On Saturday Syracuse hosts a terrible UNC team. That’s not something we generally say about the Tar Heels, but this team is the worst team in the ACC (11-17, 4-13). Of ACC teams, UNC has only defeated Notre Dame, Miami, and NC State. The Tar Heels have taken down the Wolfpack twice.
Everyone knows about UNC star freshmen Cole Anthony, who’s averaging 19 points and six assists a game. But he’s also become something of a volume shooter for a porous team, and honestly who can blame him? Anthony is shooting just 32 percent from deep and 37 percent from the field.
Outside of Anthony, 6-foot-9 forward Garrison Brooks is a guy to know. All year long Syracuse has made average big men look like superstars. It happened against Georgia Tech with Moses Wright who set a career high with 33 points against the Orange. I think we all remember the games against Iowa and Penn State, so I won’t delve into those.
Besides being 6-foot-9, Brooks is also 235 pounds, making him bigger than Wrights. Marek Dolezaj is only listed at 185 pounds, although he is probably about 10 pounds heavier than that. He has put on a considerable amount of weight, but he still has problems keeping the weight on. Meanwhile Bourama Sidibe is listed at 220 pounds, but has obviously had trouble against bigger, physical big men. But, maybe his latest game is a sign of Sidibe turning a corner. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
Even considering Anthony and Brooks, this is a game Syracuse should absolutely win. Is it too late to have an impact on SU’s NCAA Tournament chances. Maybe. Syracuse absolutely needs to go on a run in the ACC Tournament and take down one of the top three teams of Duke, Louisville, and Florida State.
If Buddy Boeheim hadn’t put up a donut against FSU, Syracuse might have already secured that win it desperately needs. But as of now, it’s still looking for that all important win.
Now if Syracuse loses this game, it may not matter if it takes down one of those big three. A loss to an absolutely awful UNC team spells the end to SU’s season.