Expectations vs Reality | Syracusefan.com

Expectations vs Reality

benjams77

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After these last 2 games on the road and Blowout at Wake lets revisit your season expectations. We are 14-8 with no great wins but no sub 100 losses at this point and 1 loss at home. Red is in his first year and he's gonna have to work thru some things. He is playing man which is what everyone wanted and at times its looked good and sometimes really bad. A couple notes/questions I have

1. Yes our roster is not constructed well. We have zero shooters that anyone is afraid of and they pack in to stop our drivers.

2. I've said before we have a major major issue with mental weakness on the team. You can easily tell these players.. When shots don't fall they check out defensively, hence the blowouts. I am questioning JT starting too but I think its prob because he is not mentally weak and may not shoot it well but keeps playing. Those are the guys you win with. Thats where Red is gonna have to shape his roster and he will.. He and his staff are in their first season, overwhelmed some and prob in survival mode. He'll weed out those players this year

3. My questions with the expectations thing is when they were looking at coaches in the offseason many wanted Pitino or Cooley. They have worse records than Syracuse and Cooley has issues too. I get this is a fan board but why are people so impatient with Red. Give it some time. Arkansas coach was a hot name a couple years ago and now hes 11-11. It happens. Sound like Freeman will help us alot and im sure we will hit the portal

4. Yes we need to beat Lville at home. It needs to be a get right game like Chaminade was. Then if we win the other 3 we should, we will be at 18 wins. Possibly get 2 more of the other 5 and we are at 20. Pre season how many wins did you expect?. I would have thought Red would have a nice first year at 20 wins
 
point 1. well taken. no consistent shooters.
point 4 ? well louisville ain't chaminade. won 3 titles (2 officially) . chaminade is D2.
 
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My main expectation was wanting to see improvement in our play and SU's return to a post season tournament.

Reality- We are the only ACC team that has allowed a conference opponent to shoot over 60% in league play this season and have allowed opposing teams score two of the three highest point totals in ACC contests this year. Syracuse has won a lot of home games against teams who aren't going to the Big Dance, but they are only averaging 70.6 points per game in ACC play and been outscored by 7.6 points in conference contests. I never expected us to be such a long shot for the NIT in early February. Go Cuse!
 
After these last 2 games on the road and Blowout at Wake lets revisit your season expectations. We are 14-8 with no great wins but no sub 100 losses at this point and 1 loss at home. Red is in his first year and he's gonna have to work thru some things. He is playing man which is what everyone wanted and at times its looked good and sometimes really bad. A couple notes/questions I have

1. Yes our roster is not constructed well. We have zero shooters that anyone is afraid of and they pack in to stop our drivers.

2. I've said before we have a major major issue with mental weakness on the team. You can easily tell these players.. When shots don't fall they check out defensively, hence the blowouts. I am questioning JT starting too but I think its prob because he is not mentally weak and may not shoot it well but keeps playing. Those are the guys you win with. Thats where Red is gonna have to shape his roster and he will.. He and his staff are in their first season, overwhelmed some and prob in survival mode. He'll weed out those players this year

3. My questions with the expectations thing is when they were looking at coaches in the offseason many wanted Pitino or Cooley. They have worse records than Syracuse and Cooley has issues too. I get this is a fan board but why are people so impatient with Red. Give it some time. Arkansas coach was a hot name a couple years ago and now hes 11-11. It happens. Sound like Freeman will help us alot and im sure we will hit the portal

4. Yes we need to beat Lville at home. It needs to be a get right game like Chaminade was. Then if we win the other 3 we should, we will be at 18 wins. Possibly get 2 more of the other 5 and we are at 20. Pre season how many wins did you expect?. I would have thought Red would have a nice first year at 20 wins
all records are not made the same. St. John’s is an 8 seed essentially across the board, Syracuse is a 6… in the NIT
 
3. My questions with the expectations thing is when they were looking at coaches in the offseason many wanted Pitino or Cooley. They have worse records than Syracuse and Cooley has issues too. I get this is a fan board but why are people so impatient with Red. Give it some time. Arkansas coach was a hot name a couple years ago and now hes 11-11. It happens. Sound like Freeman will help us alot and im sure we will hit the portal

4. Yes we need to beat Lville at home. It needs to be a get right game like Chaminade was. Then if we win the other 3 we should, we will be at 18 wins. Possibly get 2 more of the other 5 and we are at 20. Pre season how many wins did you expect?. I would have thought Red would have a nice first year at 20 wins
I was in the group that thought we should have had a national search for a coach. However; since we did just promote from within, I agree we need to give the guy a chance. Yes, we have some roster weaknesses and our portal acquisitions may not have been the best we had hoped for, but in year one, why would we expect any different. Syracuse is not the destination school it was for decades, so transfers were not exactly beating down the doors to transfer here.

