Everyone could see the storybook ending coming. Syracuse lacrosse’s ultra-talented senior class, still supremely motivated from last season’s first-round loss to Army, would cruise to Baltimore and capture its third National Title in four years. By far the most talented bunch in the NCAA Tourney field, the Orange simply wasn’t going to fail.
- Listen to Fresh FizzCast: SU lax shocked, Ryen Russillo on SU in NBA
Except, it did. Maryland shredded the storybook to pieces in the quarterfinals at Gillette Stadium Sunday, shocking the SU seniors and the Orange fanbase. Syracuse’s winningest senior class couldn’t grab victories when it really counted these past two seasons, knocking it down a few notches in shool history.
It’s important to remember all the success this senior class accomplished in its four years on campus, but ‘Cuse lax is about championships. That’s why Jovan Miller was so sour after the loss to Maryland, he knew his class didn’t go out on top. On the Fresh FizzCast, I describe how Miller desperately wanted to lead the younger players to victory. He looks at SU’s failure in ‘10 and ‘11 as holding more weight than its success in 08’ and ‘09, because winning a title as an upperclassmen is what counts.
“[Jovan] said that as far as [the seniors’] first two championships went, Mike Leveille won the first one in ‘08 and that Kenny Nims won it in ‘09. So he was basically deflecting credit away from himself and the senior class and just saying that they didn’t even really deserve much credit for those titles because the older guys carried the team those years.”
For Jovan’s sake, hopefully he settles down in the coming days, weeks, and months, and can someday enjoy many of the glorious moments he had in Orange instead of only obsessing about the way his career ended.
While Miller may find it hard to move on from the loss, we managed to on the FizzCast, as we welcomed in ESPN’s Ryen Russillo to talk hoops. Russillo hosted ESPNU’s coverage of the NBA draft combine, so he had the chance to see Rick Jackson (among many others) work out. He’s fairly optimistic about Rick’s chances of getting picked.
“He very well could go in the second round. He’s not a first-round guy. I think some teams look at him as a rotation big coming off the bench.”
When the topic turned to the debacle that is the Minnesota Timberwolves, Russillo was hesistant to pin too much blame on GM David Kahn, but did admit that Syracuse alums Jonny Flynn and Wes Johnson are not in great situations.
“When you have [Michael] Beasley who’s probably better suited as a 3, you have to move Wes Johnson to the 2, and Wes Johnson isn’t really a 2.”
“[The triangle offense is] a bad fit for [Jonny Flynn]. He needs to be able to create and put the ball on the floor a little more.”
The Fizz completed its circle around SU sports with “Big Steve” Neikam, who took a closer look at his interview with Chad Kelly’s high school coach, Dennis Gilbert. Neikam says based on Kelly’s three main priorities for picking a school, Syracuse has a solid chance at landing Jim Kelly’s nephew.
“Those three things were pretty encouraging from the Syracuse standpoint, when you think about academics, and the family atmosphere with Doug Marrone being a Syracuse guy. Compared to some of these other schools on his list like an Alabama, Notre Dame, or Michigan, Syracuse might offer more of an opportunity for him to at least compete for a job right away.”
With another lacrosse season in the books, The Fizz now ramps up its recruiting coverage. Football season is only 102 days away. We promise to help you pass the time.
Posted: Andrew Kanell