Syracuse is rolling. After a big 72-71 win over Georgetown on Saturday, the Orange are 7-2 and back inside the AP Top-25. That win over the Hoyas was a great representation of how the early part of this season has been for SU: a roller coaster ride. If you include the two preseason games, the Orange looked great to start the year. Then things turned for the worse in New York City.
The Orange’s response has been fantastic. With five straight wins since Frank Howard returned to the lineup, some may say that Syracuse’s problems are solved. Not so fast.
Tyus Battle saved the day against Georgetown, but what if that shot doesn’t fall. Keep in mind how poorly the Orange played in the first half on Saturday. The team shot 25% from the field and 7.1% from downtown. Those numbers prompted Jim Boeheim to say this to the Syracuse IMG Sports Network at halftime.
Boeheim: “At halftime, I challenged Tyus Battle, ‘When you play like this, you shouldn’t have come back’. He took it to ‘em… Elijah came alive. I told Jalen not to shoot, but he had to shoot that (shot clock) 3 and it went in! This was a great comeback, a great win for us.
— Matt Park (@MattPark1) December 8, 2018
But we know how sports work, you’re only as good or as bad as your most recent performance. That means fans feel good about themselves right now after walking out of the Carrier Dome with a last-second win over an old Big East foe. But let’s take a step back: there is still plenty of work to be done.
Shooting has been a problem all season long and that continued last weekend. An all-time shooting struggle that was saved by an outburst in the second half. There is still plenty of work to be done for a team that had much higher expectations than celebrating a return to the Top-25 in the middle of December.