Force Them Outside
Believe it or not, the 32% clip that Pittsburgh shot from beyond the arc in the first bout for Syracuse was a bit better than the scouting report predicted. This is the worst perimeter shooting team in the conference. Without the extra length of Symir Torrence at the top of the zone, thanks to a knee injury in the waning minutes of the Duke loss, don’t be surprised if Jim Boeheim goes to the 1-1-3 Zone we saw earlier in the year. That will deny the Panthers the high post and grant them access to the arc, which won’t be a problem for SU.
Keep Your Hands Up!
Alright, Syracuse has a center prone to foul trouble and a Pittsburgh forward who feasts at the line. John Hugley gets to the free throw line and shoots about eight times per game from the stripe. He took eight free throws in the first game this season, just two weeks ago. Jesse Edwards fouled out as a result. That capped off a string of five consecutive disqualifications for the third year center.
The Orange need to keep him on the floor in order to be successful, especially considering how poorly the shooters played against Duke over the weekend. Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim are coming off a combined performance of 5-28 from the field and just 2-19 from range.
Keep Buddy Hydrated
Boeheim’s 24 points against Pittsburgh on better than 50% shooting is probably his best performance in the new year. His father said after the game that some of the shots he was making were nearly impossible. One of the corner threes Buddy made was compared to the Kawhi Leonard buzzer beater to take down the 76ers in Game 7 of the 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
That probably won’t happen again, to that degree. But Boeheim’s availability and effectiveness may never been as important as it will be on Tuesday night. With Buddy coming off one of the worst performances of his career and Symir Torrence out, the preseason All-ACC sharpshooter will have to pick up the slack.