After Syracuse’s second game against Louisville was postponed, the Orange are running out of opportunities for a big-time win. A victory over Notre Dame would give Syracuse its third Quad 2 win. But the Orange still haven’t grasped a Quad 1 win.
Saturday’s game is one Syracuse can’t afford to lose to keep its March Madness hopes alive. Notre Dame, while having improved recently, is a slightly below average team. But, the Irish’s offense could make this contest a shoot-out. If SU struggles to score, it could easily drop the road matchup.
ND is led by forward Nate Laszewski. The 6-foot-10 junior has been one of the most efficient scorers in all of college basketball this season. Laszewski’s 51.6% shooting from three is the eighth best percentage in the nation, and his 74.2% from inside the arc is the seventh best rate.
Laszewski leads Notre Dame, with over 15 points per game, but is picky with his shot selection. Still, if there’s a player on the Irish who can pull-up as soon as he catches the ball, it’s Laszewski.
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey’s team is stocked with shooters. While the Irish don’t have much height, six of the seven rotation players shoot at least 34% from behind the arc.
Syracuse can’t completely stop the Irish from knocking down triples. There are simply too many options, and the two players Brey brings off the bench both hit at least 38% of shots from distance.
But Syracuse’s offense needs to keep up. It’ll be helped by a porous Notre Dame defense, but SU needs Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim to be impactful.
Meanwhile, the wings of the 2-3 zone need to be active. Alan Griffin has struggled in defense at times this season, but has been much better recently. For SU to keep postseason hopes alive, it needs Griffin and others to be engaged.