Graduate transfer John Gillon had arguably one of his best games of the season on Tuesday in the Syracuse Orange’s 82-81 victory over Clemson — but no one is talking about it.
By no means am I saying it was his best — I do remember what happened last week against NC State. However, it’s getting severely overshadowed by Andrew White’s 23 points and Tyus Battle’s game-winning shot to give SU its fifth straight victory.
In a full 40 minutes of action, Gillon scored 13 points and dished out eight assists. But the number that proved most important was he didn’t commit a turnover. For a position that had been so shaky at one point in the season, Gillon has put all the point guard competition talk to rest with his stellar play of late.
In Syracuse’s 25 games this season, Gillon has 12 contests with five-plus assists, but only three of those came with zero turnovers. The first two times he accomplished this feat was against Colgate and Cornell — and now Clemson.
Over Syracuse’s five-game winning streak, Gillon is averaging 17.8 points and 7.6 assists in 37.2 minutes per game. His point per game over this five-game stretch are obviously spiked from his 43-point performance, but he’s been extremely consistent across the board.
Before the current streak Syracuse is on, Gillon was struggling. He had three straight games of four points or less, and SU lost two of those three games.
About a week ago, I wrote about Gillon’s importance to the Orange’s ACC success. When he’s playing at an elite level, Syracuse is tough to beat. No one expects him to score 43 points a game, but he’s starting to become very reliable with the ball in his hands. He’s making the right decisions, he’s getting the ball into Andrew White, Tyus Battle and Tyler Lydon’s hands when necessary, and has been nearly perfect from the charity stripe of late.
Syracuse (16-9, 8-4) travels to Pittsburgh on Saturday for a 1 p.m. ET tip-off with the Panthers.