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I’m sitting here live The Prudential center in Newark writing about the Syracuse versus Seton hall game and wanted to share it live with the chair. This is game two of two that I got a chance to be a member of the press. My seat was about 7 feet from the court to the left of the cameras at the free throw line. The game is sold out, but only the first deck is open. One might wonder why they didn’t open the second deck and as I write this 40 minutes before the game I suspect they didn’t want the stadium to be overwhelmingly Orangeman fans as I suspect a strong contingent of Syracuse alum in the area would have bought the tickets.
The game is pretty big for both teams, if Seton Hall loses they could potentially miss the big east tournament, while Syracuse if they want to ensure themselves of an at-large big they will need to beat Seton Hall and Marquette and probably still win a game or two in the big east tournament.
Donte’ Green came over about 40 minutes before the game during shoot around and sign autographs for two young fans in Orangeman sweaters. While another women came down and took a picture with Paul Harris even though she didn’t appear to have a credential or tickets to be down on the court. She was a cute girl though so I don’t think Harris minded. Syracuse guys were out shooting and warming up long after Seton Hall guys had gone to the locker room. Its possible Seton Hall guys had warmed up more prior but SU looked like the more focused team.
The crowd is a little late arriving to their seats but that’s not surprising given the 7 o’clock start on a Wednesday and the multitude of things to do for the fans on the concourse.
I must admit… I’m completely biased in this game, having grown up a Syracuse fan going to games at the Carrier Dome from as long as I can remember I’m a pretty big Syracuse fan. And as a guy who lives in the same town as seton hall and is jewish I have no love for the team that comes along with a priest. That being said I’m a member of the press tonight so I’m unbiased I won’t be outwardly rooting for anyone and will try to provide a partial analysis of the game.
Based on what I saw when I came to the last game at the rock and my trip up to the Carrier Dome this Saturday I think SU will crush SHU, but we shall see.
7:01 The anthem is always an interesting thing to watch, Syracuse had their arms around each other, SHU had their arms over there hearts. So that either means nothing, or that Syracuse loves each other and Seton hall loves their country?
7:10 Harvey for SHU and Ongenaet for SU traded early threes showing Belgians apparently can play basketball. But Syracuse was otherwise sloppy while SHU settled for threes against the zone. Ongeneat the man who no one can pronounce his name with all 5 of Syracuses early points. Seton Hall fans told coach Boeheim to shut up and all was well. SU 5 SHU 3
7:18 Seton Hall is clearly inept versus the zone… sad since they play a good amount of it themselves… if SU knocks down some of the open shots they've been getting this game could get ugly. Onuaku with a couple buckets and will be at the line after the 12 minute tv time out. SU 13- SHU 8
7:27 Seton hall went to the press and was able to force some turnovers, but Donte Green was able to start knocking down some shots. Seton Hall despite being a less talented team was playing very hard keeping themselves in the game. Scoop Jardine pushed the lead to 11 and a fan behind me is calling for BLOOD! 28-17 SU
7:37 Syracuse has a HUUUUGE advantage on the boards and Paul Harris threw down a SportsCenter dunk. Watch for it... assuming anyone on the chair watches sportscenter anymore... SU 34 SHU 24
7:48 SHU came back within 5 but Donte Green hits a couple threes to bring the lead to 11. SU extended the leads to 15 and you could hear the “lets go orange” cheers start. The half ends with the SU up 17… I could probably stop now…
8:11 Big Delay at the start of the second half. The coaches and the refs were having a discussion. They decided to take two points off the board because “they hadn’t committed a foul and therefore the foul shots didn’t count"… can you do that???
8:30 My wireless connection gave out for awhile you didn’t miss much a few Syracuse turnovers a few giant seton hall cardboard heads (Bobby Gonzalez and a player) in the crowd. And seton hall got within 11. 58- 47
8:50 Syracuse continues to turn it over, SHU capitalizes and cuts the lead to 9 with 5 to go and the crowd finally comes to life. maybe this won't be a blowout after all... naaaaah...
8:51 Bobby Gonzalez is fun to watch on the sidelines, even if his team isn't so much right now...
9:00 Pirates cut it to 7 with 3 minutes to do and with no Donte Green (4 fouls) on the floor the orange look timid. Gotta give it to seton hall for not packing it in. but Harris scored 2 buckets to push it back to 11 with 2 to go…
Syracuse Knocks down their Free throws and wins the game 85-73.
Post Game Coach Boeheim came out quickly and talked about the inconsistencies of his freshmen laden team and how they needed to cut down the turnovers. saying they make great plays at times and awful plays at other times. He talked about Arinze's effort on the boards saying basically "a lot of nights he's satisfied with getting 4 boards, and we can't have that; but tonight after i took him out he was very aggressive." He gave Seton Hall their due saying they're a tough team talking about the same they won against Louisville and talking about their tough press
Coach Gonzalez took his sweet time coming out so i couldn't stick around.
Overall a great time. and I hope the AGMer's out there at least enjoyed this a little.