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FEBRUARY 8, 2013

FEBRUARY 8-10, 2013

AFTER THE

CLIMB

Back atop the Big East, Syracuse welcomes St. John’s in pursuit of conference dominance

OFF AND RUNNING

Syracuse has gotten back to its uptempo ways and it’s paying dividends in a crucial stretch of Big East play. See page 3

LAST TIME THEY PLAYED

In 2012, this matchup produced a blowout, showcasing the talents of a blossoming Carter-Williams among others. See page 5

BY THE NUMBERS

Syracuse lacks depth, but St. John’s lacks experience. Find out how the two teams match up. See page 6

ryan maccammon | staff photographer

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WE ATHER

t h e i n de pe n de n t s t u de n t n e w spa pe r of s y r acuse , n e w yor k

Sports Editor Presentation Director Copy Chief Asst. Photo Editor Asst. Sports Editor Asst. Sports Editor Design Editor Asst. Copy Editor Asst. Copy Editor

Chris Iseman Lizzie Hart Maddy Berner Sam Maller Jacob Klinger David Wilson Cheryl Seligman Phil D’Abbraccio Trevor Hass

Mark Cooper

Laurence Leveille

EDITOR IN CHIEF

MANAGING EDITOR

General Manager IT Director IT Assistant Advertising Manager Advertising Representative Advertising Representative Advertising Representative Advertising Representative Advertising Designer Advertising Designer Advertising Designer Business Intern Circulation Manager Circulation Circulation Circulation Circulation Circulation Circulation Special Projects Special Projects

Peter Waack Mike Escalante Alec Coleman William Leonard Jeanne Cloyd Carolina Garcia Paula Vallina Sam Weinberg Olivia Accardo Abby Legge Yoli Worth Tim Bennett Harold Heron Alexander Bush Chris Freeman Alexandra Koskoris Arianna Rogers Suzanne Sirianni Charis Slue Rose Picon Runsu Huang

TODAY

TOMORROW

SUNDAY

H31| L15

H17| L3

H33| L24

FOLLOW THE DAILY ORANGE’S COVERAGE OF THE ST. JOHN’S GAME AT DAILYORANGE.COM AND @DOSPORTS sam maller  | asst. photo editor

front cover photo illustration by andrew renneisen and cheryl seligman

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3

RUNNING BACK Syracuse rediscovers transition game to reach top of Big East By Ryne Gery

A

STAFF WRITER

fter Syracuse’s loss to Villanova, Brandon Triche realized the transition game that powered so many decisive runs in nonconference victories had disappeared in Big East play. Nothing came easy in the Orange’s first eight games in the conference. The loss in Philadelphia followed by another in Pittsburgh hammered that point home for SU. But on Monday, the team returned to earlyseason form. A swarming defense and quick decision-making revived the fast break, a fact not lost on Triche after an impressive 16-point victory against Notre Dame. “I can’t remember the last time we got a fast-break point now that I think about it,” Triche said with a laugh. “I think we got one against Pittsburgh, that was an alley-oop, but other than that this was like one of our games from early in the season.”

“I can’t remember the last time we got a fastbreak point now that I think about it. I think we got one against Pittsburgh, that was an alley-oop, but other than that this was like one of our games from early in the season.” Brandon Triche

SU GUARD

No. 9 Syracuse (19-3, 7-2 Big East) will look to carry that performance into its matchup with St. John’s (15-8, 7-4) in the Carrier Dome at 3 p.m. Sunday. The Orange remains tied with Marquette for first place, but the conference race is muddled at this point. Ten of the conference’s 15 teams have at least five wins in Big East play, adding significance to every matchup as they fight to build their postseason resumes. Syracuse learned that lesson after falling to the Wildcats and Panthers in consecutive games. “When you lose two in a row in this league, you get nervous,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Everybody does. This was a real good bounce-back win.” As Triche said, the win also marked the return of Syracuse’s fast break after the team combined for just seven points in transition in the two losses.

SEE ST. JOHN’S PAGE 10

sam maller | asst. photo editor BRANDON TRICHE has been a catalyst for Syracuse as it’s reverted back to a transition-oriented offense. Rebounding has been a crucial element of the Orange’s fast-paced offense as well. Syracuse is undefeated in contests in which it outrebounds its opponents.

