The Day After Thoughts - Houston (Desko) we have a problem

JeremyCuse

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Wanted to give myself 24 hours before posting after the game to make sure the H0T Takes stayed within reason. That didn't work out with the bball team getting obliterated tonight. Rough year for SU sports so far. Anyway, First off credit to Army, I didn't think they were barren at O after Nichtern but I saw a very efficient and patient offense that didn't panic when they got down early and they did an excellent job of setting picks and forcing switches that they abused SU on. They also went with a 2 man or big/little game at times which SU has struggled to defend since the beginning of time and true to form we struggled.

Going to get into some thoughts on the biggest issues here and some of these takes are not going to be overly positive so if your not into that probably best to hit the back button and move on.

Offense - Watching back some of the game, I am not as concerned as I was initially. As I think Powellfan astutely pointed out, SU had a bunch of good looks in the 2nd half but simply couldn't finish or had abysmal shot placement. At least 3 times SU had point blank looks and instead of a shot fake or trying to shoot hard and low we shot into Schlupers chest or cross. Cook and Buttermores were especially egregious. Trimbo had an off game but Schluper made a ridiculous low save on a wide open look he had and Trimbo never seemed to get into the flow of the game unlike last year (only had 4 shots total). Trimbo is not a great dodger but much like Scanlan he's likely to see a short stick much of the year, he HAS to be better then he was yesterday and some of that is the attack or an invert drawing a slide.

Speaking of drawing slides I think its beyond clear that the attack unit needs an overhaul and it needs it now. I can't sit through another season of watching an All-American mid field try to do it all because 2/3rds of the attack unit is MIA for half the season. There is no bigger Cook fan then me, I was super high on him coming in but at this point it's clear to everyone save for his parents that this isn't working. He isn't dodging, he's little no shooting threat and he has to have the worst crease shot shooting % in SU history, its absurd how often he gets stoned on the doorstep. He makes Derek Maltz look like Mike Powell. It's not just him though, since Dylan and Staats graduated SU has had this bizarre issue of finishing in close. Rehfuss has struggled there mightily as well and Scanlan had at least 1 if not 2 pt blank shots at well that were badly placed. Half of those shots go in yesterday, there's no telling how the game ends. So where do we go from here? You don't have to be Quint K to know that Hiltz needs to be starting at attack right now. It's obvious to everyone apparently but our staff. The staff has developed a bad habit of slow playing at least one player change every year for some reason. Whether it was waiting to start Trimbo his frosh year after it was painfully obvious the mid line needed help, waiting multiple games for Phaup to overtake Varello as the #1 Fogo, Staats for Maltz, Buttermore not seeing the field until the Colgate game his frosh year etc etc etc. I don't know what the ultimate goal is or was but Hiltz should be starting at attack on Sat, period. Also Desko mentioned Ferris several times in this off-season, let's get him a run or two and see what he can do. Rehfuss played fairly well but Scanlan was a mess after that initial nice doge/goal and finished with 3 turnovers which is really bad for a non ball handling attackmen (in retrospect that initial goal probably hurt more then it helped over the course of the game). When you have young attackmen who can make an impact give them a run. No one is abdicating Scanlan or Rehfuss be benched at this point but when there not making an impact lets use that 50+ man roster for a change.

From a midfied perspective the first line will be fine. Dordevic looked outstanding and hit I think 3 pipes in the second half so he easily could have had 6+ goals. Was a little surprised we didn't invert Curry more, he did a lot of that last year agaisnt Army in the 2nd half and they struggled to stop it. He also had a nice wing dodge for a goal but then never tried it again that I recall. Trimbo just has to figure out his best role when dealing with a shortly on a double poll, again I am not worried but them at all. From a 2nd line perspective, I can't see the current trio working long term. Outside of Buttermore it looked like last year all over again. Quinn had his usual ghastly turnover and made zero impact. Seebold missed a pass he should have had for a great look and had zero stats and looked lost. Even Buttermore had a terrible turnover. Much like the attack unit, there are tons of middies on the roster, lets see a few. Quinn has become a practice legend apparently but it has never translated on the field save for 1 game last year. I don't care if its Fiorini, Magnan, Rosa, Birtwistle once healthy, one of the frosh etc, just give me some new blood and let's see if we can catch lightning in a bottle. I would also really like to see Buttermore get some runs with the 1s when teams are double polling, I know that means taking out Trimbo but lets see Buttermore with a shortly unleash that cannon.

