Miami Thoughts | Syracusefan.com

Miami Thoughts

General20

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I was really interested in this Miami game, so I wanted to write up something about it. Dont have time to do it well, but, just got to get these thoughts out of my head anyway.

After watching the stark difference between Syracuse vs Duke/UNC and Syracuse vs everyone else in the ACC I came to the conclusion that even though they have a bunch of athletes, Syracuse doesn't play very well at a fast pace. I want to make a distinction here. Syracuse is pretty good scoring in transition after a steal or block when they have numbers. What they aren't good at is trying to get down the court and putting up a fast shot (playing 5 on 5) before the defense is ready for it. And defensively they struggle against teams that are good at doing that to them.

There are a number of reasons for this. For one, all of Syracuse's shooters (other than Bell) have a slow release. Two, Nobody on Syracuse is good at shooting on the move, we are a team that needs our feet planted when we shoot. Three, Judah has what I call a slow metronome. Ive always been of the opinion that each PG has a kind of natural speed they are most comfortable at. This has less to do with how fast they are, I think, and more to do with how fast they process information, or maybe how much information they are trying to process as opposed to just improvising on the fly. Judah's metronome is on the slower side. You can compare him to JJ when he plays point, who moves a lot quicker.

On Defense they stink when they get sped up too, and Im not really sure what the reason for this is, partly its probably because they dont have a lot of rim protectors, but I think mostly its just that they aren't well schooled on it. We have a first time coach trying to install a totally new system to a group of players who have never played this way before. I'd imagine little things like transition D have to take a back seat to more important bigger concepts.

Miami is the second fastest team in the ACC for pace of play (behind UNC). I wanted to see if Syracuse would get caught up in playing too fast on offense just because there would be opportunities to do so, and I wanted to see how Syracuse would guard Miami as they tried to speed the game up.

As to the first item above, Syracuse played at their pace on offence instead of getting sucked into a really fast moving game like they did against Duke/UNC. It seems as if Red noticed the same thing I did and made some adjustments. Bravo!

Defensively was a different story. Syracuse struggled really badly against Miami in transition in the first half. Pretty much a copy of how they played against Duke/UNC. Miami's guard Cleveland is excellent in transition, he reminded me of Dion Waiters (who is probably the best we've ever had in transition) a big thick bodied guard, who likes that Dion spin move in the open court. Still, we made things WAY too easy on him. So many times we didn't stop the ball carrier which is rule #1 you learn at the lowest levels of basketball. The second half was a different story.

Back to the first half, we really sold out to stop them from shooting 3's. Brown would hedge WAY out leaving his man wide open around the basket. I understand why we did it. Miami's center was out hurt, and even with him they are a 3 dominant team. To Miami's credit they came out ready for that, and found their guy down low pretty much every time we left him open, and they didn't force much they shouldn't have from 3. Miami's injured starter is a big strong 6'7 guy. The back up is a lot taller and longer, and I think for the job he had was probably even more of a threat than Omier would have been had he been healthy.

So in the first half we did what we wanted to do, which was stop them from shooting 3's. They did a good job countering with scoring inside. But the big reason Miami had a 1 point lead is, we gave up about 10 points in transition that were preventable.

In the second half Red adjusted. He stopped hedging so hard on the 3's, and cut off Miami from scoring inside. This threw them off for a minute or two, they made a couple turnovers trying to get the ball down low when now Brown was there to cover it. But then Miami did what they are capable of doing, which is making a lot of deep, difficult 3 point shots. So in this case whether we hedged on the threes or didn't, it was damned if you do and dammed if you dont. Credit to Miami. I dont think there was anything wrong with the strategy on our end. Sometimes when you stop a team from making 3s early they get into a funk and have an off game. This didn't work with Miami, but was worth a shot.

What SU did do was stop them from getting any easy transition baskets (except one highlight worthy Cleveland dunk, which he never should have gotten in position to do).

I was really happy with SU's defense in the second half. We helped less, cut them off from scoring outside, and our perimeter guys needed to stay in front of some really difficult players to cover one on one, and mostly did very well. Miami made a lot of tough shots anyway. Most teams wont be able to do that.

On the other side of the ball, Miami isn't a great defensive team, they tried to clog the lane (as every team tries to do against us), but they did it as a team effort and gave up a lot of open 3s. You can look at the box score and say SU made twelve 3's and shot 38% from behind the line, which is fantastic even for a good shooting team, and we made just enough to win, but Syracuse left a lot of points out there by missing wide open 3s. Taylor was the biggest (but not only) culprit here. In general I think he gets too much hate on this board. He rebounds and defends, and stretches the floor, which are all things we need. But in this game he didn't stretch the floor. You only stretch the floor if your defender won't leave you to help against penetration. Miami was willing to leave him open, an he missed all four of the 3s he took. I dont mind Taylor not shooting or scoring much. Its not his job to be the guy that opposing teams can't shut down even if they try. But if they are going to leave him open he has to hit shots. Our power forward position is a problem. We've really only got two guys capable of playing it, Taylor and Williams and both have major problems. There are times we can get away with Copeland and Bell as the two forwards, but there are times we can't, and when we can't we need one of those two guys to give us more than they currently are.

That's the bad news. The good news is the other four positions are looking pretty good right now.

Brown - I think a lot of fans still consider him a power forward, because he's not the kind of center we would have wanted in Boeheim's system. But when you look at him last year at PF and this year at Center, its really hard to argue that he's not in his best position. He needs to improve a bit on the boards, and I'd like to see him block a few more shots, but Im pretty sure he will get there, and I think overall we have one of the best centers in the league.

Bell - I got frustrated with him because he missed a couple open 3's against Miami. But he hit a couple tough 3's too, and by the end of the game was 4-10 from behind the line, exactly where you'd want him to be. Most guys shoot a lot better when they are open. Bell's shot seems to either go in or not for reasons other than that. It can be frustrating to me but his percentage and number of 3's made is going to rank really high on the all time single season list by time this year is over.

Starling hit the same number of 3s against Miami that GMac did against Kansas in the national title game, and it wasn't even the most impressive thing about his game in my opinion. To me the most impressive thing about his game was his aggressiveness. He grew into this game, and by the end was imposing his will. He was the queen on the chess board moving anyplace he wanted to get the shots he wanted. We have seen games where Starling shot well. We haven't seen anything like that. When we signed Starling I thought he could be a guy who lead the ACC in scoring, this was the first game where he showed that kind of skill and aggression. Its hard for me to imagine he will ever go back to where he was before. He won't always hit 6 threes, he will have off shooting days. There will be better match ups, and worse match ups for him, as there is for everybody, but I hope we never see the passive afraid to shoot Starling from the early season again, and I dont think we will.

