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FizzCast: Syracuse Big East Tourney Preview & Recruit X

After riding along a bumpy road for much of its Big East schedule, SU baketball coasted to the finish line of its regular season with five straight wins. And as the Orange found out on Saturday, no team in the league is easier to run over than 7-23 (1-17) DePaul.

Listen to the fresh FizzCast on SU’s March potential:

It was truly a pitiful season for the Blue Demons, and this weekend’s 107-59 drubbing at the hands of SU adds insult to injury. Joining me for a Fresh FizzCast, Conroy thinks that once TCU enters the Big East, DePaul should be the program that’s kicked to the curb.

“There’s going to be an extra basketball school. Somebody’s going to have to say goodbye, maybe. DePaul could be going goodbye. They have an atrocious winning percentage in the Big East. It’s not fair to the players. It’s not fair to the school.”

DePaul’s 1-17 mark in Big East play says it all if you’re wondering whether Syracuse can take away anything of value from the victory. But the Blue Demons turned out to be the perfect opponent for Senior Night, because the Orange got to send Rick Jackson off in style. Conroy says it was business as usual for Rick in his final game at the Carrier Dome.

“He was very shifty in the post. He put up that typical hook, digging in with the right shoulder. Had his share of dunks, an alley-oop here and there. It’s the Rick Jackson that we’ve come to know and love.”

RJ’s been a monster all year for ‘Cuse, and I believe he’s carried the team.

“He lost the weight over the summer. He’s playing almost the whole game, every game, playing two different positions. He’s doing it all. Without Rick Jackson this year, this team transforms into an NIT team.”

Celebrated in Syracuse on Saturday for a fantastic career, Jackson was also honored for his tremendous play this season when he was named to the All-Big East Second Team. Team Fizz thinks that Jackson should have made the First Team, however, as the coaches snubbed the runaway best big man in the conference.

“There weren’t too many other quality big men in conference this season for whatever reason – a huge gap between the rest of them and Rick Jackson. It’s almost like he got penalized for that. Like the coaches looked at it and said, ‘The competition wasn’t very good, so why should we give him credit?’”

In the Big East Tournament this week, four-seed Syracuse is projected to face one of the players that beat Jackson out for a spot on the First Team in Dwight Hardy, who’s the leader of fifth-seed St. John’s. Should the Red Storm knock off the winner of Rutgers/Seton Hall, it would face the Orange in the quarterfinals. Conroy likes SU’s chances in that matchup.

“It’s a tough matchup. Everybody sees St. John’s as the team that going to have that home-court advantage throughout the tournament. But still, Syracuse is a better team than St. John’s. The double-bye reinforces the fact that Syracuse was a very deep team this year.”

While Syracuse seems to be having tons of fun on the court lately, Team Fizz had some fun of its own this weekend, as Volvo and the Cake Group sent D.A. and his buddy B.Z. (pictured) up to CNY, and provided Team Fizz with a Volvo s60 to drive around for kicks. Conroy grew quite fond of our new toy very quickly.

“I drove the crap out of that thing and it is amazing. We nicknamed it – it’s The Spaceship. The thing is so technologically advanced, it’s fast, it’s fun, it got us where we needed to go. We went all over the place, from the Dome to Dinosaur, to everywhere inbetween. Had a great time.”

As predicted, Team Fizz tore it up, and at the center of that was D.A. After a crazy weekend, he finally made it back to Boston, and came on at the tail end of the FizzCast. He went over all you need to know about the mystery recruit The Fizz had been working so hard to uncover, who turned out be Keyshawn Johnson’s nephew, Michael Thomas. Now that we know who Recruit X is, should fans be hopeful that he actual signs with SU?

“I don’t think Syracuse fans should be holding their breaths waiting for him to commit.”

Why then was Doug Marrone so convinced that Syracuse had Thomas in the bag when he made this comment at his National Signing Day press conference?

“We have one player, that I’m not allowed to comment on, that we’ll have a decision in 10-12 days on his status. That will bring us to a total of 84 scholarships and we’ll know that later on in the week, and obviously we’re not allowed to say what his position is or what his name is. That’s the only thing we have out on the table and that’ll wrap up the whole recruiting process.”

D.A. says the coach just got a little too cocky in thinking that Thomas belonged at SU.

“Marrone and Syracuse were a little dazzled and should’ve played it more conservatively. He should have never said anything. If nothing happens, he doesn’t ever have to explain it, and he never looks like he made a mistake.”

And it indeed looks now like a miscalculation was made. But hey, the signing deadline hasn’t passed yet, and Thomas remains unsigned. In recruiting as much as anything else, it ‘aint over ‘till it’s over.

Posted: Andrew Kanell

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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