The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team is 5-0 since Frank Howard returned to the lineup, but his individual statistics haven’t really been indicative of that same success.
In those five games, he’s averaging just four points, 1.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game (though with just one turnover per) in a little over 22 minutes. He’s also fouling at a much more significant clip, missing the end of Saturday’s win over Georgetown as a result.
Orange coach Jim Boeheim has noticed Howard’s struggles and seemed to issue a bit of a deadline, mentioning after the game that “(he) told (Frank) he’s got this week” to improve — speaking specifically around his physical condition and mental state.
Howard’s tepid offensive game has led to a three-man offense again, highlighted by Tyus Battle, Elijah Hughes and Oshae Brissett. Jalen Carey’s picked up some slack as well and if Howard can’t get right soon, one would think that the freshman point guard starts eating further into Howard’s minutes. That probably doesn’t help SU on defense, but Boeheim’s probably weighing that trade-off while challenging one of his team leaders a bit.
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Howard’s biggest problem has been his inability, or reluctance, to get into the lane. In his five games so far this season, Howard has taken 30 field-goal attempts, 24 of which have come from 3-point range. A week ago, Boeheim said Howard lacked the explosiveness necessary to get past his defender and get into the paint.
Camping World Bowl: Syracuse Orange first look (Smoking Musket)
Offensively, Syracuse scored 489 points in 12 games, equal to over 40 points a game. This would have put the Orange has the second best offense in the Big 12. Defensively, Syracuse lost to two of the three ranked teams they played: Clemson and Notre Dame. Their only win over a ranked team came to N.C. State Wolfpack, back when people still thought the ‘Pack were good enough to warrant a ranking.
But after the game, Battle said he knew he wanted the ball in this spot. Once Hughes caught, Battle headed right toward him and asked for the ball, which Hughes provided. From there, it’s all Battle. He went right, then crossed to his left, then went back right again. With a quick pace from his initial move, Battle’s got Mosely to hustle back quickly to try and cut him off. That gave Battle all the space he needed to stop and pop.
Syracuse will receive the biggest gift card in the ACC, with $400 to spend at Best Buy. The Orange will also receive a commemorative Fossil watch and an OGIO backpack with personalized bowl luggage tag.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Dawson, a three-star prospect ranked among the best in South Carolina, is keeping his recruitment close to the vest. He said he will announce his college choice at a ceremony in his high school’s auditorium on Dec. 19. In addition to Syracuse, Central Florida, Clemson and a few service academy and Ivy League schools have been recruiting him.
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