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Syracuse hosts Oakland tonight…Another Trap Game?

Posted by Todd Kramer on November 21, 2008

A few days ago I wrote that Syracuse needed to stay focused for its game against Richmond.  Well, the Orange took care of the Spiders — albeit just by five points — but tonight’s match up with Oakland could pose some problems for the ‘Cuse.  With a date with Florida just around the corner, SU needs to once again take care of a team it should beat.  

And beating the Golden Grizzlies will be no cakewalk.  After losing its first game of the year at Cleveland State, Oakland rebounded with a big win on the road against Oregon. Coach Greg Kampe has his team playing well despite the loss of senior forward Derrick Nelson, who is out 4-8 weeks with a foot injury.

“We lost our best player,” Kampe said by phone.  “But I think we’re still a pretty good team.”

In Nelson’s absence, junior point guard Johnathan Jones has been impressive.  Jones’, a preseason mid-major All-American selection, scored 32 points in Oakland’s win over Oregon.  The 5-11 Jones should at least challenge Orange point guard Jonny Flynn on both ends of the floor.

“He can shoot, he plays defense, he can pretty much do it all,” says Dave Pemberton, beat writer for the Oakland press who writes a blog called Pemberton’s Point.

Shooting guard Erik Kangas is one of the best pure shooters in the Summit League, and maybe the nation. Kangas and Jones should pose some problems for SU’s backcourt, but look for the Orange to impose its will up front, which could mean a big night for big man Arinze Onuaku.

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