It's been a busy winter break for me. I spent a week in Atlanta for Christmas, I went up to Providence to see Syracuse's game against the Friars, and I'll be in South Carolina for most of the week before I head back up to SU a week from today. Also, I'm really lazy, so I've been putting off the third installment of the Boeheimeter. However, it is a new week, so put it off no longer!
There's not a lot to complain about as an Orange fan at this point. Syracuse sits atop the Big East, and the nation as a whole, with a 17-0 record and a No. 1 ranking in both polls. However, if there is one person who can pick the nits of such an accomplished Syracuse team, it is head basketball coach and future village of Clay comptroller Jim Boeheim.
Let's look at some goofy faces.
This week's Boeheimeter will take a look at the first four Big East games against Seton Hall, DePaul, Providence and Marquette.
PG Scoop Jardine - 5.5 PPG, 42.9 FG%, 1-7 3PT, 5.25 APG, 3 TO/G, 2.75 RPG, 2 Stl
Scoop had one of his best games as a point guard against Providence. Ten points is fine, but it was his 11-1 assist-to-turnover mark that really made it a tremendous game. However, in the other three Big East contests, he's been decidedly average. He's not taking too many ridiculous shots, which is good, but he's been unable to find his shooting touch at all, especially from behind the arc. Luckily, Brandon Triche is on fire and Dion Waiters has been magnificent all season, so we can get away with Scoop being average for now.
SG Brandon Triche - 13.25 PPG, 50 FG%, 10-20 3PT, 3.25 APG, 2 APG, 2 TO/G, 3.75 RPG, 5 Stl, 1 Blk
I'm not quite ready to give Brandon the top honors here, but he's really close. He's absolutely shooting the lights out, he's not afraid to take shots, he's protecting the ball, and he's playing good defense. His play does raise some questions about why Boeheim keeps going with Scoop instead of him down the stretch of games. Brandon is generally less prone to turnover, and is a much better free throw shooter. I hate to be "that guy" who complains during a 17 game win streak, but it is peculiar.
SF Kris Joseph - 13 PPG, 45.9 FG%, 6-13 3PT, 3.25 APG, 2 TO/G, 3.5 RPG, 10 Stl, 2 Blk
I might be a bit generous giving the "happy" face to Joseph, but his numbers are bogged down by the 0-fer he threw up against Seton Hall. Since then, he's been scoring very easily. Ten steals in four games is also fairly impressive, especially for a wing player. I think Kris' 3-point shooting has flown below the radar this year. He's currently hitting almost 43% of his shots from beyond the arc, which is pretty incredible if you remember back to his first season.
PF Rakeem Christmas - 2.25 PPG, 25 FG%, 2.25 RPG, 2 Stl, 4 Blk
Fab Melo's freshman debacle is probably the saving grace for Rak this year. He has his moments, but he's really struggling to finish near the hoop, which isn't a way to get more playing time. I think he's shown that he will be a good player eventually, but what we get from him this year is a bonus. This means that we need Baye Keita start playing better however, because Fab can't carry this frontcourt alone.
C Fab Melo - 10.25 PPG, 76.7 FG%, 1 APG, 5.75 RPG, 2 Stl, 18 Blk
I was at a relative's house for dinner in Sandy Springs, GA for the Seton Hall game, so I was planning to watch the game sight unseen afterwards on ESPN3. As we all know, that is really really hard to pull off, and is even more so when Fab Melo blocks ten shots and blows up Twitter like a Tebow completion. My only gripe with Fab's play is that we could definitely stand to get more boards out of him. If he could start grabbing double digit rebounds, he'd be a true top flight collegiate center. Right now with the struggles of Keita and Christmas, Fab might be our most important player.
G Dion Waiters - 13.25 PPG, 55.6 FG%, 3-8 3PT, 4 APG, 1.5 TO/G, 1.75 RPG, 10 Stl, 3 Blk
Dion, you're liike, my favorite Orange player. Can you plz r/t this article. Boeheim's wearing a funny hat LOL!
(This is almost completely predicated on that block he had on Saturday. That was one of the biggest plays of this young season).
F C.J. Fair - 12.5 PPG, 52.9 FG%, 0-1 3PT, .5 APG, 1 TO/G, 6.25 RPG, 6 Stl, 3 Blk
C.J.'s been our most consistent inside scoring presence, our best rebounder, and is playing the second most minutes on the team. It's rare when there is a player that everyone loves, and yet his impact still goes a bit undervalued. We would have a few losses without C.J., without a doubt. Also, you had to love seeing him play center against Providence. It reminded me of Kris going against Thabeet in the Six Overtime game. Good times, let's never have to do it again.
F James Southerland - 5.75 PPG, 58.8 FG%, 2-7 3PT, .5 TO/G, 3.5 RPG,
The last few games that Syracuse has played have been much more geared towards C.J.'s style of play, but James has done some nice things in his chances on the court. His consistency is so much higher than in years past, and he's not completely lost on the boards, which is nice.
C Baye Keita - 3.33 PPG, 60 FG%, .33 TO/G, 2.33 RPG, 4 Blk
If we've learned anything this week, it is that Baye Keita is extremely important to this team. Without him, Fab Melo has to play a ton of minutes, or we have to send Rak to the wolves. Unfortunately, he hasn't been very productive in weeks. To Baye's credit, he did score four of the most important points of the game against Marquette. The scoring isn't my biggest concern, however. His rebounding has been poor, and he's really getting pushed around down low.
G Michael Carter-Williams - 3 PPG, 66.7 FG%, 1-2 3PT, 1.33 APG, .33 TO/G, 1.67 RPG, 3 Stl
MCW continues to do what is asked of him when he plays. His DNP against Marquette was a bit strange, perhaps Boeheim didn't want to have him play against the Eagles' aggressive slap-defense.
The State Sports Columnist Ron Morris