The Syracuse Orange hope to put a tidy bow on their non-conference schedule as well as everything that was in the year 2014 when they host the Cornell Big Red in the Dome this evening. Tip is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU/ESPN3.
Does the TNIAAM crew expect to see yet another Orange victory on the road to season redemption? Let's find out...
Syracuse 80 - Cornell 55
Syracuse hasn't lost to Cornell since 1968 -- a streak that's not about to end this season. For as much trouble as the Orange have had scoring the basketball at times, that hasn't extended to low-major opponents and has been completely untrue over the last week. Cornell's ability to score also remains to be seen, which should spell trouble for them against the SU defense. The Orange waltz into 2015 with a confidence-building, dominant victory to wrap up non-conference play.
Syracuse 88 - Cornell 71
Something to consider about this young and very inexperienced Syracuse team: six p.m. tipoffs on a weekday may be an issue. The Orange men found themselves down ten points to Long Beach State before Jim Boeheim woke his players up by switching to a pressing defense. I'm betting the Dome will be less than packed, not to mention students not being on campus, which really could make for some more sleepwalking early on. Eventually, though, even a young and inexperienced Syracuse team will beat Cornell. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of fire-in-the-belly attitude SU has or doesn't have and to see if Trevor Cooney can continue to be the Glue Guy. Otherwise, this one against the Big Red won't be one we'll be talking about long into the new year. Unless, of course, Syracuse loses...
Syracuse 91 - Cornell 58
I feel pretty good thinking the Orange end 2014 on a very high note. Cooney knocks down five triples, Gbinije comes back with another 20-point performance and establishes himself as that key slashing threat, and Rak puts up another 20/15 performance in the rout. With the big lead, Ron Patterson gets a lot of time and makes the most of it with four made 3-pointers and 18 points off the bench - much of that in the 2nd half.
Syracuse 83 - Cornell 58
We're finally starting to see what this Syracuse team can be, even with Chris McCullough struggling over the last few weeks. Cornell won't be able to match the size and athleticism of Syracuse, and that will define this game. I expect Rakeem Christmas to continue to dominate, hopefully McCullough can start to put it together again, and we see continued development out of Kaleb Joseph and Tyler Roberson. It would be nice to see something out of Ron Patterson and B.J. Johnson as well. It seems like Patterson has been putting his stamp on that 7th spot in the rotation, but it'd be nice if Johnson, who has had moments this year, can push him a bit.
Syracuse 82 - Cornell 55
Syracuse is going to win tonight, but with ACC play getting underway this Saturday, what’s more important is that Chris McCullough snaps out of his funk. As we all know, the freshman’s been struggling pretty considerably over the past few weeks. If the Orange are going to do some damage within the conference, it’s no secret that they’ll need McCullough’s production. He needs a confidence boost, which is hopefully what tonight will provide.
Syracuse 78 - Cornell 60
While the Big Red are much improved from last season, they're still not at a level that should give Syracuse too much struggle. I think we've seen the Orange start to figure themselves out in recent weeks and that should continue here. Get the win, maybe see if McCullough and Joseph can put together complete games and then get ready for ACC play.
How about you?