Posted on: March 22, 2009 10:48 pm

Syracuse in the Sweet Sixteen - How Sweet it is!!

 I can't tell you how much I dreaded today's game between Syracuse and Arizona State. I feared that the 'cuse would revert back to some of their old ways.......but they didn't.......for the most part. The Marathon Men all  showed strength, especially in the first half. True to their history, the Orange allowed their lead to be trimmed down to 4. Yet, they somehow still seemed to keep control of the Sun Devils. However, I never allowed myself to rejoice in the fact that they had made it to the Sweet Sixteen until about one minute remained in the game. One of the things that truly amazed me about the 'cuse is the professional way that they presented themselves. No one beat on their chest. Paul could have scored near the very end, but opted not to put salt in the wounds of the Sun Devils.

Now, we go on to meet Oklahoma. Point blank.....if 'cuse can take on UCONN, they can sure as hell take on the Sooners. How do they beat them? Below is part two of my message to the team: 

Make that 2-3 zone tight. Let no one in, but at the same time, be prepared to stop anyone who wants to make 3 pointers. Do all that is possible to foul Blake out.

GET THOSE REBOUNDS!!!  Anticipate every move! Nothing pains me more (and Coach Boeheim) to see a weakness develop in the zone and you all stand there and watch the train derail. Do all that is possible to keep your train on track.

Call me an armchair quarterback, if you will, but I'm sure you will draw the same conclusions if you refer back to the game videos.

Don't misunderstand me. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! I use the same tough love  on my own kids.

Go to Memphis and let the King of Rock-n-Roll know that you, the Kings of Basketball have arrived. You can do this!!! I know you can!!!

Destination Detroit!!!


Posted on: March 19, 2009 11:55 pm

The Orange - I love 'em, but they make me nervous

 Back in November, I documented here on CBS how I cringed as the Orange played the Jayhawks. I wanted to believe they were going to win against Kansas, but I kept turning my head because I just knew that they were going to blow the game. However, they beat Kansas and Florida and led me to believe that they were going to have one phenomenal season....and they did, but they sure did make me, and many others, uncomfortable along the way. Just as we all thought that SU would redeem themselves by taking Cleveland State in OT, you could literally hear the air being sucked out of the Dome as Cleveland fired off that final shot that seemed like a nail going into SU's coffin. Nevertheless, like so many others, I continued to watch the Orange. Why? Because I love 'em and I still believe in them. I guess you could compare me to all of those Boston Redsox fans who, year after year, followed their team, believing that this might be the year that they would take it all, only to be let down. I know! Iknow! SU has taken it all, but I want them to take it again. I'm sick of hearing about Duke, UNC, Kansas, Georgetown, and Pitt.

So will the Orange take it all this year. I wish I knew. With some teams, you just know how the game is going to play out. If, for example, I say to you who will win between Duke and Binghamton, you will say:"Please!" because you and I both know that Duke will win the match, hands down. But if I ask you who will win between SU and  Stephen F. Austin, you might cringe a little and say:"Well, I hope Syracuse!' because you and I both saw them lose unnecessarily to Vermont one year and unfortunately to Texas A&M the next.

Yes, they should win against Stephen F. Austin. Then, who will they face? Either Arizona State or Temple could be worthy opponents. They should not underestimate Temple though.

Assuming they get past one of these two teams, who then will they take on? We know Clemson won't be there, so it will either me Michigan or Oklahoma. A word of caution to SU and OU, don't take Michigan lightly. Nevertheless, I still think SU can get past either of these teams if they play it smart.

By this time, they will no doubt have to face UNC. Call me crazy, but if SU can bring down UCONN, they can sure as hell bring down UNC. And wouldn't it be nice to give Roy Williams another spanking. I'm still pissed at him for saying of the 2003 NCAA Championship:"SU didn't win. Kansas just lost." I've got news for you Roy! Not only did we win! We won in style.

Who, then, shall we meet? More than likely Pitt. Call me crazy again, but I think that SU can take out Pitt in the Final Four.

Finally, one has to wonder who we would meet at the Top Two? I think we will meet Louisville. Can we beat them? Yes......IF we learn from our mistakes quickly and do not allow Louisville to keep terrorizing us the same way, over and over.

I agree with Jonny Flynn. We've come this far. Why not take it all the way? SU has already accomplished much by taking down UCONN after 6 OTs. If they take it all in 2009, a spot will surely await each of them on Mount Olympus.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 18, 2009 8:09 pm

Should Flynn go to the NBA?

What is it with some of these players who come to the 'cuse, make a mark, and then their off? Maybe this phenomenon happens to more teams than just the 'cuse, but my tunnel vision prevents me from seeing the others. Syracuse is not that bad of a place to be. It might get cold here, but it gets cold in Lawrence, KS too. Maybe we don't take cow tippin to the art form that the Jayhawks do, but they have to have some claim to fame.

Mello comes to town, helps us to win a championship, and then what? He's off!!!! I know. He's rolling in the dough now. I also understand that many of these kids have a tough decision to make. SHould they make the dough now, or should they finish school and take a chance on getting hurt and kissing all that money goodbye. I guess if I had to make that decision, it would be tough for me too. But I wonder if Mello ever wishes he had finished school at SU? I'm certain that Boeheim wishes he had.

I have a lot of respect for Warrick, though. Warrick had a tough decision to make. Should I stay, or should I go? He talked to his parents and decided to stay. He got a good education and lo' and behold, he made his way into the NBA.

And then there was Donte. Don't get me wrong! Donte showed a lot of promise, but he was not yet NBA material quite yet. I wonder if he's pissed with whomever told him he was. Had he stayed at the 'cuse, he would be getting a lot more publicity than he gets now. But perhaps Donte should have gone into the performing arts as his desire to perform for the camera often prevented him from showing his true athletic talent.

Now we are faced with the possibility of losing Flynn. Indeed, Jonny must do what is right for Jonny. Jonny, if you are reading this, I think you are quite the smart young man. Certainly, I have my own selish reasons for wanting you to stay at the 'cuse, but I also think that if you do, you will be better off in the long run. Not only will you perfect your performance, but you will get that much more publicity....and you will have an SU education to boot. I must tell you that having a degree from SU is just as prestigious as a degree from Harvard or Princeton. Hell, I think it's better.

Whatever you decide, weigh your decision carefully. Never forget that the people of Syracuse love you very much, and that their love is a powerful thing. If you don't believe me, just ask Gerry McNamara.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 16, 2009 12:07 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2009 7:29 pm

Welcome to the Orange Train

Welcome to the Orange Train!

Were any of you as nervous as I was yesterday. CBS went through the first 3 brackets, but with no mention of SU. My wife and I nervously looked at each other as CBS worked its way through the 4th bracket. Still, no mention of SU. Surely, the NCAA Selection Committee would not forget them a 3rd year in a row....especially after all they have accomplished. But when that amazing news came that Syracuse received a number 3 seed, we all jumped up, screaming and hugging each other.

I'm excited to have a blog here on CBS. I look forward to writing about SU and receiving feedback from each of you regarding my blogs.

There's nothing like being an SU fan. I look forward to all of your positive affirmations of this.


The Orange Trainer



Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or