Syracuse-Canisius: Orange Shows Its True Colors Again in Blowout Win

Larry RulisonContributor IDecember 17, 2008

If you were wondering how the heck Syracuse lost to Cleveland State on Monday, your questions were answered Wednesday night when the Orange pulled off a convincing win against Canisius, 82-60.

Like the nine other teams that came into the Dome looking to pull an upset over the Orange, Canisius played well during the first half of the game.

And Syracuse sat around watching the ball go off the backboard.

Rick Jackson led all Syracuse players with 14 points and eight rebounds, and Paul Harris recorded another double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

But it just appears that the Orange will only play hard enough to keep a team at arm's length. They don't hustle the entire 40 minutes like Duke or North Carolina do. They have also been plagued by turnovers. They had 13 against the Golden Griffins, and they lost the battle for offensive rebounds, 19-16.

Maybe the team is banged up. Flynn looks like he has multiple injuries, and Harris may also be hurt. The Devendorf suspension case is also hanging over the team's head.

The team may also be looking ahead to a huge Memphis game, in Memphis, a game that will be the last heavyweight non-conference game of the year. If Syracuse wins at Memphis, they can rest assured that no one will question their résumé this year come March.

Granted, Syracuse won by 22, but it was basically an even game for much of the first half.

The real highlight of the game was that Syracuse's two freshmen, Mookie Jones and Kris Joseph, are ready to play, and both are fearless, so if the team does lose Devendorf for the year, they have to be able to fill the points void.

But what this team needs right now are some leaders, which they lack. Flynn is the natural leader, but he only seems to take over games when the Orange need him too. I think Devendorf, who is in his fourth year with the team, won't step up his leadership until his situation is solved.

Regardless, here we come Memphis. Look out.