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Syracuse’s role players have struggled in the last 10 games

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Can they rebound as the Orange prepare for the ACC Tournament?

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

With tomorrow’s final regular season game against the Clemson Tigers looming, I thought it would be intersting to take a closer look at what hasn’t worked for the Syracuse Orange over the last 10 games. Syracuse has relied on Tyus Battle, Frank Howard and Oshae Brissett for their offense this season but that has become even more pronounced lately.

Since the January 27 game against the Pittsburgh Panthers, the other four players for the Orange have produced below their season numbers. (Note: Pitt was the last game Howard Washington played so he is excluded from comparison here). This isn’t to suggest that these players are playing poorly but I think injuries/fatigue have taken their toll as the competition has ratcheted up and the games have greater importance.

Bourama Sidibe

When we think back to the Pitt game we think of how Sidibe came out of nowhere to produce his season-best totals in points and rebounds. Sidibe had been battling injury and close to taking a medical redshirt but with Matthew Moyer unavailable he helped the Orange to a win. Since that game, he looks to be hurting and the numbers would indicate that something isn’t right

Season averages: 3.0 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game

January 27 vs. Pitt: 31 minutes played. 18 points and 16 rebounds

Next 10 games: 9 points on 3 for 10 shooting with 18 rebounds (0.9 points per game and 1.8 rebounds per game)

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina State at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Moyer

Moyer missed the Pitt game and then after contributing two points and six rebounds in the next three Orange contests, he sat against Wake Forest in a move questioned by Jim Boeheim. Moyer was back on the court the next game but he’s also been unable to produce down the stretch and like Sidibe he doesn’t seem to be moving as well on the court.

Season averages: 3.9 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game

January 27 vs. Pitt: Did not play

Next nine games: 19 points scored on 6 for 12 shooting with 16 rebounds ( 2.1 points and 1.78 rebounds per game)

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

Paschal Chukwu

It isn’t just the guys we have missed time who look to be limited down the stretch. Paschal Chukwu has been able to rebound but his scoring per game has been cut in half. We don’t expect Chukwu to be a prolific scorer but his ability to chip in around the rim was helpful.

Season averages: 5.4 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game

January 27th vs Pitt: 2 points and 6 rebounds

Next ten games: 30 points on 14 for 21 shooting with 67 rebounds (3.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game)

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Marek Dolezaj

At the beginning of the year we didn’t expect a lot of production from Dolezaj but he earned his time with his ability to contribute in ways that don’t always show in the box score. The injuries to Moyer and Sidibe forced him into a larger role (the game at Pitt was his first career start) and meant he had to man the middle of the zone at times. Of this group he’s remained the most consistent in terms of numbers, but in the last two games he’s looked hesistant to shoot the ball.

Season averages: 4.6 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game

January 27 vs. Pitt : 7 points and 5 rebounds

Next ten games: 49 points on 21 for 34 shootingwith 44 rebounds (4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game)

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The point isn’t to blame these guys for the struggles down the stretch, but it shows how much pressure has been on the three perimeter players to deliver all the offense. If the Orange are going to finish this season on a strong note they are going to need to get contributions from this group.