DePaul Blue Demons vs. Syracuse Orange - Wednesday, January 30th, 7:30 p.m. (Central) – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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The Syracuse Orange (14-7, 4-4) enter Wednesday's game at Allstate Arena as a depleted team. The Orange are down to seven scholarship players.
Syracuse has been hit with season ending ACL injuries to guard Eric Devendorf and long range bomber Andy Rautins. Sophomore center Devin Brennan-McBride was lost to a career ending shoulder injury.
To add insult to the injuries, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim announced that freshman guard Scoop Jardine was suspended indefinitely for unspecified reasons. He is not expected to play against DePaul. Also, senior guard Josh Wright left the Orange in December, the day before Devendorf's injury.
The Orange are coming off a 71-64 win over the Providence Friars at the Carrier Dome on Sunday. Boeheim has to feel snakebit as he put a young team on the floor consisting of three freshmen, two sophomores, a junior, and walk-on Justin Thomas.
"It's obvious we've never been close to this, we've never lost more than a player in a year," Boeheim said after the game. "We want to still run, it's dangerous, but we want to try and get some easy baskets. We tried today in the game but instead got three turnovers. We can't run as well and it will be difficult for us getting down the court. When we did get down the court, we weren't very good."
Wednesday's game is shaping up to be a battle of freshman sensations with Syracuse frosh Jonny Flynn and Donte Greene squaring off with DePaul's freshman duo of Mac Koshwal and Darquavis Tucker. Flynn and Greene played all 40 minutes against the Friars.
In that game, Flynn scored 12 points and dished out five assists. Greene led all scorers on Sunday with 24 points. "(Greene) had a really good three that he made from the side, but it didn't go in," Boeheim commented. "He's been shooting the ball really well in practice and for us when we're playing against zones, we have two guys who can shoot the ball and they need to take shots. It's been said he took bad shots at Georgetown, but he did not take one bad three down there. Tonight, he took the same shots and the ball went in. It's the same shot and he's going to have to take them when he gets them."
The one coach that knows Flynn and Greene almost as well as Boeheim is DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. Wainwright has spent the last two summers with the two Syracuse freshmen. Flynn and Greene played for Wainwright on the U-18 international team in 2006 and the U-19 team in Serbia last summer.
"They're terrific kids and they're really good players," Wainwright told WSCR radio. "They really have two young kids who are learning to play on the fly. They make mistakes, but they are very talented."
In the middle, the Orange have a force in Arinze Onuaku. "Their center is probably the most improved player in the league," Wainwright said. "I believe he's fourth in the country in field goal percentage (66.3%)."
Onuaku is a power on the boards as well. Combined with sophomore Paul Harris, the two combine to lead the nation in rebounding as a duo with 17.5 rpg. Harris is grabbing 9.1 rpg, while Onuaku is snaring 8.4 rpg.
"They're a typical Jim Boeheim 2-3 zone (team), kind of high octane offense," Jerry said. "Paul Harris, their small forward, is leading the Big East in rebounding at almost 10 a game. They maybe don't have the depth everybody else has right now because of their injuries. But, their starting five is really talented and they get better every game."
Boeheim must think there is no place like dome. Since the Orange are one of only four Big East teams that are winless on the road (0-3). Overall Syracuse is 2-4 away from the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome.
When the Blue Demons and Orange met last season in Syracuse, the injured Devendorf and Rautins combined for 45 of Syracuse's 75 points. Without their big time scorers, the freshmen will be relied upon to carry the load this time around.
Game tempo and foul trouble will dictate a lot in this matchup. Boeheim may like to run, but not at the pace the Demons may crank up. With their limited bench, Syracuse can not afford to get physical and foul in this game.
The Last Time
Devendorf and Rautins combined for 45 of Syracuse's points as the Orange went on to a 75-69 win over the Blue Demons at the Carrier Dome on February 3, 2007. Draelon Burns led the Demons with 26 points. Sammy Mejia chipped in with 12 points. While Wilson Chandler recorded a double-double consisting of 11 points and 13 rebounds.
No. Name Pos Ht Wt. Cl. Hometown/High School
00 Rick Jackson F 6-9 235 Fr. Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti
1 Andy Rautins G 6-5 193 Jr. Jamesville, NY/Jamesville-DeWitt
2 Justin Thomas G 6-1 182 Jr. Los Angeles, CA/Loyola High School
5 Donte' Greene F 6-11 226 Fr. Baltimore, MD/Towson Catholic
10 Jonny Flynn G 6-0 186 Fr. Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Falls
11 Paul Harris F 6-5 228 So. Niagara Falls, NY/Notre Dame Prep
12 Kristof Ongenaet F 6-8 215 Jr. Ghent, Belgium/College Melle/Cuesta C.C.
21 Arinze Onuaku F 6-9 258 Jr. Lanham, MD/Episcopal
23 Eric Devendorf G 6-4 178 Jr. Bay City, MI/Central High/Oak Hill Academy (Va.)
32 Jake Presutti G 6-3 190 Sr. Belmont, NY/Genesee Valley
33 Scoop Jardine G 6-1 192 Fr. Philadelphia, PA/Neumann-Goretti
42 Ryan Cahak F 6-7 212 Sr. Fayetteville, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius/St. Thomas More
45 Sean Williams C 6-11 228 Fr. Villa Park, CA/Villa Park/Notre Dame Prep
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