Thursday, February 14, 2013
Do the Orange have reason to worry?
By Luke Lapinski
At what point should we be concerned about Syracuse? Not in terms of whether or not they're a very good team, but in terms of having a legitimate shot at winning the whole thing this season? Last night's defeat at the hands of Connecticut isn't inexcusable by any means, but it does give them three losses in their last five outings. And that's simply not typical of the Orange.
That said, Jim Boeheim's group is still 20-4 on the year. Plus, all three of these recent defeats have come on the road and life in the Big East precludes some losses every now and then. On the one hand, it's never good to drop three of five when the expectations are as high as they are for Syracuse. But, on the other hand, it's better to be struggling now than a month from now.
Last night's game was against a hungry and under-the-radar Huskies squad that would likely be contending for a trip to the Big Dance if it weren't for NCAA sanctions this season. There's no shame in losing to that team in their building. But the Orange don't look like the same group that was steamrolling their way through the first two and a half months of the season. And if the NCAA Tournament began today, there would likely be some worry among Syracuse fans. Then again, the tournament doesn't start today, they're still working James Southerland back into the lineup and Boeheim knows better than most how to utilize the regular season to mold his club for the postseason.