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ON THE BLOCK

A position-by-position look at the game —Compiled by Chris Iseman, sports editor, cjiseman@syr.edu

BENCH

The St. John’s reserves are nothing special, but Syracuse’s have pretty much been relegated to nothing. Reserve guard Trevor Cooney scored just six points in 13 minutes Monday, while center Baye Moussa Keita played just four. If Jamal Branch comes off of the bench for the Red Storm – he’s questionable – then SJU gets a scoring punch to go along with defensive-minded center Chris Obepka, who ranks second in the nation in blocks behind Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel. Either way, it’s more than what Syracuse expects to get from its reserves.

Advantage: St. John’s

SMALL FORWARD

POINT GUARD

Jerami Grant stepped into a starting role in the game at Pittsburgh, and had a decent game. Against Notre Dame, though, Grant was remarkable. The 6-foot-8 freshman shot 6-of-8 from the field and finished with 14 points. Plus, he played all 40 minutes. Though Grant’s only a freshman, he’s taken advantage of almost every minute he’s been on the floor. When he came off of the bench, he immediately injected energy into the Orange’s lineup. Now, he’s doing that same thing throughout the course of an entire game. Because St. John’s plays a three-guard set, it doesn’t really use a small forward, though Phil Greene or Marco Bourgault could play that role. Either way, they simply can’t measure up to Grant’s ability.

Michael Carter-Williams is leading the nation with 8.5 assists per game and is steadily orchestrates the offense with pinpoint passes. He’s far more effective when he focuses on distributing and not necessarily scoring. In Syracuse’s 63-47 win against Notre Dame last Monday, Carter-Williams finished with eight assists and just five points. When the Orange lost to Pittsburgh 65-55 last week, Carter-Williams had only two assists, but 13 points. He couldn’t create plays for his teammates and it cost Syracuse. St. John’s point guard Jamal Branch missed the Red Storm’s game against Connecticut on Tuesday with a sprained MCL. He could still play on Sunday against Syracuse.

Advantage: Syracuse

Advantage: Syracuse

SHOOTING GUARD

When he’s shooting well, Brandon Triche can single-handedly carry Syracuse to a win. But Triche has been up and down this season, and head coach Jim Boeheim has said Triche’s success depends on how much confidence he has in himself. In the Orange’s win against Notre Dame, Triche scored seven points but went 0-for-5 from beyond the arc. Against Pittsburgh, he scored 14 points, but was also 0-for-5 from deep. He’ll go into stretches where he’s not shooting well, but eventually bounces back with a big game. D’Angelo Harrison is one of the best players – if not the best – on St. John’s. He’s averaging 18.5 points per game, but is only shooting 32 percent from 3-point range. Against Syracuse’s zone last season, Harrison hit five of his nine 3-point attempts and finished with 23 points.

Advantage: Syracuse

CENTER

Rakeem Christmas has to be physical. He has to be aggressive. And at times, he has to be dominant. At the same time, though, he has to be sure to stay out of foul trouble because of Syracuse’s thin bench. Basically, he has to be everything he was against Notre Dame when he scored 12 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked four shots. It was one of the best games of his career. Christmas is much more of a defensive force than an offensive one, so when the 6-foot-9 Christmas is relentless in the low post, opponents have a rough day. When he’s not, though, it hurts Syracuse. Jakarr Sampson is having a good season, averaging 14.5 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game. But defensively, Christmas is the better of the two.

Advantage: Syracuse

POWER FORWARD

Of all of Syracuse’s starters, C.J. Fair is by far the most consistent. When other players struggle, Fair takes over and dominates. He’s averaged 15.5 points in his last six games and 40.5 minutes per game in that same span. He hasn’t missed a minute of basketball since Syracuse’s loss at Villanova on Jan. 12. Fair seems to be the one player for which opponents simply have no answer. Despite having to shift from small forward to power forward with the loss of DaJuan Coleman, Fair’s still thriving. Sir’Dominic Pointer is undersized against Fair in the low post at 6 feet 5 inches, and he’s only averaging 6.7 points per game. Fair is easily the better player of the two.

Advantage: Syracuse

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5

andrew renneisen | staff photographer DION WAITERS bounced back from a shooting slump with a well-rounded 14-point performance in last season’s matchup against St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. The Orange throttled the Red Storm 95-70 in Fab Melo’s return from a three-game absence.

