A quick take on Syracuse’s 84-48 win over Eastern Michigan on Friday night:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse missed 9 of its first 11 shots to start and trailed 10-3 with 14:59 in the first half. SU head coach Jim Boeheim switched the Orange into a full court press, and Syracuse closed the half on a 32-5 run, and led 35-17 at intermission. The Orange had no problems getting its offense started in the second half, which allowed Boeheim to insert the walk-ons with 1:06 left. The final score was actually the exact same score when the two teams met last season.
ANALYSIS: It was an ugly, sloppy first half for the Orange as they committed 10 turnovers. Michael Carter-Williams was the main culprit with five of them. Former Syracuse assistant, and current EMU head coach Rob Murphy’s 2-3 zone frustrated SU for the first 10 minutes before Boeheim employed a full court press. That allowed Syracuse to dictate the pace, and the Orange took control from there.
HERO: Jerami Grant had the best game of his young career, following the Arkansas game where he logged just one minute. He finished with 11 points, showing activity in the zone, even knocking down a 3-pointer. Grant’s play should leave Rakeem Christmas looking over his shoulder as Big East play approaches. Carter-Williams settled down after his sloppy start, and finished with 11 points and 11 assists, and just 1 turnover in the second half. Trevor Cooney, who had struggled all season, had his best game, as well. He knocked down a pair of 3s, and had a thunderous dunk plus a foul and had 11 points.
ZERO: One game after James Southerland had a career-high 35 points on an SU record 9 3-pointers, Southerland had a quiet night in his return to the Dome with 4 points, missing all 5 of his 3-point attempts. Former Orange center Da’Shonte Riley played some solid defense in his return to the Carrier Dome with a game-high 6 blocks and added 5 rebounds, but was just 1-8 from the field for 3 points. The Eagles shot just 29.5 percent from the field, and 4 for 19 from downtown, and turned the ball over 23 times. Syracuse wasn’t much better from beyond the arc, going just 5-22.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will continue its home-stand against Long Beach State on Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. TV: ESPN2.Wesley Cheng