I agree with you that we need to be patient until Red not only gets his players into the program, but also learns how to coach at a major Power 5 school. It is a learning experience for him also. I know they have been a lot more fun to watch this year than they had been for the last 5 years before the change.
 
From my SU Basketball Preview:

But what fans really want to know is what changes we will see on the court. They tended to assume that Red would be a clone of Boeheim and all the problems we’ve had in recent years would continue. The 2-3 zone has been outmoded by a generation of players who want to be like Steph (Curry), more than be like Mike (Jordan). There’s just too much reliable outside shooting in basketball these days to hang back in a zone and cut off the driving and passing lanes to the basket, (unless they’re playing us: more on that later). Fans want to see at least some flexibility: we’ve got to either play an aggressive zone that can extend itself to cover shooters, a man for man that can follow them wherever they go or a press that that will at least hurry them up and could take the ball away before they ever get into their half-court sets. Red has said that that’s exactly what he intends to do. He wants to get us running like we did in the old days. This is my que to post my favorite You-Tube video, which every Syracuse fan is obligated to watch at least once a year:


The thing is, Jim Boeheim made some statements in recent years that they were going to try the man-for-man. We wouldn’t play it well and we returned to the 2-3 zone. I think a big factor in whether a team does something well is whether the head coach really believes in doing it. Are Autry’s excited utterances about man for man and aggressive defense just noise? I get the impression that they are not, that he’s been sitting next to JB these recent years wishing to make some changes that he can now make.

One thing we know: He’s aggressively pursued the talent needed to play the game he’s described. He convinced Judah Mintz, his star point guard who is a driver, passer and combative defender to skip the NBA for another year. He went out and got JJ Starling, who played for Baldwinsville High school here before transferring to a high school and playing for Notre Dame last year. Mike Brey retired as coach there and JJ came home. He’s a similar player to Judah. He also got Chance Westry, another highly rated guard we were hot after two years back who went to Auburn, got hurt and decided he’d rather come back here. Then he got still another talented guard, Kyle Cuffe, from Kansas to transfer here. Throw in Quadir Copeland who was recruited here last year to be a point guard and you’ve got quite a backcourt. One problem: Judah and JJ both shot 30% from three last year. Westry was 0 for 14. Cuffe never even attempted one, (he played 3 minutes in one game before he got hurt). Copeland was 1 for 9. Not a Steph Curry in the bunch. SU fans note that Mintz showed improvement late in the year and in practice for this year and Starling did too. But what we need is a guy the defense will bend itself out of shape to cover. We had one in Joe Girard but he decided to spend his COVID year playing for Clemson, (twice against us), after four years of constant criticism here for his defense and ball-handling. Now we’ll see if we can do it without him. Ironically, Boeheim’s 2-3 zone might be the best way to defend us!

The outside shooting may have to come from the forwards. Chris Bell and Justin Taylor came here as freshmen with reputations as shooters. They didn’t do a lot else, so ripping the cords was why they were in there. Taylor had a huge early game against Bryant with 25 points but never more than 12 after that, with only three double figure games for the year. He did hit 39.3% of his three pointers. But he’s got to play and score a lot more than he did to warrant any special attention by the defense. Bell played and scored more but shot only 34.5% from outside, not good enough to be a team’s primary outside threat. Benny Williams who’s likely to play power forward, shot a surprising 39.6% but in a very limited sample, 48 attempts in 30 games. The defensive focus was elsewhere. The other forward, Maliq Brown was 0 for 0 and probably will be this year, too. Maybe someone will emerge here as a consistent outside threat but we really need to take the ball away and beat the other team downcourt to be successful.

