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  Articles > NCAA
 The Shaun Livingston Effect

The days of oversized ball handlers with superior court vision is upon us. Hopefully we all remember the likes of Magic Johnson, Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway and now LeBron James and soon to be Michael Carter-Williams (MCW).

What about Shaun Livingston? He’s the former Duke Blue Devil signee who opted for the NBA Draft instead. Livingston was selected fourth overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2004 draft. Scouts loved Livingston’s prowess as a 6’7 point guard and his ability to create shots for teammates. Unfortunately, we will never know if Livingston could’ve lived up to his Magic Johnson comparisons. In 2007, Livingston suffered a gruesome knee injury that sidelined him for nearly four years. Now he’s a journeyman fighting to make any NBA roster.

If MCW compares close to anyone off the short list it’s Livingston, and by that I mean the raw potential of what Livingston could have been. MCW is a 6’6 sophomore point guard running the show for Jim Boehiem at Syracuse. MCW is second in the nation in assists, fourth in steals and has his team ranked 17th in the nation.

The comparisons are uncanny between Livingston and MCW. The height naturally draws attention but it’s more of their style of play. In 2006, Livingston had athleticism, ability to see over a defense and a competitive edge; all of which MCW has now.

What separates the two is something simple. MCW opted for college while Livingston went straight to the NBA.  MCW should use Livingston as an example. This isn’t a knock on Livingston, but he could have used his college years to bulk up, and get the proper mentoring before embarking on such a difficult path.

MCW was put on a leash his freshmen year to learn, grow and understand the Boeheim way. Sharing time with veteran players, MCW barely managed to average 10-minutes per game. Now he leads the team in minutes and is expected to be a lottery pick in this year NBA Draft.

Living vicariously of course,  we may really get to see the potential of Shaun Livingston.

 Everything ‘Fine’ in Syracuse for Now

Photo by Michael Napoleon

In the wake of Assistant Coach Bernie Fine allegations, Head Coach Jim Boeheim spoke out of turn quickly. Boeheim called the alleged victims “liars” and said they were seeking a civil suit to land 50 million dollars.

Fine was fired on November 28th, after spending 35 seasons on the sideline with Boeheim.

On December 2nd the No. 3 ‘Cuse’ took on the No. 9 Florida Gators. The Gators entered the game shooting 42 percent behind the arc, with intentions to continue their hot shooting. Boeheim and company held the Gators to 34 percent and edged out a four-point victory at the Carrier Dome.

Instead of the normal post game comments to commend his team effort, Boeheim’s conscience directed him in another direction. In response to his comments about the victims he said: “I believe I misspoke very badly in my response to the allegations that have been made,” Boeheim said. “I shouldn’t have questioned what the accusers expressed or their motives. I am really sorry that I did that, and I regret any harm that I caused. It was insensitive to the individuals involved and especially to the overall issue of child abuse.”

It appears Syracuse is doing ‘Fine’ on the court despite the distractions. As of December 13th, the Orange is the No.1 ranked team in both AP and ESPN/USA polls. The honors aren’t just courtesy of the No.1 and No.2 teams falling to pesky programs; Boeheim’s legendary 2-3 zone is stifling this year.

The Orange rank first in steals per game and seventh in blocks in mens Division 1 basketball. The 2-3 zone features the quick hands of a basketball bandit and long arms of a block party orchestrator. Guard Dion Waiters commits the robberies while center Fab Melo hand delivers block party invitations. With senior guard Scoop Jardine leading the charge, opponents are shooting 67-224 from three-land, 29 percent, and holding opposing schools to 57 points per game.

Conference play starts December 28th against the Seton Hall Pirates at Carrier Dome. With the second toughest conference in the NCAA, look for Boeheim’s boys to endure a tough rode to Madison Square Garden. Nobody knows the outcome of the season for the ball club, but for now everything is ‘Fine’ in Syracuse.

 

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