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Jim Boeheim Discusses
Season Ending Loss

Syracuse at NCAA South Regional, Day 2 (1 of 2)

Posted 2 days, 17 hours ago at 7:55 AM.

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Season Ends In Dissapointment,
Cuse Get Bounced In Sweet 16

After a flat 40 minutes of basketball inside the FedEx Forum, and an embarrassing loss at the hands of Oklahoma, the season was over and the reflection period immediately began. Problem was, I didn’t know what to feel. Was it anger that the Orange came out with such little bounce in their step? Was it sadness that my dreams of Syracuse playing for another National Championship were crushed? Was it satisfaction that our group of players came together at seasons end and gave us hope? Or was it a combination of all those questions?

To be honest, I’m still not sure. SHOCK is probably the best adjective to describe my current mindset. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that this team would give up and stop fighting. But in my mind, that’s exactly what happened. With Jonny Flynn hurt from a first half head on collision with Blake Griffin, and the Cuse down 13 at the break, the Orange started the second half with 3 straight turnovers. Barely 2 minutes into the second half, the Sooners lead had catapulted to 20. It was at that point where it felt like the team had lost all confidence. It showed in their effort, it showed in their body language, but most importantly it was showing on the scoreboard. A late run led by a gutty Flynn cut the lead to 14, but it never felt like we had the energy to make a true push. Our shooters weren’t even close all night, our big guys got manhandled by the Griffin brothers, and Tony Crocker broke out of a slump to career it with 28 points on 6-11 from deep. That all adds up to a blowout folks, and that’s exactly what we got.

Now that were done reminiscing on a night I’d rather forget, let’s talk about the future of Syracuse Basketball. Next season’s optimism will likely depend on what happens with our upperclassmen. Will Jonny stay true to his word and come back for his Junior year? Will Eric be back as a 5th year senior? Will Paul Harris pursue opportunities in Europe to make a better life for his family? The truth is noone knows. There has been a lot of speculation and insinuations but were going to have to let it play out to find out for sure. Jonny has been steadfast in his commitment to the program, but so was Donte Greene last season, and we all know how that turned out.

A few things for next year aren’t so up in the air. Andy Rautins, and Arinze Onuaku will be back for their Senior years. If they can improve as much this summer as they did last summer, look out. Same can be said about Rick Jackson, who’s improvement from game to game was remarkable. The guy becomes a better player every possession not every week. We will also have Scoop Jardine back from injury to provide depth behind Jonny at the point. Having a backup point guard who has as much game experience as Scoop is certainly a great luxury, a luxury we could have used last night. If Jonny does unexpectedly turn pro, Scoop is more than capable of being our floor general on a full time basis. We also have Iowa State transfer Wesley Johnson, who sat out the season do to NCAA rules that state, a player must sit out a full academic year when transferring to another school. It’s too bad we couldn’t use him all year, cause Wes looked serious in practices. This guy was dominant in his freshman season in the Big Twelve, averaging nearly 13 and 9. Look for him to be a perfect fit in both our offense and our defense. He is long and wiry and should be perfect on the back end of our zone. Offensively, the kid can shoot the eyes out of it (a bit in the mold of Donte Greene) but he can also do some damage around the rim (not so much like Donte). I’m very excited about what he can bring to our team, and so are his coaches and teammates. As for the incoming freshman, we do have some dynamic talent coming next season. The Cuse bring in NY State player of the year, Brandon Triche, who played his high school ball locally at nearby Jamesville-Dewitt. How much court time he gets will depend on the decisions of Jonny and Eric. Also coming to town is scout.com’s #9 Center in the class, DeShonte Riley. Riley is a great shot blocker and area rebounder and should provide depth at center behind Arinze and Ricky.

The future looks bright for next years group regardless of everyone’s decisions. If Jonny, Eric, and Paul do comeback, we should have a team ranked in the Top-5 Nationally when the pre-season polls come out in October. It’s a tough feeling right now, knowing you won’t get to see the Cuse suit up again until November, but it’s a tough feeling every year at this time (god I miss Melo).

Before I sign off, I’d like to give a special thanks and congratulations to Kristof Ongenaet. The kid worked harder on the court than anyone I can remember in a long time and was a pleasure to cheer for. He played through pain, was a good teammate and a great ambassador to both the basketball team and University. I wish Kristof nothing but the best in his life outside of Syracuse.

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Leave a comment about your favorite Syracuse basketball memory from this season.

Posted 2 days, 18 hours ago at 7:22 AM.

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Eric Devendorf:
Tournament Villain or Misunderstood?

