The. Same. Stinking. Game. Really, it almost felt like we were watching a carbon copy of both of Syracuse’s battles with Miami last season. The Orange held a double-digit lead in the second half thanks to a combination of hot shooting and energy. The shooting spark went away, but that’s ok as long as the energy is consistent, right? It was not. 17th-ranked Miami outrebounded, outhustled, and outplayed SU down the stretch en route to an 82-78 Hurricanes victory. This one really stings.
There’s plenty to unpack here, let’s begin with the game-sealing sequence. Miami was up 2 when Isaiah Wong missed a jumper and Jesse Edwards snatched a rebound. Syracuse had a chance to tie when Judah Mintz held it at the left arc. The dynamic freshman attacked and put up a floater, only to be stuffed by Norchad Omier, and you know what happened from there. It was a head-scratching decision to take a contested shot against a bigger defender in what was a head-scratching game for Mintz. A career-low 3 points on 1-7 shooting is not a recipe for success.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the defeat was the fact that Syracuse as good as let Jesse Edwards down. The Flying Dutchman had a career-high 25 points as well as 11 rebounds. It may have been his best game in an Orange uniform, but it’s probably a safe bet Edwards would have preferred a W.
Every time an SU player has a good game, he doesn’t replicate it. One game after his coming out party of sorts, Chris Bell had a mere three points. Benny Williams on the other hand tallied 12. That’s great, but it cost Maliq Brown playing time. Brown played just 12 minutes and only had 2 points. Why can’t these guys all play well together? It feels like only one or maybe two of them if we’re lucky plays well on any given night. If they all gelled together at once, who knows what this team’s record looks like.
So, what comes next? Syracuse remains on the road in its next game, albeit this time it’s against a not-as-formidable Georgia Tech squad. The Yellow Jackets are 1-6 in ACC play, though their one win was against this same Miami team. The so-called “gimme” games are few and far between at this point. Saturday’s game might be one of them.
We’ll reiterate it, this one really stings. Had SU pulled it off, it might’ve reshaped this program’s current outlook. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Back to the drawing board goes Jim Boeheim.