On Tuesday night Mike Hopkins walked onto the court at the Carrier Dome. He had done it hundreds of times before as both a player and coach, but this time was different. This time — donning a tie given to him by Michael Carter-Williams’s mother — Mike Hopkins was the head coach. His home debut couldn’t have gone much better.
Syracuse dominated the Colgate Raiders Tuesday. The Orange was led in scoring by Malachi Richardson and Michael Gbinije who had 17 points each. Once again, it was all about the threes on offense. Syracuse took 30 shots from beyond the arc, and made 14 (which ties the season-high). The 2-3 was working on all cylinders, as Syracuse picked up 11 steals and Colgate turned the ball over 19 times.
Mike Hopkins’s first win as a head coach ended up being a 78-51 blowout, but Coach Hopkins wasn’t going to let the day be about him.
“I just wanna get these guys better. This has never been about me,” Hopkins said. “It’s our job these next seven games to give Coach Boeheim a better team than when he gave it, or I’m gonna… it’s not gonna be good.”
If there’s one thing Hopkins still has to work on, it’s rebounding. The Raiders held the rebounding advantage for almost all of the game (although the tally ended up tied), and Syracuse let Colgate grab 13 offensive boards.
“I’m not worried about it,” said freshman Tyler Lydon. “It’s something we’re not doing right now as well as we want to be. We can work at it and get better.”
Maybe Lydon should be worrying about it. The Orange can’t be splitting rebounds with teams whose tallest starter is 6’8”. When bigger and better teams come along, which will happen sooner rather than later, Syracuse needs to be ready.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson