Syracuse 10-4, (0-1) takes on the 13th ranked Miami Hurricanes 11-1, (0-0) today at 2:30 p.m. Miami has impressed this season with two quality wins over Utah and Butler while its only loss came at the hand of Northeastern.
Miami, like Syracuse, is led by a pair of fifth-year seniors. Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez both lead Miami in scoring at 15.4 and 12.5 points per game respectively. Miami boasts a dangerous offensive attack as the 'Canes average 85.3 points per contest.
Miami also has Ja'Quan Newton and Davon Reed averaging over double-figures while Tonye Jekiri is on the verge of averaging a double-double.
Keys to the Game
Defense, Defense, Defense
Miami shoots an astounding 51 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from range. It will be imperative for Syracuse to contest shooters and to force Miami into tough areas of the zone. Conversely, Miami only gives up 66.4 points per game so points will be hard to come by.
You had to do it, but after Syracuse gave up 22 second chance points against Pittsburgh, rebounding is as important as ever for the Orange. Syracuse's biggest weakness is rebounding at the defensive end. Opponents from here on out will only be tougher on the offensive glass.
Syracuse as a team has struggled to shoot the long ball lately. Contrariwise, Trevor Cooney has shot 13-26 from range over his last four games. Syracuse needs to have more than one player connect from distance to be competitive in the ACC. Of course, inconsistency is the life of any shooter; Getting open looks and taking good shots can mitigate volatile shooting performances.
Fun Facts: Rodriguez has played against Syracuse in all but one season of his collegiate career. He played against Syracuse in the 2012 NCAA Tournament when the Orange beat Kansas State in the round of 32.
Newton is a high school friend of former Syracuse forward B.J. Johnson.