The last time we saw Syracuse on the court was more than two weeks ago against Georgetown, the disappointing 79-75 loss. So the Orange ripping up Brown 93-62 was an encouraging sign, pushing SU above .500 again at 6-5. The Bears aren’t a pushover Ivy League team, with a few tight losses to high major opposition. The dominance showed in the second half was the big takeaway, and the best sign of the day.
A slim 38-32 lead at the half ballooned at halftime. The Orange absolutely dominated the second session, outscoring Brown 55-30. Buddy Boeheim led all scorers with 28 points on 11-19 shooting, including 4 shots from deep. This got so out of hand, Jim Boeheim emptied the bench. Nine different bench players got minutes in this game.
Perhaps the most feel-good opportunity came from Bourama Sidibe, who played in only two games last season, and hit one of his two free throws in brief action at the end of the game. There’s not a lot you can take away from beating up on an Ivy League team but the 17-4 run in the second half that put this game out of reach was something SU would love to channel for bigger games down the road. Finding that next gear and showing energy coming out of the locker room is key.
The defensive energy shown in spurts was also encouraging, and the hustle is certainly something SU desperately needs in ACC play. It’s more Ivy League action next when SU takes on Cornell on Wednesday. It’s a quick turnaround, almost like an NCAA Tournament schedule. First steps were good steps after the long layoff.