Boeheim finished with 21 points to lead all scorers while Girard finished a triple behind, with 18 points of his own. Early in the season, the Orange have found ways to win even when its deep-shooters’ shots weren’t falling.
Instead of relying on Girard and Boeheim, Quincy Guerrier became a focal point of the offense. Whether scoring on the low blocks are by firing of 3’s, Guerrier provided an alternative to run the offense through. There have been games when fellow forward Marek Dolezaj has been leaned on. Against Bryant, Dolezaj scored 20 points in a squeak-by SU victory. While Rutgers was able to lock down Syracuse’s primary scorers, the senior found the bucket for 14 points. And against Buffalo, Dolezaj was 7-9 from the field for 19.
So far this season Guerrier and Alan Griffin are the top to scorers for Syracuse, both averaging over 15 points. After leading scoring against Georgetown, Boeheim seems to be refining his groove and is averaging over 15 points once again.
Dolezaj and Girard are both averaging around 12, despite Girard’s early season slump. It’s still too early to tell if Girard’s struggles will continue for the rest of the season, or if he righted himself against the Hoyas.
Regardless, it’s clear SU doesn’t need all of its playmakers on a given night. Syracuse can defeat most opponents on its schedule when three of its top five players play well. That’s not even including the eventual return of Bourama Sidibe.
Jim Boeheim’s squad has shown it can figure out how to win through a variety of fashions. Sometimes that may be through low-post scoring. In other instances, shooters catch fire from deep.
The next step is for SU to find consistency throughout the lineup. If that happens, Syracuse could challenge in a relatively weak Atlantic Coast Conference. Still, after blowing a double-digit lead against Pitt, that potential feels distant.
But Syracuse has shown it can win in a multitude of styles of play. Assuming the team finds consistency, that versatility could help the Orange challenge diverse teams. Even with just a few of the Orange playing their best ball, SU has a good chance of winning. Now it just needs consistency.