Roberson continues to show flashes of brilliance for SU. His eighth career double-double propelled the Orange to a victory. Working against a much smaller Cornell team, Roberson was able to dominate the offensive glass, pulling in eight offensive boards. He led the team in rebounding with 12. Furthermore, Roberson is gaining confidence every game, as he featured some dunks and some good moves from under the hoop. Cornell is an extremely undersized team, though, so Roberson will be tested soon.
One of the reasons SU dropped a terrible game to St. John’s was the awful defense. In practice, Hopkins must have worked on the zone and it paid off. After getting abused by Robert Hatter in the first half, the Orange clamped down after losing the lead to start the second half. For the game, SU forced seven steals and heavily outrebounded a team for the first time in a while (48-27). Hopkins seemed to understand that the Orange’s best lineup is the Gbinije-Cooney-Roberson-Richardson-Lydon look, which Boeheim has favored too.
I heavily criticized Richardson for taking way too many shots against St. Johns. However, Richardson was much more selective with most of his shots yesterday, and it showed. He hit 5-of-11 shots and took only three shots from behind the arc. On a few possessions, Richardson took poor shots and made freshman mistakes, but his decision making improves with each and every game.
Kaleb Joseph just looks confused out on the floor at times. Despite chalking up three assists and two steals in just seven minutes of play, the fact of the matter is Joseph should not be playing more minutes than Frank Howard. Joseph is undersized at the top of the zone and when the Orange matches up with bigger teams, Joseph looks heavily outmatched. He hasn’t scored a point since the Orange’s loss to Wisconsin and hasn’t logged more than seven minutes since.
Cooney’s mini-outburst during the Orange’s 23-4 run will mask his overall performance in this game. I’ll always be one of Cooney’s harshest critics, and the fact of the matter is that he can’t keep missing wide open threes like he did yesterday. I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again: Cooney will best-benefit the Orange when he drives into the paint. Yet, yesterday was another game without Cooney scoring in the paint. His only three made field goals were from behind the arc.
Howard failed to log a minute in the Orange’s win yesterday. Despite Joseph contributing very little, which has become the norm, Howard did not see the floor. He had logged minutes in the last three games, but for whatever reason, coach Hop didn’t think Howard would benefit the Orange in the game.