Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Syracuse v. LeMoyne: Take Two

Syracuse University's men's basketball team lost five regular season games last season. However outside of those five losses was the most shocking defeat many Syracuse fans will ever witness. Inside the Carrier Dome on November 3rd 2009, little LeMoyne College located practically across the street from SU, walked onto our campus and knocked off the Orangemen 82-79 in a pre-season exhibition game.

It was supposed to be an exhibition! Syracuse was supposed to steamroll the Dolphins on that day. Syracuse starters should have been relaxing on the bench early in the 2nd half, laughing about an easy victory against a division II team. However, LeMoyne came out firing three pointers and playing so ridiculously far above their heads that they managed to be down just 1 point with 8 seconds left. A Christopher Johnson 3-pointer later and LeMoyne had the greatest victory in the history of their school.

Of course the win didn't count for anything. Other than Sportscenter highlights and national media humiliation. However, no one on the Syracuse Orangemen basketball team can forget what happened on that day, nor should they. Even after winning 30 games last season, dropping just 5 after that pre-season warm-up against LeMoyne, and going to the sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament, Syracuse fans still want to make the Dolphins pay for beating them on their home court.

LeMoyne's coach Steve Evans has no misconceptions about tonight's game. He doesn't expect his team to win, especially against a Syracuse team he knows wants revenge against his Dolphins. Evans compared the two schools in the Post Standard this week, saying "They've got McDonald's All-Americans, we've got guys who buy Happy Meals at McDonald's." More truthful words may never have been spoken.

Kris Joseph doesn't want to call it a "revenge" game, but he did say that "we do kinda owe them something." Syracuse fans who witnessed last year's exhibition dud want only one thing, a complete and utter domination of LeMoyne.

In their final tune-up game before the regular season starts November 12th versus Northern Iowa, Syracuse will look to give their freshman and reserve players important minutes. Just like in the exhibition game against Kutztown last week, expect to see Baye Moussa Keita and Mookie Jones getting extended minutes along with Dion Waiters and C.J. Fair.

C.J. Fair and Fab Melo were the most impressive of the freshman, however expect Dion Waiters to have a bounce back performance after a lack-luster debut last week. After a team wide poor shooting performance from behind the arc, perhaps Syracuse will look to run the offense more and work to get more inside shots rather than taking the long range 3s. James Southerland should have more of an offensive impact than he did against Kutztown, however his team high 11 rebounds were a welcome surprise.

The game will be televised live on SNY and tip-off is at 7PM.

photo courtesy of syracuse.com

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