Instant Juice: Syracuse 79, Cal State Los Angeles 49

A quick take on Syracuse’s 79-49 win over Cal State Los Angeles in its first exhibition game of the season:

The Orange played a sloppy first half of basketball in its first exhibition game of the season, but went on a 16-5 run and outscored the Golden Eagles 50-27 in the second half. Syracuse held Cal State LA to 28 percent shooting from the floor while collecting 11 steals and 12 blocks. But the Orange was sloppy as well, committing 17 turnovers. SU also shot just 3 for 16 from 3-point land.

Here are some thoughts from the game:

* Fab Melo looked more comfortable in the zone as well as transition, and ended up leading Syracuse in scoring with 12 points. He was also active on defense, finishing with two blocks and eight rebounds. “I think he’s just in better condition. He’s more ready and he’s understanding more of what it is about,” SU coach Jim Boeheim said to reporters following the game. “I think he’s in better shape and better able to get up and down.”

* Freshman Trevor Cooney impressed in limited minutes, displaying a nice touch while finishing with seven points in six minutes of play.

* Fellow freshman Rakeem Christmas played some minutes at center and displayed some athleticism, but was also in foul trouble for much of the game.

* The third freshman, Michael Carter-Williams, played point guard with Dion Waiters at the shooting guard, and had some nice plays, and also some freshman mistakes. Waiters forced his offense on several plays, and although he finished with 10 points, several of those were fast break dunks. He was 0 for 3 from downtown.

* CJ Fair showed his new shooting touch, draining his only 3-point attempt of the game. He was 1 for 3 from beyond the arc all last season.

* Brandon Triche finished with six points, going 2 for 11 from the field and he missed on all three of his 3-point attempts. But many of those shots were makeable, and would fall on most nights.

* Kris Joseph, who was bothered by a sore knee all week, scored a quiet 11 points. He also missed a few defensive assignments. “Kris has not been able to practice full speed,” Boeheim said. “He hasn’t done some defensive drills that we’ve done. He’s missed those and it showed. He was not good on the defensive end of the court.”

* Scoop Jardine was happy to dish and defer to his teammates. Jardine finished with nine points, seven assists and just two turnovers in an effective 17 minutes of play.

* Mookie Jones continues to look lost. He fouled out in eight minutes of play.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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