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Syracuse vs. NC. State preview: Five things to watch

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Can the Orange make it three in a row?

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange will look to move above .500 in ACC play with a win over the North Carolina State Wolfpack this Wednesday in the Carrier Dome. SU is coming off of two wins in a row, which put them right back on the bubble for a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Syracuse
Tyus Battle is back to dominating like he was earlier in the season.
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolfpack also enter this game at .500 in ACC play, but they stand a game back of the Orange in terms of their overall record. This will be a true test for Syracuse as the talented Wolfpack will not make this home game an easy win.

This is the Tyus Battle the Orange need

Tyus Battle started the season on a scoring tear, attacking opposing defenses with his inside-out game. Despite the early signs of dominance, Battle entered a mid-season slump where he struggled to get his jump shot to fall, which led to some disappointing losses for the Orange.

However, Battle’s shooting slump seems to be behind him, as he is averaging 29.5 points per game game over his last two contests. The 6’6” guard is shooting 52% over that two game span, as his outside shot has begun to fall again, which has opened up his ability to attack the paint. This is the Tyus Battle the Orange need if they want to get off the bubble and solidify a spot in the big dance.

Frank Howard’s assists

Frank Howard is a legit threat when he is able to get in the lane with the ball—and that doesn’t just mean in terms of him scoring. Howard’s ability to find the open man in his last game helped the Orange separate themselves from the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Howard finished with nine assists and one turnover, as he helped the Orange find open shots in the half court and transition. Syracuse needs Howard to be an aggressive playmaker in order to walk out of the Carrier Dome with a win on Wednesday.

Containing the perimeter

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

One of the main priorities for the Syracuse defense is their ability to limit their opponent’s perimeter success. The Orange struggled to do some this weekend against the Demon Deacons, as they gave up 10 three pointers on 23 attempts. The Wolfpack have a number of three-point threats, and it starts with Allerik Freeman. Syracuse will give themselves a better chance to win if they can limit North Carolina State’s ability to hit the long ball Wednesday night.

Will the Wolfpack offense be too much?

The Wolfpack have the fifth best scoring offense in the ACC at 80.9 points per game. Syracuse finds themselves in the bottom four of the pack, so they need to make sure they get off to a good start in this one in terms of scoring the ball. The Wolfpack have four players who average double figures in scoring, so the Syracuse “big three” will need to be locked in if they want to come away with a win.

What’s the deal with Matthew Moyer?

Matthew Moyer playing in three straight games after a one game absence due to an ankle injury, but the redshirt freshmen missed the Wake Forest game due to peculiar reasons. Moyer’s father held him out of the win on Sunday, according to coach Jim Boeheim, so it’ll be interesting to see if the dynamic forward is able to give the Orange some needed depth on Wednesday.