The Syracuse Orange needed a spark late in the second half if they wanted to stage a comeback to remember; they got that spark in the form of freshman Oshae Brissett who finally fulfilled the words coach Jim Boeheim has been saying.
All year long coach Boeheim has been saying that Brissett has the ability to be a lethal shooter from deep, but he just hasn’t found his rhythm yet. Well, that rhythm was found today as Brissett’s second half explosion led the Orange to a second half comeback and overtime win over the Georgetown Hoyas.
Syracuse’s four-point deficit at the half grew to as many as 13 in the second half, but the Orange started to chip away as Brissett started to create space beyond the arc. This is a different team when Brissett is able to space the floor, and today he was as his four threes led to a career high 25 points for the freshman forward.
Brissett also had a career-high 14 rebounds to give him his fifth double-double of this young season. Brissett’s athleticism gives him the ability to score inside with the best of them, but he becomes nearly impossible to guard when he has his long range shot falling.
The Orange aren’t known for their shooting this year, so any help from beyond the arc will be greatly appreciated by coach Boeheim. They have capable drivers in Tyus Battle, Frank Howard, and Brissett, but this team becomes truly dangerous when performances like today’s from Brissett become a common occurrence.
Syracuse's half court offense was stagnant for the most part against the Hoyas, but a few corner threes from Brissett led to the freshman gaining the confidence to drill a step back three. This is the NBA talent the Orange know they have in Brissett, but they need him to have hot shooting games like this one to reach their full potential.
If Brissett makes these performances a common thing, then driving lanes for Battle and Howard will start to open up even more come conference play. This team won’t win many games with their three-point shooting, but the attacking drives will become even easier with defenses needing to respect the range of Brissett.
The Orange are starting to get the respect they deserve from likes such as Joe Linardi, but they have a long way to go before they start to truly think about a March run. However, no one is going to want to face this young Syracuse team with dynamic scorers such as Brissett.
Brissett’s name isn’t greatly known around the nation — yet. With more nationally-televised performances like this one though, that won’t be the case much longer.