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How Can SU Beat NC State (Again)?

Photo Courtesy of Syracuse Athletics

Syracuse embarks on postseason play Wednesday at noon in the second round of the 2021 ACC Tournament. The Orange earned the 8-seed in the field and will face 9-seed NC State (again). Cuse’ Nation collectively hoped Duke would get the nod at the 9 slot, but a blowout loss to UNC negated that.  

So now instead of a game Syracuse could gain a lot from winning, SU is in a can’t lose situation. So how can Coach Boeheim and Company down the Pack for a third time this season? Well the same way the Orange did in the two matchups during the regular season, let’s discuss.   

  1. Shoot over 40% from the field and 35% from three 

In both of the regular season matchups Syracuse shot 46% and 47.5% from the field, as well as 38% and 47.4% from beyond the arc. If Syracuse shoots anywhere near 45% from three there’s no world in which SU loses. However, as we all know this team is about as jekyll and hyde as it gets so with that said, aim for 40% and 35% and .  

  1. Get on the offensive glass 

Syracuse won the rebounding battle in the second matchup that the Orange won 77-68 in Raleigh. It was close, but SU had 13 offensive rebounds which undoubtedly led to second chance points. If the shots aren’t falling then scoring some dirty points in the paint are crucial.  

On paper it shouldn’t be hard, NC State is the worst defensive rebounding team in the ACC. However, SU will be oversized in the painted area by Manny Bates. Quincy Guerrier had seven rebounds in the road win, five of those boards came on the offensive side of the floor.  

  1. Play Kadary Richmond

If you watched the two regular season meetings this one should be obvious. The true freshman was electric off the bench and a godsend offensively. In the first game, Richmond was the only reason SU was still in the game at halftime, Coach Boeheim said this much. Richmond played 16 minutes and scored 14 points. NC State had no answers for Richmond’s dribble drive.  

In the second meeting Richmond came off the bench again and was an immediate spark. He secured back-to-back steals which led to transition points. He played 25 minutes in the second meeting and scored a cool 8 points with 4 assists. Many of those helpers came down the stretch, he even created the play that iced the game when he drove baseline and kicked to Robert Braswell for a wing three that ended up being the dagger.  Mind you he did all of this with a toothache and didn’t even eat before the contest. Play Kadary Richmond and good things will happen, it’s simple. 

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