On a day where you couldn’t really do anything else because of the weather, Syracuse subjected its fans to the worst performance of the season. SU got boat raced by North Carolina from start to finish, ending in a 103-67 final at the Dean Dome.
Let’s hand out some (predictably bad) report cards.
Coaching Staff F
Not even because of anything they did today. It’s easy to say the team wasn’t ready to play or didn’t show enough effort when a game ends up like this, but that’s not the issue. When a team is so clearly better than another from a physical standpoint, it’s easy to make the inferior team look like it’s not trying.
That is exactly the issue at hand. North Carolina is a top 10 team in the country. The Tar Heels are the favorites to win the ACC and could certainly find themselves making a late Tournament run. However, the fact that Syracuse’s roster is built in a way that the Orange can’t even compete with UNC is an indictment on the staff.
You can’t just blame Jim Boeheim either. Adrian Autry and Gerry McNamara especially have been the architects of the roster for years now. They brought in everybody on this team. Could it get better in the future? Sure, but right now, Syracuse doesn’t belong on the floor with the better teams in the country, and, with the Duke and Virginia games in mind, the conference either.
A tale seemingly as old as time for Syracuse. After holding BC’s Quenton Post quiet in all areas of the stat sheet Wednesday, there was some optimism that Maliq Brown could do something similar with Armando Bacot. That was simply not the case.
Bacot is too big and too physical for Brown, who’s proven to be a terrific player, but because of Naheem McLeod’s injury, he was put in a spot he couldn’t succeed in today. It wasn’t just Bacot either. Harrison Ingram had double figure rebounds too. As a team, UNC didn’t just beat SU in the rebounding department, the Tar Heels essentially doubled the Orange up.
Three Point Shooting F
Again, nothing new here. Bell made each of the three he took, Copeland went made one of his two and has improved as a shooter over the last couple of weeks. Everybody else was silent, including 0/2 performances from both Judah Mintz and Maliq Brown. The team as a whole went 4/19.
This an issue that is likely not going to get better this season. Syracuse doesn’t shoot the three well and has to learn how to win in the ACC with that deficiency.
Chris Bell A-
Give Bell credit, after a 20 point performance against Boston College Wednesday where he was aggressive in the first half and made a couple of big shots in the second, he came to play today. Bell finished with 13 points in just 22 minutes, including going ⅗ from the field and 3/3 from distance. Bell also made each of his four foul shots. The fact that he got to the line that often is a good sign itself, as the sophomore is notorious for not drawing fouls.
The one unfortunate moment was a flagrant foul called against him for excessive contact while contesting a layup, but that shouldn’t overshadow the fact that it’s been two straight good performances.