Judah = Scoop Jardine? Scoop is the only point guard in SU history to play on two 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. This isnt an accident. He was maybe the best Ive ever seen at getting the right guy the ball in the right place. If Andy Rautins was hot from 3, Scoop was going to find him. If Wes Johnson had a mismatch down low, Scoop was going to find him, etc. But in the year between those two 1 seeds, Syracuse struggled offensively. In this year Scoop took a lot of the offense on his own back, because he had to, because nobody else wanted it. It didn't always look pretty. People blamed Scoop, but he was doing the best with what he had. Is that Judah this year? Early on we struggled to score. Brown was hurt, maybe Starling was too. We were still figuring things out. Judah took a lot of the offense on himself, maybe because he felt had to. In the last two games, Judah has become more of a facilitator. It might just be because other players are stepping up and showing they are capable of scoring. The timing is also right. I compare Judah to Flynn often. They are both point guards who came in and put up fantastic numbers from day one, but I never felt Flynn really learned how to run an offense until about January of his sophomore year. That's when he grew from being a great basketball player into a great point guard. This is about that time for Judah. This might be his coming out party. We do need a couple more of his shots to fall, and they will, add that to the game he just have, and you are talking about a scary good performance.

Copeland = GMac? Part of the legend of Gerry McNamara, isn't just that he hit a bunch of game winning shots. Its that he could be having a terrible game and he would STILL hit the game winner when needed. Copeland started this game 0-7. The one shot he hit before the game winner was a lay up off an amazing find by Judah, hardly a confidence booster when it comes to hitting a 3 with a guy in your face. But on that last play of the game, Miami played perfect D in my opinion. I discussed above how on many occasions Syracuse played great D and Miami made shots anyway, well, on this possession it was reversed. If you go back and look at the highlight, you'll see that Copeland comes inside the 3 point line, into Judah's line of sight and waves for the ball, and only retreats to the 3 point line after the pass is made. If he doesn't do that, there is no way Judah would have seen him to make that pass. Most guys who are 0-7 dont do that. Most guys who are 0-7 and shooting 25% from 3 for the year dont want that shot. Copeland wanted that shot. It was not an easy shot. Copeland still made it. Im even more impressed that he wanted it and did what he had to do to get it.
 
Cannot overemphasize that our shooters are not designed for a fast paced half court game. Run on turnovers but have patience otherwise.

I am not convinced that Judah is a slow processer. Sometimes he had no one to pass to. Taylor, Bell and JJ were in prolonged slumps and Cope was turnover prone. With a full time Brown, a vastly improved JJ and Bell and an improving Cope Judah could lead the ACC in assists.
 
I was really interested in this Miami game, so I wanted to write up something about it. Dont have time to do it well, but, just got to get these thoughts out of my head anyway.

After watching the stark difference between Syracuse vs Duke/UNC and Syracuse vs everyone else in the ACC I came to the conclusion that even though they have a bunch of athletes, Syracuse doesn't play very well at a fast pace. I want to make a distinction here. Syracuse is pretty good scoring in transition after a steal or block when they have numbers. What they aren't good at is trying to get down the court and putting up a fast shot (playing 5 on 5) before the defense is ready for it. And defensively they struggle against teams that are good at doing that to them.

There are a number of reasons for this. For one, all of Syracuse's shooters (other than Bell) have a slow release. Two, Nobody on Syracuse is good at shooting on the move, we are a team that needs our feet planted when we shoot. Three, Judah has what I call a slow metronome. Ive always been of the opinion that each PG has a kind of natural speed they are most comfortable at. This has less to do with how fast they are, I think, and more to do with how fast they process information, or maybe how much information they are trying to process as opposed to just improvising on the fly. Judah's metronome is on the slower side. You can compare him to JJ when he plays point, who moves a lot quicker.

On Defense they stink when they get sped up too, and Im not really sure what the reason for this is, partly its probably because they dont have a lot of rim protectors, but I think mostly its just that they aren't well schooled on it. We have a first time coach trying to install a totally new system to a group of players who have never played this way before. I'd imagine little things like transition D have to take a back seat to more important bigger concepts.

Miami is the second fastest team in the ACC for pace of play (behind UNC). I wanted to see if Syracuse would get caught up in playing too fast on offense just because there would be opportunities to do so, and I wanted to see how Syracuse would guard Miami as they tried to speed the game up.

As to the first item above, Syracuse played at their pace on offence instead of getting sucked into a really fast moving game like they did against Duke/UNC. It seems as if Red noticed the same thing I did and made some adjustments. Bravo!

Defensively was a different story. Syracuse struggled really badly against Miami in transition in the first half. Pretty much a copy of how they played against Duke/UNC. Miami's guard Cleveland is excellent in transition, he reminded me of Dion Waiters (who is probably the best we've ever had in transition) a big thick bodied guard, who likes that Dion spin move in the open court. Still, we made things WAY too easy on him. So many times we didn't stop the ball carrier which is rule #1 you learn at the lowest levels of basketball. The second half was a different story.

Back to the first half, we really sold out to stop them from shooting 3's. Brown would hedge WAY out leaving his man wide open around the basket. I understand why we did it. Miami's center was out hurt, and even with him they are a 3 dominant team. To Miami's credit they came out ready for that, and found their guy down low pretty much every time we left him open, and they didn't force much they shouldn't have from 3. Miami's injured starter is a big strong 6'7 guy. The back up is a lot taller and longer, and I think for the job he had was probably even more of a threat than Omier would have been had he been healthy.

So in the first half we did what we wanted to do, which was stop them from shooting 3's. They did a good job countering with scoring inside. But the big reason Miami had a 1 point lead is, we gave up about 10 points in transition that were preventable.

In the second half Red adjusted. He stopped hedging so hard on the 3's, and cut off Miami from scoring inside. This threw them off for a minute or two, they made a couple turnovers trying to get the ball down low when now Brown was there to cover it. But then Miami did what they are capable of doing, which is making a lot of deep, difficult 3 point shots. So in this case whether we hedged on the threes or didn't, it was damned if you do and dammed if you dont. Credit to Miami. I dont think there was anything wrong with the strategy on our end. Sometimes when you stop a team from making 3s early they get into a funk and have an off game. This didn't work with Miami, but was worth a shot.

What SU did do was stop them from getting any easy transition baskets (except one highlight worthy Cleveland dunk, which he never should have gotten in position to do).

