Syracuse Basketball Q&A with Mike Waters
You can start posting your questions now and Mike Waters will be here at noon to provide answers.
Thursday January 23, 2014 11:30
Mike Waters: 
Hello everybody! I'm getting all set here to start the chat. I see a few questions already in the queue. We'll start right at noon!
Thursday January 23, 2014 11:56 Mike Waters
[Comment From Winston WolfWinston Wolf: ] 
It's our favorite American!!! Given the previous 2 years he's had injury do you feel that Syracuse will petition the NCAA's about getting DaJuan a medical redshirt? Thanks for being such a great American!!
Thursday January 23, 2014 11:59 Winston Wolf
Mike Waters: 
When an athlete seeks a medical redshirt, the appeal goes to the conference office. In Dajuan's case that appeal will be denied because conferences go by the strict letter of the law.

Dajuan/SU could appeal to the NCAA's committee on student/athlete reinstatement and base the appeal on his two injuries in back-to-back seasons.

However, I've been told that it would be highly unlikely for the NCAA to give Coleman a redshirt year. He's played in too many games.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:01 Mike Waters
[Comment From HollywoodHollywood: ] 
Now that Ennis is starting to move in the top half of the first round on draft boards, should Cuse fans be concerned about the thought that he might be one and done? Also, if that happens is or are there any late recruits they might be looking at? If McCoulllough isn't cleared, we'd have a one man class in Joseph and losing Baye, Fair, Ennis and maybe Jerami, that could be bad news bears. you're a great American
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:01 Hollywood
Mike Waters: 
First, if you're a Syracuse fan, don't be concerned about Ennis going pro this year. If he does enter the draft, it means that Syracuse has had a great season and probably a great NCAA tourney run.

I'm still not sold on the idea of Ennis entering the NBA draft this year anyway. I think he needs to get stronger and improve his outside shot. It's got to get quicker and more consistent.

I doubt that SU goes after anyone in the '14 class. Who's available that's better than Kaleb Joseph and/or Michael Gbinije?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:03 Mike Waters
[Comment From Prime TimePrime Time: ] 
Mike, living in a country that blesses us with the right to bear arms, I must ask if a gun was to your head, what is Syracuse's final regular season record/
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:04 Prime Time
Mike Waters: 
Prime Time,

I'm an American! This is America. We're off to a great start here today.

Prior to the season, I predicted that SU would go 26-5.

A few games into the season, Jim Boeheim scoffed at the notion that someone had predicted the Orange would go 29-2. We still have no idea who that person was, but he or she should come forward. They're looking good right now.

Thursday January 23, 2014 12:05 Mike Waters
[Comment From Rakeem ChanukahRakeem Chanukah: ] 
Is this offensive outburst by Raheem XMas an illusion or does it seem like he is starting to become a complete player? America the beautiful
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:05 Rakeem Chanukah
Mike Waters: 
Shalom, Rakeem!

Rakeem Christmas is getting better, but don't expect to see him score 10-12 points every night. It's a process. But you have to like what he's doing in recent games.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:06 Mike Waters
[Comment From Bill SelfBill Self: ] 
Other than my Kansas Jayhawks, which teams pose the biggest threat to Syracuse come tournament time?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:07 Bill Self
Mike Waters: 

There are a lot of really good teams this year and no real juggernauts, so every team is a threat even if you're Arizona or Syracuse.

Did you see Creighton hit 21 3's the other night against Villanova? I don't think SU wants to see the Bluejays in March.

I think Wisconsin would be a tough matchup.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:08 Mike Waters
[Comment From Masahiro TanakaMasahiro Tanaka: ] 
Mike - new to New York. Looking over the squad and it screams final four. Should we be concerned about Terry Cooney's shooting going forward or do you feel it'll figure itself out? Thanks for being such a great American!!
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:09 Masahiro Tanaka
Mike Waters: 

Well, first of all, the ACC Network has a job opening. You'd be perfect.

Second, TREVOR Cooney has been struggling lately. He's made just 25 percent of his 3s in ACC play. I don't think he's lost his touch, he's just in a bit of a slump.

