Syracuse’s mini-run of success came crashing down with a ten point loss in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech. Even more worrisome for Orange fans, Sophomore forward Tyler Lydon was hobbled in that game with a leg injury and is status for Saturday’s contest against Boston College is up in the air. Needless to say, Saturday’s game is as much of a must-win game that any team could have at this point in their schedule. The Orange will likely need at least ten or eleven conference wins to have a legitimate shot at making the big dance, and losing twice to Boston College is a serious blow.
Moreover, Saturday’s game is incredibly important given what is coming up in Syracuse’s schedule. Thee of the Orange’s four games after Saturday are against Top-20 opposition, all of which are on the road. Syracuse travels to UNC and Notre Dame before returning home to take on Wake Forest. The Orange then head south to top-ten and red hot Florida State. Syracuse is sure to be a significant underdog in all three of these games and cannot afford to enter this stretch in a losing state of mind.
So, it is important for the Orange to not only beat Boston College, but to do it in a way that could give the team confidence for the following games. One would have hoped that they would be feeling good after a dominant win over Pitt. However, the Orange were flat for much of the game against Virginia Tech. However, to have any chance to get something going as they hit the road, the Orange need to dominate the Eagles.
A key to doing so is likely going to be the health and availability of Tyler Lydon. Taurean Thompson has proven himself to be a legitimate threat at the offensive end but has struggled playing the five in the 2-3 zone. Syracuse has team, struggled mightily defending the entire Boston College team when they met on New Year’s Day. If Lydon can’t go, maybe DaJuan Coleman gets some minutes, but who knows?
Either way, Syracuse needs to start asserting its dominance over the weakest opponents on its schedule.