I was really happy with SU's defense in the second half. We helped less, cut them off from scoring outside, and our perimeter guys needed to stay in front of some really difficult players to cover one on one, and mostly did very well. Miami made a lot of tough shots anyway. Most teams wont be able to do that.

On the other side of the ball, Miami isn't a great defensive team, they tried to clog the lane (as every team tries to do against us), but they did it as a team effort and gave up a lot of open 3s. You can look at the box score and say SU made twelve 3's and shot 38% from behind the line, which is fantastic even for a good shooting team, and we made just enough to win, but Syracuse left a lot of points out there by missing wide open 3s. Taylor was the biggest (but not only) culprit here. In general I think he gets too much hate on this board. He rebounds and defends, and stretches the floor, which are all things we need. But in this game he didn't stretch the floor. You only stretch the floor if your defender won't leave you to help against penetration. Miami was willing to leave him open, an he missed all four of the 3s he took. I dont mind Taylor not shooting or scoring much. Its not his job to be the guy that opposing teams can't shut down even if they try. But if they are going to leave him open he has to hit shots. Our power forward position is a problem. We've really only got two guys capable of playing it, Taylor and Williams and both have major problems. There are times we can get away with Copeland and Bell as the two forwards, but there are times we can't, and when we can't we need one of those two guys to give us more than they currently are.

That's the bad news. The good news is the other four positions are looking pretty good right now.

Brown - I think a lot of fans still consider him a power forward, because he's not the kind of center we would have wanted in Boeheim's system. But when you look at him last year at PF and this year at Center, its really hard to argue that he's not in his best position. He needs to improve a bit on the boards, and I'd like to see him block a few more shots, but Im pretty sure he will get there, and I think overall we have one of the best centers in the league.

Bell - I got frustrated with him because he missed a couple open 3's against Miami. But he hit a couple tough 3's too, and by the end of the game was 4-10 from behind the line, exactly where you'd want him to be. Most guys shoot a lot better when they are open. Bell's shot seems to either go in or not for reasons other than that. It can be frustrating to me but his percentage and number of 3's made is going to rank really high on the all time single season list by time this year is over.

Starling hit the same number of 3s against Miami that GMac did against Kansas in the national title game, and it wasn't even the most impressive thing about his game in my opinion. To me the most impressive thing about his game was his aggressiveness. He grew into this game, and by the end was imposing his will. He was the queen on the chess board moving anyplace he wanted to get the shots he wanted. We have seen games where Starling shot well. We haven't seen anything like that. When we signed Starling I thought he could be a guy who lead the ACC in scoring, this was the first game where he showed that kind of skill and aggression. Its hard for me to imagine he will ever go back to where he was before. He won't always hit 6 threes, he will have off shooting days. There will be better match ups, and worse match ups for him, as there is for everybody, but I hope we never see the passive afraid to shoot Starling from the early season again, and I dont think we will.

Judah = Scoop Jardine? Scoop is the only point guard in SU history to play on two 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. This isnt an accident. He was maybe the best Ive ever seen at getting the right guy the ball in the right place. If Andy Rautins was hot from 3, Scoop was going to find him. If Wes Johnson had a mismatch down low, Scoop was going to find him, etc. But in the year between those two 1 seeds, Syracuse struggled offensively. In this year Scoop took a lot of the offense on his own back, because he had to, because nobody else wanted it. It didn't always look pretty. People blamed Scoop, but he was doing the best with what he had. Is that Judah this year? Early on we struggled to score. Brown was hurt, maybe Starling was too. We were still figuring things out. Judah took a lot of the offense on himself, maybe because he felt had to. In the last two games, Judah has become more of a facilitator. It might just be because other players are stepping up and showing they are capable of scoring. The timing is also right. I compare Judah to Flynn often. They are both point guards who came in and put up fantastic numbers from day one, but I never felt Flynn really learned how to run an offense until about January of his sophomore year. That's when he grew from being a great basketball player into a great point guard. This is about that time for Judah. This might be his coming out party. We do need a couple more of his shots to fall, and they will, add that to the game he just have, and you are talking about a scary good performance.

Copeland = GMac? Part of the legend of Gerry McNamara, isn't just that he hit a bunch of game winning shots. Its that he could be having a terrible game and he would STILL hit the game winner when needed. Copeland started this game 0-7. The one shot he hit before the game winner was a lay up off an amazing find by Judah, hardly a confidence booster when it comes to hitting a 3 with a guy in your face. But on that last play of the game, Miami played perfect D in my opinion. I discussed above how on many occasions Syracuse played great D and Miami made shots anyway, well, on this possession it was reversed. If you go back and look at the highlight, you'll see that Copeland comes inside the 3 point line, into Judah's line of sight and waves for the ball, and only retreats to the 3 point line after the pass is made. If he doesn't do that, there is no way Judah would have seen him to make that pass. Most guys who are 0-7 dont do that. Most guys who are 0-7 and shooting 25% from 3 for the year dont want that shot. Copeland wanted that shot. It was not an easy shot. Copeland still made it. Im even more impressed that he wanted it and did what he had to do to get it.
Next time, I'd appreciate if you would elaborate more.



Kidding, really good points to consider aside from the paragraph about copland and gmac.
 
I am not convinced that Judah is a slow processer. Sometimes he had no one to pass to. Taylor, Bell and JJ were in prolonged slumps and Cope was turnover prone. With a full time Brown, a vastly improved JJ and Bell and an improving Cope Judah could lead the ACC in assists.

I think he can to. I was not speaking to his effectiveness, just to how fast he moves. He's not a guard who pushes the ball fast naturally. It's forced when he does it, and he becomes less good.

I think everyone, including Red pictured this team moving at lightning speed. But we are learning they are better playing slower than that. There is nothing wrong with that. Pace doesn't make you any better or worse. What is important is knowing how you play best, and SU seems to be figuring that out.

They need to be better at stopping the ball in transition on defense however.
 
I was really interested in this Miami game, so I wanted to write up something about it. Dont have time to do it well, but, just got to get these thoughts out of my head anyway.

After watching the stark difference between Syracuse vs Duke/UNC and Syracuse vs everyone else in the ACC I came to the conclusion that even though they have a bunch of athletes, Syracuse doesn't play very well at a fast pace. I want to make a distinction here. Syracuse is pretty good scoring in transition after a steal or block when they have numbers. What they aren't good at is trying to get down the court and putting up a fast shot (playing 5 on 5) before the defense is ready for it. And defensively they struggle against teams that are good at doing that to them.

