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Fizz Feedback: Hunting DC 2.0, Scoop’s Growth, Football In-State Recruiting

It was a week full of Syracuse hoops here at The Fizz with a little football sprinkled in for good measure. The big stories were Dajuan Coleman’s coach telling The Fizz that 3 schools (Ohio State, Kentucky and Syracuse) stand out above the rest and a sudden love for Scoop Jardine. We start emptying this week’s loaded inbox with Coleman:

“@beneg92 Boeheim should take Triche when he goes to recruit. Same tactic when Ernie Davis was recruited and Jim Brown came.”

“BT and DaJuan are tight and Coach McKenny is spot on – DaJuan does respect BT like an older brother. If you’ve been around them when they’re together, you totally see it. -AnaheimOrange”

Jim Boeheim has been recruiting for 35 years and if there’s a way he can have a leg up on a guy, you know he’ll do it (within the rules of course). Sometimes the best recruiter is not a coach at all, but instead a friend already within the program, which is exactly what Triche is. However, the PG denied trying to push DC 2.0 to SU earlier in the week, saying “it’s not my job.”

The simple point is Coleman has a relationship with not only the SU coaches but a tight relationship with a current SU player an that definitely plays into the Orange’s hands.

“@mikem2305 Kentucky has a trump card too. calipari pays players and gives them improper benefits.”

As one of the few guys outside of Kentucky who actually likes John Calipari, I’m going to defend him right here. Cal is a charismatic guy who cares for his players like they were his own sons. Sure, what happened at UMass you can put on him, but if the NCAA Clearing House allowed Derrick Rose to play, how is it Cal’s fault for playing him? If the NCAA says the SAT score is good, it’s up to Cal to know that it wasn’t earned legally? You want him to go take the test with the guy? He left knowing Memphis was under investigation, but for $5 million a year, elite facilities and possibly the most rabid fan base in the country you would too.

(Editor’s Note: Hoff’s right – it’s understandable he would leave Memphis. Oh, and Cal is definitely paying players under the table and running a shady program at UK, which will eventually land on probation in 2019. So the ‘Cats landing DC 2.0 is always a possibility. That is all. -D.A.)

Back to SU and the debate over who is king of SU’s backcourt.

“Dion is in Coach JB’s doghouse. It is not a secret that Dion antics were frowned upon my JB and this guy is thought of as the second coming of Josh Wright as far as for being a knucklehead on this team. Not Wright. dion has a ton of talent but he does not apply the strategy of Coach JB. -Lou R”

Maybe we’re making too much out of one game, but Dion showed a lot in that Marquette loss in the tourney and the way he handled his off-season drama earlier this year. He stated how much he wanted to stay, never ripped the staff and within the context of being a 19-year-old egotistical kid (which accounts for the retweets of his fans who were saying how great he was), he handled it pretty well. He’s not SU’s best guard yet, but he certainly could be and he’s not far off.

“honestly at least 7-8 guys have the potential and upside to be nba talents. (triche waiters joseph melo fair christmas mcw and even scoop is being talked about at least a late 2nd round pick after being evaluated at the LBJ camp)Some of them i doubt would reach their potential by next season but really anyone of them have the natural talent to step in as the teams star. it would be awsome tho if they all did over the summer they would be a force. -kevin”

Being a star is a mindset. It’s critically important that everyone on the team knows their roles. Ideally Kris is the star, with Scoop as his trusty sidekick dishing assist after assist. Brandon is the assassin, hitting open jumpers and driving to mix it up every once in a while. The Fab/Baye combo becomes a reliable interior scorer (not necessarily a post scorer, but guys who can catch and finish off a drive and dish) and more importantly a shot blocking presence on the inside. CJ Fair is exactly what he was last year, with some added range on his jumper and some extra bulk, doing the dirty work and rebounding his area like a boss. That leaves Dion to be a spark off the bunch, come in and score in bunches while playing (this is the biggest question for #3) lock down D. Have the freshman fill in the blanks and SU’s top 5 ranking is completely validated. That’s a lot of if’s, though.

“I don’t think it’s reasonable to proclaim Dion as Syracuse’s best Guard…. yet. But, if he can buy into the defensive philosophy and learn how to play nice with JB, his upside is tremendous! I have no doubt that he has the talent and ability to be a top NBA prospect from the Orange and to be a truly game changing, dominant player in the BE but he has to get his head in the right place. -cap2nine”

It’s mental and we won’t know until the season starts if Dion has figured it out. One guy who seems to have figured it out? Dion’s cousin Scoop. You may have heard of him.

“I’ve been much more of a Scoop critic than a fan but I appreciate this article for reminding me of the perspective and instilling in me some optimism for Scoops game this coming season. I know that I sometimes get so bent on the last game or the next game or wins, losses and stats that I forget that these guys are students and citizens living in the public eye. Scoop has dedicated himself to becoming a better man and that is a greater accomplishment than anything he will ever want to prove on the court. And, if he is learning from the past and from last season and applying himself to become a better player as well, I have no choice but to support him completely. I will burry my skepticism and I excitedly await the upcoming season. The ball is in your hands Scoop, run with it! -cap2nine”

“Scoop will have a big year. Congrats to Scoop for his maturation and transformation. -Marty”

“I agree with this article, the lack of offense really put a lot of weight on Scoop and the Syracuse offense in general to start chucking up some shots. I will not totally blame that on the offense because there were definitely some “Scoop-id” plays. I think with all these camps he has gone to over the summer bringing his basketball IQ up (which I think can do nothing but help him) and being a 5th year senior, Scoop will lead this team with KJ and they will be a force in the Big East and the Nation. I am pumped for November. -Andy”

All reports are that Scoop has been amazing at these camps and everyone is saying Scoop has matured. The real test is when he suits up in an SU uniform. The last time we saw him on the floor for the Orange most fans were quite frustrated with their point guard. Let’s hope he brings this mentality to the Carrier Dome after the summer is done. We’re all pulling for the guy and there’s no doubt he’s made immense strides as a leader, but if there was ever a player who had to constantly self-police his game, it’s Scoop.

“I am delighted to see this article. It’s been really frustrating to listen to the Scoop bashing by so many “fans” and websites over the past year in particular. Most of these people don’t seem to understand what is going on in the game of basketball, so let me try to explain. You can have your point guard play one of two ways. He can play the position conservatively and more or less error-free with a great A/T ratio. However, this style will also minimize the offensive opportunities he can generate both in halfcourt and especially in transition. The alternative is to up the tempo and take more risks, with the idea being that the resultant TO’s are more than compensated for by additional offensive opportunities. -Doc”

Doc’s medical degree is not in hoops, but he’s been accepted as an undergrad to Fizz Basketball University (of which I am a professor and also help clean the dining halls, which makes D.A. Chancy Nancy?). He’s right on with his point about an aggressive point guard creating extra opportunities. Scoop occasionally has turnovers on bad passes from being overly aggressive but his problems come in two forms. One is his inconsistency in the clutch. Sometimes he’s the guy hitting miracle 3’s against UConn, other times he’s the guy getting stripped against Marquette (first game, not the NCAA tournament where he took an ill-advised 3 at the end of the game instead of driving off a pick-and-roll). You can live with missed shots down the stretch, it’s the turnovers that kill you.

Also, Scoop needs to improve his decisions early in the shot clock. Unless he is wide open or there is less than 15 on the shot clock, Scoop has to avoid shooting a 3. It’s not that he’s a bad shooter, he just needs to get more ball movement and get a higher percentage look.

Lastly before we move on, a little housekeeping.

“@rez44 @OrangeFizz I didn’t read anything about Fab being gone or Baye. Are they?”

This is in response to a tweet from D.A. about the “murky” big-man situation. Baye is definitely returning but we don’t know what we’ll get from him on the court besides length. Fab’s legal drama has quieted but he’s still an enormous question mark on the court. DaShonte Riley is gone after his transfer to EMU.

“Come on its a loss. No matter if he came from Mars he’s from NYS!!! We lost another to BC or RUTGIRLS. BC, Rutgers even SMU are getting 4 star players. I guess HCDM just does not want quality players, just average players. HCDM better have his game plan down with his NR’s and 2/3 stars and under the radar players if he hopes for a winning season. -Terry”

“Terry, Are you kidding me? Do your research. Lynch is not a 4 star player. He is an under the radar player with good size and good speed. He is the type of player that Marrone and staff have had great success with so far. The fact that he chose BC over Us means very little. He also chose BC over Penn State? Does that mean Penn State “does not want quality players”? -Dr. Bill”

These comments are in response to D.A’s article about Buffalo RB Akeel Lynch choosing Boston College over Penn State and SU. At the end of the day, it’s not an enormous loss but clearly losing anyone in-state is not ideal. It begs an interesting question.

“@Adamstock1983 Most encouraging thing about the recruiting is where they are from. Starting to pull recruits all over the country. Watch out!”

This is interesting. Doug Marrone certainly wants to close the borders on New York State. But would you rather nab all the kids from the Empire State or pick up talent from across the country and bring it back to CNY? We’re looking for some opinions from Orange football fans. Leave your comments below and we’ll discuss your answers in next week’s Fizz Feedback portion of the FizzCast.

And there are two players who already have to start working their way into The Dougie’s good graces.

“I don’t know who is advising these kids in high school, but they need to know that the Dexter Manley days are over and their football skills alone will not get them into college. -ron”

“Smallwood is better off prepping at Milford, getting his grades up and putting on weight. He’s got skinny legs, needs to get stronger. This may be a blessing in disguise for him. He can prep at Milford, take care of business and come back in 2012 as a freshman. He could be an exciting speedburner for the Orange. -Marty”

It’s disappointing that two kids in the “high-character” recruiting class of all team captains find themselves on the outside looking in on the upcoming season. Both seem to be academic problems and Smallwood thinks he can get his straightened out before the fall. Maybe a year at prep school would be a good thing and there is certainly precedent for SU sending players to Milford. Not a bad idea. The long run is what’s important. No need to rush things.

Thanks for all the comments and the tremendous amount of Tweets this week. Tell your friends to follow us @OrangeFizz. We’ll have tweet-ups throughout the week so if you see one of us on, feel free to shoot us a question and we’ll get right back to you. Sometimes D.A. gets bored. Help him pass the time.

Be sure to also check out this week’s FizzCast where we talk to Drew Cannon from Basketball Prospectus, who wrote the much discussed rankings of the Top 100 players in the nation.

Posted: Craig Hoffman

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