The bad news? The Pirates suffered a 26-point defeat at the Carrier Dome in frigid Syracuse, by far their worst performance of the season.
The good news? No one really expected the Pirates to win anyway, and you could pick worse times for a 'worst performance of the season.'
The 5 Thoughts:
- Technical Difficulties
I and three of my esteemed Seton Hall student media colleagues drove up to Syracuse, and we definitely expected better from the Dome. Not only was the broadcast delayed on WSOU because of the myriad technical difficulties, I ended up calling the first 8 minutes of the game from my cell phone. Eventually, the game did get onto the air, but when it did, there were more difficulties, not to mention probably the worst radio broadcast spot I've ever been placed in (and hopefully will ever be placed in the future).
Let's just say it was a broadcast to forget, and leave it at that. Any more, and I'll start typing in all-CAPS. If any of you guys listened in, I thank you for bearing with the difficulties, because they were by far the most numerous and most frustrating that I've experienced. It will be better on Friday night.
- Punched in the Mouth
Seton Hall came out tonight with some noticeable jitters. Those jitters led to turnovers, the turnovers led to points for the Orange, and those points quickly led to a blowout. The Pirates tried to make passes to the weak areas of Syracuse's 2-3 zone, and pretty much all of them were either heavily contested or deflected and stolen. The Orange had 11 STL in the first half alone, .2 off their season average coming in.
But the telling stat of just how quickly this one got out of hand? Seton Hall had a season-low 15 PTS in the first half, and equaled that number in the turnover department. Syracuse scored 16 PTS off those turnovers, and one thing led to another, which led to a blowout loss the Pirates will look to put behind them in a hurry. It was a dominating performance by Syracuse on their home floor, avenging their own blowout loss to SHU last year.
- Herb Without Spice
Herb Pope struggled for the third straight game, and his first half in particular was one to throw in the garbage can and forget about. 2 PTS, 6 REB, 1-6 shooting, and FIVE turnovers. Here's why Herb hasn't been himself lately- in Dayton, the Flyers doubled him whenever he put the ball on the floor. Longwood took it one step further and doubled as soon as he caught the ball. Last night, Herb tried too hard to make plays happen, and when he had a shot, he got swallowed up by the huge Orange front line, particularly Fab Melo (who had 12 PTS and 10 BLK in this game). His next assignment is going mano-a-mano with another MVP Candidate in Kevin Jones. I would look for him to get back on track for that game, which is going to be enormous for both him and the team.
- Frigid Fu
After the game, Coach Willard joked that Fuquan Edwin isn't a cold-weather afficionado, so to speak. Well, the temperature was 24 degrees outside. Edwin went 0-11 from the floor. For some reason, like how when he has good nights you don't realize it, I didn't realize the stats on Edwin's shooting until I looked at the box score. He did pull down 7 boards, but of all the Pirate offensive numbers that took a hit Wednesday, that one stands out as a representative of just how bad it really was.
- Calm Down
You can be disappointed as a Pirate fan in the team's performance. The effort could have been a little sharper.
But outraged? No way. Syracuse was the #1 team in the country, opening up Big East play at home against a team that had blown them out on their home floor a year ago. They had every reason to be motivated, and played like it. Likewise, the Pirates are still a young team that really got kicked in the gut Wednesday night. That could turn into a valuable learning experience. And again- no one REALLY expected a victory tonight out of the Pirates considering the circumstances.
All this team can do is put this out of their minds while preparing for a HUGE game Friday night against the Mountaineers. A full preview will be up tomorrow morning here on the Juice for your reading pleasure.