Blog Entry

Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh

Posted on: January 1, 2010 9:35 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2010 9:39 pm

No. 5 Syracuse Orange (13-0, 1-0) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (11-2, 1-0)

The Associated Press said that "The Big East will test inexperienced Pitt early." This is starting to become a realization for the Pittsburgh Panthers. After starting the season with their best wins against Wichita State and at Duquesne, and after being beat by Texas and Indiana, the Panthers will only see tougher competitions against high caliber Big East teams. They defeated Depaul handily in their Big East opener, however in their next string of games I am sure Jamie Dixon would be happy with two wins through the five game stretch. Pitt heads to the carrier dome tomorrow night, then they will continue by traveling to Cincinatti, then at UCONN. After that they have Louisville and Georgetown at home. It is quite obvious that Pitt is down from their #1 seed in last years NCAA tournament, as they have only two players averaging double figures. However this team is capable of making a run through the Big East they may surprise some. Leading scorers Wanamaker and Gibbs will head into the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon with mighty shoes to fill. Syracuse, on the other hand, has more than fulfilled expectation. After losing Flynn, Devendorf, and Harris to the NBA this team has only gotten better. The unsung hero has been Rick Jackson, as he and Arinze Onuaku have dominated the paint in critical games. Andy Rautins, the three point specialist, has expanded his game as a team leader, by enthralling the crowd with his crowd-pleasing assists. He also is among the nation's leaders in steals per game. Scoope Jardine and kris Joseph have stepped up to average 8 and 10 points respectively, which is a big boost to this teams depth. Let's not forget the two first year Orange players, and the team's PPG leaders, the Freshman Triche and the player on Gary Parrish's early All-American Team, Wesley Johnson. Enough said about the Orange. This is a key matchup for the Orange as they look to solidify their hierarchy in the Big East, and stay among the nation's elite. Pittsburgh has a very important chance to surprise many and make a run at the top 25 with a victory. How will Pitt respond to the pressure? Here are the projected line-ups for the game:

No. 5 Syracuse Orange (13-0, 1-0)        Pittsburgh Panthers (11-2,1-0)

G #1 Andy Rautins                                     G #12 Ashton Gibbs
F #00 Rick Jackson                                    G #22 Brad Wanamaker
C #21 Arinze Onuaku                                F  #5 Gilbert Brown
F #4 Wesley Johnson                                G #24 Jermaine Dixon
F #25 Brandon Triche                                F  #35 Nasir Robinson

My Prediction:
With Syracuse being such a dominant team so far there is no possible way I pick against them in this game. The duo of Gibbs and Wanamaker may give the Orange zone problems along with Gilbert Brown's return from academic probation and Jernaine Dixon's added presence. However, it is Pitt's size that will do them in, as their lineup is very small compared to the both large and quick zone of the Syracuse Orange. Without the DeJuan Blair of last year for Pitt, Onuaku and Jackson will tear up the backcourt for the Orange. The Orange's frontcourt should also be too quick for Pitt as well, however too many turnovers could help Pitt stay in the game. Pitt's key to the game has to be to slow the tempo of the Orange offense and stay aggresive on the boards, along with respectable 3-point shooting. If they can't do this, then the Orange will have a field day.

Final Score: Syracuse wins it, 83-67


Since: Mar 9, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2010 9:09 pm

Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh

I did give Pitt a chance didn't I? And Syracuse failed to do anything I mentioned. So the prediction went pretty well, thanks for asking.

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2010 10:38 pm

Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh

How'd that prediction work out for you???

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