Nice that Syracuse decided to show up for the final nine minutes of action against Louisville, but digging yourself a 20-point deficit on the road is not exactly the smartest gameplan. The Orange has lost six of its last eight, and is slipping rung by rung down the Big East ladder.
It’s time to re-calibrate the expectations and press pause on those dreams of avenging last year’s all-too-early ousting from the NCAA tournament. The ‘Cuse now has to hold on the final three weeks of the season and avoid the bottom from dropping out entirely. Four of SU’s final five opponents are capable of winning (the exception being DePaul). Now it’s about survival through the grueling end of the conference slate and Big East tourney.
More distasteful than even SU’s play against the Cardinals is the realization Rick Pitino now owns Jim Boeheim. Pupil has dominated teacher, the Orange has lost seven straight to Louisville, and many have been in embarrassing fashion. Whether it’s Slick Rick’s familiarity with the zone, added motivation in beating his mentor or a perennially bad matchup for SU, Pitino has worn The Per’fesser like another white leisure suit.
Too many times Syracuse attempted to go one-on-one in the offensive zone instead of making the extra pass, and the Orange simply doesn’t have those type of scorers. Once again the Cardinals knocked down outside shots and swung the rock around the perimeter until they found the right shooter. For all of the love Rick Jackson has received this season he was invisible, not taking a shot in the entire first half. Kris Joseph managed just four points by halftime, as Louisville built a ten-point lead.
Things we learned: Syracuse needs to flip into survival mode in the final month of the season. And student has stolen the class syllabus from teacher and refuses to give it back.