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Three takeaways from Syracuse’s win over Oakland

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Another impressive performance from Tyus Battle in the win.

NCAA Basketball: Oakland at Syracuse
Can anyone really stop Tyus Battle?
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It was another slow offensive start for the Syracuse Orange, but once again they found a way to settle themselves down and come away with the win. The Orange moved to 4-0 with a 74-50 win over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.

It was a superb performance yet again from Tyus Battle (25 points), but it was the Syracuse defense that made the most noise in the Carrier Dome. Combined with their length and great defensive instincts, the Orange were able to dominate the Golden Grizzlies in all facets of the game on their way to another home victory.

The Orange are going to live and die by the pull up jumper

It worked tonight, but if Syracuse isn’t hitting their pull up jumpers, they could find themselves in some trouble. Tyus Battle and Frank Howard got it going early as they used their size to elevate on their shots over the smaller Oakland defenders. Battle used his quick first step to create enough space for open looks as he had another night to remember for the Orange.

NCAA Basketball: Oakland at Syracuse
The Orange need more from Oshae Brissett off the dribble.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Battle and Howard are going to be carrying the bulk of the scoring for the Orange this year, and their ability to hit the mid range shot will be a crucial component to this team’s success. Both players are capable of using the pick and roll to find open looks for themselves off the dribble.

This team will see success if Battle, Howard, and freshman Oshae Brissett can consistently hit their pull up looks; however, if they go cold against a top team in the ACC, the Orange will find themselves digging out of a whole that may be too big.

Marek Dolezaj can do it all really, he can

The face of this team is obviously Tyus Battle, but Marek Dolezaj is quickly becoming a fan favorite with his hustle plays and contagious energy he brings to the floor. Dolezaj came to campus with the image of just being a foreign import who can shoot, but in just four games, Dolezaj has shown the Syracuse faithful that he can do a lot more than shoot a basketball.

NCAA Basketball: Oakland at Syracuse
Coach Jim Boeheim may have some trouble keeping Marek Dolezaj on the bench for much longer.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Dolezaj has made the “winning” plays in the first three games of the year, but in tonight’s blowout, Dolezaj made his presence known with a few blocks, and some diving efforts. His length and all-out mentality help him make up for Syracuse’s mistakes on both sides of the ball. He may not get the attention he deserves, but Dolezaj will soon get the credit he has earned if he keeps up this level of play.

The length of this team will win games on its own

The knock on this year’s squad is the limited offensive weapons they have, but that may not be a problem with the defensive talent the Orange have at all positions of the floor. Howard and Battle get the defensive presence started with their length at the top of the zone that creates multiple fast break opportunities for the Orange.

It doesn’t end there as the Orange’s length on defense extends to the back of the zone with their forwards and shot blocking figures in the middle. Oshae Brissett, Matthew Moyer, and Marek Dolezaj do a good job of extending out on shooters, which leads to traps in the corners and steals for the Orange (however, they aren’t perfect, and do miss a shooter here-and-there)

Paschal Chukwu has shown great improvement at using his size correctly down low (it really showed tonight with his first career double double, and near triple double), but the big surprise has been the stellar play from Bourama Sidibe who has become a shot blocking machine down low. This team may struggle to score on some nights, but as long as their length stays active on defense, Syracuse will be able to keep themselves within striking distance each and every night.