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Syracuse men’s basketball: what to watch for vs Georgetown

1st time these teams meet in the post-Boeheim era

Syracuse v Georgetown Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange (6-3) head down to Washington DC to take on the Georgetown Hoyas (5-3) tomorrow at 11:30 am on Fox. Here’s what we’ll be watching for in tomorrow’s game:

Max: Box out Georgetown’s bigs

The Hoyas have three of the Big East’s top-15 offensive rebounders in Supreme Cook, Dontrez Styles and Wayne Bristol. Syracuse has struggled tremendously defending its basket, allowing one of the worst opponent offensive rebounding rates in the country at 34-percent. Justin Taylor and Quadir Copeland have been pleasant surprises in snagging boards, but there’s no way they should be averaging the most on the team. Naheem McLeod and Maliq Brown need to step up and carry their weight if the Orange want to turn defense into offense.

Kevin: Judah’s return

Coming off his big game against Cornell, the DMV native returns home with a chance to show off for the crowd. Can Mintz continue to make teams pay for letting him take open 3s? Can Judah stay composed and avoid the foul trouble that almost cost the Orange in the last game? The Orange will need him to play with controlled aggression in this one.

Dom: Avoid the frustrating plays

Max brought up the Orange’s top goal — stop Georgetown’s offensive rebounding as much as possible — but the other danger is the efficient outside shooting from the Hoyas. Georgetown sits top-five in the Big East in both three-point attempts (24.4 per game, fifth-most) and percentage (39%, third-best). This game could feel like an annoying one to watch if half of Georgetown’s offense is open threes due to Syracuse not boxing out or fighting for a live ball. Here’s to hoping that’s not the case.

Mike: Forget the Numbers

It’s 2023 and Georgetown still sucks... kinda. The Hoyas haven’t beaten anyone notable yet and most of their wins have been very close, but they do have a starting five who can all put up points in bunches. Recent history is also on Georgetown’s side as they’ve won four of their last five home games against SU. This is a scenario where the Orange just need to focus on playing their style of basketball and let instincts and chemistry guide the way.

Szuba: Guard matchup

Georgetown is led by a pair of guards in Illinois transfer Jayden Epps and North Carolina transfer Dontrez Styles. Epps had 11 points last year against the Orange while Styles never played against SU in his two years in Chapel Hill. While Ismael Massoud and Chris Bell offer each team a sharp-shooting forward, this should be a high-usage guard game with Mintz commanding a lot of attention. Whoever has the edge in the backcourt should win this game and the key just might be how JJ Starling plays.

What will you be watching for?