The Syracuse Orange didn’t start last night’s game as we hoped. Shot selection was an issue and the team was struggling with an inferior Oakland squad.
That changed when Syracuse started getting everyone involved on offense. A 20-0 run to close the half carried over into the 2nd half with everyone getting involved in sharing the ball.
FINAL: Cuse cruises over Oakland 95-66. 33 bench points as Symir Torrence & Malik Brown each put in career-highs, all in the second half. 26 assists, most since Dec. ‘16 vs. EMU. Syracuse is 5-4 heading into Saturday’s game against Georgetown. pic.twitter.com/HwuooLdnuJ— Matt Park (@MattPark1) December 7, 2022
The Orange actually ended up with 27 assists. Joe Girard and Benny Williams led the way with six apiece and while Joe’s passing wasn’t a surprise, it was nice to see plays like this from Benny.
Judah Mintz and Symir Torrence had five assists each as the Orange flew past their previous season-high of 15 assists against Northeastern. We know that ACC defenses will be tougher than Oakland’s 351st ranked unit, but if Syracuse can continue the passing and avoid the over-dribbling they can get better shots for everyone.
The Orange are up to 165th in today’s NET ranking update. They aren’t going to play themselves into NCAA Tournament discussion in the next six games but they likely need to win them all to avoid digging a deeper hole. Keeping this type of ball movement on offense will make Syracuse harder to defend as they prepare for tougher challenges in the ACC.