Syracuse lost its first game of the season to Temple on Saturday, 83-79. Here are my grades from the game:
CJ Fair: A
I was a little worried about CJ’s aggressiveness in SU’s game against Detroit. I guess I have less to worry about now. Fair was all over the floor and had his midrange game working in his best game of the season with 25 points and 7 rebounds.
Rakeem Christmas: C+
All anyone will remember from Christmas’ game will be that botched alley-oop he had early in the second half. His stat line of 4 points and 6 rebounds was solid, but he displayed some poor judgment when the Orange went to a press as the back-line defender.
DaJuan Coleman: INC
Coleman started the first and second half, and then got the Fab Melo freshman treatment. He played 4 minutes, and was benched 1:18 into the second half and never returned.
Brandon Triche: A-
This is one of those games you would’ve liked to have seen Triche be even more aggressive because he finished with 17 points on 12 shots. When he was taking his shots, he was hitting them. I kept waiting for Boeheim to move Triche to point to get some better ball movement, but it never happened.
Michael Carter-Williams: D
Carter-Williams reinforced the rule on Saturday that the Orange will go only as far as he will take them. 3-17 shooting isn’t going to cut it. Neither is 0-5 from downtown and of course 7-15 from the line. Afterward, he told me that if he had hit his free throws, Syracuse would’ve won. Perhaps, but it wouldn’t have been a game if he had distributed the ball (only 6 assists) better rather than looking for his shot.
James Southerland: C
Southerland was made a non-factor by Temple. The Owls located him on the perimeter and he only took two 3s, missing both of them. Still, he was able to pull down 9 rebounds. It’s important he stays active in the game, even if he’s not getting his shots.
Baye Keita: A
Keita is proving once again he is the Orange’s most dependable center. He played 24 minutes and finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds, 6 on the offensive end. He was also a much better choice for the back end of the press.
Trevor Cooney: C-
Cooney looked like a deer in headlights in the 8 minutes he played. He badly misfired on an open 3, and just had no luck getting shots to fall.
Jerami Grant: INC
Grant played five minutes, and was in the trillion club. Not much else to say about his day.