Syracuse advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament with a 75-63 win over Seton Hall. Here are some thoughts from the game:
The offense finds its rhythm
Everyone got a piece of the pie today. The Syracuse offense played a game like it hadn’t played in weeks and it wasn’t just because of one player. All season, the team has been bailed out by the performance of one player but today, it was a team effort. The team passed for more assists than its had since December 15th against Canisius. Everyone did what was expected of them. Southerland hit three-pointers. Triche hit midrange jumpers and got to the hoop. Carter-Williams dished the ball. Fair scored and rebounded. Even Keita finished when he got the ball. The pieces fit together today and if the pieces stay together, a run can be made.
Michael Carter-Williams as a passer
Only six points today? That’s okay because Carter-Williams dished for 14 assists for the third time this season. The last time was that Canisius game when the team passed for 23 assists. When others are scoring, Carter-Williams doesn’t have to and he can focus on what he does best. When he’s passing the ball, he cuts down on turnovers because he’s not trying to do it all. Carter-Williams turned the ball over just once today after combining for seven in his last two games. I’d rather have him passing than scoring and today showed why.
Senior leadership is back
When the seniors are scoring, the team does better. Southerland and Triche combined for 37 points today after combining for three points against Georgetown on Saturday. They set an example for the rest of the team and are the reason this team is back on track. Triche showed some confidence shooting the ball, something we haven’t seen in a while. Maybe he’s finally forgotten those bad games he’s had. Southerland just kept shooting through his slump and is hot again, hitting 6-of-9 from deep today. This team needs those guys to be successful.