There are a number of reasons for this. For one, all of Syracuse's shooters (other than Bell) have a slow release. Two, Nobody on Syracuse is good at shooting on the move, we are a team that needs our feet planted when we shoot. Three, Judah has what I call a slow metronome. Ive always been of the opinion that each PG has a kind of natural speed they are most comfortable at. This has less to do with how fast they are, I think, and more to do with how fast they process information, or maybe how much information they are trying to process as opposed to just improvising on the fly. Judah's metronome is on the slower side. You can compare him to JJ when he plays point, who moves a lot quicker.

On Defense they stink when they get sped up too, and Im not really sure what the reason for this is, partly its probably because they dont have a lot of rim protectors, but I think mostly its just that they aren't well schooled on it. We have a first time coach trying to install a totally new system to a group of players who have never played this way before. I'd imagine little things like transition D have to take a back seat to more important bigger concepts.

Miami is the second fastest team in the ACC for pace of play (behind UNC). I wanted to see if Syracuse would get caught up in playing too fast on offense just because there would be opportunities to do so, and I wanted to see how Syracuse would guard Miami as they tried to speed the game up.

As to the first item above, Syracuse played at their pace on offence instead of getting sucked into a really fast moving game like they did against Duke/UNC. It seems as if Red noticed the same thing I did and made some adjustments. Bravo!

Defensively was a different story. Syracuse struggled really badly against Miami in transition in the first half. Pretty much a copy of how they played against Duke/UNC. Miami's guard Cleveland is excellent in transition, he reminded me of Dion Waiters (who is probably the best we've ever had in transition) a big thick bodied guard, who likes that Dion spin move in the open court. Still, we made things WAY too easy on him. So many times we didn't stop the ball carrier which is rule #1 you learn at the lowest levels of basketball. The second half was a different story.

Back to the first half, we really sold out to stop them from shooting 3's. Brown would hedge WAY out leaving his man wide open around the basket. I understand why we did it. Miami's center was out hurt, and even with him they are a 3 dominant team. To Miami's credit they came out ready for that, and found their guy down low pretty much every time we left him open, and they didn't force much they shouldn't have from 3. Miami's injured starter is a big strong 6'7 guy. The back up is a lot taller and longer, and I think for the job he had was probably even more of a threat than Omier would have been had he been healthy.

So in the first half we did what we wanted to do, which was stop them from shooting 3's. They did a good job countering with scoring inside. But the big reason Miami had a 1 point lead is, we gave up about 10 points in transition that were preventable.

In the second half Red adjusted. He stopped hedging so hard on the 3's, and cut off Miami from scoring inside. This threw them off for a minute or two, they made a couple turnovers trying to get the ball down low when now Brown was there to cover it. But then Miami did what they are capable of doing, which is making a lot of deep, difficult 3 point shots. So in this case whether we hedged on the threes or didn't, it was damned if you do and dammed if you dont. Credit to Miami. I dont think there was anything wrong with the strategy on our end. Sometimes when you stop a team from making 3s early they get into a funk and have an off game. This didn't work with Miami, but was worth a shot.

What SU did do was stop them from getting any easy transition baskets (except one highlight worthy Cleveland dunk, which he never should have gotten in position to do).

I was really happy with SU's defense in the second half. We helped less, cut them off from scoring outside, and our perimeter guys needed to stay in front of some really difficult players to cover one on one, and mostly did very well. Miami made a lot of tough shots anyway. Most teams wont be able to do that.

On the other side of the ball, Miami isn't a great defensive team, they tried to clog the lane (as every team tries to do against us), but they did it as a team effort and gave up a lot of open 3s. You can look at the box score and say SU made twelve 3's and shot 38% from behind the line, which is fantastic even for a good shooting team, and we made just enough to win, but Syracuse left a lot of points out there by missing wide open 3s. Taylor was the biggest (but not only) culprit here. In general I think he gets too much hate on this board. He rebounds and defends, and stretches the floor, which are all things we need. But in this game he didn't stretch the floor. You only stretch the floor if your defender won't leave you to help against penetration. Miami was willing to leave him open, an he missed all four of the 3s he took. I dont mind Taylor not shooting or scoring much. Its not his job to be the guy that opposing teams can't shut down even if they try. But if they are going to leave him open he has to hit shots. Our power forward position is a problem. We've really only got two guys capable of playing it, Taylor and Williams and both have major problems. There are times we can get away with Copeland and Bell as the two forwards, but there are times we can't, and when we can't we need one of those two guys to give us more than they currently are.

That's the bad news. The good news is the other four positions are looking pretty good right now.

Brown - I think a lot of fans still consider him a power forward, because he's not the kind of center we would have wanted in Boeheim's system. But when you look at him last year at PF and this year at Center, its really hard to argue that he's not in his best position. He needs to improve a bit on the boards, and I'd like to see him block a few more shots, but Im pretty sure he will get there, and I think overall we have one of the best centers in the league.

Bell - I got frustrated with him because he missed a couple open 3's against Miami. But he hit a couple tough 3's too, and by the end of the game was 4-10 from behind the line, exactly where you'd want him to be. Most guys shoot a lot better when they are open. Bell's shot seems to either go in or not for reasons other than that. It can be frustrating to me but his percentage and number of 3's made is going to rank really high on the all time single season list by time this year is over.

Starling hit the same number of 3s against Miami that GMac did against Kansas in the national title game, and it wasn't even the most impressive thing about his game in my opinion. To me the most impressive thing about his game was his aggressiveness. He grew into this game, and by the end was imposing his will. He was the queen on the chess board moving anyplace he wanted to get the shots he wanted. We have seen games where Starling shot well. We haven't seen anything like that. When we signed Starling I thought he could be a guy who lead the ACC in scoring, this was the first game where he showed that kind of skill and aggression. Its hard for me to imagine he will ever go back to where he was before. He won't always hit 6 threes, he will have off shooting days. There will be better match ups, and worse match ups for him, as there is for everybody, but I hope we never see the passive afraid to shoot Starling from the early season again, and I dont think we will.

Judah = Scoop Jardine? Scoop is the only point guard in SU history to play on two 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. This isnt an accident. He was maybe the best Ive ever seen at getting the right guy the ball in the right place. If Andy Rautins was hot from 3, Scoop was going to find him. If Wes Johnson had a mismatch down low, Scoop was going to find him, etc. But in the year between those two 1 seeds, Syracuse struggled offensively. In this year Scoop took a lot of the offense on his own back, because he had to, because nobody else wanted it. It didn't always look pretty. People blamed Scoop, but he was doing the best with what he had. Is that Judah this year? Early on we struggled to score. Brown was hurt, maybe Starling was too. We were still figuring things out. Judah took a lot of the offense on himself, maybe because he felt had to. In the last two games, Judah has become more of a facilitator. It might just be because other players are stepping up and showing they are capable of scoring. The timing is also right. I compare Judah to Flynn often. They are both point guards who came in and put up fantastic numbers from day one, but I never felt Flynn really learned how to run an offense until about January of his sophomore year. That's when he grew from being a great basketball player into a great point guard. This is about that time for Judah. This might be his coming out party. We do need a couple more of his shots to fall, and they will, add that to the game he just have, and you are talking about a scary good performance.

