"It'll be a definite learning situation for the two of them," Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said Thursday in his office, prior to Cooper and Long's arrival. "It's not traditional when they come in the midyear and it's not as easy when you're with 25 other freshmen. But we have a lot of big brothers on the team that are going to take care of them, make sure they're getting around, understand where their classes are, how to use bus system. I can't wait to get them up here."
Syracuse—Record: 16-0. Rankings: RPI 7, Pomeroy 3. Need to know: Syracuse has nine wins against teams in the RPI top 100. The Orange face fellow ACC newbie Pittsburgh in the Carrier Dome on Saturday in what promises to be a battle for first place in the conference.
So much for all that talk dating back as far as last summer’s official July 1 entrance date for Syracuse and Pittsburgh into the ACC, followed by all the gushing at the basketball media day activities in October proclaiming the ACC, with five schools sporting national championships and with three of the top five all-time victorious programs, having the potential to be the best basketball conference in all the land.
Syracuse fans have to do a whole lot to their eye sight if they plan to avoid a pair of monster lineman recruits visiting campus this coming weekend. Class of 2014 products OL Denzel Ward and DL Zeek Rodney are scheduled to be up On the Hill this Friday.
"I think we need to do whatever's in the best interest of Syracuse University and the community, "he said. "It (the dome) is a spectacular venue and it's hard to believe there could be a better venue for college basketball, in particular."
"We've played really well when we've had to in tough games. And that's why we're where we're at," he said. "We might really be 14-2. We've really played well when we've had to and that's a good quality. And that quality will stay with us. But it's not going to happen all the time. You're not going to make those plays all the time down the stretch — be down and go 10-0 on somebody at the end of the game. It's not going to happen."
"The only good thing about shooting like I did today," Cooney said, "is that I get to bounce back and play Monday."
"Randy was a prolific player in junior college and we’re hoping that his skills and abilities translate to the Division I level," SU head coach John Desko said in a statement. "He’s very talented. He can score. He can feed. He’s got great stick skills and a great sense of the game."
The Orange is red hot and the clear-cut class of its new conference. The road to a championship in the south’s best basketball conference goes through frigid Central New York, and Fair knows it. "I think this is going to be a special year."
Allow me to ask a few questions about this project while our local politicians, sports owners, and athletic directors speak in code (or not at all) publicly about it.
"I kind of looked at him and I said, 'I'm never going to anoint you no matter how good you play. I just don't believe in it,'" Shafer said, recalling the scene in his office last week. "He said, 'I know, Coach.' I said, 'But you did play a hell of a game and showed me some stuff today.'"
Boston College sports information director Matt Lynch said last week that the SU-BC contest is expected to be a sellout. Syracuse will be the third ACC home game for Boston College. The Eagles had 3,516 fans for a game against Maryland and 5,268 for a game against Clemson.