Defensively there are so many issues its hard to know where to start. SU tried to press out and play pressure to simulate Virginia but thats not SU's style and Army started breaking it easily and it led to them erasing the 6-1 defecit. The biggest issue for me is that is that outside of Mellen (who essentially didn't play last year and the starting LSM duo (Helmer/Fernandez) this Defense brought back everyone and added solid depth pieces in Horan, Hapney(the older) and Wykoff and we looked absolutely awful. Wykoff was hurt but man that was a brutal performance. Mis-timed and needless slides have been issue for awhile now going back at least 6+ years (see the JHU Game in teh NCAA tourney), so I don't expect there is a magic bullet cure here. Wykoff seems destined for big minutes once he is healthy which is hopefully this week, we need him. Also not going to panic about not getting much from Horan and Hapney in their first game with SU but I would be lying if if I wasn't hoping to see a little more then we got especially after I believe Horan came in after Murphy got hurt and was immediately picked on for 2 goals. From watching the game it appeared the breakdowns were everywhere. Barlow and Clary struggled at LSM and were non factors as far as GB and transition, the SSDM's who I feel are a strength struggled 1 on 1 and even Dearth was beat for a wrap around goal and has already been mentioned our slide packages and communications were a complete mess. Not sure there are any easy answers unfortunately.

I know a lot of people want Kennedy moved back to LSM but with these ACC teams its just not feasible. Asking Dipetro and Muphy to try and guard Sowers, Moore, Gray etc is a recipe for disaster. Kennedy has to stay at close and we need to work harder to fight off these picks and work to keep Kennedy on his man as much as possible. When he was matched up 1 on 1 Nichtern was shut down for the most part, as soon as he got picked free and SU switched, all hell broke loose. As I noted I think Wykoff can help us and I am hopeful he can play vs UVA. I think the SSDM will be better, but LSM may need some new blood. I know the staff liked Drago, I think we may need to give him some run sooner rather then later. Clary looked overwhelmed and was zero factor on the wings. Page played some but I don't recall how he did. I am also hopeful that Horan and Hapney will come along the more we get into the season. Essentially the unit just needs to play a LOT better, as there are no wholesale changes and SU has never been a zone defensive team. Hoping for a much better performance across the board including Porter who while left out to dry looked average on Sunday. I didn't see any of the "wow" type of saves were accustomed to seeing from him, Schluper was much better especially in the 2nd half.

From a FOGO standpoint I though Phaup was good but as others pointed out he seemed to fade as the game went on. He took a lot of draws and did appear to wear down a bit. I fear Varello only got 3 draws because the new rules have really hurt him as he's not really a physical fogo or a speed guy. I feel for him as he really came on during the shortened season last year and looked like the 2019 version on Sunday. I hope the staff is getting Savage or the other two FOGO's some draws as were likely to need them, Savage has earned praise and should be given a shot.

Big game Sat, not expecting a win as UVA is LOADED offensively and while not a great team defensively, Connors, Saustad and others will be a problem. Hoping Sunday was a blip due to lack of practice time and scrimmages but with so many veteran players and all the hype its hard to script a worse start.
 
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ivorytower

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Jeremy, I read your comments right after finishing a rewatch at 2 am and agree with most everything you said.

Carcetera made two good points at halftime about 1) junking the press ride as Army broke it with ease resulting in mf transition that created many breakdowns. Bothersome how Army was getting to open field so easily. Maybe best to rush back to "prevent" as he suggested until we improve in that facet . His 2nd pt was about our shooters altering shot levels. That was also spot on.
 

SkyTopBus44

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I am impressed you were able to watch that game again! I could barely watch the first time. Like your assessment and agree with all of it.

One missing element was goalie play. Drake Porter did not look good when I was watching it live. I was incredibly disappointed. I didn’t watch again and wonder if that was an overreaction. It felt like he let in some soft goals.
 

SkyTopBus44

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I am impressed you were able to watch that game again! I could barely watch the first time. Like your assessment and agree with all of it.

