Syracuse struggled in the first five minutes before cruising to a 84-48 win. Here are my grades from the game:
CJ Fair: C+
Fair has turned in a series of unimpressive performances after his 17 point opener against SDSU. The junior forward isn’t hitting the same kind of shots he was hitting last season. He went 3-10 from the field for another quiet 9 points.
Rakeem Christmas: B
Christmas was solid on the offensive glass, picking up 5 of his 6 rebounds there. But he had a tough time navigating against the 7-footer, Da’Shonte Riley and had several of his shot attempts blocked.
DaJuan Coleman: B+
Coleman was a steadying presense inside, and finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds. He’s also got an excellent touch from the free throw line, and hit all four of his attempts. It’s so rare to see that in an SU big man.
Brandon Triche: B+
Triche did a bit of everything tonight with 12 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. He looks most comfortable when he’s playing point guard, though he did turn the ball over 4 times.
Michael Carter-Williams: B
Carter-Williams was wild and sloppy with the ball early, coughing up the ball 5 times in the first half. He settled down in the second half, and turned the ball over just once. He once again flirted with a triple-double, with 11 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds. But his outside shooting is getting exposed as a liability. He went 0-4 from downtown.
James Southerland: D
This was a classic let-down game. Southerland missed all 5 of his 3-point attempts after his 35 point outburst at Arkansas. SU coach Jim Boeheim joked after the game that Southerland enjoyed shooting more in Arkansas. He got plenty of good looks, but the shots weren’t falling tonight. That’ll happen.
Baye Keita: B+
Keita continues to be the most steady and dependable center Syracuse has. In 10 minutes, he scored 6 points on 3-3 shooting, and added 5 rebounds and a block. Again, he did all of that in 10 minutes.
Trevor Cooney: B
I’ve been waiting to give Cooney a good grade. Finally, the shots were falling, and he even had a nice dunk for conventional 3-point play toward the end of the second half for 11 points. Before the game, Cooney was canning all of his practice shots. Now, we can only hope it starts to translate into games.
Jerami Grant: A
Christmas better be looking over his shoulder come Big East play, because Grant is vying for time, and it will come at the expense of Rakeem. His 11 points came on an array of inside moves, and he threw a 3-pointer in there for good measure. If he keeps playing like that, Boeheim will have to find ways to get him minutes.