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NCAA Basketball Big East BasketballSyracuse Orange

Syracuse Squeezes The Sun Devils

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The final tune-up before conference play went well for Syracuse who beat Central Connecticut State 96-62.  It was a great game for Michael Carter-Williams who was one rebound away from a triple-double.  Carter-Williams broke out offensively after having questions come up during the Temple loss about his ability to score. Several other things came up in the win for the Orange.

1) The free throw shooting is still an issue.  They missed five of them which is good for 61.5 percent.  It is not encouraging that this problem isn’t improving.  Conference play features way too many teams closer to Temple then Alcorn State and Winthrop.  The Orange has got to shore this up or close games will become closer.

2) Rebounding was not a problem for Syracuse on this day as they were a lot bigger then the opponent.  They picked up 51 rebounds including 18 on the offensive side of the glass.  Rakeem Christmas and DaJuan Coleman accounted for 16 of those.  The more important thing is that they put in 22 points as well.  Anything from those two will be considered as a bonus since this team doesn’t really run too many plays for either.

3) Trevor Cooney’s inconsistency continues with a 2-for-8 afternoon.  Cooney was coming off a 12 point effort against Alcorn State, but just hasn’t been able to put together two good games in a row since early this month.  The best thing for him to do is to concern himself with being a better defensive player whose offensive output will come at some point.  If he loses his way on the other end of the court then his minutes will be reduced.

4) Earlier this year, I did an article pointing out other schools who are home heavy during the early months of the season.  While I’m not ready to completely crush the school for it’s schedule, I’d like to see them play more away from the Dome early on.  Even if it’s an opponent that isn’t up to Big East quality, it’s still a chance to challenge them.  Now this is a comfortable team who gets bored with weak opponents and is prone to stretches of poor play. Focus will have to be sharper starting January 2nd with Rutgers.