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Things to watch for when Syracuse men’s basketball travels to Miami

A big road test for the Orange

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 07 Syracuse at Miami Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange (7-6, 1-1) men’s basketball team will look to get back in the win column when they travel to play the Miami Hurricanes (11-3, 3-0) on Wednesday night. This is an opportunity for Syracuse to get a second ACC road win and here’s what we’ll be looking for when these teams meet:

Kevin: Size matters

Miami only starts one player over 6’6” and they aren’t a strong rebounding team. The Hurricanes will have the advantage on the perimeter but Syracuse can combat that by working the ball inside.

John: It’s an inside job

Miami’s a quality shooting team, hitting over 54% of their shots from two this year (46th in the country). That’s concerning, for sure, but even more so when considering the Orange’s struggles stopping teams from carving them up in the paint. Syracuse is letting teams shoot over 51% from two this year, and has been outscored in the paint during four of seven power conference games this season — including last time out vs. UVA. If SU can’t shut the ‘Canes down inside, it’s potentially game over.

Szuba: Keep Miami’s perimeter players on the perimeter

The key to this game for Syracuse is to keep Miami’s three terrific guards in Isaiah Wong, Kam McGusty and Charlie Moore in check. The Hurricanes shoot it at a solid clip (35.2%) from outside, but it only takes 20 3s per game — there’s no DJ Vasiljevic on this roster. Teams are taking 51.3% of its total shots from three against Syracuse. Miami turns the ball over less than 10 times per game, so if the Orange can convert Miami into a volume 3-point shooting team and keep the three guards out of the lane it has a chance.

Christian: Choose your fighter

Given Miami’s tendency to play offense and not a lot of defense, Syracuse (more specifically the coaching staff) needs to decide how it wants to the play. Do the Orange want to battle Miami offensively or defensively? We know that this Syracuse team can’t play both at the same time, so the lineup choices at the right time are going to be crucial to beat the Hurricanes.