first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on November 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjrcenter_img NEW YORK — Jim Boeheim, as usual, didn’t suppress his thoughts after the game. With how substandard Syracuse played offensively, the Orange was fortunate to come away victorious.‘We played 40 minutes of improved defense,’ the SU head coach said. ‘Thirty-five minutes of horrendous offense. … Our offense has been bad down here.’Syracuse struggled to shoot the ball in its semifinal win over Virginia Tech on Wednesday, but turnovers were the true hurdle in Friday’s 69-63 victory over Stanford in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game at Madison Square Garden. The Orange turned the ball over 21 times in a ghastly effort on offense, one that was only trumped by Stanford’s 24 turnovers. Syracuse’s four guards — Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche, Dion Waiters and Michael Carter-Williams — combined for 15 turnovers to 10 assists.The 21 turnovers were more than SU had in its last two games combined. Jardine, who had six of those blunders, attributed the gaffes to the Orange not setting up offensively.‘We weren’t patient at all,’ the senior point guard said. ‘If we would have calmed down and ran our sets and played Syracuse basketball, definitely a lot of turnovers would have been cut down.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBoth teams traded turnovers throughout the game. With SU up 13-10, Cardinal guard Anthony Brown made a nice pass to an open Josh Huestis on the left block. But Fab Melo recovered to stuff his attempt at the rim.On SU’s ensuing possession, Waiters tried feeding Melo on a pick and roll, but Stanford guard Aaron Bright tipped and stole the pass and took it for a layup in transition.Later, Jardine and Triche ran down the floor in transition. But as Triche received a pass from Jardine near the hoop and went up against a Stanford defender, he just heaved the ball straight up, thinking he was fouled. Yet no foul was called and Stanford’s Josh Owens came up with the steal.Stanford went in transition and scored to get within 19-18.‘This is our first bad turnover game,’ Boeheim said. ‘Just some really bad turnovers in transition. We had two-on-ones, three-on-twos and didn’t even get a shot. That’s not good.’Some of the turnovers can be chalked up to, as Jardine said, impatience. Jardine went in for a layup and the ball shot over the hoop out of bounds — without a Stanford defender touching it.After Stanford went up 50-45, he made an ill-advised alley-oop attempt to SU forward C.J. Fair that was tipped and stolen by Cardinal guard Chasson Randle.Even Kris Joseph, who was named Most Outstanding Player after making some clutch plays down the stretch, got ahead of himself. Joseph was twice called for offensive fouls in the second half after he charged too hard into the paint against Cardinal forward John Gage.In defense of his team, Boeheim said the Orange came to MSG unprepared after four easy games.‘Nobody that we played could defend us at all,’ Boeheim said. ‘We could just make a pass and go. We just didn’t play anybody that could defend us.’SU shot 34.4 percent from the field in the first half, and 1-of-5 from the free throw line. For the game, Syracuse made just 8-of-15 free throws.Syracuse was forced to rely on its defense in both its wins this week. Against Stanford, Syracuse was able to score 25 points off turnovers. Not a great ratio when SU forced 24 turnovers, but the Orange struggled to find points in every situation.And those turnovers kept Stanford from pulling away.‘I think to compete against (Syracuse), first of all, you have to value the basketball,’ Cardinal head coach Johnny Dawkins said. ‘We had 24 turnovers. If you do that, it’s difficult to beat them.’Boeheim praised Jardine’s play in the postgame press conference despite his game-high six turnovers. The point guard was actually SU’s best shooting threat, making both his 3-point attempts. The rest of the team shot 25 percent from long range.He was still critical of Jardine’s mistakes and of Joseph’s as well. Though Joseph led SU in scoring, Boeheim pointed out his charges, noting the senior forward needs to make better decisions going to the basket.As the players got up to leave the podium after the game, Joseph tripped getting up from his chair and nearly fell, creating a stir before Boeheim answered questions.‘Another turnover,’ Boeheim wisecracked.‘This was a great learning experience,’ he later said. ‘We had to go to the wall, go right to the end to win both these games, and I think there’s ample opportunity to learn from these games down here.’[email protected]last_img

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