Kris Joseph Ruled Out For Monday's Game At Pittsburgh

-- Check out SB Nation's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for a full-preview from a Syracuse perspective. -- SB Nation's Down The Drive will deliver the Cincinnati Bearcats angle.

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Kris Joseph Injury And Playing Status: Syracuse Will Be Without Forward For Game At Pittsburgh

On Saturday, Syracuse Orange junior forward and leading scorer Kris Joseph fell backward after a shot and banged his head on the hard court of the Carrier Dome. Joseph left the game and never returned. Luckily, the Orange (18-0, 5-0 Big East) used a 16-0 run to start the second half to beat the Cincinnati Bearcats, 67-52.

After the game, head coach Jim Boeheim was unsure if Joseph would be available for Monday night’s game against Top-5 ranked the Pittsburgh Panthers (7:30 p.m. on ESPN). On Sunday, Joseph was ruled out according to the SUAthletics.com game notes.

“The Orange head into the league tussle without top scorer Kris Joseph (14.6 ppg),’ read the game notes. “(Joseph) suffered a head injury in Saturday’s win against Cincinnati.”

This from USA Today's Jack Carey:

"Syracuse forward Kris Joseph, the leading scorer for the fourth-ranked Orange, is not traveling to Pittsburgh today for Monday night's game with the No. 5 Panthers, Syracuse spokesman Pete Moore said Sunday afternoon."

Currently, the Orange are one of four teams in the nation that remain with an unblemished record. Also, SU’s 18-0 start is the second-best in program history. The Orange just need one more win to tie the school record of the 1999-’00 team that won 19 straight games to begin the season. This task will be very hard to accomplish without the squads most versatile player.

On Monday, SB Nation New York will have a full update on Joseph’s status and preview the Top-5 match up between Syracuse at Pittsburgh.

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Undefeated College Basketball Teams: Syracuse, Ohio State, Kansas And San Diego St. Are Last Four Standing

The No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange beat the AP polls No. 25-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats Saturday, 67-52, to remaining one of the four unbeaten teams in the nation — No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes, No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks and No. 6 San Diego St. Aztecs are the other three.

Syracuse's 18-0 record is the second-best start in program history -- the 1999-'00 squad started 19-0.

On Saturday, the Buckeyes (18-0) edged the Penn St. Nittany Lions, 69-66; the Jayhawks (17-0) squeaked past the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 63-60; and the Aztecs (19-0) defeated the New Mexico Lobos, 87-77.

Syracuse travels to the No. 5 Pittsburgh Panthers for a ESPN’s Big Monday showdown, then hosts No. 7 Villanova Wildcats on Saturday (noon on ESPN). The odds of the Orange (18-0, 5-0 Big East) holding onto that unblemished record past next week seems very slim.

This week, Ohio St. host the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-9) Wednesday then is at No. 16 the Illinois Fighting Illini (13-5). Kansas travels to the Bayor Bears (12-4) Wednesday then host No. 14 Texas Longhorns (14-3) Saturday. San Diego St. is at the Air Force Falcons (10-6) on Wednesday.

So, the question asked is: Who’s going to be the last undefeated team in Division I?

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Big East Conference: Will Syracuse, Pittsburgh And Villanova Earn Top-5 Rankings?

The No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange and No. 7 Villanova Wildcats each collected victories on Saturday afternoon — SU beat the AP Polls No. 25-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats, 67-52, and ’Nova beat non-conference opponent the Maryland Terps, 74-66. The same should happen for the No. 5 Pittsburgh Panthers, which host the Seton Hall Pirates Saturday night at 7 p.m.

(Click here for full-game recap by SB Nation New York and reaction to the 18th-straight victory.)

On Wednesday, the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils lost to the non-ranked Florida St. Seminoles. So, the question asked is: Will Duke fall far enough in the AP or USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls for SU, Pitt and ’Nova to all earn Top-5 rankings?

It’s going to be really tough because Duke easily beat the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday, 76-60, to keep their record at a still 16-1 overall.

If the No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes beat the Penn St. Nittany Lions (5:30 p.m.), I see them moving up to No. 1. Kansas then slides into the No. 2 spot, Syracuse is No. 3 and Pitt is No. 4. However, I don’t see voters placing the undefeated San Diego St. Aztecs ahead of Duke. I also can’t see voters putting the Wildcats in front of the Aztecs, who play at the New Mexico Lobos (6 p.m.), if they remain unbeaten heading into Monday.

