The Orange’s slow start to the 2014-2015 season has raised the eyebrows of local fans and many around the nation. Poor shooting and sloppy ball handling have plagued the Orange in their losses, while wins have had glimmers of the team’s potential. If you haven’t been keeping up with the season and want to impress your coworkers around the water cooler, here’s some stats that have defined the Syracuse basketball thus far.
44.2%: Team Field Goal Percentage
Be it be by way of an article like this one or the drunk guy sitting behind you at the game, you’ve probably heard someone complain about how bad the Orange’s shooting has been this season. The team’s 44.2% field foal percentage ranks 149th in the country, a stat that was emphasized with Syracuse’s 39% showing in the loss to St. John’s on Saturday. The poor shooting was initially something that analysts thought would smooth itself out, but now the worries are growing as the level of competition gets higher.
250: Points Between Rakeem Christmas and Chris McCullough
One of the bright spots in the young season has been the front court. The combo of Christmas and McCullough have accounted for 46% of the Orange’s points this season, and the two have only gotten better as time has gone on.
Christmas is averaging 16.9 PPG and 9.6 RPG, a massive improvement from the 5.8 PPG and 5.1 RPG that he put up last year. He knew coming into the year that he’d need to play a bigger role offensively, and he’s been able to hold up his end of the bargain.
McCullough has adjusted well to college ball. Many are saying that he’ll be the next one-and-done to come out of Syracuse, and he’s off to a good start. His 14.4 PPG and 8.9 RPG are both second to only Christmas on the team, and he’s fit into the offense with little bumps in the road.
26: Turnovers for Kaleb Joseph
Joseph hasn’t played quite as well as his freshman counterpart. The young court general has given the ball away more than any of his teammates, and an assist to turnover ratio of 1.54 is a little less impressive than Tyler Ennis’s 3.22 of last year. Joseph is on pace for over 100 turnovers this year, that is if Coach Boeheim doesn’t bench the point guard as he did in the second half against St. John’s.
7: Seed in the Tournament
Joe Lunardi is already releasing Bracketology projections, and the Orange are slipping down the polls. This team has come accustomed to no less than a 4 seed, but Lunardi’s latest bracket has Syracuse as a 7 seed in the field of 68.
A 5-3 start has left fans weary, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier from here. Lunardi’s bracket has 8 teams from the ACC in the tournament (tied for most with the Big Ten), so quality competition won’t be lacking when the new year rolls around.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson