A quick take on Syracuse’s 76-60 loss against Kansas on Saturday evening in Miami in the Hoophall Invitational:
WHAT HAPPENED: Devonte Graham scored Kansas’ final 14 points of the first half, turning a tight 21-17 game with 5:16 left to a 35-21 at intermission. That lead would balloon up to as many as 21 points early in the second half before Syracuse cut the lead to nine points with 4:03 to go. But a Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk with 3:17 left put the Jayhawks up 73-60, and the Orange couldn’t close the gap from there.
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ANALYSIS: Two issues that Syracuse will have to grapple all season were on display against the No. 2 team in the country: Perimeter defense and poor outside shooting. SU struggled to locate Graham the whole night, and he made them pay, hitting seven 3-pointers, among 11 shots that Kansas hit from beyond the arc. On the flip side the Orange spent the majority of Saturday in the offensive doldrums, shooting 6-27 from downtown and 32 percent from the field. Too much of Syracuse’s offense came on isolation plays, as evidenced by just nine assists on SU’s 18 field goals.
HERO: Graham continued his recent offensive tear, reaching 30+ points for the second straight game, finishing with 35. He was joined by Lagerald Vick’s 20. For Syracuse, Tyus Battle’s 20 points paced them, though he shot just 2-11 from downtown.
ZERO: Oshae Brissett struggled through a 3-13 shooting night, though he did finish with 13 points and nine rebounds.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse stays on neutral court, playing at Maison Square Garden against old Big East foe UCONN on Tuesday at 9 p.m. in New York City. TV: ESPN.
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