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Three takeaways from Syracuse’s 79-59 loss to Duke

At least our fans aren’t crazy

Syracuse v Duke Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Welp, I think we all expected that.

The Syracuse Orange couldn’t hang with the Duke Blue Devils as the Orange dropped its fifth straight all time contest to the Blue Devils 79-59. The Orange couldn’t find shots to fall and couldn’t keep up with the the Blue Devils offense.

Here’s our three takeaways from the loss:

Syracuse v Duke Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Who you gonna call? Zonebusters!

Everyone says one of the best ways to beat the zone is to get the ball in the middle of the court. Teams have traditionally done that by getting a player at the free throw line, and Duke did that with Paolo Banchero, its star player. The troubling thing for Syracuse is that the best teams equally have a strong big man who can play on the block and score easily as well. The Blue Devils have that with Mark Williams, and the combination is lethal. The temptation is to leave Syracuse’s center one-on-one with the player at the free throw line so the others can cover the perimeter, but against Duke the Orange couldn’t afford that with Williams threatening to score. All of that led to help in the paint which meant easy kick-out threes to jumpstart Duke’s offense.

Syracuse v Duke Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Don’t force it

The worse way Syracuse can try to get offense going against any team is to brute force it. By that I mean the Orange tried early on to force balls to fall on drives to the basket, which most people know isn’t SU’s best form of offense. By that time Syracuse was so cold that isolation ball returned and there wasn’t enough ball movement to try and create space for shooters to attempt threes. The Orange still haven’t figured out a way to move the ball around well, especially against teams like Duke who play tight man defense. Syracuse resorts to forcing the ball through isolation play, and that usually leads to bad results for the Orange.

Syracuse v Duke Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Join Dino in the weight room

There’s no sugar coating this fact. Syracuse is just not strong enough to hang with the better teams in college basketball. The Orange got destroyed on the boards today and some of the tough layups that Syracuse attempted throughout the game would have gone if players had some more muscles on their body. The Orange couldn’t get shooters free from defenders even after screens and that all culminated in Syracuse’s result against Duke