Syracuse cruised past Central Connecticut State 96-62 for Jim Boeheim’s 902nd career win. Here are some thoughts from the game:
Dajuan still needs to improve inside
The Blue Devil’s tallest player was 6’8″, yet Coleman still had four of his shots blocked. He’s too skilled and too big to be struggling against smaller players, especially with conference play right around the corner. There will be plenty of players his size in the Big East. “He’s not used to the big guys yet. They are bigger than he’s used to playing against. It will take time,” Boeheim said. “When get against the really big teams, like the seven footers, it will be an adjustment for him. He hasn’t played those guys. The first year is a learning experience for any low post player.”
Don’t call it a comeback
Because according to Boeheim, Syracuse never left. The Orange, at least, percentage-wise, had struggled with their shooting over the past few games. But the Orange shot 50.6 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from downtown. Michael Carter-Williams, who came in shooting just 20 percent from beyond the arc was 3-4. “Take the best hitter in baseball. He’s going to go 0-for-15 during the course of the season. It’s not a slump,” Boeheim said. “It’s just reality. It’s just what it is. You just keep playing. In the long run, at the end of the day, the percentages will be what they are. They will be where they are going to be.”
Takeaway from non-conference play
The biggest takeaway I got from non-conference play is the importance of Michael Carter-Williams. It’s an obvious statement, but it’s still worth noting. When Syracuse isn’t creating turnovers and getting out in transition, or if Carter-Williams isn’t getting into the lane and making plays for his teammates, the offense comes to a standstill. That’s what was happening in the first nine minutes of the game when the Blue Devils actually held a two point lead. Once the Orange created some turnovers and got some movement on offense that allowed Carter-Williams to create, SU ran away with the game. As Carter-Williams goes, so does the Orange.