One missing element was goalie play. Drake Porter did not look good when I was watching it live. I was incredibly disappointed. I didn’t watch again and wonder if that was an overreaction. It felt like he let in some soft goals.
I saw you said average play...my Bad:)
 

orange79

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Jeremy, I read your comments right after finishing a rewatch at 2 am and agree with most everything you said.

Carcetera made two good points at halftime about 1) junking the press ride as Army broke it with ease resulting in mf transition that created many breakdowns. Bothersome how Army was getting to open field so easily. Maybe best to rush back to "prevent" as he suggested until we improve in that facet . His 2nd pt was about our shooters altering shot levels. That was also spot on.
It seems as if we talk about this every year.
 

JeremyCuse

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It seems as if we talk about this every year.

It seems that way because unfortunately we do have an issue with it every year. It's gotten a little better then it was when it was rampant for a few years in the early 2010's but it was a massive problem Sunday. SU shooters sometimes get stuck in the game plan and struggle to come off of it ( see Desko's point about people continuing to shoot low). We also really struggled to pick corners and didn't really off stick mid which if were being honest is a tough shot to make. Scanlan had a bouncer early and I don't recall seeing another one the rest of the game. Dordevic appeared to try and pick a few corners in the 2nd but got the pipe 3 times. When your playing a guy like Schluper you have to vary shot angles and placements, once you let him get locked in you have to change it up. We also do a terrible job on doorstep/crease looks, which is also an ongoing issue every year.
 

Laxatively

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I think it is misleading to suggest Schupler played well after the 1st quarter. With our shooting, we made him look better.
 

ivorytower

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Press ride __-Must admit that I was flat wrong on our ability to all out press like UVA .Just wrong. Thought we had the atheletes n scheme to pull it off but now believe that belief was influenced by what I saw last year against weaker ball handling back units such as Colgate where our press was very disruptive. After watching Army struggle in clearing vs UVA it was right for staff to have press ride as part of game plan but Army prepared and made adjustments anticipating such and they executed to a T and made us pay. beating us in the transition game led to a few quick strikes by Army . On changes in possessions agaisnt good clearing teams may be best right now until more work put in to just have to quickly retreat and more or less concede a paused clear so dm's and lsm can get on get your dm's and lsm and settle. Opine that Clary looked ok to me defensively and two subs used are not on par and that LC should remain in rotation somewhere

Daily Orange as always with a good analysis.
 

Bigtime

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I think this loss makes is a real contender. Like duke in the past early loss to a good team bring focus and make team play a team game. Midfield played selfish trying to prove there the best in the country. Looked like they where about there numbers. Vs Virginia they play a team game and we will win in a dominant fashion. In all aspects of the game. Attack steps up game and cook gets benched. Have some faith no scrimmages 2 1/2 weeks of practice what did u expect Army is a force and Syracuse will be on there A game for Virginia
 

DoctahLexus

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Well said as always Jeremy. Maybe only a couple areas where I would disagree slightly. I think by any measure Trimboli is a "great dodger." He may not be quite as fast or explosive as Dordevic and Curry, but he has plenty of shake, an arsenal of moves, both hands, and has scored on both short sticks and long poles every year. If teams are double poling Curry and Dordevic then I still like Trimboli as the third option to go against the shorty, rather than throwing Buttermore in there. He looked like our best all around middie last year and a frustrating day on Sunday does not change that status.

Only other thing I would push back on is that Scanlan is more than just a "non-ball handling" attack. He was doing an effective job on the shorty matchup in the first half. Got by #52 and scored on the first one. Next possession he drew a slide and passed it to Rehfuss but it handcuffed him and he couldn't handle it (partially Scanlan's fault but usually I expect Rehfuss to handle that). Drew a slide again on the next possession and passed it in to a wide open cook who stupidly tried to go behind the back and lost the ball to a check in the process. When he dodged on #52 again in the second quarter he got him with a swim move him and drew the flag for a push in the back, followed by us scoring on man up. After that they had a pole on him on and off and we looked elsewhere for our dodges. Got by a shorty again later in the game, but Shupler made the save low. He had two nice assists on man up and against the zone. Basically he did quite a bit of ball handling.

