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Concerns Aplenty as Syracuse Gets off to Slow Start

It’s still early, but there are plenty of concerns for Syracuse hoops.

5-2 would be a record to be happy about during football season. In Syracuse, however, a 5-2 start to the basketball season is nothing to be proud of.

 

The Orange’s 68-65 loss to Michigan last night was a missed opportunity to discard the worries brought about by an embarrassing loss to Cal at Madison Square Garden, and the Orange now look down the barrel of even more doubt and criticism from the media. Coach Boeheim’s squad looked sloppy in Ann Arbor; missed opportunities and turnovers being recurring themes. Improvements need to be made if the Orange wants to be competitive once conference play starts.

 

Against Michigan, the Syracuse freshmen looked like, for lack of a better word, freshmen. Two costly turnovers while down one at the end of the game from Chris McCullough and Kaleb Joseph helped the Orange give the game to the Wolverines, but the inexperience of the young guns had shown long before last night’s incident in Ann Arbor. Joseph has looked especially amateur in the early going, and with no Tyler Ennis or Michael Carter-Williams to show him the ropes, it could take a while for Joseph to get comfortable. McCullough has also had to make some adjustments to fit into college ball, but the five-star recruit’s raw talent has helped him fit in and cover up mistakes. Unfortunately for Syracuse fans and Coach Boeheim’s sleep schedule, only time will tell if the freshmen will mature into the players that this team needs.

 

Trevor Cooney went 4-9 from behind the arc last night, but up to that point hadn’t been so pretty. Cooney was 5-24 from distance going into last night’s game, and his teammates haven’t been picking up the slack. The Orange are shooting only 44% from the field as a team. Hopefully the Orange are just shaking the rust off, but the shooting needs to turn around soon as Syracuse’s schedule doesn’t get any easier from here.

 

Sure, it isn’t 25-0, but 5-2 doesn’t mean the end of the world. In fact, if the final 20 seconds of last night’s game had gone differently, we would all be talking about how Syracuse basketball is back on track instead of rolling down the hill. However, even a win last night would only mask the problems that this team needs to address. The Orange are 1-2 against teams from major conferences, and were only 3 points away from losing to an Iowa team that isn’t supposed to make much noise in the Big 10 this year.

 

There’s no need to panic yet, but the ACC will not show mercy if these bugs aren’t fixed by the time conference play rolls around.

 

Posted:  Nathan Dickinson
The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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