Syracuse 70, Colgate 54 — Three Things We Learned

Syracuse Orange guard Joe Girard III
Nov. 13, 2019; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Joe Girard III (11) shoots over Colgate Raiders guard Jordan Burns (1) in a 70-54 win. Mandatory Credit: Initra Marilyn, The Juice Online.

Syracuse continued its 54 game winning streak against Colgate Wednesday night, overcoming a slow start to rout the Raiders 70-54 in the Carrier Dome. Here’s three things we learned from the win:

SIDIBE NOTCHES DOUBLE-DOUBLE

Bourama Sidibe showed his potential to be a game changer in the paint.

The 6-foot-10 junior racked up 12 points (on a perfect 6-6 from the field) and 14 rebounds, the most since he collected 16 as a freshman against Pittsburgh.

Syracuse expects Sidibe to defend and rebound in the paint, but his offense was a pleasant surprise.

The Orange went without a field goal for more than six minutes, falling behind 9-1. Sidibe finally jump started the offense with a layup, and that triggered a 10-2 run. Sidibe bookended the run with another layup to give SU its first lead of the game at 13-11.

Later on, Sidibe ignited the crowd again, taking an alley-oop from Joe Girard and slamming it down to give the Orange a 41-28 lead, its largest of the game to that point.

After two injury plagued seasons, it appears that Sidibe is finally healthy and ready to make a big impact.

“Bourama was active down low,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “He finished around the basket, we looked for him better. I thought he really played well.”

BUDDY BOEHEIM PROGRESSES

Buddy Boeheim lead all of Syracuse’s offense last night with 17 points, which, was a nice bounce back game after only scoring seven in SU’s 48-34 loss against Virignia.

While Buddy is clearly known for his outside shooting, more than half of his field goals came inside the arc. Buddy went 3-5 from downtown and 7-14 overall.

» Related: Syracuse basketball turns slow start into easy finish against Colgate

Still, it was two of his early 3s that shook the Orange from its early doldrums. After Sidibe got the Orange’s first field goal of the contest, Buddy knocked down consecutive 3s as part of the early run.

Buddy’s final 3-pointer in the second half put SU up 58-34 lead, its largest of the night.

“I thought Buddy was a bit more aggressive tonight fortunately,” Boeheim said. “He got in the lane against this team and got some buckets and when he missed we got rebounds because he’s penetrating.”

JGIII TO START, AJAK TO REDSHIRT

It’s no coincidence that Syracuse’s decisive 10-2 run happened when Girard checked into the game.

Syracuse’s offense flowed far better when Girard was on the floor as opposed to Jalen Carey, who started but played just five minutes, went 0-2 from the field with two turnovers, and was benched for the entire second half.

While Girard only scored five points on 2-6 shooting, he finished second on the team in assists (4) while turning the ball over just once, and also led SU with three steals.

That was all Boeheim needed to see, as he named Girard his starting point guard for Saturday’s game against Seattle.

“Joe I thought did a good job, we moved the ball better,” Boeheim said. “He played okay, but he can play a lot better.”

It was the second major roster announcement, with Boeheim also stating that freshman center John Bol Ajak would redshirt this season.

“We’ve redshirted eight to 10 guys that have been starters for us and have been really good players, productive players for us in the last two or three years of their career,” Boeheim said. “And I think he can be that player, too.”

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