FizzCast: Was Syracuse Basketball Overrated All Along?

Listen to a Fresh FizzCast on SU Hoops and Delone:

With subzero temperatures outdoors, Team Fizz hunkered down inside its headquarters to discuss back-to-back losses for SU hoops and the surging draft stock of Delone Carter.

Dennis Nett, Post-Standard

Jim Boeheim’s bunch has stumbled after an 18-0 start. D.A. talks about why Saturday’s loss to Villanova was so disappointing for a jammed Carrier Dome.

“There was a build up for this game, because of Nova-geddon last year, because of the high rankings, because of the Big East rivalry, because Syracuse was on its way to being an elite team. It was fairly obvious watching yesterday’s game that Syracuse wasn’t at the level of Villanova and that the better team had won.”

Perhaps Syracuse’s impressive start to the season caused people to overrate the Orange.

“We might have been lulled into a false sense of confidence because of the ranking and the 18-0 start. The Big East is brutal, and I don’t know if Syracuse was ever deserving of being a top three team.”

As for why Syracuse has come back down to Earth over the last couple games, it’s a combination of poor defense and bad guard play on offense. I warn that Syracuse could continue to be an inconsistent team because it is so reliant on volatile Scoop Jardine.

“Kris Joseph leads the team in points, but it’s absolutely Scoop Jardine who makes things run. That’s a huge problem – if you’re trying to be a top 5 team in the country – to have Scoop Jardine running the show. He’s just too up-and-down.”

While all the Fizzsters agree that SU is currently not playing like an elite team, there was debate about whether Kris Joseph is truly a go-to scorer. Hoffman’s adamant that he is.

“He’s not a Wes Johnson, he’s not going to be the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft. But he’s definitely a guy Syracuse can go to, and you feel pretty good with the ball in his hands in an iso situation. There are not very many people in the country that can guard him one-on-one.”

In NFL draft news, Delone Carter sure is feeling good about his effort over the last several days. He had a phenomenal week of practice leading up to the East-West Shrine Bowl, and won MVP of the game. D.A. on Carter’s NFL hopes:

“I like Delone Carter a lot. Towards the end of the season, he was nothing short of vital for what SU needed to do offensively, knowing how limited they were through the air.  But I’m not sure that Delone Carter is anything more than a guy that maybe you would spend a fourth round pick on.”

That’s probably fair. I wouldn’t advise saying such a thing to Delone’s face though, just as I wouldn’t advise throwing any snowballs in his vicinity. Something for D.A. to remember when he cruises through Syracuse this March in his Volvo s60.

Posted: Andrew Kanell


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  1. AJ says:

    Not many people that can guard Joseph one on one? Everytime he tried to drive against ‘Nova, he dribbled the ball off his foot or leg. The one time he got around someone (end of first half), he slipped. He seems to be taking a step backward in his ability to slash.

  2. tony says:

    A.J.
    What game were you watching? You must have missed the second half, he took his defender on a few occassions, had a nice kiss of the top of the glass on one. Villanova could not guard him, he just didn’t get the ball enough and we decided to chuck up threes by that time

  3. Jerome says:

    Hey look at that, an SU hoops post. If Jardine gave SU anything on Saturday; offense or defense, they might’ve had a fighting chance. Few teams will shoot as well as Nova did that game so after losing to the 4th and 7th ranked teams in the nation, I don’t think this week was a huge warning sign of things to come. That said, a lot will hinge on which Scoop decides to show up as we get deeper into the Big East.

  4. AnaheimOrange says:

    The overall assertion of the article is correct – we need better play at the guard position. Be it Scoop, BT or DW. One of these guys needs to step up and play with a solid level of consistency.

  5. Tom says:

    I am very happy with the performance of the team year to date. Both games we lost were winnable. We had to dig out of big holes in both and the team did that admireably. Last night’s Pitt game was a good example of how familiarity and match-ups play a huge part in the Big East. Vil. and Pitt are well coached and very familiar with the SU zone. If a team is hitting threes, which SU encourages by way of the zone, there is not much we can do except wait for them to cool down. The past two games, both teams we faced did cool down but we missed too many chances to take advantage. This team is growing every time they take the court and will be a difficult foe come March! Try not to pannic over 2 losses to top 10 teams! I’m not!

  6. AnaheimOrange says:

    “… there is not much we can do except wait for them to cool down.”

    Why do people just take this as gospel?

    There are many things, defensively, we could do. Try pressing, try man-to-man. I love our HOF coach, but I get frustrated seeing our team fall behind big w/o shaking up things defensively if the zone is clearly not working.

    We simply cannot fall behind by 20 and hope to pull it out – against any team. We rally valiantly at times, but the top teams in the Big East (and the country for that matter) are too well coached and extremely talent-laden. Catastrophic collapses are not a common occurance.

    Granted, if we turn the ball over, jack up ill-advised shots, and play matador defense, regardless of whether its man or zone, our chances of winning against top teams are slim to none… and slim just left town.

    Let’s see if Tony and others flame me (again) for daring to even suggest trying anything but the 2-3 zone…

    Damn the torpedos! Right, boys?

  7. AnaheimOrange says:

    After witnessing the Seton Hall game, I take back everything I said and profusely apologize to Tony and any other fan with my recent posts. I was wrong. Going man-to-man, pressing, or zone on defense will not help this team win.

    Maybe going with 7 players to the opponents 5 might level the playing field and make this team competitive.

    Then again, we’d probably only see an increase in turnovers….

    Worst effort I’ve seen in a very long time.

  8. Twanda says:

    You’ve genuinely written a quite very good quality write-up here. Thank you quite a lot

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