It's never easy for a basketball team to lose their third leading scorer, but when the Orange are preparing for a trip to Louisville this Saturday without their "sixth man" able to play, that stings even more. Of course, it was learned on Saturday that senior James Southerland is out indefinitely with an eligibility issue, and you don't have to tell any of the Orange players what's missing without him.
"(He's the guy we go to when) we missed six shots in a row," says senior guard Brandon Triche with a smile, " (then it's) O.K. here's James to do something crazy, a fade-away three pointer or something, and it goes in. We're going to miss that the most."
Orange fans might be getting used to heading into big games with a key player not able to play, Fab Melo missed three games last January with an academic issue and then was out again for the entire NCAA tournament. Orange Head Coach Jim Boeheim seems more confident about Southerland eventual predicament, telling ESPN yesterday, "We will get through it and, hopefully, James will get through this."
Meanwhile, the Orange players are preparing to face the Cardinals this saturday without their big spark off the bench.
" I t's always a blow when you lose one of your key players on the team," says junior forward C.J. Fair, "luck i ly we've had other guys to step up big, and that's what we're going to need when James is out, we're going to need a lot of players to contribute."
" H e does bring a whole lot," agrees freshman forward Dajuan Coleman, " I mean his energy, the way he shoots the ball, I mean we're going to be missing (him) a lot, but we just have to pick him up, and hopefully he'll be back as soon as possible."