At the start of the season, Syracuse fans were upset with the team being unranked for the first time in years. Now, fans are wondering if the Orange will even have much of a March. With SU’s 12-point loss to St. Johns, the team already has three losses, after starting 25-0 last season. For Boeheim’s squad, this loss needs to be a wake up call, because the team is reeling.
What makes this loss difficult to swallow is that Syracuse didn’t necessarily play poorly. Despite not hitting from three, the Orange was still able to get the ball inside and score points. And until St. John’s caught fire from three in the second half, Syracuse was basically in control of the game.
But, with the lead in the second half, the team struggled to put away the Johnnies. The turnovers built in the back end of the game and ultimately cost the Orange. SU finished with 12 turnovers, most coming in a crucial stretch in the second half.
The Orange should have closed out the game after the Flagrant 1 was called on Rysheed Jordan. But, with two free throws and the ball, the team only came away with one point. Then scored three more points for the last six minutes.
Watching the team lose was just frustrating because the Orange didn’t look bad offensively. Syracuse rarely loses non-conference games at home (streak snapped), and the team seemed destined to win this game despite the sloppy ball handling. But, the inability to close and shoot threes to match St. John’s ultimately cost the team.
Boeheim needs more out of the Orange, since there’s still plenty of tough contests in the ACC. Already with three losses, the Orange still has to play Villanova on the road, in Chapel Hill, against Duke twice, and at home against Louisville and Virginia.
It’s still too early to give up on the team because there is a ton of talent on the floor. But if SU can’t find a reliable point guard and ball security, SU’s hopes for the tourney will keep taking hits.
Posted: Jason Weingold