Orange Look To Rebound: #6 Syracuse At Seton Hall
- CoachingSyracuse lost to Connecticut on Wednesday, moving them into a three-way tie for first in the Big East. Jim Boeheim will try to get his team refocused and continue to work James Southerland back into the mix.Seton Hall has taken a step back in Kevin Willard’s third year. The Pirates are just 2-10 in the Big East and enter Saturday’s game on a six-game losing streak.
- OffenseFour Orange players average double digits in scoring. Brandon Triche can be a streaky outside shooter and 6’6” Michael Carter-Williams can sometimes force the issue, but that’s nitpicking—this is a high-level offense.Fuquan Edwin leads the team with 17 points per game and is one of several capable three-point shooters on the roster. But this offense is second to last in the Big East in points per possession, largely due to an abundance of turnovers.
- DefensePlayers like Carter-Williams, Southerland, and C.J. Fair fit very nicely into Boeheim’s 2-3 zone, as they have great length and athleticism. They close out on three-point shooters and keep opponents off the offensive glass.The Pirates foul often and don’t force many turnovers, making it easy for opponents to rack up points. They will have their hands full against a Syracuse team with so many options.
- Bench DepthJerami Grant joined the starting lineup when Southerland was ineligible and Boehim says it will stay that way now that Southerland is back; he scored 14 off the bench on Wednesday.Willard has shuffled his lineup this season, but he plays nine guys consistently. He has several shooters at his disposal, including Kyle Smyth, who played for Willard at Iona.
Seton Hall will likely struggle against the zone—they shot just 31 percent and turned it over 23 times against Syracuse in a 26-point loss last season. Syracuse has the edge in this one. -Andrew Kahn, College Basketball Contributor