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Is Syracuse’s Shooting Back?

Courtesy Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After Syracuse’s Tuesday  blowout victory against Miami, head coach Jim Boeheim made some interesting comments regarding star guards Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim.

“I think Buddy’s just starting to get his rhythm back a little bit and having the Covid, the whole thing,” Jim Boeheim said during his postgame press conference. “Both Buddy and Joe were out with it. They were sick and they were out.”

After inconsistency mired the pair — particularly Girard — the two guards each scored 23 points in SU’s win against the Hurricanes. That led both teams in scoring as Girard nailed 5-9 shots from behind the arc, bumping his three point percentage to 36.3%.

Time will tell if the duo is back to the players they were at the end of last season. Boeheim has seemed to regain his form, scoring in double figures in the past four games for the Orange. 

For Girard, it’s a bit more nuanced. Besides regaining his strength, Girarad was effective on Tuesday playing off-ball with Kadary Richmond on the floor. Without being tasked to play point, Girard was able to leak out into open court and fire off open threes.

“I don’t know if I’m back to 100% from it, but I’m pretty close and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel good,” Girard said. “So I feel pretty good right now.”

Perhaps Boeheim played Girard at shooting guard because he’s still regaining energy. Girard said that he was “really tired” while Jim Boeheim added that his guards couldn’t practice for 10 days. 

However, Girard is also more of a natural shooting guard with a fluid catch-and-shoot motion that is often too quick for defenders to contest. He’s least effective when he is forced to pull up for a shot coming off of a ball screen.

Whether it’s due to the rotation change, or due to Girard and Boeheim getting back in their respective grooves, it seems that SU’s shooting slump could soon be gone for good.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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