Syracuse looked ready for their trip to the West coast after dispatching Bloomsburg 103-60 on Sunday. There were some notable things to come out of this game:
1) Trevor Cooney got his first game action. The sharpshooter scored six points in 23 minutes of action going 2-5 from three-point range. Cooney’s presence is big on a number of fronts especially on the offensive end where he can give an outlet for the drivers on this team. Syracuse lacked a guy to make you pay for packing it in last year especially when James Southerland was in the doghouse or cold from the field.
2) Last game against Pace, we pointed out the rebounding issues. Syracuse won the battle of the boards 39-28 although they still allowed 10 offensive rebounds. It’s common knowledge that the zone presents issues when it comes to allowing these, but the teams they will play during the regular season will not be as small as Bloomsburg or Pace.
3) Depth continues to be a strength. The Orange had nine players go at least 16 minutes with most of them being effective during their time on the court. The performance of Jerami Grant is a positive off the bench as well as Cooney. Last year, it seemed that the team couldn’t finish due to a lack of a bench.
Quick Hits…Seven missed free throws may be an issue. They missed five against Pace so it’s something that bears watching. Brandon Triche is the most important player on this team. He is the straw that stirs the drink and an injury to him could be costly. Running the offense with anyone else could be interesting, although I think they could get away with C.J. Fair if they had to for short spurts.
Verdict: Bring on San Diego State. The challenges of playing in the elements and a tough team will be an interesting start to the regular season.