Another day, another victory for Syracuse as it moves to 2-0 on its trip to Italy after clobbering Oxygen Bassano 103-54. Leading the way was Buddy Boeheim, who drained five triples on his way to an efficient 22 points to lead all scorers. Bourama Sidibe racked up a double-double, logging 10 points while pulling down 15 boards.
Of course the competition level that the ‘Cuse is facing in Italy is far inferior to what it’ll see in the ACC. The Orange are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do. If SU wasn’t obliterating these teams, that would be concerning. But what we may be able to gather from these exhibitions is the style of play for the coming season. Boeheim seems to be taking a larger role as he continues to gain confidence. Against Oxygen Bassano he shot 11 threes. Long gone are the timid days of his freshman season where he may shoot two or three times a game. This year – alongside Elijah Hughes – Boeheim is who the team will turn to when it needs a bucket.
As mentioned earlier, Sidibe had a nice game. And he should play well against this competition. But Sidibe’s biggest issue is staying healthy. SU needs the big man to stay on the court this year, with only inexperienced freshman behind him. Sure, Dolezaj can slide in at center, but we know he can only manage around 10 minutes at the five every game. Coach Boeheim said so himself. Syracuse desperately needs Sidibe to take a step forward. If he doesn’t, it could be a long season of guys like Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr pummeling SU in the paint.
Meanwhile Hughes had an off game, shooting just 33% from the field and recording seven points. But freshmen Joe Girard, Brycen Goodine, and Quincy Guerrier picked up the slack, combining for 29 points. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like Girard became afraid of launching threes once he reached college. He’s shooting just like he did in high school, with the same success. Girard released eight threes, with three hitting the target. Guerrier and Goodine combined to hit seven of their 15 shots.
It may be tough to keep the young guys off the court. And maybe, just maybe, this game showed the impact of SU’s brand new supporting cast.