Ultimately it turned into a rough day at the office for him as a shooter and he looked discouraged and lethargic by the end (similar to Porter), but it is important to not judge him on Sunday alone. He is only second to Rehfuss (when he is on) as the best passer on the team and has what it takes as a dodger. Also Sunday was the only day he looked more like Griffin Cook offball than a Donahue or Staats. Every other game I have seen from him he does well finishing in tight areas and he has an excellent shooting percentage. I am willing to see a new face instead of Cook due to his complete lack of finishing ability, but I still expect great things from Scanlan both off ball and off the dodge. 58 points as a freshman and he was on track for more last year.
 

Powellfan

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Echoing Jeremy here, great article. The quote below sums up everything perfectly -

"The reason Syracuse struggled defensively so much on Sunday was because of the constant movement Army players made. They didn’t rely on individual mismatches to score, instead using mismatches as distractions to run other plays and open up shooters.

That’s why Army’s base set was so effective. Syracuse immediately worried about its short-stick defender getting beat and committed to early slides. That helped the Black Knights create confusion, and the Orange didn’t seem to have the communication needed to make the switches and early slides work."


The SU defense has been doing this for years. I really hope things get figured out quickly. Jeremy did a wonderful job of laying out all the issues in his first post in this thread. But I think the focus on shuffling in new players isn't going to solve all the problems. Certainly some changes need to happen (Hiltz), but the lack of communication and the statuesque movement on defense was a team-wide problem on Sunday.

There are lots of excuses to draw from, some of them certainly legit, but I think a lot of the problems from the Army game stemmed from coaching. If its just one guy getting continually beat each play, yes that is a personnel issue. But the entire team looked "off", to me, almost hungover with their sloppiness. I am certainly not calling for Desko to be fired, but the staff needs to get creative here - they are weeks behind most of their opponents and they aren't suddenly going to gain that back (if they did it would be COVID based and thats not what we want). So how is that fixed? They are limited to two hours of practice a day or zoom meetings. They have to find a way to eliminate these problems on defense and someone has to communicate and emerge as a leader.
 

CHSLAX

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Hard to argue with that assessment. If your scheme is off and you can't make adjustments in game that is on Rodgers and Desko. The talent on D may not be AA level other than Dearth and Porter but it is still really solid. Was the Army strategy that much different from their previous game that film didn't have us prepared?

Offensively we were just sloppy and our execution was poor which is on the players and hopefully is improved this week and going forward. Same with Porter. Goalies have off games, hopefully that was his.
 

Powellfan

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Evan Molloy sounds more hopeful than us (though just as frustrated). The Syracuse talk starts at the 20 min mark. Lots of salty language used in case thats not your thing. I only listened to the Syracuse stuff.

 

sholokov2

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Echoing Jeremy here, great article. The quote below sums up everything perfectly -

"The reason Syracuse struggled defensively so much on Sunday was because of the constant movement Army players made. They didn’t rely on individual mismatches to score, instead using mismatches as distractions to run other plays and open up shooters.

That’s why Army’s base set was so effective. Syracuse immediately worried about its short-stick defender getting beat and committed to early slides. That helped the Black Knights create confusion, and the Orange didn’t seem to have the communication needed to make the switches and early slides work."


The SU defense has been doing this for years. I really hope things get figured out quickly. Jeremy did a wonderful job of laying out all the issues in his first post in this thread. But I think the focus on shuffling in new players isn't going to solve all the problems. Certainly some changes need to happen (Hiltz), but the lack of communication and the statuesque movement on defense was a team-wide problem on Sunday.

There are lots of excuses to draw from, some of them certainly legit, but I think a lot of the problems from the Army game stemmed from coaching. If its just one guy getting continually beat each play, yes that is a personnel issue. But the entire team looked "off", to me, almost hungover with their sloppiness. I am certainly not calling for Desko to be fired, but the staff needs to get creative here - they are weeks behind most of their opponents and they aren't suddenly going to gain that back (if they did it would be COVID based and thats not what we want). So how is that fixed? They are limited to two hours of practice a day or zoom meetings. They have to find a way to eliminate these problems on defense and someone has to communicate and emerge as a leader.
Per Tony Bennett, Virginia basketball coach after losing by 20 to Florida State, to paraphrase, We welcome the opportunity afforded by adversity to improve in every aspect of the game of bball. Team played very well in the next game although it was a loss to a very talented Duke team playing its best game of the year. I think this loss to Army may provide better intelligence about necessary improvements than a couple of games against putzes and a scrimmage against a DII club. SU knows how far it needs to go to reach ACC level play whereas after two games against second rate teams, they could not be sure how they would fair against conference opponents. Because we expected so much, I sense we are in shock. Would love to interview Desko, and assistants, because Desko looked like he was in shock after the game. I interpret his shock as evidence that the coaches and players were riding on expectations and unprepared for the Army game.