Copeland = GMac? Part of the legend of Gerry McNamara, isn't just that he hit a bunch of game winning shots. Its that he could be having a terrible game and he would STILL hit the game winner when needed. Copeland started this game 0-7. The one shot he hit before the game winner was a lay up off an amazing find by Judah, hardly a confidence booster when it comes to hitting a 3 with a guy in your face. But on that last play of the game, Miami played perfect D in my opinion. I discussed above how on many occasions Syracuse played great D and Miami made shots anyway, well, on this possession it was reversed. If you go back and look at the highlight, you'll see that Copeland comes inside the 3 point line, into Judah's line of sight and waves for the ball, and only retreats to the 3 point line after the pass is made. If he doesn't do that, there is no way Judah would have seen him to make that pass. Most guys who are 0-7 dont do that. Most guys who are 0-7 and shooting 25% from 3 for the year dont want that shot. Copeland wanted that shot. It was not an easy shot. Copeland still made it. Im even more impressed that he wanted it and did what he had to do to get it.

Heck of a post! You lost me a bit there at the end, comparing Copeland to McNamara, but a winner is a winner. I get that part.
 
I was really interested in this Miami game, so I wanted to write up something about it. Dont have time to do it well, but, just got to get these thoughts out of my head anyway.

After watching the stark difference between Syracuse vs Duke/UNC and Syracuse vs everyone else in the ACC I came to the conclusion that even though they have a bunch of athletes, Syracuse doesn't play very well at a fast pace. I want to make a distinction here. Syracuse is pretty good scoring in transition after a steal or block when they have numbers. What they aren't good at is trying to get down the court and putting up a fast shot (playing 5 on 5) before the defense is ready for it. And defensively they struggle against teams that are good at doing that to them.

There are a number of reasons for this. For one, all of Syracuse's shooters (other than Bell) have a slow release. Two, Nobody on Syracuse is good at shooting on the move, we are a team that needs our feet planted when we shoot. Three, Judah has what I call a slow metronome. Ive always been of the opinion that each PG has a kind of natural speed they are most comfortable at. This has less to do with how fast they are, I think, and more to do with how fast they process information, or maybe how much information they are trying to process as opposed to just improvising on the fly. Judah's metronome is on the slower side. You can compare him to JJ when he plays point, who moves a lot quicker.

On Defense they stink when they get sped up too, and Im not really sure what the reason for this is, partly its probably because they dont have a lot of rim protectors, but I think mostly its just that they aren't well schooled on it. We have a first time coach trying to install a totally new system to a group of players who have never played this way before. I'd imagine little things like transition D have to take a back seat to more important bigger concepts.

Miami is the second fastest team in the ACC for pace of play (behind UNC). I wanted to see if Syracuse would get caught up in playing too fast on offense just because there would be opportunities to do so, and I wanted to see how Syracuse would guard Miami as they tried to speed the game up.

As to the first item above, Syracuse played at their pace on offence instead of getting sucked into a really fast moving game like they did against Duke/UNC. It seems as if Red noticed the same thing I did and made some adjustments. Bravo!

Defensively was a different story. Syracuse struggled really badly against Miami in transition in the first half. Pretty much a copy of how they played against Duke/UNC. Miami's guard Cleveland is excellent in transition, he reminded me of Dion Waiters (who is probably the best we've ever had in transition) a big thick bodied guard, who likes that Dion spin move in the open court. Still, we made things WAY too easy on him. So many times we didn't stop the ball carrier which is rule #1 you learn at the lowest levels of basketball. The second half was a different story.

Back to the first half, we really sold out to stop them from shooting 3's. Brown would hedge WAY out leaving his man wide open around the basket. I understand why we did it. Miami's center was out hurt, and even with him they are a 3 dominant team. To Miami's credit they came out ready for that, and found their guy down low pretty much every time we left him open, and they didn't force much they shouldn't have from 3. Miami's injured starter is a big strong 6'7 guy. The back up is a lot taller and longer, and I think for the job he had was probably even more of a threat than Omier would have been had he been healthy.

So in the first half we did what we wanted to do, which was stop them from shooting 3's. They did a good job countering with scoring inside. But the big reason Miami had a 1 point lead is, we gave up about 10 points in transition that were preventable.

In the second half Red adjusted. He stopped hedging so hard on the 3's, and cut off Miami from scoring inside. This threw them off for a minute or two, they made a couple turnovers trying to get the ball down low when now Brown was there to cover it. But then Miami did what they are capable of doing, which is making a lot of deep, difficult 3 point shots. So in this case whether we hedged on the threes or didn't, it was damned if you do and dammed if you dont. Credit to Miami. I dont think there was anything wrong with the strategy on our end. Sometimes when you stop a team from making 3s early they get into a funk and have an off game. This didn't work with Miami, but was worth a shot.

What SU did do was stop them from getting any easy transition baskets (except one highlight worthy Cleveland dunk, which he never should have gotten in position to do).

I was really happy with SU's defense in the second half. We helped less, cut them off from scoring outside, and our perimeter guys needed to stay in front of some really difficult players to cover one on one, and mostly did very well. Miami made a lot of tough shots anyway. Most teams wont be able to do that.

On the other side of the ball, Miami isn't a great defensive team, they tried to clog the lane (as every team tries to do against us), but they did it as a team effort and gave up a lot of open 3s. You can look at the box score and say SU made twelve 3's and shot 38% from behind the line, which is fantastic even for a good shooting team, and we made just enough to win, but Syracuse left a lot of points out there by missing wide open 3s. Taylor was the biggest (but not only) culprit here. In general I think he gets too much hate on this board. He rebounds and defends, and stretches the floor, which are all things we need. But in this game he didn't stretch the floor. You only stretch the floor if your defender won't leave you to help against penetration. Miami was willing to leave him open, an he missed all four of the 3s he took. I dont mind Taylor not shooting or scoring much. Its not his job to be the guy that opposing teams can't shut down even if they try. But if they are going to leave him open he has to hit shots. Our power forward position is a problem. We've really only got two guys capable of playing it, Taylor and Williams and both have major problems. There are times we can get away with Copeland and Bell as the two forwards, but there are times we can't, and when we can't we need one of those two guys to give us more than they currently are.

