By record alone, starting the season 5-0 is obviously what Syracuse basketball hoped would happen. Of course, teams aim to win every game they play.
But in order to keep winning as SU plays tougher opponents, the Orange will have to bring its game to the next level. There is still work to be done to improve.
One way Syracuse can become an elite team this season (even if SU starts out underrated by most) is by capitalizing on its scoring opportunities.
By numbers alone, SU has been shooting well. The Orange has scored at least 71 points per game and is making 45.1 percent of its shots.
But in game action, Syracuse has been missing scoring opportunities. There are times in each game where SU has had open shots and has simply missed, or where SU has gotten the ball into the paint and has not been able to finish at the rim, resulting in a fight for rebounds.
It is obvious to say that scoring will help the Orange do even better. Here, the issue is finishing. Many times Syracuse gets halfway there, only to turn the ball over. The Orange needs to clean and tighten up its play at the basket so that it gets the points rather than getting just so close and missing.
It is early in the season, and there are a lot of young players on this team. If Syracuse can find a way to finish on most or all of the scoring opportunities given to them, SU will be scoring even more (and imagine how much the Orange could have scored through the first five games).
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Jim Boeheim said during the postgame press conference after Syracuse’s win over Toledo on Wednesday. “But it’s better to win and learn than lose and learn.”
Published: David Edelstein