The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team returns to the JMA Wireless Dome to host the Colgate Raiders for the 147th meeting between the two programs.
Syracuse will look to avoid back-to-back losses to Colgate for the first time since 1962. Colgate is off to a 2-1 start and coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance a season ago.
The Orange are favored in this one by 7.5 points. Here’s our predictions:
Colgate 85, Syracuse 80
What? A loss this early? To Colgate again?
The Raiders don’t have the same three-point threat that they did last season, but it’s still an efficient offense. To add to Syracuse’s problems, Jesse Edwards only had eight points last season. I can easily see the same problem happening against today. Syracuse has to avoid getting desperate and playing hero ball when the Orange defense inevitably breaks down. Otherwise, the freshmen are going to quickly learn that they’re too inconsistent to carry this team to a comeback win. Joe Girard and Edwards need to use their senior experience to keep Syracuse level-headed. If not, the Orange might not have enough offensive consistency to stay in a shootout this early in the season.
Syracuse 82, Colgate 75
I’ll be the ying to Christian’s yang and say that ‘Cuse isn’t getting embarrassed by Colgate two years in a row. Not when the Raiders are playing their third game in six days and appear to have the depth issues that plagued SU last season. (Three guys are averaging 28+ minutes even when one of their first 3 games was against a DIII school.) There should still be some struggles defending enemy perimeter shooting, but I also think that we’ll see one of the guys vying for the 5th starting spot improve from last week and contribute a bit more to the offense. If that happens and the Orange backups do their jobs, then mark this down as a close victory.
Syracuse 85, Colgate 72
I second Mike’s point here. The matchup against the Raiders is a favorable one for the Orange. Given how much more versatility and length there is at the wings, Syracuse won’t give up the hot-shooting from three that plagued the team in its game against Colgate last season. I’d expect the Orange to be a lot more aggressive along the perimeter and stay away from the 2-3 zone if the Raiders get hot from behind the line.
While the Orange might not have the advantage from three compared to the Raiders, the team does have more size down low and capable rim finishers. There will be advantages in just about every category for ‘Cuse outside of three-point shooting.
One player to watch for, as Christian pointed out, is Jesse Edwards. He underperformed in last year’s game, but Edwards looked great out of the gate to start this season. Win or loss, he’ll be the x-factor for the team against the Raiders
Colgate will hang around, but Syracuse will still finish with the win in a close matchup.
Syracuse 88, Colgate 80
Colgate isn’t taking as many threes as it did a season ago and it certainly isn’t making them at a 40.3% clip like last year either. Rather, the Raiders have been remarkably efficient from inside the arc, currently leading the country in two-point field goal percentage (67.1%). What does that mean against a youthful Syracuse team? Probably a high-scoring affair as the defense continues to figure itself out. I’m not betting against the Syracuse offense just yet, which was pretty efficient in the first game, albeit against a challenged Lehigh team. So give me the Orange to cover in a game with negligible defense on both ends.
Syracuse 84, Colgate 83
The Orange are going to be tested and like last year we’ll learn a lot about this team early on. We saw how last year’s Syracuse squad could not handle the pressure in second halves of games- a theme that carried right into March. I think we’ll see a lot of Symir Torrence tonight to provide a steady hand against the Raiders.
The coaching staff has probably spent the last week showing the film from last season, but freshmen are freshmen and it’s easy to see them looking at Colgate and thinking “this will be easy”. We’re going to see how the Orange respond to a well-coached team who enters the Dome expecting to win. As Christian mentioned above, Syracuse can’t revert to hero ball tonight. I think Joe Girard hits some big free throws down the stretch and the Orange survive.
Now it’s your turn:
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Colgate?
This poll is closed
Colgate wins and the taeks will fly like lake effect snow
Syracuse wins and it’s time to start another 40-year win streak