Once again, Syracuse managed to fumble away a victory. The Orange went to the half against their old Big East rivals (on the road, one might add) up 10, and then completely blew it in the second half. It was not pretty. Nobody wants to dwell on this any more than necessary. Let’s get straight to the takeaways.
No Lead is Safe
Syracuse does not adjust. Yes, the 1-3-1 zone is “new,” but the principles to beat it are still the same. Ball movement, player movement and getting the rock past the top. Georgetown relied a bit too much on the three-ball in the first 20 minutes, and the Hoyas made changes in the locker room which in turn changed the game. When your best player is 6-foot-6 and built like a bull, in Patrick Ewing’s case, it makes sense to pound the ball to him and let him create. Aminu Mohammed did just that. The five-star recruit had 20 of his 23 points in the second half, cooking Jesse Edwards, Cole Swider and Jimmy Boeheim on his way to the rack. SU could not handle Mohammed, and that decided the ballgame.
Bye Bye Bench
Frank Anselem, Symir Torrence and Benny Williams didn’t give ridiculous stat lines in the first half, but were overall positives to the Orange’s style of play. However, Anselem was the only non-starter to see the floor in the second half (for three minutes, no less) and Syracuse’s starters were extremely gassed by the final moments of the ball game. SU’s shot on the deciding possession of the game was a Cole Swider contested three. That’s a terrible shot, a tired shot, one which is hoisted when a player knows he doesn’t have the legs to get to the rim. In these next two gimme games, the Orange need to get their bench guys invovled.
Buddy Boeheim can’t find the ocean from the beach right now. He scored 17 points on 18 shots, which is not going to cut it. The ball did go in, but the senior couldn’t build any kind of momentum. In the big moments, when SU needed a game-changing bucket or a run-stopping score, Buddy either wildly missed, or passed up opportunities. He didn’t turn the ball over, a good sign that he’s still in the right state of mind, but if the Orange want any chance at competing in conference play, Boeheim needs to find his stroke as soon as possible.
Maybe it’s the script uniforms. Let’s stop wearing those, Jim.