The “Battle on the Midway” went the way of the Syracuse Orange 62-49 on Sunday afternoon. What can we pull from this victory as an Orange fan?
1) The defensive effort was stellar. The Aztecs had 16 turnovers including seven by Jamaal Franklin. The pressure defense forced San Diego State to do things they didn’t want to do. They shot 27% from the field making only one three-pointer in the process.
2) CJ Fair and Michael Carter-Williams were all that they have been hyped up to be. Fair has the ability to get to the basket whenever he needs to. If Fair ever developed a jump shot from 18 feet and out, then he’d be an incredible player. Carter-Williams was the athletic presence everyone said he would be too. Seventeen points in 15 shots are great for a guy like that.
1) Free throw shooting was a problem. We’ll give them a bit of a pass considering the atmosphere and the surroundings, but they can’t afford to miss eight of them when it matters indoors.
2) Shot distribution is a bit of a concern as well. 41 of their 56 shots came from three players in the starting lineup. Syracuse is going to have to get a more balanced effort from the role players so the big three don’t get tired trying to carry the team.
3) DaJuan Coleman, Jerami Grant and Trevor Cooney combined for 19 minutes of action. We’ve talked about in past articles how important these three are so it’s not going to help their growth.
It’s a win over a top 25 program in tough circumstances outside. The team played very well in this one. A lot of the negatives could have occurred due to the circumstances so we’ll hold off on going overboard. Next up is a Wagner team that could provide to be a challenge at the Carrier Dome.