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Syracuse men’s basketball: Updating our “Clap and Sit” first-basket tracker

A variety of names in the mix

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 20 Miami at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s hard to believe that we’re through 10 home games for the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team. While the loss to Florida State leaves a bitter taste in Orange fans’ mouths, SU is still 9-1 at home and has a chance to flip the script against a tough NC State team Saturday night.

While the game results will vary, one thing remains a constant and Dome staple: the “Clap and Sit” tradition. There’s been seven home matchups since the last update, so let’s see which Orangemen stand out now.

First Half

It’s been an all-hands-on-deck approach for who opens the game with the first made bucket. Chris Bell narrowly leads the charge for now with three opening three-pointers against Colgate, Cornell and Boston College. J.J. Starling isn’t far behind, having made an and-1 to start the Canisius game and a jumper last night against Florida State.

Despite leading the team in scoring by a healthy margin, Judah Mintz only has two of the Orange’s 10 first-baskets (back-to-back games against Niagara and Pittsburgh).

Timewise, SU would’ve averaged under a minute if it weren’t for its last two contests. The Miami game tested the heart of the Syracuse clappers after two missed shots and two turnovers. Maliq Brown’s layup with 17:23 on the clock ended the bit after two minutes and 37 seconds of disappointment. Against the Seminoles, the Orange clocked in a third-worst time of one minute 23 seconds before Starling broke the streak.

Second Half

After beginning the season with three different scorers, Mintz and Brown have combined for the last 6/7 first baskets of the second half. Chris Bell is nowhere to be found in this chart, and is the only starter to have not registered a point. Interestingly, all 10 made shots were layups, compared to just 3/10 from the first half chart.

The Orange do their damage inside, but not before having missed a few jumpers. As you can see, there’s an 18 second increase from the first half, with SU’s longest drought (three minutes 54 seconds against Colgate) acting as a huge outlier.

What stands out to me the most is Brown’s performance as a starter in the absence of McLeod. The sophomore not only leads the team in rebounding and is second in the ACC in steals, but is also becoming a master of the second-half first basket. Brown ended an over two minute scoreless streak with a bucket against Pitt, then finished at the rim the following game against BC. His third make came off an assist from Mintz against FSU, tying him with the point guard for the most on the team.

A few final stats

Fastest score: 10 seconds (1H New Hampshire, 2H LSU, 2H Niagara)

Slowest score: 3 minutes 54 seconds (2H Colgate)


Will either record be broken, and who will emerge as the Clap-and-Sit champion over the final six home games?