On Tuesday night, Syracuse hosted Colgate after losing to the Raiders last season for the first time since 1962. For the second straight year, Colgate dominated against Syracuse in the Dome, winning 80-68.
Here are the key takeaways as the Orange fell to 1-1 on the season.
Syracuse struggles to defend the long ball
Colgate’s recipe for success is to shoot the ball from outside at a high volume, and they stuck with that plan against the Orange. The Raiders made 19 of the 38 3s they took (50 percent from deep) and continued firing right until the final buzzer. Colgate guard Tucker Richardson led the Raiders, finishing 7 for 11 from downtown for a game-high 27 points. From tipoff the Raiders put pressure on Syracuse with their ability to efficiently shoot from deep. Switching back and forth from man and zone defense, the Orange were slow to defend the perimeter with a lack of intensity and, frankly, no adjustments in the second half.
“Part of our problem is youth, but we need to get better with our zone,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I can’t emphasize enough how difficult Colgate is to play against with the zone. 90% of the teams we play aren’t as good against the zone.”
When Jesse Edwards struggles, Syracuse struggles
In the season opener, Jesse Edwards showed he was ready to make another significant impact for Syracuse this year, finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds. On Tuesday, Edwards was once again the best big man on the floor against Colgate. The problem is, SU seemed to forget that. The senior center only shot the ball six times, finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds. “We made mistakes obviously, too many of them,” Edwards said. “This was my first time getting doubled sometimes, and I have to go back and watch film. Get better and know when to take the shot and pass it out.”
Orange decline to use its bench
After using 12 players in his rotation in the opener against Lehigh, Boeheim significantly shortened his rotation against the Raiders. Only six players got over 10 minutes of playing time, with starting forward Chris Bell ending with just eight points and one field goal attempt. The Orange had just seven points off the bench, compared to Colgate’s 24 points and six 3s combined from their bench players. “We will have to go back and see what we have to do (about bench production),” Boeheim said. Instead, Boeheim opted for veteran guard Symir Torrence, who played 25 minutes as SU employed a three-guard lineup. The only other player to receive significant minutes was Quadir Copeland, with 12 minutes off the bench.