First of all, click the link and sing with me: CLICK HERE!
WE ARE BOUND FOR VICTORY
HAZARD ZET FORWARD
WE WILL HONOR THAT DECREE
STAND UP PROUD AND STAND UP TALL
FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT FOR THE BLUE AND WHITE
AND THE GLORY OF SETON HALL!!!!
There are no words better than those that I can think of to describe what I saw on Tuesday, and how happy I am to have finally sent the Orange to the L column.
The Exultant and Ecstatic 5 Thoughts:
- The Cab Driver is BACK!
How do I know this? Two reasons- a) he proclaimed it aloud on SNY a couple of times during the game, and b) the only way he could have been more on fire is if he spontaneously combusted. Jeremy Hazell was unreal against the 'Cuse, hitting several shots that made Pirate fans swoon and the rest of the Big East cringe. The first basket of the game was a Hazell 3-ball with a guy in his face from about 30 feet out. It set the tone for the whole night, as the Pirates raced out to a 10-2 lead and never looked back. Hazell ended up with 28 PTS, tying a season-high, on 10-17 shooting (5-10 from deep) with a team-high 9 REB and 4 AST. He also added 4 STL. The Big East has been put on notice- Hazell is back, and that means bad news to Providence, Rutgers, UConn, Marquette, St. John's, West Virginia and Villanova.
- HOT, HOT, HOT
Oh man, was my mind sufficiently blown by the hot shooting from the Pirates. They made their first 7 shots from the field and crushed the Orange from downtown, making 10-17 on the game, including 3-3 from Jordan Theodore. Unlike the previous meeting, the Orange were the team settling for threes (they only hit 6-21), and it was the Pirates breaking that 2-3 zone with regularity. The Pirates actually forced the Orange out of that 2-3 zone, which is astounding considering Jim Boeheim never comes out of it except in dire straits. The Pirates shot 54% from the field. I think it also took Boeheim too long to realize that the Pirates were not going to miss tonight. Nevertheless, even when the Orange were still in their zone, they extended it out to a 2-2-1 halfcourt trap look as they got more and more desperate. Again- MIND BLOWN.
Theodore had the best game of his career, tallying 19 PTS on 7-10 shooting with 6 REB and 7 AST. More than that, he controlled the tempo like an orchestra conductor, almost never forcing things that weren't there, as he has in the past few games. He had 5 TO, but I don't remember any of them. That's how good he was on Tuesday. It was thrilling to watch.
- TEMPO, TEMPO, TEMPO
It is one of the three big keys to beating Syracuse, the other two being ball movement and crowd control (more on this in a second). The Pirates ran a ton last night, more than they have all year, and it worked. The Pirates got 90 points on a team that was one of the best FG% defense teams in the country. Contrary to the Keys to the Game before the game on SNY, where Tim Welsh mentioned that the Cuse needed to get out and run, it was the Pirates who ran the Orange off their home floor. Fuquan Edwin controlled Kris Joseph, Jordan Theodore made Scoop Jardine look like a lawn ornament, Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson (and even Aaron Geramipoor) combined to neutralize Rick Jackson for the most part, and oh yeah, HAZELL WENT H.A.M. ON THE CUSE. 'Nuff said.
- What Home Court Advantage?
Time to remove the broadcaster hat for a second while I transition to my student fan hat:
As a student, we hate losing to Rutgers, but we hate losing to Syracuse even more. Once Syracuse's crowd gets involved, opposing teams are doomed. The Orange faithful at the dome were quiet, and I credit Coach Willard (for calling timely timeouts when the Orange started to gain a little momentum) and the players (for never letting the Orange back in the game). It was a magical thing to hear the sound of silence from the normally rambunctious Syracuse fans. This win is the most satisfying thing I can possibly think of following this past weekend, and I can't think of a better day to be a Pirate fan.
This is the biggest win for Seton Hall since they went into Pittsburgh and knocked off the Panthers in 2006. It's the biggest win in Coach Willard's career, as well as the careers of all the current Pirates. They didn't just beat the Orange, THEY JUICED THEM. It was magical, it was extraordinary, it led the late SportsCenter, and I hope it continues. One thing is certain- the Pirates now have their swagger back, and with this specific group, that is a dangerous thing to every other team in the Big East.
Watch out, world- here come the PIRATES!