LAST TIME THEY PLAYED

“It’s fun. When you’re winning by this much in the Big East, we’ll take it. We had fun out there. Some great plays occurred, and that’s how we like to play.” Kris Joseph

FORMER SU FORWARD

Feb. 4, 2012 Syracuse 95, St. John’s 70 It was one of Syracuse’s most complete performances of the year. Fab Melo returned from his three-game span of academic ineligibility to solidify the interior of Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. Dion Waiters recovered from his shooting slump with highlightreel plays that Michael Carter-Williams would improbably surpass. “It’s fun,” said then-senior forward Kris Joseph after the game. “When you’re winning by this much in the Big East, we’ll take it. We had fun out there. Some great plays occurred, and that’s how we like to play.” On one of basketball’s grandest stages, the No. 2 Orange (23-1, 10-1 Big East) blew out St. John’s (10-13, 4-7) 95-70 on Feb. 4, 2012. In front of a sold-out crowd of 19,979 at Madison Square Garden, Melo, Waiters and forward C.J. Fair each scored 14 points to lead SU. Playing the most minutes he had seen in three weeks, Carter-Williams broke out to score 13 points in what would be his only double-digit scoring

performance of the year. Exactly two weeks removed from SU’s first loss of the season – a nine-point, poorly rebounded decision at unranked Notre Dame – Melo didn’t miss a beat in his return. When the Orange needed offense, the sophomore center dunked a two-handed tip slam for the first – and only – lead change of the game. The next possession, Melo swatted a layup attempt by Moe Harkless to start a fast break at the other end. “I know I affect the zone,” Melo said. “I intimidate the other team. They’re not going to go inside to try to get layups, stuff like that. That’s what I do.” On an afternoon when starting guards Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche only combined for 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting, Waiters and Carter-Williams were the playmakers in the backcourt. In Waiters’ previous three games altogether, the sophomore guard shot a combined 7-of-28

from the field and only scored two points at Cincinnati on Jan. 23. But he snapped out of his funk in style. Five and a half minutes into the second half, Waiters pulled out his signature spin move that SU fans often saw but defenders couldn’t stop. In a one-on-one fast break, Waiters planted his right foot, spun around God’sgift Achiuwa and finished with his right hand off of the glass to extend SU’s lead to 27. He also threw down a trademark tomahawk dunk in transition and made a pair of 3-pointers. “I think in some of the games, he’s had easier shots than tonight, he just hasn’t been making them,” said SU head coach Jim Boeheim, who tied Dean Smith for third all-time career wins in Division-I history with 879 after beating St. John’s. “Over the course of the season, you’re going to have bad nights and you’re going to bounce back from it.” Carter-Williams, usually stuck as the odd man out in the rotation behind Jardine, Triche

and Waiters, logged 17 minutes on the court and put together his best game of the season. The freshman was 5-of-6 from the floor, including three 3-pointers and what was perhaps SU’s dunk of the year. With nine and a half minutes remaining in the second half, Carter-Williams drove into the paint in transition and launched toward the basket. Ball in his right hand, he slammed an emphatic dunk over the extended right arm of Achiuwa. The jam sent shockwaves through MSG. An image of the slam is still CarterWilliams’ Twitter photo a year later. “Any time I step on that floor, I’m just trying to play as hard as I can,” Carter-Williams said after the game. “ … We haven’t really given it to a team like we did tonight. We all played well, and we were just hungry to go out there and win.” —Compiled by Phil D’Abbraccio, asst. copy editor, pmdabbra@syr.edu @PhilDAbb

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HALF-COURT SHOTS (15-8)

(19-3)

ST. JOHN’S AT 9 SYRACUSE SUNDAY, 3P.M., CARRIER DOME

STARTING LINEUP POINT GUARD

SHOOTING GUARD

SMALL FORWARD

BRANDON TRICHE

JERAMI GRANT

CENTER

COACHES

6-4 210 SR. 14.5 PPG 3.5 APG

6-8 203 FR. 5.5 PPG 3.1 RPG

C.J. FAIR

RAKEEM CHRISTMAS

6-6 185 SO. 12.2 PPG 8.5 APG

6-8 215 JR. 13.9 PPG 7.1 RPG

6-9 242 So. 6.5 ppg 5.4 rpg

PHIL GREENE IV

D’ANGELO HARRISON

MARCO BOURGAULT

SIR’DOMINIC POINTER

JAKARR SAMPSON

MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS

6-3 209 SO. 18.5 PPG 4.6 RPG

6-6 209 SO. 2.7 PPG 0.7 APG

If Triche can help Michael Carter-Williams keep the offense ticking while picking up the scoring slack he, Carter-Williams and C.J. Fair have largely carried all season, SU should run out on St. John’s fairly comfortably. Harrison is the team’s leading scorer by 92 points,

The junior college transfer from France has seen limited minutes this year, starting just three games and playing in a total of 19. Grant should give the Orange a serious rebounding threat in this matchup. His biggest test will be closing Bourgault out on the perimeter.

