If you look up the Webster dictionary definition of “Syracusing,” there is a link to this game.
The Syracuse Orange built an initial early lead against the Boston College Eagles but sloppy gameplay brought the game much closer than it should have been. The Orange eventually broke out of their mid-game slump to close out a 75-67 victory that was much closer than it probably should have been.
Here’s our takeaways from a weird basketball game:
Run the floor
Syracuse grew its initial lead with a relentless pace from the transition game. The Orange rushed down the court to find BC out of position. So much momentum was gained from Syracuse grabbing easy buckets without much contention or pressure from the Eagles, which allowed more shots in the half court setting to fall for the Orange initially.
We haven’t seen Syracuse capitalize off the immense amount of turnovers that the Orange are prone to create that much this season. It always seems like Syracuse is trying to find ways to score the ball easily just to gain some momentum. Running down the floor early to get quick buckets set the tone that Syracuse desperately needed to develop.
Play to your strengthens
Despite the good momentum that Syracuse developed, the Orange threw it away multiple times by falling into the same bad habits that have plagued the roster the entire season. Syracuse started settling for jump shots early in the shot clock or settling for jump shots after not developing anything in the half court. As such, the shot selection suffered and allowed BC to make small runs to cut the deficit every couple of minutes.
It wasn’t until Syracuse started to attack the basket and drive to the hoop that the cushion the Orange initially developed returned. Syracuse has a bad tendency to forget its primary strength: efficiency at the rim. Especially with how undersized Boston College was today, the Orange needed to utilize the frontcourt much more.
It should not have been that easy for Boston College to score at times, but the Syracuse guards allowed passes to get into the high post and for BC guards to dribble right pass them. It’s been widely known that Syracuse’s activity at the top of the zone has not been the best, which has led to the zone collapsing. That’s how pretty much every ACC foe has dismantled Syracuse, and Boston College was on its way to doing just that.
Finally, the guards got more active at the top of the zone and prevent passes to reach the high post. That allowed Syracuse to stifle the Eagles offensively in the second half which secured the lead for the Orange. But once again, the theme of bad habits returns for this Orange squad. If the Syracuse guards don’t have active hands at the top of the zone, any team, even Boston College, can find offensive success against the Orange. It was close to happening today.