Syracuse Basketball 2014-15: The Collapsing Zone

The Filthy One

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Somebody has to start a thread for this year's team, even after last night's debacle. That has to be the worst a Syracuse team has played in 10 years, which only confirms my belief that this will be the worst Cuse team of the post-Melo era. The glaring issues were on display in last night's lopsided loss to Cal:
  • Kaleb Joseph is not Tyler Ennis. Or Michael Carter-Williams. Or even Scoop Jardine. He looked lost and frazzled, and coughed the ball up repeatedly. Hopefully he will improve, though it's also worth noting that he doesn't have anywhere near the talent around him that those other players had when they stepped in. They don't seem to have a backup point that Boeheim feels comfortable with, so it's sink or swim for Joseph.
  • No offense. Basically a repeat of the last 10 games from last year. Brick after brick after airball after brick. Cooney's shot was spotty and really nobody else could hit much of anything. They cannot rely on Rakeem Christmas morphing into Moses Malone (in part because he's not that great, and in part because he can't stay on the floor).
  • Defensive lapses. They won last year despite a putrid offense because they were an elite defensive squad. This year? Not so much. I don't remember many teams cutting up the zone the way Cal did last night. The new guys (and I'm counting people like Roberson and BJ Johnson here) just don't quite know the zone the way they need to. How many corner 3s did they give up last night? That's a dead giveaway that the wings aren't doing what they ought to.
  • No back-up center. It looks like Coleman may be lost for the year, which is a huge blow considering Christmas can't keep himself on the floor. They are a much better team with an active Christmas blocking shots and roaming the baseline of the zone.
On the plus side, McCullough showed flashes of greatness and Gbinije played pretty well. But otherwise? Brutal.
 

TomBrunansky23

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On a side note I just finished Boeheim's book and it was pretty good.  Lots of great stories and clearly written in his own voice.  However, there were a few things in there that caused the eyes to roll, most specifically his claim that he and Bernie Fine, despite 30+ years together and living across the street from one another were never really friends or friendly with each other. 
 

Doooweeeey!

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Paging Lefty TG!  Paging Ivanvamp!  
I agree, hopes for this team should remain lower than we've come to expect.  But I'm not as gloomy as The Filthy One.
 
Boeheim was pretty upbeat about their comeback effort in the road loss to Michigan. Not an easy place to play.
Christmas seems to be settling into his role as primary big.  McCullogh showing good instincts around the rim.
Small sample, but they're hitting their free throws too.
 
Question marks: Joseph at the point, Cooney's shooting and getting consistent effort at the forward position from Gbinijie, Roberson and BJ Johnson.
Not a lot of depth there.
 
Another tough road game against ranked Villanova in December, a little breather, and then ACC play begins. 
 
Prediction:  Boeheim gets another 20 wins and the team finds a way into the dance no better than a 10 seed. 
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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Man, I'm sorry I'm late to the party!!!  My thoughts on SU so far….
 
1.  Joseph has a long way to go.  Two things on this:  (1) I think he'll get there and become great, and (2) he'll not leave after his freshman year.
 
2.  Christmas is pretty good, but needs work passing out of double teams.  I really think he was this good last year but he never saw the ball.  Now that he gets it, he can score.  One move in particular made my eyes pop out of my head.  Got the ball on the right block, reverse pivoted to face up, jab stepped to the right, then blew right by the defender on the left and scored a lefty lay-in.  Absolutely beautiful to watch the footwork, the speed, the agility, and the ability to finish.  
 
3.  McCullough is an absolute monster.  Or at least he has the ability to become one.  Holy cow.  What an athlete.  At his size, with his skill set.  Goodness.  I agree with Leo:  pray this kid stays for another year.  
 
4.  I'm not sold on Cooney.  I was once one of his biggest defenders, but I've come to realize that he lacks so much and it kills them.  He needs to develop consistency.  Until then, they'll struggle from the outside.
 
5.  They play more up-tempo than last year.  I like that.  They have always had great athletes.  Run, run, run, run, run.  Get those athletes in space and you can generate easy baskets, which this offense will desperately need.
 
6.  I think this is one of those rare SU teams that will be significantly better come tourney time than they are now.  I see them winning 19-20 regular season games, making the tournament, and then being a *VERY* tough out for some higher seed.  SU may make the elite 8 as a 10 seed.
 

LeftyTG

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Doooweeeey! said:
Paging Lefty TG!  Paging Ivanvamp!  
I agree, hopes for this team should remain lower than we've come to expect.  But I'm not as gloomy as The Filthy One.
 
