James Southerland can provide the Orange with a dynamic look in 2012, as long as he can be consistent. Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

2012-2013 Syracuse Basketball Wish list: James Southerland


This is Part II of a 9-day extravaganza that takes a look at each expected rotation player for Syracuse’s 2012-2013 season. I’ll discuss some of their career in Orange up to this point, and what I feel needs to happen with that player for Syracuse to make a Final Four run.

We start our coverage with Syracuse’s most experienced returning player, James Southerland. Huge thanks to Orangehoops.org for all of the valuable research material.

Check out the Brandon Triche wish list here

James Southerland, Senior

Role: Bench, 6th man

Best Case Improvement: Consistency

We all know what can potentially happen when Jimmy is on a roll. Syracuse doesn’t win those first two games in the NCAA tournament without James Southerland. That being said, Southerland was also buried on the bench for some huge stretches last season, despite many people calling him the “X-factor” during that time.

Like Brandon Triche, Southerland has been a part of this historic run for Syracuse basketball that has seen 91 wins in three seasons. Unlike Brandon, Southerland has been erratic and spotty, with far too much reliance on a three pointer and not much else.

Anyone who’s seen Southerland warm up before games knows that he is quite possibly one of the best athlete’s in college basketball. Unfortunately, the same could be said for Terrance Williams, James White, and Stanley Robinson in college. Athleticism doesn’t always translate to an all-around game. The fact the James is about to be a senior doesn’t give me a ton of confidence in him suddently being able to dribble, so I’ll throw that wish out the window. However, given the fact that his role will be more established this season than any other, I am holding out hope that he develops a certain type of consistency to what he brings to each game.

With any shooter, shots just aren’t going to be falling some nights. We can’t blame Southerland for the inevitable 2-9 or 3-11 games he will have this season. However, given his certain role as a 20-plus minutes per game player, his defense and rebounding need to be there each night. I loved the smaller lineup look last season when James would play power forward alongside Rakeem Christmas and CJ Fair.

A 6-9 forward that can bang threes gives SU a huge match up advantage against basically any team they’ll face, and we know that we can expect that same forward combination many times this upcoming season. The success of this rotation will be dependent on Southerland’s ability to not shy away from contact in the post and rebound consistently. This is the year the James needs to step up and be that dynamic difference that he’s shown flashes of for three years. I see his role as being a perfect sixth man that can come in and instantly provide offense with a unique lineup change. Also, he’ll have less pressure while coming off of the bench yet still be confident in the amount of minutes he’ll play.

When hitting from deep, Southerland is a great weapon that any team in college basketball would like to have. In the upcoming season when his shot is off, I’m hoping James can find ways to impact other facets of the game, as well. That would go a long way in making the Orange a national contender.

 

- Kevin Cartini

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Tags: Brandon Triche James Southerland James White Stanley Robinson Terrance Williams

  • fansinceroy

    So you graduated college last year. What credentials do you have to be a sports analyst?
    Seen a couple dozen games? Watched TV a lot? At your age, what does your experience show you about the maturing process of kids between say 17 year and …your age?
     
    This is the biggest aspect of the college sports experience. Players change from year to year in the maturing process of becoming adults…  what can you possibly know about that?
     
    I’ve been a syracuse fan since before the day your daddy was born, and I cannot possibly believe that you know anything at all unless you provide some proof.
    Please tell me what your credentials are before I pay any attention to your opinion.
     
     

  • http://www.insidetheloudhouse.com/ InsideTheLoudHouse

    @fansinceroy We appreciate you reading, but just because your older that makes your opinion more valuable than ours? How many years have you had season tickets sir? How many assistant coaches or head coaches have you spoken to in your day? An opinion is just that, an opinion. If you don’t like it or agree with it, by all means ignore it and don’t read it.

    I do appreciate you reading though. We both have degrees in broadcasting and electronic media communications. Kevin ( the author of this post) has a career at ESPN in Bristol, CT. I have no credentials other than doing play by play for some college sports and hosting a talk show at one point, but have Syracuse roots and am related to a former head basketball coach, so my family and I have followed the team for more than a “couple dozen games”.

    Rather than calling people out for credentials, why not state your opinion on the player?

  • SaltineWarriors

    @fansinceroy feel free to email me at [email protected] if you want to discuss my credentials. 
     
    Not sure I understand your rebuttal to my post since you clearly stated yourself I graduated college last year, indicating you know that I’m 23 years old. I think you answered your own question about “what my experience shows me” regarding kids maturing from 17 to 22 years old in college and become adults since, you know, I just did that exact same thing.
     
    If you’ve been a fan since before my daddy was born (doubtful) then I’d actually argue I’m far more in-touch than you about the way college kids in the 21st century mature from 17 to 23, since that is the age range we’re talking about on this blog.
     
    If your point was meant to say that I don’t know the aspects of the college sports experience because I didn’t play Division I basketball at Syracuse, then you’re right, because I didn’t. However, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess you didn’t play DI basketball in the Big East, either. I don’t think either of us ever claimed to be senior analysts for CBSSports or something, considering this is a fan blog that both of us run as a hobby. I missed where we said that in our bios.
     
    So by all means, I’d love to hear if you actually differ in opinion from anything I wrote about, or if your post was really just a way to try to stir something up about us writing on a fan blog. 
     
    Thanks for reading

  • SaltineWarriors

    @fansinceroy
    Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you want to discuss my credentials. 
     
    Not sure I understand your rebuttal to my post since you clearly stated yourself I graduated college last year, indicating you know that I’m 23 years old. I think you answered your own question about “what my experience shows me” regarding kids maturing from 17 to 22 years old in college and become adults since, you know, I just did that exact same thing.
     
    If you’ve been a fan since before my daddy was born (doubtful) then I’d actually argue I’m far more in-touch than you about the way college kids in the 21st century mature from 17 to 23, since that is the age range we’re talking about on this blog.
     
    If your point was meant to say that I don’t know the aspects of the college sports experience because I didn’t play Division I basketball at Syracuse, then you’re right, because I didn’t. However, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess you didn’t play DI basketball in the Big East, either. I don’t think either of us ever claimed to be senior analysts for CBSSports or something, considering this is a fan blog that both of us run as a hobby. I missed where we said that in our bios.
     
    So by all means, I’d love to hear if you actually differ in opinion from anything I wrote about, or if your post was really just a way to try to stir something up about us writing on a fan blog. 
     
    Thanks for reading
     

  • GTN777

    “Also, he’ll have less pressure while coming off of the bench yet still be confident in the amount of minutes he’ll play.”
     
    His coach is still James Arthur Boeheim, correct? Sooooo what makes you think he can be “confident” about when he’ll see the floor? As you said, he was key in the first two NCAA games. But what happened in the following two games? He played 15 minutes combined – 4 vs UW.
     
    If anything over the past 3 seasons, Mr. Southerland should’ve learned he can’t be confident his coach will play him in *any* game. That lack of confidence/playing time leads to greater inconsistency.

  • http://www.insidetheloudhouse.com/ InsideTheLoudHouse

    @GTN777 That is a good point that the inconsistent playing time definitely leads to a lack of confidence and inconsistency because he could have been pressing the issue when he was in the game to keep his minutes. However, I think it was because of the depth of talent on the teams over the past few seasons that Boeheim thought he simply couldn’t afford to keep him out there if he started cold for a game. I think knowing he has more of an established spot in the rotation this year will lead to an increase in his confidence