Red also hit the transfer portal to bring in the biggest Syracuse player in history. Not the highest ranked recruit: the physically largest: Naheem McLeod, 7-4 265. He came here from Florida State where Leonard Hamilton collects 7 footers like sea shells and alternates guys at every position. Naheem played 13 minutes a game and averaged 3.8 points and 2.7 rebounds. He wanted to play more and the center spot opened up for SU because Jesse Edwards, after going from an unknown to a star here, followed the NIL road, (even though foreign players – he’s Dutch – aren’t supposed to get NIL) to West Virginia, only to see Bob Huggins’ career crash to an end. I hope he’s happy. Behind McLeod is 6-11 Mounir Hima, who has a 7-6 reach and once blocked 7 shots in 18 minutes of play against St. John’s. 6-11, (some say 7-1) Peter Carey is an athletic player who can shoot and pass but has only played 20 minutes of basketball in this decade. He had the Covid year, was injured his senior year in high school and then was operated on and redshirted last year, despite those 20 minutes. Then there’s William Patterson, a 7-2 high school recruit, (remember them?). That’s a lot of centers, big ones.

The problem is, none of those centers have ever started. Williams and Brown haven’t reached their potential at power forward. Neither have Bell or Taylor at small forward. Westry and Cuffe have hardly played at this level. Mintz and Starling have been the only guys who have played 30 minutes per game or scored in double figures. We’re going to depend on a lot of guys who haven’t really proven themselves yet.

And the schedule is loaded with teams that have proven themselves. Colgate’s beaten us twice in a row and will be just as good this year. We start with Tennessee in the Maui invitational, then could play Purdue or Gonzaga. Kansas, Marquette and UCLA are in the other half of the bracket, if it matters. It’s now the ACC-SEC challenge. We play LSU and in the very next game opens the ACC schedule at Virginia. Later we play Oregon and Georgetown before starting the main part of the conference schedule. It may take Red Autry a while to become a genius. That arc of his playing career may repeat for his head coaching career.

Or maybe he’ll surprise everyone and get some big victories that will get the confidence of players and fans bubbling over and that will give us the momentum for a great season. Maybe. I did a study of the winning percentages of coaches who won at least 500 games in their careers and their successors. I compared the winning percentages of each. 76% of the time the ‘legend’ had a better winning percentage than his successor. I was asked to compare the last few years of the legend’s career at their school to that of the successor. I picked the last 5 of the legend vs. the first 5 of the successor, (who often didn’t last that long) and the difference was less but there still was one: 64% of the time the old coach was better in his last five years than his successor. My gut feeling is that Red Autry will be in that other 36%: JB was 89-70, .560 in his last five years. That’s doable but hardly inevitable. But it’s easy to have gut feelings when the new guy is 0-0. Finding out will make this the most interesting SU season in a long time, but not necessarily the most joyous.


It's been interesting but not necessarily joyous, all right. The big issues:

- We haven't replaced Jesse Edwards. The four centers were two now-injured back-ups who played like it and two guys 'not ready for prime time'. That and the Benny Williams saga has caused us to play a power forward at center surrounded by two small forwards and that hasn't been adequate in ACC play.

- We haven't had much of an outside game. Benny Williams was 40% from three last year. This year it's 21%. Justin Taylor was 39%, is now 32%. A recent burst has gotten JJ Starling to 33%. Judah Mintz got off to a great start (14 of 30, 47%) but is 6 of 29 (21%) since. Chris Bell is at 36% but had been erratic. Overall, we are at a sub-par 32%. When we're not hitting, we degenerate into 1 on 1 moves, which become 1 on 5 moves because we aren't hitting.

- The effort of the team has varied, in playing defense, rebounding and getting loose balls. We've been overwhelming at times, (BC and NC State in the Dome). Of late it's been absent. The team now seems to be at a cross roads: is the season going to fall apart or is it just an ill-timed slump. Will Red's anger turn into player dedication and focus or is he losing the team?

- Does the team have any leadership, either on the court to get the team calmed down and into what they are supposed to do or off the field, setting examples in workouts and practices and is saying what needs to be said in the locker room?

