After trailing the Bryant Bulldogs by 7 at halftime of the season opener to now being 3-0. How did we get here? Orange fans I can’t complain with what I have seen from this team. Jim Boeheim’s squad has defended well, just had their best game shooting from three point range and we almost witnessed John Bol Ajak become the first NCAA player to play in his mask.
Here are three takeaways after watching Syracuse takedown the Broncs:
Shooting off the rust
When Syracuse opened up their season against the Bryant Bulldogs, they shot 28% from deep. This definitely wasn’t surprising considering the coronavirus was responsible for a temporary 12-day pause. After only getting in one practice before playing the season opener, this was expected. The effort from distance repeated against Niagara as the Orange shot 21% from downtown. Today, we saw Alan Griffin lead the way, draining 4 threes as Syracuse improved to 15-30 (50%) shooting from behind the arc as a team.
Syracuse isn’t taking care of the ball
Don’t let the team’s lights out shooting distract us from the fact that the team had 16 turnovers. That’s 16 possessions that Syracuse will need if they want to compete with the top teams in the ACC. I get it that this roster probably isn’t projected to make any noise against those types of squads but why try to hurt the team’s chances by not taking care of the ball? I have hope that this squad can compete with the best of them if the shooting stays like this every game (which probably won’t happen but you never know) and if the defense also takes it up a notch by forcing more steals and turnovers.
Rebounding was a big factor in this game
Woody Newton was a presence on the glass tonight recording 8 rebounds, the most on the team. The Orange grabbed 38 of them in all. They out-rebounded the Broncs by 14, which were mostly defensive rebounds. This allowed the team to push up the court before the Riders got back to set their defense. This was where Syracuse picked up most of their other points which weren’t from deep. Woody Newton had himself a game overall flirting with a double-double with 9 points and 8 rebounds.