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This Week in Stupid: Leader Versus Scorer

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I don't particularly like a lot of things:

  • I have a violent aversion to mayonnaise. 
  • Georgetown isn't getting a Christmas card from me again this year.
  • I could really do without taxation, especially levies on important living necessities like beer, liquor, and the newly invented beequor.

What I truly despise, however, are morons.  The imbeciles.  The dopes who step on soapboxes and proclaim something as fact while crediting their unicorn for the prophecy underlying their sophisticated understanding of the world. 

In short, I hate people just like me, but who aren't as eloquent.

cusetownkid over at The Post-Standard is just the newest resident Stupidberg (it's located on the other side of the tracks of Awesometown).  You see, cusetownkid likes Syracuse basketball.  He or she, presumably, also enjoys sniffing glue, huffing ether, and taking three fingers of whiskey before writing things on the Internet.  Here's what the kid-who-will-grow-to-be-a-taller-clown had to say regarding the Orange's hardwood troubles:

This team doesn't need scorers, it needs leadership. Jimmy B can't do everything, and it seems he keeps saying these negative things to motivate one of his guys to step up take a leadership role. This is not happening; we have tons of talent, but no direction. This team reminds me of Kentucky, great freshmen and young guys who want to go to the NBA, but no experience or on the court leadership. One of the upperclassmen needs to step up and establish roles, like last years team.

Let's break this down, mostly because it's Friday and I no longer feel like contributing to my employer's bottom-line.

Right off the top as our guiding principle: Andy Rautins getting mouthy last year had nothing to do with Syracuse making the scoreboard act like a telethon toteboard.  There is absolutely no relationship between the two circumstances.

Now, let's get into this.  This team doesn't need scorers, it needs leadership.  That statement is patently incorrect.  In fact, it's incorrect on three fronts:

  • First, Syracuse needs shooters, not scorers.  There's a big difference between the two.  Marcus Hatten, formerly of St. John's, was a scorer.  Colin Falls, formerly of Notre Dame, was a shooter. There's a big difference between the two, and I'm making you less stupid with each passing sentence.

    Here's why the distinction is important for the Orange: The team has scorers -- Jardine, Waiters, Joseph, ad nauseam.  The problem is that none of these jabronis has shown the ability to knock down an open jump shot at a reasonable rate.  Defenses sag off of these guys, denying the dribble-drive, clogging the lane to mitigate passes to the post, and the fellas are forced to try and covert buckets from outside the paint.  In short, Syracuse isn't lacking guys that can put the round orange thing into the netted metal rim thing; it's missing guys that can do it from, say, somewhere located not right under the basket. 

    The stats prove it out: Syracuse is has a whopping 49.3 percent effective field goal percentage; it's three-point shooting is hovering around 32 percent; the team is converting on only half of its two-point attempts; and the Orange's free-throw percentage is a pathetic 62.7 percent. 
  • Second, and this ties to the first point: Would any of the above-mentioned offensive deficiencies be improved if Andy Rautins walked in the door and said, "Shoot better, idiots"?  No.  I have not read or heard anything that indicates that this team does not work hard in practice or in the weight room.  Similarly, I have not seen this team quit on the floor during games.  Syracuse's problems are not attributable to internal motivation and work ethic. 

    The implication of the comment is that "leadership equates to established role play."  Well, here's the problem: You can't have roles if everyone is in the same quagmire of blech.  Look at this team.  There is one player that has pretty much had it together since the start of the season: Rick Jackson.  Joseph has had moments, Fair has contributed at times, Keita looks like he can play a little, Waiters has had minutes where he has looked fine.  The issue, though, is that too many guys have produced too little on a consistent basis in game situations to have any roles established. 

    Are Syracuse's problems suddenly fixed if Jardine goes around the room, "You're the jumpshooter, I'm going to distribute, you'll grab rebounds . . . ."?  Nope, that's artificial direction of talent.  It means nothing in the only metric that matters: Wins and losses.  If the team starts looking less dysfunctional on offense, roles will emerge naturally.
  • Third, and this is the most important thing in the history of everything: If this team is devoid of leadership, why is the defense still pretty darn good?  Now, Syracuse hasn't seen an offense worth a damn yet (*cough* 230th strongest offensive strength of schedule *cough*), but the defensive production is still there.  The team is swatting shots, steals are up, the zone is forcing a zillion three pointers and teams aren't canning them. This has been a good defensive squad and, apparently, without leadership. You can't have it both ways, homeslice.

So, that's the first-level breakdown.  Let's tear apart the rest of this cat's drool:

  • Jimmy B can't do everything. . . .  That's a lie.  He can and does.  He is my everything, my alpha and omega, my rock, my spiritual guide.  Some people go to church on Sunday; I, instead, put on my Adrian Autry jersey and watch my Jim Boeheim's Complete Guide to the 2-3 Match-up Zone Defense DVD.  Cast not aspersions upon the throne.
  • This team reminds me of Kentucky. . . . How?  Because they both wear basketball jerseys?  Other than "They both provide scholarships," there is nothing comparable to Kentucky the last two seasons and Syracuse this year.  What a jamoke.
  • [I]t seems [Boeheim] keeps saying these negative things to motivate one of his guys to step up take a leadership role. . . . Have you heard of "Jim Boeheim" before?  He's old.  He's cantankerous.  This is what he does.  He doesn't need a reason to say these things; his reasoning rests with the fact that he's still breathing and feels like saying words.

Anyway, that's that. If anyone has 30 Pinstripe Bowl tickets they're looking to offload for around $50 a piece, let me know.  I'm totally fucked.