Blk

Last Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium This Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium

Thank god for Hubert Davis. As we are all very aware, heading into the Cincinnati game Syracuse had no go-to-guy. Luckily for us, at half time Hubert was able to crack the code, and determined that it had to be Kris Joseph. No other "offensive dude" would do. Something tells me that Kris didn't get the memo from ESPN at the half, but he really showed determination that we haven't always seen from Kris. His three-point shot, which he's leaned on all season, just wasn't falling, so for the first time since maybe his concussion last season, Kris made a concerted effort to attack the basket. Kris was a match-up problem for a small Cincinnati team, and completely exploited their perimeter defense with his slashes to the hoop. Kris' jumper will come back. If he can pair it with a really deadly mid-range and inside game, he's can become the All-American candidate we've been waiting on for two seasons.

PF Rakeem Christmas - 3 PPG, 50 FG%, 1 A/TO, 6.5 RPG, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

Last Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium This Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium

If the Pitt game proves to be a coming-out party for Christmas, and Fab Melo comes back from his academic issues, this two game stretch will have all been worth it. I was actually impressed with Rak's effort against Notre Dame, and I thought he played better in his 13 minutes than Baye Keita did in his 25, and was hoping we would see more of Christmas than we did. Luckily, Christmas took it to another level against Yancy Gates and Cincinnati. The freshman didn't lock down Gates, he definitely got his with 16 points and 10 boards, but Rak was able to keep Syracuse from getting annihilated on the boards (SUA has the rebounds as 40-40). He also had three blocks, which was big for a team missing it's primary shot blocker. His two feeds to guards under the hoop from the high post were things of beauty as well.

C Fab Melo - DNP

Last Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium This Week:

Fab let the team down. There's not much more to it than that. No matter what you think about the role of "student" in the student-athlete equation in college athletics today, it is still a requirement, and that requirement is fairly minimal when you consider all of the advantages and support systems that the athletes have. To be fair, no one is quite sure what Fab's issue is specifically, despite all of the rumors floating out there, but odds are Fab could have avoided the situation, whatever it is. As a fan of the team, I hope that Fab's issue is resolved and he can come back and play, but I also hope that he has truly taken whatever lessons he can from this experience.

G Dion Waiters - 6.5 PPG, 26.3 FG%, 2-6 3PT, 0.5 A/TO, 2 RPG, 5 Stl

Last Week: Champion_medium_mediumThis Week: Grumpy_medium_medium_medium

Dion put together his two worst games of the season over the last three days. He wasn't scoring well, he wasn't distributing well, and he seemed to be forcing things, which is why it was wise of Boeheim to keep him out at the end of the game against Cincinnati. Dion looked pretty enthused on the bench, especially after Scoop's second big three, so it was nice to see him supporting the team. It speaks well of Dion's maturation that we've seen this year. I'm not worried about him going forward, he's too talented a player to have an extended slump.

F C.J. Fair - 6 PPG, 36.4 FG%, 0-1 3PT, 2 A/TO, 5 RPG, 1 Stl

Last Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium This Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium

C.J.'s struggling in his increased role, especially when he has to play at the four. He's at his best coming off the bench and bringing a spark with his high energy play. I doubt that Boeheim does it, but if Fab is out for more time, it would be interesting to see how a starting lineup with Southerland at PF and Fair coming off the bench would fare.

F James Southerland - 11 PPG, 40 FG%, 3-10 3PT, 2 TO, 4.5 RPG, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

Last Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium This Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium

In past years, a James Southerland who wasn't hitting threes was a James Southerland who wasn't doing much of anything. It is really refreshing to see James scoring in the paint, grabbing boards, and playing good defense. He didn't do much on the boards against Notre Dame to go with his 15 points, but his seven boards against Cincinnati were key in the win over the Bearcats.

C Baye Keita - 1 PPG, 100 FG%, 2 TO, 1.5 RPG, 1 Stl

Last Week: Grumpy_medium_medium_medium This Week:

Things have really bottomed out for Baye. In two games where we needed him most, he really didn't give us much at all. Luckily Christmas stepped up and and had the best game of his career against Cincinnati, because Baye gave us next to nothing, other than some fouls. Last year before his injury, Baye was a great player for us. He may have had his best game at Connecticut in a win that broke us out of a four game losing streak. This year he just looks lost and overpowered.

G Michael-Carter Williams - 0-1 FG (DNP @ Notre Dame)

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I didn't give MCW a rating last week, and this week there wasn't much more to go on. Playing time is just going to be spotty for him from here on out, I hope he takes it in stride.

Let's win some internet awards! Be sure to vote for Otto's Army for Naismith Award for Student Section of the Year on Facebook and the Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation in the Infinity Coaches' Charity Challenge. You can vote for both every day.

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