Sloppy 83-77 win for Syracuse. The Orange looked good on offense and built a double-digit lead each half, but once they built that lead, Iona responded quickly. A lot of that had to do with the defense. Although Syracuse held to 29 percent shooting from downtown, the Gaels had a lot of open looks and simply missed open shots. If they were shooting a little better today, this would’ve been even closer.
Nice game for Kris Joseph today. He seemed to let the game come to him more. When he forces his offense he either draws charges or puts up bad shots. But Joseph was finishing around the hoop and his outside shot was there as well. His 21 points lead the way, which was good, because Rick Jackson had a relatively quiet night. After all of the double-doubles he’s been getting, he didn’t even get a single-double tonight, scoring eight points and adding eight rebounds. You can’t always be good every night, but I guess I’ve gotten spoiled by Jackson’s great start to the season.
So it looks like C.J. Fair turned his ankle pretty badly. I didn’t see which play it was, but according to coach Jim Boeheim, the ankle swelled up pretty badly at halftime, and Fair didn’t play a single minute in the second half. Fab Melo also hurt his calf again. Why is Boeheim playing Melo right now? Even in the beginning of the game, he was slow getting up and down the court. Isn’t it better just to shut him down for the rest of non-conference play, and have him try to play again in the Big East? This to me doesn’t seem like a smart move and could lead to a more severe injury.
With that said, the minutes ended up going to James Southerland. It’s pretty clear that this guy has a lot of talent. For the second straight game, he came in and provided quality minutes. He drained a 3-pointer from 24 feet away and then threw down a nasty alley-oop. He’s got a lot of talent and he can stuff the stat sheet, too. He played 10 minutes in the second half, finishing with seven points and two rebounds.
That leads me to my next point. When is Mookie Jones going to transfer? He’s got absolutely no chance of landing in this rotation. He’s not going to play ahead of C.J. Fair or Dion Waiters. It’s clear he’s also behind Southerland in the rotation. Once Trevor Cooney gets here next year, forget about it. He’ll be lucky if he gets Matt Gorman-type minutes next year. Maybe Jones played the team that he’ll be playing for in two years.
Mike Glover is the real deal. I think he may be one of the best interior guys Syracuse plays all year. He was really good at finding the soft spots in the zone, and Iona was really good at finding him in the soft spots in the zone. He ended up with 25 points and 16 rebounds on 9-for-11 shooting. He also had a dunk clinic in the second half, throwing a couple down on consecutive possessions. If anyone were to create a tape of how to break down a zone, check Iona’s performance out in the second half between the 13 and 11 minute mark. There are two Glover dunks and a Kyle Smyth jumper. Iona has got a lot of weapons and they all complement each other. The Gaels are going to be one of the top teams in the MAAC.
Wesley Cheng is the Editor in Chief for The Juice Online.