Syracuse finally picked up it’s first ACC win on Wednesday. It was against Boston College, and beating the Eagles in basketball this year is just as easy as beating the football team, but it still give the Orange some momentum going into the toughest stretch of its schedule. A winnable road game against Wake Forest kicks off Syracuse’s Tobacco Road travels tomorrow, and the Orange needs to win to keep its head above water.
Here’s a look at three things to watch for as Jim Boeheim’s squad takes on the Demon Deacons.
6-foot-10 Devin Thomas and 6-foot-9 Konstantinos Mitoglou account for 37.1 percent of Wake Forest’s scoring and 45.3 percent of the team’s rebounding this season. Syracuse has allowed at least 30 points in the paint in each of its ACC losses this year, and I don’t need to tell you about this team’s woeful rebounding. The 2-3 zone is supposed to make it harder to score inside, but Syracuse simply doesn’t have the size to compete with the biggest teams in the ACC. Going up against a pair of strong big men should have this Orange team ready.
Dajuan Coleman’s Minutes
Since Jim Boeheim took back his team after the Clemson game, Dajuan Coleman’s minutes have seen a huge bump. Coleman played 26 minutes against North Carolina and 27 against Boston College (that’s compared to the 15 he averaged going into those games) and the Orange outrebounded both the Tar Heels and the Eagles. It takes three to make a pattern, so we’ll see if Coleman getting on the court will be the norm from now on.
Another Late Game Collapse?
Wake Forest has one player — Mitchell Wilbekin — who averages over 30 minutes per game. Syracuse has five, and that’s without Dajuan Coleman and his newfound playing time. Syracuse’s inability to finish a game over the past month has been well documented, and anyone who follows the Orange knows Jim Boeheim is ready to end that narrative. Wake Forest is a great place to start.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson