Teams: Syracuse Orange (1-1) vs. Seattle Redhawks (2-2)
Date & Time: Saturday, November 16 at 7 p.m. ET
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Extended Forecast: High of 28 and sunny. It is actually November and not February, right?
The Line: Not available yet, but ESPN’s Matchup Predictor gives Syracuse a 90% chance to win.
Radio: Cuse.com, TK 99/105, WAER 88.3
Rivalry: This will be the first meeting between Syracuse and Seattle.
Current Streak, First/Last Meeting: A clean slate. Winner-take-all.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (44th year; 1,046-380) | Seattle - Jim Hayford (3rd Year, 40-31)
Coach Bio: Jim Hayford took over as head coach for the Seattle Redhawks at the end of the 2017 season, and immediately led them to their most successful season (20-14) since moving back to Division 1 in 2009. Last year, he continued that success with an 18-15 season. So far in 2019, he has a 2-2 record, with wins over Pacific and Pacific Lutheran, and losses to Washington State and Eastern Washington.
Last Year: Injuries and under-performance were the name of the game. A promising preseason ranking didn’t pan out for the Syracuse basketball squad, and they were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament by Baylor.
Last Game: A much needed win against a solid mid-major. We can’t really say “yeah, but Colgate” anymore, as Colgate has become a formidable opponent that has an excellent chance to repeat as Patriot League champions. And after a rough start for Syracuse basketball, the team took off late in the first half and throughout the second, coasting to a 70-54 victory and giving the Orange their first Taco Time of the season.
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Terrel Brown. Brown is a redshirt junior guard who is averaging a gaudy 22.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. The 6-foot-1 slashing guard can take his man off the dribble and finish through traffic with a repertoire of moves.
He’s not a huge threat from the outside, shooting just 31.8 percent as a sophomore and 20 percent this year, but he is an excellent playmaker with great decision-making and basketball intelligence. He’s maintained a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio at Seattle and will be the main focal point of Seattle’s offense against the Syracuse Orange.
This, That, and the Other: So far this season, Seattle is shooting an abysmal 20.1 percent from 3-point range. Not a single player on the squad has made more than five threes so far, nor has anyone shot better than 33 percent.
Why is this important? Because it might lull the Orange into a false sense of security. Last year, Seattle shot over 37 percent from 3-point range as a team, with five different players hitting 40% or better.
There is cause for concern for Seattle though, as three of their top four volume shooters from the perimeter a year ago have under-performed this year. Aaron Nettles, who hit 44 percent of his 3’s last year, is just 1-11 so far in four games.
Do their shooters continue to slump against the Orange, or is it a breakout performance for them? That will be the difference between a blowout and a closer-than-expected game.
If Syracuse Wins: Business as usual. We should take care of Seattle, and do so rather handily. While Seattle has improved the last couple of years, they still got blown out by a mediocre Washington State squad, 85-54. Washington State lost to Santa Clara the following game, to put it in perspective. Unless an absolute disaster occurs, Syracuse should cruise.
If Syracuse Loses: Bedlam. Hysteria. Mass panic amongst the fanbase. In reality, a loss to Seattle, while not catastrophic, would be a pretty large problem and certainly wouldn’t bode well for the rest of the season. Then again, this is a very young and inexperienced Syracuse squad, so a loss would hopefully serve as a huge wake-up call to the team.
Fun Fact 1: Seattle was once a powerhouse in college basketball, led by NBA players like Eddie Miles, Tom Workman, Rod Derline, and Clint Richardson. And let’s not forget NBA Hall of Famer and all-time great, Elgin Baylor, who attended Seattle in the late 1950’s. In 1958, he led them to the NCAA championship game where they lost to Kentucky, 84-72.
Fun Fact 2: Syracuse and Seattle have both been ranked in the cloudiest cities in America this decade. Syracuse isn’t on the current list somehow, but was ranked 8th cloudiest in 2016. Seattle currently sits at fourth. What a gloomy stat.