Sorry, all the good spider-related puns were taken already. I had to get creative.
SU defeated Richmond 76-71 in a game that was a little too close for comfort. The good news, besides SU winning, is that this is probably a game that last year's Syracuse team would have lost. Take solace in that for now.
Devo and Flynn led the way for the Orange with 22 and 27 points respectively. Still, the Orange trailed at halftime by seven. Jim Boeheim needed to do something drastic. He needed Eric Devendorf to come, as the kids say, correct:
"Show me the Eric Devendorf that I saw last year," Boeheim told Devendorf. "The swagger."
The swagger returned minutes into the second half as Devendorf scored 11 consecutive points, turning a 40-33 deficit into a 44-33 Syracuse lead all by himself.
Of course, it would be unwise to discount the performance of Arinze Onuaku, who finished with 17 & 6. Arinze has been playing with an intensity that the Orange are going to need all season long:
"I love when he plays like that," SU guard Jonny Flynn said, "because that just fires me up out there. When AO's playing beast it just rubs off on everybody."
C'mon Arinze, keep rubbing one out! Wait...
Kristof! has taken his role as Energy Guy and run with it. Literally. He might not always do it right but according to Orange44, the crowd loves him:
Kristof! had a fine game in terms of intangibles and rebounding. He had zero points and some stupid fouls, but he did end up with nine rebounds and a steal. He had an excellent look at the basket in the second half, but overshot it. He did have a simply amazing block though, which got the Dome rocking.
Cuse Country thinks we haven't yet begun to see the real Orange. They're just getting warmed up:
For much of the game, SU seemed to lack the killer instinct. They were giving up rebounds and failing to finish plays. The Syracusan stated below that if Syracuse came out of this game smelling like roses, then it could be a sign that “SU might have something special this year.” While we showed we could beat a solid team from a mid-major, we basically just won a game, the consequences of which would have been much greater in the event of a loss than they are now that we’ve won. I don’t think we smell exactly like roses. Maybe like rose-scented room freshener, but we haven’t been shown we’re the real thing yet.
Of course, what happened on the court isn't quite as compelling as what ALLEDGEDLY happened off the court. As noted yesterday, Eric Devendorf has been accused of punching a woman in the face for, well, does it really matter? Bud Poliquin notes a few of the particulars:
On the matter of the alleged assault -- officially, a second-degree harassment -- this is troubling, to say the least. First of all, it supposedly took place about 3 a.m. on Nov. 1 . . . and we all know that not much good generally happens out there on the streets after midnight. And, secondly, if true, it would be just another case in an awful national trend of men's violence against women.
National trend? How bout a Syracuse basketball player trend? Excuse me, ALLEDGED trend.
Brent Axe took a look at the new reports that came out last night however and noticed some discrepencies in the story. In the WSYR story, it states that:
The victim's attorney said she recognized five people that night; all of them are allegedly SU men's basketball players.
But in the Post-Standard story, it says:
Smith told police she couldn't identify the people kicking her car but that she could identify Devendorf, whom she knew.
Wait, did she or did she not know who the others were kicking her car.? Her attorney says they were all SU Basketball players. Her report to the police says the only one she recognized was Devendorf.
So, which one is it?
Probably part of the reason this isn't going to trail but is instead going in front of the SU Judicial Board...where the law doesn't matter and he-said-she-said rules the day!
The only only concern on the day? The crowd. The Three Idiots, who live-blogged the game, took note:
Weak ass crowd tonight. I don't care if it is a 6 pm game, show up people. It's not like there's anything else going on. Happy hour at the Chili's on Route 31 in Clay isn't that interesting on a Tuesday, trust me, I know.
We've got attendance records to break, people. Get on it.