Orange Fizz


Fizz Report Card: Syracuse Survives New Hampshire 83-72

Photo Courtesy of Syracuse Athletics

New Hampshire is no world beater, it was game #1 of the regular season, and boy were there some stretches, but Syracuse had some real juice in its 83-72 victory on Monday night. It wasn’t all pretty, but no one ever said it was supposed to be in the first game of the season. Let’s open up the grade book for Adrian Autry’s first game as Head Coach.


Mintz’s jump shot is still a work in progress, but he showed tonight why Orange fans were so excited to get him back for this season. The 5-15 shooting line isn’t pretty, but his relentlessness and drive to get to the basket showed in his 9-11 performance from beyond the arc, paving the way for a 20-point night. No turnovers as well is also a bonus, especially for your point guard. Mintz is still the dynamic playmaker we got used to watching last season, and he should continue to fill that role this season.


The big question on our end regarding Starling surrounds his health? He appeared to be favoring his right leg in the second half, if he’s out for an extended period it could be catastrophic. But when he was on the floor today, he was playing as too much of a jump shooter. 10 points on just 3-13 shooting, including 0-4 from distance. Whether or not that’s from what was just mentioned we don’t know, but it’d be nice to see him put it on the floor more. Five rebounds, two assists, and no turnovers bump Starling’s grade up, but you’d like to see him play to his strengths more.


Bell perfectly resembled “you’re hot then you’re cold” like Katy Perry did it. The sophomore had five of the Orange’s first nine points, but then disappeared for the remainder of the game. He didn’t score from then onward, and he wasn’t in the game down the stretch with the outcome in the balance. He had an inconsistent exhibition slate too. You really would like to see him carve out a larger role (and his four rebounds can help him do that), but he still left a lot to be desired tonight.


When it seemed like New Hampshire was really starting to crawl back into the game, Taylor delivered with multiple big plays. There was a stretch in which the sophomore directly had a hand in nine straight Orange points. A four-point play, a shot from distance, and an excellent outlet pass to Maliq Brown in transition. Taylor finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds, looking really good in the starting lineup.


For someone in the starting lineup, McLeod was the definition of average, in large part because he only played 10 minutes. The Florida State transfer’s first regular season game in Orange saw him score four points and snag three rebounds, but Brown entered the game for him less than three minutes in. Autry has preached playing a five-out brand of basketball which McLeod would admittedly have difficulty in, so will this be the norm? It’s hard to be harsh on him, but you can’t really give him higher than a C for just 10 minutes.


You might consider this missing an exam without an excused absence. Let’s hope his suspension gets resolved soon.


There were sizable chunks of playing time for Maliq Brown, Quadir Copeland, and Kyle Cuffe, and all of them looked good (even outplaying some starters at times). Cuffe once again looked like someone who can score at all three levels, Brown was the interior force we know him to be, and Copeland had a double double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Peter Carey also contributed with the first regular season points of his collegiate career. It remains to be seen whether Brown, Cuffe, and Copeland will get those minutes on a regular basis, but they all looked very potent tonight.


As mentioned above when talking about McLeod, the brand of basketball Autry wants to play is awesome. His awareness was also on point, he made good decisions with his timeouts. But on the flip side, the fact that this team once again struggled to put a full 40 minutes together is concerning. Syracuse led by 23 points and it was trimmed down to six. The beasts of the ACC and Maui Invitational will not be as forgiving as New Hampshire. But, first game jitters are a thing, and at its best Autry’s vision looked really good.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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