Doug F***ing Gottlieb was more than happy to get on TV this weekend and talk about how the Orange aren't winning as well as they should be. SU's 59-54 win over South Florida was his lead example, and although there is some truth to it, he's still a dick for taking so much pleasure in it.
Anyway, a capacity crowd of 8,350 were on hand to watch the Orange survive the Bulls and sneak out with a win. Up 16 at the half the Orange watched their lead disappear. It wasn't until 7 seconds remaining that they were able to claim the victory. So what happened?
1. No Paul Harris, for starters. Jesus Incarnate did not play due to the injury on his finger. Kris Joseph got the start instead en route to 7 points. We also learned that Kris Joseph has a nickname:
"It was sore so basically we were just resting it," Harris said. "Some of my teammates stepped up - Kris Jo(seph) got an opportunity to start."
2. Andy Rautins, despite leading the team in scoring yet again, was held in check. The Bulls for ready for him on the outside, cutting off his ability to shoot three's. He still managed four of them, in fact he managed all of the three-pointers the Orange had on the day, and ended the day with 14 points.
3. Devo played hurt.
The Syracuse University shooting guard said he "hit hips" with South Florida's Mobolaji Ajayi early in Friday's basketball game at the Sun Dome.
That contact resulted in a hip pointer so painful that Devendorf said he struggled to run up and down the court.
"After that, the whole game, it bothered me," he said. "I never had nothing like this. This pain is crazy. On a scale of 1 to 10, to play it's like an 8."
He ended the game with only 8 points and 4 rebounds.
4. Jonny Flynn is playing like a mere mortal. Another ho-hum performance from Jonny with 11 points, 3 assists and 6 rebounds. Not terrible but not spectacular, and Flynn has been playing on a good-enough level for a few games now. This would have been a perfect opportunity to break out and take over the game.
Arinze Onuaku was the glass half-empty/half-full player of the game. On on hand he scored a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. On the other hand, he was an abysmal 1 of 9 from the free throw line. In fact the Orange were 7-18 from the line overall. I don't need to tell you that's going to get us into some real trouble very soon.
It was a return to the patented Jim Boeheim 7-man rotation as the aforementioned players plus Rick Jackson and Kristof! were the only ones to see playing time. Jackson hit a rough patch, scoring only 4 points in 18 minutes. As for Kristof!, I defer to Axeman:
He isn't out there to score and you can attribute this to a lack a playing time perhaps, but Kristof is just awkward around the basket offensively lately. Its painful to watch sometimes. He had so many easy looks that he just flat-out missed out there. And what in holy heck was up with that reverse lay-up he tried with no one guarding him?
A win's a win, I suppose. Especially in the Big East. The Orange move to 14-1 (2-0) and may very well be looking at a Top Ten ranking when the polls come out tomorrow. Justified or not, the bullseye keeps getting bigger. The Orange are going to need to stop playing down to their competition, and hitting their free throws, if they want to continue being taken seriously.
Next game is DePaul at home on Wednesday. Both Harris and Devo expect to be healthy enough to play. Good.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)