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Syracuse vs. Florida: The Southerlandening

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The Big East/SEC Challenge kicks off tonight with four games, while the Syracuse Orange will contribute their part when they take on the Florida Gators tomorrow night in the Dome.

Syracuse students are already lining up for seats to the biggest game of the season so-far, so a lot of familiar faces are going to be in the Dome Friday night. One more familiar face will be joining them, former Rutgers guard Mike Rosario.

Rosario averaged 16.7 points per game his final season at Rutgers. That number ranked him ninth among Big East scorers.

But Rosario, weary of losing and searching for greener basketball pastures, transfered to Florida two years ago. He sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules. This year, he's coming off the bench for Billy Donovan's Gators.

Syracuse fans remember Rosario from his Rutgers days, though we remember mostly for getting posterized by Jonny Flynn.

Meanwhile on the Orange side, reserve James Southerland is playing well. Let me rephrase that, Southerland is playing out of his gourd.

Admittedly, it’s still too early to make a huge extrapolation, but as of this writing, Southerland leads not just the entire Big East in offensive rating (the closest thing to a catch-all offensive stat), but all of college basketball with a mark of 167.4. This is astronomical

Southerland was a no-show in MSG, so the fear remains that his powers are restricted to the Dome. That's going to be okay until January.