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Three takeaways from Syracuse’s win over Morehead State

A sloppy win for the Orange.

NCAA Basketball: Morehead State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange were certainly not on their “A” game tonight, but they did find a way to pull out a 84-70 win over the Morehead State Eagles. Sloppy turnovers and hot shooting from the Eagles kept this one in question throughout, but a strong second half from Tyus Battle and Elijah Hughes helped the Orange move to 2-0.

It’s going to take a top defense to slow down Oshae Brissett

NCAA Basketball: Morehead State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the season, Tyus Battle seemed like the likeliest player from the Orange to be in the running for player of the year. However, even though it’s been just two games, Brissett has looked like the best player on this team. Brissett’s an incredible athlete who can beat his man off the dribble and finish inside, but it’s his confidence to shoot the ball from deep that has really influenced his early success to the season.

Brissett kept the Orange alive in the first half, despite the team’s sloppy play. He scored 14 points in the first half (17 total), as the smaller Morehead State defenders had no answer for Syracuse’s dynamic wing threat inside.

The Orange need Frank Howard

If it wasn’t clear already, the Orange really need Frank Howard to be the team they plan to be. Tyus Battle isn’t a natural point guard, and Jalen Carey struggled to take care of the ball in this one — an easy area for Howard to fix once he’s healthy.

When Howard is back in the lineup, Battle will be able to slide to the two position, his natural spot on the floor. That should allow him to focus on scoring the ball as opposed to having to worry about running the offense. Howard will also bring control and leadership to the Syracuse offense, something they could’ve used in this one.

Elijah Hughes is crafty inside

Hughes struggled in the opener, but the transfer was able to get his offensive game going with a few nice finishes inside. We know Hughes can shoot the ball from deep, but it’s his ability to finish inside that’ll open up his entire offensive game. His size as a bigger guard makes him hard to stay in front of, and if defenses need to worry about his dribble penetration, Hughes is sure to get a few more open threes than he had though.