Syracuse took down a weak Georgia Tech squad, 74-73 in overtime tonight inside the Carrier Dome. This win is number 15 for the Orange on the year, 9th in conference, and makes 6 out of SU‚Äôs last 7. Jimmy Boeheim was solid for the Orange on both sides on the floor, Cole Swider got the job done on the glass, and Buddy Boeheim showed up late to the party.¬†
Joe Girard‚Äôs scoring numbers tonight weren‚Äôt pretty, 12 points on 3/15 shooting, 3/11 from three. After several solid performances in a row, the Glens Falls native was brutal on the offensive end, but is that grounds to question the 3rd-year guard‚Äôs ability?
Let‚Äôs explore why Girard‚Äôs performance should be looked at from a different perspective.¬†
Joe Girard has been on the receiving end of plenty of hate this season. It‚Äôs been a notable trend since he first stepped on campus back in 2019. Partly due to his insurmountable hype coming in as a freshman in which he was being compared to Gerry McNamara as well as his role as a volume shooter, Girard catches plenty of slander.
One could certainly make the argument that he‚Äôs hasn‚Äôt shown up in bad losses this season and in past seasons, such as the Pitt loss this year in which he had a measly 3 points, or the Virginia loss on New Year‚Äôs Day in which he put up the same number, or several other games this campaign. Though, if you want to discredit him for his poor performances, you have to give him credit for his impressive ones. More than once this year, Girard was the only player contributing big numbers, keeping the team afloat in bad losses. His 27 points against Colgate and 26 against Miami both led the team. Also, Girard has been sensational during SU‚Äôs most crucial stretch this year. Syracuse had a four game win streak this season that started against Wake Forest. Since that game against the Demon Deacons, Girard has been everything the Orange need and more. Coming into tonight, Girard averaged 16.2 points, 4 assists, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 51.4% from distance over those 6 games. Hard to blame him now right?
Not to mention he leads the ACC in 3-point percentage, entering tonight‚Äôs contest at 43.4%, nearly 3% above the next best shooter (Clemson‚Äôs Al-Amir Dawes – 40.6%). Point is, Joe is going to have his off nights, tonight being one of those. Though that doesn‚Äôt mean he should be a target for blame. He‚Äôs objectively been one of SU‚Äôs most consistent players as of late, and if they want any shot at a tournament run they‚Äôll continue to lean on him.