Re-assessing Our Team Near the Midpoint | Syracusefan.com

Re-assessing Our Team Near the Midpoint

pokercuse08

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We're approaching the midpoint of the season, both on the schedule and on the calendar. But more importantly, I think we've gotten a good sample now to re-evaluate. They've played some top teams on neutral courts, some decent teams on the road, at home, and neutral, and a peer-level ACC team at home. I have two big takeaways. The first is that we are, indeed, a tournament caliber team. At this point I will be very disappointed if they miss the dance.

The second is that we're getting better as the season goes on, which bodes well for our chances for a tournament run. We may sneak in as like a 10-seed based on our resume, but we could be playing more like a 5-seed by the end of the year if this continues. I think a Sweet 16 run and finishing the season ranked is more and more within the realm of possibility.

Early in the season, there was a lot of panic and in the Rationalization Thread, I pointed out the critical games to get to 19 regular season wins and be on the bubble.

3. If you look at the full schedule, there are a handful of games that will determine whether we get into the dance or not, assuming we're a bubble team. Obviously if we go win a couple games in Maui and turn into a Top 5ish ACC team, that's great and we aren't a bubble team. But assuming we are about what people think we are - a fringe tourney team - then we probably go win one game in Maui and don't knock off LSU, and to get to 19 regular season wins we need 6 of 10 in the winnable but not easy games: Colgate, @Oregon, Pitt x2, @Wake, FSU, NC State x2, Clemson x2.

It was going to be tough to pull off 6 of 9 if we lost to the mid-major at home and had 5 of 9 remaining on the road. Now we can win the home games and steal one of the road games (I guess technically Oregon is neutral), and we should be at a pretty impressive 19-11.

Hopefully the team keeps getting better, pulls a big upset or two along the way, and gets to 20+ wins... But on paper, IMO this was about as close to a "must-win" as you can get in Game #3.

We obviously got the dub against LSU, which means we need 6 of the 10 winnable games to get to 20 regular season wins. We've now played three of the winnable but not easy games (Colgate, vs Oregon, Pitt) and won all three. That means we need 3 of the remaining 7 to get to 20 regular season wins: @ Pitt, FSU, NC State x2, @Wake, Clemson x2. I like that the Clemson games are towards the end, since they're the toughest of the category and we should be getting better and better by then. We can now just win the home games and we're good to go!

I'm also encouraged by how we looked in some of these games, beating LSU by 23, Oregon by 20, Georgetown by 12, and Pitt by 8. Assuming we don't pull the upset @Duke or @UNC (but hopefully we do!), that game at Pitt on the 16th is one I'm circling to see how much upside we really have. They'll have six days of rest before a home game and it's a tough place to play. We'll play twice in those six days, including @ UNC on the 13th. That sets up to be pretty tough. If we can pull that one off, it'll say a lot imo.

I now think we get to 20, maybe 21 wins in the regular season, which should be 10 or 11 wins in conference if my math is right. Hopefully we cap that off with an ACCT win or two, and a Sweet 16 run that sends a message that Syracuse basketball is back and on the rise.
 
We have some flaws. They were not exposed today. Our half court game needs to dramatically improve before we start talking about tourney.
 
We have some flaws. They were not exposed today. Our half court game needs to dramatically improve before we start talking about tourney.
Well, the tourney is about resume, not about in game execution. Our resume puts us in contention for the tournament. That's definitely the goal. It can be talked about even if our half court game sucks.
 
Well, the tourney is about resume, not about in game execution. Our resume puts us in contention for the tournament. That's definitely the goal. It can be talked about even if our half court game sucks.
The only good thing about our resume at the moment is the lack of bad losses. No Q1 wins, need some of those in order to talk about tourney aspirations.
 
We have some flaws. They were not exposed today. Our half court game needs to dramatically improve before we start talking about tourney.
Pitt was the best defensive team in the ACC going into this game and Syracuse scored 81 points against them while shooting 47% from thr field. Maybe they are better on O than you think?
 
I think some times the board gets caught up on half court offense = open 3s.

the hi-lo offense against the zone resulted in a maliq layup and a Benny dunk.

the main offensive play of the game was Judah taking his man and lobbing to Benny for a dunk. That was half court offense.

agreed that we need to start creating better looks for our shooters, but I think the half court offense is not as bad as some make it.
 
We have some flaws. They were not exposed today. Our half court game needs to dramatically improve before we start talking about tourney.
I think our half-court offense has been improving over the course of the season quite significantly, and if this trajectory continues (no guarantee it does but plenty of reason to think it will), I'm pretty excited to see where we're at in another 4-6 weeks.

No Q1 wins, need some of those in order to talk about tourney aspirations.

Oregon could end up Q1, they're 69th in NET right now but 49th in KenPom. Hopefully in this case it's predictive, because if they end up top 50 that's a Q1 win for us on a neutral floor.

We will have plenty of opportunities, though. @Duke, @UNC, @Pitt, currently @ BC would be one but we'll see if that holds up, Clemson, UNC, @ NC State, @ Clemson.

