My Take | Syracusefan.com

My Take

sutomcat

No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
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Board matriarch and good deed doer cto hooked my wife and I up with her courtside seats for the game last night. Greatly appreciated, many thanks to her.

Don't have time for all the things that could be discussed with such an interesting game but I will try and touch on a few things. Note that I haven't read any posts on the game so far so if I repeat stuff, it is because of this.

Surprised anyone is making a big deal about the goaltending call at the end of the game. I haven't seen a replay so I have no opinion. Maliq got the rebound and scored. Moot point. The only thing the call did was stop him from getting 10 rebounds. Would have been cool for him to get a double double (he had 11 points but maybe should have had 13), plus 5 assists, 5 steals and 6 blocks. Also played 38 minutes. Remarkable effort by the big Virginian.

This was the first time we have played extended minutes in the 2-3 all season. I would guess we played over half the game with the zone. It was not good at all but was maybe slightly more effective than our man, which was particularly atrocious. We got killed on the boards (40 to 21) but I think our crappiness rebounding was exacerbated by switching to zone. UL actually missed quite a few shots in the second half but just destroyed us on the offensive boards.

The zone is designed to stop penetration but our zone let UL players get into the paint seemingly whenever they wanted. I kept hoping we would pack it in more but we stayed with an extended zone and paid a dear price for it. Not good.

Fortunately, UL was as bad as we were on defense. Possibly even worse. So many possessions for both teams where a player slashed to the basket and either scored unchallenged or dished to someone for a layup.

I am sure people are demanding Justin Taylor play less and to a degree I agree. He contributes nothing on offense and isn't great on defense either. And he really struggles to get rebounds as well. That said, we had matchup problems on defense and at this point, Justin is only only forward who is even somewhat strong and able to deal with a big strong guy trying to post up. I think he was in for that and because he provides help on defense when a teammate is beat better than any of the other forwards.

I saw a short chubby guy come in for UL and was like, what the hell is this? Is he a walk on? Then I heard his name (Zan Payne) and knew he had to be the coaches son. He only played one minute and got a -3 for his efforts. Yikes.

I think we were involved with Ty-Laur Johnson, the little PG out of NYC. Interesting player. Very quick, really did a good job in the first half of getting into the paint and setting people up with open looks. But Judah got him in foul trouble and SU started to run plays for Judah to post him up and he was out quickly. He has been playing well filling in for Skyy Clark, who has been injured (and who was not supposed to play last night). I believe Ty-Laur is also the guy that refused to play because he didn't have his leggings one game. Listed at 6'0, 160 pounds, which seems generous, he would be a liability for us on defense. Glad we didn't get him.

Thought Skyy was UL's best player and really gave them a lift when he was in. Strong, tough guy. Probably their best defender.

A guy we recruited that I wish we got is Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. 6'10, 240, strong enough to body people down low and score and also apparently a fine outside shooter. We could really use him on Saturday.

TV Teddy was joking around with us and while I have always thought he was a egotistical prima donna, maybe he is okay. I said maybe.

Props to Judah for playing so many minutes when it appeared he was not feeling well. My wife told me immediately that there was something wrong with him and quickly decided it was a bad headache. And he seemed to grab his head with both hands a number of times...so maybe she was right. I said maybe.

When he came out in the second half and stayed out for an extended period, and we were forced to make due with a lineup that included Pete Carey and Justin Taylor, things were looking bleak, Props to Q for stepping up and being very assertive during this time. We lost our lead but he kept us in the game. And we played a lot better once Judah returned. He was a big reason UL had two guys foul out and had Clark with 4 late.

Yes, he made a couple bone headed plays late and yes, he had had a tendency to do that. But he was also the guy who get the ball inbounded super fast in the last seconds, which as Mike Waters reported, was key in getting Q that basket that ended up winning the game. And his defense down the stretch was good, which is saying something for any SU player on this day.

My favorite player is Q and that continues. He can drive you crazy with a foolish turnover sometimes but he has a way of making big plays, be it a steal, a tough rebound, providing solid help on defense, making the crowd go wild on a fast break fake pass keep it myself finish, or providing his trademark assortment of dimes distributed all over the court. He looks out for everyone but seems to really has a nice chemistry with Maliq the Conqueror. By and large the half court offense doesn't work when Q is out and does when he is in.

JJ made a couple of huge plays late, getting fouled on a 3 point shot and making all 3 FTs and actually making the perfect pass to Q for the game winner. He also had a bone headed turnover late but it is good to see him making some clutch plays down the stretch.

Speaking of clutch, let's talk about Chris Bell. We have won a lot of close games this year. Not sure we have lost any. A big reason why is the skinny kid from Cali. He has made it a habit of making 3s down the stretch of big games all season. I think it started with Colgate but I think he has been one late in just about every close game we have had. And sometimes MORE than one. He even chipped in with a great hustle block at a key moment last night. And most amazing of all, I believe he set a career high in rebounds with 6. Not sure he will ever be a great rebounder but it was good to see him get some big boards last night. And he even chipped in with some drive finishes and a jumper off the dribble. The kid had himself a game.

A ball got loose and came right to me. I grabbed it and looked around for someone to pass it to but no one tried to get open so I held it and waited. Finally TV Teddy walked over and I hit him with a bounce pass. He said thanks. A guy behind me told me to shoot it but I am not a hooligan. My wife says if it came to her, she would have shot it. I don't believe her.
 
Thanks Tomcat, a voice of reason in a sea of criticis. Had no idea JM wasn’t feeling well.
Thank you.

He may have been fine. This is all based on my wife saying he had a bad headache.

All I know is, she always knows when I am not feeling well and when I have a headache. There seems to be some substance to her abilities here.

I was kind of hoping someone would respond to this post and say 'I just saw an interview with Judah where he admitted he had a bad headache and almost didn't come back in because of it'.

That would give my wife a big head and maybe spur some scientist to do a study on this.
 
Good review and thanks for pointing out that Judah may have been ill. I couldn't understand several of his decisions in the second half. Has Q ever used his left hand to finish a drive? I know he will drive left, but have only seen him shoot with his right.
 
also havent noticed this said... but i like seth greenburg a lot... but it was wild that he had NO IDEA the score on the copeland goaltend.

that would be an ultimate brain fart if a player did that. he actually said copeland should have kept running in a circle under the basket and could have run the clock out.

kinda bonehead like this.

 
Thanks once again Tom. One time, I also caught a ball when sitting in seat 10. If it was a baseball game, I could have kept it.
 
If they didn't call the goal tend, Maliq would have been 5 for 5 to go along with at least five in every positive category.
 
If they didn't call the goal tend, Maliq would have been 5 for 5 to go along with at least five in every positive category.
And would have gotten to 10 rebounds.

Still a heck of an effort by him.
 

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