Sunday, January 22, 2006

Why Syracuse Sucks at Basketball

Alright, this bothers the hell out of me. I graduated from Syracuse, as did Jon...but not biker, he went to some hippie anti-grass walking establishment. Regardless, I've met Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim and he's a nice dude. He's an outstanding recruiter, his defensive strategy is impeccable, he's got a national championship and shipped a more than his share of players into the NBA. They play in an extremely tough conference and always seem to be competitive. The problem is Jim Boeheim though. There's not a team in the world of college basketball that can figure out that damn 2-3 defense and they run it probably 95% of the time. The amount of practice that goes into it at this point in the season has to be minimal, seeing that they use it so often. The offense is nothing out of the ordinary. They're a little guard heavy for my taste, even though Terrence Roberts has played exceptionally well down low this year. Someone please explain to me how this team has four players (two starters) who shoot 50% or below from the foul line? It's not like they're plotting new defenses or curing cancer...foul shots are repetition and need to be a part of every practice if your team performs as poorly at the line as they do. Gerry McNamara shoots an impressive 92% from the line this year and was in the top ten in the country in foul shooting his freshman year. He clearly didn't learn how to shoot them after he met Boeheim. This is not a new trend at Syracuse either. Senior guard Josh Pace shot about 50% last year from the stripe too and that's downright unacceptable for a one or a two guard. And if you want even more, Hakim Warrick shot 38% in his freshman year and all the way back in 1997, Etan Thomas (a minor star) shot 46.5%.

You may be saying, well, what about Shaq? he's a crappy free-throw shooter maybe they some people just can't be taught. I'll give you that one...some people just can't shoot them, but so many of them on the same team points to coaching. In a system where the 2-3 wears down an opponent by the end of the game, Syracuse can't capitalize down the stretch because they can't sink anything from the line. That's what kills them every year in the tournament. You may say, but what about Kansas in 2003 when Cuse won it all? Well fuck you, what about Vermont in 2004 when they lost in the first overtime, mind you, when just a single foul shot could have won it. There's no outstanding player on the team this year that can strap the team on his back and win games by himself. Carmelo Anthony did that two years ago and to some extent, Hakim Warrick did that last year. Gerry McNamara straight up isn't that good. Deal with it. I hope they lose every damn game.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Syracuse is the best team ever. This is garbage.

5:07 PM  

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