The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team has had a rough start to the season, but the good news is there are still more games to play. If SU can collect some wins here in December, the ship may be righted, at least in terms of appearance.
First up on the road back to respectability: a trip down to Atlanta’s McCamish Pavilion to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Tech’s a feisty group this year, playing well on defense once again while also hitting shots at a pretty efficient clip. Not the best recipe for the Orange to grab a win. But stranger things have happened, we suppose.
Before Syracuse and Georgia tech tip off at noon ET on the ACC Network, we asked the TNIAAM staff to predict what they think will happen.
Georgia Tech 73, Syracuse 66
This is a game I’ve never been optimistic about. After watching Georgia Tech thoroughly dismantle the Orange last year at the Dome, I feel like Josh Pastner figured out exactly how to beat us: tight man-to-man defense and zero breathing room for our shooters. Expect to see the exact same philosophy on Saturday, and I’m not confident that the results will change much. It actually could get a lot uglier than my score prediction if we can’t hit shots like the past several games. Georgia Tech, while certainly not an offensive or defensive juggernaut, is an excellent rebounding team (38th in the country). As we’ve seen, even decent rebounding teams have a field day against us on the interior, so this one could get out of hand quickly if we aren’t careful.
Georgia Tech 67, Syracuse 60
Georgia Tech doesn’t look like a tournament team right now, and they barely beat Bethune-Cookman at home last Sunday, but the Yellow Jackets have an even better defense (No. 25 on KenPom) than last year when they beat the Orange by double digits at the Dome. And against elite defenses so far this season, Syracuse’s offense has struggled to get into a rhythm. Unless the coaching staff has made some major changes since Tuesday’s loss to Iowa, I don’t see the Orange pulling this one out, especially on the road.
Georgia Tech 71, Syracuse 64
Last year the Orange struggled with Georgia Tech’s defense and I can see the same happening on Saturday. Michael Devoe is hitting at nearly 60% from 3 this season and James Banks III is the type of player who is made to offensive rebound against the zone. The Orange are going to need to shoot really well to win this one but I think turnovers are going to prove to be costly.
Georgia Tech 64, Syracuse 56
Georgia Tech 77, Syracuse 70
I tried talking myself into this. If SU lets Michael DeVoe get his shots, then the zone shuts down everyone else, perhaps that creates a path to a win — provided the Orange hit their shots, of course. But against a quality Tech defense, I don’t see a quick bounce back from the issues we’ve witnessed so far. Couple that with a very efficient Yellow Jackets offense and a struggling SU defense, and that’s how you get loss No. 4 in a row. Woof.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Georgia Tech game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and maybe we’re figuring something out
Georgia Tech wins and the worst is (somehow) still yet to come