The Syracuse Orange (12-11, 6-6) men’s basketball team has their first three-game winning streak of the 21-22 season. Can they make it four in a row when they travel to face the Boston College Eagles (9-12, 4-7) on Tuesday evening. BC has been off for a while and the Syracuse fans usually turn Conte Forum into the Carrier Forum so it should be a game the Orange win....but we know how those can turn out. Here’s what we’ll be looking for when these teams meet:
Kevin: Upping the tempo
In their first year under Head Coach Earl Grant, the Eagles are slowing things down. They enter the game averaging 65.1 points per game while giving up 66 per game. BC is one of the worst shooting teams in the country but they take care of the ball and get on the offensive glass. Syracuse wants to avoid a slow-down game so creating turnovers and rebounding the plentiful BC misses will be important to get the game played at a pace the Orange prefer.
Szuba: 3-point disparity
Boston College doesn’t do a lot of things. But one of the things it really doesn’t do is take or make 3-point shots. The Eagles take less than 18 triples a game and shoot a league-worst 30.8% from range. As we know, the Syracuse zone encourages deep shots and opponents have been happy to take more than half their field goal attempts from range. Will Makai Ashton-Langford and Jaeden Zackery morph into outside shooters and will Brevin Galloway get some run? Survey says...
Meanwhile, Syracuse served up 16 treys last season at Conte Forum. The Orange offense is rolling in its last three games. Smells like a big disparity in 3s to me.
Christian: The big guys
It’s easy to forget what Boston College did in Syracuse’s blowout win at Conte Forum last season, but the Orange shouldn’t ignore that. James Karnik in that game had 20 points and eight rebounds. While he didn’t have the scoring support around him, he single-handedly prevented that blowout from behind much, much worse. This year, Karnik is BC’s most efficient shooter at 53%. With a team struggling to score, the Eagles may turn to Karnik in a one-on-one matchup against Jesse Edwards to force Syracuse’s big man out of the game.