I don't think we witnessed the ACC ready SU team last spring on which high expectations have been based. I never bought the idea that SU was number 1 then, but I am afraid I bought some of the seductive hype amplified over the past year. Let's ditch it all and start from demanding that SU prove itself as a team, prove itself in each individual player acknowledging that no one came close to AA or even all league calibre competence. Everyone should start from zero on the hype scale, from Curry to Porter, each is a second stringer until he proves himself worthy of recognition or playing time. You play only in as much as you compete for time every minute of every practice. Whoever practices the best plays regardless of reputation or years on the team. As everyone observed, the whole team failed in every fundamental aspect from ground balls to shot selection to poise. I know some posters may see this as overreaction. I only ask for a little humility leading back to HHH.
 

CuseNHouse

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Great take Jeremy =

I think we have consensus on shaking up the attack unit. We have to rip off the band aid now ...this unit is flat (and has been for some time now). and poses little threat...Army figured that out real fast and refocussed their energies in the obvious places...

I'd love to see Scanlan- Hiltz - Rehfuss ...or even a more radical look at Hiltz, Ferris, Rehfuss/Scanlan and/or possibly run scanlan in./rotate as the "4th" first line mid/second line leader (22 or not)

As I previously posted, I was not thrilled when I heard Rehfuss was back despite a great career...and was afraid Cook would get last years "halo" from the "#1 team" ... that it would hold some guys back who may be bigger long range impact players and real dodging threats...

Not sure what the mix is, but unless something magical happens, it will be a major mistake if we go through the UVA game and get handled without some significant new looks at the unit

While to some degree I guess they have "earned time" whether through legendary practices or tenure... I'm over Seebold, Quinn and Cook - how many times are we going to keep trying this insanity - it. does. not. work. It's time to move on.

As far as the defense...the same principles as above may apply.

I was defiant last year when everyone was saying we were never really tested (other than Army where Trimbo valiantly saved us)...hate to sound this way, but last week made me wonder for a minute ...

Perhaps something amazing will happen this weekend and all of this will fade away, but I think we are seeing a bad pattern.

Hope we are all proven wrong or that the Army performance was either an anomaly or a brutal wake up call on need for personnel change.
 

Laxatively

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Per Tony Bennett, Virginia basketball coach after losing by 20 to Florida State, to paraphrase, We welcome the opportunity afforded by adversity to improve in every aspect of the game of bball. Team played very well in the next game although it was a loss to a very talented Duke team playing its best game of the year. I think this loss to Army may provide better intelligence about necessary improvements than a couple of games against putzes and a scrimmage against a DII club. SU knows how far it needs to go to reach ACC level play whereas after two games against second rate teams, they could not be sure how they would fair against conference opponents. Because we expected so much, I sense we are in shock. Would love to interview Desko, and assistants, because Desko looked like he was in shock after the game. I interpret his shock as evidence that the coaches and players were riding on expectations and unprepared for the Army game.

