Syracuse never trailed and blew out Long Beach State 84-53 for Jim Boeheim’s 897th career win. Here are my grades from the game:
CJ Fair: A
This was Fair’s best game of the season. He was aggressive early and got inside at will. He finished with 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
Rakeem Christmas: B+
Christmas missed a defensive assignment that allowed Peter Pappageorge to hit a 3 in the first half. Boeheim called timeout and proceeded to chew him out for the entire duration of the break. Raise your hand if you would want to be Rakeem there? Yeah, I didn’t think so. But Christmas responded with a couple of thunderous dunks, and finished with 11 points and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes.
DaJuan Coleman: C+
Coleman struggled in his defensive assignment against 6’9″, 255 pound West Virginia transfer Dan Jennings. Jennings went for a game-high 20, and Coleman got shifted to the wing in the second half. He was also 0-4 from the field, but he did grab 9 rebounds.
Brandon Triche: B+
Triche took a couple of wild shots, and finished 3-10 from the field. But you have to like the way he stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Michael Carter-Williams: A-
Ho-hum. Another double-double (15 points, 10 dimes) for Carter-Williams. The difference in this game was that the starting point guard was connecting on his shots form distance, with a season-high 3 treys. 3-8 from downtown is a welcome sign considering he came in shooting 6 (!) percent from downtown. I’m nitpicking here, but 4 turnovers also wasn’t great, and he was 5-16 from the field.
James Southerland: D
Southerland had his second straight off game after his 35 point performance against Arkansas. He missed all 3 of his 3-point attempts, but did add 5 boards.
Baye Keita: B+
Syracuse is at its defensive best when Keita is manning the middle. In just 15 minutes, Keita had 5 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Trevor Cooney: B+
You can tell that Cooney’s confidence is coming around. He had another 11 point game and was 3-7 from downtown. I’d like to see him get more involved in rebounding (he had 0), though.
Jerami Grant: A-
I don’t think Grant should be taking more than one 3 a game (he took 3). But he was great otherwise getting inside for a couple of impresive dunks and finished with 9 points and 5 boards.