6-2 182 SO. 8.9 PPG 2.8 APG On Monday, Carter-Williams showed he can help the Orange to big wins without lighting up the scoreboard. He tallied just five points but eight assists in directing the SU offense to victory. Greene slides into more of a playmaking role as Jamal Branch is out with a sprained MCL.

RANKINGS TRACKER

Week 7

Data based on AP Top 25 poll

After No. 1 Kentucky loses to IndiSyracuse loses to Temple 83-79 on Dec. 22 at Madison Square Garden in the Gotham Classic.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

rank

POWER FORWARD

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

6-5 198 So. 6.7 ppg 4.7 rpg

The versatile St. John’s forward has the ability to close off the boards to Fair and the Orange. If SU can’t pick up and run off the glass, the Red Storm must contain the Orange in the half court.

Pre 2 week

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10 11

12 13

10 seasons, 194-117

This matchup is a bit of a wash on the offensive end. Christmas has struggled to produce consistently, but is one of the more underrated defenders in the league. So long as Christmas keeps Sampson in the low ‘teens in scoring, his teammates can pressure the wings and work

In Lavin’s three seasons in charge of the Red Storm, he has faced Boeheim three times, losing each by an average of 16 points. The closest contest was a sixpoint SU win in the 2011 Big East tournament.

“We got athletic guys that can get up and down the floor. If we get a steal or a long rebound, we’re pushing to try to get an easy transition point.” C.J. Fair

The Orange falls to Pittsburgh 65-55 to drops its second game in a row.

STEVE LAVIN

6-8 204 Fr. 14.5 ppg 6.6 rpg

THEY SAID IT

Week 13

JIM BOEHEIM

37 seasons, 909-307

“Maybe in a really up-tempo game you’re going to get tired. You get a two-minute rest every four minutes in college basketball. You should be able to play 40 minutes – easily.” Jim Boeheim

SU FORWARD

SU HEAD COACH

“It’s obviously a very difficult task for a young team to play on the road in a place like the Carrier Dome against the most talented team in our league. This will be a good opportunity for our team to find out where we are at this stage of the season.”

14

Steve Lavin

ST JOHN’S HEAD COACH

@Connecticut

@Seton Hall

Providence

FEB. 13 7 P.M.

FEB. 16 8 P.M.

FEB. 20 7 P.M.

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AP TOP 25

(First-place votes in parentheses)

BEAT WRITER PREDICTIONS Syracuse 73, St. John’s 66 New York’s College Team beats the college that actually plays in New York.

MICHAEL COHEN

Syracuse 77, St. John’s 67 SU takes down its instate rival.

RYNE GERY

Syracuse 70, St. John’s 64 Storm warning.

1. Indiana (58) 2. Florida (7) 3. Michigan 4. Duke 5. Kansas 6. Gonzaga 7. Arizona 8. Miami (Fla.) 9. Syracuse 10. Ohio State 11. Louisville 12. Michigan State 13. Kansas State 14. Butler 15. New Mexico 16. Creighton 17. Cincinnati 18. Minnesota 19. Oregon 20. Georgetown 21. Missouri 22. Oklahoma State 23. Pittsburgh 24. Marquette 25. Notre Dame

CHRIS ISEMAN

FREE THROWS Syracuse hasn’t broken 70 points in regulation since Jan. 19, when the Orange upset No. 1 Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center. SU hasn’t broken the 70-point mark in the Carrier Dome since a week earlier, when it did so in its first game without the ineligible James Southerland, beating Villanova 72-61 on Jan. 12.

STAT TO KNOW

3

The number of years of Division-I basketball experience in the St. John’s starting lineup in Wednesday’s home game against UConn.

FORTUNE COOKIE o Finding Nem

Georgetown FEB. 23 4 P.M.

