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Syracuse men’s basketball: what to watch for vs New Hampshire

The Adrian Autry Era begins

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team tips-off the 23-24 season tonight at 7:00 when the Orange welcome the New Hampshire Wildcats to the JMA Wireless Dome. Before the game starts on ACCNX, here’s what we are watching for in Adrian Autry’s official debut.

Kevin: Control the glass

During the exhibition games, the Orange didn’t do a good job of keeping opponents off the offensive glass allowing 24 offensive rebounds in the two games. For a team that wants to push the pace, it all starts with getting the ball. Even with smaller line-ups, Syracuse needs to focus their effort on getting to the glass and getting out in the open floor.

Dom: Limiting the outside shots

Adjustments will be needed over the course of this season with the Orange’s man defense. Particularly against Daemen, Syracuse was giving up a lot of open looks from three. Syracuse has better athleticism this year to hold down the fort in the paint, so expect to Autry to adjust when Syracuse brings more help versus staying glued tied to opponents on the perimeter.

Szuba: Speed it up

Well, we heard in the offseason how the new look Orange want to push the pace on offense. So, is Syracuse able to dictate tempo from the outset against easier competition? Part of that requires getting defensive stops and rebounding. Can Syracuse get on its collective horse and get easy buckets in transition?

Mike: Who fills in at the 4?

Assuming Benny William’s suspension continues into the season opener, my eyes will be on who fills in for him. Chris Bell and Justin Taylor played well together so that’d be my guess, but Maliq Brown is the ultimate plug-and-play option so don’t discount him getting extra minutes in this scenario as well. Red could also pull out an extra guard in Quadir Copeland or Kyle Cuffe and stack the backcourt. Whatever the case, it should give us some more insight on how the depth will be used this season.


What will you be watching for in tonight’s opener