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Syracuse Preview: I've Got Some Good News & Some Bad News

My balloon has popped. Last weekend I was all geeked-up about how great our basketball team was looking. I foolishly started dreaming that maybe…just maybe…we miraculously could pull off the double conference champs (football/basketball) before we blew this Big East doughnut shop.

Now I’m back to hoping that we win 20 games and get a top 8 seed in the Big East tournament. That way Truck Bryant can get more rest for his weary legs and weary confidence before we go back to Madison Square Garden. And as for the Top 25? Probably not this regular season.

I love Truck Bryant. As George W. Bush used to say, "Ah preesheate him." I’ll hang in there with him til’ the end because he’s been an incredible Mountaineer during his time at WVU. But no kidding, this is one painful cold streak he’s on. Darryl is 13 for 49 (27%) over the past three games. And it’s not just his poor shooting; Truck looks disheveled. At times it seems as if he’s dribbling the ball like they used to back in the 60’s and 70’s – hand way on top where it looks like he could lose control any time.

Kevin Jones couldn’t carry the load alone against St. John’s. No one else came to play and Huggs dropped another "we sucked" on the team. KJ had help from the freshman guards against Cinci last Saturday and we squeaked out a win. But, If Truck, Deniz, and the freshman all don’t show up and play well on Saturday in Syracuse, this is going to be downright embarrassing. I mean, "we’re Clemson" embarrassing.

Now here’s some good news: it appears that 7-foot Orange sophomore Fab Melo won’t be playing. Jim Boeheim announced Thursday that Melo’s academic situation is preventing his speedy return. The center has missed the past two games, one of which was their only loss to Notre Dame. The Cuse is 21-1.

Here’s some bad news: The Carrier Dome will be packed and loud. There is nothing going on in Syracuse this weekend, it is cold and snowing. The school announced that as of Thursday it had sold 27,500 tickets, which would be the highest attended NCAA Division 1 basketball game this year. It is conceivable that by game time they will exceed the attendance that they had for three of their football games this year.

How will our guys respond to the environment? Can Truck snap out of his funk? Will KJ silence the crowd and show the nation that he’s the leading contender for Player of the Year honors? Let's hope for some good news.

Tip time is Saturday 1:00 p.m. on ESPNU.