Syracuse dropped to 8-4 in the ACC game on Wednesday, and all four have been double-digit defeats. NC State eat the Orange 73-58. Positive takeaways are hard to come by.
There’s no stat for bad shot selection, but this game featured some of the worst shots you’ll see. Frank Howard had a hot night from the arc (5/11) but nearly always followed it up with overconfident treys with hands in his face. Oshae Brissett had hit one shot all night when he took a step-back three with a hand in his face and 12 seconds on the shot clock. Tyus Battle was too selective, only getting up nine shots total. Elijah Hughes can hit contested threes, but went 2/8 in the first half and then shelled up in the second, finishing 2/10. What a mess.
Frank Howard breakout?
Howard led the team in scoring with 21 and was the only player on the floor who looked ready to take this game by the horns. In the same breath, he finished with zero assists and four turnovers. The problem with Howard’s game was that he didn’t make anyone else better on a night the offense desperately needed someone else to get going. He still slowed down the offense and he still wasn’t penetrating. It seemed the only difference in Howard’s game was the jumper going down. The senior still isn’t playing well enough.
Big Three No Show
Battle, Hughes and Brissett combined for four points. My metrics calculate SU has .002% chance of winning the game if those three don’t eclipse five.
Ball Pressure Kills
NC State is similar to Virginia Tech and Florida State. All these teams like to apply heavy ball pressure to the opposing guards. Simply put the Orange can’t handle it. Howard struggles to get by the defender, and without the threat of giving up penetration, the defense can deny the ball while Howard struggles to dribble it up himself. Battle can do a much better job of running by the pressure, but he certainly can’t do it for 38 minutes. Syracuse scored 56, 62, and 58 against VT, FSU and NCST respectively. There is officially a book on how to beat SU.