 
It is nice to be missed  :rolleyes:
 
I've stayed away from this thread.  I didn't trust myself.  Having endured that train wreck of a football season and having little hope for the future as long as we're coached by an imbecile (how do you punt from your opponents 30 yard line, in the 4th quarter, down 2 scores????  and to do it multiple times????), I was worried that I was just in a negative frame of mind when it came to Syracuse athletics.  I really didn't like the team this year, but I kept my mouth shut, lest I seem like a reactionary fool.  But, well, having watched that St. John's game...time may eventually show that I'm being a reactionary fool, but I no longer think that I'm unfairly down on this team.
 
I don't think this team wins 20.  I don't think this team will finish .500 in conference play.  I don't think this team will make the NCAA tournament.  
 
Put simply, the guards on this team suck.  For the second year in the row, there is nobody on the team who can break down the defense and create their own shot off the dribble.  You could even argue that Syracuse hasn't had a guard capable of getting into the lane and finishing since Waiters (MCW could penetrate, but looked to pass - he was an awful finisher in the lane in college).
 
Cooney is awful.  He isn't a major conference guard.  He is supposed to be dead eye shooter, but he isn't a particularly good shooter.  The problem is that he doesn't do anything else particularly well.  He is a below average athlete moving laterally.  He doesn't have much of a handle.  He doesn't create.  He isn't a particularly noteworthy passer.  The only time he can get to the rim is when a defender is flying out at him, and once he puts the ball on the floor he is a spaz and lacks fluidity in getting to the rim and finishing.  He is the most awkward looking athlete at guard I think I've ever seen at Syracuse.  To his credit, he understands the zone and doesn't make mental mistakes, which is why Boeheim trusts him and he gets playing time.  It is a major indictment on the other guards on the roster that Cooney gets as much run as he does.
 
Joseph is a freshman.  Syracuse has been spoiled by having this run of spectacular PG's, and having Ennis who was mature way beyond his years.  Joseph should mature into a nice college guard.  But he isn't really an asset to the team right now.  He was recruited to be Ennis' backup, and he would have done very well in that role.  Ennis leaving a year early really screwed things up, and it is showing this year.  He's doing the best he can, but he simply isn't capable of leading the team and running the offense efficiently.
 
McCullough is awesome.  He'll be a lottery pick and I think he'll be an awesome pro.  He's a legit 6'10", has a massive wing span, runs the floor like a gazelle and has a very nice shooting touch.  I think he'll represent Syracuse well in the NBA for the next decade plus.  The problem is that he is a freshman big.  He's their best player and nice to have, but not the kind of freshman who is going to single handedly lead the team to success.  He has the typical freshman big issues - mostly related to a lack of strength - and, as a big, he relies on guards to get him the ball.  He isn't the kind of player who can take the ball on the wing and break down his defender to get to the rim with his dribble.  He also doesn't have much of a back to the basket game.  I think he can (and will) develop those things eventually, it just won't be his freshman year at Syracuse.
 
Christmas has been what we expected from him since his sophomore year.  Still, it is nice seeing him play up to his potential.  He's been engaged and has shown a soft touch around the basket.  He isn't quite a 1A type option on offense, but he is more than respectable.  He faces the same issues as McCullough in that he has to rely on guards getting him the ball, which has been inconsistent at best.  
 
My biggest disappointment with the team has been the stunning lack of improvement of Roberson and Johnson.  I genuinely expected Roberson to emerge in a big way this season and take that famous freshman to sophomore leap and be the next great Syracuse forward.  I expected Johnson to utilize an all around game and be an invaluable glue guy able to play both forward and guard positions and contribute all across the board.  Instead they've both mostly stayed the same and both have already lost the faith of Boeheim.
 
This leads me to my bigger picture fear.  I've always been a staunch Boeheim defender and have rarely indulged in the second guessing and complaining about Boeheim that can seem to be a cottage industry in Syracuse.  But I look at the lack of development in a lot of guys and am starting to wonder if he is losing effectiveness.  He's over 70 now, and with all the tumult around the program, I just wonder if he is engaged and focused on the program as he has been in the past.  Syracuse, historically, has been a program that needed to develop talent to be successful, and it was undeniable that players consistently got better at Syracuse.  In the last 5-7 years or so, Syracuse has been recruiting at a much higher level than usual and has been landing more elite high school talent (next year's class is loaded as well).  I think that might be overshadowing some slippage in the development side of the equation.  Just off of this year's team, I'd argue that Cooney, Gbinije, Roberson, and Johnson have not improved/developed as expected given their time in the program (and to be sure, some players bust or never fulfill expectations).  I'm not trying to be alarmist or am pronouncing Boeheim as cooked and Syracuse doomed.  I'm just saying that for the very first time, the possibility has plausibly entered my mind.
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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On the development side, I can point to Christmas, Kris Joseph, Triche, Rick Jackson, Onuaku, Fair, and more that really became excellent college basketball players in recent years.