I think he'll be fine.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:10 Mike Waters
[Comment From HopkinsHopkins: ] 
odds of me coaching somewhere else prior to JB retiring?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:10 Hopkins
Mike Waters: 

Well, I know this isn't the real Mike Hopkins because he's really not worried about where he'll be coaching next year or the year after.

Mike's focused on Syracuse. Now, if a real good opportunity were to present itself in the spring, I think he would be interested. But it'll take the right situation; similar to the one at USC last spring.

So to answer your question: 50-50
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:11 Mike Waters
[Comment From JoeJoe: ] 
At what point i college sports did it become all about money, and not about a nice balance of the sport and education?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:12 Joe
Mike Waters: 

You ever hear of CCNY? Kentucky's point-shaving scandal? Sam Gilbert at UCLA?

Thursday January 23, 2014 12:13 Mike Waters
[Comment From JoeJoe: ] 
Why did we have so much trouble against the currently horrible Miami team in the Dome, that Duke just beat running away? And what can we look to expect in terms of changes this weekend away?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:13 Joe
Mike Waters: 

It's a matchup thing. Duke is perfectly suited to attacking the zone. Duke doesn't have much of an inside game. It has no center. But Duke has shooters.

I would expect Syracuse to be a little more prepared for Miami's zone the second time around. I also think Syracuse will be ready for Miami's slow-down offense and not get so anxious/frustrated when Miami uses up so much clock.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:15 Mike Waters
[Comment From EZEZ: ] 
Biggest surprise this NBA season, MCW'S sold rookie year, or Wes Johnson's emergence as a capable starter on a bad Lakers team?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:15 EZ
Mike Waters: 

It's been great to see Wes Johnson reinvigorate his career with the Lakers.

But I still have to go with MCW. Even if you thought he was going to be good (and I'll be honest, I thought he would struggle at bit with the lack of a consistent outside shot), his play has been off the charts.

Is MCW not the odds-on favorite for the NBA's Rookie of the Year award?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:16 Mike Waters
[Comment From RobersonRoberson: ] 
Is JB finally going to let me show everyone that I am the best NBA prospect on the roster?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:16 Roberson
Mike Waters: 

I think you'll get a little more playing time with Dajuan Coleman out for the year, but the bulk of the minutes will still go to Fair and Grant.

But next year? Then we're talking.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:17 Mike Waters
[Comment From CalCal: ] 
Rightfully, Tobacco Road has always cherished the ACC as its personal treasure. But next year 7 former BE teams will be in the league and Md. leaves. Do loyal fans feel they've lost their conference, especially when their teams are finishing back in the pack?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:18 Cal
Mike Waters: 

I don't think any dyed-in-the-wool ACC fans feel like they've lost their hold on the league, but I would imagine it does rankle them a bit to see Syracuse and Pitt atop the league standings.

What would really be interesting is a Syracuse-Pitt meeting in the ACC Tournament's championship game. How many would attend that game at the Greensboro Coliseum?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:19 Mike Waters
[Comment From Brandon from Kansas CityBrandon from Kansas City: ] 
do you still think Roberson is the best NBA prospect on the squad?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:19 Brandon from Kansas City
Mike Waters: 

I thought that before the season. It's hard to stick with that since he's played so very little, but I still like the potential I see in practice.

Thursday January 23, 2014 12:20 Mike Waters
[Comment From RyanRyan: ] 
There are rumors of the football team getting completely redesigned uniforms for next season. Any word on whether the basketball team has anything in the works as far as uniforms? Perhaps a little less gray, and a little less boring?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:20 Ryan
Mike Waters: 

The university usually gets a new uniform design from Nike about every four years, so it's about time for some new unis.

I never thought the current uniforms were boring. I like the road uniforms a lot.

On the home uniforms, I'd like to see the school go back to the script Syracuse across the chest instead of Orange.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:22 Mike Waters
[Comment From DanDan: ] 
What will Syracuse do differently against Miami on Saturday to score more points and ensure the game is not as close as the last one?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:22 Dan
Mike Waters: 

This is going to sound simple, but Syracuse has to make more shots. Syracuse made just 36 percent of its FG attempts in the first game.

Additionally, Trevor Cooney can't go 2-for-12 from 3-point range.

