As revealed on Sunday, this has been Syracuse’s coldest start to January in 114 years. With an average of 7.3 degrees from January 1 through January 7, it’s just 0.1 degrees warmer than the record in 1904. It’s also one of the snowiest starts to the year the city’s scene, with 19.3 inches and over 60 straight hours of snow at one point.
This is far from scientific, but are those freezing temps having a poor effect on the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team’s shooting abilities?
As you know, SU’s lost two straight, shooting 42 percent from the floor vs. Wake Forest, but a paltry 30.4 percent against Notre Dame. They could’ve won both games, of course. Maybe they didn’t because they were just too cold.
Nevermind that this theory is largely debunked by the Orange women’s basketball team’s recent outbursts. In the last two games, SU has seen players score 44 and 38 points, respectively — some of the most impressive outputs for a single shooter in the school’s basketball history (men’s or women’s).
The fact remains that the Syracuse men’s team is 0-2 since the cold snap arrived, and shooting has declined int hat stretch. Though the other notable decrease during that span is rebounding. SU, one of the nation’s top rebounding teams, has been outdone on the boards in each of the last two games... against teams that had no business earning an advantage there.
While there’s been no major research on how jumping ability is affected by cold weather, there are plenty of notes on how the human body is affected when temperatures get this cold. Some of those effects include constricting blood vessels, heart problems, skin dryness and more. There’s a lethargic feeling often associated with extreme cold as well, as your body’s working harder to do less. All sort of adds up to things that would make it less likely to shoot or jump as well, no?
Again, not scientific by any means. But something to consider. Blame the damn cold weather for why SU’s in this two-game funk following their impressive win over Virginia Tech to start ACC play.