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Bombs away: Syracuse launching three-point attempts, percentage lags ACC peers

Syracuse’s strength was though to be three point shooting. But numbers show the Orange as just average thus far.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Syracuse Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

With the game evolving, it is no surprise that shooting the three ball is a priority if your team is capable of making a decent amount of them. Syracuse has prioritized 3-point shooting all season. The Orange have attempted 270 threes and have made 89 of those. They attempt about 27 threes per game and their shooting percentage is currently average at just 33%.

The only teams in the ACC that shoot worse than Syracuse are Wake Forest (32%), Pittsburgh (30%), North Carolina (29%), and Miami (27%). Despite the average shooting percentage, the only team in the ACC that takes more threes than Syracuse is Boston College. The Eagles have shot 328 shots from behind the arc, making 35% of those attempts.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Boston College Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Bourama Sidibe’s absence plays a big role on more threes being thrown up as the Syracuse offense now has to depend on their three point shooting to win games. In addition, Quincy Guerrier adding range to his game along with Robert Braswell playing the forward stretches defenses out. If Bourama Sidibe was playing, there would be more pick and roll action that would lead to more buckets in the paint, which is pretty traditional of the Orange when we look at past teams.

That’s not to say this is not a bad thing for Syracuse. What they are basically doing is adapting to the game evolving. However, the lack of size at the five is the catalyst of why Syracuse would get out-rebounded by opposing teams and why the interior defense is not strong. The Orange have lost the three games they played where they got out-rebounded. Although they are ranked 3rd in the ACC for rebounds per game (39 RPG), when teams scout Boeheim’s squad they immediately identify the weakness in size.

It’s like that COVID related pauses throughout the season and the lack of practices have adversely impacted Syracuse’s shooting. With two pauses, Syracuse has missed over 20 practices and Buddy Boeheim has had to pause three times due to contact-tracing. What we have been watching so far this season is the team just trying to find their rhythm as they battle the circumstances that we all have to deal with amidst the coronavirus. This has been one strange season, however the Orange have fought through it so far.