Rough Start Leads to Solid Finish for Syracuse

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

It will not go on Syracuse’s 2012-13 highlight video, but in the end the Orange got a win over Providence 72-66.  The Orange were down three in the first half as Bryce Cotton torched the 2-3 zone.  Trouble was he had no help and Syracuse’s talent won out. With that, let’s nitpick what they did right and wrong.

1) We’ve crushed Rakeem Christmas at times in these articles, but he stepped up big time scoring 15 points adding eight rebounds.  Christmas made six of his eight shots and looked competent offensively.  This is a team that will not run too many plays for their big men, but that may change if they show some proficiency.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, DaJuan Coleman played two minutes picking up one foul and sitting on the bench.  He’s not progressing as much as they wished he would.

2) CJ Fair put up a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds.  Fair is such a glue guy for this team and his improved distance shooting is making him tougher and tougher to guard.  The lefty has no problems getting to the rim…it was shooting from 12-15 feet that was the problem.  He went nine-of-10 from the line and was the only miss for them in 18 attempts which is fantastic.

3) Rebounding was not an issue winning that battle 36-22.  They had 16 offensive boards to eight for the Friars.  They had the taller team so these numbers were to be expected even though they had their issues here during November and December games.  Because of the smaller team, Baye Keita didn’t see much time in this one.

4) There were five players who saw the majority of the time in this one. It concerns me that Trevor Cooney and Jerami Grant aren’t getting a ton of time because they are either struggling with the physicality or not practicing well-enough for Coach Boeheim’s liking.

A win is a win for the Orange. Next up is a home game Saturday against Villanova before a big one at Louisville on the 19th.

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