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What Virginia basketball fans need to know about Syracuse

SyracuseSyracuse, like Virginia, lost most everybody else in the ACC, had an up-and-down November and December.

The up: a 63-60 win at Florida State, a 112-110 2OT win over Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The down: probably the 100-85 home loss to Colgate, which is otherwise off to a 4-9 start.

The Orange (7-5, 1-0 ACC) is good offensively – has them 12th nationally in adjusted efficiency – and not as good as usual to this point on the defensive end, as those final scores above might attest.

Coach Jim Boeheim, in his zillionth year, has a typical Boeheim Syracuse team, with his starters getting the bulk of the minutes – 81.9 percent of them – usually going seven deep, enabled by his 2-3 zone, which doesn’t put too much tread on the tires on the defensive end.

The offense, as usual, comes from spot-ups, transition, isos and pick-and-rolls.

Players to watch

The centerpiece is 6’6” senior Buddy Boeheim (18.8 ppg, 41.5% FG, 30.9% 3FG), whose shooting numbers are a little down this year, but is still a threat on spot-ups (1.063 points per possession) and isolations (.981 PPP).

His brother, Jimmy Boeheim (14.4 ppg, 48.9% FG, 41.2% 3FG), a 6’8” Cornell transfer, has allowed Buddy to slide over to the two, and his length at three makes it tough for shooters on the perimeter in the 2-3.

Joseph Girard (13.9 ppg, 4.8 assists/g, 45.4% FG, 48.6% 3FG), the 6’1” junior point guard, doesn’t get into the lane all that much – 62.2 percent of his shots come from three.

But as you can see from his shooting from deep, he’s dangerous from the perimeter.

Cole Swider (13.0 ppg, 6.9 rebounds/g, 41.4% FG, 34.3% 3FG), a 6’9” senior, is a transfer from Villanova, and a guy who can stretch the floor at the four spot.

6’11” junior center Jesse Edwards (11.7 ppg, 6.5 rebounds/g, 73.0% FG) is a force in the lane – 61 of his 74 shots from the floor are at the rim, and he’s shooting 75.4 percent on those shots; and on the defensive end, he’s averaging 2.6 blocked shots per game.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press