We haven't bene an NCAA team all year and there's no point in even thinking about it now. I just want this time to pull out of the funk they are in and at least get another winning record vs. a tough schedule.
 
all records are not made the same. St. John’s is an 8 seed essentially across the board, Syracuse is a 6… in the NIT
Bracket Matrix has St. John's as a 10 right now. Looking at their future schedule they still have some tough games to play their way in.
 
After these last 2 games on the road and Blowout at Wake lets revisit your season expectations. We are 14-8 with no great wins but no sub 100 losses at this point and 1 loss at home. Red is in his first year and he's gonna have to work thru some things. He is playing man which is what everyone wanted and at times its looked good and sometimes really bad. A couple notes/questions I have

1. Yes our roster is not constructed well. We have zero shooters that anyone is afraid of and they pack in to stop our drivers.

2. I've said before we have a major major issue with mental weakness on the team. You can easily tell these players.. When shots don't fall they check out defensively, hence the blowouts. I am questioning JT starting too but I think its prob because he is not mentally weak and may not shoot it well but keeps playing. Those are the guys you win with. Thats where Red is gonna have to shape his roster and he will.. He and his staff are in their first season, overwhelmed some and prob in survival mode. He'll weed out those players this year

3. My questions with the expectations thing is when they were looking at coaches in the offseason many wanted Pitino or Cooley. They have worse records than Syracuse and Cooley has issues too. I get this is a fan board but why are people so impatient with Red. Give it some time. Arkansas coach was a hot name a couple years ago and now hes 11-11. It happens. Sound like Freeman will help us alot and im sure we will hit the portal

4. Yes we need to beat Lville at home. It needs to be a get right game like Chaminade was. Then if we win the other 3 we should, we will be at 18 wins. Possibly get 2 more of the other 5 and we are at 20. Pre season how many wins did you expect?. I would have thought Red would have a nice first year at 20 wins
Because he isnt JB
 
all records are not made the same. St. John’s is an 8 seed essentially across the board, Syracuse is a 6… in the NIT

Lunardi has 'em in first four out.

For the record I'm rooting for them.
 
Solid post. 2 things that killed me with setting my expectations too high this year.

1. Colgate comeback, LSU beat down, Oregon, 2X Pitt, Miami buzzer beater, crushed nc state. Several of these games we wouldn’t have won the last 2 years. Then We bounced back after every loss and we’re getting it done at home.

2. After NCstate who is somehow sitting 4th in the acc we sat at 14 wins. A clear path to 20 wins. Add to that how inconsistent the acc has been it seemed reasonable to think we could catch a good team or two having a bad day and handle them. Every team in the acc top to bottom has dropped some stinkers. Miami a final 4 team a year ago just managed to only put up 38 total points at Virginia just now.

It was far too easy to think about the what ifs and I convinced myself. I was at the nc state game and thought I saw a different team from the last few years but was duped. It’s the same young team with the same problems just getting worse not better.

Now just 2 losses later we now know that we’re actually that ACC team that was really in trouble all along and we’ve made it easy for the acc to gameplan us. not good for February.

I hope we wipe the floor with Louisville and reset. This isn’t a tourney team but I’ll be happy with a team that is moving up in the acc and protecting the dome.
 
Lunardi has 'em in first four out.

For the record I'm rooting for them.
I might be a week or so out of touch, they were an eight or nine seed last time looked at the matrix. Regardless, the records are not even close to comparable
 
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It isn't so much the number of losses but how those losses are coming. It is the same reason why Dino was shown the door after making a bowl. Bad losses and being embarrassed on national TV are more than just normal losses if you don't believe ask Dino. The team shows no heart and no fight against anyone that has a shred of talent.
 
Looking at the dunking tape, how quick everyone was getting up and down the court.
They intercepted passes, a lot of interior passes for dunks, offensive rebounds for dunks. Of course the lobs for dunks
 
Looking at the dunking tape, how quick everyone was getting up and down the court.
They intercepted passes, a lot of interior passes for dunks, offensive rebounds for dunks. Of course the lobs for dunks

They also rebounded. You can't fast break without the ball. Well, you can, but it isn't going to do you any good.
 
earlier in the year I thought this team would cakewalk to 20 wins, minimum

time to scale that back a lot

will be surprised if they finish above 500 this year
 
the ACC is down the last couple of years and we still sit in the middle. they don't sell 8th place banners. factoid. we are not that good. and it sucks as a fan.
 

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