With Syracuse coming off a frustrating loss to Colgate, we chatted with former Syracuse guard Andrew Kouwe on this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by SNY.tv, to make sense of the loss.
“You have to give Colgate a lot of credit,” Kouwe said. “They had the perfect personnel to dismantle the zone.”
Colgate connected on 18 3-pointers in defeating the Orange for the first time since the 1960s, a streak that spanned 54 games.
But despite the early loss, Kouwe is not overly concerned.
“I’m not as down as one would think losing to Colgate thinking, ‘Oh, how can we beat a North Carolina or Duke, we just lost to Colgate?” Kouwe said. “This is a unique situation.”
Two things to look for as the season progresses will be from two of Syracuse’s newest wings, Cole Swider and Benny Williams, Kouwe said. Both have struggled in the first three games, with Swider shooting only 20 percent from beyond the arc, and Williams posting a -26 in his +/- rating against Colgate.
Kouwe expects the two to improve significantly throughout the season, which will solidify the Orange’s NCAA Tournament status. The balance will be key to getting a berth.
“It’s a team we’re not used to seeing,” Kouwe said. “This is a really high IQ team from top to bottom and is not going to have a lot of turnovers. It’s a very methodical team that’s good everywhere.”
“You’re going to see them wear down a lot of teams. There’s no one in the starting 5 that is a top 10 NBA player. You’re not going to get Sherman Douglas to Stevie Thompson type of high-flying fast break teams that Syracuse fans are used to.”
It’s an early sample size, but Kouwe likes what he sees so far, even with the Colgate loss.
“To me, they look like an NCAA team,” Kouwe said. “This team has the potential to beat any team.”
Afterward, editor in chief Brad Bierman calls in to discuss Syracuse’s loss to NC State and to preview the regular season finale against Pitt.