Any fan base has their players they love, and those they’re not as high on. And then there’s the third option: the guys they’re in a constant love/hate relationship with, ebbing and flowing with the player’s level of play.
The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team has had quite a few of those over the years, but perhaps the most notable recent case is senior guard Frank Howard. After a rocky first two years on campus, he had a breakout junior year in 2017-18. But battling back from injury this year, the aggravation has returned at times for many Orange fans. Phrases like “Good Frank” and “Bad Frank” are common in the comment thread here and on Twitter.
But the ACC Tournament (where he was named second-team All-Tournament this year) showed the height of what Howard can be for this team. And his success, even if not to that exact level, will be essential to Syracuse going a couple round in this year’s NCAA Tournament. If he can carry the Orange to the Sweet 16, he’ll create quite the interesting (and nuanced) legacy at SU — as the Daily Orange detailed on Tuesday.
A Sweet 16 trip would be his third — and second straight. Going even further could put him in in some even rarer air among ‘Cuse players all-time. Whether it happens or not, it would seem like a fitting end to what’s been an up-and-down story.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse links below:
Howard has an opportunity to become the third Orange starting point guard to lead Syracuse to back-to-back Sweet 16s. If Howard, the only holdover from SU’s 2016 Final Four team, left that final mark on the SU program, he’d no longer be the player that Syracuse fans love to hate. Rather, he’d be cemented as the floor general that consistently stepped his game up when it truly mattered.
Earlier this season, it seemed Brissett shifted the narrative that he couldn’t shoot from the perimeter. He worked before and after practices with Syracuse associate head coach Adrian Autry to avoid line-drive shots and to consistently jump straight up and down when he fired. And while the occasional spurt early on showed promise — he shot above 50 percent in three of SU’s first seven games — he’s fallen off.
The wins of the father (The Ringer)
I could not recommend these 78 seconds highly enough. The video opens with “Everyone wants to know, ‘Buddy, where are you going to play basketball?’” Considering it says “Buddy Boeheim” on a video for “Syracuse.com” I don’t think anyone was wondering this. He says 10 teams reached out to him. This sounds pretty insulting to Jim Boeheim, no? The man has coached Syracuse for 43 years and only 10 programs reached out to his son?
“It’s a self-guiding meditation app that will take them through all kinds of different meditations,’’ Pike said. “We’re trying to help them become more efficient in school, more efficient playing basketball. They’ve got a lot of pressure on them with basketball and academics. This can help them regain some balance in their lives.’’
The above Syracuse graph shows that Syracuse was more dominant as their opponents got worse. There aren’t too many teams with lower percentages on the x-axis (low opponent offensive turnover percentage in that game) that have high scores on the y-axis (high opponent offensive turnover performance on the season).
Baylor-Syracuse: NCAA Tournament Game Preview and Prediction (Our Daily Bears)
10 players set to shock the college football world in 2019 (Bleacher Report)