Quick Hits: Syracuse reverts to tight rotation against Virginia

Justin Taylor
Jan 30, 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Justin Taylor speaks to the media following Syracuse's loss to the Virginia Cavaliers at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Kicia Sears/The Juice Online.

Syracuse dropped a game against Virginia, 67-62, on Monday. Here are some quick hits from the game:

  • Perhaps we should view the combined efforts of Chris Bell and Justin Taylor as if they were one person who we will name “Small Forward”. Small Forward is averaging 11.6 points and 3.3 rebounds while making 2.3 threes per game on 39.6 percent shooting from three-point range. Looking at the combined production may cause less angst than worrying about who is playing and getting shots.
  • Semi-related: Pending what exactly happens when Benny Williams re-joins the team, we may want to also christen “Power Forward.” That is on the back burner for now, though.
  • The tight rotation is officially back. Symir Torrence got eight minutes of action and Mounir Hima the game’s final sixty seconds after Jesse Edwards fouled out (marking the eighth time in 12 ACC games he has acquired at least four). Torrence played well, but as soon as Joe Girard III breaks out of this shooting slide (more below), that opportunity will likely erode unless Judah Mintz has an off night.
  • During this three-game slide, the Orange are shooting 49 percent from the field while their opponents are connecting on 48.2 percent of their shots. Of course, opponents are shooting 40.6 percent from three during that span.
  • Girard, who struggled through a three-game scoring slump in late November, seems to be mired in another cold snap, scoring seven points in each of the last two games while shooting 25 percent both overall and from three-point range in that time. The Orange face Boston College on Saturday, whom Girard lit up for four threes and 24 total points on December 31.
  • On a related note, the Orange shot under 38.9 percent from three-point range for just the second time in their last ten games. SU is a collective 69-of-166 (41.6 percent) from three in those ten outings, even with Monday’s 3-for-15 effort on the ledger.
  • The Orange were remarkably efficient inside the arc in the first half, making 14-of-19 two-point field goals for a 73.7 percent mark. The squad was 10-of-15 before Edwards scored, as he made three straight shots late in the half, followed by Torrence’s late lay-up.

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Syracuse is off until Saturday, when they will wrap up their season series at Boston College. The Orange (13-10, 6-6) won the first matchup on New Year’s Eve, claiming a 79-65 home victory as Girard rang up 24 points, Mintz 18 points and seven assists, and Williams had his second career double-double, producing 16 points and 11 rebounds, all of which came in the final 24 minutes of the contest.

The Eagles (10-12, 4-7) had a two-game win streak snapped on Saturday by Virginia and host #20 Clemson on Tuesday before taking on SU. Quentin Post debuted on the season in the first game against Syracuse and is averaging 16.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in nine games, including 25 points per game in his last three. BC made just four three-pointers in the first meeting and is shooting just 29.6 percent on the season from beyond the arc.

The Orange and Eagles are set for a 5:00pm Eastern tip on Saturday and the game will be televised by the ACC Network.


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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.