The Boeheimeter - The Home Stretch

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Last time we ventured into the lab and fired up the Boeheimeter, our orange heroes had just finished it's "hell week"- a six day stretch that featured games against rivals Georgetown and UConn at the Dome and Louisville on the road- with a 3-0 record. Not only did Syracuse run through that week unblemished, but they followed it up by winning their last four games as well, clinching a program and Big East regular season best 30-1 record.

In this final regular season edition of the Boeheimeter, we take a look at the home stretch- Syracuse's 74-64 win over Rutgers at the RAC, the 56-48 platinum defeat of USF, the 71-69 escape from Storrs, and this past weekend's 58-49 dismantling of Louisville on Senior Day at the Dome.

PG Scoop Jardine - 9.75 PPG, 16-37 FG, 4-13 3PT, 1.7 A/TO, 3 RPG, 8 Stl, 1 Blk

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Scoop absolutely lit up Rutgers and USF in the first two games that I'm looking at today, with 17 and 15 points respectively. While he cooled off at Storrs and against Louisville, he's been great about not forcing his shot and letting the game come to him. It would have been very easy for Scoop to try and go score 30 in his last game at the Dome, but he realized that he didn't have it, and let Brandon Triche and Dion Waiters take on the scoring load.

Scoop's play from here on out will truly cement his legacy in the annals of Syracuse basketball history. If he can bring us to the Final Four, and even lead us to a second national championship, one could easily make the argument for Scoop to go right behind Sherman Douglas and Pearl Washington in terms of all-time great Syracuse point guards. Who could have thought that would be a possibility after last season?

SG Brandon Triche - 8 PPG, 9-26 FG, 3-8 3PT, 1.75 A/TO, 2.5 RPG, 2 Stl

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Triche had a huge game against Louisville on Saturday, where he dropped 18 points and four assists, but before that game he had been mired in a month-long slump. We all know how streaky Triche can be, so let's hope that he can grab this momentum and help carry us through New York and to New Orleans. If Triche and James Southerland can get some consistency on offense, I think we're going to have something to celebrate come April.

SF Kris Joseph - 14.5 PPG, 22-51 FG, 7-18 3PT, .33 A/TO, 6.25, 6 Stl, 3 Blk

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At long last, Kris is finally that consistent scoring threat that we can rely on to get his on a nightly basis. The biggest improvement that I've seen from him has been on the boards. Early in the year when we were getting beaten by double digits in the rebound column, Kris was as guilty as anyone in terms of leaking out early. He's made a concerted effort to crash the boards, and while we're never going to be a great rebounding team, we're not getting absolutely dominated any more.

PF Rakeem Christmas - 0 PPG, 0-2 FG, 1 A/TO, .5 RPG

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Rakeem didn't score a bucket in the last two games. As I said last time, it's clear that he's not looked at as a major contributor, so I won't give him the worst rating on this scale. I still wish he got a little more run, especially with Baye Keita struggling so much, but I fully subscribe to the "Boeheim knows best" line of thinking.

C Fab Melo - 7.75 PPG, 9-18 FG, .5 A/TO, 7.25 RPG, 1 Stl, 15 Blk

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Fab's scoring is down a little bit, but his rebounding has really picked up and he continues to block everything without prejudice. I'm really excited for our first round game, because he might reject 20 shots against some poor 16-seed.

G Dion Waiters - 9.75 PPG, 13-34 FG, 3-11 3PT, 1.1 A/TO, 3.25 RPG, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

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Dion hit a bit of a slump, where he struggled to score even with Boeheim drawing up plays for him, but he seems to be coming back around. He was second on the team in scoring against Louisville with 13 points. I'm a bit more concerned with his assist-to-turnover rate, which dropped from 3.33 last time to 1.14 for these two games, although he rarely plays as the main facilitator, so it shouldn't be a huge issue.

F C.J. Fair - 11 PPG, 15-28 FG, 1-3 3PT, 4 A/TO, 6.25 RPG, 8 Stl, 4 Blk

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C.J. has been a bit quiet on the offensive end during the last few games, but he started this final stretch on fire. His 21 point, eight rebound performance at the RAC kept us afloat against an upstart Rutgers team. He continues to be our most reliable rebounder. The most telling thing about C.J. this week was how Boeheim drew up the final play against UConn for him. Conventional wisdom would say that Scoop, Dion or Kris would take that shot, especially since C.J. had a quiet day (six points), but Boeheim knows that he is always going to make a smart play, and that he was a mismatch away from the basket for Andre Drummond. C.J. may have missed the shot, but he took a solid shot. Give credit to Fab for putting himself in place to make a play off the miss.

F James Southerland - 3.5 PPG, 5-13 FG, 2-6 3PT, 0 Ast, 1 TO, 1.25 RPG, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

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James still hasn't had a breakout game in months, but his offense is starting to come around. After going scoreless against Rutgers and USF, he scored seven points each in games at UConn and against Louisville. Boeheim continues to run him out there despite his struggles, and I really think we have one more big game from James this season.

C Baye Keita - 0 PPG, 0-1 FG, .5 RPG, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

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That missed layup against UConn...it hurt my brain.

G Michael Carter-Williams - 2 PPG, 1-1 FG, 1-1 3PT, 2 A/TO, 1 Reb, 2 Stl

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It was nice to see MC-Dubz get some playing time in the final two games of the year, and while the stats don't really reflect it, I thought he played pretty well, especially at UConn. He came in while the game was still close in the first half, in a VERY hostile environment, and helped expand the lead while on the court. The bank-shot three was awesome.

The Senior Walk-Ons: Brandon Reese, Nick Resavy, and Matt Tomaszewski

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As Syracuse fans, I think we do a really good job of appreciating and lauding our walk-ons, but I'd like to take the opportunity to give a shout-out to our three graduating seniors. They work just as hard as our scholarship players without nearly as much praise, but their impact on the team cannot be understated. Without their play and their hard work in practice, this team could not play at the level that they have all season. Furthermore, they're good guys, and good teammates.

I'm heading down to New York City (well, making base camp in Connecticut...but THEN New York City) tomorrow afternoon. Going into the Big East tournament last year, I was overly concerned about just staying healthy. After the disaster that was the Georgetown game in 2010, my only real goal was to not have that happen again. And then UConn's run happened. Staying healthy still has to be the primary goal, but I really want us to go out and win the damn thing. This season is already special- let's make it one of the great seasons in basketball history.

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