Quick Hits: Syracuse’s struggles start with starting backcourt

Joe Girard
Oct 25, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse basketball guard Joseph Girard III speaks following the Orange's 86-68 win over Indiana (PA). Mandatory Credit: Jim Stechschulte-The Juice Online.

Syracuse was soundly routed by Illinois, 73-44, on Tuesday evening. Here are some quick hits from the game.

  • We need to talk about a Syracuse guard’s slump. Judah Mintz has made just 5-of-his-last-26 shots and committed 11 turnovers going back to the second half of the game against St. John’s. Maybe making two of his last four shots against the Illini is a sign he is coming around.
  • Jesse Edwards was close to a double-double in the first half. He had seven points, ten rebounds, three assists, and a pair of blocks in that span.
  • Illinois held a modest 25-20 lead on the glass in the first half, but counted ten offensive rebounds among those boards. Combine those boards with their mere two turnovers and it is easy to see how the hosts finished the half with 13 more field goal attempts, more than offsetting their lower shooting percentage in all three facets with simple volume.
  • If you are looking for a bright side for the Orange offense, they did collect seven assists for their eight first half field goals. The lone exception was when Edwards scored on a putback midway through the half.

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  • Joe Girard III is also fighting through a shooting slump and only played 20 minutes. The last time he saw that little amount of playing time was March 10, 2021 against North Carolina when he only played ten minutes.
  • Syracuse had 17 turnovers, their most since playing Miami on January 5, 2022, and Illinois converted them into 18 points.
  • This team looks like they have very little idea of how to play together on offense when not playing an opponent against whom they have a significant talent advantage.


SU opens Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday when they hit the road for a matinee at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish (5-1) suffered their first loss of the season on Friday, getting dropped by Saint Bonaventure, 63-51, and will host #20 Michigan State on Wednesday prior to welcoming the Orange.

As they often do, the Irish have a balanced offensive attack with five players averaging double figures in scoring, but a short bench with only six players seeing regular playing time. Nate Laszewski leads the team with 18.2 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. Guards Dane Goodwin (14.3 pts/game), J.J. Starling (12.8 pts/game), Trey Wertz (11.8 pts/game), and Cormac Ryan (10.0 pts/game) fill out that diverse offensive lineup.

ESPN2 will televise Saturday’s Syracuse-Notre Dame contest, which will get underway at 12:00pm Eastern.

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 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.