During Saturday’s 58-51 victory against Georgetown, the two combined for 20 minutes of action. Keita had one rebound in 13 minutes of play, while Melo had a rebound and two points on an alley-oop from Scoop Jardine in transition. It was the first time that Melo played more than five minutes since Syracuse’s 72-49 win against South Florida on Feb. 9. It may be a sign of things to come as Syracuse heads into championship season.
What was the difference between Syracuse’s win over Villanova on Monday and the loss to the Wildcats earlier in the season? There are a lot of little things that you could point out to attempt to explain the difference but the biggest difference was luck. Simple as that. How else can you explain the Big East leader in free throw percentage hitting just 63 percent while the worst free throw shooting team shoots 77 percent? Villanova had an off-night shooting and Syracuse was the beneficiary.
If we’ve learned anything about Syracuse this season it’s that they are inconsistent. Saturday’s game against Rutgers was no exception. In the first half its offense was efficient and its defense was porous. In the second half, it was its offense that was the issue while the defense was much better. In the end, it was a much-needed overtime win for the Orange.