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DraftExpress :: The Daily Word
       
The DraftExpress Daily
       
  Thursday, December 9, 2004

Thoughts on Syracuse vs. Oklahoma State
By Luis Fernández

Box href=/profile//> score

Written href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> Staff href=/profile//> Reporter href=/profile//> J.L. href=/profile//> Weill

Somewhere href=/profile//> between href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> unfathomably href=/profile//> orange href=/profile//> shirts href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> I-bankers href=/profile//> discussing href=/profile//> stock href=/profile//> picks, href=/profile//> I href=/profile//> managed href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> catch href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> double-header href=/profile//> Jimmy href=/profile//> V href=/profile//> Classic href=/profile//> live href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> Madison href=/profile//> Square href=/profile//> Garden href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> Tuesday. href=/profile//> It href=/profile//> wasn't href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> pretty href=/profile//> evening href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> basketball, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> telling, href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> its href=/profile//> way, href=/profile//> emblematic href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> difference href=/profile//> between href=/profile//> stylish href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> effective, href=/profile//> between href=/profile//> lasting href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> fleeting. href=/profile//>

This href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> particularly href=/profile//> true href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> second href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> which href=/profile//> pitted href=/profile//> fifth-ranked href=/profile//> Oklahoma href=/profile//> State href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> fourth-ranked href=/profile//> Syracuse. href=/profile//> Both href=/profile//> teams href=/profile//> came href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> undefeated href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> both href=/profile//> featured href=/profile//> legitimate href=/profile//> senior href=/profile//> All-American href=/profile//> contenders href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> their href=/profile//> lineups. href=/profile//>

For href=/profile//> Syracuse, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> hubbub href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> about href=/profile//> Hakim href=/profile//> Warrick, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> jumping href=/profile//> jack href=/profile//> 6'9 href=/profile//> forward href=/profile//> who href=/profile//> burst href=/profile//> onto href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> scene href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> sophomore href=/profile//> alongside href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> now href=/profile//> departed href=/profile//> afterthought href=/profile//> named href=/profile//> Carmelo href=/profile//> Anthony href=/profile//> (that's href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> joke). href=/profile//> Warrick href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> preseason href=/profile//> pick href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> Player href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Year href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Big href=/profile//> East href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> should href=/profile//> factor href=/profile//> into href=/profile//> any href=/profile//> early href=/profile//> season href=/profile//> predictions href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> NCAA href=/profile//> hardware. href=/profile//> Oklahoma href=/profile//> State, href=/profile//> meanwhile, href=/profile//> ebbs href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> flows href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> back href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> its href=/profile//> returning href=/profile//> Big href=/profile//> XII href=/profile//> Player href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Year, href=/profile//> John href=/profile//> Lucas href=/profile//> III, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> steely, href=/profile//> efficient href=/profile//> combo href=/profile//> guard href=/profile//> who href=/profile//> makes href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> lack href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> size href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> abundance href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> moxie. href=/profile//> It href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> expected href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> these href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> would href=/profile//> shine, href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> role href=/profile//> players, href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> them href=/profile//> top href=/profile//> notch, href=/profile//> pitching href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> periodically href=/profile//> until href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> emerged href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> victor, href=/profile//> bloodied href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> probably href=/profile//> missing href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> tooth href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> two. href=/profile//>

Almost href=/profile//> right. href=/profile//>

The href=/profile//> truth href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> Warrick href=/profile//> turned href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> solid href=/profile//> performance, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> drifted href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> second href=/profile//> half, href=/profile//> taking href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> back href=/profile//> seat href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> sophomore href=/profile//> Terrence href=/profile//> Roberts, href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> all-energy href=/profile//> post href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> whose href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> should href=/profile//> look href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> familiar href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> Oklahoma href=/profile//> State href=/profile//> fans, href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> closely href=/profile//> resembles href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> former href=/profile//> Cowboy href=/profile//> standout href=/profile//> Byron href=/profile//> Houston. href=/profile//> Junk href=/profile//> baskets, href=/profile//> put-backs, href=/profile//> dunks href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> short href=/profile//> jumpers href=/profile//> all href=/profile//> factored href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> and, href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> only href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> eight href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> Roberts href=/profile//> kept href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> cold-shooting href=/profile//> Syracuse href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> long href=/profile//> stretches. href=/profile//> It href=/profile//> didn't href=/profile//> always href=/profile//> look href=/profile//> pretty, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> appeared href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> work. href=/profile//>

