College Basketball Nation: 100319 vermont-syracuse

Final: Syracuse 79, Vermont 56

March, 19, 2010
BUFFALO -- Some quick thoughts from the end of a long day, especially if you're a Vermont fan.

  • Not sure what Syracuse can glean from this game. Certainly for a team whose vulnerabilities were exposed with back-to-back losses and a critical injury, the thumping of Vermont is a nice salve but in terms of preparation for the next game? This isn't getting it done. Vermont doesn't exactly play at Gonzaga's speed.
  • I'm sure Jim Boeheim will hone in on the momentary lapses of focus his Orange displayed. Syracuse was never going to lose or really even be challenged but they did ease off the pedal every now and again and it's a habit the Orange can't afford to get in as the competition ratchets up considerably here in two days.
  • Judging by this game, I'm going to guess that Boeheim is going to run with a six-man lineup as long as he can while Arinze Onuaku rehabs his quad injury. DaShonte Riley only played a handful of minutes in a game that was never in trouble. Unless Rick Jackson or someone else gets in serious foul trouble, I expect Boeheim to stick with his five starters plus Scoop Jardine off the bench. The question is: Will it work against a Gonzaga team that likes to get up and down the floor? We'll see.

Halftime: Syracuse 37, Vermont 25

March, 19, 2010
BUFFALO -- Some quick reactions from halftime:

  • Jim Boeheim looks like he ate a bucket of lemons and for good reason. Syracuse will likely win this game going away, but the Orange certainly got a little full of their wonder late in the second half, letting Vermont turn a 25-point hole with 6:39 left into a respectable 12-point deficit by the break.
  • Boeheim looked especially thrilled when the ridiculously athletic Marqus Blakely threw down not one, not two but three monster dunks -- including two alley oops. Blakley has nine points early.
  • Think it would behoove Boeheim to get DaShonte Riley some minutes in the second half. The Orange don't need him here, but they might against Gonzaga, and it would serve the freshman well to play more than mop-up minutes. He was in for three minutes in the first half. He needs work with the starters if Arinze Onuaku is going to be out long term.
  • In the true spirit of a Philly guard, Scoop Jardine is like a firecracker. He ignites Syracuse from the bench, plays with a speed that leaves people flat-footed (literally in this game) and is fearless and brash. One of the most fun guys to watch in college basketball right now if you enjoy players who play with passion and energy from the opening tip.