One of the many keys to Saturday’s game against the Georgetown Hoyas (6-4) will be how the Syracuse Orange contains guard Rodney Pryor.
Pryor is a 6-foot-5 graduate transfer from Robert Morris. He chose the Hoyas over the likes of Florida and Gonzaga in the middle of April.
Last season at Robert Morris, Pryor averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game, which earned him first-team all-conference honors. He virtually took the place of D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who graduated last May.
Pryor has been a nightmare for opposing defenses this season, especially from 3-point range.
Against Coppin State, the graduate student went for 30 points on 7-of-8 from deep. He’s scored over 20 points in five games this season, including a season-high 32 against USC Upstate. He was 6-for-8 from 3 in that game.
Pryor has hit at least three 3’s in six-of-nine games this season, and has scored in double-figures in all but one.
After the 99-77 victory over Boston University, Jim Boeheim wasn’t impressed with SU’s defense. He mostly discussed SU’s lack of steals this season, even though the Orange ranks 11th nationally in steal percentage.
Last game against BU, the Orange defense surrendered ten 3-pointers to Cedric Hankerson. He led all scorers with 34 points.
“We’re still not playing defense the way we need to,” Boeheim said after the game. “We couldn’t identify [Hankerson]. A couple times it was a senior right there. You can’t let that happen. I thought that was disappointing to let [Hankerson] get that many looks.”
“In spots, I thought we played good defense,” Boeheim continued. “The five days of practice we’ll get (before the Georgetown game) will help us.”
L.J. Peak, who averages over 16 points per game, is shooting over 37 percent from deep. He’s another name to watch come Saturday.
Jesse Govan is yet another Georgetown player to watch. The big man doesn’t necessarily shoot a lot of 3’s, but he’s extremely effective when he does. He shot 50 percent (14-for-28) last season from deep, and is shooting 60 percent (3-for-5) this season.
The main focus for the Orange on Saturday will be containing Pryor and Leak. They both have the ability to take over a game, and Syracuse can’t afford another non-conference loss.