Brian from Orange44 is back to answer all the questions you've been desperate to get answers to. Read on for his thoughts about the end of basketball season, the (seeming) departure of Harris & Devo, the lacrosse team and Doug Marrone's troops.
Now that it's all over and you've had time to think about it, how would you grade this Syracuse basketball season?
It was a good year, and they fulfilled my only criteria I set out at the end of last season; get to the Sweet 16. They did, so for that, they get a good grade. Initially, because of this I wanted to give them an A-, but because they got my hopes up during that Big East run, as well as the end of the regular season, they let me down against Oklahoma. Therefore I have to give them the B+. That is still pretty damn good though, and in theory they should only get further next year, pending all the pieces return. Even if Flynn leaves, we still have a very good team. Either way though, this year was pretty good, save for the middle of the Big East schedule, however they more than made up for it in what was easily the best game I have ever seen in the 6 OT masterpiece that was the Big East Tournament third round. Very satisfying.
Given their personal situations and the cold, hard truth that they'll probably never play in the NBA, do you think it might actually be worth it for Eric Devendorf or Paul Harris to leave? (Ed. Note - this was answered before today's announcements)
Not at all. Given the theory that they will not play in the NBA they should stay and earn a college degree. It is free for you, and as good ol’ mom would say it is something to fall back on. These are the type of guys who are destined for playing in Europe or maybe the NBADL, so they will make some money as a professional, but they probably will never have a year in which they make multiple millions. Why not stay and get that degree and then after the ten years of travel, foreign food, and missed loved ones, you come back and get a somewhat real job. It is all about the paper. Now, granted there may be some family situation the public doesn’t know about which makes finding a job imperative, but it seems as though Papa Devo should stay, and Harris should want one more year to improve his game, live it up, and play with his boy Flynn. Unfortunately, I just read from the DO that he has declared without an agent. Too bad for us and him.
Remember kids, if you have a degree, unless someone has an advanced degree they can’t make you take out the trash anymore. Unless it is your parents.
What did you take away from SU lacrosse's bounce-back game against Cornell?
Thank goodness they managed to win. You always have to defend your home Dome, but the fact that they played so terrible in Jersey was very discouraging. In the Big City Classic, Syracuse’s defense overall, and John Galloway in particular, were not good at all, and certainly not playing at the level they have all season. Princeton is not an elite team, and it is a shame they got beat the way they did; outplayed in several areas. Thus, it was good to see Syracuse’s offense come back alive against Cornell, putting up 15 goals, as well as Syracuse stars Nims and Keogh get their games back on track. The defensive packages also looked much better in this game, sliding better and helping out. They looked far more comfortable in this game against a very good (and higher ranked) Cornell team. Either way, Galloway needs to improve his game. He let a lot of weak goals in as of late, in both the Cornell game and the Princeton game. Ten saves versus ten goals against is not a ratio that the goalie at Syracuse University should have. Galloway seems to have been better last year than this year, and it is severely dampening my thoughts of another Final Four. He better sack up, or the back ups could get some love.
Doug Marrone seems to be running a very different ship than Greg Robinson. How you like your spring practices so far?
I cannot be more pleased. You get the feeling that everyone that is a Syracuse fan is saying "now THIS is a football coach." I am too. Frankly any players that quit because he’s hard on them I do not want playing for Syracuse University. This is part of the failing of Greg Robinson. He was too soft on the players, with too many non-contact practices and "thud drills". Thus, you play how you practice, and players couldn’t hit and tackle. What a concept. If anything, these players will be in better conditioning, tougher, and will play harder than they ever did for Greg. This guy just seems to exude "football coach" and every move he has made so far seems in my mind to be the correct one. We’ll see if it translates to more wins and better recruiting, but as of right now I could not be more satisfied with the direction of the program.
Ryan Nassib...the next-coming? David Legree...good riddance?
The next-coming is way premature. This kid hasn’t even started a game yet. Also, that is a lot of pressure on a kid. ARob was supposedly the next-coming and we all know how that worked out. I’ll reserve judgment, but if Coach Marrone is convinced that this is his starting quarterback compared to the other QB’s on the roster, then I have to believe that he is the best for the job. And again, we can only go up right. Although I give "Cantley" a lot of credit for what he did last year in trying to keep the team competing and winning at Notre Dame.
As for Legree, who knows what he could or would have accomplished. But again, if he quit because he didn’t like how much work he had to put in, or he just plain was not happy, then see ya. Thanks for stopping by. Not quite good riddance, but close. Those kind of players should have no place on a Division 1, BCS School football team. I’m sure Colgate might have some openings though.
You planning on attending any football games this year?
I do love me some football. Hope always springs eternal, so I assume I’ll make it to a few. I’ll definitely be at Homecoming, but as of right now everything else is up in the air. Due to the major crossroads in my life that will be my impending graduation from law school, studying for a bar, selecting which bar to take, and then attempting to find employment in one of the most unforgiving economic times I’ve ever seen, it is hard to pin anything down this early. But knowing me, I’m sure I’ll find a way to see a few of them. And if certain events relating to blogging work out, I’ll have to make an appearance. Also, I cannot go that long without a visit to Dino BBQ.
Thanks again to Brian, keep an eye on Orange44 at all times. You never know.