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Syracuse v. Pittsburgh — What we learned

Published on February 3, 2013 by   •   Discussion
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Syracuse lost to Pitt on Saturday, 65-55. It marked the third time this season that SU has lost to a Pennsylvania team. Here are three people’s takes on the game:

MICAH TANNENBAUM: Syracuse needs more from Trevor Cooney

I have a lot of concerns about Trevor Cooney. Obviously, he can improve going to next year, but we really need him now and to this point, he has struggled mightily. When you’re this far into a season and you’re a shooting guard and you can’t shoot the ball effectively, it’s an issue. He didn’t take one shot in the game yesterday. You’re a shooting guard. You played almost half the game and you didn’t get a shot off? How is that possible? He’s going to play more over the next couple of games and I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but he’s got to do more than what he’s doing now.

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Syracuse has lost two in a row now

You have to try to get him started somehow whether its calling a play for him to get open or him taking a shot when he has the ball. On Saturday, it wasn’t just Pitt’s defense. When Syracuse was in the three guard lineup, Pitt was doubling Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche. Cooney had to be open at some point. His teammates need to find him.

» Related: SU downed by Pitt

WESLEY CHENG: Orange big men need to be a factor on offense

Syracuse doesn’t need Rakeem Christmas and Baye Moussa Keita to combine for 20 points a game. But they also can’t have their bigs be complete non-factors on offense. Keita scored three points against the Panthers, while Christmas was held scoreless. But it wasn’t just about the points, it was the lack of an attempt. Christmas didn’t have a single field goal attempt yesterday. Each time he was on offense, Syracuse was essentially playing 4-on-5.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said following SU’s win over Cincinnati that he needs his centers to be at least a threat to score. “They’ve been averaging almost ten and ten, which we take,” Boeheim said. “If they can do that, we can win.” Keita and Christmas combined for 3 points and 6 rebounds yesterday. Simply put, SU needs more than that from Christmas and Keita going forward.

» Related: Video highlights from Pittsburgh

LIAN SHALALA: Cuse fans — Are we spoiled or fair weather?

After our extremely frustrating loss to Pitt on Saturday, DaJuan’s tweets about fair weather fans annoyed a lot of fans.

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Are we fair weather fans because we are voicing emotions and frustrations? After all, it’s only during a loss that everyone suddenly thinks they are smarter than Jim Boeheim. To me, a fair weather fan is one who, in seeing our team go on a losing skid, starts to cheer for Marquette and only comes back to Syracuse when we start winning. To debate the teams shortcomings with other Syracuse fans, is a form of group therapy. Frustration means we still care.

Are we spoiled? Yes. Since the tide turned in 2003, we have had our team constantly in the upper echelon of college hoops. We operate under the motto that we don’t rebuild, we reload. We snag top recruits and so many of them it’s an embarrassment of riches. A 3 loss season does seem insurmountable to many. We conveniently forget the subpar years in the NIT. Remember when we rushed the court for victories, instead of being rushed on? We assume we will always be playing late in March. Anything less than a Final Four is unforgivable.

We are spoiled fans, but not fair weather. We still show up. We still cheer. They are not mutually exclusive states of fandom.

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