Quick Hits: Syracuse sees margin for error shrinking

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Nov 30, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange center Jesse Edwards (14) shoots a free throw against the Indiana Hoosiers during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse suffered an embarrassing 64-53 loss to Pitt on Tuesday night. Here are some quick thoughts from the game:

  • Just as after Saturday’s Duke game, the Orange can also burn this game tape.
  • Symir Torrence missed the contest with a sprained knee ligament suffered late in Saturday’s game at Duke. This led to an unusual defensive formation on the top line of the zone when Joe Girard III was shaken up in the second half, missing 3:50 of game time. Cole Swider moved up on defense to take Girard’s place.
  • Buddy Boeheim has been a feast-or-famine player in ACC play this season with three games in single digits, but four of at least 24 points. He is shooting 36.5 percent from the field in conference play, including 32.5 percent from three.
  • SU’s other two perimeter players are also struggling in conference action. Joe Girard III is shooting 35.6 percent overall and 35.0 percent from long distance while Cole Swider is hitting 36.4 percent of his shots, including 33.3 percent from three.

  • The Orange are collectively shooting 32.6 percent on three-pointers in ACC play. The team made 38.4 percent from deep in non-conference play.
  • For the first time in four weeks, Jesse Edwards finished with fewer than three fouls, getting whistled just twice.
  • Pittsburgh entered this game getting assists on 52.7 percent of all their field goals. They finished the game with 15 helpers on 20 baskets for a 75 percent rate. SU entered the game allowing their opponents a Division One worst 70.4 percent assist rate.
  • Obviously, Benny Williams was a very highly regarded recruit. However, doesn’t there have to a be a reason why Jim Boeheim keeps using John Bol Ajak off the bench in front of Williams?
  • Syracuse will need to go 7-4 the rest of the way to end the regular season above .500. They do have five games left against teams with losing records in ACC play and Louisville looks like they may have some bumps ahead with speculation about Chris Mack’s future, but it certainly seems like the Orange have zero margin for error.

» Related: Could Syracuse have a losing season for the first time under Jim Boeheim?

NEXT UP

The Orange return home on Saturday to close their season series with Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons (17-4, 7-3) pulled out a 77-74 overtime win when the teams first met on January 8, part of a streak of six wins in seven outings, their last two a 22-point win over North Carolina and Monday’s 87-57 thrashing of Boston College.

Alondes Williams, who leads the squad in points (20.4/game), rebounds (6.8/game), and assists (5.1/game) was an absolute force for Wake, posting a game-high 25 points and grabbing a dozen boards in the first meeting with SU. Isaiah Mucius connected on four triples en route to 15 points.

Jimmy Boeheim lead Syracuse in the game with 21 points while Buddy Boeheim supported him with 17 points, but shot just 5-for-20 in the contest.

Saturday’s action will get underway at 8:00pm Eastern and be televised by the ACC Network.

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About Jim Stechschulte 805 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. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. He currently resides in Syracuse. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.