We’ve all been waiting for this kind of game out of Buddy Boeheim for a while, and it “only” took 18 games to get here. The freshman son of the legendary, hall of fame coach for the Syracuse Orange has struggled all season long to adjust to the speed at the collegiate level, but Boeheim caught fire against the Pittsburgh Panthers with his crowd raising threes.
After only scoring in double figures twice this season, Buddy finished with 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the field, as all four of his makes came from behind the arc — something the Orange have been in desperate need of all season long. It seemed like Boeheim was a different player in this one, as he was moving with the flow of the offense and stepping into his shot with confidence.
Boeheim came into this season with the reputation of being a knockdown three-point shooter which helped him earn a spot in the starting five for the first two games of the season. However, the 6-foot-5 guard never found a way to find his spot in the offense, as the quicker and stronger guards found a way to make his shot attempts heavily contested.
Boeheim agreed that the pace of play of has been something to adjust to for him, but his outing against the Panthers is a huge step in the right direction.
“Just getting used to the speed played at this level is something I’ve been working on, and I think that’s the biggest difference with me as I progress,” Boeheim said after his career high 13 points.
If the Orange are able to add another consistent shooter in Boeheim to their rotation, then their premier ball handlers will have a much easier time getting to their go-to spots on the floor. It looks as if Elijah Hughes is the only consistent perimeter shooter on Syracuse’s roster, but that could change quickly if Boeheim makes his 4-5 shooting performance from deep a common regularity.
Buddy’s dad, coach Jim Boeheim, has always mentioned practice during the week as a crucial component to his team’s growth, and his son seemed to have some great practices leading into this game, helping him find his spot in the offense.
“He had probably the best few days of practice this week he’s had all year, he made everything, he literally made everything, so I was going to get him in there,” coach Boeheim said about his son’s play against the Panthers. “We need to be able to see him better and find him better.”
Yes coach, I agree with the necessity to find Boeheim open beyond the arc—just imagine how much easier Tyus Battle’s life would be if the opponent is unable to help on his drives due to another knockdown shooter ready to shoot in the corner.
We’ve seen the Orange struggle against the zone this year, but that’s mainly because the zone is able to sink in due to the limited perimeter shooters on the floor. When future opponents move to the zone because they think it’s Syracuse’s “kryptonite”, look for Buddy Boeheim to be given a shot to test the zone with his own shot.
Yes, it was only one game where he looked like a legit collegiate player, but it’s a sign of growth for a freshman who hasn’t found his way just yet—now we wait for the growth to become consistent enough to keep him in the lineup and continuing to impact wins for Syracuse.