That's the bad news. The good news is the other four positions are looking pretty good right now.

Brown - I think a lot of fans still consider him a power forward, because he's not the kind of center we would have wanted in Boeheim's system. But when you look at him last year at PF and this year at Center, its really hard to argue that he's not in his best position. He needs to improve a bit on the boards, and I'd like to see him block a few more shots, but Im pretty sure he will get there, and I think overall we have one of the best centers in the league.

Bell - I got frustrated with him because he missed a couple open 3's against Miami. But he hit a couple tough 3's too, and by the end of the game was 4-10 from behind the line, exactly where you'd want him to be. Most guys shoot a lot better when they are open. Bell's shot seems to either go in or not for reasons other than that. It can be frustrating to me but his percentage and number of 3's made is going to rank really high on the all time single season list by time this year is over.

Starling hit the same number of 3s against Miami that GMac did against Kansas in the national title game, and it wasn't even the most impressive thing about his game in my opinion. To me the most impressive thing about his game was his aggressiveness. He grew into this game, and by the end was imposing his will. He was the queen on the chess board moving anyplace he wanted to get the shots he wanted. We have seen games where Starling shot well. We haven't seen anything like that. When we signed Starling I thought he could be a guy who lead the ACC in scoring, this was the first game where he showed that kind of skill and aggression. Its hard for me to imagine he will ever go back to where he was before. He won't always hit 6 threes, he will have off shooting days. There will be better match ups, and worse match ups for him, as there is for everybody, but I hope we never see the passive afraid to shoot Starling from the early season again, and I dont think we will.

Judah = Scoop Jardine? Scoop is the only point guard in SU history to play on two 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. This isnt an accident. He was maybe the best Ive ever seen at getting the right guy the ball in the right place. If Andy Rautins was hot from 3, Scoop was going to find him. If Wes Johnson had a mismatch down low, Scoop was going to find him, etc. But in the year between those two 1 seeds, Syracuse struggled offensively. In this year Scoop took a lot of the offense on his own back, because he had to, because nobody else wanted it. It didn't always look pretty. People blamed Scoop, but he was doing the best with what he had. Is that Judah this year? Early on we struggled to score. Brown was hurt, maybe Starling was too. We were still figuring things out. Judah took a lot of the offense on himself, maybe because he felt had to. In the last two games, Judah has become more of a facilitator. It might just be because other players are stepping up and showing they are capable of scoring. The timing is also right. I compare Judah to Flynn often. They are both point guards who came in and put up fantastic numbers from day one, but I never felt Flynn really learned how to run an offense until about January of his sophomore year. That's when he grew from being a great basketball player into a great point guard. This is about that time for Judah. This might be his coming out party. We do need a couple more of his shots to fall, and they will, add that to the game he just have, and you are talking about a scary good performance.

Copeland = GMac? Part of the legend of Gerry McNamara, isn't just that he hit a bunch of game winning shots. Its that he could be having a terrible game and he would STILL hit the game winner when needed. Copeland started this game 0-7. The one shot he hit before the game winner was a lay up off an amazing find by Judah, hardly a confidence booster when it comes to hitting a 3 with a guy in your face. But on that last play of the game, Miami played perfect D in my opinion. I discussed above how on many occasions Syracuse played great D and Miami made shots anyway, well, on this possession it was reversed. If you go back and look at the highlight, you'll see that Copeland comes inside the 3 point line, into Judah's line of sight and waves for the ball, and only retreats to the 3 point line after the pass is made. If he doesn't do that, there is no way Judah would have seen him to make that pass. Most guys who are 0-7 dont do that. Most guys who are 0-7 and shooting 25% from 3 for the year dont want that shot. Copeland wanted that shot. It was not an easy shot. Copeland still made it. Im even more impressed that he wanted it and did what he had to do to get it.

Another excellent analysis from the best on the board. This team is still evolving. But they seem to be evolving in the right direction.
 
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I’ve spent most of the year thinking their half court offense was not good. I missed the Miami game, just saw highlights, but an improvement there would make us a much tougher team to beat. Agreed we are just sloppy at fast paced, fast break type stuff. You seem to think we can’t improve there. I’m not sure about that. If we cut down on turnovers in those situations that alone would be a boost. Thanks for a great write up!
 
I’m worried about tonight because FSU is much faster and more athletic compared to Miami and we struggled in transition. If we don’t get back, this game might not be close.
 
I’ve spent most of the year thinking their half court offense was not good. I missed the Miami game, just saw highlights, but an improvement there would make us a much tougher team to beat. Agreed we are just sloppy at fast paced, fast break type stuff. You seem to think we can’t improve there. I’m not sure about that. If we cut down on turnovers in those situations that alone would be a boost. Thanks for a great write up!

I wouldn't say Syracuse can't improve in transition. They have already improved a lot this year and it could be that improvement is still to come.

What I would say is, I came into the season thinking up tempo fast basketball was in this team's DNA, and I've come to believe that heir DNA is actually to play a little slower, which to me is a fascinating development.
 
Along with Bell, Starlings release is actually pretty darn quick.
 
I’ve spent most of the year thinking their half court offense was not good. I missed the Miami game, just saw highlights, but an improvement there would make us a much tougher team to beat. Agreed we are just sloppy at fast paced, fast break type stuff. You seem to think we can’t improve there. I’m not sure about that. If we cut down on turnovers in those situations that alone would be a boost. Thanks for a great write up!

I wouldn't say Syracuse can't improve in transition. They have already improved a lot this year and it could be that improvement is still to come.

What I would say is, I came into the season thinking up tempo fast basketball was in this team's DNA, and I've come to believe that heir DNA is actually to play a little slower, which to me is a fascinating development.
 
Miami wasn’t exactly in JJ’s face on his threes - pretty sure most if not all were uncontested. That said if teams think he’s got his shot back and respect it that opens his ability to drive to the basket which IMO is his best asset. Hope he keeps making them obviously a very different team when he does!
 
I wouldn't say Syracuse can't improve in transition. They have already improved a lot this year and it could be that improvement is still to come.

What I would say is, I came into the season thinking up tempo fast basketball was in this team's DNA, and I've come to believe that heir DNA is actually to play a little slower, which to me is a fascinating development.
The people in my section, including myself, have been very frustrated by the slow bringing up the ball. Now I will calm down and try to calm them down. I will just tell them, “General20 says . .” And that should take care of it. :)
 
BTW, the best fast break pair in Cuse history was Kid Kohls and Sweet D. They ran the break end to end without the ball ever touching the ground. For a one man fast break the crown goes to Waiters. He was strong and fast.
 