USA TODAY/

(First-place votes in parentheses)

1. Indiana (25) 2. Florida (6) 3. Michigan 4. Duke 5. Kansas 6. Gonzaga 7. Arizona 8. Michigan State 9. Syracuse 10. Ohio State 11. Miami (Fla.) 12. Louisville 13. Creighton 14. Butler 15. Kansas State 16. New Mexico 17. Cincinnati 18. Minnesota 19. Oregon 20. Missouri 21. Georgetown 22. Wichita State 23. Ole Miss 24. Oklahoma State 25. Pittsburgh

@Marquette FEB. 25 7 P.M.

7

|

asst. photo editor

5

sam maller

FORWARD - JUNIOR - BALTIMORE

C.J. FAIR

10 f e b r u a r y 8 - 1 0 , 2 0 1 3

ST. JOHN’S FROM PAGE 3

Syracuse dominated inferior competition during nonconference play, putting opponents away with runs highlighted by point guard Michael Carter-Williams finding teammates and finishing off steals. On Monday, SU came out with a sense of urgency and shocked Notre Dame with a 10-0 run. Efficiency in the half court offense got it started, but converting off of turnovers and on the break completed the run and prompted a Notre Dame timeout less than five minutes into the game. The Irish turned it over four times on seven possessions in that span. The final one came just four seconds before the timeout. Triche poked the ball away from behind Notre Dame guard Eric Atkins at the top of the key. Carter-Williams was all over the loose ball.

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He picked it up, jumped in the air and fired an overhead pass to a streaking Triche alone on the opposite end of the court. The senior guard easily dropped it over the front of the rim. Syracuse led 10-0. Mike Brey had seen enough. “We got athletic guys that can get up and down the floor,” SU forward C.J. Fair said. “If we get a steal or a long rebound, we’re pushing to try to get an easy transition point.” Notre Dame answered with an 11-0 run of its own, knocking down three 3-pointers to take the lead. But the Irish went cold and made only three more from beyond the arc the rest of the way. Syracuse, on the other hand, played with the same energy and intensity for the entire game. SU outscored Notre Dame 8-0 in fast-break points and took a six-point lead into halftime. Though Carter-Williams and Triche both failed to reach double-figures in scoring, they were the catalysts on both ends of the floor. The

backcourt duo combined for 14 of SU’s 16 assists and four steals at the top of the zone. “Our guards didn’t score, but they moved the ball, they got the ball to people,” Boeheim said. “We had 14, assists which is a big key for us. That number is important.” Carter-Williams notched one of his teamhigh eight assists in transition in the opening minutes of the second half. The point guard read Atkins’ inbounds pass and swooped in for the steal in front of the Notre Dame bench. Brey could only turn his head and scratch the back of his neck as he watched the play develop from there. Carter-Williams immediately turned upcourt, eyes looking to make the next play in the open floor. That’s when Fair, who circled around the left side of the court, came into the picture. The point guard let the ball go and the forward slammed it home with two hands. Brey could already sense the game getting away from

the Irish, and called a timeout to regroup less than three minutes into the half. But the damage was done as Fair and CarterWilliams met at half court to celebrate. Syracuse led by 10. The final 17-plus minutes were easy. Said Triche: “We were able to get a few transition points and that made the game a lot more easy.” rjgery@syr.edu

STANDINGS

1 1 3 4 5 5 7 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

SYRACUSE 19-3 (7-2)

MARQUETTE 16-5 (7-2)

LOUISVILLE 19-4 (7-3)

GEORGETOWN 16-4 (6-3)

PITTSBURGH 19-5 (7-4)

ST. JOHN’S 15-8 (7-4)

NOTRE DAME 18-5 (6-4)

CINCINNATI 18-5 (6-4)

CONNECTICUT 14-5 (4-3)

VILLANOVA 14-9 (5-5)

PROVIDENCE 12-11 (4-7)

RUTGERS 12-9 (3-7)

SETON HALL 13-10 (2-8)

DEPAUL 10-12 (1-8)

SOUTH FLORIDA 10-12 (1-9)