Duke also may be voted No. 4, ahead of Pittsburgh, because, well, they’re the defending champs and still a very, very good team.

Your thoughts?

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Kris Joseph Injury: Boeheim Unsure If Forward Will Play Against Pittsburgh

At the 6:27 mark of the first half, Syracuse Orange junior forward and leading scorer Kris Joseph awkwardly fell backwards and slammed his head onto the hard court of the Carrier Dome.

Joseph, who had only netted two points, left the game and never returned. After the game Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim updated the status of the 6-foot-7 forward.

"Kris went down hard; I don’t have any idea what’s going on," said head coach Jim Boeheim after the game. "We won’t know anything for sure, it’s obviously unlikely he won’t be able to turn around, he got banged pretty good when he hit the floor. We really just have to wait and see. Hopefully it won’t be long, we’ll have to wait and see the next couple days."

During the broadcast the sideline reporters said Joseph was suffering from headaches. Now, we're taught in the media world to not speculate about injuries but most fans know that headaches could mean some type of concussion.

(Click here to read post-game reactions about Syracuse winning without Joseph.)

Now, I do not know the rules or what sort of time table are given to college basketball players who suffer head injuries. However, I know that if the case is bad enough it can lead to a decent amount of missed playing time. Of course, if Joseph wakes up tomorrow feeling fine and passes all the medical tests, SU fans will probably see him Monday against the No. 5-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers (16-1, 4-0).

(Will Syracuse's victory help the Big East earn three Top-5 rankings?)

If Joseph is unable to go in the ESPN's Big Monday contest, it would be a big blow to SU all-around. Joseph is easily the Orange's most versatile player. Yes, Syracuse survived without him against the Cincinnati Bearcats but to lose him against the Panthers is another story.

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Syracuse Score and Reaction: Syracuse Beats Cincinnati, 67-52

It was another solid game for the No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange, who used a 16-0 run at the start of the second half to beat the AP poll's No. 25-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats Saturday, 67-52, at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

(Click here for the full game recap by SB Nation New York.)

Now, depending on what the AP and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll voters decided to do with No. 1 Duke Blue Devils, who lost Wednesday to the Florida St. Seminoles; the Orange (16-0, 5-0) and Pittsburgh Panthers (16-1, 4-0) could be No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, for ESPN's Big Monday contest at the Peterson Events Center — Pitt hosts the Seton Hall Pirates on Saturday night (7 p.m.).

That’s exciting news for the Big East Conference, which currently has eight teams in the Top 25. Unfortunately, SU soundly beat the Bearcats, who will probably fall out of the rankings by Monday.

(Will the Big East get three teams in the Top 5?)

It was great to see freshman center Fab Melo get quality minutes and finally contribute to a solid victory. It was an ugly first half for Melo, who notched three personal fouls about six seconds into the game — a bit of a exaggeration but, let's be honest, it felt like six seconds. Anyway, the second half was a different story has he added six points and four blocks for a solid second-half effort.

"It feels very good, I’ve been struggling lately," said Melo after the game. "But today I felt confident. I was playing defense and making plays. I felt really confident today."

"The thing I do the best is block shots. They tried to dunk on me, like a lot of people do. But when people try to dunk on me I say ‘No.’ I had a lot of fun in there blocking shots."

Sophomore guard and teammate Brandon Triche spoke highly of Melo's performance.

"I love to see him play well," said Triche. "Once he started playing well, it even made me smile. It’s a thing we all thought that he would be doing every game. This is just a sample of what he can do. He had four blocks. Coming into the year, I really expected him to average that every game. He can play."

Your head had to hurt after junior forward Kris Joseph banged his head against the Jim Boeheim Court with 6:27 to go in the first half. Joseph never returned but it didn’t matter as Triche took over, again, to start the second half and help guide SU to victory. Triche has been just an second-half assassin in the past three games.

(Boeheim updates Joseph's injury status.)

Sophomore forward James Southerland is just sneaky good. Southerland doesn’t do anything with a lot of flair — actually, he looks very awkward at times — but he hit two big 3-pointer during the 16-0 run and snagged eight rebounds.

