Exhibition play has come to an end and Syracuse has plenty to take away in anticipation for Friday night’s opener versus Colgate. Tonight’s performance showed how dominant this offense can be…without Tyler Lydon even hitting a three. With a 97-64 win, the Orange move to 2-0 in exhibition play, which everyone expected. Now the show begins. After these two performances, Syracuse fans should feel good with the state of their team. Let’s see what we learned...
The pick and roll will be used a lot
The pick and roll is taking over the NBA, and now the Orange are using it more than ever. Coach Jim Boeheim has always enjoyed using the pick and roll, but with this year’s roster and tonight’s showing, it will be used early and often.
Frank Howard and John Gillon are perfect point guards to run the play, but what makes this year’s team different is they have an endless amount of players who can handle the ball. Tyus Battle and Andrew White III called-off the initial play to run their own pick and roll, which led to a numerous amount of easy buckets. The surprise on the night was Tyler Lydon who used his ball-handling skills to create space for his shot—which didn’t fall at all. This team is versatile to say the least and come the regular season, the offense will be as diverse as ever.
Andrew White III is going to score…a lot
Tonight showed who the real Andrew White III is. White’s opener versus Indiana University (PA.) didn’t show the kind of talent Syracuse picked up in the senior transfer. White got hot early and didn’t slow down. When the buzzer hit zero, AW3 had tallied 24 points and hit six threes. He looked confident and hungry from the tip and created shots off the dribble for himself with ease. This is who Andrew White is, so Syracuse fans, get ready for a fun time.
It’s going to be hard for Jim Boeheim not to start Tyus Battle
Having a good sixth man is needed for a Top 10 team, but Tyus Battle isn’t a good six man. He isn’t a six man at all. He’s a starting college basketball player, plain and simple. This team is so deep that a player who could be a one-and-done freshman will come off the bench—does Dion Waiters ring a bell?
The starters played great tonight and it’s hard to see Andrew White III losing his spot, but how can you keep this guy on the bench? Battle averaged 16.5 points per game throughout these two exhibition games. What made him even more impressive was his confidence. Coming into the season, Battle’s jump shot was criticized, but come Wednesday morning that won’t be an issue anymore.
Having Battle come off the bench is a strength like no other for the Syracuse Orange, but Boeheim is going to be up late come March if he’s trying to find enough time for everyone.