Week in review: Christmas edition – 12/19 – 12/25

wes We’re less than one week away from the Pinstripe Bowl, so let’s get down to brass tacks.

Let’s talk about ribs, beer and sausages. What, you may ask? Those are the terms of a friendly bet between the respective mayors of Syracuse and Manhattan.

Mayor Bruce Snead of Manhattan, Kan. and Stephanie Miner have bet over the Dec. 30 game between the two teams. Among the items at risk are some Syracuse Pale Ale and hickory-smoked ribs from Cov Bros. BBQ.

But at the rate things are going for Syracuse, it may not even have a team to field, come game time.

Already without four other players, including senior punter Rob Long, who underwent brain surgery, the Orange announced Wednesday that defensive tackle Andrew Lewis and linebacker Brice Hawkes have been suspended for violating team rules. While Hawkes was mostly used on special teams, Lewis was a key member of Syracuse’s defense.

The senior had 28 tackles including a sack and a forced fumble. And, being that he’s a senior, his Syracuse career is done. No word from coach Doug Marrone as to the specifics of why the two players were suspended.

One guy that could fill Lewis’ shoes, at least in the coming seasons, is Ishaq Williams.

The five-star recruit, this week, narrowed his list down to Notre Dame and Syracuse. If Williams comes to Syracuse, he could be the biggest get for the Orange in the past decade, this side of Dwight Freeney.

So how does Syracuse plan on getting the edge over Notre Dame in the recruiting process of the Abraham Lincoln High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.) star? With snow, of course. In detailing Williams’ recruiting visit at Syracuse, The Daily News reported that defensive coordinator Scott Shafer hit Williams on the head with a snowball while Williams was touring campus.

Call it recruiting outside of the box, but if Williams joins the Orange, he’ll have plenty of time (and snow) to fire back at Shafer.

Speaking of recruiting, the lacrosse team has recruited attackman Tom Palasek away from rival Johns Hopkins. He will play for the Orange in 2011. Palasek certainly knows his way around, as he scored 13 goals and added 11 assists for the Blue Jays last season.

The Orange is already returning seven All Americans from last year’s team to the roster, but this has to rank as one of the best coups for Syracuse in its long standing rivalry with Hopkins.

Finally, as we close out the year, the basketball team has closed out its non-conference play schedule. The Orange completely demolished a Drexel team that had just recently beat Louisville. There were many good signs coming out of that game, but probably the best sign was Brandon Triche’s play.

He had struggled in the early part of the season, but after a 3-for-5 effort from downtown against Colgate two weeks ago, Triche has been back on track. Over his past four games, he’s shooting 6-for-13 from 3-point land and is looking much like the player that shot 40 percent from distance last year and was named as a member of the Big East All Rookie team.

Syracuse will start conference play this week. Let’s hope the team can keep up what it started.

As I finish this article, the clock has struck midnight and it’s officially Christmas. Merry Christmas to everyone!

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s been instrumental with the launch of this site — Sean Keeley, Andrew Rush and Brian Harrison and the rest of the Syracuse blog world.

Judy Salamone and Brad Bierman for keeping the concept of this site alive after Fox Sports ended the print version.

Dan Massarsky for his invaluable help with smoothing out technical bugs with this site.

The editors and writers of The Juice who have put out some really great articles in the past three weeks.

And, of course, you, the reader, because without you, there would be no website!

That’s all for me. Have a happy and healthy holiday, everyone.

Sincerely,

Wesley Cheng
Editor-in-Chief

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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