Want to Know the Secret to Sucess of Orange? Read This

Larry RulisonContributor IDecember 4, 2008

The Syracuse Orange are 8-0. Florida, Kansas and Virginia lay in their wake. They just scrambled to beat Cornell, 88-78, after trailing by five at halftime.

So is it the three-point shooting after the return of Andy Rautins and Eric Devendorf? No.

Is it the bench depth?

Not really.

So what is it?

Well, Syracuse has been crushing its opponents getting to the free throw line, and it has been able to convert.

In fact, Syracuse has been getting to the line so much, once might think something was going on. In the NBA, teams would be protesting.

But what it really shows is that Syracuse is much more physical this year, and that bodes well for the Big East schedule, which we all know is about physical play.

Here are some interesting stats. Against Florida, Syracuse went to the line 32 times. Florida went 13 times.

Against Kansas

—in Kansas City, mind you—the 'Cuse went to the line 37 times, versus 20 for the Jayhawks.

Tell me this isn't an incredible stat. Jim Boeheim is probably going to want to wring my neck.

But maybe it's because Syracuse is just that physical this year. Paul Harris is leading the way, in my opinion. In fact, Syracuse's set play from tip off is to tip the ball to Harris and have Harris try and draw a foul on the first play. Or get a basket.

And with all these fouls, Syracuse has shot well from the line. In its last three games, Syracuse has shot over .700 from the line—unheard of from a Syracuse team.

Look out. The 'Cuse are coming to the hoop.

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