Entering with back-to back losses, and three in their last four games, it was hard to forecast Syracuse’s fate against a sneaky-tough Miami team. The Hurricanes came into Tuesday night at 6-6, with four of their six losses coming by four points or less. Better yet, they were also fresh off an upset victory over No. 16 Louisville.
Simply put, Syracuse had a thing, or two, to say about all that… and those things were: Joe Girard and Kadary Richmond.
Girard teed off for the Orange, particularly, from behind the arc – and occasionally, from way, way, way behind the arc – en route to a 23-point outing. Girard’s impressive offensive showing comes after his return from a recent COVID-19 diagnosis, but also amid some recent struggles as well.
Over the last six games, prior to Tuesday’s blowout win over Miami, the sophomore shot 30.3 percent from the field, and 29.0 percent from three-point range. That being said, watching Girard go out and shoot the way he did against the Hurricanes has to be an encouraging sign for Orange faithful. The numbers will tell you he went 8-of-15 from the field, and 5-of-9 from three, which is impressive in itself. However, there truly were certain moments throughout SU’s win where Girard was simply lights-out.
In the case of Richmond, the freshman checked into the game in the first half, and the rest was pretty much history…
With him in the game, the Orange outscored the Hurricanes by 20 points in the first half, which was certainly no coincidence. Richmond made his presence felt on both sides of the floor, notching five assists and three steals in the first half – and finishing the game with: 7 points, 8 assists, 5 steals and one block.
As a result, to the dismay of absolutely no one, head coach Jim Boeheim was quick to praise the freshman’s efforts, following Tuesday’s win.
Long story short, in just 12 career games played, Richmond has already proved to be a major bright spot for a now 8-4 Orange team.
Elsewhere, tied atop the scoring leaderboard with Girard, on Tuesday, was Buddy Boeheim. The junior scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half, which began with the Orange already holding a commanding 14-point lead. Additionally, Quincy Guerrier turned in a nice performance with 18 points and 8 rebounds, and Jesse Edwards (7pts / 6reb / 2stl / 1blk) had a strong showing down-low as well.
All told, Syracuse has plenty of reasons to be excited after its 26-point home victory. However, a challenge awaits the Orange this coming Saturday, as No. 16 Virginia Tech rolls into town.