The first half was a lot of back-and-forth action with the two teams going back and forth for the first 20 minutes. Jesse Edwards established himself early, while Judah Mintz made plays on the perimeter, but the Eagles stayed right with it, not giving into the Orange’s physicality.
In the second, Boston College came out of the locker room hot, but an Orange run put SU up eight at one point. From there, it was back and forth from about the 13-minute mark on, but the Eagles made a run to take the lead with about eight minutes to go, and Syracuse called its final timeout with a lot of game left.
After that, the Orange started to turn things up a notch. Deflecting passes, rebounding, and making their free throws. The energy level picked up down the stretch, and that allowed SU to get a road victory.
Joe Girard III: B-
Girard was inefficient shooting the ball, but contributed in a lot of ways, including on the boards and facilitating. BC is typically a team that he has success against, but they defended him well and made life difficult to score. But, he made his free throws down the stretch, which is always important, and that should be counted for something positive.
Judah Mintz: B+
Mintz did a solid job in the first half of creating off the dribble, getting out in transition, and pushing the tempo. He did commit an offensive foul, but otherwise did a good job defensively, and had some good entry passes to Jesse Edwards underneath in the paint. Plus, he’s learning how to close, as evidenced by his passing and shot-making down the stretch.
Justin Taylor: A
He provided a spark off the bench, and when Bell didn’t have it, Taylor was the easy choice of who to go to that could make shots, The Orange needed someone to score, and he did just that. His size is a huge plus, as he’s got a college-ready body.
Chris Bell: C-
Bell had a tough game, not shooting well, and got yelled at by Jim Boeheim a couple of times for missed defensive assignments. It’s still a work in progress with the freshman, who has had big moments but consistency is the key for him to become a better all-around player.
Maliq Brown: B
Brown got his third straight start and did what he usually goes. Play solid defense, rebound, and finish around the basket when needed. His long arms provide such an advantage to deflecting passes in the lane, and he’s so smart as to where to rotate defensively.
Benny Williams: C
In his return to the court after a personal day against Virginia on Monday, Williams didn’t play much and didn’t make a big impact. A bricked three and a putback layup is all he contributed offensively, and not much else after that.
Jesse Edwards: A-
Edwards was the story of the first half, setting up inside, posting up and shielding his defender, and finishing with tenacity. He rebounded well, blocked shots, and did everything for Syracuse. When the senior center is the focal point of the offense, good things happen, and in matchups like this, it’s important for him to get going early. A career-high against your fellow countryman ain’t too shabby.
Jim Boeheim: B-
Boeheim has been getting some bad publicity this week thanks to his handling of the media, but he made good coaching decisions and substitutions, established a game plan of getting Edwards the ball early, and stuck to it. He’s still too rigid and there are times things aren’t going well offensively and defensively from a schematic standpoint, and that falls on him, but not a bad performance by any stretch of the imagination.