Syracuse 69, Colgate 50 — What we learned

Syracuse improved to 3-0 with a 69-50 win over Colgate on Saturday. Here are a few thoughts from the game:

Free throws matter

Syracuse has never been a particularly good free throw shooting team, but Saturday’s performance was completely unacceptable. Syracuse shot 12 for 28 from the line (42.9 percent), with Michael Gbinije (5-12) and DaJuan Coleman (0-3) being among the top offenders. “You can’t miss 16 free throws,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “Offensively we need to shoot better from the free-throw line.” The poor shooting didn’t affect the outcome of this game, because Syracuse can simply overpower their Patriot League rivals, but if Syracuse were to do that against an ACC opponent, it would almost certainly result in a loss.

"If you're playing a slow-paced game, you can't miss 16 free throws." - Boeheim

Boeheim: ‘You can’t miss 16 free throws.’

» Related: Rapid reaction to SU’s win over Colgate

Syracuse lacking in perimeter D?

Colgate hung around in this game in the second half mostly due to their 3-point shooting. The Raiders shot 11 for 28 from downtown, and on the season, teams are hitting at a 36.7 percent clip against the

Orange. To put that in better context, Syracuse held opponents to just 28.4 percent with Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche at the top of the zone. Still, Boeheim seemed unconcerned about his team’s 3-point defense three games into the season: “We actually defended the three point line pretty well. When they take 35 seconds to make 15 or 20 passes and we still defend the line pretty well, that’s pretty good. They made 11. They made a couple of really tough ones but that’s okay. That’s acceptable.”

Roberson is going to be a star

Tyler Roberson’s night will be remembered more for the things that he missed rather than what he made. Roberson clanked two dunks in the closing minutes, sending the Orange bench into a comical frenzy. The botched jams were part of a 1-for-8 night for the highly touted freshman. Still, Roberson was active in his limited playing time. “If he made his dunks and a lay-up, he would have hit 10 points and five rebounds in 10 minutes,” Boeheim said. “So that’s good, but he’s not getting a lot of minutes.” In the limited amount of time he’s played, you can tell that Roberson is going to be a star. He oozes potential and possesses boundless athleticism, much like what Jerami Grant displayed in his rookie year.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

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.
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