Miami wasn’t exactly in JJ’s face on his threes - pretty sure most if not all were uncontested. That said if teams think he’s got his shot back and respect it that opens his ability to drive to the basket which IMO is his best asset. Hope he keeps making them obviously a very different team when he does!
Agreed. Miami didn't really get in anyone's face, they sold out pretty hard to stop us getting to the basket. I don't think this team needs to make difficult 3s. If the 3 point shot is covered we are better getting into the lane anyway. But if teams are going to force us to shoot like Miami did, we need to make them.
 
rebounds matter.. If we could attack the boards on offense instead of watching we could get 3-5 more chances to score a game. Copeland gets it, Cuffe for his size does too. Brown because of where he is on the court. Bell needs to attack it more because he has decent hops and Taylor needs to do it more.

just make it an even battle
 
Along with Bell, Starlings release is actually pretty darn quick.

Ironically, when Bell was recruited, (as Chris Bunch), there were concerns for how he got his shot off.

 
Cannot overemphasize that our shooters are not designed for a fast paced half court game. Run on turnovers but have patience otherwise.

I am not convinced that Judah is a slow processer. Sometimes he had no one to pass to. Taylor, Bell and JJ were in prolonged slumps and Cope was turnover prone. With a full time Brown, a vastly improved JJ and Bell and an improving Cope Judah could lead the ACC in assists.
Exactly what I said to my brother. If this team had an Andy Rautins, who could shoot lights out coming off screens, we’d be so much better for it. Hell, even if we had Buddy Buckets it would change the dynamic considerably.
 
Exactly what I said to my brother. If this team had an Andy Rautins, who could shoot lights out coming off screens, we’d be so much better for it. Hell, even if we had Buddy Buckets it would change the dynamic considerably.
Even? Buddy led the ACC in scoring his senior year. There is nobody on this team that approaches him as a shooter.
 
BTW, the best fast break pair in Cuse history was Kid Kohls and Sweet D. They ran the break end to end without the ball ever touching the ground. For a one man fast break the crown goes to Waiters. He was strong and fast.
Dennis Duval is still my favorite player. He was even great in the warm-ups.
 
I was really interested in this Miami game, so I wanted to write up something about it. Dont have time to do it well, but, just got to get these thoughts out of my head anyway.

After watching the stark difference between Syracuse vs Duke/UNC and Syracuse vs everyone else in the ACC I came to the conclusion that even though they have a bunch of athletes, Syracuse doesn't play very well at a fast pace. I want to make a distinction here. Syracuse is pretty good scoring in transition after a steal or block when they have numbers. What they aren't good at is trying to get down the court and putting up a fast shot (playing 5 on 5) before the defense is ready for it. And defensively they struggle against teams that are good at doing that to them.

There are a number of reasons for this. For one, all of Syracuse's shooters (other than Bell) have a slow release. Two, Nobody on Syracuse is good at shooting on the move, we are a team that needs our feet planted when we shoot. Three, Judah has what I call a slow metronome. Ive always been of the opinion that each PG has a kind of natural speed they are most comfortable at. This has less to do with how fast they are, I think, and more to do with how fast they process information, or maybe how much information they are trying to process as opposed to just improvising on the fly. Judah's metronome is on the slower side. You can compare him to JJ when he plays point, who moves a lot quicker.

On Defense they stink when they get sped up too, and Im not really sure what the reason for this is, partly its probably because they dont have a lot of rim protectors, but I think mostly its just that they aren't well schooled on it. We have a first time coach trying to install a totally new system to a group of players who have never played this way before. I'd imagine little things like transition D have to take a back seat to more important bigger concepts.

Miami is the second fastest team in the ACC for pace of play (behind UNC). I wanted to see if Syracuse would get caught up in playing too fast on offense just because there would be opportunities to do so, and I wanted to see how Syracuse would guard Miami as they tried to speed the game up.

As to the first item above, Syracuse played at their pace on offence instead of getting sucked into a really fast moving game like they did against Duke/UNC. It seems as if Red noticed the same thing I did and made some adjustments. Bravo!

Defensively was a different story. Syracuse struggled really badly against Miami in transition in the first half. Pretty much a copy of how they played against Duke/UNC. Miami's guard Cleveland is excellent in transition, he reminded me of Dion Waiters (who is probably the best we've ever had in transition) a big thick bodied guard, who likes that Dion spin move in the open court. Still, we made things WAY too easy on him. So many times we didn't stop the ball carrier which is rule #1 you learn at the lowest levels of basketball. The second half was a different story.

Back to the first half, we really sold out to stop them from shooting 3's. Brown would hedge WAY out leaving his man wide open around the basket. I understand why we did it. Miami's center was out hurt, and even with him they are a 3 dominant team. To Miami's credit they came out ready for that, and found their guy down low pretty much every time we left him open, and they didn't force much they shouldn't have from 3. Miami's injured starter is a big strong 6'7 guy. The back up is a lot taller and longer, and I think for the job he had was probably even more of a threat than Omier would have been had he been healthy.

So in the first half we did what we wanted to do, which was stop them from shooting 3's. They did a good job countering with scoring inside. But the big reason Miami had a 1 point lead is, we gave up about 10 points in transition that were preventable.

In the second half Red adjusted. He stopped hedging so hard on the 3's, and cut off Miami from scoring inside. This threw them off for a minute or two, they made a couple turnovers trying to get the ball down low when now Brown was there to cover it. But then Miami did what they are capable of doing, which is making a lot of deep, difficult 3 point shots. So in this case whether we hedged on the threes or didn't, it was damned if you do and dammed if you dont. Credit to Miami. I dont think there was anything wrong with the strategy on our end. Sometimes when you stop a team from making 3s early they get into a funk and have an off game. This didn't work with Miami, but was worth a shot.

What SU did do was stop them from getting any easy transition baskets (except one highlight worthy Cleveland dunk, which he never should have gotten in position to do).

I was really happy with SU's defense in the second half. We helped less, cut them off from scoring outside, and our perimeter guys needed to stay in front of some really difficult players to cover one on one, and mostly did very well. Miami made a lot of tough shots anyway. Most teams wont be able to do that.