The href=/profile//> much href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> polished href=/profile//> Warrick href=/profile//> made href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> presence href=/profile//> felt href=/profile//> mostly href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> half, href=/profile//> showcasing href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> impressive href=/profile//> array href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> back href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> basket href=/profile//> moves, href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> which href=/profile//> worked href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> others href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> did href=/profile//> not, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> seemingly href=/profile//> leaping href=/profile//> twice href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> every href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> jump href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> anyone href=/profile//> else. href=/profile//> The href=/profile//> skinny href=/profile//> senior href=/profile//> (you href=/profile//> can href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> lanky href=/profile//> freshman, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> you're href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> same href=/profile//> size href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> senior, href=/profile//> you're href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> plain href=/profile//> skinny) href=/profile//> doesn't href=/profile//> back href=/profile//> down href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> can href=/profile//> spin href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> launch href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> either href=/profile//> hand. href=/profile//> The href=/profile//> question href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> remains, href=/profile//> however, href=/profile//> exactly href=/profile//> where href=/profile//> does href=/profile//> Warrick href=/profile//> fit href=/profile//> into href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> pro href=/profile//> frontcourt? href=/profile//> Can href=/profile//> you href=/profile//> see href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> guy href=/profile//> holding href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> ground href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> Amare href=/profile//> Stoudemire? href=/profile//> No href=/profile//> way. href=/profile//> What href=/profile//> about href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> other href=/profile//> stringbeans href=/profile//> like href=/profile//> Chris href=/profile//> Bosh href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> Tyson href=/profile//> Chandler? href=/profile//> Maybe. href=/profile//> Warrick href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> skills href=/profile//> down href=/profile//> low, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> lacking href=/profile//> beef href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> may href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> Tayshaun href=/profile//> without href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> jumpshot. href=/profile//>

Speaking href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> missing href=/profile//> jumpshots, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> supposed href=/profile//> designated href=/profile//> shooters href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> both href=/profile//> teams href=/profile//> couldn't href=/profile//> get href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> going href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> Tuesday href=/profile//> night. href=/profile//> Syracuse's href=/profile//> Gerry href=/profile//> McNamara href=/profile//> got href=/profile//> hot href=/profile//> late, href=/profile//> after href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> decided. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> off-balance href=/profile//> threes href=/profile//> bounding href=/profile//> around href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> rim href=/profile//> helped href=/profile//> dig href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> hole href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> couldn't href=/profile//> crawl href=/profile//> out href=/profile//> of. href=/profile//> While href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> plays href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> defense, href=/profile//> stripping href=/profile//> Cowboys href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> couple href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> occasions, href=/profile//> he's href=/profile//> such href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> one-dimensional href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> shot href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> out href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> whack, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> really href=/profile//> becomes href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> liability href=/profile//> because href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> won't href=/profile//> stop href=/profile//> shooting. href=/profile//>

Similarly, href=/profile//> despite href=/profile//> topping href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> Syracuse href=/profile//> squad href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> Tuesday, href=/profile//> Oklahoma href=/profile//> State href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> need href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> aforementioned href=/profile//> Wooden href=/profile//> Award href=/profile//> candidate href=/profile//> John href=/profile//> Lucas href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> hit href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> outside href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> they href=/profile//> really href=/profile//> are href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> championship href=/profile//> contender. href=/profile//> While href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> three href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> few href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> left href=/profile//> iced href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> only href=/profile//> such href=/profile//> long href=/profile//> ball href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> night. href=/profile//> Leadership href=/profile//> abilities href=/profile//> are href=/profile//> all href=/profile//> well href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> good, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> effective href=/profile//> slashers href=/profile//> Stevie href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Joey href=/profile//> Graham href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> precocious href=/profile//> freshman href=/profile//> JamesOn href=/profile//> Curry href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> need href=/profile//> Lucas' href=/profile//> shot href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> help href=/profile//> open href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> lanes, href=/profile//> especially href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> zone href=/profile//> defenses. href=/profile//>

Curry, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> smallish href=/profile//> scorer href=/profile//> who href=/profile//> may href=/profile//> remind href=/profile//> us href=/profile//> older href=/profile//> fans href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> Vernon href=/profile//> Maxwell, href=/profile//> showed href=/profile//> no href=/profile//> fear href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> such href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> big href=/profile//> stage. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> three href=/profile//> straight href=/profile//> threes href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> long href=/profile//> range href=/profile//> gave href=/profile//> Oklahoma href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> big href=/profile//> lift href=/profile//> early href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> prompted href=/profile//> what href=/profile//> seemed href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> lot href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> PT href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> freshman href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> all href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> five href=/profile//> games href=/profile//> under href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> belt. href=/profile//>

In href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> pitting href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> defensive-minded href=/profile//> teams, href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> decided href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> which href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> wanted href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> more. href=/profile//> While href=/profile//> McNamara href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> scrappy href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Warrick href=/profile//> works href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> hard href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> anyone href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> country href=/profile//> down href=/profile//> low, href=/profile//> you href=/profile//> don't href=/profile//> often href=/profile//> outscrap href=/profile//> Oklahoma href=/profile//> State, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> pregame href=/profile//> warm-ups href=/profile//> does href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> team-wide href=/profile//> belly-first href=/profile//> dive href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> floor, href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> intricate href=/profile//> zone href=/profile//> defense. href=/profile//> In href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> battle href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> smooth href=/profile//> vs. href=/profile//> solid, href=/profile//> chalk href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> uglies.

 
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