Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
There's a line between 'fan' and 'reporter' that I try very hard to respect when I am covering a game in person. It was impossible to do that Friday night. I'm a proud SU grad and lifelong fan, and it was great to see Syracuse beat Georgetown one last time.
My ears were ringing. My eye was twitching. My body apparently can’t process this much adrenaline.
The SU band was to the left of me, playing loudly. Those “Boeheim Face” guys were right behind me, cheering right in my ear. You know the ones. I could barely hear the reporter sitting next to me.
It was awesome.
I don’t need to tell you how the game went. I’m sure you watched it. If you didn’t, then I question why you’re here. So let’s recap…
Trevor Cooney: Trevor played 15 minutes and was probably the player of the game. He ignited a stagnant Orange offense in the first half and pretty much kept them in the game when only Southerland could do a damn thing. He was 4-6 from the floor, 2-3 from three, and had four rebounds (more than Triche, Southerland, Christmas, or Grant). He healed the sick and fed the hungry. He saved a cat from a tree. He brought Lil’ Wayne back from the dead. He was so good Catholics are demanding a papal re-vote. I’d go to the church of Pope Trevor I. I think you would too.
James Southerland: If SU’s hotel burns down overnight, it’s because James is still on fire. Okay, so he cooled off to a more mortal 40% from three tonight (4-10), which puts him at 64% (16-25) for the tourney. Still white hot. He also tied the record for most threes in one Big East Tournament with 16, held by none other than Gerry McNamara and a couple of other guys whose names I didn’t care to memorize. Southerland has played 44, 36, and 40 minutes in SU’s three tourney games, which is nuts for a guy who wasn’t starting until a week ago.
Baye M.F. Keita: I firmly believe Baye saved Rakeem Christmas’s life. The way Boeheim was looking at Rak when he came to the bench was the same look a father gives his son when he drives the family car into the side of the house. Baye was magnificent, even if he can’t get over his terrible habit of bringing the ball down to his waist (or lower) and allowing everyone on the other team a swipe at it. And since a stiff breeze can knock the ball out of his hands, that’s a problem. But I’m here to praise Baye, not bury him. He played 41 minutes (gotta be a career high) and scored 13 points (second most of the season), including a whopping 7-7 from the free throw line. He hit four big FTs in crunch time, during a stretch where SU did not make a single field goal for the final 7:12 of regulation. He also added 8 rebounds, 6 on the offensive glass, and pretty much covered for Christmas’s disappointing 4 minute, 0 point, 0 rebound output.
C.J. Fair: Fair may have had the biggest play of his career during the worst shooting game of his career. He was 3-16 from the floor and 0-2 from the line, but all anyone will remember are the steal and dunk at the end. My guess is he’ll take it.
Final Grade: A+
What other grade could I possibly give?