On the other side of the ball, Miami isn't a great defensive team, they tried to clog the lane (as every team tries to do against us), but they did it as a team effort and gave up a lot of open 3s. You can look at the box score and say SU made twelve 3's and shot 38% from behind the line, which is fantastic even for a good shooting team, and we made just enough to win, but Syracuse left a lot of points out there by missing wide open 3s. Taylor was the biggest (but not only) culprit here. In general I think he gets too much hate on this board. He rebounds and defends, and stretches the floor, which are all things we need. But in this game he didn't stretch the floor. You only stretch the floor if your defender won't leave you to help against penetration. Miami was willing to leave him open, an he missed all four of the 3s he took. I dont mind Taylor not shooting or scoring much. Its not his job to be the guy that opposing teams can't shut down even if they try. But if they are going to leave him open he has to hit shots. Our power forward position is a problem. We've really only got two guys capable of playing it, Taylor and Williams and both have major problems. There are times we can get away with Copeland and Bell as the two forwards, but there are times we can't, and when we can't we need one of those two guys to give us more than they currently are.

That's the bad news. The good news is the other four positions are looking pretty good right now.

Brown - I think a lot of fans still consider him a power forward, because he's not the kind of center we would have wanted in Boeheim's system. But when you look at him last year at PF and this year at Center, its really hard to argue that he's not in his best position. He needs to improve a bit on the boards, and I'd like to see him block a few more shots, but Im pretty sure he will get there, and I think overall we have one of the best centers in the league.

Bell - I got frustrated with him because he missed a couple open 3's against Miami. But he hit a couple tough 3's too, and by the end of the game was 4-10 from behind the line, exactly where you'd want him to be. Most guys shoot a lot better when they are open. Bell's shot seems to either go in or not for reasons other than that. It can be frustrating to me but his percentage and number of 3's made is going to rank really high on the all time single season list by time this year is over.

Starling hit the same number of 3s against Miami that GMac did against Kansas in the national title game, and it wasn't even the most impressive thing about his game in my opinion. To me the most impressive thing about his game was his aggressiveness. He grew into this game, and by the end was imposing his will. He was the queen on the chess board moving anyplace he wanted to get the shots he wanted. We have seen games where Starling shot well. We haven't seen anything like that. When we signed Starling I thought he could be a guy who lead the ACC in scoring, this was the first game where he showed that kind of skill and aggression. Its hard for me to imagine he will ever go back to where he was before. He won't always hit 6 threes, he will have off shooting days. There will be better match ups, and worse match ups for him, as there is for everybody, but I hope we never see the passive afraid to shoot Starling from the early season again, and I dont think we will.

Judah = Scoop Jardine? Scoop is the only point guard in SU history to play on two 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. This isnt an accident. He was maybe the best Ive ever seen at getting the right guy the ball in the right place. If Andy Rautins was hot from 3, Scoop was going to find him. If Wes Johnson had a mismatch down low, Scoop was going to find him, etc. But in the year between those two 1 seeds, Syracuse struggled offensively. In this year Scoop took a lot of the offense on his own back, because he had to, because nobody else wanted it. It didn't always look pretty. People blamed Scoop, but he was doing the best with what he had. Is that Judah this year? Early on we struggled to score. Brown was hurt, maybe Starling was too. We were still figuring things out. Judah took a lot of the offense on himself, maybe because he felt had to. In the last two games, Judah has become more of a facilitator. It might just be because other players are stepping up and showing they are capable of scoring. The timing is also right. I compare Judah to Flynn often. They are both point guards who came in and put up fantastic numbers from day one, but I never felt Flynn really learned how to run an offense until about January of his sophomore year. That's when he grew from being a great basketball player into a great point guard. This is about that time for Judah. This might be his coming out party. We do need a couple more of his shots to fall, and they will, add that to the game he just have, and you are talking about a scary good performance.

Copeland = GMac? Part of the legend of Gerry McNamara, isn't just that he hit a bunch of game winning shots. Its that he could be having a terrible game and he would STILL hit the game winner when needed. Copeland started this game 0-7. The one shot he hit before the game winner was a lay up off an amazing find by Judah, hardly a confidence booster when it comes to hitting a 3 with a guy in your face. But on that last play of the game, Miami played perfect D in my opinion. I discussed above how on many occasions Syracuse played great D and Miami made shots anyway, well, on this possession it was reversed. If you go back and look at the highlight, you'll see that Copeland comes inside the 3 point line, into Judah's line of sight and waves for the ball, and only retreats to the 3 point line after the pass is made. If he doesn't do that, there is no way Judah would have seen him to make that pass. Most guys who are 0-7 dont do that. Most guys who are 0-7 and shooting 25% from 3 for the year dont want that shot. Copeland wanted that shot. It was not an easy shot. Copeland still made it. Im even more impressed that he wanted it and did what he had to do to get it.
Your comment about Copeland "wanting the shot" reminded me of Matt Damon's version of Sonny Vaccaro in the movie Air... He wanted Jordan in large part because he wanted the shot, even in the biggest of moments. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Nobody thinks Copeland is Jordan, that would be a crazy comparison... But Copeland wants the shot, and, this time, made it.

Exciting times in Syracuse sports
 
Dennis Duval is still my favorite player. He was even great in the warm-ups.

Maybe we could bring that back with Mintz and Copeland. I remember when Vaughn Harper used to do a warm-up routine.
 
After watching the stark difference between Syracuse vs Duke/UNC and Syracuse vs everyone else in the ACC I came to the conclusion that even though they have a bunch of athletes, Syracuse doesn't play very well at a fast pace. I want to make a distinction here. Syracuse is pretty good scoring in transition after a steal or block when they have numbers. What they aren't good at is trying to get down the court and putting up a fast shot (playing 5 on 5) before the defense is ready for it. And defensively they struggle against teams that are good at doing that to them.

There are a number of reasons for this. For one, all of Syracuse's shooters (other than Bell) have a slow release. Two, Nobody on Syracuse is good at shooting on the move, we are a team that needs our feet planted when we shoot. Three, Judah has what I call a slow metronome. Ive always been of the opinion that each PG has a kind of natural speed they are most comfortable at. This has less to do with how fast they are, I think, and more to do with how fast they process information, or maybe how much information they are trying to process as opposed to just improvising on the fly. Judah's metronome is on the slower side. You can compare him to JJ when he plays point, who moves a lot quicker.

On Defense they stink when they get sped up too, and Im not really sure what the reason for this is, partly its probably because they dont have a lot of rim protectors, but I think mostly its just that they aren't well schooled on it. We have a first time coach trying to install a totally new system to a group of players who have never played this way before. I'd imagine little things like transition D have to take a back seat to more important bigger concepts.
This all seems relevant after watching how FSU beat Cuse last night.
 

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