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine was good. He knocked down a bunch of clutch 3-pointers and never tried to too much. Jardine gets in trouble when he tries to take over a game by himself. SU didn’t have that problem on Saturday.

Senior forward Rick "Double-Double" Jackson netted 15 points and snagged 11 rebounds. He’s by far SU’s best and most consistent player right now.

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Syracuse Uses Second-Half Spurt To Beat Cincinnati, 67-52

It wasn't the "Big Three" that helped the No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange beat the AP poll's No. 25-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats, 67-52, Saturday afternoon. Nope, it was the "Unexpected Three" that helped the Orange start the second half with a 16-0 run and earn their 18th straight victory. Currently, Syracuse is one of four teams in the nation who remain undefeated -- No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes, No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks and No. 6 San Diego St. Aztecs.

The win sets up a potential Top-5, Big Monday showdown between No. 4 Syracuse and No. 5 Pittsburgh Panthers at the Peterson Events Center (7:30 p.m. on ESPN). Pittsburgh hosts the Seton Hall Pirates Saturday night (7 p.m.).

(Read: Will Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Villanova earn Top-5 rankings?)

Usually, the trio of senior guard Scoop Jardine, junior forwards Kris Joseph and Rick Jackson lead SU to victory. However, a different tale was told Saturday as sophomore guard Brandon Triche, junior forward James Southerland and freshman center Fab Melo -- nope, that's not a typo -- propelled the Orange to a 5-0 conference record.

(Read about Melo's performance.)

Starting the second half, which began with SU leading 35-31, Triche, Southerland and Melo each scored 2-point baskets that led to a Cincinnati 30-second timeout. Out of the break, Triche and Southerland both nailed 3-pointers to force another Bearcat timeout. Jackson then Melo added inside baskets to cap the run and give the Orange a 51-31 lead.

SU never looked back despite not playing with its leading scorer, Joseph, who left with a head injury with 6:27 to play in the first half.

(Boeheim updates Joseph's status.)

Jackson earned his 11th double-double of the season, compiling a team-best 15 points and 11 rebounds. Triche netted 11 points and three assists. Southerland had eight points and rebounds. Melo scored six points and tied a collegiate-best with four blocks.

In the first eight minutes of the first half, Syracuse jumped out to a 18-3 lead. However, Cincinnati caught fire behind the 3-point arc to climb within four points at the half.

The Bearcats, which started the game 3-for-12 on 3-pointers, finished the first half with nine threes. The Syracuse 3-point defense stepped up in the second half as the Bearcats finished the game 11-for-28 from 3-point land.




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Syracuse Holding Off Cincinnati, 35-31, At Halftime

Halftime couldn't have come soon enough for the No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange, which lead the AP polls No. 25 Cincinnati Bearcats, 35-31, entering halftime at the Carrier Dome. The Bearcats, who trailed 18-3 in the games first eight minutes, has trimmed SU's lead behind a barrage of 3-pointers.

Currently, Cincinnati is shooting 9-for-19 from 3-point land (47.4 percent). Cincy at one point was shooting just 3-for-12 but guards, freshman Sean Kilpatrick and senior Dion Dixon, caught fire in the half's last eight minutes.

Dixon finished the half with 12 points, which included shooting 4-for-6 on 3-pointers. Kilpatrick has netted seven points, including two 3-pointers.

Syracuse began the game on a 9-0 run. Junior forward Rick Jackson scored the game's first two baskets, senior guard Scoop Jardine added a 3-pointer then sophomore guard Brandon Triche finished the run with a layup.

Jardine added another 3-pointer to give SU a 15-point advantage, 18-3, at about the 12-minute mark.

Currently, Jackson has a team-high 10 points and a game-best six rebounds. Jardine and Triche each have six points.

Junior forward Kris Joseph has scored just two points but left the game with a head injury with 6:27 to go in the half. Joseph WILL NOT return and play in the second half.

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Syracuse Vs. Cincinnati: SU Needs To Be Fearful Of Trap Game Against Bearcats

On Saturday, the No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange take on the AP polls No. 25-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats at the Carrier Dome (Noon on SNY and ESPN3). Most experts and or pundits think Syracuse should win today's game fairly easily. However, this is a perfect trap-game for SU, which travels to the No. 5 Pittsburgh Panthers on Monday night (7:30 p.m. on ESPN) and host the No. 7 Villanova Wildcats next Saturday (noon on ESPN).

