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Syracuse Basketball: Four things to look for against Eastern Michigan

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The Orange look to bounce back after another heartbreaking loss.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Syracuse
Can Tyler Lydon follow up with another big-time performance?
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

No game will be easy the rest of the way for the Syracuse Orange. No matter the opponent they face, Syracuse fans should not feel comfortable going into any matchup. This team is too unpredictable to call any game a guaranteed win, so buckle up Orangemen and Orangewomen. This is going to be a stressful year.

The Orange face Eastern Michigan this evening. They’re a team who no one expected would share the same record as the Orange at this point in the season. It’s going to be hard for the Orange to play with confidence and poise after the heartbreaking loss to Georgetown, but if they want this season to see any kind of turnaround, a win is the only outcome possible.

What is Tyus Battle going to bring?

Battle missed the entire week of practice heading into the Georgetown matchup, and when game time came it was announced that John Gillon would replace him in the starting lineup. Battle still managed to play 12 minutes but was obviously struggling to provide much help, finishing with only two points.

Battle provides a much needed spark to this Syracuse team, and without his energy and athleticism the Orange are sure to struggle. The Orange are obviously lost right now in terms of finding ways to win games, but if Battle can return from this injury with more energy than ever, maybe they can turn things around before it gets out of hand.

Is Tyler Lydon’s slump over?

There was one bright spot in the loss to Georgetown and that was the exceptional play from Tyler Lydon. It looked like he was the only player who wanted to win, finishing with 29 points and nine rebounds.

This is who Tyler Lydon was supposed to be this season: a consistent go-to scorer who would wreak havoc on defenses from inside and beyond the arc. There is still a lot to to play for this season for the Orange, and if this is the real Tyler Lydon, maybe they can shock some teams moving forward.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Which Frank Howard will show up?

There’s a common trend here for Frank Howard: he shows elite capabilities against inferior teams, but when he plays the “real” opponents Howard looks lost and intimidated. Howard is a talented player with the ability to create for himself and others, but if he wants to take the next step he’s going to need to be able to perform against the best of the best.

Eastern Michigan isn’t a top team, so if the pattern continues Howard should be primed for a big game come tipoff. Frank Howard has the keys to the offense, and if he wants to keep them, big-time performances are needed.

When will Tyler Lydon and Andrew White III play well in the same game?

Time and time again it seems like Lydon and White switch off on who has a successful performance; Lydon finally broke through against Georgetown, but unfortunately White failed to get going. These two players are relied upon to do most of the scoring for the Orange, but if only one can follow through, success won’t be had.

Eastern Michigan is a good start to get the two leading scorers for the Orange going, and if it becomes a trend, the Orange may be able to right their ship.