Last Night, I went to Piscataway, NJ and returned to the Louis Brown Athletic Center to see Syracuse take on Rutgers. This is the most excited I’ve been for an Orange team since the days of Carmelo, Warrick and G-Mac. I absolutely love watching this team and think they could win it all (a thought I never even entertained during the 2003 season). Some of the great things I’ve seen this year: they are long and have played the Zone very well, two solid big guys down low with Jackson and Onuaku, an all-everything guy with Rautins, solid three point shooting, good role players (Kris Joseph and Mookie Jones)…I feel like they have all the tools in place right now. Only two things worry me: free-throw shooting and the combo PG play of freshman Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine, however they continue to look better and better. Against Rutgers, last night they looked solid being in control pretty much all game. A couple times Rutgers cut the lead to under 10, but Syracuse always pushed it back. Rautins almost had a triple-double with 23pts, 9ast, 8reb. I sat amongst probably a couple thousand Cuse fans again and enjoyed hearing those “Let’s Go Orange” chants
Enough of me ranting and more to what you care about, the actual stadium! The traffic getting to the RAC was awful. The last time I went here, it was in a snowstorm, so traffic entering wasn’t an issue. According to my GPS, I was two minutes from my arrival at 6:55 PM. I pulled into my parking space at 7:20 PM (game time was 7:30 PM). Not good for an 8,000 seat arena. My second go-round here, really confirmed my thoughts that this is one ugly arena from the outside, and the seating inside is steep and goes on for a long time. However, it can be such a loud building and that’s what I like about it. There was only one time when the fans really got loud, but the noise was great. I really have to give a ton of credit to those Rutgers fans. They haven’t been to the NCAAs since 1991, almost always have a losing season, yet there they are, consistently filling the place and supporting the Knights. Those fans are a great group and deserve a great year to get the RAC rocking.