Quick Hits: Chris McCullough proves to be key for Boeheim’s Army

Boeheim’s Army 69, Always A Brave 54
Photo Credit: Ben Solomon, TBT.

Chris McCullough’s game-high 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting led Boeheim’s Army past Always A Brave, 69-54. Boeheim’s Army advanced to the Round of 8 for the fifth straight year.

Here are some other tidbits from the game:

  • This was an ugly game early. Boeheim’s Army committed five turnovers in the first 5:45 of play, then just nine over the remaining three-plus quarters. While the Army’s ball security improved, the officiating was poor throughout, allowing major contact on some plays while calling touch fouls on others.
  • The strong second quarter run provided by the Army’s bench unit was key, and not just due to the scoring. As a result of that burst, each of the ten players on the roster played between eight and ten minutes in the opening half, keeping everyone well-rested. Three Always a Brave players played at least 30 of a possible 36 minutes, while DeAndre Kane and D.J. Kennedy topped Boeheim’s Army with 23 minutes.
  • Through three games, Chris McCullough may be the most important player for the Army. He and Keifer Sykes are the only players to score in double digits in two of the three games and McCullough has scored at least nine in each outing. McCullough leads the team with 13.3 points per game and is shooting 50 percent from the field, good for second on the team.
  • Most of the rest of the roster has been very erratic. DeAndre Kane and C.J. Fair have been exceptions as steady, all-around contributors for the team. Malachi Richardson had 11 points in his first quarter and 19 in his first game, but one point since then. Andrew White was scoreless until hitting two threes against Always a Brave. Tyrese Rice had 20 points in the opener and has shot 5-for-20 since and had five turnovers against Always a Brave.

» Related: Sykes, looking settled with Boeheim’s Army, helps shut down Heartfire

  • One thing the team has done well is shoot threes. Collectively, Boeheim’s Army is shooting 37.9 percent from deep, led by Sykes’ 5-for-8 (62.5 percent).
  • As the tournament goes on, the Army is gelling on offense. Not only has their field goal shooting improved in each game, ranging from 35.9 percent to 44.0 percent to 47.1 percent, but their assisted field goal percentage has increased in each game, as well, rising from 60.9 percent to 63.6 percent to 66.7 percent.
  • On the other end of the floor, Boeheim’s Army has held each of their three opponents to under 39 percent shooting from the floor, including a combined 27.5 percent three-point shooting mark. That latter point is very important, as their next opponent, the Golden Eagles, are shooting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc and have attempted over 31 triples per game.
  • Saturday afternoon, Boeheim’s Army faces the Golden Eagles at 2:00pm Eastern (ESPN).

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About Jim Stechschulte 714 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.