Home » Featured » Currently Reading:

Bar Room Bicker 4

January 15, 2003 Featured No Comments

Bar Room Bicker – Syracuse and Georgia Tech’s Will Bynum

by James Burns and Nicholas Lozito

Note: This is the fourth installment of The Bar Room Bicker, which pits two college basketball enthusiasts against one another. James Burns and Nicholas Lozito are Hoopville Staff writers, and each week the two pick an array of topics and argue their sides.

Will Syracuse contend for a national championship this season?

Nicholas Lozito: I don’t know what is wrong with our nation’s sports writers, but for some reason they have not caught on to Syracuse basketball. The Orangemen should be ranked in the top-15 right now, and they will be in the top-5 by season’s end. Despite having only one loss, they only cracked the top-25 this week. The Orangemen have one of the top-five starting lineups in the nation, and they are only improving as the season progresses.

Small forward Carmelo Anthony (23.5 points 9.7 boards) is the top freshman in the nation. He would have been a first-round pick had he entered the draft. Anthony has the ability to take it to the rack, stroke it from outside and bang with the big men. While he is the best player on Jim Boeheim’s roster, Anthony has a great supporting cast. Freshman point guard Gerry McNamara is a pure scorer (15.1 points) who is also capable of finding open players (5.2 assists). Power forward Hakim Warrick is very athletic in the paint, and looks like the clone of Keon Clark, both in stature and play. Shooting guard Kueth Duany proved another athletic player who can shoot from outside, while seven-foot center Graig Forth put forth a great effort against Missouri (eleven points, five boards, four assists, three blocks).

The Orangemen can run and score with any team in the nation. They have won eleven in a row since an opening night loss to Memphis, and they have a huge test in No. 3 Pittsburgh coming up on Jan. 18. The will beat Pitt, and come March they will have a No. 2 seed or higher.

James Burns: I agree. There must be something wrong with America’s sports writers. Syracuse deserves to be in everybody’s top-25. They deserve to be in everybody’s top-fifteen. But Syracuse isn’t a top-five program, especially one we’d expect to be knocking on the door come March.

However, if they keep the nucleus of this year’s team together – and that means keeping freshman star Carmelo Anthony away from the NBA – Syracuse is a legitimate top-five team and championship contender next year. With the addition of a few prized recruits, especially another big man (after seven-footer Graig Forth, Syracuse doesn’t have one player over 6-9), and the maturation of key role players like Gerry McNamara and Hakim Warrick, they could match-up with anyone in the country. Next year.

Right now, they are way too young. Senior Kueth Duany is a solid basketball player with NBA prospects, but he isn’t the motivator they would need him to be in order to make a run at the crown. They need an older player who could corral that bunch and keep them focused through the Big East regular season, Big East Tournament and then finally the NCAA Tournament. And, unfortunately, the passive-architect, head coach Jim Boeheim, isn’t that man either.

At best, Syracuse is a Sweet 16 team. They make it that far because Anthony, Duany and McNamara carry them that far. They get that far on talent alone. But they only get that far because they are young and only seeing the journey for the first time.

Will Bynum: A star at Georgia Tech?

NL: No. Bynum has all the offensive skills imaginable. He has all the talent in the world. He can knock down the three, slash to the bucket and take his man off the dribble. What Will Bynum is missing is heart. The reason he left Arizona was because he wasn’t getting any playing time. And the reason he wasn’t getting any playing time is because he played no defense. Players like Salim Stoudamire and Hassan Adams worked there way past Bynum on the depth chart.

Unless Yellowjackets coach Paul Hewitt likes one-way players, I wouldn’t expect Will “The Thrill” to be too big a factor in the ACC over the next few years. In high school, Bynum was looked at as a pure scorer. He was supposed to put up 30-plus and not get embarrassed on defense.

JB: I knew the Arizona bubble had to burst at some point. I knew there was no way even the great Lute Olsen could keep all that talent happy. And frankly, I’m glad to see Will Bynum go, and so is Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt.

Bynum will fit in perfectly in the ACC, a conference that in that last few years has become a haven for players looking for a rebirth (Maryland’s Steve Francis came out of nowhere and Duke’s Dahntay Jones by way of Rutgers). Bynum still has all the tools to be a great college basketball player. Despite being suffocated on the bench behind Stoudamire and Adams, he can still shoot, dribble, drive and, contrary to popular belief, play defense.

I think this time Bynum is going to see the light. He is going to realize that college players aren’t given many chances, let alone a second. He will make the most out of his time at Georgia Tech. He will play to win, he will play to fulfill lost dreams and he will play to prove naysayers wrong. But most of all he will play for playing time and chance to shine, so that the next time he returns to the bench it will be during a timeout and not for the opening tip.

James Burns and Nicholas Lozito are a Hoopville Staff writers living in Sacramento.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 17, 2018

March 17, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, there is one main story to focus on: history being made in Charlotte and its aftermath. But we also talk about tough times for the Pac-12 and a key member school, plus an added challenge ahead at Pittsburgh.

College Basketball Tonight – March 11, 2018

March 12, 2018 by

College Basketball Tonight returns with a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament bracket, and in the second segment Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian joins us.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 10, 2018

March 10, 2018 by

As Championship Week nears its climax on the big Saturday, we look at a pair of semifinals and a lot of bubble teams that may be sweating it out on Sunday.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018 by

As Championship Week heats up, we talk about bubble teams who may or may not want to earn their way into the NCAA Tournament, as well as a couple of mid-majors whose conference championship game was played earlier in the week.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with floor issues in the Big East and an important NCAA ruling that was upheld. Then we go on to the Big 12, where Wednesday night had a new twist, as well as the ACC and how it shapes up along with no team going undefeated in conference play this year.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.