Now that I'm awake from my twelve day coma that followed the national football signing day post-a-thon, let's assign some possibly-arbitrary rankings to the basketball players that we all love the most.
With last night's win over Louisville, Syracuse has finished "hell week" 3-0 with wins over rivals Georgetown and UConn at the Dome, and the always frustrating Cardinals at the Yum! Center in the span of six days. Bravo guys.
In retrospect, I'm pretty happy with how all three games went. We faced adversity in each, and none of them were absolute blowouts for the Orange. We may have defeated UConn by 18, but most of that damage was done with under five minutes in the game. It was a nail-biter throughout. These games, especially the overtime win over Georgetown and the squeaker against Louisville, are the types that really show a team mettle, and should prove beneficial come tournament time. Most Syracuse teams probably wouldn't be able to beat a team like Louisville, an outfit that has absolutely had our number for years, on the road in a game where they literally hit one outside shot the entire game, but this Syracuse squad was able to do it. This team has some serious veteran leadership, and seems to know what it needs to do to pull out tough wins.
Doing the rankings this week was especially difficult because of how unique each game was, but let's take a look...
PG Scoop Jardine - 8 PPG, 9-24 FG, 4-8 3PT, 2.7 A/TO, 2.67 RPG, 4 Stl, 1 Blk
Only Scoop could put together the six day stretch that he did this week. I didn't think his game against Georgetown was as terrible as some made it out to be. His shot wasn't there, and he had a few 'bad Scoop' moments, but he had a really nice floor game overall. Then against UConn, he absolutely exploded and probably had the best game of his career. Two days later at Louisville, he didn't get off the plane. Add it all up, and he gets a 'meh' for the week, although that probably isn't an accurate representation, considering the range of Boeheimotions that could be applied to how he played from game-to-game. However, this is what we have to work with. It's an imperfect system, you guys.
SG Brandon Triche - 6.67 PPG, 8-22 FG, 2-10 3PT, 2 A/TO, 2.67 RPG, 2 Stl
It was certainly a weird week for Brandon. I thought he played fairly well in the two games at the Dome, but he couldn't buy his way onto the floor in crunch time, and then he played a really poor game against Louisville, but I guess Scoop was so off that Boeheim just couldn't justify putting him in over Brandon.
SF Kris Joseph - 17 PPG, 15-36 FG, 9-18 3PT, 1 A/TO, 4 RPG, 6 Stl, 2 Blk
Had I written this after the weekend, Kris would've been a shoo-in for "champion-chipper" status, but then the Louisville game happened. He didn't have an awful game, and he was especially helpful in the rebound department, despite the foul trouble he faced all game.
PF Rakeem Christmas - 0 PPG, 0-0 FG, 0 A/TO, 0 RPG
Just a non-factor this week. I'll spare him from "YDKYB" status, since not much is expected from him.
C Fab Melo - 10 PPG, 13-22 FG, 0 Ast, 4 TO, 5.33 RPG, 3 Stl, 10 Blk
Fab's had a really nice week, and has been incredibly effective since returning from his mystery academic issue. His scoring is picking up, and he seems to be adding to his arsenal with some up-and-under moves, some "hey, let's let Jim Burr get confused and call and NBA-esque continuation foul" stuff, some mid range jumpers, and he's been great from the free throw line. Keep doing you, Fab.
G Dion Waiters - 11.33 PPG, 13-32 FG, 3-12 3PT, 3.33 A/TO, 4.67 RPG, 3 Stl
I wasn't sure whether to go with 'meh' or 'happy' here. Dion didn't shoot the ball all that well, outside from the UConn game where it seems like everyone went scorched earth on the huskies. However, he's been the guy that Boeheim has trusted with the game on the line, for better or worse. While Kris drove the bus against Georgetown, and Scoop went crazy and broke the game open against UConn, Dion is the guy who plays are being drawn for, and he really put us in a position to win against Louisville.
F C.J. Fair - 10.67 PPG, 13-30 FG, 1 A/TO, 8.67 RPG, 2 Stl, 3 Blk
Last night, C.J. threw a really bad pass right at a Louisville defender, and I think it was the first time I freaked out about an awful mental error from him. Scoop, Dion, Brandon, Kris, Fab and the rest have these gaffes virtually every game, but it was the first time I can actually remember having the same reaction towards a play by C.J. Even when he has an off night, as he did against Georgetown, his failings are almost purely physical. I can't hate on a guy for missing good shots, as C.J. did last Wednesday. Even on his worst nights, he's our best rebounder, and he constantly finds himself in good position and makes heady plays. He was absolutely huge in the UConn and Louisville games, and he's just an absolute pleasure to watch.
F James Southerland - 2.33 PPG, 3-11 FG, 1-7 3PT, 1 Ast, 0 TO, 1.67 RPG, 4 Stl, 2 Blk
Where's your shot gone, James? Against UConn and Georgetown, Southerland fell into the trap that we're all too familiar with...he misses his first shot and his effectiveness is just done for the game. He did have a nice bounce-back against Louisville. Why he wasn't shooting well, he grabbed some rebounds and had four big steals. If James can make his time on the court worthwhile, even when his shooting is in a slump, he'll see more time.
C Baye Keita - .67 PPG, 1-1 FG, 0 Ast, 1 TO, 1.33 RPG
It kills me to watch Baye play. Last year, he was really an unsung hero, especially with Fab Melo being so ineffective. And he was a really, really good rebounder. Go check out last year's UConn game in Hartford. The guy was integral in beating Kemba Walker and company. It just baffles me how much he's regressed.
G Michael Carter-Williams - 0 PPG, 0-0 FG, 0 Ast, 0 TO, 0 RPG, 1 Blk
See: Rakeem Christmas. In case you were wondering, if I wrote one of these after St. John's, I'd probably give MCDubz Champion Chipper, just because. It's not his time yet, but this guy's going to be a star.