Syracuse’s struggles from downtown continue

Syracuse shot just 20 percent (4-for-20) from downtown in Saturday’s 63-61 win over West Virginia, as Kris Joseph, Dion Waiters and James Southerland combined to go 0-for-10 from downtown.

“I don’t think James (Southerland) can get better looks from 3,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “We’ve got to make some of those shots.”

But the Orange hasn’t made many recently, continuing a six-game funk.

» More on SU’s struggles: Should we be worried about Syracuse’s offense?
» Orange overcome poor shooting to top West Virginia
» Can SU get back on track? Discuss.

“We are getting good looks,” Boeheim said. “We really haven’t shot the ball well from the three since the league started.”

You’d have to go all the way back to Jan. 7 when the Orange defeated Marquette to find the last time Syracuse enjoyed a solid shooting performance from beyond the arc. In that game, SU shot 40 percent.

The Orange shot 30.4 percent from downtown (7-for-23) against the Fighting Irish, which is the highest percentage during the six games. The other four games include Cincinnati (25.0 percent), Pittsburgh (27.8), Providence (25.0) and Villanova (27.8).

Worse yet, it isn’t defenses that are causing SU’s shooting woes.

“They are open shots,” guard Brandon Triche said. “We are lining them up and they just aren’t going in. They look like they are going in but end up hitting back rim.”

Joseph has been one of the main culprits.

Since Jan. 11, Joseph is shooting 3-for-35 from 3-point land, or 8 percent. In non-conference play, Joseph was shooting 42 percent from 3. In Big East play, he is only shooting 24 percent.

But the blame doesn’t fall squarely on Joseph. Both Southerland (5-for-25, 20 percent) and Triche (3-for-14, 21 percent) have struggled in those six games.

Scoop Jardine has been SU’s best shooter during this stretch, shooting 8-for-21 (38 percent), including 2-for-6 from 3 against West Virginia. Waiters has also been solid, shooting 7-for-20 (35 percent).

Jardine isn’t worried about the shooting slump.

“We are getting the same looks,” Jardine said. “We just have to calm down and knock them down. You will go through stretches like this in the middle of the season, you aren’t worried about it.”

Corey Mallonee contributed to this story with reporting from Syracuse.

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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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