It’s funny, I don’t feel 7-5. But according to the standings that’s SU’s record in the Big East after beating USF tonight. I guess it’s a sign of how negative experiences carry more weight than positives: I can hardly remember us winning any of those games other than the last two; but the losses I can describe in great detail. Are we really two games over .500 in conference? How bad must the rest of these guys be?
USF came out of the gate in this one like a pack of wild dogs, out-hustling us to every loose ball, grabbing every rebound, dominating the offensive glass, and running and gunning all over the court. Luckily for us, they’re USF and not UConn, so they quickly wore themselves out, started making ridiculous turnovers, committing silly fouls, and missing easy layups. By the 2nd half it was obvious their energy was gone, and a few timely 3’s from Andy and Demetris broke their will for good. To beat this team all we had to do was avoid turnovers, and miracle of miracles, we managed it.
It’s nice to play crap teams. Most other Big East squads have the conditioning and the discipline to maintain high effort and high energy throughout the whole contest, hence SU’s usual rebounding deficits. But USF couldn’t hack it, so our boys got a freebie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see any win, especially on the road, and especially with Demetris not bringing his A game. But I didn’t see anything out there that makes me think we can win any of our remaining games other than UConn at home.
Everyone was mediocre to bad in the first half, especially Devo; Harris did little to nothing all game; the big men got into foul trouble early; Nichols showed again he can’t be Jordan when the other team comes into games focused on stopping him; and Wright’s minutes continued to dwindle due to ineffectiveness. Mookie was a shining bright positive, it’s true, but after four years we know how this trick works - next game he’ll have 2 points, 3 rebounds and 5 fouls. Only a fool would start to get excited about his “development” at this stage. If you want a genuine bright spot I might, might, give you Andy Rautins. I still don’t have any expectation of consistent contributions from him. But at this point when he comes off the bench maybe it’s OK to start hoping that he might be able to swing a game or two, from time to time. Lets all keep our fingers crossed on that one.