Friday Five - Third edition

This is the third installment of “Friday Five,” a weekly column with analysis and insight on the Orange, the Big East and the rest of college basketball.

Halftime Snack is out of position and just got called for a blocking foul. This theme is going to run wild, or fall over with a thud.

The starting five:

1 -             Syracuse redshirt sophomore Scoop Jardine took over the Carrier Dome in two games this past week. Many sports teams around the country have players with names, real or not, that lend to a stadium-wide serenade (Kevin Youkilis comes to mind). Yet, how many can pull off the variety of movesSU coach Jim Boeheim instructs sophomore guard Scoop Jardine. Scoop-a-loop displayed: deep three-pointer, spin-and-bounce pass, long alley oop, and the newest: pull-up jumper in transition.  The Orange second team is better than its starting five, how about we get to Scoop (pictured with Jim Boeheim right) a bit sooner. Photo: Andrew Burton/

2 -            Georgetown scorer Austin Freeman is probably the “3,” and not the shooting guard, but his shooting stroke is as pure as several NBA notables. Halftime Snack loves the ease with the ball rotates out of Freeman’s hand; the perfect rotation and high ball flight remind us of Allen Iverson and Dirk Nowitzki.

3 -            Wisconsin junior Keaton Nankivil single-handily kept Wisconsin alive on Keady Court Friday night, canning 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. The 6-foot, 8-inch power forward pick-and-popped Purdue to death, but the Boilermakers should have known it would happen (Nankivil hit all five of his triples against Purdue in 2009).

4 -             Welcome to the Wild, wild Wes! The Sheriff of Syracuse swatted away some pesky dogs (Hoyas, to be exact) on Monday night. Four blocks in total for Wes Johnson on the night, including two weak-side rejections where the sky-walker could have probably caught the ball in mid-flight.

5-             TV people need to be the center of attention. What are you 5-years old, Brent Musberger? For the first 12 minutes of the second half, ESPN, Steve Lavin and you railed against the officiating. First you admonished the referees for changing the tone of the game, and then you predicted Purdue coach Matt Painter is about to get a technical. “You can go to the bank on that one, folks.” Finally, ESPN went with picture-in-picture to try and catch the moment when Painter was to be assessed this violation. (He never got one) Purdue kept its head, winning 60-57. How about ESPN joining NCAA partner in touting sportsmanship, rather than fuele the fans need to ride the officials.

Big East weekend predictions:

Orange: Syracuse 74, DePaul 51—The Blue Demons are battling offensive ghouls, scoring 70-plus points just three times in 2009-10. The Orange case for a move up in the rankings gets rather loud after Monday’s new poll and the big heads in the Carrier Dome finally burst at home against Providence. Friars 83, Orange 81

Other Big East games:

West Virginia 73, Louisville 71
Connecticut 81, Marquette 77
Georgetown 75, Duke 72
Notre Dame 81, Rutgers 73
Cincinnati 77, Providence 71
Pittsburgh 75, USF 54

National Scene: Harvard at Cornell on Saturday. Another color battle in N.Y. sees the road tripping Crimson (10 of the last 15 played outside of Cambridge) bring a Sports Illustrated feature (penned by Harvard alum Pablo S. Torres) to Ithaca. Take the home team – all-world Harvard guard Jeremy Lin’s talents are undeniable, but the Big Red shooters take comfort in playing at home (42.4% from 3-pt land). Cornell 66, Harvard 61

Record last week: 7-4
Overall: 13-7

Stat nerd stat of the week – Attendance figures are the good, the bad and the ugly of the box score. The good: a high number can lead to an exciting scramble through the record books to boost the in-game announcement (see the Carrier Dome’s lively announcement about “largest on-campus attendance, again” thinger); the bad: if you inflate the big number one day (Saturday versus Marquette), and then before a seemingly larger crowd (Monday versus Georgetown with a two-level student section), the head-scratching beings; the ugly: a sparse crowd can lead to SID counting tricks. My two favorites: 1) count the players, referees, any human that could feasibly see that a sport event is occurring, and 2) given to me by Steve Peed, associate athletic director at Division III Franklin & Marshall: “No attendance figure shall end in a “5” or a “0.”

They said it:What’s up, All-Star, I been watching you,” President Barack Obama said to Kentucky frosh John Wall, effectively jinxing the Wildcats who suffered its first loss of the season at South Carolina.  

I have my special feelings when it’s over. Anything else is premature. Premature anything isn’t very good,” Orange head coach Jim Boeheim after being asked if he had a special feeling about this year’s basketball team.

Come on, Chief. Just put the ball in the basket. In the basket! Come on, Chief, put it in the basket!” Jack Nicholson’s character, R.P. McMurphy, in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, imploring the seemingly deaf and mute, yet massive, Chief Bromden to become a low-post threat.

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I liked this coverage. Keep

I liked this coverage. Keep it up baby. Harry

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