Early foul trouble for Tyus Battle had the Carrier Dome worried, but coach Jim Boeheim pressed the right buttons and got the offense in a rhythm with Geno Thorpe on the attack.
It was only an eight-point lead after the first half, but a second half surge led by Battle gave the Orange some breathing room for the remainder of the game. There were still some stagnant moments on offense, but Battle hid a lot of those struggles with NBA caliber moves from all spots of the floor.
This is a different team when Geno Thorpe is on
The Orange got a little scare when Tyus Battle surrendered his second foul, but transfer guard Geno Thorpe stepped up and filled his shoes. Thorpe has struggled to find his shooting touch thus far, but tonight’s performance should boost his confidence for the near future.
The guard finished with 13 points on 5-9 shooting from the field; his craftiness around the rim compliments his outside shot, giving Syracuse a dynamic scoring option off the bench. The Orange were known for their excellent play from their transfers last year, but Thorpe is doing whatever he can to make the Syracuse faithful forget about them.
This is a scary team when Battle is on the floor, but imagine this team with both Battle and Thorpe in rhythm—this could become a dynamic scoring punch.
Scoring against the zone isn’t as easy as the score looked for this team
People knew coming into this season that the Orange may struggle to score in the half court, and that sure showed early against the Tiger’s zone look. The Orange don’t have many proven shooters, so time and again Syracuse is left relying on Battle to create with little time on the shot clock.
This team has the athletes to be a great fast break team, but too many times is the ball handler slowing down the pace to set up the offense. Maybe it’ll improve with time, but the Orange need to take advantage of their athletic personnel in fast break opportunities.
Tyus Battle will make sure you know he’s here
Despite sitting a large part of the first half due to foul trouble, Battle finished with another impressive outing as he scored 21 points to help the Orange move to 3-0. His dynamic scoring ability was in full force as he exposed the defense with his shooting touch and attacking tenacity.
Thorpe picked up the slack while Battle was watching from the sidelines, but the nation was reminded of who’s team this is once the the second half begun. There will be scoring droughts with this team, but as long as Battle is out there, Syracuse has a scoring option that few in the country can stop.