The tempo figures to be slow again. It's hard to speed a team up, especially on its homecourt and especially when you're not a pressing team.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:23 Mike Waters
[Comment From jdubbsjdubbs: ] 
If Christmas and Keita get in foul trouble, do you think we see Grant at center?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:24 jdubbs
Mike Waters: 

I would suspect so. Or perhaps Fair because he has more experience. Either way, it'd be Fair, Grant and probably Roberson across the backline. Maybe Gbinije instead of Roberson depending on the size of the opponent's frontcourt.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:25 Mike Waters
[Comment From Lou UticaLou Utica: ] 
I watched the UM / Duke game last night and it seems as if the zone they were taught by Mr. Fine looked anything but.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:25 Lou Utica
Mike Waters: 

First, Bernie Fine didn't teach Miami the zone. He talked with the Miami coaches for about two hours. Read my story on Fine's involvement with Miami in Friday's Post-Standard or on

Second, it ain't the Syracuse zone unless you have players like Syracuse.

Miami's zone is actually more like the zone that Ralph Willard used at Holy Cross.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:26 Mike Waters
[Comment From Alumni MikeAlumni Mike: ] 
Thanks for taking questions. It drives me nuts that Boeheim doesn't play more guys during the meaningless, cupcake-y games, or even in the mildly competitive ones. One twisted ankle and we're in trouble in the tourney. No depth. Why does he play so few guys ?!?!?!?!
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:27 Alumni Mike
Mike Waters: 
In the blowouts, Boeheim played his entire team.

Now in the late minutes of a game, he's not very quick to empty the bench.

In talking to him over the years, he believes he knows more about whether a player's ready or not by what he's seen in practice; a few garbage-time minutes isn't really going to help the player or tell Boeheim anything.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:28 Mike Waters
[Comment From DCDC: ] 
Not a question, but still....Mike, go ahead and tell everyone the real scoop about my injury.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:28 DC
Mike Waters: 

OK. I challenged you to a wrestling match and I got carried away. I pulled a Daniel Bryan on you. Yes! Yes! Yes!

(In reality, you banged into a teammate's knee in practice.)
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:29 Mike Waters
[Comment From SnookiSnooki: ] 
best Pizza in Syracuse?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:29 Snooki
Mike Waters: 

That's a tough one. Syracuse has dozens of places to get really good pizza.

I like Doc's in Camillus for takeout. I like Cam's, too.

And if I want a restaurant setting, I love Twins Trees Too!
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:30 Mike Waters
[Comment From Andre AgassiAndre Agassi: ] 
Hey Bud, with the injury to Coleman, will Boeheim play the freshman center on the bench? There is no true center behind Christmas and kieta and this team could be on a championship run. Will Boeheim take the risk?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:31 Andre Agassi
Mike Waters: 

Nope. There's no way Syracuse is taking the redshirt off freshman center Chinonso Obokoh this season.

At this point, even if SU's centers got into foul trouble, it's far more likely that Boeheim would go with 3 forwards instead of Obokoh.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:32 Mike Waters
[Comment From BillBill: ] 
MCW,has shown a lot of new abilities that he didnt have or wasnt allowed to show last year. Is there a player that we have now that you feel might have more up his sleeve than what we see now?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:32 Bill
Mike Waters: 

I think Jerami Grant has so much room to grow. He could be awesome with more range and more consistency on his jumper. Improved ball-handling would help him get to the basket more.

Also watch the freshman class. Roberson and B.J. Johnson will be good.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:33 Mike Waters
[Comment From Big ShermBig Sherm: ] 
With the team being in Miami Saturday and at Wake on Wednesday, will they travel back to Syracuse in between games or stay down south and check out the cuisine at Denny's?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:34 Big Sherm
Mike Waters: 
Big Sherm,

The team will return to Syracuse on Saturday after the Miami game. Then they will go to Winston-Salem on Tuesday.

And for the last time, it's not Denny's. It's Waffle House.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:34 Mike Waters
[Comment From weswes: ] 
Is it me or when Baye goes to contest every shot, he takes himself out of position for rebounds? Rock has had clutch rebounds and still blocks shots also has been improved on the offensive end. Do you see him getting more set plays run for him?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:35 wes
Mike Waters: 

Most shot-blockers naturally take themselves out of position for rebounds when they go to block shots. So what Baye's doing isn't unusual or even all that bad.

