Thursday, March 09, 2006


"Without Gerry McNamara, we wouldn't have won 10 funking games this year. Without him, not 10. We wouldn't even be here to even have a chance to play this game. And everybody's talking to me and writing about Gerry McNamara being overrated? That's the most bullspit thing I've seen in 30 years."- Jim Boeheim

I, for one, applaud Jimmy B! If that's not a quote fit for "Bitterness" I don't know what is. You see, for those not in the know, Coach Boeheim was referring to an article run in the S-U student newspaper, The Daily Orange, acknowledging G-Mac as the most overrated player in the conference. The Syracuse newspaper, The Sub-Standard also had an article along these lines. Now, because I know you've been waiting for it, here is the "Bitterness" take on the whole dog-gone situation. Now let me start with the term, "overrated".

Here is the thing, I would have to say that Gerry has not been great, and has at times been inconsistent. But really the only people I hear really talking about McNamara and how great he is, are the announcers calling the games. The term "overrated" is tricky in itself. Just because they are calling him overrated, does not mean that he is not good. But here's the thing. What other storylines would you talk about announcing an S-U game. Really the only other player you could possibly "hype" would probably be Eric Devendorf. Of course he seems overrated, because there has been nothing else going on for SU. I mean really.

Now maybe Gerry has not shot as well as in previous seasons, but he did set the bar pretty high to begin with. Now he may not be an All-American, but the Big East Coaches did still vote him to the All Big-East 1st team and he has received constant double teams throughout the season and has had to work to get open and find shots. If he was so "overrated" why would he constantly be drawing double teams. He goes full speed each and every minute, which for him is just over 35, a game. That'll take it's toll on someone and will wear 'em down. Now this is not a great excuse as he is a college athlete and this is expected of most college ballers. But couple that with the fact that his supporting cast hasn't exactly taken the pressure off of him and well, it starts to come together. Rarely has anyone stepped up. The local papers should be talking about SU's highly overrated junior class which has been, less than stellar, to say the least. G-Mac has said that when he gets double-teamed it 's good becuase that means one of his teammates is open. Sounds good in theory, if most of your teammates aren't dropping passes that hit them in the hands or missing lay-ups. Sure Devo has whipped it good and Demetrius Nichols has had his moments, but really there has not been much support for G-Mac offensively.

Now maybe he hasn't been the lights out shooter everyone was expecting, but he has still managed to lead the team in scoring at 16.5 ppg, which is also in the top ten in the Big Beast. He is number two in the conference in steals per game and how bout third in the conference in assists per game as well as trailing only Marquette's Steve Novak in Free Throw percentage (of course Novak shoots an unreal 97% from the charity stripe). Now he only shot 35% from the field, but he also took more shots than anyone in the Big East with the exception of Quincy Douby. Which probably means he has more than likely been trying to do too much and been taking a lot of bad shots. But when his teammates have proven to be, well, not so reliable, that's what you do as a leader. Now sure, national or Big East player of the year, he is not, but you can't tell me he is not the heart and soul of this team.

Now this blog had been brewing in my head even before he hit that floating three to beat Cincy or hit the three to send the UCONN game into overtime. Now since this "Overrated" business came out what has G-Mac done? Well only droppped 29 points on Villanova, go 5-9 from three point land (that's just slightly better than JJ Redick performed in a big game against UNC. Gerry was also only one assist shy of a double-double.) including the game winnner against Cincy, he hit the three sending them into OT against #1 UCONN and finished with a double-double, only one assist short of the Big East Tournament record. Now this is a little bit more like the Gerry we were expecting to turn up every game. But the fact of the matter is, you don't go out and blast your "star" player, who has given us so many clutch shots and has gone out and given us gutsy performance after gutsy performance. So is G-Mac overrated? Well, perhaps, but there's no one else on the Orange I'd rather have take the last shot.

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