The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team wrapped up their short preseason slate with a 72-58 win over the Southern New Hampshire Penmen. We got a good look at who are shaping up to be SU’s starting five, as well as some quality depth that’s been missing for a few years.
Jesse Edwards nabbed first points honors on the opening possession, missing his first shot but grabbing the rebound and making a layup. Other than the usual foul trouble early on (he had three at the half, but was clean after that), Edwards had a good game. He finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks in his final line.
Judah Mintz came out of the gate hot with two early baskets, including this grab-and-go opportunity:
The steal and the finish!@Jmintz10 making his presence felt early.— Syracuse Men’s Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) November 1, 2022
After that though, he was held out of the points category. The Top-40 prospect is struggling with trying to be too flashy at times, but he did have a few nice assists to boot.
Joe Girard drained the first ‘Cuse three of the night and also dropped a dime to Jesse for a slam dunk in the closing minutes of the 1st half:
JG3 for 3 and then the lob to Jesse!— Syracuse Men’s Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) November 1, 2022
Girard finished with a team-leading 15 points, including a perfect 9-9 on free throws. The team as a whole was 18-21 at the line.
The second group saw Quadir Copeland and Mounir Hima both step up with jumping blocks, eventually leading to a steal-and-score by Symir Torrence.
Hima seems to confidently have the backup center job locked up with his physicality and situational awareness. One play saw him collect a rebound right under the basket, brute force his way above two defenders, and drop it straight in the basket without drawing a foul.
Copeland meanwhile is competing with Justin Taylor for minutes and possibly even a starting job. They played very different games tonight; Copeland dished out four assists and got more involved up close, while Taylor stuck to the outside on offense but came inside for three rebounds on the other end.
Girard and Edwards were the two Syracuse players to score in double figures. Torrence was 2-5 from deep, and Maliq Brown made all four of his shots on the night as both finished with eight points. Chris Bell finished added seven points on 3-5 shooting. Benny Williams had a quiet shooting night with only one field goal on seven tries, and the offense kept the ball out of his hands for the most part. He was the leading rebounder with eight.
All 12 scholarship players saw action and 11 scored.
SU hosts Lehigh in the season opener Monday night at 8. That game can be streamed on ACCNX/ESPN+.