(Click here for SB Nation New York's Bearcat Scouting Report.)

Despite being one of the last seven teams in the nation to remain undefeated and being tied for second in the Big East Conference standings, the Bearcats (16-1, 3-1 Big East) are not getting a lot of respect from college basketball experts.

"It would be a massive upset despite what the record might indicate," said CBSSports.com's college basketball insider Gary Parrish about if Cincinnati beat host Syracuse. "(Against Villanova) they looked incapable of winning that game from start to finish."

"If (Cincinnati) is going to prove people wrong they need to, not necessarily go in there (the Carrier Dome) and win because I am not sure if anybody is going to go in there and win this year, but be respectable and show that you have some stuff about you."

Now, I am not saying that Cincy is a Pitt, 'Nova or the Connecticut Huskies. However, they can beat Syracuse at the Dome. Especially, since SU has started it's last two games, which were against inferior opponents, very slow. If SU starts slow against this Bearcats squad, which doesn't turn the ball over (10.9 turnovers-per game, which is the lowest in the conference). Then it could get ugly by the end.




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Syracuse Vs. Cincinnati: SU Puts Unbeaten Record On The Line Against Bearcats

The No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange won the programs 1,800th game Wednesday night, beating the upstart St. John's Red Storm, 76-59, at Madison Square Garden. The victory propelled SU to a 17-0 overall record, a mark only accomplished twice during head coach Jim Boeheim's 35-year tenure at Syracuse -- In 1999-00, the Orangemen began the season 19-0. SU is currently ranked fifth on the all-time Division I wins list.

On Saturday afternoon, The Orange (4-0 Big East) host the AP polls No. 25-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats (16-1, 3-1) at the Carrier Dome and will try and push their overall record to 18-0.

Fifth-year head coach and Cincinnati alum, Mick Cronin, leads the Bearcats into the Dome. Cronin is 1-3 against the Orange during his tenure at Cincy. The last time the Bearcats beat the Orange was back in January of 2008. Syracuse is on a two-game winning streak against Cincinnati, which is 2-5 all-time against SU.

Earlier in the season, Cincinnati jumped out to the programs second-best start at 15-0. The hot start allowed the Bearcats to earn a No. 24 ranking in the AP poll and a No. 25 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. Last Sunday, Jan. 9, Cincy lost on the road to the No. 7 Villanova Wildcats, 76-61. Cincinnati rebounded with a win against the South Florida Bulls, 74-66, on Wednesday.

Currently, junior guard Dion Dixon leads Cincinnati in scoring and is on a career-best pace from behind the 3-point arc. Dixon isn't a highlight-type guard but he's consistent. In December, Dixon netted a collegiate-best 22 points in a road win, 64-48, against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks.




FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc

G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2010 - Dion Dixon 17 26.9 4.2 9.7 43.0 1.1 3.6 31.1 3.1 4.1 74.3 1.2 2.1 3.4 1.8 1.0 0.9 0.1 1.1 12.5

Junior forward Yancy Gates leads the Beacats in rebounding and is second in scoring. Against the Xavier Musketeers, Jan. 6, the 6-foot-9, 265-pound forward collected a team-best 22 points and 12 rebounds.




FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc

G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2010 - Yancy Gates 17 27.8 5.1 10.2 50.3 0.1 0.4 14.3 1.6 3.1 52.8 2.5 4.4 6.9 1.4 1.6 0.9 1.5 2.0 11.9

Freshman guard and Big East Rookie Of The Week, Sean Kilpatrick, has come on strong as of late. The 6-4, redshirt freshman came off the bench Wednesday and netted a game-best 18 points against USF. Kilpatrick shot 4-for-5 from 3-point land. On the season, he's shooting .415 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

The key to beating Cincinnati -- and this is not new news to Syracuse fans -- is keeping the Bearcats 3-point shooting at bay. Currently, Ciny is ranked fifth in the conference in 3-point attempts (330) and ninth in percentage (.342). If the Bearcats can get hot then SU could be in trouble.

Another thing to look for is turnovers because the Bearcats do not turn the ball over. Currently, Cincinnati is commits just 10.9 turnovers-per game, which is the lowest average in the league.

Information for this preview was provided by GoBearcats,.com and SUAthletics.com.

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