This is the worst non-conference start to a season for Syracuse Basketball in the Jim Boeheim era. Tyler Lydon’s been inconsistent, at times DaJuan Coleman and Tyler Roberson have disappeared and it’s been a tough transition to college for Tyus Battle.
These struggles are miniscule compared to the problems Syracuse’s guards have faced in the team’s defeats however. Many expected Frank Howard and John Gillon to seamlessly take over for Michael Gbinije. That hasn’t happened. Andrew White leads Syracuse in points per game, but he’s had some shockingly poor performances as well. Throw Battle into this group and you have a quartet of underperformers.
Howard and Gillon combined for as many turnovers as they did assists in the game with six. White struggled from the field going three of nine in 34 minutes.
White kept Syracuse in the game in the first half, but struggled to make shots down the stretch. Every Syracuse guard that saw the floor turned the ball over at least once; the group finished with seven total. Poor perimeter defense is what did SU in in this game. Wisconsin shot 48% from downtown.
Here’s where things start to get really ugly. Howard and Gillon shot a combined 0 for 13 from the field. In 78 minutes played, Howard, Gillon and Battle scored ten points in total. In SU’s three losses to this point, the team averaged 53 points per game.
Howard turned the ball over six times in this game. White, Gillon and Howard shot a combined 29% from the field. The only reason Syracuse’s offensive numbers were solid was because of Lydon’s 29-point outburst.
In the ugliest of ugly games Syracuse has played this season, the Orange guards laid an egg. We all saw it, but let me remind you. Gillon shot one of seven from the field, Howard two of nine, White one of five and Battle two of eight.
Replacing Gbinije, Trevor Cooney and Malachi Richardson was always going to be tough, but at the start of the season it looked like Syracuse had a great group of new guards.
In the non-conference, this group’s play could be described using a lot of adjectives, but great would not be one.
Posted: Connor Morrissette