Look, it’s no secret this season has been a rough one for Syracuse hoops. The Orange have floundered left and right, dropping the biggest game of the year by almost 30 points, losing multiple conference clunkers and playing themselves out of tournament contention. Jim Boeheim had to announce his plans yesterday, as the haters and doubters have come out of the woodwork questioning his age and ability to adjust (these people were nowhere to be found last season). However, SU has one more regular season contest left this Saturday against Miami. One more chance to show out in front of the home fans, and maybe help them forget some sour memories of the 2021-22 season. Here are three keys for Syracuse to take down Miami:
Win the Turnover Battle
Miami has the best turnover margin in the ACC (4.4), meaning the Hurricanes average 4.4 fewer TOs than their opponents. In the first matchup between these two teams, the Orange coughed it up 19 times, a season high. Syracuse has really struggled to keep the ball in key points of the game. Monday’s botched inbounds play towards the end of regulation was just another example of SU’s turnover struggles. With Joe Girard disappearing over the past couple of games, and Symir Torrence out with what could potentially be a concussion, this has to be a key point of emphasis for Orange player on Saturday.
Get in Charlie Moore’s Face
Rumors of man-to-man (*gasps in shock*) have flown around the mill for the past couple of days. Well, that’s not happening until at least 2022. For right now, Syracuse is stuck with the 2-3 zone, for better or for worse. All year, the zone has allowed player after player to jack open threes, and last contest against Miami was no different. Guard Charlie Moore made six of his 10 treys, including a NBA-range bomb with just over a minute to go to seal the deal. If Moore gets hot on Saturday, he could shut down the Dome crowd, and send them home early.
Play Benny Williams
It’s obvious the five-star freshman hasn’t lived up to the hype. Most SU fans would agree two people are to blame for Williams’s struggles. Benny, for his own deficiencies (flat jumper, passivity, etc), and partially on Coach Boeheim’s refusal to play the youngster. However, it’s about time to start looking towards the future for everyone surrounding the program. A future which showed its potential against Duke. After SU got down, Benny got aggressive, hunting his own shots, and stood out in what was an otherwise terrible performance. Letting Williams get one more shot to prove himself in front of the home crowd would be a worthwhile exercise to test his ceiling for next season.