Boeheim is fine. The team has lost a TON of talent to the NBA recently (or at least guys choosing to leave early, even if it wasn't the best idea for them to do so). This is a rebuilding year. So be it. It happens every once in a while, even at Syracuse.

It would be soooooo nice if McCullough stuck around for his sophomore season. Because next year's team would be an absolute beast if he did.
 

LeoCarrillo

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ivanvamp said:
On the development side, I can point to Christmas, Kris Joseph, Triche, Rick Jackson, Onuaku, Fair, and more that really became excellent college basketball players in recent years.

Boeheim is fine. The team has lost a TON of talent to the NBA recently (or at least guys choosing to leave early, even if it wasn't the best idea for them to do so). This is a rebuilding year. So be it. It happens every once in a while, even at Syracuse.

It would be soooooo nice if McCullough stuck around for his sophomore season. Because next year's team would be an absolute beast if he did.
 
I really hope you're right. (Very minor quibble: I think Fair was a special kinda kid who showed up and had let-the-game-come-to-him instincts from Day 1. The rare kind of player you're lucky that you barely even need to coach at all. But that's meant as a credit to Fair, not a refutation of your point, Ivan.)
 
I hope this season doesn't diminish Jimmy's fire to keep coaching so soon after last year's new rivalry with Duke and Coach K seemingly re-ignited it. Example: Jacket semi-doff T-up at Cameron. I doubt it does with such a monster recruiting class on the way. Then again, maybe he hands that off to Hopkins as a parting gift so he can Kevin Ollie a championship in two years. 
 
I really think Ennis killed Jimmy. That was like a mortal blow, his leaving early. Screwed up the whole multi-year plan and I think JB felt personally betrayed. (Whether that's fair to Ennis is debatable). I say this largely from having, by chance, watched the Cuse's Midnight Madness event a couple months ago. Stumbled on it flipping around the TV. There was an old-timers game (John Wallace, Pearl Washington, I think Raf Addison) and then an orange vs. blue scrimmage. Of course DC was there, as always. So, Jimmy was surrounded by his legacy and it was very informal and "familial," really. And he sat down with the local TV play-by-play guy between the games and chatted. Looked at ease. Basically, the opposite of being in front of a bunch of microphones and reporters. And at one point, barely prompted with questions about handing over the reins to Kaleb Joseph, he threw Ennis more under the bus than I've ever seen Jimmy do so before. Basically, "We were all very surprised he left. The coaches and I sat down with him and told him there was still a lot he could learn here. He could use another year to grow. But he went a different way. And, you know <shrug> ..."
 
Seems tame, I know. But you could tell Jimmy felt like he'd plucked an overlooked gem away from the Kentuckys and Arizonas and planned on getting two great years of invaluable point-guard play out of him. Interestingly, he barely mentioned Grant. Probably figures he's got enough 6-8 guys in the pipeline to fill that void. But Ennis bolting hurt Jimmy. You could tell. It's one thing to get 1 year out of Jabari Parker. But if Jimmy B loses one or two more of these 10-25-ranked recruits after one year because they can get picked No. 20 in the Draft, I'm not sure he'll be around a lot longer chasing a second title.
 

The Filthy One

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I wish I could share the optimism. I think they're heading for the NIT. They just don't have the shooters to compete this year. I think they'll improve, but I have trouble seeing them getting to more than 18 or 19 games, which I don't think will be enough to get them into the tournament. And as much as I'd love to think otherwise, nothing can keep McCullough in school for another year. I think the best they can hope for from this year is development of Joseph, Patterson, and Roberson. If they can improve, you add Richardson and Diagne to that group...maybe you have something.
 

The Filthy One

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I haven't been able to watch any of their recent games (which is probably good for my mental health) but hey, 2-0 in the ACC with 2 road wins is better than nothing (even if those teams are both mediocre). It's a shame they couldn't steal one of the games against Michigan/Villanova, as they really needed a win against a ranked team for their resume.
 
I have to eat some crow over saying Christmas wouldn't be able to stay on the court. He's done a nice job of avoiding foul trouble (OT game against Nova not withstanding). What's really strange is that it appears that McCullough has regressed. I thought he was going to be an absolute monster this year, and now he can't get out of single digits. Anybody who has watched a few games have a take on him? Is there a chance he stays another year now?
 

Doooweeeey!

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McCullogh with a leg injury in tonight's win against Florida St.  Have not seen enough of his play to diagnose the funk he's been in.
Big shooting night for Cooney and Christmas stayed out of foul trouble just long enough. Nice to go 3-0, but the schedule only gets tougher as they go.
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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That was their best performance of the season, I think.  It helps when Cooney goes 7-11 from three.
 
