The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team will be looking to rebound quickly from its first loss Friday, when it plays the Iowa Hawkeyes in the consolation game of the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden (5 p.m. on ESPN2).
The Orange (2-1), ranked No. 23 in the AP Poll, are coming off a disappointing effort, a 73-59 loss to the California Golden Bears, in the semifinals on Thursday. Iowa had nearly the same result losing 71-57 to the No. 10-ranked Texas Longhorns in Game 1 of the double-header at The Garden.
The quick turnaround could be good or disastrous for SU, which might be able to quickly forget its poor play against Cal, or they may need time to work out more offensive kinks and Friday night could go just as bad as Thursday.
|Syracuse Orange (projected starting lineup)||Class||Ht.||Wt.||PPG||RPG|
|Rakeem Christmas"]">Rakeem Christmas||Sr.||6'9"||250||14.7||10.3|
|Chris McCullough"]">Chris McCullough||Fr.||6'10"||210||13.7||7.3|
|Trevor Cooney"]">Trevor Cooney||Jr.||6'4"||195||9.7||2.7|
|Kaleb Joseph "]">Kaleb Joseph||Fr.||6'3"||165||7.3||2.7|
|Tyler Roberson"]">Tyler Roberson||So.||6'8"||212||7.0||5.0|
The Orange's opponent blew a six-point halftime lead to lose by double-digits to a young and talented Longhorns squad.
Senior forward Aaron White, a All-Big Ten Conference Third Teamer last season, led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 23 points in the loss. White currently leads the team in scoring averaging just over 17 points per game.
Junior forward Jarrod Uthoff has been the team's second-best scoring option averaging 11 ppg. He is also the team's top rebounder snagging 7.7 rebounds per game. Starters, junior Anthony Clemmons and junior Mike Gesell, and sharpshooter Josh Oglesby are Iowa's best backcourt options. Oglesby missed 12 games last season with a foot injury.
This Fran McCaffery-led squad lost five players from last year's squad, which went 20-13 overall and lost to the Tennessee Volunteers, 78-65, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Dayton, OH. At one point last season, Iowa was ranked 10th in the nation by the AP Poll. Overall, the Hawkeyes spent 16 weeks in the national rankings before losing seven of their last eight games.
|Iowa Hawkeyes (projected starting lineup)||Class||Ht.||Wt.||PPG||RPG|
|Adam Woodbury"]">Adam Woodbury||Jr.||7'1"||240||9.0||7.7|
This will be the first time these two programs will meet since March 13, 1980. The Hawkeyes own a 2-0 record against the Orange.
Game Time: 5 p.m.
Radio: Syracuse IMG Radio Network
I Hate Making A Prediction: Iowa 58, Syracuse 55
Syracuse did not impress anyone in its first real test of the 2014-15 season on Thursday. There is going to be a lot of growing pains with this squad, especially on offense that features no legit threats at the moment.
Defensively, the Orange will create some turnovers and if they can get their fast break playing well, but Iowa can play up-tempo if they need to. (At least, they were able to do it last season.)
If SU can play solid defense, limit the mistakes on offense and find a way to get the ball into the hoop from inside then a nice rebound win should be in store. However, Iowa has a lot of veteran leadership that should help them respond better to disappointment than the Orange.