Despite the exciting finish on Tuesday, the Syracuse Orange's lack of offensive firepower led them to their third straight loss. It was going to need to be a near-perfect performance from the Orange if they wanted to knock off the No. 3-ranked Virginia Cavaliers, but Syracuse's dynamic defense wasn't enough to give them the edge.
The Orange will look to earn a much needed top 25 win as they travel to the Donald L. Tucker Center to face the No. 23 Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles come into this one on a two game losing streak as they look to make up for their nail biting loss to the Louisville Cardinals.
Will it be more offensive woes for the Orange, or do they find a way to find enough offense to pull off the upset?
With the lack of perimeter shooting on this year's team, the opposing defenses have packed the paint with the focus being on making the Orange beat them from the permitter. Despite the open threes, Syracuse is still having trouble taking advantage of this defensive look, and are sometimes forcing up looks inside against multiple defenders.
Syracuse has talented wing players who are capable of scoring inside, but sometimes there are better options than forcing up a contested shot in the lane. Finding open looks inside won't be easy for Syracuse, but they need to prioritize each shot they get if they want to pull off this much needed upset.
Tyus Battle's perimeter offense
The Orange will go as far as Tyus Battle will take them, and 0-7 nights from three aren't going to take them very far. Battle becomes nearly impossible to guard when he has his three-ball going, but he is a much more of a lethal scorer from the midrange and around the rim. Getting Battle some easy shots inside the arc will hopefully make his long range shot a bit more effective against the Seminoles.
You could say the Orange really rely on their starting unit to score the ball, but getting zero points from your bench against a top 25 team will give you little-to-no shot to win that game — as you saw against the Cavaliers. The Orange aren't asking for big numbers out of their bench players like Marek Dolezaj. But getting a little scoring production from the second unit will make it a bit easier for the ball dominant Syracuse "big three.”
The Seminole offense
The Seminoles are coming off of their first home loss in 28 games, so making that two straight losses at home will be even more difficult for the Orange. The Seminoles are led by junior Terance Mann who is coming off of 25 point outing. The 15.1 points per game guard uses a dynamic scoring attack to beat his opponent from both the perimeter and inside the arc. Containing Mann's scoring production will be a good start in terms of limiting Florida State's offensive success.
Syracuse's inability to get assists
The lack of shooting has an impact, but the Orange need to do a better job of scoring off of assists. Syracuse has been too isolation dependent on offense which has led to poor shooting nights for their dynamic scorers.
The Orange had three total assist in their last game which led to contested shots late in the shot clock. If the Orange want to leave Tallahassee with a win, they're going to need to be more fluid on offense rather than ball watching.