How bad is McCullough's injury?  The news reports today are….vague.  Which probably isn't a good sign.
 

LeftyTG

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ivanvamp said:
That was their best performance of the season, I think.  It helps when Cooney goes 7-11 from three.
 
How bad is McCullough's injury?  The news reports today are….vague.  Which probably isn't a good sign.
Seeing the injury, I'd be shocked if it wasn't some kind of tear/out for the season kind of injury.
 
That's a huge blow to an already underwhelming team.  Obokoh is now the backup center, and he isn't particularly close to ready.  It'll also likely mean minutes for BJ Johnson, who has been a big disappointment and still isn't physically able to play with men.
 

amfox1

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ivanvamp said:
How bad is McCullough's injury?  The news reports today are….vague.  Which probably isn't a good sign.
 
Torn ACL, out for the season.   Have to think he'll be out of the draft and back to Syracuse for another year.
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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Well…..crap.
 
Though if it means he'll be back next year I guess that's a silver lining.  
 
Ugh.
 

LeftyTG

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ivanvamp said:
Well…..crap.
 
Though if it means he'll be back next year I guess that's a silver lining.  
 
Ugh.
not to tarnish the silver lining, but Syracuse was counting on McCullough being a one and done to free up a scholarship for Thomas Bryant, the 5 star center from Rochester, long thought to be a silent verbal to Syracuse.  Syracuse will either need someone to transfer, have Dajuan Coleman hang em up, or miss on Bryant.
 

The Filthy One

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LeftyTG said:
not to tarnish the silver lining, but Syracuse was counting on McCullough being a one and done to free up a scholarship for Thomas Bryant, the 5 star center from Rochester, long thought to be a silent verbal to Syracuse.  Syracuse will either need someone to transfer, have Dajuan Coleman hang em up, or miss on Bryant.
 
Before the injury, I would have thought BJ Johnson might transfer, as he'd been buried under the bench all season. But now he may actually get minutes. 
 

Doooweeeey!

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I'm liking Rakeem Christmas Beast Mode.  Can it last?
Maybe this team just learns to play without McCullogh.  Gbinijie has shown leadership and some good scoring lately.  Who knows? 
 
Dec 10, 2012
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The Filthy One said:
Self-imposed postseason ban. Wonder if that means they can get off the hook for next year and keep their stellar recruits? 
February 4, 2015

Dear Alumni and Friends:

I am writing to give you advance notice that the University is announcing today it has self-imposed a one-year post-season ban for the men’s basketball 2014-15 season as part of its case pending before the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

This one-year ban includes the ACC Tournament and any additional post-season tournaments such as the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). I made this decision in consultation with the Board of Trustees Athletics Committee and with the support of Athletics Director Daryl Gross and Men’s Basketball Head Coach Jim Boeheim. This was a difficult decision but one we believe appropriate given the facts associated with the NCAA investigation.

Syracuse’s history demonstrates a strong commitment to integrity, responsibility and fairness, values I have personally observed in practice many times since becoming Chancellor last year. The University has taken this matter seriously and worked with the NCAA for nearly eight years to investigate and address potential rules violations. The process has been exhaustive.

We have taken responsibility for past violations and worked hard to ensure they are not repeated. We believe these voluntary sanctions are consistent with those imposed on other NCAA schools in similar cases. I have included below a copy of the University announcement that will be issued shortly.

I am disappointed for our current men’s basketball players who must shoulder this post-season ban as a result of things that occurred years ago. I also recognize that not participating in post-season play will be disappointing for you and other Orange supporters. However, we look forward to moving past this matter and I am confident the men’s basketball program will be strong and successful both on the court and in the classroom in the years ahead.

Sincerely,

 
Dec 10, 2012
6,943
The Filthy One said:
Self-imposed postseason ban. Wonder if that means they can get off the hook for next year and keep their stellar recruits? 
February 4, 2015

Dear Orange Supporter:

I am writing to give you advance notice that the University is announcing today it will self-impose a one-year post-season ban for the men’s basketball team for the current 2014-2015 season resulting from the current NCAA case. This ban includes the ACC Tournament and any additional post-season tournaments such as the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).

Our greatest concern is for our men’s basketball team who will be affected by this outcome—even though they were not involved. We are also mindful that all of you are passionate and loyal supporters of our program who look forward to post-season play.

As difficult as this decision is, I want you to know that I fully support it and I am confident this action will help ensure our standing as one of the nation’s elite programs for years to come. I’m sure you have many questions about this and I would like to be able to answer them, but given we are still awaiting the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ final report, we are under strict confidentiality guidelines and unable to comment further at this time.

