The Syracuse offense is a lost cause at the moment. A smaller lineup has led the Orange to poor shooting. The outlook on the rest of the season doesn’t seem to be bright.
Let’s start with the shooting.
SU is coming off a season-low 24 points in the first half of Saturday’s loss to Clemson. The Orange went on to shoot just 39% from the floor and 30% from beyond the arc.
The ACC features five teams that average 47% field goals per game.
In the months of January and February, Syracuse has hit the 47% shooting mark just twice. Every game has been below that percentage, besides SU’s win over Pitt in mid-January and the recent home victory against Louisville last week.
What’s attributing to poor shooting?
In Syracuse’s statistically worst half offensively this season against Clemson, there was no ball movement. The offense looked stagnant, and the ball wound up in Judah Mintz’s hands far too often, which turned into poor shot selection.
The lack of presence inside the paint forces Syracuse to shoot the ball from elsewhere on the floor.
Since Naheem McLeod suffered a season-ending injury, SU has been searching for ways to improve offensive production. Maliq Brown has been serviceable in the center position, and he can’t be faulted. He’s doing what he can against some of the premier ACC centers. The forward is averaging nine points and seven rebounds per game.
Brown faces one of the best centers in the ACC tonight. North Carolina’s Armando Bacot is averaging 14 points per game along with a conference-best 10 rebounds. The 6’11 senior posted 16 points and 11 rebounds in UNC’s 36-point demolition over SU in mid-January.
The Orange have been forced to take more shots from other parts of the floor due to its lack of height in the paint.
Syracuse awaits a tough test as seventh-ranked North Carolina visits the Dome tonight. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Orange fare against the Tar Heels the second time around, especially against one of the ACC’s finest teams.