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Syracuse vs. St. Bonaventure preview: Five things to watch

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Will it be another nervous ending for the Orange?

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange learned that there won’t be any easy wins this year in their nail-biting win over the Buffalo Bulls. Well, another underrated team will step onto the Carrier Dome floor on Friday as the Orange look to move to 11-1 with a win over the St. Bonaventure Bonnies.

The Bonnies aren’t being talked about much, but they have a dynamic roster that will surly make this a game to take seriously for Syracuse. The Orange managed to beat the Bulls without a stellar performance from Tyus Battle, but the Orange will need their go to guy to be in rhythm if they want to continue their great start to the year.

Oshae Brissett’s aggressive play

The Orange have been getting pretty consistent play from their two backcourt mates in Frank Howard and Battle, but the play of freshman Oshae Brissett the past few weeks has given the Orange a third guy to go to whenever they need a bucket.

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Syracuse
Oshae Brissett has arrived.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Brissett’s athleticism and quick first step allows him to beat his man off the dribble whenever he wants, and sometimes even use his go-to spin move for an and-one finish. However, his improved jump shot as of late has all of Syracuse talking about what Brissett’s play means for the Orange. Teams will look to slow down the dynamic backcourt of the Orange, which means you will see more aggressive play from the “third” musketeer in Brissett.

Is this the Matthew Moyer we’ve been waiting for?

The Orange have been waiting for Matthew Moyer to find his niche in this Syracuse offense, and his recent play may show that he has figured it out. Moyer isn’t going to light teams up from deep, but his aggressive play on the baseline allows for him to find easy shots around the rim. Moyer’s activity on the glass is what makes him a truly special player, but we’ll take the highlight dunks when we can get them from the red shirt freshman.

St. Bonaventure’s dynamic duo

The Bonnies haven’t been talked about much this year, but as the season moves on you will surely be hearing more about them—especially their dynamic scoring duo. The Bonnies are led by Matt Mobley and Jaylen Adams who combine to average 35.7 points a game. The Orange’s defense hasn’t played up to par the past two games (they are giving up an average of 76.5 points per game over their last two), so containing the Bonnies’ duo will be crucial to coming away with the win.

Getting Tyus Battle back in his groove

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Syracuse
Tyus Battle won’t be quiet much more often this season.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls did a great job of face-guarding Tyus Battle which limited his ability to find open looks. Despite his second lowest point production this season (13 points), the Orange were able to get 43 points combined from Frank Howard and Brissett. However, the Orange need to get Battle moving to create some space for their star player to get back to dominating his opponent.

Will there be ball pressure, and how will the Orange handle it?

The Orange struggled to get the ball over half court at times when the Bulls applied full court ball pressure. The pressure caused Syracuse to be out of rhythm, and it didn’t allow them to find open looks in the half court.

Syracuse isn’t a great offensive team in the half court, but getting the ball over half court with confidence will help gain control of the possession. It starts with limiting turnovers as the orange look to improve in their half court offense.