Saturday, November 27, 2010

Observations from the Legends Classic

Enjoyed my trip to Atlantic City yesterday. The basketball wasn't quite the best, but it was a good doubleheader and its always nice to see the alma mater.

Some thoughts....

  • Boardwalk Hall made me think of HersheyPark Arena. It had that old feeling - although much wider walkways in the concourse areas - with that arched roof. Of course Boardwalk Hall was a little bigger on the stage side, and it had the stage. Kind of a weird feeling to sit there and think all of those Miss America's that were crowned there.
  • The crowd was clearly pro Orange. Although Michigan did have a good following. Somebody last year said that Syracuse is becoming Duke. Not sure that the Orange has such a national following, but the Alums have done a very nice of following the team when they come to their area.
  • To follow up on that, I was on my way home on the PA Turnpike clipping right along. Someone moving a bit faster pulled up along side of me, and it reaction to my "GO CUSE" license plate, put their window down and started screaming, hanging out the window, Cuse hat in hand. Was one of those feel good alumni moments.
  • Extremely ironic situation where Glen Rice Jr and Tim Hardaway Jr played for two teams in the doubleheader. Their fathers alma maters each played in the doubleheader as well. But neither of the sons played for their fathers team. Rice Jr was the leading scorer for Georgia Tech, while Hardaway laced it up for Rice Sr's former school Michigan. You'll recall that Hardaway Sr did his undergraduate work at UTEP.
  • The Northeast Conference was the host of the tournament. There were NEC logos on the floor. There were some NEC commercials during stoppages of play. But as far as I could tell, I was the only guy representing the NEC. The group behind me, which seemed to have a fairly high basketball IQ, couldn't ID one team in the NEC, eventually they settled that the NEC must be the home of George Mason and the like. I like the fact that the NEC has an alliance with a tournament of this magnitude. But as far as I'm concerned it has to have a visual impact as well. Now I understand that these tourneys are about selling tickets in neutral locations and the NEC isn't going to help that, but my suggestion would be that the NEC host one of the other pods in this event. This year the University of Detroit and William and Mary are hosting. But put that at the Mount, or Monmouth, or Quinnipiac and let the conference get some additional exposure from the event.
  • John Beilein continues to be one of my favorite coaches. He mixes things up defensively and he gets players in the right spot offensively and gets the most out of his team.
  • Fellow Syracuse fans, I'm not sure what to make of this team. It is highly talented. But it is not a good team right now. Not even close. The guard play is pretty suspect right now, and offensively they aren't getting anything inside from anyone other than Rick Jackson. 
  • The Orange needs some sort of identity. The Unfinished Business from last year is fine. But the problem is they are playing like it. Playing like they are still last year's team. But this is a different group and the much ballyhooed freshman class hasn't really become a part of it. And if they don't they aren't going to succeed. Somebody needs to step up and provide the efficiency that Scoop and Kris Joseph brought off the bench.
  • The main bright spot that I saw was Joseph's play. I thought he played fairly well and knocked down open jumpers when he had them. He needs to be the star for this team.


  1. I suspect you will be posting something on today's Mount game. I enjoy your analysis and look forward to your writing. Thought I would add some coal to whatever fires are burning within.

    Today MSM will be playing at home, no students on campus and against a team they 'should' beat.

    From what I have seen, I continue to be very positively impressed with our coaching staff. How else to explain the performances in the first 4 games, given what they have to work with in sheer numbers of available bodies to field a team (let alone what has been previously discussed, that is, arguably three starters missing - after graduating 3 good players).

    So if it were last year, I would sort of expect sooner or later (usually sooner) that team would lay an egg.

    What I am hoping now is for a continuation of reasonably good performances from the current players. It may form a basis for further comparisons as we try to evaluate our team and staff.

  2. Harry, I enjoy your analysis and comments as well. However, you continue to over-promote Coach Burke at times. While, I do not mind some of it, you seem to be his publicity agent at times, lol. Yes, I believe he is and will be better than Brown. Brown had the benefit of race to be able to acquire the players he did, no racism here, that is just the way it is sometimes, either that or money and the Mount does not have much of the latter. You see Brown has not even won a game yet for his new team and they are much more experienced and accomplished than the Mount.