The Syracuse Orange basketball team is developing a bit of a trend, especially when it comes to playing second-tier ACC schools.
Take things slow. Let the other team hang around. Put that usual fear into the hearts of your fans. And then remember that you're the mother-f'ing Syracuse Orange and cruise to victory.
As calm as ever. That was how Tyler Ennis handled a critical pull-up 3 to silence a mini Virginia Tech run. And how he zipped a cross-court pass to C.J. Fair for a transition dunk to push Syracuse’s lead to double-digits.
It was also how he left Orange fans just moments after he pulled SU out of the doldrums and back in control against a pesky Virginia Tech team and a surprisingly electric crowd of 4,367 at Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday. After leading by just six at halftime, No. 2 Syracuse (15-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) pulled away for a 72-52 victory over the Hokies (8-6, 1-1) in Blacksburg, Va. Ennis finished with 13 points and seven assists while Fair scored a game-high 17 points for the Orange.
A 16-0 run in the second half sealed the deal for the Orange. C.J. Fair took control during that time, scoring in just about every way imaginable.
"The second half, I hit my first bucket and then coach kept running plays for me," Fair said. "And I just took advantage of that."
DaJuan Coleman saw a return to the court even if it wasn't in the starting line-up. He played in garbage time but Coleman will need all the floor-time he can get as he preps for North Carolina's big men.
Now the Orange move on face what might be their biggest test of the season (or maybe not depending on how they play game to game), the North Carolina Tar Heels. Do the No. 2 Orange look more like the No. 1 Orange if they win that one on Saturday? We'll find out.