Orange Watch: Big East finale, like the Syracuse basketball season, in a freefall

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oh sure, we’ve seen it before.

Jim Boeheim alluded to it in his post-game press conference following a stunningly abysmal offensive performance in the regular-season ending 61-39 thumping at the hands of Georgetown Saturday afternoon, a press conference that as we’ve been writing for almost two years now, will turn out to be his final one following a regular season game.

Even though his team has dropped four of its last five games, and is just .500 in its last 10, a barometer the NCAA Committee looks at among many other factors for seeding and placement, less than 30-minutes after his squad had finished the worst 40-minute offensive stretch of the season the coach had no other thoughts other than a turnaround.

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CJ Fair was quiet in the loss

» Related: Orange blown out by Georgetown

“We’re going to New York (Big East Tournament as the #5 seed versus either Seton Hall or South Florida) with the idea that we can play better there and get a more positive note,” Boeheim said to the packed house in front of him.

“I’ve seen it happen a million times (teams that flounder at the end of the regular season only to then turn it around in the post-season). We’ve done it. We got beat here by Georgetown one year (1983) by 25 I think (actually by only five 80-75), we went to New York (three days later) and beat them (79-72) in the first game.”

Now, is his team, which has played solid defense, but has its two senior shooters Brandon Triche and James Sutherland slumping at the most inopportune time, ready to step-up at the most appropriate point of the year to back up that sunny forecast?

» Related: Boeheim references playing golf after loss

Triche’s answer to halting the losing ways when one defeat now sends a squad home is back to the basics on offense.

“Make sure we try to correct our mistakes, putting in the extra work,” Triche said in a quiet Orange locker room. “Make sure our feet are set on certain plays so when we do get easy looks we can knock half of them (50% shooting) down. Spread the defense out a little bit, (and) it’s going to be much easier for our drives (to the basket).”

There’s a maximum of 10 games left to be played on the schedule, how many of those 10 this team will be competing in remains an intriguing question.

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Brad Bierman

About Brad Bierman

Now in his fifth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.
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