Attached I am sharing with you a message Chancellor Kent Syverud sent moments ago to the students, faculty and staff of Syracuse University that further explains the actions we have taken to strengthen our University.

Sincerely,



Daryl Gross
Director of Athletics

 


 
 
February 4, 2015

Dear Alumni and Friends: {ed. note, same as the students/alumni/staff letter]

I am writing to give you advance notice that the University is announcing today it has self-imposed a one-year post-season ban for the men’s basketball 2014-15 season as part of its case pending before the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

This one-year ban includes the ACC Tournament and any additional post-season tournaments such as the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). I made this decision in consultation with the Board of Trustees Athletics Committee and with the support of Athletics Director Daryl Gross and Men’s Basketball Head Coach Jim Boeheim. This was a difficult decision but one we believe appropriate given the facts associated with the NCAA investigation.

Syracuse’s history demonstrates a strong commitment to integrity, responsibility and fairness, values I have personally observed in practice many times since becoming Chancellor last year. The University has taken this matter seriously and worked with the NCAA for nearly eight years to investigate and address potential rules violations. The process has been exhaustive.

We have taken responsibility for past violations and worked hard to ensure they are not repeated. We believe these voluntary sanctions are consistent with those imposed on other NCAA schools in similar cases. I have included below a copy of the University announcement that will be issued shortly.

I am disappointed for our current men’s basketball players who must shoulder this post-season ban as a result of things that occurred years ago. I also recognize that not participating in post-season play will be disappointing for you and other Orange supporters. However, we look forward to moving past this matter and I am confident the men’s basketball program will be strong and successful both on the court and in the classroom in the years ahead.

Sincerely,

 

Clears Cleaver

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LOL, what a joke.
 
Yes, we were bad and did illegal things when we were competitive, but after eight years of investigating, we decided since this year we suck we'll voluntarily sit this one out, but please let us play next year because we actually have some decent players coming in and ESPN wants to do GameDay at the Carrier Dome again. Plus, Boeheim is old. He didn't really mean it.  
 
Daryl Gross
 
UNC is mocking you. they are soon to announce a self-imposed preseason NIT ban. 
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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Of course, this is an admission of guilt.  So there's nothing stopping the NCAA from tacking on its own penalties.  
 

The Filthy One

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I see him at the end of the first round/first 5 picks of the second round. And he could stick around awhile in the NBA. A little undersized for a center, but athletic, decent touch around the basket. Not completely inept with the ball. He's been doing what he's been doing this year with constant attention from opposing defenses. 
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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The Filthy One said:
I see him at the end of the first round/first 5 picks of the second round. And he could stick around awhile in the NBA. A little undersized for a center, but athletic, decent touch around the basket. Not completely inept with the ball. He's been doing what he's been doing this year with constant attention from opposing defenses. 
 
Rakeem Christmas is making himself a lot of money this season.  Undersized for a center, but very nicely sized for a power forward.  Obviously, he has plenty of scoring ability in the post, is an effective free throw shooter, has become a better passer, is a very good rebounder and excellent shot blocker.  Very athletic.
 
I don't think he'll be a starter in the NBA, but there are plenty of teams that could use a guy like that.  
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
Not that it matters, but holy crap last night.  Held the #2 team in the country to TWO points for the first 14 minutes of the game (!!!!!), and then proceeded to absolutely get blitzed.  At one point after that awful start, Virginia hit 16 of 21 shots.  
 
I love SU hoops, but man, I can't wait for this season to be over.  They need a major regroup.
 
Of course, it shows how spoiled we've been.  This has been, in every way, a totally crappy season, but they're 18-12 with a +.500 winning percentage in one of the best conferences in America.  It's nice when that is your crappy season.
 

TheDeuce222

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Virginia fan here.  Obviously, a very frustrating year for Cuse fans, but I think there is still the potential for a very, very good team next year if you guys escape further punishment from the NCAA and are eligible for the postseason.  
 
I was impressed with Roberson - he had a really nice take to the basket in the second half and looked to be competing hard.  Gbinije shot the ball horrifically but he is also a very athletic player who could do some good things in a more balanced offense.  And I was very impressed with McCullough early in the year, and the injury probably means he will be back around Christmas rather than in the NBA.  With four four-star recruits added to the mix, they may be right back in business and should be a tournament team.  
 
