Syracuse returns home to play the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Monday. Here is a scouting report for the game:
MIRROR IMAGE: Former Syracuse assistant coach Rob Murphy has brought a flavor of Central New York to Michigan. Whether it is former SU walk-on Jake Presutti being involved in basketball operations, or former SU center Da’Shonte Riley, who now starts for the Eagles, Murphy has done his best to emulate the Orange. The Eagles are off to a 5-1 start this season, allowing opponents to score just 52.7 points per game, good for seventh in the nation. That can be attributed to its 2-3 zone, and EMU’s ability to get out on the fast break—sound familiar?
SCOUTING THE EAGLES: Riley is a familiar name to the Orange and to some sports betting fans. He played in 17 games as a freshman in 2009-10, and played key minutes in SU’s NCAA tournament run after an injury to Arinze Onuaku. Since then, he has blossomed into a solid contributor for EMU. In the Eagles’ 75-57 win over NAIA Madonna (Mich.), Riley led the way with a career-high 13 rebounds, to go with seven points and five blocks. He’s averaging 3.8 points, 7.2 boards and 2.5 blocks while manning the middle of the zone. Daylen Harrison leads the team with 14.2 points and 7.0 rebounds a game. The athletic 6-6 wing is hitting 40 percent of his 3s and 51.9 percent of his shots.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: This will be the third meeting between the two teams. Last season, the Orange cruised past Murphy’s team, 84-48, behind James Southerland’s 19 points on 3 of 6 shooting from downtown. Kris Joseph chipped in 11 points as the Orange took control with an 18-3 run. The Eagles won the first ever meeting between the two schools, 68-65 on December 14, 1996.
GAME INFORMATION: Monday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m. at Syracuse. TV: ESPNU.Wesley Cheng