It’s hard to judge a win against a Division III school that went 5-20 last season. However, the shooting by Syracuse was easy to analyze in the Orange’s 84–35 win against the Adrian Bulldogs. After a win over Carleton in the preseason, SU finished the exhibition on a high note.
The Orange shot just 29% in the first half, making only 2 of its 13 shots from behind the arc. Highly touted freshman Chris McCullough had a first half of ups and downs, shooting poorly from the field but doing nice work on the glass. He was 0-8 from the floor but grabbed 12 rebounds. Seven of the 12 were offensive rebounds that helped the Orange capitalize on second-chance opportunities.
While the Orange will face much better competition in the regular season, SU put away an inferior opponent with style in the second half. The Orange scored 23 unanswered points to put the game out of reach. That’s what fans want to see from a top 25 team playing against a lesser squad. SU outscored Adrian 47-11 in the second half.
Trevor Cooney had a rough night behind the arc going just 2-9. Cooney’s role is changing year-by-year, from a three-point specialist to becoming a bigger factor in the whole offensive scheme. Cooney has struggled with consistency ever since he got to the Hill. The key for Cooney will be to have a short memory and not let a few bad shots define him in a game. That will be the biggest x-factor this season for the redshirt junior.
McCullough, Cooney, Christmas, Gbinije, and Patterson all had double-digit point totals, while Joseph and Roberson both had 9 a piece. B.J. Johnson also made the most of his minutes with 7 points and 4 rebounds.
Syracuse will now focus on the regular season with the opener against Kennesaw State approaching this Friday.
Posted: Zephan Mayell