Rakeem has been playing better on both ends of the floor. He has to learn to avoid fouls, though.

Syracuse isn't really running plays for him, but they do seem more willing to get him the ball when he's got his man posted up down low.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:36 Mike Waters
[Comment From Sammy BoySammy Boy: ] 
Love the blog Brent, please give me your starting lineup next year. Please make it with the players you think will still be in the program. Thanks.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:37 Sammy Boy
Mike Waters: 

Brent. Bud. Whatever. I started this chat as a great American. What happened?

I'm going to go out on a limb:


(I haven't seen Chris McCullough in person. I reserve the right to change my mind on this).
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:39 Mike Waters
[Comment From Pete ChilcuttPete Chilcutt: ] 
Are you down in the dumps about our Heels?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:39 Pete Chilcutt
Mike Waters: 

Nice reference to a former Tar Heel.

It has been a tough year for UNC.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:40 Mike Waters
[Comment From JoeJoe: ] 
Rakeem has the size, strength, ability, and athleticism, not sure why he hasn't blossomed yet, maybe a very later bloomer???
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:40 Joe
Mike Waters: 

Rakeem Christmas didn't even average 10 points a game as a senior in high school. Not sure what people expected.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:41 Mike Waters
[Comment From Big 10 CommishBig 10 Commish: ] 
Do you think you should have come to the Big 10 instead of the ACC?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:41 Big 10 Commish
Mike Waters: 
Mr. Delany,

Oh my goodness, no! The ACC is the perfect fit for Syracuse.

The Big Ten consists mostly of large, land-grant state schools. The ACC has a lot more schools that are like Syracuse: Miami, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Duke.

Also, the entire ACC is in the Eastern time zone.

Would Syracuse really want to travel to Iowa or Nebraska for regular season games?

No, if any school made a mistake, it was Maryland.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:43 Mike Waters
[Comment From Brian "Bizz"Brian "Bizz": ] 
Aside from pitt, who else has a chance to beat cuse for the acc tourney title?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:44 Brian "Bizz"
Mike Waters: 

Syracuse may be undefeated, but the Orange isn't some kind of juggernaut.

Duke's good. Virginia's pretty good.

I don't know if there's another team capable of winning three straight games to win the ACC tourney, but Syracuse could lose to a lot of teams, including Florida State, Notre Dame and Miami.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:45 Mike Waters
[Comment From Chino OChino O: ] 
I really want to play,is there any chance that I could lift my redshirt if something happened to BMK or RAK and they were not able to suit up the rest of the season?I know it is really late in the year,but if it would help us get to the Final Four I think it would be worth losing a year.What are your thoughts?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:46 Chino O
Mike Waters: 
Taking the redshirt year off Chinonso Obokoh doesn't help Syracuse get to the Final Four.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:46 Mike Waters
[Comment From Bald PeteBald Pete: ] 
Who wins the national championship as you see it right now. Be honest.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:46 Bald Pete
Mike Waters: 
Bald Pete,

Michigan State. Provided Adreian Payne gets healthy.

If Payne stays hurt, Arizona or Syracuse.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:47 Mike Waters
[Comment From JBJB: ] 
Why do I refuse to develop my bench year after year?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:47 JB
Mike Waters: 

As I said earlier, players develop more in practice than they do in a few garbage time minutes.

Thursday January 23, 2014 12:48 Mike Waters
[Comment From GrantGrant: ] 
Obviously I was suspended earlier in the season. Do you think SU will face any other suspensions this season?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:48 Grant
Mike Waters: 

Jerami Grant had to sit out one game because of a minor violation involving his play in a second summer league.

I haven't heard a single whisper about a repeat of a Fab Melo/James Southerland situation.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:49 Mike Waters
[Comment From Gerry MacGerry Mac: ] 
Odds I get a head coaching job before Mike takes over for Jimmy B.?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:50 Gerry Mac
Mike Waters: 

Interesting hypothetical.

