A Work in Progress

Syracuse's "diaper dandies" will have to wait a little longer to get their first collegiate win. Freshmen Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara led the young Orangemen, but it was not enough to earn a victory, as they fell to Memphis, 70-63, in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

Like a fine wine, these pups are sure to get better with age. The freshmen class at SU featured two starters, Anthony and McNamara. Anthony set an SU record for most points in a first game with 27, and added 11 rebounds. McNamara, starting in place of the suspended freshman Billy Edelin, scored 14 points in his opener. The last freshman, Matt Gorman, only played one minute in his debut. Edelin, who has been plagued by off-court problems, will be ineligible until January 18 because he played in a recreational league last year, which violates NCAA rules.

With Anthony and McNamara scoring 41 of Syracuse's 63 points, the "older" players on SU should probably fall under more scrutiny. With only nine scholarship players, and one not able to play until January, Syracuse must rely on everybody. Of those scholarship players, they have only one senior (Kueth Duany) and one junior (Jeremy McNeil). Duany played only 21 minutes, making it difficult for him to display his senior leadership from the bench. The starting frontcourt of sophomores Craig Forth and Hakim Warrick combined for six points in 64 minutes. Josh Pace was the only experienced player with decent production, shooting a perfect 5-5 from the field, scoring 10 points, and grabbing six rebounds.

With such youth, coach Jim Boeheim may have to do a lot of teaching with his team this year. Anthony is a future star (although the future probably will not take place in Syracus, but rather the NBA). McNamara, who is more of a shooter, will have to learn to pass first, shoot second more often. Warrick and Forth will have to get a clue of how to play in the post. Duany will have to find a way to lead by example, not only during practice, but actually out on the court during game time.

Ah, but the season is young, my friends. Syracuse, despite losing its first November game since 1996, has the rest of the month and part of December to hone its game before it faces its next big opponent, Georgia Tech, on December 21.

This team has the potential to be a tough out come March.

But, right now, the road to the Final Four is a long and winding one for the Orangemen.

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