Looking at the final box score, it isn’t very hard to figure out that Tyler Roberson was the Orange’s most important player on the floor last night. Logging 37 minutes, he tallied a career-high 20 points and 16 rebounds of 9-of-15 shooting. Seven of his 16 rebounds were offensive which really helped the Orange extend possessions and pull away in the second half. Elon played a small lineup throughout the game and Roberson took advantage, dominating the paint and even pulling up for a few mid-range jumpers in the process.
The 2-3 Zone
The Orange looked fantastic on defense on Saturday night, forcing 13 turnovers, many of which keyed a strong second half that saw the Orange pull away from a tough Elon team. Especially after a made basket, the Orange was able to get set on defense and force the Phoenix to take long three pointer after long three pointer. Elon shot just 32 percent from the field and 24 percent from behind the arc.
Another game, another huge night from Tyler Lydon, who spent his time in the middle of the zone. He did a little bit of everything in his 35 minutes on the floor, scoring five points, blocking four shots, grabbing seven rebounds and even burying a three pointer as the shot clock expired. The Fizz teased it last week, but it may become a reality: Tyler Lydon as the starting center? It just might happen.
More limited minutes for the SU big man. Despite drawing the start, Coleman only played ten minutes in this game, tallying just two points, two blocks, and one rebound. He also had one foul. With Elon fielding a smaller lineup, Jim Boeheim didn’t need the Orange to play big down low and this allowed him to play a more offensively-oriented lineup for a majority of the game. Against bigger teams, expect Coleman to log more minutes.
If Boeheim continues to keep the same five on the court as he has done to start the season, this team is going to be gassed come conference play. Four players logged more than 30 minutes and Michael Gbinije would have joined the club if not for first half foul trouble. Known for playing a deep rotation through the non-conference, it’s a little disheartening that the Orange has failed to do so in a year when every minute counts with such a short rotation. Look (and pray) for more minutes from Coleman and Kaleb Joseph this week.
The true freshman was saved by the free throw line in the second half, but ultimately had a pretty ugly game offensively. He finished 1-of-7 from the floor, six of which were missed three pointers. However, the Orange needs to score inside this year because the three ball will not carry it, and Malachi’s 12 free throws attempts were a great sign. Overall the team shot 20-of-25 from the stripe.