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Hoops

The Day SU Hoops Changed

“Right now, we’re not a good basketball team. I don’t think we have been for the last three or four games.”

Good news: Syracuse pulled away for a 74-57 win over Memphis last night.

Better news: No one was happy about it.

Boehiem: “It’s hard to explain how poorly we played tonight. We won the game. I really don’t even care about that. We were just very poor.”

Andy Rautins: “Like Coach said, there’s not a lot of good things you can take out of this game.”

More gems from The Per’fesser: “It looked like we were throwing it to the other team most of the time on purpose. I know they had a different color jersey on, so it couldn’t have been that.

“Right now, we’re not a good basketball team. We’re not playing like a good basketball team and I don’t think we have been for the last three or four games.”

Now that’s just good eatin’. After a 17-point bounce-back win on national television, hearing Boeheim whine and complain about this team and its quality of basketball is the head coach making sure a team, as The Fizz pointed out last month, is handling its shocking prosperity appropriately.

Not surprisingly, the key to last night’s Orange win (and all 14 of them this season) has been its defensive intensity.

The 2-3 suffocated the Tigers into worse than 38% shooting in the second half and 2-13 from beyond the arc.

The genesis of this team’s commitment to defense dates back to the exhibition season, before the ill-fated game against Le Moyne.

A source close to the team tells The Fizz, the Orange players begged Boehiem to allow them to play man-to-man against the Dolphins.

The Per’fesser knew better. This team’s bread-and-butter would have to be the 2-3, primarily because of the length it has at every position and specifically in the front court.

But the brash and overconfident players felt they could beat lowly Le Moyne by playing man, the freedom to play less structured defensively and potentially more aggressively on the offensive end.

We all know what happened next.

LeMoyne gets the historic victory. The Orange was humbled. And Boeheim had his teaching tool.

It’s no coincidence that this team has played a sturdy and committed 2-3 since the start of the season.

Nov. 4, 2009: The night this SU hoops season was born.

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