Syracuse defeated Lafayette in its 2021-22 season opener at the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night. Here are some quick hits from the game:
- Jimmy Boeheim had an easy start to his lone season in orange, getting five layups and a dunk among his eight field goals. The added bonus was that he provided that inside scoring threat without being a traditional post-up player where the offense dumps the ball inside and clears out, grinding things to a halt.
- Joe Girard III did a nice job settling in at the point, showing a little more discretion with his shot than in previous seasons. He did earn a quick hook after a rushed jumper early in the first half, but settled down after that.
- Cole Swider showed more versatility in his game than what was expected, but that is probably to be tempered some by the level of competition. Swider took the most two-point field goal attempts of any player on the team with seven, but never averaged more than two per game in any of his three seasons at Villanova. He may have more offensive freedom with Syracuse, but when the competition level steps up, he may revert to being more of a three-point specialist.
- Benny Williams displayed his tantalizing athleticism early in his SU career, needing just over three minutes to register a blocked shot that drew a roar from the crowd. The freshman also did not force the issue on offense, making just a pair of dunks and an 18-footer from the baseline.
- Most concerning about Jesse Edwards’ season debut? 18 minutes, four fouls.
- Symir Torrence had a bit of a rough start, missing all five of his shot attempts, all of them coming in the paint and three of them lay-ups. He did hand out four assists without a turnover.
- With the number of options this season, the Syracuse offense will probably feature a lot of individual hot streaks. In addition to Jimmy Boeheim scoring eight points in under two minutes early in the game, SU got 15 points from Girard in the last eight minutes of the opening half, including four threes, and 11 points in four-and-a-half minutes from Swider in the middle of the second half.
- While Jim Boeheim said after the LeMoyne exhibition game that he hoped he never had to play Jimmy Boeheim at center, he did in the opener. It came when Edwards picked up his second foul of the game with 6:56 left in the opening half and the Orange up, 32-12. Frank Anselem replaced him in the pivot just under two minutes later.
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- The Orange host Drexel on Sunday, tipping off with the Dragons at 5:00pm Eastern. Drexel opened up their schedule on Tuesday by routing Division III Neumann, 103-74, and will host Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday night.
- The Dragons return their two top scorers from last season, guard Camren Wynter (16.2 points per game) and forward James Butler (12.8 points, team-high 9.2 rebounds per game). Wynter is one of three returning players to shoot at least 39 percent from three-point range for Drexel last season.
- Sunday’s game between Syracuse and Drexel will be televised on ESPN2.
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