The Boeheimeter - Big East Tournament Edition

Boeheimeter7_medium

Entering last year's Big East tournament, I was really downplaying the significance. I love it as an event, but after watching Arinze Onuaku, and our national championship hopes, get injured against Georgetown, I couldn't help but wonder if it would have been better to just sit the whole thing out. And that year, maybe it would have. However, after watching UConn make it's five-wins-in-five-days run, followed up by winning the NCAA tournament, any thoughts of "maybe we'll sit this one out" went out the window.

This year, I wanted to win the whole damn thing. The fact that we're leaving the conference in a year or two, and it being my final year as a student (so if I want to go to a Big East tournament in the future, I have to pay a lot more than $30), probably played into this, but I was all in on winning this year.

Unfortunately, a Big East tournament championship didn't come to pass.

Beating UConn for a third time made the whole week worth it, in my opinion. It is rare that a team even has an opportunity to face a rival like that three times in one year. To beat them each time is very impressive, especially when they're going to throw their best punch each time, which UConn did.

It might seem pretty obvious at this point in the season, but there are really three factors in each game that are going to determine how Syracuse will fare against a given opponent:

1.) Rebounding margin- if Syracuse keeps it respectable, it's good for the Orange

2.) Opponent shoots the lights out

3.) Syracuse shoots poorly

If Syracuse can allow for only one of these three things to happen, they will probably find a way to win. When two or three of these thing happen, Syracuse is in trouble. Against UConn, we got manhandled on the glass 46-34, and it was a lot worse until we locked things up in the last five minutes of the game. We also shot poorly- 38.5% from the field and 21.4% from deep. Syracuse won the game with very stingy defense down the stretch, and UConn ended up shooting even worse than the Orange by the game's end (34.4%, 26.1%).

Looking at the numbers, the Cincinnati game should have worked out better for the Orange, as both teams grabbed 36 boards, and the shooting was fairly even: Syracuse was 40.4%/44.8% and Cincinnati shot 45.5% from both the field and behind the arc. However, Syracuse never quite recovered from the absolute barrage that the Bearcats launched in the first half from deep, and aside from Dion Waiters, no one from Syracuse played particularly well.

In the end, it would have been nice to pull the tournament out, but the one that really matters starts on Thursday (or Tuesday, apparently. Calling four play-ins the 'first round' is stupid).

Let's see what the Boeheimeter thinks of our individual performances at the Garden...

PG Scoop Jardine - 4 PPG, 3-9 FG, 2-4 3 PT, 0.6 A/TO, 2.5 RPG, 1 Stl

Last Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week:

This might be a bit harsh, but Scoop was really, really bad in these two games. In the UConn game, he just didn't appear to 'have it', which is fine, but against Cincinnati he was an absolute train wreck when he entered late in the game. He finished the semi-final with five turnovers and only two assists. After last night's selection show, Scoop and Boeheim both commented on how well the last two practices since the loss had gone, so hopefully the senior is refocused and ready to make a run to New Orleans.

SG Brandon Triche - 8 PPG, 7-21 FG, 1-7 3PT, 1.33 A/TO, 4.5 RPG, 3 Stl

Last Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

More of the same from Brandon during this tournament. He's still leaning and contorting and rushing his jumper, which is just painful to watch. When he gets set and takes a good shot, he's a great shooter, but he has a bad habit of making each shot more difficult than it needs to be.

SF Kris Joseph - 9.5 PPG, 3-14 FG, 2-7 3PT, 0.6 A/TO, 3 RPG, 3 Stl

Last Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week: Grumpy_medium_medium_medium_medium

Kris had a rough tournament. He got almost all of his scoring from the line because he couldn't make anything from the field, and he didn't grab one rebound against Cincinnati. Kris is going to get every chance to be our best player, unless Dion continues to go scorched earth on our opponents, and we really need him to kick it back into gear.

PF C.J. Fair - 2 PPG, 1-7 FG, 0-1 3PT, 0.5 A/TO, 5.5 RPG, 1 Stl

Last Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week: Grumpy_medium_medium_medium_medium

At long last, C.J. Fair is starting, however the returns have no been all too great. C.J. was battling illness all week, which is apparently going through the athletic department (great timing!), and was barely a factor on offense. After not grabbing a rebound against UConn, he pulled down 11 against Cincinnati. This is probably the worst two-game stretch in his career, and C.J. is such a consistent player that I don't see him struggling like this too much longer. If we face Kansas State in the round of 32, we're going to need his production in a bad way.

C Fab Melo - 9 PPG, 8-15 FG, 2.5 A/TO, 7 RPG, 1 Blk, 1 Stl

Last Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

This was a weird week for Fab. He scored pretty well, and grabbed a solid number of rebounds, but the blocks weren't there, and he must have had five or six goaltending calls between the two games. I'm all for aggressiveness, but he's getting to a point where he's giving the other team more points than he swats away. Don't even get me started on the jumpshot against UConn.

G Dion Waiters - 23 PPG, 16-27 FG, 8-13 3PT, 2.5 A/TO, 1.5 RPG, 1 Blk, 3 Stl

Last Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week: Champion_medium_medium

Dion was ridiculous in this tournament, and without him we don't even come close to beating Cincinnati. The only thing that worries me a bit is him falling in love with the three-point ball. When he's as hot as he was on Friday, I don't mind, but he's not the kind of shooter that hits seven of ten every night (who is?). If Scoop and Kris get going again, and Dion continues to dominate, I don't see Syracuse losing.

F James Southerland - 6.5 PPG, 4-13 FG, 3-10 3PT, 5 RPG, 5 Blk, Stl

Last Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

James didn't shoot very well as a whole at the Garden, but he hit big shots, which isn't something we've always seen out of him. I loved his defense, he was very solid on the boards, and he had a couple of big blocks as well. It was great to see James play with confidence.

F Rakeem Christmas - 1 PPG, 1-2 FG, 1 Ast, 2.5 RPG, 2 Blk

Last Week:Grumpy_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

I had honestly forgotten that Rak got into the Cincy game at all. He played three minutes and didn't accumulate any stats. His eight minutes against UConn, however, were huge. He scored on an awesome feed from MCW, he grabbed five boards and had two big blocks. It wasn't quite the Big East Tournament break out game that Fab had last year, where he scored 12 points and really won us a game against St. John's, but it was a nice performance nonetheless.

G Michael Carter-Williams - 0 PPG, 0-1 FG, 4 Ast, 0.5 RPG, 1 Stl

Last Week: Meh_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium This Week: Happy_medium_medium_medium_medium_medium

Like Christmas, it's hard to judge the Cincinnati game when all he came in to do was foul at the end of the first half, but I loved his contributions against UConn. Four assists in eight minutes is great production.

C Baye Keita - No stats in one minute against Cincinnati

Last Week: This Week: Grumpy_medium_medium_medium_medium

It looks like Christmas has officially passed Baye as the back-up big man, which is okay with me. Baye didn't do much of anything in New York.

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