The Syracuse Orange will play its second game of the season tonight when it hosts in state opponent St. Bonaventure. Here's what to expect from the Bonnies:
St. Bonaventure is coming off a 63-53 win over Binghamton on Friday. The Bonnies were led by senior forward Dion Wright, who had 20 points and nine rebounds over the Bearcats. Bonaventure's leading returning scorer, Marcus Posley, struggled by shooting 2-of-10 from the floor in his first game. Denzel Gregg -- A Syracuse native and former Nottingham Bulldog -- added 20 off the bench while Jaylen Adams chipped in 10 points in 40 minutes of action.
St. Bonaventure is coming off an 18-13 season (Sound familiar?) with its most impressive win over a then No. 18 ranked VCU.
Keys to the Game
Syracuse must limit Wright on the glass and take both he and Posley away on offense. If Syracuse can do that and make the Bonnies a perimeter shooting team, the Orange should win by a wide margin. St. Bonaventure returns 116 made three point field goals from a season ago. Outside of Posley and Adams, St. Bonaventure only returns 6 made three point field goals. Syracuse must make them shoot contested threes.
The Bonnies are short across the board, so look for Jim Boeheim to exploit mismatches where applicable. Wright is forced to play center at 6'7" as 6'10" big man Jordan Tyson has a torn tendon in his wrist. Against Lehigh, Boeheim elected to put four players on the perimeter with Gbinije on the block. Expect to see some of that again as Binghamton's starting guards are 6'0", 6'1" and 6'4".
With a shorter lineup, the Bonnies will look to push the tempo. It will be important for Syracuse to get back on defense and set up in the 2-3 zone before St. Bonaventure can beat them down the floor.
Syracuse shouldn't have too much trouble against a St. Bonaventure team picked to finish toward the bottom of the Atlantic 10.
The last time these two teams played was in 2009. Syracuse won that game 85-72 behind Rick Jackson's 18 point and 10 rebound performance. Kris Joseph added 17 points off the bench to match Wes Johnson's offensive outing. Current Orlando Magic player Andrew Nicholson was just a sophomore in that game, but scored 18 points by shooting 90 percent from the floor. Hopefully there will be no cup checks this time around. In the interim, enjoy the men's and women's teams talking about their meals of choice.