While the rest of us are spending Thanksgiving with friends and family, the Syracuse men’s basketball team is in the Bahamas for its first real challenge of the year in the “Battle 4 Atlantis.” The Orange took down Charlotte Wednesday to advance to the second round of the tournament, and for the rest of the tournament Syracuse will play Power 5 schools (the first of the season for the Orange). Now that the oppenents are getting better, Syracuse fans will start to figure out what this team is really made of. There’s still a lot of questions surrounding this team after a few shaky wins to start the season, and a lot of them will be answered against the tougher competition.
Can Syracuse live off the three?
It’s weird to watch a Syracuse team put up so many from behind the arc, but Jim Boeheim has said he is going to have to rely on the three more than in previous years. The Orange has been able to get away with less than impressive shooting in its games so far this season, but better teams are going to be able to take advantage of Syracuse’s shooting slumps. Syracuse will need to be more consistent with its shooting in order to compete.
Will bigger teams dominate the Syracuse defense?
Syracuse’s size is sure to cause problems at some point in the season, and there’s a good chance we see those struggles for the first time in the Bahamas. Connecticut has six players standing at 6’8” or taller, and Michigan has seven. Syracuse and its four players of that height will play one of those two teams on Thanksgiving.
Does foul trouble beat the Orange?
Syracuse’s size may be a problem, and the foul trouble the Orange has gotten into in it’s first few games doesn’t help. Dajuan Coleman logged 21 minutes against Charlotte, his most of the sesaon. While Tyler Lydon has done a good job filing in the middle of the 2-3 zone with Coleman on the bench, Syracuse needs to get more minutes out of its only true center.
What else are you looking to see from the Orange in Atlantis? Tell us in te comments below. Follow us @OrangeFizz for consistent updates on Syracuse sports.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson