Playing two ranked opponents in the span of three days with one of them being a travel day is a lot to ask of Syracuse. The Orange took care of Virginia Tech on the front end, but couldn’t get the job done against No. 8 Virginia on Monday night, as SU lost 81-58 to UVA. To break it all down and recap the game, here is the good, the bad, and the ugly from Monday’s ACC showdown.
Geez, there’s not much to choose from, but I guess I’ll go with Quincy Guerrier. The forward tallied 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds. In comparison to his teammates, that was a pretty darn good night. In comparison to Guerrier’s season, it wasn’t too good. Being honest here, the sophomore needed to get more involved in the offense. There was way too much iso-ball by the guards, which left Guerrier out of the loop. But if we have to hand out a good, it will have to go to Quincy.
The lack of offense Syracuse generated and its crappy three point shooting was pretty darn bad and honestly kind of disappointing. Guerrier was the only offensive weapon. Other than him, only one SU player (Alan Griffin) scored in double figures. Plus, the Orange shot just 5-24 from deep. Buddy Boeheim went 1-8 from three, Griffin went 1-5, Girard went 2-6, Braswell went 1-3, and Guerrier went 0-2. For a team that has been advertised at times as a three-point shooting squad, it didn’t look like one on Monday, and it hasn’t looked like one for a while now. The SU offensive game plan needs to change going forward.
There was plenty of ugly in Monday’s game to pick from, but far and away the worst part for Syracuse was its three-point defense. Virginia went into the game 22nd in the country in three point shooting percentage and scored 35% of its points from beyond the arch this season. So, obviously the scouting report mentioned the Cavaliers’ shooting skills, but the Orange’s defense wasn’t ready for it. UVA shot 14-31 from deep, that’s a 45% clip. Specifically, Sam Hauser destroyed the Orange from range, scoring all 21 of his points from out there. Syracuse’s defense didn’t get out on shooters and gave wayyyy too many open looks to a really good shooting team. It was real ugly, not much else to say about it.