A quick take on Syracuse’s 79-41 exhibition win over Holy Family:
Nice job from Tyler Ennis in his home debut. He played 18 minutes and finished with 12 points and 3 assists. You can definitely tell its his team with the way he was orchestrating the offense. Ennis had two turnovers, but that was the a product of playing against live competition for the first time since August. “I don’t even think about him,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. We all know that actually amounts to a compliment in Boeheim’s world.
Syracuse has plenty of depth in the front court, but that’s not the case at the point guard position. Michael Gbinije will be backing up Ennis this season, and got off to a slow start. He turned the ball over five times against the Holy Family press, and generally looked uncomfortable. He didn’t play point guard at Duke, so he’s still learning the position, but Gbinije has to do better (and he will).
James Southerland isn’t around to stretch the floor this season, so Trevor Cooney must have a better sophomore campaign. He shot just 27 percent from beyond the arc last season, but was 3-4 from downtown and looked good shooting the ball. Cooney was the subject of unfair expectations last season; this should be the start of something exciting.
Jerami Grant really excites me. He tied with CJ Fair for a team-high 13 points and was an impressive 7-9 from the line. He shot just 56 percent from the line as a freshman, and with his playing style, he will be at the line plenty this year. It’s good to see that he’s made an improvement in this area.
Speaking of Fair, he finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds, which we’ve come to expect. But how about his five assists? “He’s gotten better,” Boeheim said. “I think he showed that he has improved his play.”
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.