This much is clear: the Syracuse Orange are getting better.
Two days after suffering an overtime defeat at seventh-ranked Villanova, Syracuse cruised to a 78-43 victory against the Colgate Raiders on Monday night.
It may or may not be coincidence, but this is now two games in a row that the Orange have looked like a much different team -- and much a better team -- since Jim Boeheim sounded off in his postgame press conference last Sunday. They really should have beaten a good 'Nova squad in Philadelphia on Saturday, and they played as well as they've played all season in the first half tonight, jumping out to a 43-13 halftime lead because of it.
Syracuse let off the gas both offensively and defensively in the second half, but still managed a 35-point win. Trevor Cooney once again had the hot-hand, leading all scorers with 20 points and finishing 8-of-15 from the field. Others scoring in double figures for the Orange were Rakeem Christmas (16 points), Ron Patterson (13 points), and Michael Gbinije (11 points). Chris McCullough struggled offensively for the second consecutive game but made an impact with eight rebounds, four blocks, and two steals.
The Orange had 19 assists to just six turnovers as a team in the win, a vast improvement from Saturday, when they turned the ball over a season-worst 20 times. Syracuse also shot 50 percent (10-of-20) from beyond the arc, as four different players connected on at least one three-pointer.
It WAS Colgate, yes. But nonetheless, tonight's results were nice to see. As always, we'll have more recapping to come later tonight and tomorrow, but for right now, leave your thoughts here.