Brian from Orange44 is back to answer all the questions you've been desperate to get answers to. Read on for his thoughts about SU lacrosse, JUCO players, and the future of SU basketball.
Syracuse lacrosse earned a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Justified, surprising or a little low?
Yeah it is right about where they are supposed to be. Clearly the committee looked at the RPI of each team, but seemed to factor in just how good they thought these teams actually are. Syracuse is #1 in both polls to finish the regular season, but Virginia has the better RPI, therefore they earn the #1 seed. Really though, there is no huge difference between #1 and #2 in the seeding. Let’s face it, Syracuse and Virginia were consistently the two best teams in the nation this season. Anything lower for Syracuse would have been a travesty in my opinion however.
Who will be the four teams left standing in Foxborough for the Final Four?
I think it will be the top four seeds; Virginia, Syracuse, Duke, and Princeton. Not that bold of a pick, but when you see these teams play you understand. All four teams are playing very well heading into the tournament and, although no team has every piece that will guarantee them a Natty Championship, these teams are the most complete. However, the Duke/Navy match up could produce an upset early on if Duke is not careful, and similarly Cornell has been hot and could continue to be as the #5 seed and beat Princeton in the Regional. The easy money has the top four teams heading to the Commonwealth however.
SU recently picked up some JUCO players to fill in the blanks left by the departed few on the football team. How do you feel about that kind of strategy?
It worked in picking up Kristof! right? There are plenty of talented players that are playing JUCO that were passed over by the big boys for various reasons. Either way, these players can and usually do contribute on the next level, pending proper evaluation by the D-1A staff. If Syracuse has a need to fill, and can find a talented player in the JUCO ranks, why not mix him in with the team. At this point anything is an improvement.
Based on what SU already has in young talent and in the pipeline, where should Boeheim, Hopkins and Fine be looking as their most critical roster hole to fill in 2-3 years.
Without question, a point guard is necessary. At that point a blue chip recruit would be nice to have, if not to start right away because of Brandon Triche, then be ready to be subbed in and gain experience. Point guards are the quarterbacks of basketball teams on the floor. Therefore great guard play is a key to any team that needs to make a run in March. As we all know, a kid like Flynn that can play close to 40 minutes a game is rare, so having a quality back up or then later an experienced starter is optimal. The learning curve in the NCAA is short these days with great players jumping ship after one year (I have long stated it should have been a two year rule), so having that key guy to sub in and run the sets is a must.
JoePa is trying to get Big Ten expansion talks going again and he's throwing Syracuse around. Whatcha think?
It’s a lot of malarkey as I think he would say. Nothing should come of it. He tossed around Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Syracuse’s names as possible targets, but frankly why would the Big (11) Ten want any of these teams? Sure some are attractive, but really this does not expand the Big (11) Ten market anywhere, nor does it really add that much in terms of football, which as we all know makes the world go round. As far as I see it, these teams have a good deal in the Big East, the basketball conference is superb, and having a 1/7 chance of getting to a BCS game is much more attractive than a 1/11 chance. Don’t look for any real talk of this for some time.
Objectively and realistically, could Syracuse host the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four one day?
Final Four I just do not see. But a regional site is quite possible. Syracuse has hosted the Final Four
twice, first in 1988 and then in 1991, but attendance for those championship games were 20,148 and 8,239 people respectively. To put some perspective on it, the 2008 Championship Game attendance in Foxborough between The Orange and Johns Hopkins was 48,970. The capacity for the Carrier Dome is 49,250. While that is a lot, and would surely be cool for Championship Weekend, most likely the NCAA would not allow it because Syracuse is so often in the Final Four. Additionally, with all of the activities surrounding the weekend, I’m not sure there is enough space for all of it at Syracuse. The Quad would be bumping and every lot would be at capacity. It would be great for the city, but frankly I think we are past the era where an actual home arena of a team gets used.
Thanks again to Brian, keep an eye on Orange44 at all times. You never know.