Over the past few years there’s been one consistent thing about Syracuse basketball…it desperately needs a big who can score down low. At this point fans would settle for a big that seems to be improving. Paschal Chukwu never developed, Bourama Sidibe hasn’t either. But maybe Marek Dolezaj could be the big man that SU could eventually turn to down low. In fact, if SU rights the ship this season, he needs to become aggressive in looking for his shots.
Dolezaj has six games with at least 10 points this season. What’s more promising is that he’s notched double-digits in five of the past six games. The only game he didn’t reach at least 10 points, he finished with nine. And those games have come against Syracuse’s toughest stretch so far, including games against Penn State, Iowa, and Georgetown. Of course SU lost all three of those matchups. While the young guards struggled, the Orange need a veteran outside of Elijah Hughes to burden some of the pressure.
In the past six games, Dolezaj hasn’t shot worse than 50 percent from the field. While shooters like Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard can have a tendency to hoist up bricks, Dolezaj is consistently smart with his shot selection. Now he just needs to start looking for his shots early in games, before Syracuse falls into holes it can’t climb out of.
At this point in his career, Dolezaj is a team leader. He’s been in the program as long as anyone else on the roster. While he’s never been a go-to scorer, he needs to add that to his game. And he has to an extent this season. That’s why he was aggressive in games Syracuse was losing badly. He saw enough bad looks, and decided to take matters into his own hands. That’s something SU fans have been waiting for him to do for three years.