Fizz 5: What We Learned from SU’s Georgetown Win, Why Boeheim is Cranky

The five biggest takeaways from the emotional night at the Dome.

Everything may not have gone as planned against Georgetown, but Syracuse’s 64-61 overtime victory still counts. And although he may not be in the mood to do so, Jim Boeheim still gets to celebrate his 880th win. He’s now all alone as the 3rd winningest coach in D1 history, and the owner of the most victories at one school.

Who better for Boeheim to reach those milestones against than the Hoyas? And when better to bring back our “Fizz 5” series than now? It’s the morning after a win over hated Georgetown and the debut of our new “My 5 Orange” t-shirts.

Here are five things to take away from SU’s defeat of its archrival.

  • The Orange is mentally tough.

Last year’s version of SU basketball had comparable talent to this year’s team. But when Syracuse faced adversity last season, the results weren’t pretty. See: the four-game losing streak to close out January. Also see: the season-ending Marquette loss. A classic example of a college hoops front-runner, the Orange fulfilled all of Doug Gottlieb’s hopes and dreams by comfortably blowing out inferior opponents, while failing to seal the deal in close games against the opponents that mattered most.

That’s why it’s been a pleasure to see this year’s team win several grind-it-out games against tough squads. Despite failing to score in the final four minutes of regulation, Syracuse somehow emerged victorious last night. That’s simultaneously a positive and a negative. More on the negative side later, but it’s encouraging to witness SU grab a W against all odds.

  • Defense is still the key.

By going ice cold offensively in the final 3:55, it meant the Orange had to rely on its defense to hold onto the game.

Fab Melo is a monster. He made opposing center Henry Sims, one of the most improved players in the conference, look downright awful. Sims shot 1-12 from the field, totaling only six points. Georgetown had its moments (freshman Otto Porter in particular was impressive), but overall the Orange kept the Hoyas’ offense contained. Georgetown scored just four points in the final 4:24 of regulation.

Good to know the defense will always be there for Boeheim even when the offense falters.

  • Kris Joseph can without a doubt be the “go-to guy.”

The senior forward usually collects his points quietly. Not so in his final crack at Georgetown in the Dome. As Boeheim acknowledged postgame, Joseph was the only player with a pulse on offense. And it wasn’t just the Montreal native’s career-high 29 points, or his 6-11 mark from distance. It was the way he grabbed hold of the contest. Joseph wanted the basketball at all times, and assertively carried his team to victory almost single-handedly.

  • Rebounding continues to be a problem.

You know it’s become an large scale issue when SportsCenter is all over it. ESPN  tends to stick to the most surface-level content available. And sure enough, following a crazy night of college basketball, there was Scott Van Pelt grilling Gottlieb about Syracuse’s rebounding woes. Since SportsCenter was gracious enough to interrupt its wall-to-wall coverage of Blake Griffin alley-oops to provide a little rebounding analysis, we’ll give you some as well.

Georgetown hammered SU on the glass, winning the rebounding battle 52-35. That clearly infuriated Boeheim, and with good reason. The Orange doesn’t need to be the best rebounding team in the nation, but there’s no excuse for a performance on the boards like last night’s. Syracuse routinely wields the advantage in nearly every other facet of the game. It would be a shame to see its season cut short because of one glaring weakness.

  • Success hasn’t changed The Per’fesser.

In fact, it seems like it makes him even grumpier. Following the game, he emitted a clear sense of urgency to make sure his team knew it got away with playing like crap. And that it shouldn’t expect to get away with playing like crap.

“This is a disaster game as far as I’m concerned.”

Boeheim knows the Orange has Final Four potential. He also knows the lack of concentration and/or a sense of entitlement could lead to yet another premature NCAA Tournament exit for his squad.

“Right now, I don’t think we’re a good basketball team.” 

Syracuse laying an egg down the stretch of a big game + Syracuse victory = Boeheim postgame fireworks. He’s desperately trying to keep the Orange grounded. His response was predictable when a reporter asked him about passing Dean Smith on the all-time wins list.

“I’m upset with this team right now and we’ll address all that stuff when I retire.”

The 880 wins are nice, but Boeheim’s priority is to retire with more than one national title. And if he thinks the best way to do that is to pretend his 880 victories don’t exist, then all the power to him.

Posted: Andrew Kanell

14 Comments on this Post

  1. OrangeCrush22

    That’s JB’s fault for the last 5 minutes of regualtion. Why “the Waitress” is serving up fade away jump shots instead of driving to the hoop with the shot and game clock winding down is beyond me. Triche sitting on the bench for almost nearly the 2nd half was a terrible decision. Same could be same for Southerland.

    Should have been a loss, but i’ll take the win.

    Also…really Jason Clark?? Really? 2 deep 3’s? are you kiddin me????

  2. Yes! Why is every shot Dion takes a fade-away? That last possession(regulation) was horrible. Dion and Scoop playing catch on the perimeter.

  3. DA is Salas in for the spring game or fall semester or not here at all!!!

  4. Everyone is down on dion now. I’ll give u he is struggling but i think that is y JB has been leaving him in so he can play through it. Although if he cant snap outta this slump be nice to see triche in end of game situations. `Cuse still seem to play 2nd fiddle to unc and uk but today at the gym(i live in louisville ky) a group of ppl had gathered to see the `cuse highlights on the tv in the locker room an discussion started about how they wanted to see the `cuse and uk play b/c they where clearly the best 2 teams in the country. I’ll take it. Go `Cuse

  5. the rebouding was and issue but people like gotlieb and all espners where saying that with melo orange are as good orbetter then anyone in nation, then beoheim said all that, and i heard gotlieb today say i wasnt all that concerned with it and would have ranked cuse #2 but if a HOF coach say somthing wrong with your team, they usually know more then us. now everyone is doubting SU but I am not really too concerned with it, i think the reason the game was close was more because people like fair, waiters, triche, and jardine were not hitting the shots they usually do every game, if they did that it would have been a blowout and noone would even care about the other stuff. No offense to gtown but SU should have crushed them, it was just there worst offensive game besides ND and that happens(to uk as well as much as any espn guy wouldnt dare say), but just good to get a win. I am not too concerned with the boards, there have been three really bad rebounding games besides in blowouts (shouldnt count with walkons an such getting extended time), two without melo that have really inflated the numbers. that rebounding stat is very misleading and it shows who really has been watching the games, when you here uk homer jimmy dykes throwing it around. for the most part (with fab in lineup) in close games SU has won the rebounding battle, and alot of those rebounds last night if the su player would have went for it with 2 hands like they usually do instead of tryn to tip it out to a gaurd for a fast break it wouldnt have been that bad.

  6. First off I am going to give Georgetown a lot of credit. I knew they played solid defense but I was really impressed at the way they forced us into a half court game both with man and zone. They are or were ranked #11 for a reason. As far as the rebounding thing goes, the way people speak of it being our Achilles heel you would think we were some kind of bubble team. We have one loss and you can argue that we would be perfect had Melo played. Great we have a rebounding problem.

    In all honesty the only team I am concerned with is Duke because they are smart and patient as far as breaking down our zone and on top of that they can hit 3’s with some regularity. Kentucky worries me because of sheer talent but they have so many unforced turnovers and that’s without playing against a proficient zone defense.

  7. I didn’t get a chance to watch the game against Georgetown Wednesday night, so I turned on the radio and listened to the post game report with people calling in and complaining about Brandon Triche not playing in the second half.
    If you ever listened to Coach Boeheim talk about how he has had to tell Brandon,the last three years, that he’s an important part of this team say’s to me exactly why he didn’t play the in the second half of the game.
    Before asking the question why? Was he contributing anything while he was playing? Was he turning the ball over? was he shooting and scoring points at all? Was he playing any defense.
    What I’ve watched from games prior to Wednesday’s game is that Brandon seems to walk around during the game with his head down. I think one of his problems is that he’s thinking a lot on how he should be playing the game instead of going out and playing the game. I also think that Branden has self esteem issues that needs to be addressed and corrected. When those two things happen then Brandon will become the player that we all know he is.
    Everyone remember that Syracuse is red shirting Trevor Cooney who is a pure shooting guard that stands 6’5″. Don’t you all think that this one face is weighing on his mind.
    Don’t get me wrong here folks, I wish that you all would just stop your damn criticizing Boeheim because he held Branden out the second half.
    I wish him well and hope that he holds his head a little bit higher for the remainder of the season. We’re going to need A Brandon Triche on the floor with a positive attitude when we face Kentucky for National Championship.

    GO CUSE!!!!!!!!

  8. I apologize to all for any mistakes and miss spelled words that appear in my first post.


  9. I don’t mind Boeheim leaving Dion in despite his struggles. Waiters is still very young — and at an early enough stage in his career where he can still learn from his mistakes. He remains the most talented player on the team and SU will need him playing smart basketball for a deep tourney run. Hopefully he looks back at the tape from the Georgetown game and learns from it. He belongs on the court at the end of the game even when he’s not playing his best. He just creates his own shot too easily to not be out there.

    I can understand the frustration about Triche being left on the bench but I think we’re starting to find out that Boeheim will almost always go with Dion, Scoop, Kris, CJ, and Fab down the stretch. Depth is good early in the games and early in the season, but it’s normal for a team (even one as deep as Syracuse) to establish a core end-of-game group as the year progresses.

    – Kanell

  10. You would think “we” learned to stop the milking the clock BS with nearly five minutes to go at the end of the game. That tactic nearly cost the game.

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