On the other hand, I will say that I think you guys are off-base if you think Rakeem Christmas has a prayer to go in the first round or is going to be Kenneth Faried Jr.  Chad Ford has him ranked 55, DraftExpress has him projected to go in the 50s, and those sound about right to me.  I know he has had some big games this year, but I thought he was incredibly bad last night.  Consistently out-toughed and out-physicaled by Atkins and Gill and even the Virginia guards for rebounds and on defense.  He's the oldest player eligible for the draft, and he is about 6'9 with a very limited perimeter game past 13 feet.  He is an undersized 5 who will have trouble muscling players in the NBA like he does against the front lines of the Pittsburghs and Wake Forests of the world.  And that's not to mention the transition from zone to man defense (which certainly he will handle better than someone like Melo because of his far superior athleticism and instincts, but is still a process).  He could have a cup of coffee in the NBA, but if he is getting paid 50 million plus like Faried in 4 years, I will be absolutely shocked.  
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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You may be right about Christmas.  Odds are better that he isn't an NBA success than that he is.  Of course, this is true for most people who get drafted, so no shame there.
 
He was doubled on every single play last night.  And he got no help from anybody.  He didn't have a good rebounding game, but Virginia is very tough on the glass and the zone defense they play always makes blocking out very difficult.  I'm not worried about him in that area.  He's been terrific rebounding all year long.
 

LeftyTG

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TheDeuce222 said:
Virginia fan here.  Obviously, a very frustrating year for Cuse fans, but I think there is still the potential for a very, very good team next year if you guys escape further punishment from the NCAA and are eligible for the postseason.  
 
I was impressed with Roberson - he had a really nice take to the basket in the second half and looked to be competing hard.  Gbinije shot the ball horrifically but he is also a very athletic player who could do some good things in a more balanced offense.  And I was very impressed with McCullough early in the year, and the injury probably means he will be back around Christmas rather than in the NBA.  With four four-star recruits added to the mix, they may be right back in business and should be a tournament team.  
 
On the other hand, I will say that I think you guys are off-base if you think Rakeem Christmas has a prayer to go in the first round or is going to be Kenneth Faried Jr.  Chad Ford has him ranked 55, DraftExpress has him projected to go in the 50s, and those sound about right to me.  I know he has had some big games this year, but I thought he was incredibly bad last night.  Consistently out-toughed and out-physicaled by Atkins and Gill and even the Virginia guards for rebounds and on defense.  He's the oldest player eligible for the draft, and he is about 6'9 with a very limited perimeter game past 13 feet.  He is an undersized 5 who will have trouble muscling players in the NBA like he does against the front lines of the Pittsburghs and Wake Forests of the world.  And that's not to mention the transition from zone to man defense (which certainly he will handle better than someone like Melo because of his far superior athleticism and instincts, but is still a process).  He could have a cup of coffee in the NBA, but if he is getting paid 50 million plus like Faried in 4 years, I will be absolutely shocked.  
I agree that Syracuse should be better next year.  They were caught flat footed when Ennis went pro.  I don't think Joseph was recruited to be a start as a freshman kind of PG and was thrust into a role he wasn't remotely ready for.  Cooney is Cooney at this point.  He hits some ridiculous threes, but is just a sub par as an athlete, way too stiff and slow to get into the lane and finish consistently.  Ideally Cooney would be a 6th man, an energy/shooter guy off the bench.  Alas, not having anyone on the floor who could reliably beat a defender and get to the hoop just ground the offense to a halt.  I'm not sure how much that changes next year.  Richardson is a fantastic shooter, but has motor/defense questions and already has a rep for not taking the ball to the basket in high school.  Howard isn't going to play much next year.  A lot hinges on how much Joseph improves in the offseason.  Maybe I'm scarred by the slow development of Johnson/Roberson/Patterson, but I'm holding my breath on Joseph.
 
I do like Roberson, fwiw.  I think he plays hard and is a very willing rebounder.  I think he has it in him to knock down that 15 footer and wish Boeheim gave him a little more rope (you constantly see him gathering himself to shoot and then quickly passing it, as if he had electrodes attached that go off if he shoots a jumper).  The problem with Roberson is that he struggles to finish over size and lacks the strength/mass to bang with bigger bodies.  He's a great weakside rebounder, but struggles when contested.
 
I do agree with you on Christmas.  I don't mean to take away from the season he had, I just wasn't as in love with him this season as most Syracuse fans.  He disappears for large stretches, was prone to silly fouls, and lacks an automatic go-to move.  I don't think he is a first round NBA pick.  I do think he'll have a journeyman career.  He does have size and some bulk and he runs very well for a man his size.  He's functional around basket and has a 7'3" wingspan to go with above average athleticism.  I think he has the ability to hone and develop a jumper out to the foul line, and that, I believe, will determine whether he can stick in the NBA beyond a couple of years.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
43,003
deep inside Guido territory
Syracuse, N.Y. — The NCAA today ordered Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim suspended for nine games as a result of multiple infractions over the past eight years.
SU basketball and football were both placed on five years' probation, according to the 94-page report.
The NCAA ordered SU basketball to lose three scholarships a year for four years, or 12 total, the NCAA ruled.
SU imposed a postseason ban last month for the current season. The NCAA today banned the university from the postseason for next year.
The NCAA did not impose any further postseason bans.
 
http://www.syracuse.com/orangesports/index.ssf/2015/03/ncaa_penalizes_syracuse_basketball_for_rules_violations.html?hootPostID=a6d55f718596811d887c2626a12af334
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
7,087
The loss of 108 wins has to force Boeheim to reconsider how long he stays.  He's not getting to 1,000 wins now.
 
