A quick take on Syracuse’s first of three games in three days at the Bahamas in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, opening up with an impressive 83-70 win against Charlotte Wednesday afternoon inside the Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis resort:
WHAT HAPPENED: On a day in which the basketball program learned the NCAA had restored one scholarship per season over the next four years in response to its earlier appeal, Syracuse (4-0) shot its way past Charlotte (1-3) to move on to the semifinals Thurs. afternoon. Up 50-27 after a scorching first half of 50% plus shooting, SU saw the 49ers make an early second half run, before the Orange went back up comfortably to eventually hold on to win by 13.
ANALYSIS: Besides torrid outside shooting from inside and outside the arc (50%), the Orange ran in transition off great defense (12 blocks) to run past the 49ers. As will be the case all year, the offense will go as far as the outside shooting takes it, while the more active the zone, the more offensive opportunities will be created, which was evidenced in the victory.
HEROES: Michael Gbinije was fabulous shooting the ball (9 of 11) finishing with 26 points and five assists, three rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Tyler Lydon was all over the court coming off the bench to score 18 points, eight rebounds, five blocks and two steals.
ZERO: Free throw shooting (5 of 10), double digit turnovers (13) and a slow first two and a half minutes of the second half when Charlotte went on a 10-0 run are nit-picking in what was an overall solid team effort on both ends from the first eight Orange players in Boeheim’s rotation.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse continues Thursday in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals with a Thanksgiving matinee against No. 18 Connecticut (4-0). The Huskies downed Michigan 74-60 in the late Wed, game, so UConn has a quick turnaround to face the more rested Orange. Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET / TV: ESPN.