For the first time in back-to-back seasons since 1960-61 and 1961-62, Syracuse lost consecutive games to its upstate rival, Colgate. The Raiders shot 19 of 38 from 3-point land, easily carving up an inexperienced Orange 2-3 zone. But there were many other concerning signs as SU dropped to 1-1 on the season.
SU struggled to find any continuity on offense, shooting just 38.7 percent from the field and 8 for 25 from downtown. Joe Girard slogged through a 4 for 12 3-point shooting night and SU logged just nine assists on 24 made shots. Contrast that with Colgate, who assisted on 22 of its 28 made field goals.
We chatted about Syracuse’s frustrating night with former SU guard Andrew Kouwe, who was a member of the 2003 national championship team, in this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by SNY.tv. Andrew preached patience with this team, as the Orange is working in at least three freshmen into its rotation, and has its top scorer from last year, Buddy Boeheim, playing at the next level. (“It’s just going to take time for guys to understand how everyone plays.”) But there are certain adjustments that Syracuse can make heading into its next game against Northeastern.
First, Syracuse needs to get big man Jesse Edwards more involved. Edwards, who had a clear size advantage on Colgate, took just six shots in the game. (“We probably want to get Jesse more involved earlier in the game. An early push to get him that aggressiveness that we’ve seen come out during games.”) He also mentioned that the Orange should look for Benny Williams to make an impact early, which would set the tone for the rest of the game. (“Early confidence can expand his overall game and (make him) active on the offense and defensive end.”)
Another thing Syracuse needs is for a fifth player to emerge from a glut of contenders, Andrew says. While Judah Mintz, Girard, Williams and Edwards are likely to play big minutes, the Orange needs another reliable player to play big minutes. Among the candidates contending for the job include Chris Bell (played just 8 minutes against the Raiders), Quadir Copeland, Justin Taylor and Maliq Brown. The majority of those minutes went to Symir Torrence (22 minutes) as SU played in a 3-guard look, but that doesn’t figure to be a long term solution.
One other interesting topic I picked Andrew’s brain about was the atmosphere of the locker room when Syracuse is struggling at intermission. What is Jim Boeheim’s demeanor like? Is it all yelling, or does he take other tacts? Andrew recalls some of his memories from his playing days.
You can listen to our whole conversation by following “The Juice on the Cuse Podcast,” a Syracuse Orange podcast, by subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.