The Orange easily handled the Colgate Raiders 87-51 in the Carrier Dome. Here are a few thoughts from the game:
1. Sophomore Slump?
Thought Trevor Cooney is technically a redshirt freshman as far the NCAA is concerned, this is his second year on campus. So is this why he’s started off the season in such a shooting slump? Starting off the year 2-for-15 from behind the arc isn’t what Orange fans expected out of the sharpshooter. But Cooney showed something today that made me hopeful. He got the ball out around the arc and drove to the basket, was fouled, and made the layup. It showed that he’s a versatile player. He just needs to drive more when his shot is cold since he has the ability.
2. Sixth Man of the Year.
I’m starting the campaign now. James Southerland for sixth man of the year. Southerland scored 18 against Colgate and shot 7-for-12 after going 7-for-11 against Princeton. The guy can shoot. But not all of his buckets come from deep. Southerland is so tall and lengthy that he can play at almost any position on the court. And having the ability to drive gives opposing defenses all sorts of headaches. Do you guard him tight on the perimeter with the chance that he’ll blow by you? Or do you sag off to prevent the drive and let him shoot? I really wouldn’t want to do either of those things…
3. Cleaning it up.
The Orange always play sloppy early on in the season, it’s a given. The Orange turned the ball over a combined 49 times in the first three games. That’s an average of about 16 turnovers a game. But Syracuse only turned the ball over six times today. I understand that we played Colgate, but even against Wagner the team turned it over 18 times. The team is making better passes and less stupid mistakes. We didn’t try to launch the ball down the court in an attempt to beat the defense at all against Colgate. The team is cleaning it up and playing smarter basketball. And when Michael Carter-Williams is passing like he did against the Raiders, with 10 assists in the first half alone, it’s going to be a good, clean day for the Orange.