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Beware The Big Red Machine

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via <a href="http:// http://cornellbasketball.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html" target="new">cornellbasketball.blogspot.com</a>
via cornellbasketball.blogspot.com

To paraphrase Chris Rock, before this week, nobody was callin' our ass.  Then the 2K Sports Classic got a hold of us, cleaned us up, wiped the crust out of our eyes, gave us a tic-tac...now everybody wants to f*** us.

The praise is far and wide for Syracuse basketball this week.  Everyone's doing their best to make up for all those previous weeks when they didn't really bother to notice.  The Orange even move all the way up the Coaches Poll to No. 10 and make their debut in the AP at No. 9, receiving one first-place vote in the process (anyone want to fess up?).

But of course, with any kind of meteoric rise comes trouble.  Andy Katz pens what I imagine is many folks' opinion, which is "It's November, let's chill the F out."Even Boeheim agrees.

"There are a lot of good teams," Boeheim said. "We're trying to be one of them. It's just impossible in college basketball right now to tell. There are so many teams we just don't know about yet."

The other part of all this that the Orange are now a known quantity.  Stories about them and their players are all over the place.  The SU zone from last week has been analyzed and broken down all weekend.  The secret is out.  And that makes us vulnerable.  Especially when facing off against a team like pesky Cornell like they will tomorrow night.

The Big Red might have lost to Seton Hall on Friday but don't take them for another cupcake.  The Big Red are coming off an NCAA Tournament season and went down to Alabama and beat the Tide

Just like the Cal game, Cornell brings the threat of good outside shooting.  SU already knows well what F Ryan Wittman is capable of:

Cornell boasts a bevy of top-notch shooters, especially forward Ryan Wittman. The 6-foot-4 senior torched Syracuse for 33 points in last year’s meeting. He made nine out of 19 shots from 3-point range, while Cornell shot 13-for-29 (45 percent) as a team from beyond the arc.

In four games, Syracuse has yet to allow an opponent to shoot better than 40 percent from the field or 30 percent from 3-point range.

Wittman is currently averaging 17 points and shooting 41 percent from 3-point range.  Donna Ditota went into enemy territory to track down Wittman and find out more about his shooting ability:

Cornell Senior Forward Ryan Whittman

Make sure you swing by the indefatigable Cornell Basketball Blog where you can find everything you could possibly want to know about Big Red basketball and then some.  You don't want to be unprepared.