Browsing Posts tagged Wesley Johnson

The stage was set tonight for the resurgence of the New Jersey Nets. The Nets had a 25% chance of landing the #1 overall draft pick, the best odds of any team in the lottery. The NBA announces the draft order from #14 (the worst) to #1 (the best). So when the final three teams were announced, the Sixers, Wizards, and Nets, I thought the Nets had it in the bag. The Wizards and Sixers had the 5th and 6th best odds, respectively, but landed picks #1 and #2. The Nets will draft 3rd. So where does this mean for the Nets?

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While the season ended too soon for the Syracuse Orangemen, Wesley Johnson received a post-season honor today after being named to the All-American squad along with Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall, Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds, and Ohio State’s Evan Turner. Not the ultimate award Johnson was looking to obtain, but still a nice award for an outstanding year turned in by the transfer. He’ll most likely head to the NBA this summer. Congratulations, Wes Johnson. Johnson averaged 16.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this year as he led Syracuse to their first #1 ranking in the regular season since 1990.

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The struggles of the Big East thus far in the NCAA tournament has not affected the Orangemen of Syracuse. Syracuse defeated Gonzaga in Buffalo, New York today 87-65. continue reading…

Written By: Matt Vereb

Syracuse dropped their opening round game in the Big East Tournament to Georgetown, 91-84.

Should Syracuse fans worry? The team has dropped two straight games before the NCAA Tournament, so it causes some reason for concern. However, their projected #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament will not be affected after today’s loss.

The real concern? Forward Arinze Onuaku left in 2nd half with an apart leg injury. X-rays have come back negative, but ‘Cuse fans will hold their breath with only five days before the NCAA tournament kicks off. If Onuaku is unable play, Syracuse will only have one inside presence in center, Rick Jackson. After watching Georgetown center Greg Monroe have his way with Jackson(15 points, 10 rebounds), Syracuse will have matchup problems against teams with larger front courts. Long term, Syracuse will have a problem against a team like Kansas if they do not have Onuaku.

Is there a silver lining? Definitely. Syracuse has played great basketball all season in the nation’s toughest conference, posting a 15-3 record. Their RPI of 4 and Strength of schedule of 11, further emphasizes that point. Big East player of the year, Wes Johnson and head coach, Jim Boeheim, will have the Orange motivated heading into the tournament.

Syracuse will have the next 5-6 days to rest and recover before embarking on a National Championship journey. They will not have to battle two, top-tier Big East teams in the next two days. To me, that is a big advantage. Syracuse will come out angry in the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse has been elimiated in the first round in two of the last three NCAA Tournaments. Last season, they were eliminated by Blake Griffin and the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sweet 16.

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Written By: Matt Vereb

Syracuse takes on Georgetown in the 3rd round of the Big East Tournament at 12:00PM today at Madison Square Garden. #1 seeded Syracuse Orange will look to rebound after they lost their final Big East regular season game at Louisville, 78-68 on Saturday. The Orange come into this contest focused on winning the Big East Championship and solidifying their claim to an NCAA Tournament #1 seed.

Led by Big East Player of the Year Wes Johnson, Syracuse defeated Georgetown in both of their regular season meetings. Johnson averaged 15 points per game in those victories.

Syracuse will need to contain guard Austin Freeman and center Greg Monroe in order to win. Monroe and Freeman combined for 41 points in the team’s last meeting.(SYR victory, 75-71). Look for Syracuse Senior Forward/Center Arinze Onuaku to do a better job defending Monroe in this game.

Georgetown has been one of the streakiest teams in the Big East this season. During the regular season, they defeated Duke, 89-77, but lost to South Florida three days later at home, 72-64. Georgetown was able to avenge that USF loss yesterday(69-49), but their overall inconsistent play resulted in a 10-8 conference record.

Look for the Orange to grab their first Big East tournament win tomorrow.

Prediction: Syracuse 75 Georgetown 66

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Written By: Matt Vereb

The #1 Syracuse Orangemen lost their regular season finale at Louisville, 78-68. Louisville’s victory was an appropriate way for the Cardinals to close the historic, Freedom Hall. Cardinals guard, Kyle Kuric scored 22 second half points to pace the Cards. Kuric, normally a reserve player, stepped in for injured star, Jerry Smith. Syracuse came out extremely flat in the 2nd half. However, Wes Johnson played a good game for Syracuse by scoring 18 points. Scoop Jardine added 20 in the loss.

This victory ensures that the Cardinals will be in the NCAA Tournament. They have posted two victories this season against Syracuse and more impressively, 11 Big East wins.

Syracuse will look to rebound next week as the Big East tournament kicks off. Look for a lot of great basketball next week at Madison Square Garden. Go Syracuse.

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Written By: Matt Vereb

Saturday afternoon’s home matchup against the Syracuse Orange figures to be an emotional one for the Lousville Cardinals. Saturday marks the final game at one of college basketball’s storied arenas, Freedom Hall. Freedom Hall has been the home of 6 National Championships and 684 Lousville wins. L’Ville definitely has history on its side when it takes on the Orange.

