Syracuse Orange fans were nervous watching Matthew Moyer go down with an injury just five minutes into last night’s game against Boston College. As the redshirt freshman headed off the floor, Jim Boeheim turned to Marek Dolezaj and needed the true freshman to play major minutes against the Eagles.
Dolezaj who was a late recruit last Spring for Syracuse stepped up and delivered his best all-around performance of the season. When the game ended he had played 35 minutes and scored a career-high of 12 points. Marek had a perfect shooting night: 4 for 4 from the floor and 4 for 4 from the line. He also contributed 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block.
Coming into the game Dolezaj had struggled in ACC play. He was shooting 9% from the field and averaging 1.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. It looked as though he was having trouble dealing with the increased physical play and had lost confidence when he had the ball on offense. That changed on Wednesday evening as he delivered when Syracuse nedded-including showing off a nice mid-range jumper.
Jim Boeheim alluded to the possibility that Matthew Moyer might miss some extended time so Syracuse will need to rely on Dolezaj to do the little things for them. The freshman will not be looked to for a lot of offense but if teams play off of him, he’ll need to show the confidence to take what is given. Mostly the Orange will need his energy on the glass and his willingness to set screens and keep moving on offense.
This is a big stretch of games for the Orange and The Slovakian Stat Stuffer has the opportunity to play a vital role in the push for a return to the NCAA Tournament.