The seat next to Jim Boeheim where Bernie Fine usually sits was intermittently empty during the Syracuse Orange's 92-47 victory over the Colgate Red Raiders on Saturday. Fine's absence was felt by everyone in the building but didn't seem to have any effect on the end result.
The game was still relatively close early-on when the Orange used a 17-second swing to blow the doors open.
During those frantic 17 seconds: Scoop Jardine fed James Southerland, who sank a 3-pointer. Southerland stole an inbounds pass and slammed. Then Brandon Triche stole the ball, and fed Southerland, who converted the inside shot.
By then it was 31-13. First-year Colgate coach Matt Langel was forced to call another time out. The Orange rout was on.
From there the Orange took a 52-19 lead into halftime, Mookie Jones entered the game early in the second half and the walk-ons finished things up.
The SU defense came to play. The Orange blocked eight shots, three of which came courtesy of Baye Moussa Keita. Syracise forced 26 turnovers and capitalized by scoring 31 points off turnovers.
Kris Joseph spent the entire second half on the bench. Boeheim told reporters afterward that KrisJo tweaked his knee in practice a few days ago and could have played longer but needed the rest. Clearly, the Orange didn't need him at that point.
Offensively, it was one of those games when you realize the Syracuse bench could probably compete with most starting five's in the nation. Dion Waters led the team with 16 points, while James Southerland finished with 14 points and three steals. C.J. Fair scored 13 points off the bench as well.
Scoop Jardine came out of his shell a bit, scoring 11 points and dishing 6 assists.
Rakeem Christmas led the Orange with 8 rebounds while Fab Melo struggled, scoring only two points before fouling out.
The Orange are now 4-0 as they move on to Madison Square Garden where they'll face the Virginia Tech Hokies in the semis of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Wednesday at 9pm.