Syracuse looked dominant in a blowout win over Loyola, 70-37. The Orange defense was dazzling against the Greyhounds, harassing shooters into bad decisions and forcing a slew of errant shots. At one point on the 2nd half, Loyola was shooting a paltry 12% from the field. That’s simply hard to even type. Twelve percent shooting. How often does that happen?
Loyola finished with 19% shooting, on 10-52 from the field. Chris McCullough had a solid night, with 17 points and 7 rebounds. His length and athleticism is going to make for a very interesting storyline this season. He can run the floor, and fill the lane. He can shoot over smaller defenders, and be athletic around the rim.
It’s always hard to measure yourself against a team like Loyola. The Orange is supposed to rip them, and that’s exactly what they did. Maybe the loss to Cal woke up this team. The Orange was ragged in the defeat to the Bears, but then woke up against Iowa the following night, and played a big 2nd half to pull away.
You have to point to Rak Christmas’ night. With 18 points, 9 rebounds and 6 blocks he reminded us what a huge affect he can have on a game. As the lone star big man on this team Rak has plenty to reach for. He not only is a natural leader because of his experience, but can hold down the middle of the offense and the zone D. Altering shots and swatting others is as big as anything in the zone. Christmas’ play is made that much bigger with the injury to Dajuan Coleman.
Syracuse was supposed to crush Loyola and did. That’s a step in the right direction.