A quick take on Syracuse’s 78-54 win over Florida State on Sunday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: A game that didn’t come down to the final possessions? It’s been a rarity for Syracuse lately, but the Orange finally got a relatively easy win in their regular season finale. After Florida State had pulled to within one midway through the second half, a 12-2 run capped by a Jerami Grant free throw gave the Orange a 59-48 lead with 7:24 left. And, unlike recent games against weaker opponents, Syracuse didn’t let up, going on a 7-2 run to finish.
ANALYSIS: With Jerami Grant back in the lineup, Syracuse looked like a completely different team in every single facet of the game. The offense, which had not cracked 70 points since SU’s win over Duke at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 1, finally ended that streak, while shooting 48 percent from the field. Defensively, Syracuse collected eight steals and five blocks, and held the Seminoles to 38 percent shooting from the field. That led to uncharacteristic transition opportunities for SU. But Grant’s presence was most obvious in the rebounding category. With their leading rebounder back in the lineup, SU held a 42-23 advantage on the glass, with 17 of those on the offensive end.
HERO: CJ Fair shot the ball well all afternoon, and finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Grant, who looked rusty at times, but otherwise fully healthy after missing time due to a sore back, contributed 16 points and 8 rebounds. Tyler Ennis was the chief beneficiary of the transition game, and chipped in 16 points and 4 assists.
ZERO: Aaron Thomas came into Sunday’s game a 40.8 percent shooter from beyond the arc, but missed all six of his tries. He also had 4 of FSU’s 11 turnovers.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will be the No. 2 seed for the ACC Tournament next week in Greensboro, North Carolina.