Boeheim not pleased with Syracuse’s defense

Heading into Tuesday night’s game against Albany, Syracuse had two players highlighted in its scouting report—guards Gerardo Suero and Logan Aronhalt. After Syracuse’s 98-74 win over the Great Danes, it was obvious Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s team didn’t read the scouting report carefully enough.

“We did talk about the two guys we wanted to be aware of,” Boeheim said to reporters following the game. “We held them to 51, so that was good.”

Through two games this season, Suero has been Albany’s top scorer, averaging 23 points a game on 61.9 percent shooting from the field.

That trend continued against Syracuse, as the 6-foot-4 guard was routinely able to attack the basket and draw contact against the Orange’s interior defenders, finishing with 31 points. He was part of the reason why SU big men Fab Melo (4 fouls) and Rakeem Christmas (3) were in foul trouble throughout the night.

Suero went to the line 12 times, hitting 11 free throws. He also went 9-for-16 from the field, seven of those shots coming from inside the arc.

For the game, the Great Danes shot 33 free throws on 23 SU fouls.

“That was shocking,” Boeheim said. “That’s a lot of free throws. We can’t be putting people on the foul line too many times.”

When Suero wasn’t penetrating into the paint, Albany had moderate success shooting over the top of Syracuse’s zone.

Aronhalt hit four shots from beyond the arc (although he missed seven of them), and finished with 20 points. He was also 4-for-4 from the line.

“He’s a really good shooter,” Boeheim said. “He did us a favor and missed a couple for us.”

To SU’s credit, aside from Suero, the Great Danes couldn’t get much else going in the paint. Syracuse outscored Albany 60-20 on the interior and also came away with a 47-29 rebounding advantage. But Boeheim’s takeaway from this game was clear—SU needs to be more disciplined on defense.

“I didn’t think we were as active defensively and that’s probably why we fouled more than we should have,” Boeheim said. “We don’t want to put someone on the lines so many times.”

Avatar photo
About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, 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 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]