Syracuse’s offense looked markedly better against Colgate than it did against Virginia, but just as the Virginia game didn’t prove that the Orange offense was abysmal, this game doesn’t prove that the Orange offense is on steady ground.
The defense was mostly solid sans the first five minutes and a few lapses. See that and other takeaways below.
Point guard spot
First things first. Jalen Carey began the year as the team’s starting point guard, but Joe Girard started the second half at the point. After the game, Jim Boeheim made it known that JG3 will start at the one on Saturday.
Double Double ‘Dibe
Bourama Sidibe had his best game in a Syracuse uniform since his double-double against a winless-in-the-league, Kevin Stallings coached Pittsburgh team in 2018.
Sidibe scored 12 points while hauling in 14 rebounds against Colgate. He had one block in the game, too.
Nobody in the Patriot League is stopping the 6-foot-10 Sidibe, but the junior big man showed some flashes of having a nice touch in the paint, particularly in the first half.
If he can give Syracuse even half of what he did tonight on a nightly basis, that’d be a successful season for Sidibe.
Moving along, Buddy Boeheim finished just three points short of a career-high on Wednesday night. The sophomore guard posted 17 points on 3-5 shooting from distance. He also had 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block.
Buddy did a nice job of taking it off the dribble, changing speeds and utilizing his body to create space. That’s an area of his game that isn’t talked about enough. Buddy might not be the quickest guard, but he knows the game and knows how to create space to get his shot off.
He’s also the best guard on this Syracuse basketball team.
Defense steps up
Colgate got off to an auspicious start in Syracuse, but the Orange tightened the screws on the defensive end as the half went on. There were defensive lapses for Syracuse and there’s work to be done, but the 2-3 zone held Colgate to 18-60 from the floor and 13-41 from deep. Syracuse also forced 15 turnovers as well.
Oh, and we’ve yet to see a minute of man-to-man thus far.
Boeheim played 11 players in this game with Howard Washington, Robert Braswell and Jesse Edwards getting some time late in this one. 10 of those 11 players scored. Only one scholarship player didn’t get playing time and that’s because John Bol Ajak will redshirt this year.
Syracuse’s star player, Elijah Hughes, didn’t score until the Orange already had 17 points on the board, but he finished with 14 points and 8 assists.
As for the deep rotation in this one, don’t get used to that many guys playing moving forward. Boeheim wasn’t pleased with the play of the guys toward the end of the bench.
Marek Dolezaj’s razzmatazz skiddly-doo
This isn’t even really a takeaway. We’re just highlighting Dolezaj’s razzmatazz skiddly-doo. Shoutout to that reporter who asked LeBron James about Luka Doncic, too.
By the by, Dolezaj finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assists and 1 rebound. That’s a Dolezaj stat-line if we’ve ever seen one.