@DOsports

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11

TIME TO ADJUST W

hen James Southerland was ruled ineligible prior to Syracuse’s game against Villanova on Jan. 12, everyone in Syracuse’s lineup had to move up a spot. The Orange’s bench took a hit as Southerland, the team’s sixth man, would be out indefinitely. Coach Jim Boeheim’s rotation went from nine to eight, and each player’s time on the floor jumped. Jerami Grant, a freshman who played sporadically throughout the early part of the season, replaced Southerland off of the bench. Then Syracuse’s already thin bench was reduced even more when DaJuan Coleman had to have knee surgery. With the loss of Coleman, Syracuse’s rotation dwindled to seven. Grant started the last two games, so Boeheim only has two players to turn to on the bench – Trevor Cooney and Baye Moussa Keita. C.J. Fair has played every minute in Syracuse’s last five games, and Grant has been on the floor for all of the Orange’s last two games. Boeheim has said he’s fine with having a rotation of seven players since the games are spaced out and because there are so many stoppages during the course of a game. Still, Syracuse is routinely going up against teams who feature more depth. Until Southerland and Coleman return, Syracuse’s depth is going to be lacking. Here’s a breakdown of how the playing times of Syracuse’s five starters have been affected this season due to the losses of James Southerland and DaJuan Coleman:

Christmas

50

Carter-Williams

40

Triche

30

Fair

Grant

20 10 0

Player with Southerland

No Southerland

No Southerland/Coleman

compiled by chris iseman | sports editor

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AROUND THE NATION GAMESTOWATCH GAMES OF THE WEEK NO. 8 MIAMI (18-3, 9-0 ACC) VS. NORTH CAROLINA (16-6, 6-3 ACC) Saturday, 2 p.m., ESPN

Miami is one of the biggest surprises in college basketball so far this season, starting off 9-0 in conference play. Sophomore guard Shane Larkin serves as a spark plug for the Hurricanes, averaging close to 13 points, four rebounds and four assists per game. Good things happen for Miami when Larkin has the ball in his hands. He’s a capable and crafty scorer, and helps teammates Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji get uncontested looks around the basket. With Larkin as the engine, Miami looks to knock off UNC for the second time this season. North Carolina has been up and down all season, but the Tar Heels may have finally turned the page. One reason why is James Michael McAdoo. The 6-foot-9 sophomore forward averages 15.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, and will likely be picked in the lottery of the NBA Draft next season. McAdoo will fill up the stat sheet, but UNC will need strong performances from guards Reggie Bullock and Marcus Paige to keep up with the surging Hurricanes. KEY TO THE GAME: MARCUS PAIGE, GUARD, NORTH CAROLINA

The freshman has a daunting task of keeping Larkin in front of him. Paige will need to play as well as, if not better than, he did the last time the two teams met – a 68-59 win for Miami.

NO. 3 MICHIGAN (21-2, 8-2 BIG TEN) VS. WISCONSIN (16-7, 7-3 BIG TEN) Saturday, noon, ESPN Michigan bounced back from a tough loss to Indiana with a thrilling 76-74 overtime win against Ohio State on Tuesday. Guards Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke have been electrifying for the Wolverines this season, combining to score 34 points per game. One of the best back-court tandems in the country, the duo sparks the Wolverines. Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan’s teams have been built around defense for years, and this team is no different. With Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz anchoring the defense, scoring against the Badgers isn’t easy. Guarding Michigan is a whole new demon, though, as the Wolverines drop close to 78 points per game. KEY TO THE GAME: GLENN ROBINSON III, FORWARD, MICHIGAN

Robinson is mired in a mini-slump, shooting just 4-of-14 in his last two games combined. He will likely have to stick with Wisconsin’s Ryan Evans as well, which could wear him out and cut into his offensive firepower. Robinson has been up and down all season, and is an X factor for the Wolverines.

NO. 1 INDIANA (20-3, 8-2 BIG TEN) VS. NO. 10 OHIO STATE (17-5, 7-3 BIG TEN) Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

courtesy of iu athletics JORDAN HULLS is shooting an impressive 49 percent from the 3-point line for the No. 1 Hoosiers. The guard will have to be on his A-game Sunday, as the Hoosiers take on No. 10 Ohio State in yet another big time matchup in the highly competitive Big Ten.

Fresh off of a sensational win against then-No. 1 Michigan on Saturday, Indiana is back on top in The Associated Press Top 25 Poll. Sparked by dominant big man Cody Zeller and shooting guard Victor Oladipo, the Hoosiers defended their home court against the Wolverines. They’ll be in for another steep challenge Sunday when they square off against Ohio State in yet another heavyweight Big Ten clash. The Buckeyes are just 1-5 against teams in the Top 25, an uncharacteristic stat for Thad Matta’s team. Deshaun Thomas has emerged as a conference player of the year candidate, posting 19.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Thomas can’t do it on his own, though, as OSU will need Aaron Craft or Lenzelle Smith Jr. to step up in order to beat Indiana. KEY TO THE GAME: JORDAN HULLS, GUARD, INDIANA

Jordan Hulls has shot 49 percent from 3-point range in each of the past two seasons. In the Hoosiers’ only two losses this season, Hulls had just eight and four points respectively. Hulls’ herkyjerky style of play may pose a serious problem for Ohio State, but pesky guard Aaron Craft will work to shadow Hulls step by step and not let him get off any open looks.

