Disclaimer: This tweet got a lot of replies, which is always greatly appreciated. I took the tweets with the largest amount of likes, but can certainly get to more this Sunday.
Monday was certainly a letdown. Syracuse fell to number eight Virginia 81-58 after playing about 16 minutes of competent basketball. Once UVA spread the lead out to double-digits in the second half, the game was over.
The Cavalier offense easily diced up the 2-3 zone. Tony Bennett stuck 5-foot-9 guard Kihei Clark at the free throw line and Clark dished out nine assists. UVA shooters Sam Hauser and Trey Murphy III made a combined 11 three-pointers. The Orange made only 5.
SU’s offense struggled against extremely tight defense. Buddy Boeheim shot 1-7 from deep, Alan Griffin was 1-5, and Joe Girard finished 2-6. Marek Dolezaj only had eight points on six shots. It was a rough showing. Not as awful as last season’s opener, but bad, and a real reminder that the Orange are a far ways away from competing near the top of the ACC.
This is not the most common take If SU lost the rebounding battle by 10 (34-24). Nobody Syracuse threw on the floor could compete with Jay Huff, the 7-footer who recorded a double-double with ease. Marek Dolezaj played 40 minutes on Monday. He can hang with multiple seven-footers for the whole game. Jesse Edwards played a good stretch of basketball against Miami, and to not reward him with more playing time against VT or UVA is a crime.
Look, the defensive end of the floor is a problem. It’s mainly the zone and its limitations. Virginia made shots from the areas on the floor where you beat the zone. The three-point line, the free throw line, the short corners, and the basket. The Cavs shot almost 50% from the floor. At a certain point, UVA was just the better team. The zone isn’t going anywhere, and Syracuse will continue to get exposed against teams with quality ball movement, bigs and shooters.
The freshmen should be playing. I’m going to echo that point. In my opinion, Kadary Richmond gets a fair amount of minutes. His defense is excellent, but he needs to provide more on the offensive end. As for Woody Newton, he has to be in Jim Boeheim’s dog house. We would know about some sort of injury at this point, and Braswell hasn’t been anything to write home about after his four made treys against Pitt.
The slander continues. I know it’s frustrating. I know SU is difficult to watch at times, and especially when the ACC is down, it’s a shame that the team isn’t competing for a conference championship. However, nothing’s going to change. Boeheim’s been committed to his methods, and he’s sticking with them until he’s done coaching.