Syracuse travels to South Carolina to take on Clemson on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. (TV: ACCN). Ahead of the game, The Juice Online’s Brad Bierman gives his predictions below.
Season Record: 3-1
Before Syracuse joined the ACC for the 2013-14 season, SU and Clemson met only twice in 1960 and 2007, both Orange losses.
In the 2007 NIT, Syracuse was the No. 2 seed in the South Region, and had to travel to top-seed Clemson for a quarterfinal round game and fell late 74-70, thwarting a trip to the semis at Madison Square Garden.
In ACC play the teams have split their eight games, with the Tigers winning the last two in 2019 and 2020.
This season Clemson is 7-1 at home (only defeat to Virginia), but like Syracuse at .500 in ACC play. The Orange will have to shake off the suddenness of Wednesday’s morning-of-the-game postponement of that evening’s matchup against Louisville. At this point SU needs as many wins as possible to boost its NCAA resume, not having a chance Wednesday to pick up a 12 th win didn’t do any favor.
To get win number 12 Saturday, Syracuse is going to have to shoot with marksmanship from beyond the arc, hopefully get some productive minutes from the returning Bourama Sidibe and Woody Newton to help keep Quincy Guerrier and Marek Dolezaj stay out of foul trouble, and keep playing an active, strong defense.
The ‘Cuse will specifically need to contain Clemson’s 6-8 forward Aamir Simms who leads the Tigers in scoring, rebounds, and assists. Fellow frontline mate Hunter Tyson had a co-game-high 16 points in Tuesday night’s 63-50 win over North Carolina, and CU guard Clyde Trapp had a near-miss double-double with 14 points and nine boards against the Tar Heels.
Syracuse has only won once at Littlejohn Coliseum (82-81 in 2017), when as a freshman Tyus Battle drilled a trey from the right corner at the buzzer. We foresee a similar scenario this year, a top of the key three from Buddy Boeheim will give Syracuse a 74-73 win over Clemson.