MARYLAND (17-6, 5-5 ACC) VS. VIRGINIA (16-6, 6-3 ACC) Sunday, 1 p.m., ESPN3

Maryland has struggled as of late, dropping five of its last ten games after a 13-1 start. Four of those losses have come by 10 points or fewer, though, so Maryland is capable of hanging around with Atlantic Coast Conference foes, it’s just a matter of getting production from Alex Len and Dez Wells when the game is on the line. Both Maryland and Virginia are in the NCAA Tournament bubble, jousting for a marquee win Sunday afternoon. If Virginia comes away with a victory, it will likely be thanks to Joe Harris, the Cavaliers’ most reliable scorer. UVA is heading in the opposite trajectory of Maryland, and is looking to add another big-time win to its résumé. KEY TO THE GAME: DEZ WELLS, SWINGMAN, MARYLAND

The Xavier transfer has provided 23- and 25-point outbursts this season, and is capable of going off for the Terps at any moment. Wells also scored 21 points against North Carolina and 19 against Florida State, so he’s had no trouble adjusting to ACC play. —Compiled by Trevor Hass, asst. copy edtior, tbhass@syr.edu

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AROUND THE BIG EAST Games to watch

NO. 17 CINCINNATI VS. NO. 23 PITTSBURGH One of two matchups between ranked teams in the Big East this weekend pits two of the top rebounding teams in the conference against each other. Both teams outrebound their opponents by more than eight rebounds per game. Syracuse ranks third in the conference with a plus-5.8 rebounding margin. The two differ on offense. Cincinnati boasts a roster of sharpshooters led by shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick. The Bearcats have parlayed that roster of sharpshooters to become the second best 3-pointing team in the Big East, and nearly turned that into an upset of then-No. 3 Syracuse just weeks ago. Pittsburgh, though, did upset the Orange, thanks to strong interior play. Steven Adams, a 7-footer from New Zealand, is arguably the most talented center in the conference, and continues to come along as a complete player, averaging 6.7 rebounds per game.

NO. 25 NOTRE DAME VS. NO. 11 LOUISVILLE The Big East’s other weekend matchup between ranked teams includes two preseason favorites in Louisville and Notre Dame. Fighting Irish guard Jerian Grant could provide the toughest test yet for the Cardinals’ undersized guards, who will be tasked with slowing down and getting around the 6-foot-5 Grant, who excels both on and off the ball. Ultimately, though, this one will be won in the paint where UND is supposed to thrive. But Notre Dame struggled with an inexperienced Syracuse low post Monday, and will now have to deal with Louisville’s two-headed monster of power forward Chane Behanan and center Gorgui Dieng, one of the best shot-blockers in the country.

RUTGERS VS. NO. 20 GEORGETOWN After losing back-to-back games and three of five to start Big East play, Georgetown has reeled off of four straight wins, two against ranked teams, to climb back toward the top of the conference standings. A date with Rutgers is an opportunity for yet another Big East win. The Scarlet Knights are just 3-7 in conference play. RU ranks in the bottom half of the nation in scoring offense, and will have a tough test against the Hoyas’ No. 2 scoring defense in the conference.

SCHEDULE SATURDAY, FEB 9

Rutgers vs. Georgetown Marquette vs. DePaul Villanova vs. South Florida Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh Notre Dame vs. Louisville

Noon 2 p.m. 3 p.m. 6 p.m. 9 p.m.

ESPN3 ESPN3 ESPNU ESPN ESPN

courtesy of matt cashore JERIAN GRANT and the No. 25 Fighting Irish will look to rebound from their loss to Syracuse on Monday, in which they shot just 35 percent from the field, against No 11 Louisville on Saturday.

