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Managing Expectations

I read somewhere that when setting a goal, you should make sure it's a) challenging, b) believable, c) specific, d) measurable, and e) have a deadline. I've also read that 13 people are killed every year by vending machines falling on them, but that's for another time.

Donte Greene spilled the beans the other night that J
im Boeheim's goal for the 2008 Big East schedule is to go .500, 9-9 specifically. You can look at it two ways. You can say that Boeheim is protecting against failure since 9-9 would be a step backwards for the Orange. Or, you could look at it as extremely realistic, given the inexperience and mental lapses of the Orange and the strength of the conference overall.

So does our goal meet the criteria laid out?

Is the goal challenging? Somewhat. It would be foolish to take anything for granted in the BE. Most people would tell you that the Orange are in the 8-10 win zone at the moment with everyone hoping for 11 wins and a surefire tournament berth. So 9 wins is a good goal to have but it is slightly pessimistic, which might be just the kind of strategy Jimmy is intending. When the Orange win 10 conference games*, it will be an even greater accomplishment that before. *results may vary

Is is believable? Sure. What it lacks in its inherent challenge it makes up for in its plausibility. 9 wins is expected at the very least by Orange fans and anything less will be disappointing. It's a fair assessment to expect 9 conference wins from this team.

Is it specific? Of course it is. How much more specific you want it? I mean, I guess we could caveat and say "9 wins, at least two of which over Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Marquette or UConn" but the number's more important than how we get there (at least until tourney time).

Is it measurable? Duh.

Does it have a specific deadline?
Sure thing, hoss. End of the season, we expect to have at least 9 wins. If we have 11, then we don't need to do as much in the BE Tourney and that's all the better. If we only have 9, well then ,we got still got some work to do...

One down, eight to go. Although most Orange fans will tell you they feel like "ten to go" is more like it.