As we know it, after last night’s eye sore of a loss to Georgia Tech, the Syracuse Orange moved to 15-7 on the season and 4-5 in the ACC. The loss now assuredly moves Syracuse to the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble and to say the very least, the game itself wasn’t a pleasurable viewing experience. With neither team scoring above 55 points the final box score would suggest just that.
The loss stings on a deeper level as Syracuse had ridden a three game winning streak into Atlanta with a chance to go over .500 in conference play before hosting Virginia on Saturday. To make matters worse, we found out after the game that Syracuse would be without freshman guard Howard Washington for the rest of season, all the while Matthew Moyer is still healing from an ankle injury himself.
This leaves Syracuse down to just six players who started the season on scholarship, one of which — Bourama Sidibe — has been bothered with knee tendinitis since December.
It would be easy to start to feel sorry for Syracuse. It would be even easier to step into the pitfall of the what-could-have-been thinking
If only Geno Thorpe would have waited this out, he could be playing meaningful minutes right now.
Taurean Thompson could help this team if only he didn’t transfer to Seton Hall.
Tyler Lydon should have stayed one more year.
But that sort of thinking is nothing if not useless.
It’s pointless to think that way. Those players are long gone. To even fixate on the idea of them is a waste of time and a waste of mental strength.
Those guys left a long time ago and I assure you, Jim Boeheim isn’t thinking of any of them as it relates to getting this team in its current form to win games. Syracuse is depleted beyond measure right now, but you know what? So is everyone else.
You don’t have to look far around the conference to understand that other teams are banged up too, nobody worse than Notre Dame. The Irish are without a first team All-ACC (if not first team All-American) in Bonzie Colson. It’s also without its veteran in Matt Farrell and now DJ Harvey has suffered a bone bruise.
Boston College lost grad transfer Deontae Hawkins for the year just eight games into the season.
Clemson lost its best player in Donte Grantham to a torn ACL.
Miami just lost Bruce Brown to a foot injury.
North Carolina’s Theo Pinson just hurt his shoulder against Clemson this week.
This list goes on and on. And while Syracuse has seemed to have fallen on hard times, it’s best to not focus on the players lost and instead focus on how this team can win basketball games.
The Orange have an upward climb ahead to be sure, but focusing on what’s lost won’t do anyone any good and that’s apropos of life. You have to maximize the good and compartmentalize the bad. You can’t always control what happens to you but you can always control how you respond to it.
The other teams in the conference with injured players are navigating their paths in their own right, trying to remain competitive in the conference. They sure as heck aren’t going to slow down for Syracuse. Besides, injuries (and transfers) are all part of the game. You have to take the good with the bad all in stride and try to make the best of the cards you’re dealt.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side and a lot of times in life, your neighbors have just as many issues to work through as you do.
So get the guys who aren’t a part of this team out of thought and out of mind. Syracuse will press on either way and if you’re too busy thinking about what could have been you might miss out on what could be.
Let’s dig deep into the mud and keep our focus on the present evergreen.
Gear up for the rest of the season in which Syracuse figures to have a bubbly rollercoaster ride with a few more lows and hopefully a few highs mixed in. After all, isn’t that what life is all about?