Sometimes in sports, it can be hard to find exact trends in losses. However, that’s not the case with Syracuse since the start of 2024. Two massive trends jump out. Both of them are on the offensive end. The first is one that usually you can associate with playing good defenses. In each of SU’s four wins this year, they’ve turned the ball over less than 10 times. In the four losses, they’ve turned the ball over more than 10 times.
This trend of turnovers correlating with wins or losses is a new one for the Orange. Going back to the beginning of the season, the ‘Cuse turned it over double-digit times in a number of wins. But, as the Orange played better teams, those squads have made them pay for giving the ball up. Turnovers aren’t something new for Syracuse led by Judah Mintz. Last year, the Orange lost a number of tight games because of turnovers. You can’t put all the blame on Mintz though. While he has struggled at times under pressure, there isn’t a trustable secondary ball handler which makes things close to impossible for the young guard.
The other big trend in Syracuse’s losses in 2024 is Chris Bell’s offensive output. Outside of the North Carolina game, Bell has averaged just three points a game in the Orange’s three other losses in the month of January. In each of Syracuse’s wins this month, Bell scored more than 10 points. The explanation for this is pretty simple. When Bell is effectively scoring, the Orange have a dangerous wing on the floor. Without Bell scoring, the Orange just don’t have that. In the losses, the offensive is left to two guards and a center. Almost every single great college basketball team has a dangerous wing.
Luckily for Adrian Autry, one of the best high school wings in the country will be joining the ‘Cuse next year. But, until then Syracuse will continue to struggle without a consistent option outside of the guards and big men.