Throughout Syracuse three week thrill ride, two things have become abundantly clear. Jonny Flynn has propelled to super-stardom, and Eric Devendorf has become America’s most hated player. Story after story has been written on ESPN, Yahoo, SI, etc., depicting Eric as a bad apple, and a player no one respects or cheers for. Devendorf did have an incident where a student alleged he had physically assaulted her, however, a Syracuse Judicial board later decided he had not done any physical harm to her. The board decided to suspend Eric 2 games anyways, with the reason being, yelling, swearing at, and defending yourself against a female student while drunk in the early hours of the morning was a violation of a previous probation which he had received. Let’s look back at our own college years and reflect for a minute before we judge this kid. I wasn’t there and don’t know what “really” happened that night, and I certainly would never condone hitting a female, but everyone who reads this did something they regret in college. The kid made a mistake, he shouldn’t have yelled at a women or been in a poor situation after 1am. He regrets it, and has apologized. But for the media to completely turn on him for his mistake, is a pretty big overreaction. If you ask Devendorf’s teammates, to a man, they all love playing with him. Gerry McNamara recently called him one of the best teammates he’s ever had. His heart on the basketball court is unmatched, and he wears his emotions on his sleeves. Eric is an instrumental piece to the Syracuse puzzle, and the Cuse would not be here today without him. The kid hasn’t been convicted of a crime while at Syracuse and shouldn’t be treated like a criminal. Eric may have been anointed America’s most hated player, but one writer is here to say, IT AINT RIGHT.

Posted 5 days, 10 hours ago at 2:57 PM.

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Jonny Flynn to Grace Cover of SI

It’s been a pretty amazing few weeks for Jonny Flynn. It seems that the team’s run in the Big East Tournament has catapulted him from a star into the face of college basketball. After playing 67 minutes and scoring 34 points in the most thrilling college basketball game the Big East Conference has ever seen, Jonny has begun to see a rise in his popularity. This rise hasn’t occured in Syracuse (because everyone in Syracuse was already smitten about the Niagra Falls native), it’s been a national sweep that has talk show hosts calling Jonny the most popular player in America, and everyone who’s anyone lining up to interview him. The latest development is that Jonny will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the most popular sports magazine in the world. Here’s a sneak preview of what next months cover will look like.

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Posted 6 days, 9 hours ago at 4:19 PM.

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Syracuse Post Game Press Conference
Round of 32

NCAA: SU after Win to Arizona State Press Conference

Posted 1 week ago at 4:16 AM.

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Cuse Dominate Paint, Stroke It From Deep
Advance to Sweet 16

The trip to Miami was a tremendous success, as the Orange came away with two relatively easy wins and advanced to play in the Sweet 16. After playing poorly and beating Stephen F. Austin by 15 on Friday, Syracuse rebounded and played a superb all around basketball game. They pounded it inside to Ricky Jackson and Onuaku early and often, as it was evident Arizona State didn’t have any bodies that could matchup with the Syracuse bigs.

As the defense started to sag, Eric Devendorf and Andy Rautins began what started to feel like a 3 point shoot out. The Orange jumped out to a 16 point lead as Jonny Flynn was penetrating and smiling, while the Junior shooters were coming up wet. It was a complete clinic and the Orange looked dominant in the first half. James Harden was held without a field goal in the first session, and the future lottery pick, looked like he had a better chance of winning 649 than minutes on an NBA roster.

The second half wasn’t much different, though Harden decided to upgrade to his “C” game. Arizona State didn’t attack the gaps of the zone, and relied on big shooting from Rihards Kuksiks (don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either), who had 20 points, on 6-13 from 3 point land. If Kuksiks didn’t shoot the eyes out of it, this might have gotten embarrasing. Harden showed what he’s made of on the big stage, grading out somewhere between Pau Gasol in the NBA Finals last summer, and Chris Anderson in the 2005 Slam Dunk Competition. NBA Scouts who were on hand were down in the tunnel after the game, asking the Arizona State staff for reinbursment for their airfare. I mean this guy was putrid. Arizona State’s other big name, Jeff Pendergraph, managed just 9 points and 2 rebounds in a foul plagued 24 minutes. More importantly, he looked like a SunBelt Conference 2-guard standing behind Arinze. The bigs were the story in this one, completely out muscling the Pac-10 standout.

Next up for the Cuse, is the almighty Blake Griffin and his #2 Oklahoma Sooners.

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Posted 1 week, 1 day ago at 6:25 PM.

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Eric Devendorf: 10pts, 2reb, 6TO

Donna Ditota interviews Eric Devendorf

Posted 1 week, 3 days ago at 6:43 PM.

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Arinze Onuaku: 12pts, 7reb, 2blk

Mike Waters interviews Arinze Onuaku

Posted 1 week, 3 days ago at 6:40 PM.

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Rick Jackson: 12pts, 10reb, 5blk

Mike Waters interviews Rick Jackson

Posted 1 week, 3 days ago at 6:35 PM.

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Cuse Players Talk Miami:
Weather and First Round

Orange interview with Donna Ditota at the NCAA

Posted 1 week, 3 days ago at 4:54 AM.

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