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Game 23 - Syracuse: Part Deux

Well as promised here are my full thoughts. I'll try to keep it brief since I already wrote once.

But first I need to purge myself of the ridiculous thoughts that crept into my head during the game. Before the game I thought I would be disappointed with anything but a win. After the past four years of Hoya Basketball glory, I had rid myself of the bad Esherick-era habits of thinking moral victories equaled actual victories. But after seeing us down by 16 with 8 minutes left, and the announcers consistently telling a national audience that Georgetown has no true leader, I decided that I would be content with a respectable loss. And that seemed to be the fate of the young Hoyas, as Syracuse was always able maintain at least an 8 or 9 point lead. We would make small runs to cut into the lead and create a three possession game but could never get closer. And despite the fact that we almost miraculously won the game due to a historic collapse by the Orange, I still felt content with the outcome after the game. We played with heart, we played well in the end and despite the loss, we showed we had character for the first time since we last played Syracuse. Then I woke up today. And I am absolutely ashamed of myself for feeling that way after the game. There is only one outcome that should have been acceptable, and at the end of the day, a loss whether we were embarrassed by 20 points or took it to overtime is still a loss. "A loss by any other name would suck as much, especially to the dirty Orange," Big Bad Billy Shakespeare once said.

After JT3's first visit to the Carrier Dome, where we tied the game on a Bowman jump shot that was inches from being a game winning three but eventually lost in overtime, Boeheim had this to say:
"I'm kind of sorry a Coach Thompson's back at Georgetown,"
Those words have stuck with me since. Sure he meant well but he said it in a condescending, holier than thou attitude, where he laughed at the valiant attempts of a rebuilding Hoya team and gave a sideways compliment while arrogantly thinking his program would always be superior. Well Jim, you were wrong, and if there was one takeaway from the loss on Saturday it is that you are not that great of a coach and you nearly blew a 16 point lead due to poor substitutions and lack of control over your players. And for the Georgetown team, fans, casual followers and me: It is not okay to lose to Cuse, and no loss will ever be a moral victory to our biggest rival. Not then, not now, not ever.

That being said let's go over the game.
- In the Notre Dame post I talked about how the team played a faster-paced game which resulted in us attempting more shots than in most other games. Well we took 60 shots against Notre Dame. We took 73 shots against Cuse.
- Those 73 shots were the most shots we have ever attempted in a game during the JT3 era.
- And the 94 points are the most we have scored in a Big East game under JT3.
- After never giving up 90 or more points in the previous four seasons under JT3, we now have three games this season in which we have done so.
- This is the most points we have ever given up, tainted because of OT, obviously.
- First time under JT3 that we have been under .500 in OT games in a season
- In the ten Big East games not against Cuse, opponents have averaged 19 layup/dunk attempts per game, converting 12 of them.
- In the two games against Cuse, they have averaged 37 layup/dunk attempts, converting 20.
- The three point shooters of Cuse aren't beating us by shooting, they are destroying us by driving. Makes me wonder why we only attempted to play zone against them for a few minutes in the second half.
- The game was similar to Marquette loss in amount of fouls we committed, and free throw differential between the two teams.
- We had 12 turnovers in the first 30 minutes of the game and 3 in the last 15 (not counting the one team turnover not attributed to a player).
- We actually had the best assist to turnover ratio in this game since our slide began against WVU.
- Only the second time this Big East season we had a better assist to turnover ratio than our opponent and lost the game.
- Commentators kept making references to the great matches between the two teams in the 80's. Apparently Syracuse has kept the same cheerleaders since then:

- Either that or Cuse takes their cheerleaders from the local DMV. No wonder Donte Green left the school early...

Good talk.