Syracuse got a much needed bounce back win against Pitt on Tuesday night, and due to a kind break in the schedule, still have a real shot of getting back above the .500 mark in the ACC in the coming weeks. However, optimism around the Syracuse fanbase is likely limited in spite of the victory on Tuesday. Pitt is undoubtedly one of the worst teams in the ACC and quite possibly among the worst of all teams in the Big 6 conferences in college basketball.
Tuesdays game was, more often than that, a brutally stagnant and ugly affair with neither team having any rhythm to their respective offenses whatsoever. It has become commonplace for the Orange and something that Syracuse will need to fix before the schedule takes a dark twist once the calendar flips to February. Here are a pair of possible solutions the Orange can try out to get something going on offense.
Mix up the Point Guard Play:
Frank Howard’s struggles running the point have been well documented. What also needs to be noted is that he has been Syracuse’s most consistent shooter, particularly from three point land in the last month or so. Benching him is not the answer. However, moving him to the two and giving either Howard Washington or even Tyus Battle a shot at brining the ball up court on a more consistent basis might provide a different look and inject some confidence into the offense. It is impossible to know if either of those players would be any better at being the main point guard than Frank Howard but the Orange trying it can’t hurt.
Getting Bourama Sidibe More Minutes
Paschal Chukwu has made significant strides on both sides of the ball this season. However, he is still mostly a liability on offense. He misses dunks and shots right at the rim and is mostly incapable of taking the ball anywhere other than right around the basket. The issue that the Orange have in addressing this is a severe lack of depth. Bourama Sidibe is the only other big man on the roster and he has struggled defensively at the five. The other options off of the bench, including Marek Dolezaj, are very limited offensively. Coach Boeheim has to try to get Sidibe more accustomed to playing because they need a center who is capable of catching the ball. In his very limited minutes, Sidibe is shooting 65% from the floor. Getting him more minutes in the games that the Orange expect to win may help him get used to playing the five and he may be more of a weapon for the team going forward.