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Everyone Was Right About Syracuse Basketball For All The Wrong Reasons

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Let's take a stroll down memory lane...this was Jim Boeheim on the Dan Patrick Show back in April 2009 discussing Syracuse's Final Four chances in 2010.

Remember that time?  When Syracuse was a lock to be a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament because Jonny Flynn was returning?  NBC Sports puts Syracuse at No. 2 on it's Teams To Watch Next Season List.  The Big Lead claimed Syracuse would be the No. 1 team in the NCAAs. Even the New York Times puts SU in it's way-too-early Top Ten

They were all on to something.  Of course, every single one of them prefaced their selection with a caveat.  A caveat named Jonny Flynn.  The Orange were only going to be as good as Jonny would carry them...assuming he returned.  And when he didn't, all of these high expectations left the building with him.  Funny thing is though...SU ended up exactly where all of these folks predicted they would anyway.

Here we are, almost a year later.  Syracuse is the No. 1 seed in the West bracket and many are predicting the Orange will make the Final Four, possibly going even farther.  Helluva turnaround for a team that dropped faster than Rick Pitino's pants at an Tri-Delt party as soon as Jonny ske-daddled.

So what does it say about basketball experts that they were completely right about SU but for all the wrong reasons? And to a lesser extent, what does it say of us fans who mostly though along the same lines? The thinking was that the Orange would be led by a superstar who would carry a collection of lesser players to glory.  Meanwhile the truth is that the Orange were better as a unit made up of good players working together.

A great theoretical question for SU fans to ponder is whether or not the Orange would have been better off with Jonny this season or if they were better off without him.  No doubt he would have lit up the NCAAs and been the star we expected him to become.  But would it have hindered already-unselfish Wes Johnson's ability to get involved?  Would he have been a liability in that he had stat sheet concerns?  What of Scoop and Triche?  Does Kris Joseph not see as much action if there's another person in the rotation and how does that affect the Orange?

To answer those questions about the experts and fans, it's just Reason No. 5,724 on why nobody knows nothing about nothing.  Remember that when the way-too-early rankings for 2011 come out and Syracuse is ranked way too high, way too low or even if they're just right.