Syracuse Men’s Basketball has just one more tune-up before the games start to matter. SU hosts a division two school The College of Saint Rose at 7 p.m. This is the first exhibition for the Golden Knights. The squad out of Albany went just 9-20 last season and lost its final six games. The Golden Knights played on exhibition last year against a division one team, and lost to Albany in a tight game 73-66.
In the first exhibition of the year for Syracuse against Daemen, the Orange looked really solid in a 81-68 victory. JJ Starling got just 10 points but had six assists and six rebounds. However, no one on SU scored more than 12 points as six different players were in double figures.
One big thing to look out for is if Judah Mintz plays tonight. In Rochester for Monroe Madness 10 days ago, the sophomore didn’t suit up and he didn’t play in the first exhibition either. While Adrien Autry downplayed the injuries, it is a cause for concern if Mintz doesn’t suit up again.
In terms of actual play on the court, SU has to shoot the ball better against Saint Rose than it did against Daemen. The Orange shot just 32% from three and 3-12 in the second half. Benny Williams went 0-3 from deep and Chris Bell went 1-5. Three-point shooting was a big cause for concern last year for SU and its offensive struggles. JJ Starling struggled with his deep ball at Notre Dame last year and went 0-1 in the first exhibition. The goal against Saint Rose for Syracuse should be to shoot the three over 35% to get back on track going into the regular season.
Also, it will be interesting to see what the battles look like in the paint. Saint Rose is a bigger, more physical team than Daemen was so how do Nahiem McCloud, Peter Carey and Maliq Brown respond? The five is still the major question around the Orange but we could start to see some answers tonight.