Syracuse Basketball: Is It Time To Push the Panic Button?

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Syracuse Basketball: Is It Time To Push the Panic Button?
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Is it time to push the panic button?

After breaking West Virginia’s hearts on Monday winning 63-52 the Orange improved to 21-6 and eighth in the Big East Conference.

Getting a win on Monday was a must as the Orange in their last ten games have been awful, 4-6 to be exact. To make it even worse three out of those six losses came at home.

So is it time to push the panic button?

On Saturday the Orange will face unranked Rutgers.

Though the Scarlet Knights are just one game above .500 and 13th in the Big East Conference they are still a scary team to play. With wins over Seton Hall and Villanova this Scarlet Knight team does know how to pull off the upset.

But most of all, they know how to shoot the three ball, a proven weakness in the Orange’s 2-3 zone defense. In the Orange’s six losses this season their opponents have shot close to 50 percent from the three point line.

If the Orange want to win this game they will have to stay active and contest the three point shots. But most of all they must pay close attention senior Jonathan Mitchell who on the season is shooting 42 percent from behind the arc.

After the Scarlet Knights leave town the Orange will travel to 800 Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA to face the Wildcats in the Pavilion, an atmosphere that is just simply brutal.

Is it time to push the panic button?

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Though there are only 6,500 seats in the building the majority of those seats are filled with loud blatant fans who scream at the top of their lungs producing deafening noise.

Standing room only is what the students go by as they sometimes fit up to 2,500 or more in their student section that is built to fit only 2,000.

While the crowd will play a key factor in this game so will the Orange’s defense. Once again, they'll need to stop the three ball, something they didn’t do when they lost to the Wildcats back in January.

The next thing the Orange must do is stop guards Maalik Waynes (21 points last meeting) and Corey Fisher (16 points last meeting). In the first half the two combined for six of seven from the three point line.

After the Orange leave the Pavilion things don’t get any easier as they travel to Georgetown to face the arch rival Hoyas.

Last game Georgetown stunned the Orange by closing the game out on a 15-3 run winning 64-56 in a contest that favored the Orange for almost the entire game.

The Orange broke down by not getting back on defense, allowing the Hoyas to score several times on fast-breaks. Also the Orange went into panic mode as they were forcing up three pointers when they should’ve been looking for closer shots.

In those closing four minuets that the Hoyas made their 15-3 run, the Orange shot five three pointers, making none of them.

Though that wasn't the first time the Orange have had a scoring drought.

Take the Pittsburgh game for example, when the Panthers opened up a 19-0 lead to start the game.

It’s just unacceptable.

Saying that, if the Orange want to pull of a victory in the nation's capital they’ll have to get back on defense, stop the Hoyas fast break offense, and limit their three point shots.

After leaving Washington, D.C., the Orange will travel back home to close out their 2010-11 season with DePaul, currently ranked last in the Big East.

Facing the 7-18 Blue Demons will most likely be a preparation game for the Tournament however it can’t be taken too lightly as the Demons do know how to spoil the party. However, shut down freshman Cleveland Melvin and the Orange shouldn’t have a problem.

While the panic button doesn’t need to be pushed just yet, if the Orange fail to win both remaining home games and at least one on the road against the Wildcats or the Hoyas, it could be a long March.  

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