Boeheim’s Army cruised to a victory over Always A Brave, 69 – 54, to advance to the Elite 8 of The Basketball Tournament. Tonight’s performance was convincing, rarely did it seem like BHA was in a precarious position, they were in the driver’s seat all night.
Chris McCullough was the star of the show. The SU alum contributed 19 points on 7-11 shooting, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the win, including the free throws that ended the game. The former SU big man thinks he still has a shot at the NBA, his performance tonight helps to back up that claim, he was a menace on the court tonight. On Monday the narrative surrounded the play of BHA’s non-SU players carrying the team to victory. Those guys showed up tonight but didn’t have to put on the same performance thanks to McCullough. Of that cast, Keifer Sykes impressed, 10 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals for the Green Bay alum. Sykes continues to prove he can play and is quickly becoming a fan favorite for the Orange faithful. As for Tyrese Rice, the beginning was a little rocky. In the first half, the BC point guard did not play anywhere near well, giving away 5 turnovers without a single point to his name. He stepped up in the second half however, #4 protected the ball well, not allowing a turnover, and scored 6 points. Fans will expect more from him going forward, and rightfully so seeing as he’s been this team’s starting point guard through 3 games. AS for the rest of the non-SU crowd, D.J. Kennedy and DeAndre Kane were solid. Kennedy was active on the boards, snatching 7 rebounds as well as passing well, earning 3 assists, and Kane did a little of everything, with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and two blocks. The two combined for 10 points.
It would be nice to see more production from the actual Syracuse alumni this team offers. Malachi Richardson, a player many fans were excited to see back in Orange, hasn’t really provided the production this team was hoping to get. 0 points tonight and just 1 on Monday, not exactly what anyone expected from the 2016 NCAA tournament hero. We saw more tonight from CJ Fair and Andrew White than we had previously but still just 24 minutes played between them is not what Syracuse basketball fans came for. Tyler Lydon wasn’t impressive either, he showed a flash of promise tonight but again, just 14 minutes leaves a lot to be desired. AS for Devo, the heart and soul of this team, you’re getting exactly what you need. Tonight, he provided a cool 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists, continuing to age like a fine wine, but what else is new.
Boeheim’s Army takes on the first seeded Golden Eagles (Marquette Alumni) on Saturday, July 31st in Dayton Ohio with a trip to the Final Four on the line. We’ll have you covered for that one on Twitter @OrangeFizz and right here, on our website.