Also curious if Hopkins will be tarred by this, given how close he is to Boeheim.  Not sure how believable it is that he had no idea what was going on.
 

StuckOnYouk

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2006
3,119
CT
To be clear there is no second year ban, just this year.
This will be a strict punishment IF the NCAA holds firm on the scholarship punishments. But if they pull back based in good behavior then it really doesn't hurt Syracuse too much.
 

CoRP

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
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Jan 15, 2007
9,457
The Epicenter
StuckOnYouk said:
To be clear there is no second year ban, just this year.
This will be a strict punishment IF the NCAA holds firm on the scholarship punishments. But if they pull back based in good behavior then it really doesn't hurt Syracuse too much.
The loss of scholarships hurts.
 
Good article on Deadspin.
 

sachmoney

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 14, 2008
9,513
Tim Thomas' Bunker
Sorry guys, but this presents me with the opportunity to use one of my favorite gifs (see mascot): 

 
Does anyone know if/when there is going to be a real piece on this that covers everything/all of the improprieties? I'm not going to claim that this stuff happens everywhere, but I am certain that Syracuse is not the only one doing these type of things.
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
I'm sure other schools are but it sounds like SU was really negligent here and deserves to get whacked pretty good.

Ugh.
 
Dec 10, 2012
6,943
March 6, 2015

Dear Orange Supporters:

I am writing today with an update on the NCAA’s investigation into alleged rules violations within the University’s athletics program. As you know, in February the University instituted a voluntary one-year post-season ban on the men’s basketball program for the 2014-2015 season.

Today, we received the report from the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Below is the message Chancellor Kent Syverud sent to the campus community. I encourage you to read the detail regarding the actions the University and the Athletics Department have already taken to ensure our commitment to a collegiate sports model that values both academics and competition.

For more information on the NCAA investigation, visit http://www.ncaaupdatesyr.com.

Thank you for your continued support of Syracuse University Athletics.

Sincerely,
 

Daryl Gross
Director of Athletics
 

March 6, 2015

Dear Members of the University Community:

I am writing to update you on the outcome of Syracuse University’s case before the NCAA.

The University initially self-reported potential violations to the NCAA in May 2007 and submitted its written self-report in October 2010–after conducting an internal investigation for three years and five months. The NCAA conducted its own review and 11 months later in 2011 issued a Notice of Allegations, essentially confirming the self-report. While the University was in the process of responding to the Notice of Allegations, a subsequent violation occurred prompting a joint investigation beginning in February 2012. That investigation lasted more than 24 months and concluded with an amended Notice of Allegations in May 2014.

Today the University received the NCAA Committee on Infractions report.

We believe the NCAA’s investigation of Syracuse University has taken longer than any other investigation in NCAA history. The entire process has taken close to eight years and involved a review of conduct dating back to 2001. By comparison, the investigation into the fixing of the 1919 World Series took two months and the 2007 investigation of steroid use in baseball took 21 months.

The University and the NCAA devoted massive resources to this process. Hundreds of thousands of documents were reviewed, hundreds of interviews were conducted, and thousands of hours of human capital were expended.

Syracuse University cooperated throughout the investigation, and its length is a product of decisions we made separately and together. Nevertheless, when I became Chancellor in 2014, I concluded that the process had gone on long enough, and it needed to reach a prompt conclusion. We have worked hard with the NCAA during the last year to complete this matter, and we have done so.

Syracuse University did not and does not agree with all the conclusions reached by the NCAA, including some of the findings and penalties included in today’s report. However, we take the report and the issues it identifies very seriously, particularly those that involve academic integrity and the overall well-being of student-athletes. Syracuse University regrets, and does not dispute, that the following significant violations cited by the NCAA occurred:

Local YMCA
The University discovered that in 2004-2005, two men’s basketball and three football student-athletes received a combined total of $8,335, provided by a part-time local YMCA employee who qualified under NCAA rules as a University athletics “booster.” These monies were purportedly for work done at the YMCA, such as refereeing youth basketball games. Regardless, these monies were prohibited “extra benefits” under NCAA rules, and although these payments were isolated to one individual booster, they never should have occurred. In addition, three of these student-athletes received academic credit in the same course for internships at the YMCA they failed to complete. The University rescinded the credit.

