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Syracuse vs. Cornell preview: Five things to watch

It’ll be a family affair for the Boeheim family on Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

After pulling off the upset win against the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team will look to make it a three-game winning streak against the Cornell Big Red. Jimmy Boeheim will be returning to the Carrier Dome to make it a family affair, but it’ll be all business for coach Jim Boeheim and freshman guard Buddy Boeheim.

The Orange turned on the offensive jets against the Buckeyes, but the main test will be to see if they can keep them going on Saturday night against the Big Red.

Can the Orange stay hot from deep?

After struggling to get any action from the perimeter to start the season, the Orange caught fire from deep against the Buckeyes. With the help of Elijah Hughes, Syracuse shot 11-of-24 from three-point land, helping them grow a big lead against the Buckeyes.

Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett were able to get in the lane with ease, allowing them to kick the ball out to open shooters. With a weaker opponent coming to the Carrier Dome, look for the Orange to try and get some more production from deep.

Will this be Frank Howard’s breakout game?

Frank Howard has played in two games since returning from injury, and he has contributed positively for the Orange in those two wins. Howard fouled out against the Buckeyes, but he did finish with eight points on 3-of-8 shooting. After last year’s breakout season, we know what Howard is capable of—it’s just a matter of time until he has a “classic” Frank Howard Game. Will this be the one?

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Marek Dolezaj’s perimeter shooting

Marek Dolezaj can pretty much do it all, but the one area in question is his ability to space the floor. The Slovakian forward answered that question against the Buckeyes, as he shot 2-of-2 from deep, helping the Orange space the floor and get easy driving lanes. Syracuse becomes a much more dangerous team when Dolezaj is able to space the floor, especially when he’s playing the five, making them versatile on both ends of the floor.

Containing the Cornell offense

The Big Red are led by Matt Morgan and Jimmy Boeheim on the offensive end; the two combine for 36 points per game, as they do a lot of their damage from deep. It’ll be crucial for the Syracuse zone to contain them on the perimeter and make them take tough shots if they want to make this a comfortable win.

Center production

Syracuse relies on their perimeter players to carry the bulk of the scoring, but the Orange need more than zero points out of their centers. Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe combined for zero points on one shot against the Buckeyes, but the Orange were still able to get the win—look for the two bigs to try to get some offense going early in the game