It’s gameday Syracuse Orange basketball fans! And that means all of you. Jim Boeheim and company play their first of two in Brooklyn against Richmond, while Felisha Legette-Jack’s crew head to central PA to take on Penn State. Here are the staff picks for both of tonight’s 7 o’clock tips:
Syracuse women’s basketball vs. Penn State:
Syracuse 66, Penn State 63
This is going to be a close call. Penn State will enter the contest Syracuse hot, coming off of three straight wins by over 20 points. Similar to the Orange, the Lady Lions handily beat the teams they were supposed to beat. Syracuse has a slight edge in bench depth and versatility, but both programs will be well-rested heading into the game.
Penn State’s defense is something to watch for, but the team’s numbers are skewed given the lack of good offensive teams on its schedule.
The two big things to watch for as Syracuse is a) can the Dyaisha Fair-Teisha Hyman backcourt take advantage of a hard-nosed Penn State defense, and b) who will win the rebounding battle? Second-chance points and extra looks will make all the difference in this one.
It’ll be a down-to-the-wire cost, but I’ve got the Orange sneaking way with the win. Barely.
Syracuse 70, Penn State 62
The Penn State starters should be well-rested after sitting a good chunk of a blowout over Bryant, but SU makes up for it with another day off and a deeper bench to pull from. The Orange have the physical advantage and need to exploit that by blocking shots and shutting down driving lanes inside. If they can do that, FLJ’s squad will put another in the win column.
Syracuse 73, Penn State 68
Both teams are sitting at 4-0 to start the season so this should provide each with their most competitive game. The Orange have relied on a strong defense and the scoring of Dyaisha Fair and Teisha Hyman. With a strong backcourt leading the way look for the Orange to secure a solid road win and move to 5-0.
Syracuse 65, Penn State 63
It’s hard to draw too many conclusions between two teams who haven’t played Power Five competition. But both defenses have been pretty good in their first four games of the season. That leads me to believe that this game won’t explode with offense as both teams try to gauge how physical Power Five competition is. This could be decided by who in the Syracuse frontcourt decides to step up. Or if Dariauna Lewis plays, this is a bigger Orange win.
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Penn State?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and shows they can keep cooking on the road.
Penn State wins and we’ll see how the Orange respond
Syracuse men’s basketball vs. Richmond:
Richmond 72, Syracuse 69
The Orange defense still really concerns me. It’s going to be overlooked because of the lopsided score, but Northeastern had way too many open looks from distance and SU was lucky that more of them didn’t find their mark. The same is going to happen against higher-quality teams without some serious adjustments, and Tyler Burton looks like another mismatch who can take advantage. The Spiders slip away as a game-tying shot misses the mark at the buzzer.
Syracuse 71, Richmond 65
Expect a tug-of-war, World War I-style contest where the pace is slow, the possession game is limited, and every trip down the court will matter more in the grand scheme of things.
As is the fear with this iteration of Syracuse men’s basketball, the turnover battle will be the decider in this game. The defense needs to step up for the Orange in forcing turnovers. Again, with the slow pace, there will be fewer opportunities to get out in transition and put up some easy points.
Speaking of points, Syracuse needs to be efficient on that end of the court. Get Jesse Edwards the ball early, get Judah Mintz to start off aggressively, and kick out to shooters. The Orange can’t lose the turnover margin in this one.
Compared to Northeastern, this game will be a closer affair, but Syracuse will eke out with the win.
Syracuse 65, Richmond 61
It was an up and down week for Syracuse and look for a very slow-paced game as the Spiders want to work the clock and the Orange zone will encourage long possessions. If Syracuse can remain patient on offense and continue to work for good shots, they should be able to secure a win in Brooklyn. These early games are going to be important for any post-season hopes, so the Orange need to take care of business.
Syracuse 63, Richmond 60
This is a classic “first to 60 wins” game in the making. Richmond has a good defense but the Spiders are not great at scoring. So the breaking point falls on the Orange. Can this team stay defensively consistent with playing just zone? And can the Orange bully out Neal Quinn, Richmond’s 7-footer, to open things up inside for Judah Mintz and Jesse Edwards? There’s not much interior support behind Quinn in terms of size and the Spiders don’t have enough consistent three-point shooting to shoot over the zone, which should lead to an Orange win.
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Richmond?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and is going for gold tomorrow.
Richmond wins and we’ll have to try for the bronze instead.
Let us know what you think in the comments