The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team is back in action after a disappointing loss to Colgate on Tuesday. This time, SU (1-1 on the season) hosts the Northeastern Huskies, who have dropped their first three games of the season.
With Syracuse looking to secure its second win of the season, here is what to watch for in the team’s matchup against Northeastern.
Dom: Move the ball more on offense
Kevin made this point after the loss to Colgate, but the Orange can’t afford to be out-assisted 24-9 against a team like the Raiders. If the ball doesn’t move, the offense looks stagnant and one-dimensional. Against a team that’s as on much of a downward trend as Northeastern, this game would be a great opportunity to try some stuff on offense, see what works, and put Syracuse in the best position moving forward this season. Judah Mintz and Joe Girard (especially) have to find some ways to put their teammates in a great opportunity to score.
Mike: Keep Playing Clean
An overlooked positive from the first two ‘Cuse games is their low number of personal fouls. As crazy as it sounds, they have the least fouls per game (9.5) in all of D1 basketball right now. Jesse Edwards only had one against both Lehigh and Colgate after fouling out 11 times in 24 games last season. Keeping him on the court for as long as possible is crucial for the Orange offense to succeed.
Christian: MY BALL
If Syracuse is going to keep on slacking on defense, the Orange need to keep turnovers at an absolute minimum. That might be weird saying that with Syracuse winning the turnover margin against Colgate, but the Orange clearly need every offensive possession they can get. With the amount of isolation ball that Syracuse likes to play, ball security becomes more of a premium than a team that can spread the floor with passing and off ball movement. Securing the basketball on each possession should continue to be a priority.
Kevin: Up the defensive intensity
We’ve heard since last March that this Syracuse roster would be better suited to defend and run and they came out and let Colgate get open 3 after open 3. I get that young players will need time to understand the zone, but the Orange failed to play man, two different zones and a full-court press. Colgate might be a smart, experienced team but Syracuse just looked a bit lazy on the defensive end. The way this group is going to have trouble in half-court offense, they’d better find a way to get stops and get out in transition.
Szuba: Freshmen forwards
Northeastern isn’t Colgate. Syracuse is going to win this game by a double-digit margin. So can Jim Boeheim get anything out of the three position? Will he have to play Symir Torrence and go with a three-guard lineup? Benny Williams stepping up from the four was a good sign earlier in the week, but Syracuse is going to need some sort of production from at least one of Chris Bell, Justin Taylor, or Quadir Copeland. Freshmen need time to develop and to get comfortable at this level but these are the kinds of games where they can get extended run.
What will you be watching for in today’s game?