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Did Syracuse’s Win over NC State Recharge the Offense?

We know Syracuse’s defense is a problem, and one that won’t be fixed this season. We’re into February, just a month away from the ACC Tournament, and the zone is what the zone is. Unfortunately, it’s filled with guys who aren’t fast enough to their spots, nor rangy enough to play great defense once they get there. This was on full display Wednesday against NC State.

But the Orange found a way to win anyway on the road in Raleigh, and that’s because of the offense. Cole Swider was terrific, and so was the outside shooting across the board. Every starter scored at least 16 points, and SU dropped 11-of-19 from behind the arc. SU may not score 89 points often, but when they do, they better win.

Maybe the season isn’t destined for doom. Maybe it’s just not going to look the way Jim Boeheim wants. Allowing teams to score 80 points is an easy way to lose a lot of games. But that won’t change much. It’s Swider’s ability to find his spacing and knock down shots. It’s both Boeheim boys moving without the ball. It’s Jesse Edwards incredible growth. It’s Joe Girard actually hitting open shots. It’s the Orange as a whole, shooting well from the line. When these things happens, SU has a chance.

Unfortunately, that has not happened often this season. But perhaps the last two games have clicked something in place for the Orange. While NC State has plenty of defensive woes of their own, hopefully this opened the eyes of SU. Here’s your blueprint for wins in the ACC and March. Everyone has to be on point on offense, take smarter shots, and move the ball to the open man. The stars need to play like it, and there can’t be lethargic efforts. If the Orange can at least master those things, the season might still end outside the tournament, but at least it’ll be watchable.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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