The Syracuse Orange find themselves in a situation they were not anticipating. Standing at 5-3, the Orange face the Boston University Terriers in a must-win matchup. For Syracuse, a win over a 4-5 team won’t show much, but after another devastating loss this week, any win would suffice.
Panic is starting to set in, but in reality it is way too early for immense concern for this team. They have only played eight games in the young season, and everyone knows coach Jim Boeheim wants SU to peak in March. For Boeheim to get his wish, the Orange must start performing up to their capabilities, and a win against the inferior Terriers is a good place to begin.
Who is Boston University going to start?
The Terriers have been, starting nine different players in their nine games. Led by top scorer Eric Fanning, the Terriers present a roster with a plethora of role players. Fanning is the only player averaging double digits this year, and if that stays the same Saturday afternoon will turn into a fun time for the Orange.
How will the Orange respond?
This was not supposed to happen. The Orange were supposed to be climbing the ladder into the top ten this part of the year, but unfortunately they have dug themselves a whole they must fight out of. Syracuse showcases a brand new roster that was known to need to time to gel, but this game will be a key point in their season as they have to prove the doubters wrong for the first time.
There are veterans and leaders on this team, and with a game like Saturday’s, they are going to need to step up in more ways then ever. Andrew White III and Tyler Lydon need to learn how to play together without only one having a good game, and once that occurs this offense will open up for all on the floor. It’s time for the Orange to block the outside noise and prove that they know how to fix what is wrong.
Who is going to be the leader?
Yes, this team has a wide variety of leaders and experience, but too many voices on the floor could lead to butting heads and miscommunication. The Orange need to establish who’s lead they will follow because without a leader there is no path. Tyler Lydon and Andrew White III can both lead this team, but without one stepping forward the Orange will be stuck in the mud once again.
What is wrong with John Gillon and Frank Howard?
The unexpected downfall from John Gillon and Frank Howard recently has been detrimental to the Syracuse Orange. One of the main positives of this team was the dynamic play from both their point guards, but recently they have shown inconsistency and a sense of fear in “big” games.
The two point guards combined for three points on 0-13 shooting from the field in their loss against UConn. The Orange will not beat any teams, including Boston University, with performances like that, and if SU wants to win any big games this year, the point guard play is going to need to be stellar—which it can be.