The Louisville Cardinals(19-11 Overall, 10-7 Big East) need a big win over Syracuse to improve their NCAA tournament hopes. They defeated the Orange(28-2 Overall, 15-2 Big East) earlier this season, 76-70 at the Carrier Dome. The Cardinals were able to contain Syracuse star, Wes Johnson. Johnson was 5 for 20 from the field in that game. Lousville has been playing irratically lately. winning at UCONN, 78-76 on Sunday, but losing by 21 at Marquette on Tuesday.

Syracuse on the other hand, has been playing great basketball since losing to Louisville last month. They have won four straight games including an impressive road win at Georgetown and an 18-point beat of Villanova last Saturday.

With the Big East regular season title in hand, the Orangemen really don’t have anything to play for. Vegas is favoring Lousville, but beating any team twice in one season is a tall order. Especailly if that team is currently the #1 team in America, looking to avenge a tough loss.

The Cardinals have history and emotion on their side. The Orangemen are playing great basketball and will want to keep their momentum up heading into the Big East tournament.

This is definitely the game of the day.

Prediction: #1 Syracuse 82 Louisville 78

What do you think ‘Cuse fans?

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Written By: Matt Vereb

#1 Syracuse University won the 2010 Big East Regular Season Championship this evening by defeating St. Johns, 85-66. Syracuse(28-2) shot 53% from the field, including 35% from behind the arc. More notably, Seniors Andy Rautins and Arinze Onuaku left Senior Night at the Carrier Dome with a trophy in hand. Onuaku led the scoring for the Orange(21 points). Rautins added 14 points.

With a redemption game at Louisville looming on Saturday, the Orange must be prepared. The Cardinals handed Syracuse one of their two losses this season. ‘Cuse will want to keep up their momentum heading into the Big East Tournament. Look for Forward, Wes Johnson(15.7 PPG) to take over the tournament. Johnson is a dynamic scorer who is in the running to win Big East, ‘Player of the Year’.

Big picture, Syracuse, Kansas, and Kentucky are the three best in college basketball. One of these three teams will win it all. Kansas has excellent leadership and guard play while Kentucky boasts an inexperienced, yet extremely talented team. Of the three, Syracuse, in my mind, is the most prepared for March. Syracuse plays in the toughest conference in America. Does that mean they are my pick to win it all? I don’t know yet. I want to see how they perform in the Big East Tourney. Check back here for future updates…Bookmark Us

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Written by: Kenny Mauss

It wasn’t just another win. It was a dominating performance that the Orangemen displayed last night vs. the Wildcats of Villanova. Winning 95-77, Syracuse was able to use its strong inside effort and rebounding to pace the Orange over Nova. Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku combined for 36 points and were basically unstoppable inside. Andy Rautins scored only 12 points but hit 2 big 3’s that shifted momentum for the Orange. Nova was up as much as 9 points in the first half, but Syracuse was able to chip away as they turned their defensive effort up and started pounding the ball inside.

Syracuse is now 7-0 vs. ranked teams and has made a legitimate case to be the number 1 team in the country after both Kansas and Kentucky lost yesterday. At worst they have clinched a share of the Big East championship and the number one seed in the Big East tournament. The last time they were Big East regular season champions, they won the national championship. If there was ever a doubt if Syracuse was for real, that changed last night.

Syracuse has mostly liked secured themselves a #1 seed in the tournament but that isn’t good enough for Jim Boeheim’s team. Expectations are sky high, and they backedĀ  it up last night. We’ll see if they back it up with a #1 ranking tagged in front of their team. I say yes, they will.

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Written by: Kenny Mauss

The Jim Boeheim led Syracuse Orangemen are welcoming the Wildcats of Villanova to the Carrier Dome this evening in front of an expected record crowd. Syracuse comes in at 13-2 in the Big East (26-2 overall) and Villanova enters tonight at 12-3 (23-4 overall). It’s a matchup between the top 2 teams in the Big East and two of the top teams in the country.

Villanova has beaten Syracuse two consecutive times in New York but with a win today, Syracuse can clinch its first regular season conference championship since 2002-2003. Not coincidentally, that was the year the Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara led Orangemen won the national championship.

Syracuse comes in ranked #4, and Villanova #7, but ‘Nova has struggled of late. Villanova started the season with lofty expectations, coming off of a Final Four Appearance that left them one game from a national championship. For the most part, they have met all expectations, ranked in the top 10, and fighting for a regular season Big East championship. The surprise has been what Syracuse has been able to accomplish thus far this season. They began the season losing to a Division II exhibition game vs. Le Moyne and entered the season unranked.

Today’s game will most likely determine the #1 seed in the Big East Tournament, the Big East Regular Season Championship, and quite possibly a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament in a few weeks. This game will be about as big as the expected crowd tonight at the Carrier Dome.

Prediction: Syracuse 82- Villanova 76