A quick take on Syracuse’s 88-57 win against Wagner on Sunday afternoon at the Carrier Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: In an ugly game, the Orange’s talent and athleticism was eventually too much for a scrappy Wagner.
ANALYSIS: The Orange struggled with turnovers and an abysmal first half shooting performance, but after Wagner hung close for much of the first frame, the Orange clawed their way to a 13-point halftime lead that the Seahawks never managed to cut into. Syracuse ran away with things in the second.
HERO: The seniors stepped up in this one. Brandon Triche didn’t shoot well early, but he quarterbacked an offense that was struggling and crashed the boards hard, finishing with 21 points and 7 rebounds. James Southerland, showing off a diversified offensive game, provided the bench spark everyone was hoping for while filling up the stat sheet with 15 points and 3 blocks, and playing his typical frenetic, disruptive defense.
Honorable mention goes to Trevor Cooney, who played stellar defense (6 steals in 20 minutes of run, countless deflections), showed off a nice passing flare, and generally confirmed suspicions that he’s much more than just a sharpshooter.
ZERO: As a team, Wagner shot a ghastly 20-61 (32.8%) and had trouble dealing with Syracuse’s length and quickness, which is going to be a problem for a lot of opponents this year. The Seahawks turned the ball over 23 times, with 6 players coughing it up at least twice, many of which were unforced. As expected, the Orange dominated every statistical category.
This isn’t a “zero” per se. But on the Cuse end, Michael Carter-Williams struggled mightily for much of the first half. He had difficulty dealing with on-ball pressure from Wagner’s Kenneth Ortiz, turning the ball over several times near half court and struggling to turn the corner to penetrate. MCW settled down in the second half and started distributing the ball well, finishing with 11 assists to 3 turns. However, he’ll need to learn to deal with pressure, as well as how to pick his spots on offense, as the competition gets better.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will continue its home stand on Wednesday, Nov. 21 against Princeton at 7 p.m. TV: SNY.Corey Mallonee (Follow on Twitter @CoreyMallonee)