Monday, January 17, 2011

Syracuse Remains Undefeated, Lose Kris Joseph to Head Injury

The good news for Syracuse: The Orangemen remained undefeated and beat the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon 67-52 with 24,338 in attendance. The Bad news for Syracuse: Kris Joseph got slammed in the first half taking the ball to the hoop, which resulted in Joseph slamming the back of his head on Jim Boeheim Court.

There was no foul called on the play, which was completely ridiculous, and after spending several minutes on the floor Joseph was able to walk off on his own and headed directly to the Syracuse locker room. Kris did not return to the game and he has been ruled out for tonight's match up on the road in Pittsburgh. It is believed that Kris Joseph suffered a concussion on the play, however he never appeared to lose consciousness.

Another storyline that emerged from the game was the play of Fab Melo in the second half. Melo played 15 minutes in the game, the most since December 20th against Morgan State. Fab Melo scored 6 points on 3 of 4 shooting from the floor, grabbed 4 rebounds (3 offensive) and blocked 4 shots. It was the kind of performance Syracuse fan's have been waiting for after watching Melo score 9 points against Morgan State. Hopefully it is the start of something big for Fab Melo that he can build on and learn from. Melo told reporters after the game "I felt very comfortable out there today. I think I'll play even better the next game." We are going to need it!

Rick Jackson was once again a beast in the middle for the Orangemen. Jackson logged his 11th double-double of the season finishing the Big East conference tilt with 15 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field with 11 rebounds to lead the Cuse. Jackson also dished 3 assists swatted 2 blocks and had a steal.

With Kris Joseph out for the 2nd half and the final 6 minutes and change in the first, it was on James Southerland to step up his play. He responded as well as one would hope, playing 25 minutes and shooting 3 of 4 from the field including 2 of 2 from 3-point range. Southerland finished the game with 8 points and zero turnovers. We will need to see more of the same from Southerland tonight, as he is expected to start in place of KrisJo.

The win pushed Syracuse's record to 18-0, 5-0 in Big East games, and leaves the Cuse just 1 win shy of the best start in school history. Syracuse began the 1999-2000 season 19-0. The next game is tonight at 7:30 against the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Panthers are 17-1 (5-0 Big East) and have been a thorn in Syracuse's side for years. The game is part of ESPN's "Big Monday" showcase and will be televised live on ESPN.

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