There will come a time in the near future when The Three Sons (B.J. Johnson, Ron Patterson & Tyler Roberson) will run the show for the Syracuse Orange. We got a small taste of what to expect today when that trio each had notable moments and plays that kept SU in the game. It wasn't enough, however, and SU fell short, losing 65-61 to the Pittsburgh Panthers in the Dome.
It's the first time Pitt has swept the season series since 2005.
Rakeem Christmas led the way as usual with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Michael Gbinije added 12 points, six assists and seven boards. B.J. Johnson had 11 off the bench, including a huge three down the stretch to keep the Orange in the game. Tyler Roberson gutted out nine points and six rebounds despite leaving the game briefly to get stitches over his eye. It was the first time you could really see the sophomores starting to gel at the same time in one game. Promising.
Two big goose-eggs on the scoring sheet from Kaleb Joseph and Trevor Cooney. The starting guards had an abysmal day shooting. Cooney finished 0-for-4 from three, though he did grab five rebounds. There's something to be said for keeping Cooney in the line-up for the way he influences the offense, but, just not when he shoots. The announcers spent the entire game referencing a back injury that may or may not be hampering Trevor.
The refs played a big part in the game as well. The foul calls were egregiously in Syracuse's favor (22 free throws to 8 for Pitt). That is, until the end of the game when they made multiple terrible calls and/or non-calls. Can't blame the refs for the loss, but, they did suck, objectively-speaking.
More details later, including what is sure to be a colorful Jim Boeheim presser. The odds Syracuse (17-10) can get to 20 wins drops precipitously as Notre Dame, Duke and Virginia loom.
Oh, and, congrats Roosevelt Bowie.