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Three takeaways from Syracuse’s 80-65 loss to Oregon

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A lot to learn for the Orange.

NCAA Basketball: Empire Classic-Syracuse vs Oregon Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange fell to the Oregon Ducks by a score of 80-65, as their offense failed them in this one with the lack of ball movement. The Orange came up winless in their two games in the 2K Classic, but the season is still young and Syracuse has the talent to put these losses behind them.

The Orange have got to find a way to push the tempo

After struggling to get any movement on offense last night, the Orange remained stagnant and lost on the offensive end against the Ducks. The high pressure 2-3 zone from the Ducks made it difficult for Syracuse to get any easy looks inside, but it was the fact that they were standing and watching the ball-handler that hurt them the most—Frank Howard will hopefully help fix this problem.

Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett aren’t knockdown shooters to say the least, so it’ll be helpful to get them moving off the ball. Against a zone especially, having Brissett flash to the high post constantly could help the perimeter players get open by slashing off of his playmaking ability.

Turnovers are a real issue

Without Howard in the lineup, Turnovers have been a problem for the Orange in this young season. Syracuse had 11 turnovers in the first half against the Ducks (17 total), as their high-pressure zone gave the Orange fits. Oregon’s full court pressure forced the Orange to get into their offense late into the shot clock, which caused the Syracuse ball handlers to force tough passes inside, leading to turnovers and easy shots for the Ducks.

The Orange are struggling already to score the ball, so giving up scoring opportunities via turnovers is just making it even harder for them to find a way to win.

NCAA Basketball: Empire Classic-Syracuse vs Oregon Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Settling for threes is a problem

The Orange aren’t a great three-point shooting team to say the least, but it seemed like they thought they were with the amount of perimeter shots they were taking. The Orange were reluctant to attack the paint and were rather playing away from their strength by taking contested threes.

Syracuse finished the game 5-of-28 from deep, as they struggled to get any easy shots to fall from anywhere on the floor (Jim Boeheim mentioned this after the game, noting that if they’re going to take that many from outside, they better hit more). The Orange need to attack the rim at will with their athletic perimeter players if they want to rebound from this tough two-game slate.

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All of these notes obviously come with the caveat of Howard’s absence. But still, have to wonder what’s going on with the team’s shooting so far, even without the starting point guard.