Win the first seven games: With five teams in the AP top 25, the ACC is the best basketball conference in the nation. Luckily Syracuse’s first seven games in ACC play are against unranked opponents. The Orange already has four losses including a “bad loss” to Michigan, so starting off ACC play strongly is imperative for Syracuse.
Keep the three-point shooting going: After a disastrous start to the season from behind the arc, Syracuse has shot over 30% from deep in its last five games. With limited long-range shooters on the team, the Orange needs to consistently knock down threes to stay in games. Trevor Cooney has scored in double figures in every one of SU’s last five games. This production from three-point range needs to continue for Syracuse to win in the ACC.
Avoid turnovers: Syracuse turns the ball over 13 times per game. While Kaleb Joseph has shown signs of improvement recently, that number is not good enough and ranks 145th in Division I. Joseph shoulders most of the blame for the statistic, but the whole Syracuse team needs to make better decisions. In addition to Joseph, Rakeem Christmas and Chris McCullough average over two TO’s per game.
Keep feeding Rak: Christmas is the key; he averages 17 and nine and is Syracuse’s best player when on the floor. Foul trouble has been an issue however. The big man fouled out against Villanova and has picked up a quick two and had to sit countless times so far this season. McCullough has played well at the five without Christmas on the floor, but the Orange lacks a true post scorer without number 25 out there. He needs to be the number one option on offense.
Get a marquee victory: The Orange missed its chance to grab a headlining win against Villanova last month. Luckily SU plays Duke twice, Louisville, UNC, Notre Dame and Virginia in conference play. There are still plenty of chances left to impress the NCAA tournament selection committee.
Posted: Connor Morrissette