Syracuse suffered a devastating loss to Clemson last night. Instead of extending the win streak to 6, the Orange end up on the wrong side of 1 point heartbreaker. Let’s try to move on, here’s what we learned about SU during that game.
There’s a Real Problem Down Low:
All season there’s been a conversation surrounding SU’s big man situation. There have been questions asking whether or not Bourama Sidibe is good enough to man the 5 spot, or if Marek Dolezaj should just slot in there because at least he’s been consistently effective. Against Clemson it didn’t matter who was down low, there was no stopping the Clemson big men. The Orange were outrebounded 36-26, that’s unacceptable for any team. Sidibe and Doelzaj contributed just 7 of those boards, with 10 combined points and both fouled out. How can a team compete when both of its only reliable big men are turning in empty performances like this?
This is a Team of Fighters:
SU didn’t get the result it wanted in this game, nor did the team play particularly well down the stretch. One thing to take away as a positive for Syracuse fans is the heart this team displayed. Joe Girard didn’t have a good game, just 10 points and 1 assist, but he came in clutch when it mattered. The freshman drilled a deep three with less than 2 minutes left in the game to put the Orange ahead by 3, then just a minute later, SU leading by 1, Girard strips Clemson’s Aamir Simms on his way to the basket. It wasn’t only Girard though, Buddy Boeheim and Elijah Hughes hit clutch shots down the stretch as well. The fight and clutch attitude this team exudes is something for Orange fans to look forward to.
These Young Guys Just aren’t Ready:
Sidibe and Dolezaj were lackluster to say the least against the Tigers, but what’s worse than their poor play, is their carelessness. Both of them fouled out of the game with over 5 minutes left on the clock. Orange fans watching at home all knew that meant one thing, it was time for Jesse Edwards to prove himself. Freshman big Jesse Edwards entered the game for the most important five minutes he’s ever seen endured in his life. It’s safe to say he most definitely did disappoint. Before we take a look at his stats it’s important to note that just by watching him it was apparent he wasn’t ready for this situation. As for what he supplied on the court, an immediate foul that led to an and-1 opportunity then committed another on the very next possession and then turned the ball over in transition. Edwards has a long way to go and could be a future star, but it’s important to note he’s just not ready to play.
There was plenty to learn from this heart-wrenching loss that ended the Orange streak, there’s still a huge problem down low and the young guns aren’t ready to play big minutes, but despite that, this team heart that not many teams can match, these guys don’t quit.