The Syracuse Orange took care of business in style with a 101-59 win over the South Carolina State Bulldogs. Tyler Lydon came back to life with a stellar performance, finishing with 14 and 10 rebounds. It was an all-around win, dominating on both ends of the ball and obtaining contributions from an array of individuals.
Offensive glass is the difference maker for the Orange
Don’t give this team more than one chance, it’s that easy. The amount of shooters and scorers on the roster this year is unprecedented, and stopping them on one possession is an impressive feat itself—stopping them twice? That’s hard to imagine.
The Orange made themselves known on the offensive boards against the Bulldogs, finishing with 14 total. Anytime the Orange can get an extra chance to score, the opposing team cringes at the possibilities. The orange will terrorize teams this year with their complete scoring arsenal, so a tip to their opposition: rebound the ball, it’s your only shot.
John Gillon is the leader of this second unit
The Orange are full of experience, from their two graduate transfers to their four impact returners from last year’s historic run, this year’s roster has plenty of people to turn to when it matters most. The first unit is covered when it comes to leaders, but the second unit, containing all new players on the team, have found their commander: John Gillon.
The graduate transfer brings balance and control to the second unit, something they need due to their youth and inability to read collegiate defenses. Gillon has seen it all, and from the looks of it, he’s been seeing it better than ever in the Orange jersey. When things seem to be nearing failure, Gillon demands the ball and makes sure Boeheim has nothing to yell about—or at least, not as much as usual.
Paschal Chukwu figured out he’s tall
Being 7-foot-2 helps — a lot. Paschal Chukwu is still learning the fundamentals, but something he has that nearly no one shares with him is his sheer size. By simply standing on the court, Chukwu makes his presence known, and he figured that out tonight.
Chukwu’s presence in the middle of the zone brings it to a whole new level; the opponent is forced to take outside shots, as they fear a block-party, shown on display tonight. Chukwu finished with 4 blocks, making it another night of improvement for the big man.
If Chukwu can remain his size, which seems probable, and can learn the offensive side of the ball one day at a time, Boeheim will have no issue calling in the second unit.
What else stood out to you in the big Orange win?