Syracuse came out of the gate slow, and at points throughout the first half, it looked as if BC had a track to its first win in nine tries. But a breakout performance from one of SU’s much-maligned players and clutch buckets down the stretch helped the ‘Cuse to a 79-65 win. Let’s get into the player grades from this New Year’s Eve showdown.
Benny Williams: A
Williams was a putback machine in the second half. The sophomore finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive end. Syracuse only had eight second chance points, but a couple of those came in the biggest moments from Benny. Williams was also 2-2 from three, the first time he’s ever made multiple threes in a game. He didn’t commit a single foul.
Joe Girard: A-
Girard played 39 of 40 minutes and scored a game leading 24 points, 13 of which came in the first half. At times, Joe wasn’t a scoring threat, as he didn’t score for 10 straight minutes in the second half, but he did have two assists during that span. JG3 finished 8-19 from the floor and 4-10 from three. Efficient? Not so much, but the points were badly needed.
Judah Mintz: A-
The aggressiveness, the bounce and the speed were all on display for Mintz today. He shot over 50% from the field, and only took one three early in the game. Judah dished out seven assists as well, and that to only four turnovers is what the Orange have to have from the point guard spot.
Jesse Edwards: B
The Dutchman has never gotten over the hump with his foul trouble. It’s always been a problem, and we guess it always will be. Mounir Hima played 10 minutes down the stretch of the second half because Edwards picked up his fourth foul three minutes into the period. The statline, 14 points and 8 boards, is nice, but there’s so much more potential if Jesse can just stay on the floor.
Chris Bell: C-
Whole lot of nothing from Bell in his 14 minutes. He made a free throw line jumper shortly into the game, something he hadn’t shown before, but other than that, Justin Taylor and Quadir Copeland made bigger impacts on the game.
Justin Taylor: C+
Taylor played 5 more minutes than Bell, and was much more involved in the offense. The stat lines don’t show much differentiation, but anyone watching can tell how much more the defense respects Taylor’s offensive ability. He should start.
Quadir Copeland: C
In only seven minutes, Copeland didn’t do a whole lot. The Pitt comeback earned him more minutes and more respect, but he just didn’t have it today.
Mounir Hima: C+
Hima had 4 fouls in 15 minutes. More fouls than points and rebounds combined. But his four blocks kept BC away from the paint. That’s what keeps him above Bell for the game’s worst grade.