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Syracuse men’s basketball: three takeaways from the 72-63 win over Wake Forest

Ready to run this back on Wednesday

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange and Wake Forest Demon Deacons played a game to determine who would wear white on Wednesday in Greensboro. Syracuse woke up from their two-week slumber to start quick and play with an intensity that helped push them to a 72-63 win.

Here are three takeaways from the final home game of 2023

Dankjewel Jesse

We know it was Jesse Edwards’ final game in the Dome and he delivered a dominating performance on both ends. Edwards had 27 points, 20 rebounds and 5 steals as Wake Forest’s frontcourt had no response to him down low. It was the 1st 20/20 game for a Syracuse player since Paul Harris did it during the 6OT game.

It would make a lot of sense for the Orange to repeat the same formula on Wednesday because we’re pretty sure Steve Forbes can’t find another center hanging on campus in the next 72 hours.

Turning steals into offense

The Orange had a season-high of 13 steals and that defensive effort fueled transition offense and allowed Judah Mintz to flourish. Mintz had 13 first-half points and showed how dominant he can be in the open floor.

Syracuse forced 16 Wake turnovers and if they can repeat that performance on Wednesday they might be able to extend their season and allow Jim Boeheim to stay in his favorite city a little longer.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Saving face

It would have been brutal to lose not only on Senior Night but with Syracuse honoring the 2003 National Champions and retiring the jerseys of Hakim Warrick and assistant coach Gerry McNamara. The Orange brought some energy into this one and avoided turning a special day into a real downer.

Syracuse should have confidence heading into the rematch and another win over Wake would set up a second shot at the Miami Hurricanes. We’ll see if the Orange can repeat this performance in Greensboro.