A quick take on Syracuse’s 93-65 thrashing of Binghamton on Saturday evening in front of an announced crowd of 25,844 at the Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: In a game in which with less than three minutes in Jim Boeheim called a timeout furious with his team’s defensive positioning, the Orange (9-0) turned up the fullcourt and halfcourt pressure after trailing 11-3 early to lead by 24 at the half, and eventually blow past the Bearcats (2-7). The silky smooth C.J. Fair had 19 points scoring practically at will, as Syracuse figures to be no worse than ranked second in next week’s poll behind undefeated Arizona. Former Orange standout and staff member Lazarus Sims returned to the Dome as a Bearcats assistant.
ANALYSIS: With the first opportunity since winning the Maui Invitational and trashing Indiana, Boeheim was able to return to an 11 man rotation to get freshman Ron Patterson, Tyler Roberson and B.J. Johnson significant playing time, and Patterson had eight points and four rebounds with some good hustle on defense. The Syracuse pressure and zone controlled the game’s pace throughout.
HERO: Besides Fair who’s in a class by himself so far this season, another nice all around game for Trevor Cooney. In addition to his five baskets beyond the arc (SU had 13 ‘threes’ in the game), Cooney’s quickness in applying the defensive pressure that turned the game around within minutes in the first half caused BU havoc, and he added four steals, three rebounds, a block, and two assists to his ledger.
ZERO: Not taking advantage of many free scoring opportunities with a return of the dreaded missed free show problem. After upping the team shooting percentage to 87% in Hawaii, the ‘Cuse missed 10 foul shots versus Indiana and went 14 for 24 (58%) against BU. The Orange have been aggressive getting to the line, it will be critical to hit more free throws in upcoming ACC play.
WHAT’S NEXT: After eight days off for every student’s “favorite” week – Finals, Syracuse will head down to its second home at Madison Square Garden to take on St. John’s Sunday, Dec. 15. An old friend from Big East days, the Red Storm (6-2) will come into the SU meeting off their best game of the season, a 104-58 rout of Fordham Saturday at MSG. Game time: 12:00 p.m. ET / TV: Fox Sports 1.