Quick Hits: Lacking outside touch, Syracuse’s Girard gets inside

Joe Girard Boston College
Dec 31, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Joe Girard III speaks to the media following Syracuse's win over the Boston College Eagles at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jim Stechschulte/The Juice Online.

Syracuse lost, 82-78, on the road on Monday. Here are some quick hits from the game:

  • Jesse Edwards had his greatest success in the game scoring off the move, particularly on passes from his teammates delivered above his shoulders. Opponents are still finding success at slowing him down by simply getting into his body and walling up when Edwards tries to post up, as the SU center has difficulty muscling through and over bulkier opponents.

  • Joe Girard III missed his first seven three-point shots of the game, not connecting from long range until there were under 90 seconds to play. Girard had 16 points prior to that triple, well outpacing his career high for points in a game without a three at Syracuse, which remains ten points in a game against Georgia Tech on February 27, 2021.
  • While Girard was struggling from outside, he made things work as a post-up player. His first basket of the game was a turnaround fadeaway from the right mid-post and the next two were nearly identical shot-fakes for three-point-plays from the left block.
  • Edwards and Girard had a nifty give-and-go for the last Orange score of the first half. Edwards handed off to Girard out top while screening for him, mirroring to the action the two use to create an open three-point look for the latter. This time, when Girard picked up his dribble, Edwards released to the basket, setting up an easy pass for the layup.
  • Judah Mintz had a rough last four minutes of the game. He missed a pair of shots, one of which would be generously described as forcing the issue over two defenders in transition, and also committed a pair of turnovers, one on an out-of-control drive under the basket and the other on the perimeter leading to a Hurricanes transition opportunity where he measured the Miami player to foul him on his layup attempt.
  • Miami crushed the Orange on the glass in the second half, owning a 23-14 advantage on the boards, including rebounding 13 of their 19 missed shots.
  • The Syracuse forwards’ inconsistency raised its ugly head again. After getting unceremoniously yanked just over two minutes into the game, Benny Williams finished with 12 points and five rebounds, playing all but 90 seconds of the game’s last 30:14. Justin Taylor joined him on the good side with eight points in 18 minutes. Chris Bell shot 1-of-5 from deep while Maliq Brown had two points and two boards in a dozen minutes.
  • All nine Syracuse players who got into the game in the first half scored. All nine appeared in the second half, as well, but only four scored.
  • There were some issues with quick triggers among the SU freshmen in the game. In the first half, Bell twice shot transition threes and Taylor added another, all of which were missed and turned into a three-pointer and two layups for Miami, all in transition.

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Syracuse (12-7, 5-3 ACC) will take to the road once more on Saturday, this time to face Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets (8-9, 1-6) have lost five of their last six games, all in conference play, and will host North Carolina State on Tuesday prior to the Orange paying them a visit.

Eight different Georgia Tech players average at least 17.8 minutes per game with each scoring at least five points per game. Guard Miles Kelly tops the squad with 13.9 points per game and 42 triples made at a 40.4 percent rate.

Saturday’s action from Atlanta will get underway at noon Eastern and the game will be televised on regional sports networks.

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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.