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Syracuse vs. Colgate: Scouting The Raiders

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We all know what happens when you combine oranges with toothpaste. You get a mediocre game in the Carrier Dome that's sure to leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

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The Colgate Raiders (2-5) take the short drive from Hamilton to take on Mike Hopkins' Syracuse Orange (6-2) tonight at 7 p.m. Syracuse is looking to rebound -- quite literally -- after two straight losses to Wisconsin and Georgetown while Colgate has lost its last two games as well.

Raiders vs Orange coverage.

Colgate opened its season with a win against George Mason on the road but has lost five of its last six. The Raiders have completed the quadfecta against New York teams this year -- going 0-4 -- losing to Cornell, Fordham, Albany and Binghamton.

Keys to the Game

Defense

Syracuse allows 10.5 points per game less than Colgate. Matt Langel's team will have to slow Syracuse's perimeter attack if they have any hope of winning this game. Points will be hard to come by for Colgate as they go against the 55th best defensive team in the country in respect to points allowed.

Austin Tillotson

As Austin Tillotson goes, Colgate goes. The senior guard has logged Cooney-esque minutes, which translates to 50 more minutes than any other player on his team this season. He hasn't shot the ball well, but Tillotson is by far and away Colgate's best player. Syracuse will have to contain him on the defensive end.

The Long Ball

Colgate has shot a frigid 30.8 percent from downtown this season whereas Syracuse has shot 37.6 percent (that number dropping with the last two abysmal performances from range). Syracuse must keep Colgate on the perimeter while trying to refocus from downtown on the offensive end.

Rebounding

You hate to beat a dead horse, but this game presents a great opportunity for Syracuse to get better on the glass. Colgate has undersized guards and a small front line which equates to only 34.1 rebounds per contest. The Orange are only grabbing 2.3 rebounds per game more than that (partially because of better competition) so this will be a good game to focus on rebounding.

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Mike Hopkins will attempt to win his first game as a head coach. During Jim Boeheim's suspension, Hopkins will actually be credited with the win/loss record. The nine games will not be counted toward's Boeheim's overall record.

Fun Fact: