Three Point Shooting
In this week’s edition of three up, three down, there just weren’t enough positive takeaways from the Orange’s putrid effort at Madison Square Garden. It’s safe to say that the Mike Hopkins era hasn’t started quite as planned, and the Orange just dropped its third game in its last four. One of the reasons for this was SU’s putrid effort from behind the arc. Syracuse only made five threes during the entire game and Michael Gbinije was the only player in Orange to hit more than one: he shot three of four. Trevor Cooney? The Orange’s marksman? 1-of-8. And Malachi Richardson? How about 0-for-11. We’ll get to him later. Coach Boeheim said that this team would live and die by the three, and this afternoon, Syracuse put forth a slow, painful death from behind the arc.
Free Throw Shooting
The only thing worse than the three-point shooting was the free throw shooting. The Orange consistently trailed the game by roughly ten points in the second half and lost the game by a dozen. Conveniently enough, the Orange missed a dozen free throws. Headlined by Tyler Roberson’s 1-for-8 performance from the stripe, the Orange had no business being in the game. Some key defense down the stretch and tons of forced turnovers kept SU in the game, but it wouldn’t have been an issue had the team made their free throws. I’m not a basketball wizard, so I think everyone can figure out bad three point shooting combined with bad free throw shooting doesn’t equate to wins.
Richardson is a true freshman and played in just his tenth college game today versus St. John’s. He was cold, and you can’t blame a player for going cold. What you can blame him for, however, is hoisting up a team-high twenty shots. He went 0-for-11 from behind the arc, and finished the day 4-of-20. How he took 20 shots, I don’t know, but when Gbinije only shot 11 times, it’s unacceptable. I give Richardson some credit for shooting the ball because it seemed like nobody else wanted to – looking at you, Tyler Lydon – but if Richardson is going to shoot at high volumes, he has to get open. It’s back to the drawing board for the Orange, who has to find some answers as conference play approaches.