Over the past couple weeks, Syracuse Men‚Äôs Basketball‚Äôs tournament resume took some hits. Two losses to Pittsburgh and a second half meltdown against North Carolina wasn‚Äôt great. So, going into a matchup with #16 Virginia Tech on Saturday, expectations were low. The Orange said screw your expectations, however, easily taking down the Hokies 78-60.
Who shined? Who fell flat? Lets answer all of those questions using the handy dandy Fizz Report Card.
Alan Griffin: A
Griffin did it all for the Orange on Saturday. The junior tallied 15 points, snatched ten rebounds, and, get this, blocked seve (!!!) shots. Not to mention, he added two steals and played all but three minutes of the game. Griffin‚Äôs defense was suffocating and made the Hokies look like fools at points. He also gets brownie points for understanding that it wasn‚Äôt his day from deep. That is easily Griffin‚Äôs best offensive attribute– awareness. He is always aware of if he‚Äôs hot or not, and he‚Äôll change his shot selection and game plan accordingly. Griffin only took three shots from deep against Virginia Tech, connecting on one of them. He played smart, hustled, and earned his A.
Quincy Guerrier: A-
As our friends over at Locked On Syracuse tweeted, it is beginning to get to the point where we need to start appreciating Guerrier in a Syracuse uniform because he may not be here for much longer. The sophomore led his team in scoring on Saturday with 20 and was just one rebound away from a double-double. He easily could have received an A on the report card if it wasn‚Äôt for his fouling. It‚Äôs a storyline people discussed all of last season– Guerrier loves to foul and can‚Äôt keep himself out of trouble. He‚Äôs cleaned it up for the most part this season, but against Virginia Tech the forward had four fouls. Guerrier was still able to play the majority of the game and had a great performance, just with a small blemish that is still worthy of an A-.
Marek Dolezaj: A-
This was easily Dolezaj‚Äôs best game of the season. He scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds. If you just look at numbers it isn‚Äôt as impressive as the Bryant game, but Saturday was against better competition and much bigger opponents. There were plenty of times where Dolezaj got good positioning under the basket and boxed out on shots which allowed his other teammates to fly in and grab the board. Plus, offensively he got to the basket, drew fouls, and knocked down his free throws. There‚Äôs not much you can complain about with Dolezaj‚Äôs performance against Virginia Tech.
Kadary Richmond: B
Richmond was one of only two bench players to get in Saturday’s game and the other was Jesse Edwards who played all of two minutes. Richmond, on the other hand, registered 15 minutes, scoring 13 points, including a three (!!). Yeah, that‚Äôs right, Kadary actually hit a three. It‚Äôs not every game that happens, so you have to celebrate when it does. He didn‚Äôt have as big of an impact defensively as he normally does and wasn‚Äôt as much of a distributor, which is why he is only at a B.
Joe Girard: C+
The roller coaster that is Joe Girard continued on Saturday. This time it was a down slope. The guard only tallied five points and didn‚Äôt hit a three, which is normally his bread and butter. So, offensively he wasn‚Äôt great, but he did grab five rebounds, dish out four assists, and snag three steals. Plus, Girard deserves a little of the same credit Griffin earned. Girard realized it wasn‚Äôt his game and didn‚Äôt keep hucking up shots. Props to him for that, but Syracuse needs more out of him. C+ for Girard against Tech.
Buddy Boeheim: D+
For as much crap Girard is getting this year for his hot and cold offense, it doesn‚Äôt seem fair that Boeheim is getting off scot free. The junior is also pretty streaky when it comes to scoring, turning in only seven points against Virginia Tech on Saturday. That‚Äôs not even the worst part, too. What‚Äôs even worse is that he shot 3-13 from the field and 1-5 from deep. Boeheim did the opposite of Griffin and Girard. He didn‚Äôt realize it wasn‚Äôt his day, so he kept throwing up shots and kept missing. I totally get and support the sentiment that the team is better with Boeheim on the floor, but man was today bad. Bad enough for a D+.