Stephen Bardo: Syracuse Has To Be The Favorite To Win It All

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(Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

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Big Ten basketball analyst and author of a new book, “the Flyin Illini”, Stephen Bardo joined the Mac Attack to discuss the current landscape of college hoops, Jabari Parker’s inexperience, the question that stunned MJ, his new book, and the recent rule changes.

On the Tobacco Road team struggling early on
: It talks to the depth of the ACC and the teams are a little bit better than people are givig them credit for. Look at Virginia, they’re in second place in the ACC after a buzzer beater against Pittsburgh. Basketball is alive and well on Tobacco Road.

On Duke: They seem to be figuring out how to play different styles and against teams that have a bigger front line. There was some concern about their lack of depth up front, but they seem to be figuring it out. I like the way they make teams matchup with them, as opposed to adjusting their lineup to matchup with the other teams.

On Syracuse being the favorite to win it all: I think they have to be the favorites. Tyler Ennis is such a calming influence, Cooney hits nine 3′s last night (against Notre Dame), C.J. Fair gets 28 vs. Duke, Jerami Grant is a guy who would be starting on any other team. They have all the ingredients. They’re taking everybody’s best shot, so right now you have to give them the nod. As long as Cooney shoots the ball well, they’re going to be tough to stop.

On UNC’s inconsistency: All season they’ve lacked leadership. I think Paige is a really talented lead guard, but for some reason they just haven’t been able to get the type of leadership to steady the ship. That being said, if they get to the tournament they’re a scary team because we’ve seen what they can do when they’re on the same page.

On Seeing James Michael McAdoo as a Leader: I don’t, because he’s more of a lead by example guy than a verbal guy. To me, he’s getting forced into something he’s not. He’s not a rah-rah guy and you don’t want your bigs to have to be leaders. You want your guards like Marcus Paige to step up, because they’re dominating the ball, feeding the ball to guys. Trying to force McAdoo to be that takes away from what he can do on the floor. They’re in a bit of a predicament, but I wouldn’t want to see them in March and at some point they’re going to put it together and make a nice run.

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