I don't think we witnessed the ACC ready SU team last spring on which high expectations have been based. I never bought the idea that SU was number 1 then, but I am afraid I bought some of the seductive hype amplified over the past year. Let's ditch it all and start from demanding that SU prove itself as a team, prove itself in each individual player acknowledging that no one came close to AA or even all league calibre competence. Everyone should start from zero on the hype scale, from Curry to Porter, each is a second stringer until he proves himself worthy of recognition or playing time. You play only in as much as you compete for time every minute of every practice. Whoever practices the best plays regardless of reputation or years on the team. As everyone observed, the whole team failed in every fundamental aspect from ground balls to shot selection to poise. I know some posters may see this as overreaction. I only ask for a little humility leading back to HHH.
Our schedule is a brutal one with 6 games against the ACC (each team should be at least top 10 and probably top 5-6). Two more games - Army and later Stony Brook who will likely both end the season as top 20, maybe 15 or better. That's 8 potential nail-biters. If I'm one of the current Cuse team starters, I feel I've worked hard to earn my spot and I want to focus on the next game and getting to the playoffs. I don't want to be looking over my shoulder every week because the coach is benching starters after only the first game. If the Army game doesn't motivate them, nothing will. If any of the players continue weak play against UVA, I am sure the coaches will look to do some significant line-up tinkering during what we hope is the easy stretch - Vermont, Stony Brook (?), Hofstra. There isn't a lot of time to make changes this week. I think the boys have a lot of pride and will keep it close with UVA.

My concern with taking a hard-ass approach to benching starters is that they need to build confidence for the ACC battles.
 

sholokov2

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Our schedule is a brutal one with 6 games against the ACC (each team should be at least top 10 and probably top 5-6). Two more games - Army and later Stony Brook who will likely both end the season as top 20, maybe 15 or better. That's 8 potential nail-biters. If I'm one of the current Cuse team starters, I feel I've worked hard to earn my spot and I want to focus on the next game and getting to the playoffs. I don't want to be looking over my shoulder every week because the coach is benching starters after only the first game. If the Army game doesn't motivate them, nothing will. If any of the players continue weak play against UVA, I am sure the coaches will look to do some significant line-up tinkering during what we hope is the easy stretch - Vermont, Stony Brook (?), Hofstra. There isn't a lot of time to make changes this week. I think the boys have a lot of pride and will keep it close with UVA.

My concern with taking a hard-ass approach to benching starters is that they need to build confidence for the ACC battles.
I appreciate your view. Your point has to do with approaches to motivation. Particularly on a team with many young inexperienced kids, I worry about confidence. On this SU team, I worry about overconfidence. Lots of 3 and 4 year starters. I don't like yanking a player for one or two mistakes. Boeheim does it all the time. With him, I believe your point is well taken. I'll never forget when as a junior on my college hockey team after a loss I was demoted to the second line for the start of the following game. I was embarrassed at first, then I became enraged first at the coaches, then at myself for playing a bad game. I deserved it and I swore it would never happen again. I have enough confidence in the older SU kids, that they will go through some of the same dynamic, that their pride may suffer a blow, but their experience will support their self esteem and they will return next week on fire.
 

wgdsr

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the good news is outside of ND, the rest of the acc's defenses have juries out. to put it mildly.

it is human sports nature to overreact generally week to week, and for the offense, that probably applies here. they weren't that bad. the finishing was awful, and luck not great (pipes), and schupler was a large part of that.

the rest as a half field offense wasn't that bad. and their middies give them folks who can move a defense and finish.

as far as new/changeup personnel from what i've seen... buttermore scores and should get a few of those runs. hiltz - skilled. can he get by close defensemen? can't tell. he looks a little roly poly. he is going to have to take a few mph off his fastball passes in tighter spaces.

the defense? well, that was a show. on ball, they're probably fine, but they do need to handle picks better. slides? the switching and retreat? where's the 2? no backside/top down help. going when you don't have to. they really need to clean that up. and quick. junior high stuff.
 

OrangeXtreme

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There’s good news and there’s bad news for Syracuse fans. The good news is that a few tweaks to the ride and a tighter handle on personnel will cut down on giving their opponents easy chances. The bad news is that their navigation of picks and switches in the 6v6 needs to drastically improve in order to hang with their ACC brethren, and that’s not as easy a fix. No one looked comfortable on the Syracuse defense, as they were constantly trying to switch to improve their matchups but continued to be hung up on the wrong guys regardless. The offense showed flashes of brilliance from the midfield, but the attack will be called upon to score from X and distribute the ball to the powerful tiro of Trimboli, Dordevic, and Curry going forward. Otherwise, teams will just pole all the midfielders and make the attackmen dodge on their shorties.
 