Drug Education and Deterrence Program
The University’s voluntarily-adopted Drug Education and Deterrence Program has been in place for many years, distinguishing our University from those that elect to have no drug testing or rehabilitation program for their student-athletes. Although the NCAA does not require colleges and universities to have a testing program, if one is adopted, a school must follow its terms. The University reported to the NCAA that from 2001 to early 2009 it at times failed to follow the written terms of the program with respect to student-athletes who tested positive for use of marijuana. Although these failures largely were the result of an unnecessarily complicated testing policy and did not involve performance-enhancing drugs, they constitute an NCAA violation, which the University accepts.

Academic Integrity Matters
The University reported that in January 2012, a men’s basketball student-athlete committed academic misconduct. The misconduct occurred when the student-athlete submitted a paper in a course he already passed in an effort to improve his course grade and restore NCAA eligibility. The ability to improve a previous grade is open to all Syracuse University students. The paper was prepared with assistance from two (now former) athletics employees, both of whom were aware their actions were improper and wrong. Their actions, done in secret, went against clear instructions that the student-athlete needed to complete the assignment on his own, and constituted a clear violation of both University academic integrity policy and NCAA rules. The University has acknowledged the now-former staff members’ wrongful conduct and accepts responsibility for their actions. While reviewing this matter, the University found information suggesting these same two individuals, and one tutor, may have assisted three other student-athletes with some academic assignments. Detailed information was submitted through the University’s faculty-led academic integrity process. In each case, faculty failed to find evidence supporting a violation. NCAA bylaws dictate that they must accept an institution’s academic integrity determinations. Notwithstanding, the NCAA determined the same conduct constituted an “extra benefit” to these student-athletes. The University disagrees with the NCAA’s position.

These mistakes must never happen again. That is why beginning in 2009, the University strengthened its policies and reformed a range of student-athlete support services. These proactive steps include:
 
  • Fundamentally restructuring the entire student-athlete academic support office, which now reports solely to Academic Affairs, in lieu of jointly to the Athletics Department;
  • Creating a new Assistant Provost for Student-Athlete Development and more than doubling the number of full-time academic support staff for our student-athletes;
  • Redesigning the University’s voluntary Drug Education and Deterrence Program for student-athletes, consistent with best practices and peer institutions;
  • Establishing an Athletics Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees, that oversees the athletics department and receives reports of athletics issues, including compliance matters;
  • Creating an Athletics Compliance Oversight Committee that includes the University’s Faculty Athletics Representative and a representative from Academic Affairs. This committee reviews the status of athletic compliance initiatives and monitors compliance;
  • Assigning oversight of the Office of Athletics Compliance to the University General Counsel;
  • Implementing new and wide-ranging enhanced compliance training programs for all student-athletes and coaches focused on NCAA, ACC and University rules and policies;
  • Taking action to separate employment with two former athletics staff members found to have been involved in academic misconduct; and
  • Disassociating non-SU affiliated persons responsible for, or involved in, violations.
In addition to these important changes, the University already self-imposed a series of significant penalties that include:
 
  • A one-year ban from 2014-15 post-season competition for men’s basketball;
  • A voluntary, two-year term of probation for the Department of Athletics;
  • Elimination of one scholarship for men’s basketball for the 2015-2016 season;
  • Elimination of a men’s basketball off-campus recruiter for six months during 2015-2016;
  • Vacation of 24 men’s basketball wins (15 in 2004-05 and 9 in 2011-12); and
  • Vacation of 11 football wins: (6 in 2004-05; 1 in 2005-06; 4 in 2006-07).

To learn more about the NCAA Investigation, visit http://www.ncaaupdatesyr.com.

Although the University recognizes the seriousness of the violations it has acknowledged, it respectfully disagrees with certain findings of the Committee. Specifically, the University strongly disagrees that it failed to maintain institutional control over its athletics programs, or that Men’s Basketball Head Coach Jim Boeheim has taken actions that justify a finding that he was responsible for the rules violations.

The University is considering whether it will appeal certain portions of the decision. Coach Boeheim may choose to appeal the portions of the decision that impact him personally. Should he decide to do so, we would support him in this step.

Some may not agree with Syracuse University’s positions on these important issues. However, we hope everyone will agree that eight years is too long for an investigation and that a more expeditious and less costly process would be beneficial to student-athletes, public confidence in the NCAA enforcement process, and major intercollegiate athletics in general.

As we move forward, we can celebrate the many positive changes we have made, the academic success of our student-athletes, and the scholarly achievements of each one of our 21,000 students. As we do, I am confident every part of our University will continue to flourish in the years ahead.
 
Sincerely,
 

 
Chancellor Kent Syverud