It was a brutal game for the Orange, but one thing that did stand out in a game devoid of offense and three pointers was Franklin Howard’s first big performance in an SU uniform. The true freshman, often buried on the bench behind everybody, contributed four points, four boards, and two assists off the bench. While his shooting numbers weren’t great, he did a good job attacking the basket, especially in transition. If he continues to play like this, it’ll be hard to justify Kaleb Joseph’s playing time (see below).
For Hopkins to have just two days to prepare to be coach, he did a pretty fine job. While the game plan didn’t look too different from Jim Boeheim’s, Hopkins made his mark on the rotation with increased minutes to Dajuan Coleman and Howard. Also, he clearly made some good halftime adjustments, as the Orange came out scoring. SU doubled its point total from the first half after heading to the locker room. The good news for Hop: the road gets easier.
Roberson is the only reason that the Orange weren’t blown out in the first half. His strong rebounding presence and improved confidence around the rim are starting to show more and more every game. Although he’s not putting up 20-15 games like he did earlier in the non-conference, he was a focal part in the first half offense when SU couldn’t score. Roberson is getting better and better with each game.
I’ll be the first to admit it, I thought Joseph was going to have a huge year. But, when he’s on the court, he wastes more time dribbling and running around in circles on a possession than he does without the ball. Joseph turned the ball over too much last season, but this year, he simply looks lost in the offense. With Howard’s solid game, Joseph only saw the court for three minutes and put up no stats. He needs to find his role in the offense sooner rather than later, and it certainly doesn’t include three-point shooting.
Trevor Cooney is one of SU’s two most important players, and it’s about time he started playing like it. When the team was putting up a ton of points in the Bahamas, Cooney did a good job attacking the basket and working inside. While he is a good three-point shooter and can take shots when he’s open, he forces bad looks far too often. Cooney was 3-of-12 from the field, but nine of those 12 shots were three pointers. If the Orange plans on winning any games from here on out, Cooney needs to stop chucking up threes and needs to start driving to the paint, because he’s great around the rim. Leave the three point shooting to Mike Gbinije, Malachi Richardson, and Tyler Lydon.
Another game, another brutal rebounding performance from the Orange. SU was only out-rebounded by three on the final score sheet, but the Orange had four more offensive rebounds (18) than it did defensive ones (14). Georgetown simply looked dominant on the boards, and the final score doesn’t reflect the game flow at all, because Syracuse got worked down low on every possession. No Syracuse player had double-digit rebounds and Tyler Roberson was the only guy to grab more than five.