Senior night went off without much of a hitch as Syracuse blew out woeful DePaul 78-57. With the win, the Orange moved to 23-7 on the season snapping a three game losing streak. They enter their rivalry game with Georgetown with a bit of momentum as they clicked in all facets of the game.
CJ Fair scored 16 points, putting him in double digits for the 20th time this season as the lefty continues to be the team’s best scorer and most reliable player. Fair had help in James Southerland, who added a double-double (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Brandon Triche as well. The seniors played inspired basketball even though Southerland’s long-range touch was not evident in the win. He missed eight of his nine three-point shots. More importantly, Triche may be starting to get out of the slump that has dragged him–and seemingly the team–down.
The team crushed DePaul on the boards, but they had foul trouble at the center position all game long. Rakeem Christmas fouled out pretty quickly and was only able to score six points while adding six rebounds in the win.
While the seniors played well, the newer players didn’t have their best effort. Trevor Cooney, DaJuan Coleman and Jerami Grant combined for five points and seven rebounds. It’s too late to get them more time as the rotation has been clearly defined. It’s just a shame that what was once perceived as a deep team with many options has now been reduced to a few guys who are inconsistent.
All in all, the Orange are a flawed team that may win a game depending on the matchup. A lot of the bracketologists have them facing Davidson or Stephen F. Austin, which would not work out in Syracuse’s favor. We’ll see come March. Lowered expectations could lead to big surprises for the fans.