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Syracuse vs. Wake Forest preview: Five things to watch

The revenge game.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

There are few things better than getting revenge. The Syracuse Orange will look to make up for their disappointing loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons earlier in the season, as the Demon Deacons make their way to the Carrier Dome this Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Louisville
Can Oshae Brissett build off of his last performance?
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The Orange fell to the Demon Deacons on the road back in January, as a strong second half from Wake Forest costed Syracuse a much needed ACC win. The Orange are coming off of an impressive win at Louisville, so they need to make sure this isn’t another letdown performance.

Has the offense been fixed?

The Orange have struggled to score the ball all season long, but they were able to find ways to score against Louisville in their last outing. Led by the backcourt of Frank Howard and Tyus Battle, the Orange were able to penetrate the lane with ease which allowed them to finish around the rim.

Syracuse becomes a different offensive team when they are moving the ball rather than standing around and watching one of the “big three” try to score off of an isolation. If the Orange can continue to find easy looks around the rim, they may be able to find some open perimeter shots when it matters most.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Can the improved three point shooting continue?

Six made threes isn’t something to get excited about for most teams, but Syracuse will take 18 points from beyond the arc whenever they can get it. Battle struggled again to find his long range shot against Louisville (0-for-2), but Howard and Oshae Brissett were able to hit the crucial threes that separated the Orange late.

The two players combined for six threes on 6-10 shooting, but that kind of performance cannot just become an occasional sight. The Orange need to find some perimeter scoring, and their “big three” will be relied upon again to come up with some clutch shots.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Louisville
The Orange need Marek Doelzaj to continue to make the "winning" plays.
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Marek Dolezaj’s presence

Marek Dolezaj had another impressive game as a starter, as he “stuffed” the stat sheet with eight points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals. While that may not be impressive to most fans, Dolezaj’s presence on the floor is seen through making winning plays. Whether it be making the right pass or getting a big stop, Dolezaj always finds away to leave his mark on a win.

Can the Orange contain Bryant Crawford this time around?

Syracuse’s earlier loss to the Demon Deacons was in large part due to Bryant Crawford’s ability to beat them from deep. The junior guard made four threes as he finished with 19 points in the win over the Orange. Syracuse needs to do a better job of containing the perimeter if they want to avoid getting swept by the Demon Deacons.

Is this the start of a Syracuse run?

Of course this is a little bit of an overreaction, but the Orange have very little time left to boost their resume, so the start of a winning streak is needed. The road win against Louisville is impressive, but the Orange need to take care of business in the games they are “supposed” to win if they want to find away into the big dance. The schedule gets harder after this game, so it is crucial that the Orange leave this weekend with a win.