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Things to watch for when Syracuse men’s basketball hosts Georgia Tech

Other than wondering if we’ll see Josh Pastner’s face shield

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange (13-12, 7-7) men’s basketball team has a quick turnaround as they welcome the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to the Carrier Dome tonight. Here’s what we’ll be looking for when these teams meet:

Kevin: Handle with care

Expect Georgia Tech to try and pressure the ball more than other teams have recently. Syracuse has to avoid being careless with the ball and giving Tech easy opportunities. The Orange need this game and being the middle of three games in five days it’s important not to lose focus.

Zeke: increased minutes for Bourama Sidibe

This past Saturday against Boston College, Sidibe played the most minutes since his return to the floor with Frank Anselem on the bench most of the game with foul trouble. Sidibe logged 18 minutes Saturday afternoon collecting 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He looked like an imposing presence in the paint for the Orange defensively and is a great shot blocker. Expect Jim Boeheim to lean on the graduate student big man more than had earlier this season considering the season ending injury to Jesse Edwards and a great Saturday against BC Saturday afternoon.

Szuba: Dreadful offense vs. Syracuse defense

To say Georgia Tech struggles on offense would be putting it mildly. The Yellow Jackets score less than a point per possession and haven’t scored more than 70 points in a game since January. The Syracuse defense has showed signs of improvement recently, but that could be the result of playing less-than-capable offensive teams. What emerges tonight? Georgia Tech’s offense or Syracuse’s 2-3 zone?

Christian: The noticeable missing piece

Georgia Tech would love to have Moses Wright right around now, but unfortunately for them he’s out of eligibility. It’s hard to replace eight rebounds a game, and Jordan Usher, Georgia Tech’s leading rebounder, can’t do it all himself. This should be another opportunity to dominate the glass and take control of the tempo of the game. Wright’s presence down low destroyed the Orange last year, but the Yellow Jackets don’t have that same player to step in. Syracuse needs to take advantage of that.