Quick Hits: Syracuse should feature Jesse Edwards more on offense

Edwards
Nov 15, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Colgate Raiders forward Keegan Records (14) shoots the ball as Syracuse Orange center Jesse Edwards (14) defends during the first half at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

For the second year in a row, Syracuse lost a game to Colgate, this time dropping a 80-68 decision. Here are some quick hits from the game:

  • It seems that the Orange should probably pick one defense to work on in the hopes of becoming passable. No defensive tactic they employed in this game was particularly good, but practicing one exclusively should help.
  • The Syracuse offense is a disjointed mess of one-on-one play. After totaling 13 assists on 30 field goals against Lehigh (43.3 percent) in the season opener, the team mustered just nine on 24 baskets against Colgate (37.5 percent). When last year’s offensively-proficient team finished with single digit assists, they were 1-6, beating only Boston College.

  • Jesse Edwards had five shots in the first half, including two that do not appear in the stat sheet because he was fouled and did not score. That is far too few, regardless of opponent. As a skilled big man, Edwards should be a focal point of a structured offense to help open things up for everyone. This game was a clear illustration that SU has one outside shooter that needs to be respected by opposing defenses (Girard). Making Edwards a fulcrum of the offense would help generate open shots on the perimeter, as well as driving opportunities.
  • That lack of outside shooting makes this team look awfully desperate in comeback mode.
  • Symir Torrence looked like someone else inhabited his body for one stretch in the first half. After he handed out assists on two of the first three offensive possessions after checking into the game, Torrence uncharacteristically shot on the next four Syracuse trips down the court, including a pair of threes, missing every time.
  • While ten players got into the game, it looks like Jim Boeheim has settled on an eight-man rotation, which is actually seven, plus Chris Bell as a starter in name only. Bell played the first 4:52 of the first half before being pulled, then the opening 3:01 of the second half, never to be seen again. Justin Taylor got a cameo of 2:08 in the first half, then saw action for the final 3:28. Maliq Brown seems to be in line for whatever minutes Benny Williams does not get.
  • I am far from the first to request a television camera that follows Jim Boeheim throughout the game. This game gave us Williams shooting a three on the second possession of the game, missing badly. At the next dead ball, Boeheim gave him a simple direction: “Drive.” Williams then shot a jumper from the foul line on the next possession, missing that, as well. A minute later, during a pair of Colgate foul shots, Boeheim adjusted his message, telling the forward, “Drive or I’ll take you out.”

» Related: Syracuse drops second straight to Colgate amidst barrage of 3-pointers

NEXT UP

The Orange will return to action with their third straight home game to start the season on Saturday when they welcome Northeastern. The Huskies (0-2) have dropped home games to Boston University and Providence to open the season and host Harvard on Wednesday prior to their trip to SU.

Jahmyl Telfort leads the way for Northeastern, posting averages of 18.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game to lead the team on the strength of a 26-point, nine-rebound effort in their season opener.

Saturday’s contest will start at 4:00pm Eastern with the game being streamed online via ACC Network Extra.

POSTGAME

 

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About Jim Stechschulte 856 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.