Though the weather outside isn’t frightful (give it a minute upstate NY, that will change), Jim Boeheim probably isn’t delightful (after the NCAA put him in time out for nine games). And since I’m feebly turning Christmas songs into Cuse-mas rhymes, it must be that time of year. So as we hope for Dino Babers and staff to land 4-star recruits for the enjoyment of you and me, let’s take a look at what gifts jolly Ol’ St. Nick might leave Syracuse under its Christmas tree.
Tyler Roberson: That “plug-in” switch Mike Hopkins recently spoke of. Syracuse needs the Roberson who averaged 17.5 PPG and 9.5 RPG in two meetings against Duke last year to show up every game to help the Orange’s rebounding problem and to give it a semblance of scoring in the paint.
Terrel Hunt: Success in his post SU life. You really have to feel for Hunt after suffering two season-ending injuries and losing an appeal for a sixth year from the NCAA.
Trevor Cooney: A McNamara-esque close to his Orange career from beyond the arc. Everyone knows Cooney can be lights-out from three. But this year he’s shooting only 32.5 percent on triples. SU needs his long-range game in ACC play.
Dino Babers: Success on the recruiting trail. Flipping Kentrail Moran from Illinois would be a nice start. This fan base, skeptical as it may be, is starved for football success.
Orange football fans: Patience. Next season will be another new offense to implement and the wins might not come right away, especially with Pitt and BC being road games. Stop it with the annual “count down to the start of hoops practice” at the end of almost every September. Give the new staff a fair shake. More importantly, lend them, and the team, your vocal cords at home games.
Malachi Richardson: The wisdom to realize that just because NBA scouts might be drooling over your potential, there’s no need to leap at the first chance. He should develop his game, get stronger, and play next season with Tyus Battle.
Tyler Lydon: See Malachi Richardson.
Eric Dungey: Good health. We know he can make plays with his feet (see: Cavaliers, Virginia). Maybe it’s time to focus more on using his arm. Something tells me the Orange air attack is going to earn a lot of frequent flyer miles next year.
Ron Thompson: A break-out senior season. Pass rushing seems to agree with him. Ignore the NFL for one more year, become The Guy on the Orange’s D who opponents game plan for next year, and then collect those NFL riches.
Jim Boeheim: A deafening ovation when he returns to the sidelines on January 9 against North Carolina at the Dome. I’m pretty sure he’d prefer the win though.
On behalf of all of us at The Juice Online, Happy Cuse-mas to all, and to all, a good night!