Boy, Cuse got away with that one...
The Syracuse Orange struggled shooting all game long but finally scored when it counted to defeat Georgia Tech in overtime 74-73. Syracuse only shot 32.9% from the floor and 31.2% from three, an uncharacteristic performance inside the Carrier Dome.
Here’s our three takeaways from a nail-biting win...
I bet most of you (because I did) forgot Bourama Sidibe was on this team. However, his 16 minutes of game time, especially those in overtime, proved decisive for the Orange. His presence forced Rodney Howard to respect him, eventually leading the Georgia Tech big man to foul out in OT. Sidibe’s minutes were incredibly important, as despite 10 rebounds, Frank Anselem didn’t have much of an answer to stop Howard from a commanding double-double.
We all had high hopes for a healthy Sidibe at the beginning of last season, but sadly it seems like we’ll never know what his full potential is when not banged up. At the very least, he’s giving Syracuse a taste of what he could have done as a fully active player. Now we just need to get some more holy water for him.
A necessary evil
I mentioned Sidibe’s 16 minutes, but let’s take a look at the rest of the bench. Symir Torrence had seven while Benny Williams had three. I know Jim Boeheim would rather do almost anything other than take minutes away from his starting five, but at this point in the season it needs to be done. Syracuse got lucky but the key bench minutes in January gave the starters ample time to rest and recover for a strong second half surge. The Orange starting five looked gassed and probably contributed to the poor shooting performance, especially for a second game in three games. Speaking of which...
That’s all I can say now. The easy ACC games are over with, and now Syracuse plays the top four teams in the conference to finish out the regular season. It starts with Notre Dame, and the lack of rotation could at this point come back to haunt the Orange. NCAA Tournament goals are probably out of the window, but the first goal should be to just finish over .500. SU is 15-12 with four games left in the regular season. And it’s the four hardest opponents that the Orange could draw.