State of the Union | Syracusefan.com

State of the Union

BBQuse

Walk On
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Aug 22, 2011
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Let me preface this by saying I am not at all pleased with where we are as a program right now. I grew up as a fan in the late 80's and early 90's. When I think of where we should be, that's always been my benchmark.

That being said, the over the top negative outlook that seems to be the dominant view right now needs to be looked at with some level headedness. It's clearly too early to judge Coach Autry at this point, but from my perspective, things are not nearly as bad as people are making things out to be.

1. I'm going to discount the crazy "that was the last game we are winning this year" crowd. Assuming we just win the three remaining games against teams with losing records, we will end with a better record than we have had since the 21/22 season. And, anything's possible, but I personally think we will win at least a few more than that and could get ourselves back onto the bubble if we can pull an upset or two.

2. The blow-outs have been disheartening and are in excusable, but we have also been winning every single close game. That's a huge change from the past two years. Last night's game was maddening (free throws, rebounding woes, lack of defense), but was also really entertaining. The last two years were not entertaining.

3. The team has accomplished this after losing 2 of the 3 portal guys that were meant to be a huge piece of this team. And our team is really, really young.

4. JJ, after a slow start, has looked a lot better over the last stretch. His defense isn't amazing to be sure, but he is playing with more confidence and with a seemingly great attitude.

5. Q makes some boneheaded plays, but is so fun to watch. I am looking forward to seeing him grow. He reminds me of Lazarus.

6. Maliq has such a high upside. If he can develop his offense a little, he will really be a force. Especially if we can find a serviceable center.

Bottom line is that I'm invested in this team and have enjoyed watching them (other than the few blow outs) more than I have any team in a few years. Maybe I'm just wearing my orange colored glasses, but I see incremental improvement over the past few years (despite real obstacles). I am sure there will be (needed?) turnover this offseason, but if we can keep Q, JJ and Maliq and find a decent center in the portal, with the freshman we have coming in, I think we will be able to keep the upward momentum. And if the light switch goes on for Bell and he becomes a complete player, all the better. In the meantime, I'm going to keep watching, keep cheering and I'm just going to enjoy the ride.
 

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