DoctahLexus

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Having the 1 v 1 skill on D is an important asset and I think we actually looked ok there. Aviles had a couple mental mistakes with the 2 man game/picks (a problem we discussed) but looked competent in 1v1s. Dami had a dumb play where he didn't pressure his man coming around GLE and he scored, but he stayed with him every step of the way. He also got inside rolled by Nichtern, but besides those plays I thought he actually looked pretty great. He is good at guarding more shifty dodgers and has the strength to push guys away from their spots to shoot. I like the size and strength of all three of our main short sticks (Dearth Dami and Aviles) for the UVA matchup. If Bertrand Aitken or Cormier end up with a shorty on them they can't get away with just backing the guy down, or shooting over them as if nobody is there, like they could with some of the scrawny but fast guys other teams run out at short stick. While, Murphy, DePietro, and our new LSMs all had mental mistakes at times, they did not get burned 1v1. I maintain Kennedy did a more than acceptable job limiting Nichtern 1v1 and will have what it takes to at least limit Moore's production.

Tightening the screws on team defense from where we were at on Sunday is a big ask to make happen in 6 days, but it is an easier job to improve as the season goes on than having the D not be big strong and fast enough to be effective on ball. 2018 we were throwing 6 or 7 guys around at short stick and none were getting the job done. The problem never really improved as the season went on. Not going to be the case at all this year. The fact that we look ok there makes me feel better about improvements to the D in the long term. I thought our team D looked good in 2019 (top 15 in efficiency) and looked good to start the 2020 year in every game except the Colgate opener.
 

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Hadn't realize how well Nichtern attempts to dodge were thwarted until I rewatched game. Also saw how easily nichetrn scampered past other defenders when Kennedy took a late run at lsm. Its clear that he's our best cd and needed there though still hoping Wykoff shows the goods because do miss what he brings up top. seen top deenders smith and Myers have their hands full with Moore but perhaps just occupying can be limiting the production of others. virginia players .wonder what is story with Aiken, does anyone sense any freezing out after his dalliance with Villanova.? in rewatching also noticed that army scored five goals in six minutes when he left game as many mental errors occurred . think Murphy is a cog, wonder who takes Cormier .dm's need a bounce back game for us to win . we should be crisper on offense and uva offers opportunities if we clear well., think curry and Trimboli and Scanlan could have good days , Dordevic problably covered by conners , gotta limit lascalla runs off wins , maybe play down line some . their young goalie has played well but he could crack, rode would be rusty if back, agree with Molloy, we may not win at this stage but we will be in thick of things as season moves on.
 

Powellfan

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think Murphy is a cog, wonder who takes Cormier

Good question. Virginia is very hard to defend personnel wise because they move players all over the place. It’s been said before but they basically play five attackmen at a time, and not only that but Cormier could come through the box one play but shift to attack the next. As a base defense I would put Kennedy on Moore (don’t feel like they’ll move him for this game), either Dami or Avilles on Laviano, and DiPetro on whoever else they put on attack, Murphy on whoever they play through the box, Dearth on Aitkin and Clary on whoever’s left over. So it might look like -

Kennedy - Moore
Dami - Laviano
DiPietro - Cormier
Murphy - Shellenberger
Dearth - Aitkin/Garno
Clary - Bertrand

Attack vs midfield classification really doesn’t matter. The shorty will have to keep his head on a swivel with Laviano, obviously this was an issue last week. Moore is going to shoot through whoever is guarding him, so Porter will have to be “on”. Hesitate about putting a shorty on Dox but he has yet to show he’s fully “back”. Shellenberger has a heck of an outside shot and can pass, I think he always needs a long stick. Of course, you could also say the same about Cormier and Bertrand, hence shorting Laviano. Think Murphy should handle whoever is playing midfield rather than DiPietro since he has experience playing SSDM.

Physically and athletically SU matches up pretty well (as the Doctor told us), the SU close defense is by no means small, and neither is the midfield. The big question is how SU handles slides and picks (I feel like a broken record). SU lost in OT the last time they played Virginia by misplaying a pick play behind the goal. Avilles especially last week was confused about whether to fight through a pick or switch. Guys were often times left in no mans land after a switch and left other players wide open. This is simple stuff, but concerning that it was an issue to begin with. Syracuse is going to give up goals, but they have to make Virginia work for it, rather than creating offense for the opponent, like they did against Army.
 

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