Thursday, December 23, 2010

Orangemen Perfect in Non-Conference Slate

I was going to say that Syracuse slayed the Dragons last night, but then every other news outlet and blog in the country already made that joke. So I'll say the Orangemen thumped Drexel last night in the Carrier Dome 93-65, in front of 17,856 Orange-clad fans.

Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine lead the scoring for Syracuse. KrisJo scored a career high 25 points on 9 of 12 shooting from the floor including 6 of 7 from the charity stripe. He also grabbed 7 rebounds and chipped in 2 blocks, 1 assist and 1 steal. Scoop Jardine finished with 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting from the floor and dished out 5 assists.

Rick Jackson was straight-schooling kids inside the paint all night. He posted his 9th double-double in thirteen games posting 15 points and 12 rebounds. Jackson also put up 5 blocks and 4 assists in 35 minutes on the floor. Drexel, the 16th best rebounding team in the country so far this season, was no match for Rick Jackson inside, who literally had his way with the Dragons all evening. To say the Dragon's were outclassed is an understatement. Rick Jackson, who has improved each year in a Syracuse uniform, is literally a machine right now.

Fab Melo played 8 minutes without taking a single shot, pulling down any rebounds, or dishing any assists. He did however commit two fouls. The most disappointing part of the night for Fab Melo was that he quote "turned" his ankle early in the second half. He did not return and Jim Boeheim told reporters after the game "It wasn't the same thing [injury]. He could have played. He's fine." Good news for Fab Melo is that the team is off until December 28th so he will have an opportunity to rest up and heal before the Conference schedule starts up.

Baye Moussa Keita played a strong 13 minutes off the bench for Syracuse running the court and cutting to the hoop en route to a 2 for 2 shooting performance from the floor to finish with 4 points and 3 rebounds. Rick Jackson played some center as well last night, while James Southerland filled in once again for injured C.J. Fair, who is said to be improving.

Southerland's jumper wasn't as effective as it was Monday against Morgan State. Southerland's first shot attempt, a 3-pointer, clanked off the rim. However, Syracuse got the long rebound, kicked the ball right back out to James Southerland, who proceeded to swish a 3-pointer and give the Orangemen some juice.

Unfortunately for Southerland, he finished just 2 of 5 from 3-point range for 6 points and grabbed another 3 rebounds for the Cuse. Overall, Syracuse shot a whopping 63.6% from the field against Drexel.

Speaking of shooting the ball, the most surprising statistic to come out of the game last night is that Mookie Jones played 7 minutes, and get this, without taking ANY shots! He did grab 1 steal on the night to get himself some ink in the box score. Mookie, who is known as a shoot first player, has been fighting for time on the floor for almost two years. Could he be trying to prove to the coaching staff that he doesn't have to shoot the ball all the time? Possibly.

With the win, Syracuse finishes their non-conference schedule with a perfectly unblemished 13-0 record. This is the 8th time in Jim Boeheim's career behind the bench that Syracuse has started 13-0, and the Orangemen have now put together 28 non-conference regular season wins in a row.

C.J. Fair, who has missed two straight games with an ankle injury, was sporting a walking boot on his left foot during Monday night's game against Morgan State. Good news for Syracuse, the walking boot was not on Wednesday night during the Drexel game and Jim Boeheim thinks that he can be back for practice on the 25th assuming things go well.

The Big East Conference schedule starts on December 28th for the Syracuse Orangemen. Their first test will be a 9PM tip-off against the Providence Friars (11-2) in the Carrier Dome. The Big East currently has five of the nations top ten basketball programs, and seven total teams in the Top-25.

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