Sometimes in sports records mean nothing and today in Clemson was just one of those days. Syracuse was undefeated in conference play as they took on the 1-3 Clemson Tigers. Today, Syracuse just didn’t have it and the Tigers came to play.
Clemson defeated Syracuse 66-53 as the Orange falls to 13-5 overall and 4-1 in the ACC. The Tigers improve to 10-7 overall and 2-3 in the ACC.
The Orange shot 25 percent from the field in the first half including 1-of-11 from three. The Tigers shot 52 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from downtown.
The offense improved slightly in the second half as Syracuse finished the game shooting 37 percent from the field. Clemson cooled off slightly, shooting 45 percent for the game.
More than just being outplayed, the Orange was out-hustled for most of the game. Clemson absolutely dominated the glass as the Tigers grabbed 40 rebounds compared to the Orange’s 20. Clemson’s scorers came through and Syracuse’s did not. Trevor Cooney was completely invisible and as much as the Orange relies on Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse needs Cooney to score.
Syracuse had won its last couple of ACC games because they shot well from the field, particularly from beyond the arc. Cooney helped bury Florida State with seven threes and he was a huge part of the comeback against Wake Forest.
Today, the Orange had absolutely nothing. The good news for Syracuse is that it was only one game. Syracuse is still 4-1 in the ACC and has shown that they can compete. This was the worst all-around game Syracuse has played all year and the Orange has the chance to right the ship on Tuesday night.
Right now, Syracuse looks like a bubble team for the NCAA tournament. In order to go dancing, the Orange must keep getting points from Christmas and Cooney. Syracuse also needs someone else to step it up.
On one hand, it’s hard to believe that team that traveled to Clemson is the same team that put up 86 points against Wake Forest. On the other hand, the Orange played just like this against Georgia Tech and they escaped with a 46-45 win.
There are very few positives that one can take away from this game. Syracuse was flat and it is time to regroup for Boston College on Tuesday.
Posted: Logan Grossman