Couple of thoughts and observations from the Seton Hall game....
....Syracuse didn't play its best. And still won. On the road. In the conference. Against a pretty good team.
....Wes Johnson continues to do things that are impressive. Somebody mentioned Len Bias as a comparison at one point. I thought that was a little out of line, because of the way Lenny could just dominate games. But after seeing the 20-point, 19-rebound, 5-block performance from Newark last night. Well I'm not sure I'm going to put him in that class yet. But he is getting very, very close.
....Scoop Jardine was huge in the first half. His play stabilized Syracuse and made a rough night for Triche bearable.
....Also big Kudos to Kris Joseph for making his foul shots and his second half performance. I think a lot of the rebounding deficiencies in the first half were a result of some poor blocking out by Joseph - and the rest of the weakside, but he did a much better job in the second half.
....I also thought Mookie Jones did a real nice job both on the glass and offensively when in the game.
....Speaking of Mookie - I didn't I would see some one who likes to shoot more than he does in a game this year. But Jeremy Hazlett was definitely that guy. Sure he scored 39 points. But his team lost and he took a ton of shots.
....Seton Hall had 77 shots in the game. Syracuse had 61. The offensive rebound advantage for the Pirates was offensive. 23 offensive rebounds is a huge number. Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku did a better job in the second half.
....Ray said in his comments to the Live Blog about how a good defender can take Andy Rautins out of the game. I think that is pretty much true. However, guarding Rautins the way the Hall did leads to other openings on offense, and Syracuse got the ball to Onuaku and Jackson inside when they needed to. The inexcusable part of Rautins game was six turnovers. He is a senior he shouldn't have six turnovers. And besides that he doesn't handle the ball nearly enough to have six turnovers. Still, I have confidence in Rautins and believe that last night won't happen too often.
....I truly do think that this team doesn't lose more than 3 games in the Big East - 4 tops. Maybe 5 if you force me to say it. But I think they are that good. And if that number was going to be inflated it probably had to include a loss last night. I don't think many realize how good of a win this was.
....Pitt on Saturday will be another test. The Panthers will force the Syracuse offense to work hard. But I just don't think Pitt has the weapons offensively to do much damage. I was hoping to make it to the Dome for the game, but the weather is scaring me, and will probably keep me away.