A quick take on Syracuse’s 96-62 win over Central Connecticut State to finish non-conference play:
WHAT HAPPENED: The Blue Devil’s Kyle Vinales hit three early 3-pointers as Central Connecticut State took a 21-18 lead with 9:00 in the first half. From there, Syracuse went on a 29-5 run and took a commanding 47-26 lead at intermission and would outscore CCSU 49-36 in the second half. The win was Jim Boeheim’s 902nd win, tying him with Bobby Knight for second all-time among NCAA coaches.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s bugaboos from their last few games surfaced. Once again, the Orange struggled with finishing inside, despite playing a much smaller team (the Blue Devil’s tallest player is 6’8″). Dajuan Coleman was blocked four separate times. Syracuse was sloppy with the ball again, coughing it up 16 times. SU again struggled at the line, as they finished 8-13 (61 percent), with the biggest offenders being Rakeem Christmas (1-3) and Coleman (3-5). Of course, things like that don’t matter in the actual game when you’re a superior team on every level. The Orange dominated virtually every statistical category including rebounding (57-32), field goal percentage (51%-32%) and 3-point shooting (45%-26%), and looked much better as opposed to their games against Temple and Alcorn State.
HERO: Michael Carter-Williams fell one rebound shy of a triple-double, and finished with a career-high 18 rebounds and 13 assists, but also had 6 turnovers. CJ Fair chipped in 13 points and 10 rebounds. Syracuse has now won 32 games at the Carrier Dome, the longest active home winning streak in the nation.
ZERO: CCSU has almost no inside game to speak of, and relies mostly on 3-point shooting. Problem is, they couldn’t do that either against the Orange, shooting 9-35 (25 percent) from distance. Vinales after starting 4-8 from downtown finished 4-13. Adonis Burbage was 3-12.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse opens its Big East schedule when they play Rutgers on Jan. 2. at 7 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. TV: Big East Network/MSG/Time Warner.Wesley Cheng