Do I need to preface this with the words I am a basketball geek?
Another season looms. Its hard to say what a "reasonable" expectation is. Here are mine:
1. Play the game of basketball with dignity and fight hard.
2. Win at least one and maybe two great NCAA Tournament games. Anything further is icing on the cake. Mmmmm. Cake.
3. Go to NYC determined to take that last Big East Tournament title.
In order to do this, I think the team needs to demonstrate the following:
Develop chemistry, show character, play very tough defense, attack the basket as a deadly unit, and show moxxy under pressure. Is moxxy even a word? I'm not sure. It was flagged by my auto-correct.
I'm excited for the backcourt tandem of Trevor Coney and Michael Carter-Williams and hope i get to see them together in significant fashion. Unless I am reading Coney wrong by overestimating him, if they can turn into teammates who have one another's back in every situation, they will be deadly. Here's hoping that Brandon Triche either becomes a clutch player at swing man or gets out of the way so that these two can play together and turn Triche into THEIR 6th man. In any case, I put these 3 together for a reason. In order to be great, they need to run a consistent weave of offense, defense and substitution schedule. In order to win in college, you need great guard play, defense, and rebounding. Guard play is first. Scoring goes without say. But I digress...
Moussa Keita has to develop into a force, if not expect him to get his minutes giving Christmas an off-season [yes, these bad puns ARE going to continue as long as he wears a uniform]. To do so, Keita needs to be stronger with his hands. He has had trouble catching and holding onto the ball, which has stunted his work. He plays good defense and has a good mind. I think he has lacked in true confidence, and hope he has found new levels of intestinal fortitude over the summer.
Christmas, in order to be a gift, has to rebound and play defense at small forward in the clutch. I'm not confident of his ability to score yet despite seeing flashes of brilliant potential last year. If he can't learn to dominate a game like Jared Sullinger did, then lets hope he can at least learn to become a great supporting teammate, a la Horace Grant.
CJ Fair has to score or pass well whenever he gets a touch, but should really focus on defense and rebounding misses for baskets and breakouts and nothing else.
If Coleman can draw defenses to him and score or set up a score, he could play the same role that Carmelo Anthony did. Don't expect him to play it as well as Carmelo did. But don't be surprised if he just does.
Boeheim has loosened up a bit and become a little more cagey with how he plays combinations and substitutions as he has grown older, so expect the unexpected from the old man on the hill.
Here's hoping that the Coach has some orchestral coaching this year, and that the team plays well. He won't be around forever, and the man truly is an innovator, hence the hero worship.
Here's to hoping that he throws in a TRULY nasty full court press and some tight man-to-man CAPITAL D from time to time, just to disrupt the opponent. Then return to the zone.
And finally, will the student section make the Dome into "the Zone," with the sound of a drone that they make as loud as they can the entire time we play defense at home? Or in this hope am I alone? My point here is that I think the fans often times get a little lazy at the Dome, and hope that they truly develop into a lighthearted, fun and entertaining group who really put the favor in our balance with g-rated, albeit very witty, noise. we need more cheers, and i'll be hosting a season long competition for best cheer. however, since no more than three people read this at a time, expect submissions only from my mom and my buddy josh and maybe my aunts from time to time.
Beyond that... here's hoping that by the time this season tips off we can get this site up and running so it looks, shall we say, more official.
My official declaration for this blog transitioning into website is to analyze the game of basketball through these posts, all for the good name and glory of a hometown hero and a beloved university! My hope is that this will be read and commented on mostly by basketball coaches [with a few cagey sports writers, overzealous fans, and plenty of senior citizens from upstate new york mixed in ] who will share ideas, critique, breakdown and strategy in the name of loving college basketball. That said, I'll consider it a success if I can get my family to read it and triple my numbers! HA!