Syracuse finally got its first conference win, avoiding an 0-5 start in conference play. Now they head to Tobacco Road for a trip to Wake Forest and Duke. It will be a challenging trip, but it should also tell us a lot about the Orange.
Wake Forest is another middle of the pack ACC team. The Demon Deacons have a few good wins already, for example beating Indiana, UCLA, and LSU in non-conference play. It’s not like Wake has an overwhelming home court advantage though, with a 6-3 record at home, they are certainly vulnerable in Winston-Salem.
The second half of the trip is a huge test for the Orange. The Duke Blue Devils, at Cameron Indoor, the only meeting between the two teams this year. Yes, they have another freshman stud in Brandon Ingram. And yes, guard Grayson Allen has moved off the bench, where he torched the Orange, and into a starring role on the Duke team. Duke has lost just 3 games to this point, one to Kentucky, the other in OT to Utah and then Wednesday night against Clemson.
Wake Forest is trending in the right direction under the guide of coach Danny Manning, and gave the Orange a tough test last year, only for SU to be bailed out by Rakeem Christmas and his 35 points. And Duke is Duke, with another strong team, and raucous environment at Cameron Indoor.
This trip will tell us a lot about this year’s SU team. If they can split the weekend, then maybe they are more on track than we even realize following the win against BC. If the Orange can sweep the weekend set, than maybe some of the earlier losses were a bit of a fluke. Maybe the team just wasn’t ready to go into D.C. and MSG. Or maybe the team has learned and bounced back from those losses. It’s possible the freshman have grown up. But now they have two tough ACC road tests coming up, and it could tell us a lot about how the rest of the season will go.
Posted By: Seth Goldberg