Syracuse basketball: Three things to look for against Clemson

Jim Boeheim
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim reacts to a play in the first half. MANDATORY CREDIT: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

Syracuse will wrap up the 2017-18 basketball regular season on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Carrier Dome against Clemson. Ahead of the game, here are three things to look out for.


Syracuse’s defense struggled in an 85-70 loss to Boston College on Wednesday. Though SU came in allowing just 63.8 ppg (12th in the country), the 2-3 zone allowed too many open looks at the 3-point line. The Eagles shot 14-27 from distance and 48.1 percent overall.

Clemson has excellent outside shooters of its own, with Marcquise Reed averaging 16.2 points per game on 36.7 shooting from downtown, and Gabe DeVoe averaging 13.3 on 41.3 percent shooting. Clemson did lose second leading scorer and senior Donte Grantham to an ACL injury earlier in the year, and with it went his 14.2 points and 41.9 percent shooting from downtown.


» Related: Can Syracuse win at least its next three games?


Syracuse got good to great performances from its ‘Big 3’ against the Eagles, with Tyus Battle (29 points), Oshae Brissett (18 points and nine rebounds), and Frank Howard (17 points and five assists) each in double figures.

But the trio got little offensive help from their teammates, with Marek Dolezaj going scoreless after taking zero shots, Paschal Chukwu scoring only four points, and Mayy Moyer with two points on two free throws.

That was in direct contrast to Syracuse’s earlier meeting with the Eagles, with both Chukwu (14) and Dolezaj (12) were in double figures.

Syracuse is going to need more from its supporting cast in order to upset the Tigers.


Syracuse lost to an Eagles team that was ranked in the ESPN RPI in the 90s and guaranteed it would have a losing record in ACC play for the first time since the Orange joined the conference.

A win against Clemson, ranked No. 8 in the RPI, would certainly help a great deal, but at this point, the Orange will need not only this win, but a deep run in the ACC Tournament to have a realistic shot at an NCAA bid.


For more Syracuse coverage, Like our Facebook page and follow us @TheJuiceOnline.

Avatar photo
About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]