Syracuse host Colgate on Tuesday evening at the JMA Wireless Dome. Here are five things to look out for in its second game.
Can Syracuse start a new winning streak?
Syracuse and Colgate will meet for the 174th time in the schools’ long histories. And until last year, the Orange had a 54-game win streak against the Raiders. But that ended last year with an embarrassing 100-85 loss for Syracuse in what would be a bellwether game for a 16-17 season. Colgate will try to make it two in a row against their upstate rival for the first time since the 1960-62 seasons when Colgate won four straight.
Can Benny Williams get back on track?
The numbers were not pretty for Benny Williams in SU’s season opener against Lehigh. He finished with 2 points and 3 rebounds on 1-5 shooting from the field. Afterward, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim lamented that Williams was trying to play like a shooting guard when he’s got the body and athleticism of a power forward. Williams needs to recommit himself to being active inside the paint and scoring around the hoop. Tuesday will offer the first opportunity for him to do so.
Does the wing rotation stay at 5?
Boeheim gave five different players 10 minutes or more at wing against Lehigh, with Williams (23), Bell (16), Brown (13), Taylor (20) and Copeland (11) all seeing minutes. Of the group, Brown impressed the most, with 7 points and 3 rebounds, showing an active motor and good instincts around the hoop. At some point, one (and hopefully two) of the five are going to start to create separation from one other.
» Related: Key takeaways from Syracuse’s win over Lehigh
How does Boeheim play his guard rotation?
All three of Syracuse’s guards—Symir Torrence, Joe Girard and Judah Mintz—played well against Lehigh. Each played more than 20 minutes, though as competition gets tighter, Boeheim will likely apportion minutes to the players he trusts the most. It’s unclear whether that means Torrence or Mintz will play the key minutes down the stretch.
Has Mounir Hima locked down the backup C role?
Though Peter Carey and John Bol Ajak each played 4 minutes against Lehigh, it was clear that Mounir Hima (8) is the projected primary backup center. On on possession, Hima blocked two shots, displaying his impressive wingspan, while not getting whistled for a foul. Hima should be the first player off the bench again when Jesse Williams needs a breather.
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