I'm going to say very low. Between 0 and 10 percent. I think Gerry stays and either moves up if Hopkins takes a head coaching job at another school or becomes Hopkins' assistant when Boeheim retires.

After a few years, though, Gerry's going to be a very good head coach.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:51 Mike Waters
[Comment From Sam SpannSam Spann: ] 
Do you think any of the current players will transfer?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:52 Sam Spann
Mike Waters: 

No, I don't. The sophomores are playing. I can't see any of the freshmen leaving after just one year.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:52 Mike Waters
[Comment From Mr DitotaMr Ditota: ] 
Mike, do you have a crush on my wife?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:53 Mr Ditota
Mike Waters: 
Donna isn't married. Do your homework.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:53 Mike Waters
[Comment From johnjohn: ] 
Chris McCollough has been playing very well at IMG. Do you see him being an immediate contributor on the front line next year? Or will he need a year to adjust to the college game?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:53 john
Mike Waters: 

Whether he starts or comes off the bench (Waiters-style), Chris McCullough figures to have a big impact next year.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:54 Mike Waters
[Comment From JoshJosh: ] 
Mike, why shut down DC for the year? Why not allow him more time to receive therapy and give the option of playing him in March? He can always have surgery after the tourney. Seems to really hurt our depth and ability to beat teams up down the stretch...
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:54 Josh
Mike Waters: 

Dajuan's just not getting better. They essentially shut him down for over two weeks. When he tried to play, he experienced more soreness.

Better to just get the surgery done now.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:55 Mike Waters
[Comment From Luau LarryLuau Larry: ] 
If the Orange lose 3 or 4 games,what team or teams might take the 1 seed in the East Region?Would the Cuse still get in the East region if they drop a few games and do not get the 1 seed?
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:55 Luau Larry
Mike Waters: 
Luau Larry,

Even if Syracuse lost a few games (and it probably will), the Orange has a pretty good hold on the No. 1 seed in the East.

Even if Syracuse dropped to a 2 seed, the Orange could still be placed in the East and go to Buffalo then New York City. Unless Duke or Pitt (ACC schools) got the No. 1 seed.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:56 Mike Waters
[Comment From Jason HartJason Hart: ] 
Why does my 1999-2000 team get lost in the shuffle of all time great SU teams? We started the season 19-0 that year. We played lock down defense and really paved the way for JB transitioning to playing solely zone. We were a loaded team with myself, Etan Thomas, Blackwell, Damone Brown, Shumpert, Bland, Griffin, Williams, Duany and McNeil.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:57 Jason Hart
Mike Waters: 

The 2000 team faded a bit down the stretch. Kinda got lost in the shuffle. I believe it wound up as a 4-seed in the NCAAs.

Had SU not blown a big second-half lead to Michigan State and advanced past the Sweet 16, I think that team would get mentioned a lot more.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:58 Mike Waters
[Comment From Gerry CooneyGerry Cooney: ] 
It looks to me that my brother Trevor is in a slump because he's rushing his shot. He comes sprinting off the screens and goes up for his shot too quickly. He's slightly off balance. When he takes the time to get his feet set he's still making them.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:58 Gerry Cooney
Mike Waters: 

In basketball, as in boxing, it's all about balance.

Gerry McNamara and Trevor talked about his shooting (including the reasons for the drift) in a story that I wrote on Wednesday.
Thursday January 23, 2014 12:59 Mike Waters
[Comment From BobBob: ] 
Mike - the last bracketology shows no teams from tobacco road playing in Raeigh - is that ever possible - won't the NCAA put Duke of NC there?
Thursday January 23, 2014 1:01 Bob
Mike Waters: 

I depends on seeding and where other ACC teams are placed.

If SU is a 1-seed in the East, it would be difficult to make Duke a 2-seed in the East. Now, Duke could still play in Raleigh, but it's harder to justify a team getting to play so close to home the lower it's seeded.

Truth serum: You really think Duke isn't going to Raleigh?
Thursday January 23, 2014 1:03 Mike Waters
Mike Waters: 
Well, folks, we've come to the end of our session. This was a lot of fun. It always is.

We'll do it again soon!
Thursday January 23, 2014 1:03 Mike Waters
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