Light: 1, Darkness: 0

For the first time this season, I’m legitimately frustrated to be 10,000 miles away from any television showing an SU game. I hate to miss these rare opportunities to watch SU speak the basketball gospel to a godless ACC squad. Granted Georgia Tech rarely emerges as a high profile ACC representative, but any member of that conference-of-the-soulless deserves equal disdain, and missing yesterday’s game hurt.

It’s also frustrating to rely entirely on box-scores that don’t tell the whole story, and media reports that focus by necessity on the big issues and obvious narratives. Only if I had seen these first 6 games with my own eyes would I be able to understand what the real problem is with Mookie Jones (is his defense so terrible that even a team desperate for 3 point shooting can’t find a single minute for its best shooter?  And if so, why?  Is it a lack of effort on his part?  Or is he just clueless out there?  And if so, how could he still be clueless this late into his career?); and I might also have a better appreciation of why CJ Fair is getting huge minutes while the more experienced and seemingly high-potential James Southerland is riding pine (is it just how the roster has played out, based on depth and needs? Or has Southerland shown some weaknesses that I can’t see from the box?). My appreciation for Fab Melo’s struggles would also be more comprehensive, although frankly that’s less of a mystery: he’s simply going through what countless other freshman centers have gone through. Still, it would be nice to have a sense if he’s going to be dominant by next year, or if there’s a chance he’ll be a total bust. Only my own eyes can earn me that kind of an opinion, not box score analysis. At this point, I have nothing to offer on any of these questions.

Last season I was also in China, but I didn’t feel as uncertain about the team because it was loaded with known quantities — with the exception of Wes Johnson I knew all the guys by face and had a handle on their relative skills, options, and upsides — so I wasn’t all that upset missing the pre-season games.  Once the Big East season began I fired up the online pay-per-view ESPN college basketball package and started hauling my butt out of bed at all sorts of weird hours to see the games. It worked fine and eventually I got just as familiar with the team as everyone back states-side.  I’ll do the same thing this year, but it’s different because right now I’m missing out on a lot of formative moments and pattern-building that may reflect what’s going to happen for the whole season.  And, frankly, it’s annoying as hell that I couldn’t pick Dion Waiters or Baye Moussa Keita out of a lineup — because I just haven’t seen them enough except the occasional still shot.  For now, I can only look at my computer screen in confused wonderment, happy to be 6-0, but entirely unsure of how this season is going to play out.


After playing back to back games against Tim Hardaway Jr and Glen Rice Jr, I can only assume our next opponents will come at us with Cedric Ceballos Jr, Mitch Richmond Jr, and Nick Van Exel Jr.  I await.


  1. greg
    Posted November 28, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    No clue why mookie is not playing. He has had good defense, better shot selection and been passing the ball this year.

    Southerland has horrible on offense, he’s been jacking up unwarranted shots over and over again.

    Fair has been rather good. He’s had a couple of issues with defense, but so far hasn’t been a liability. He’s also been good at offense too.

    Melo is a bit lost out there still, not quite as aggressive as we want him to be, not getting boards or blocks. On the other hand, BMK has been much more polished and been a good defense middle for our zone, altho he needs lots of work on the offensive end.

    The boil down for this season so far is that we are a good defensive team, but our offense still needs to get it going. Last night it started too and its giving me a bit more hope that we will live up to this top 10 ranking.

  2. Posted November 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Online pay per view? Is that an overseas thing? espn3 is the new steez, they have been showing a lot of the games free on the net. I don’t know if its available everywhere, but try it.

    Also, Greg is pretty much correct, and knows what he’s talking about. He’s got a future in this biz…

  3. Posted November 28, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Cool, I’ll check that out. Last year I paid $25 a month for the college basketball package on ESPN360. It gave me every single game broadcast on ESPN, which included every SU game in the BE season other than maybe DePaul — and I also occasionally used it to sneak a peak on some other big time matchups.

  4. greg
    Posted November 28, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, ESPN3 is the latest version of ESPN360. Some of the Cuse games are only on ESPN3 this year.

    Plus what might be good for you are that all games on ESPN3 are recorded to be on demand for 7 days after the showing. That way you will be able to watch something on the team.

    As for knowing what I am talking about, meh, I just read way too much Syracuse stuff and watch too much too. :P

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