With so much drama in the LBC, it's kinda hard being Jonny F-L-Y-N-N. If SU's basketball team wants to fly under the radar for a while then the season clearly got kicked off perfectly. Buried underneath the landslide on news about Greg Robinson's firing was SU's season-opening thrashing of local rival Le Moyne 85-51.
It was the Jonny Flynn show as the point guard led the Orange with 17 points and a career-high four steals. The Orange jumped out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back.
Coach Boeheim was his usual upbeat self:
“We made some bad turnovers tonight. It doesn’t matter who you are playing and we had some real bad turnovers. We obviously didn’t shoot it well from the 3-point line, which we need to do. We did some real good positive things, but some other things we have to work on. The level of competition will be good from here on out.”
Four other Orange reached double-figured in the scoring column including Eric Devendorf (14), Andy Rautins (12), Paul Harris (12) and Arinze Onuaku (12). Rautins also dished out nine assists, a career high.
If you're looking to know how the game "felt," look no further than Cuse Country's Syracusan:
If you’re a casual fan, all you need to know is that the team looked great in essentially every aspect of the game other than three-point shooting, and even that isn’t anything to worry about just yet. However: keep in mind that Le Moyne is probably worse than Indiana of Pennsylvania — they certainly looked smaller, slower, shorter, and less athletic — so there’s no reason to think of this game as any more helpful in evaluating SU than last week’s exhibition game. SU is officially now 1-0, but Le Moyne is just as much D-II as the two exhibition teams were.
Orange44 guest poster John Brennan was also on hand for the festivities:
It's hard to really gauge anything by this game, as LeMoyne is just a glorified CYO team, but it was clear that Syracuse still has a number of things to work on. I'll start with free-throws: Syracuse was 10 of 17 from the charity stripe. While this is a bit of an improvement over the two exhibition games, it's still not where it needs to be. The Orange won't be able to compete with the likes of Florida, Georgetown, and UConn unless the free-throws improve. I was also concerned with the number of turnovers. SU sloppily gave the ball away 18 times. Again, not a good way to win a basketball game (though, I should note the Dolphins coughed up the ball 25 times, which certainly helped the Syracuse cause).
No time to savor this one as the Richmond Spiders come to town tomorrow night. The Spiders got their season started right with a win over Randolph-Macon (wasn't he one of the old guys in Trading Places)? I don't think I need to remind you that Richmond and SU has a bit of a history and the Spiders aren't terrible so expect this to be a much better gauge of where the Orange are heading into their big showdown with Florida next week.