SUNDAY, FEB 10

Seton Hall vs. Connecticut Noon ESPN3 Syracuse vs. St. John’s 3 p.m. ESPN3

SCORING LEADERS NAME

Bryce Cotton D’Angelo Harrison Sean Kilpatrick Russ Smith Shabazz Napier Fuquan Edwin Cleveland Melvin Brandon Young Ryan Boatright Eli Carter

SCHOOL

Providence St. John’s Cincinnati Louisville Connecticut Seton Hall DePaul DePaul Connecticut Rutgers

ASSISTS LEADERS PPG

20.9 18.5 18.3 18.2 17.0 16.9 16.6 16.4 15.6 15.1

NAME

SCHOOL

Michael Carter-Williams Syracuse Anthony Collins South Florida Eric Atkins Notre Dame Peyton Siva Louisville Jerian Grant Notre Dame Tray Woodall Pittsburgh Ryan Boatright Connecticu t Brandon Young DePaul Junior Cadougan Marquette Shabazz Napier Connecticut

REBOUNDING LEADERS APG

8.5 6.7 6.1 6.1 5.6 5.4 4.6 4.4 4.2 4.1

NAME

Jack Cooley LaDontae Henton Cleveland Melvin Eugene Teague Otto Porter Chane Behanan C.J. Fair Kadeem Batts Steven Adams Mouphtaou Yarou

SCHOOL

Notre Dame Providence DePaul Seton Hall Georgetown Louisville Syracuse Providence Pittsburgh Villanova

RPG

11.3 8.0 7.7 7.7 7.6 7.2 7.1 7.1 6.7 6.7

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sports@ da ilyor a nge.com

PERSPECTIVES by trevor hass and sam maller | the daily orange

How far do you think Syracuse will get in the tournament if James Southerland does not return? “He’s the only 3-point shooter on our team. Other people can shoot 3s, but he’s the only real deep threat on our team, so without him, we can’t really do too much.” Jason Heilbrunn

SOPHOMORE MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MAJOR

“Second round. MCW’s not really playing so well. A lot of turnovers, can’t hit free throws, not really doing so well in the clutch. The past few losses I think have been primarily to his blame.” Justin Rosenthal

UNDECL ARED FRESHMAN IN THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

“One thing we have that a lot of other teams don’t have is depth. Even though we don’t have his senior leadership, we still have a lot of depth, which will do us well in the tournament.”

“I think Coach Boeheim has the team’s best interest in mind. We’re going to do as well as we can.” Becki Rothstein

FRESHMAN INCLUSIVE ELEMENTARY MAJOR

Nate Hapke

JUNIOR TELEVISION, RADIO AND FILM MAJOR

“Right now, they’re kind of looking shallow in terms of depth. So if he does remain out, I hope we can get past the Sweet 16. I don’t see us getting past the Elite Eight.” Russell Oliver

JUNIOR BROADCAST AND DIGITAL JOURNALISM MAJOR

“I really don’t think they’re going to do too well considering the last few games. If Triche stays consistent throughout most of the games they’ll do fine.” Kari Monk

SOPHOMORE COMMUNICATION AND RHETORICAL STUDIES MAJOR

Everyday Bus Service to: Manhattan, Chinatown, and Brooklyn 12:30 M departA on Sat. t ure o Wed.!

sports@ da ilyor a nge.com

f ebrua ry 8 -10 , 2 013

Head to head STATISTICS 75.4 58.8 44.9 36.3 67.8 40.7 15.3 12.8 9.9

68.4 66.3 43 39 64.1 36.8 12.5 11 7

POINTS PER GAME POINTS ALLOWED PER GAME FIELD-GOAL PERCENTAGE OPPONENTS’ FIELD-GOAL PERCENTAGE FREE-THROW PERCENTAGE REBOUNDS PER GAME ASSISTS PER GAME TURNOVERS PER GAME STEALS PER GAME

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REMAINING SCHEDULES SYRACUSE

Feb. 13 Feb. 16 Feb. 20 Feb. 23 Feb. 25 March 2 March 6 March 9

at Connecticut at Seton Hall Providence Georgetown at Marquette Louisville DePaul Georgetown

7 p.m. 8 p.m. 7 p.m. 4 p.m. 7 p.m. noon 6 p.m. noon

ST. JOHN’S

Feb. 14 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 March 2 March 5 March 9

at Louisville South Florida Pittsburgh at Providence at Notre Dame Marquette

9 p.m. 7 p.m. noon 8 p.m. 7 p.m. 2 p.m.

Pedicure

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REGISTER AT students.syr.edu/ccwregistration


Feb. 8, 2013