I'm somewhat optimistic the Oregon game becomes a Q1 win, and there's a decent chance @BC or @Wake becomes one. Hopefully we can win one of @Pitt @NC State. That would get us to 3-6 vs Q1. Hopefully we can pull a bigger upset and get one of the games against Duke/UNC/Clemson and really solidify the Q1 wins.
 
I think our half-court offense has been improving over the course of the season quite significantly, and if this trajectory continues (no guarantee it does but plenty of reason to think it will), I'm pretty excited to see where we're at in another 4-6 weeks.



Oregon could end up Q1, they're 69th in NET right now but 49th in KenPom. Hopefully in this case it's predictive, because if they end up top 50 that's a Q1 win for us on a neutral floor.

We will have plenty of opportunities, though. @Duke, @UNC, @Pitt, currently @ BC would be one but we'll see if that holds up, Clemson, UNC, @ NC State, @ Clemson.

I'm somewhat optimistic the Oregon game becomes a Q1 win, and there's a decent chance @BC or @Wake becomes one. Hopefully we can win one of @Pitt @NC State. That would get us to 3-6 vs Q1. Hopefully we can pull a bigger upset and get one of the games against Duke/UNC/Clemson and really solidify the Q1 wins.
Might be tough for the Oregon game to end up as a Q1 game due to their injury situation.
 
Right now we're out of the tournament but we have the opportunity to win our way in starting against Duke. Unfortunately the ACC looks weak this year and will probably get only 3-5 teams in.
 
The only good thing about our resume at the moment is the lack of bad losses. No Q1 wins, need some of those in order to talk about tourney aspirations.
Sure.

That's a different topic from half court execution though.
 
Pitt was the best defensive team in the ACC going into this game and Syracuse scored 81 points against them while shooting 47% from thr field. Maybe they are better on O than you think?
i hope it is. as soon as someone deliberately slows us down and we handle it better than we did against Virginia, I’ll be a bigger believer.
 
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i hope it is. as soon as someone deliberately slows us down and we handle it better than we did against Virginia, I’ll be a bigger believer.
Hoping they work on Mintz driving and passing to either bell or Taylor. It’s clear after the first two acc games the refs are not going to give Mintz the foul calls when he drives. He is going to need to adjust.
 
Hoping they work on Mintz driving and passing to either bell or Taylor. It’s clear after the first two acc games the refs are not going to give Mintz the foul calls when he drives. He is going to need to adjust.
Bingo. This was a home game and he didn’t get the calls…..there is no way in the universe he goes to the line 11-13 times @ a Duke or UNC. Against Quad 4 teams sure, but not the rest of this season.
 
Hoping they work on Mintz driving and passing to either bell or Taylor. It’s clear after the first two acc games the refs are not going to give Mintz the foul calls when he drives. He is going to need to adjust

pass to Bell or Taylor?
 
Pitt was the best defensive team in the ACC going into this game and Syracuse scored 81 points against them while shooting 47% from thr field. Maybe they are better on O than you think?
Their sos was terrible
 
Our outside shooting needs to improve. A return of Westry could help that. If teams play zone against us, we are going to need Bell and Taylor to start hitting more shots.

And our rebounding could use a lift. We fall asleep for long stretches on the glass. These two areas are going to get exposed in conference play. We may get to 20 wins but that’s not an automatic tourney berth like it was years ago.
 
Pitt was the best defensive team in the ACC going into this game and Syracuse scored 81 points against them while shooting 47% from thr field. Maybe they are better on O than you think?
Pitt was 40% (10/25) from 3, while SU survived being 3-17.
FT stat was huge: Pitt 11-24(!) while SU 24-30.
 
Bell and Taylor are starters because they are shooters who should be getting open looks with our 2 guards being penetrators. Before considering pulling them from the starting lineup for lack of production, Coach needs to get on our guards about them not driving and kicking out. I would be down on Bell and Taylor if the guards did their jobs and shots weren't falling at a respectable clip.
 
Our outside shooting needs to improve. A return of Westry could help that. If teams play zone against us, we are going to need Bell and Taylor to start hitting more shots.

And our rebounding could use a lift. We fall asleep for long stretches on the glass. These two areas are going to get exposed in conference play. We may get to 20 wins but that’s not an automatic tourney berth like it was years ago.
Westry isn’t coming back this year, unfortunately.
We’ve GOT to cut down on the turnovers by our “star guards”.
We can weather foul trouble - maybe - but the stupid TO’s will kill us.
 
Our outside shooting needs to improve. A return of Westry could help that. If teams play zone against us, we are going to need Bell and Taylor to start hitting more shots.

And our rebounding could use a lift. We fall asleep for long stretches on the glass. These two areas are going to get exposed in conference play. We may get to 20 wins but that’s not an automatic tourney berth like it was years ago.

Westry ain’t gonna “return” -
He hasn’t even been here.
Red said he’s not really even practicing yet.
Here’s hoping he’s 100% for next season.

Also: wish-casting on Westry’s “outside shooting” is based on facts not in evidence.

We OUT-REBOUNDED PITT.

Yes, they were crushing us on the glass early, but the end result was -
We got more boards than they did.
 

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