It’s redemption time for Syracuse. After a crushing OT loss on the road earlier this month, Wake Forest comes to the Dome tomorrow. Here’s what SU needs to do to flip the script.
Stop Alondes Williams
After 25 points and 12 rebounds in the first bout, Alondes Williams should have a big target on his back. The Orange need to help on him and force the rest of the Demon Deacons to make a play. Williams is a three level scorer, so dangerous against a zone that he is not fooled by. He’s not a perfect player though. Williams committed six turnovers against a Syracuse defense that really improved in the second half. It’s on Syracuse to continue to force him to facilitate, keep him out of the high post, and out of play-making opportunities.
Buddy Better be Good
Buddy Boeheim‘s 17 points in the first game might minimize the problem from an outsider’s perspective. But the Preseason All-ACC selection was just 5-20 from the field. If those numbers take even a half-step up, which they should, then the Orange offense will be much improved. SU scored enough to win for most teams, but the defense still can’t be trusted. Then when the defense began playing well, it was lights out for the offense. At the break in the first game, Syracuse trailed by just two, allowing 50% of the threes to fall. Then, they held Wake Forest to 19% from beyond the arc in the second half and still lost. After looking at those splits, suddenly 5-20 seems like a big deal.
Keep Jesse out of Foul Trouble
In early January, Edwards was limited to just half the game. The center ended up fouling out, part of a five game-DQ streak. The Orange could not stop the demon Deacons without him.
Frank Anselem came in off the bench and provided an offensive spark in 10 minutes. Defensively, he was late on rotations. When it comes to Syracuse vs. Wake Forest, in many ways, as Edwards goes so do the Orange.