The Syracuse Orange were able to end their four game losing streak against the Pittsburgh Panthers, but after a full week of rest the Orange will look to start a little winning streak of their own as the Boston College Eagles come into the Carrier Dome.
With the Orange at 13-6 and the Eagles at 13-7, this game will be used to separate either team from the lower end of the ACC. The Orange haven’t had much success in ACC play (2-4 record), so a win over the Eagles is crucial as they look to build somewhat of a respectable resume.
Who did the break benefit the most?
As previously mentioned, the Orange are coming into this game as rested as they’ve been since day one of the season, so there will be no excuses in this one if they fail to come away with the win. The lack of depth on the Orange has led them to playing their starters heavy minutes, so this break was truly needed.
Tyus Battle is currently second in the nation in minutes per game (38.1), so this week long break will hopefully give him enough fuel to lead the Orange in the back-half of their season. Battle will need to find his early season success if Syracuse wants to find a way back into the Big Dance.
Oshae Brissett’s shooting
The Orange have a clear big three in Battle, Frank Howard, and Oshae Brissett, but Brissett’s inconsistent shooting has held the trio back from its true potential. Brissett has shown he has more than enough talent to dominate at the collegiate level, but his 34% shooting from the field needs to improve if they want to take that next step as a team.
The rebound battle
The Orange have typically done well overall on the glass, but winning this rebounding battle will be crucial to pulling the win out. The Orange have been worked on the offensive glass more than a few times this season, so controlling the four Eagles who average at least six boards a game will need to be a priority.
Paschal Chukwu is going to need to play his size in this one as the Orange will need him to dominate the boards on both ends of the court.
Guarding the perimeter
The Orange can easily be beaten by the perimeter shot due to their lack of shooting themselves; the Orange don’t want to get into a shooting contest because they will lose that one for sure.
The Eagles have three players in Jerome Robinson, Ky Bowman, and Jordan Chatman who have each made at least 42 threes this season, so coach Jim Boeheim will need to stress the importance of guarding the perimeter in this one.
The bench production
As we all know, the Orange lack much, if any, scoring off the bench this year which leads to them relying on big time performances from their starters. In order to reach their full potential, the Orange are going to need to get a little offensive production from their three bench players, so why not start against the Eagles?
Getting Howard Washington into a comfortable rhythm should give Battle and Howard the rest they need in order to carry this team on offense when it matters most.