I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Matt is a 6′8″ dude who launches threes whenever he gets the opportunity. The main difference is that Tomaszewski is three-for-three this season, whereas Elvir was more of a 25% guy. Between Nick “Trick Shot” Resavy and Big Matty T, it looks like our walk-ons are better shooters than our starters.
That was a fun-ass game to watch. High-flying, fast-breaking, shot-blocking fun. It was like a throwback to the 80s, before there was all this annoying parity in college basketball, when SU would just beat the crap out of some overmatched squad from a school you’d never heard of before and would never hear of again (in the days before Google). Credit to Morgan State for hanging around for a while, with a combination of timely threes from Justin Black (who was 36% from deep on the season before his 4-4 night) and just enough interior offense. But we all knew it wouldn’t last. And it didn’t.
Obvious storylines that you will no doubt be reading on syracuse.com within the hour: (A) James Southerland, welcome back. (B) 34 assistises. (C) Fab Melo continuing to make progress despite being hobbled. (D) 11 blocked shots. All these are true and worth reading about and enjoying. But as usual there is more to be said, and that’s why we’re here.
So, some less obvious storylines that deserve mention (and are to be similarly enjoyed): (A) Rick Jackson’s passing, particularly his outlet passes off the defensive boards. The guards, especially Scoop, are just leaking out when a shot goes up, confident that Rick will not only grab the board but find them jetting to the opposite hoop. He’s thrown probably a dozen passes this year that have gone more than half the length of the court. I remember one that was ill-advised and forced, but the rest have led to Transition Opportunities. (B) Brandon Triche has officially got his head on straight. The Colgate game appears to be what did it. He looked good vs. Iona but this game certifies it in my view. He’s playing so much better than he did early in the year. (C) Outrebounding Morgan State by 19, when that was supposedly Morgan State’s strength. And they have some strong, thick players on their team. Seeing their players on the floor, I thought they had accidentally brought their football team to the Dome. They have a lot of height and a bunch of interior bruisers, and SU dominated the glass for like 35 of the 40 minutes. (D) BMK impressing with his touch around the basket on offense. We know by now about his solid work rebounding and blocking shots, but in this game he had a few chances around the basket and he made them count. Not dunks, but little 3-foot bank shots and such. And even hitting 2 of 3 free throws. He just continues to be a revelation this season.
So there you have it. Four additional nuggets you can toss out there to impress those of your coworkers that only read the paper, from a highly enjoyable win.
I would also like to take this moment to thank Louisville for losing to Drexel last week. Not just because they deserved it (though they obviously did, because they are Louisville) but because it should ensure that SU’s players don’t take the Dragons lightly. Drexel is 8-1 with a crappy offense but great defense, and they are 4th in the nation with 43 rebounds per game (that stat has got to be a little inflated because their games feature so many missed shots, both by them and by their opponents, but still). Only three of their opponents have managed to score as many as 60 points. They have size and brawn but very limited shooting ability. To put it in perspective, they have only one guy who is even over 70% from the foul line (leading scorer Chris Fouch, who is their only legit deep threat, shooting 39% and having taken about 2/3 of their total 3-point attempts on the season). In other words, they are like Morgan State — but a lot better at what they do well. The Orangemen better be ready for a brawl. (Figuratively, of course. No actual fighting please. Suspensions = bad.)