Syracuse opened its 2021 exhibition schedule on Wednesday evening, as the Orange cruised past Pace, 79-60. Here are some quick thoughts from the game.
- With the additions of Jimmy Boeheim and Cole Swider in the offseason, the Orange was expected to be a significantly improved outside shooting team. That showed on Wednesday, as Swider hit 5 of his 7 attempts from beyond the arc to lead the way with 21 points, and Jimmy Boeheim went 2 for 5. Syracuse shot 8-18 (44 percent) from downtown, with Buddy Boeheim contributing three of his own on seven attempts.
- Buddy Boeheim would likely have stuffed the stat sheet even more, but he turned his ankle in the second half in a scary fall and needed to head to the locker room. He reappeared on the bench later and the injury did not appear to be serious, but Buddy Boeheim did not play the rest of the evening.
- Swider and Jimmy Boeheim looked very comfortable in their Orange debuts, with Jimmy Boeheim finishing with 19 points. Jimmy Boeheim showed he can score inside and out, a dimension Syracuse will need with the departure of Quincy Guerrier.
- With Bourama Sidibe nursing yet another knee injury, Syracuse leaned on Jesse Edwards and Frank Anselem at center, and the two impressed. Edwards looked comfortable manning the back of the zone, finishing with 12 points, five rebounds and four blocks in 21 minutes. Anselem, who played just four games as a freshman, looked significantly improved, and finished with two points and five rebounds in 17 minutes.
- It appears that Jim Boeheim will favor experience over talent, at least, in terms of the starting lineup. While his starting backcourt of Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard was not a surprise, nor was Edwards in the place of Sidibe, Swider and Jimmy Boeheim got the nods at both forward spots, leaving five-star freshman Benny Williams to come off the bench.
- Williams showed why he was so highly touted, finishing with seven points and nine rebounds, showing plenty of bounce around the rim and a knack for dribble driving into the lane. He also played 26 minutes, which would be a higher than normal amount of playing time for a freshman under Boeheim.
- The Orange led by as much as 64-36 following a 15-0 run early in the second half.
- Syracuse has now won 22 straight exhibition games dating back to 2009. The team that beat them in that matchup, Le Moyne, will visit the Carrier Dome on Monday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. as SU closes out its exhibition schedule.