Syracuse may play small to win big.
The Orange will travel to the Prudential Center for its first true road game of the season to face Seton Hall (7-8, 1-2 Big East). The Pirates are coming off back-to-back losses to No. 25 Cincinnati (70-53) and No. 23 Louisville (73-54).
It will face Syracuse (15-0, 2-0), which may have found its most potent lineup in Saturday’s impressive 70-58 win over No. 15 Notre Dame.
With the score tied at 44 midway through the second half, SU head coach Jim Boeheim moved starting power forward Rick Jackson to the center position and inserted sophomore James Southerland into the lineup. He joined wing Kris Joseph and guards Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters.
“I thought the game turned on that,” Boeheim said.
It was a fair assessment.
After the lineup change, SU went on a 29-7 run that broke open the game.
Part of the reason for the lineup’s success was because SU matched up better against Notre Dame’s perimeter shooters. Rather than having Jackson chase shooters out on the perimeter, the senior patrolled the paint, collecting a career-high six blocks.
That allowed the Orange to pester the Irish on the perimeter as SU held the Irish to just 42 percent from the field. Prior to the game, the Irish was the second best team in the country in shooting at 52 percent a game.
That doesn’t bode well for Seton Hall, who already has trouble scoring. The Pirates are 291st in the NCAA in field goal percentage, shooting just 40.4 percent, and 214th in scoring, at 67.9 points per game.
“Playing good defense has been our thing,” Joseph said. “Playing good defense is what we want to do to win games. We know some nights our offense will not be there.”
But last Saturday, offense was not a problem thanks to the smaller lineup.
“Rick controlled the middle,” Jardine said. “That allowed us to get out in the open court. I’ve said this before, but when we get out in the open court, I don’t think anyone can beat us.”
Wesley Cheng is the Editor in Chief for The Juice Online.
- Syracuse 31, Connecticut 24 — What we learned - September 26, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: 2017 defensive end Jonathan Kingsley commits to Syracuse - September 26, 2016
- Connecticut Huskies — 2016 Syracuse football scouting report - September 23, 2016
- Even Syracuse football’s best coaches needed time - September 22, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Syracuse makes Mohamed Bamba’s final seven - September 22, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Syracuse coach Gerry McNamara visits Hamidou Diallo - September 20, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Syracuse offers 2018 QB Devin Leary - September 19, 2016
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 20, South Florida 45 - September 17, 2016
- Before Syracuse, Babers’ teams at Eastern Illinois, Bowling Green were routed, too - September 16, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Syracuse and Kentucky working hardest for Quade Green - September 16, 2016