A quick take on Syracuse’s 87-52 win over Rider on Saturday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse had one of its best outside shooting performances in school history, hitting seven 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes of play, as the Orange jumped out to a commanding 26-6 lead. Alan Griffin accounted for four of those 3s and Syracuse went into intermission up 49-29. It was more of the same in the second half as the Orange outscored the Broncs by 15 points, and at one point led by as many as 38 points, to wrap up their first 3-0 start in three years. SU ended up with 15 made 3-pointers (out of 30 attempts), tying a school record. The Orange also shot 54.9 percent from the field and 16-20 from the free throw line.
ANALYSIS: With Buddy Boeheim out one more game due to the COVID-19 contact tracing protocol and Bourama Sidibe out another three weeks after tearing his meniscus, Syracuse has gotten an extended look at its bench in its first three games. The early returns show that Kadary Richmond (7 points, 6 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals) is a lock for a rotation position, and Woody Newton (9 points, 8 rebounds) and Frank Anselem (6 points, 2 rebounds) are in the running as well. Jesse Edwards, Robert Braswell and John Bol Ajak also saw extended minutes, but did not particularly impress.
HERO: After struggling through his first two games, Girard finally found his shooting stroke, finishing with 21 points on 6-12 shooting from downtown. He was joined by Griffin, who was 4-6 from beyond the arc for 23 points, while adding five assists and four rebounds.
ZERO: One game after Syracuse held Niagara to 6-26 shooting from downtown, the Broncs had similar struggles against the 2-3 zone. Rider combined to shoot 7-27 from downtown, and shot just 29.3 percent for the evening.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse faces its first test of the season, traveling to New Jersey to play No. 24 Rutgers in the Big 10/ACC Challenge on Dec. 8 at 9:30 p.m. TV: ESPN 2.