A quick take on Syracuse’s at times challenging 65-47 win over Hampton in the second round of the 2K Sports Classic, in front of an announced crowd of 22,848 at the Carrier Dome Sunday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: For a team that didn’t even arrive in Syracuse until three and a half hours before the 4:00 tip-off due to travel issues leaving Iowa Saturday, Hampton (0-2) came out unfazed playing patient offense probing the Orange zone “D”, and gave SU fits playing its own version of the zone. After trailing by as many as 12 early in the second half, HU cut the lead to four with just under nine minutes to play before succumbing to the more athletic Orange. On the eve of his 70th birthday, Jim Boeheim won his 950th career game.
ANALYSIS: Hampton gave Syracuse (2-0) a taste of its own zone defense medicine forcing the Orange to get good shooting looks at the basket, and often times it was one and done offensively against the pesky Pirates. Big men Rakeem Christmas and Chris McCullough were in second half foul trouble, but when on the court were too much for the smaller Pirates combining for 28 points and 20 rebounds.
HERO: Christmas continued his early season flourish offensively and on the boards, finishing just a rebound shy of a double-double at halftime. In all, Christmas had a career high 16 rebounds to go along with game high 15 points, before limited by late foul trouble.
ZERO: The Orange field goal shooting went through stretches in which it was almost as cold as the 30° temperatures outside of the Dome. SU struggled for consistency against a mix of Hampton defenses before finally putting the Pirates away in the final 5:00 of the game. McCullough was a spectator much of the second half after picking up his fourth foul with just over 17:00 to play, but still finished with 11 points.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse heads to Madison Square Garden Thursday night to face off against California in the semi-finals of the 2K Classic. Cal (2-0) routed Kennesaw State 93-59 Sunday evening. Iowa (1-0) and Texas (2-0) are the other two teams playing in New York. Game time: 9:00 p.m. ET (approximate) / TV: ESPN2.
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 31, Connecticut 24 - September 24, 2016
- Orange Watch: Tough to be patient with Syracuse in world of Power Five - September 20, 2016
- Orange Watch: The top quarterbacks to play against Syracuse in Carrier Dome history - September 13, 2016
- Orange Watch: If “Orange is the new fast” for Syracuse football, keep it coming - September 6, 2016
- Orange Watch: Part II, 2016 Syracuse football game-by-game previews and predictions - August 26, 2016
- Orange Watch: Part I, 2016 Syracuse football game-by-game previews and predictions - August 23, 2016
- Orange Watch: Will new Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison return to Syracuse this season? - August 9, 2016
- Orange Watch: NCAA graduate transfer rule could alter 2016-17 Syracuse basketball - July 26, 2016
- Orange Watch: Syracuse football will benefit from new AD, football coach, Carrier Dome - July 12, 2016
- Syracuse names alum John Wildhack as new athletic director - July 6, 2016