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Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday for Basketball


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to Peculiar People Day!

When something is peculiar, it is strange, unusual, or uncommon. Peculiar people are a little different than others and are a little bit out of the ordinary or eccentric. On Peculiar People Day, these people should be honored. It is not a day to point out differences in order to look down on someone. Instead, it is a day to celebrate all the originality in the world.

SU News


Arthur Maiorella | Staff Photographer

The next day: Virginia loss shows Syracuse isn’t ready to compete against ACC heavyweights (DO; Smith)

It’s essentially become an annual tradition in central New York: once the calendar flips to the new year, and conference play begins heating up, it’s time to ask if Syracuse will be in the 68-team NCAA Tournament field. Since 2015, SU has been a regular on the bubble, some years getting into the tournament, some years missing out. In 2018, the Orange were safely in, but last year, they weren’t close.

And this year, the question will still loom over Syracuse in the second half of its season. As of Friday, SU wasn’t even on the bubble in Joe Lunardi’s projections. At 10-6, the Orange don’t have a great resume at the moment — they’re No. 136 in the NET rankings (the primary metric for evaluating tournament-worthy teams) and don’t have any quadrant I or II wins.

That’s why Saturday’s game at No. 11 Virginia was so important. Syracuse needs wins and won’t have many more opportunities for quadrant I wins — something that’s particularly important for getting into the tournament. Yet for the first 29 minutes against UVA, Syracuse didn’t show up. The Cavaliers got out to a 23-point lead, controlling the game from the opening tip, and despite a seven-minute scoreless drought in the second half that allowed SU to get within single digits, still won pretty comfortably.

The loss made it clear that with five quadrant I games remaining on their schedule, the Orange have a lot of work to do if they want to get into the tournament conversation.

Jim Boeheim said after the game Saturday that Syracuse made too many uncharacteristic mistakes, like the two missed layups Joe Girard III had early in the first half. Add Girard and Judah Mintz’s slow starts to a slew of turnovers, Virginia’s 12 3-pointers and another poor offensive game from Jesse Edwards, and you get a deficit that was simply too much to overcome and no clear path to beating a quality team on the road.

“Virginia’s really good,” Boeheim said postgame. “I think our team is getting better, but just made too many mistakes today.”

Boeheim says Syracuse’s younger players, in particular, are improving. Maliq Brown had 10 points and eight rebounds in a career-high 36 minutes and Mounir Hima notched six rebounds and four blocks in 15 minutes. The coach hoped Saturday’s loss proves to be a learning experience for those younger players, who are the ones the Orange need to step up over the rest of Atlantic Coast Conference play.

SU basketball has struggled to start games: ‘I don’t like it’ (PS; $; Ditota)

Syracuse in its last few men’s basketball games has had trouble reacting to the opening jump ball.

The Orange trailed in three of its last four ACC games at the 10-minute mark. In the one game it led at that point, the margin was a single point over Boston College.

In the two games before league play resumed on a regular basis, SU trailed Cornell by 11 with 8:35 left in the first half before tying it at the break. The Orange led Monmouth, a team with a 1-15 record, by just two points at intermission.

“I don’t like it,” SU coach Jim Boeheim said. “I just don’t think we’re playing well enough to get ahead. We’re not good enough at the beginning of games. I don’t have an answer for why.”

Since Syracuse has segued completely into league play, let’s consider the last four ACC games for first-half reference:

  • Pittsburgh led by 12 at 9:21
  • BC led by seven at 13:15
  • Louisville led by nine at 12:33
  • Virginia led by 11 at 12:42
The Orange had trouble defending teams in the first half of those games. In three of those four games, the opposing team shot the ball better in the first half than in the second half.

BC is the lone exception. The Eagles shot 40% in the first half and 42% in the second half.

A particular defensive problem for Syracuse has been the 3-point line. Opposing teams during that four-game span are shooting 49% from 3 in the first half and 36% from that distance in the second half. (Neither of those numbers are good from a defensive standpoint, but 49% is particularly poor.)

And while its defense has struggled in the first half, so has Syracuse’s offense.

In those four games, SU is shooting 41.5% overall in the first half and 38% from the 3-point line.

In the second half of those games, SU is making 46.3% of its shots overall and 46.2% of its 3-pointers.

Other factors influence games, of course. Turnovers, rebounds and free throws play a role. Turnovers have been a Syracuse problem in three of its last four games. The rebounding numbers have varied, but the defensive boards remain a struggle. And aside from the Pittsburgh game, the Orange has been good at the free-throw line.

SU is an improved 3-point shooting team; notes on other stats and a key Virginia Tech player (PS; $; Ditota)

Syracuse is becoming a better 3-point shooting team.

The Orange men are making 35.6% of their 3-point shots right now. That ranks 99th in the NCAA.

In its last six games, SU is shooting 44% from the 3-point line. That figure includes a grim 1-for-10 in the first half against Pitt.

Joe Girard has spearheaded the Orange charge by the sheer volume of 3s he takes and makes. He is making 45.5% of his 3s in the last six games.

But other players, too, have contributed during that span: Chris Bell is a tidy 8 for his last 16 from 3-point range, and Benny Williams is 4-for-6 during that period.

Here’s the overall statistical breakdown of SU’s better shooters on the season: Girard (.386, 49-of-127); Chris Bell (.357, 20-of-56), Justin Taylor (.355, 11-of-31), Benny Williams (7-of-18, .389), Symir Torrence (.417, 5-of-12).

Girard ranks third in the ACC in 3-point field-goal percentage. He’s taken more shots than the two players ahead of him right now: Casey Morsell, N.C. State (44-of-95, .463), Darin Green Jr., Florida State (47-of-112, .420), then Girard.

Nationally, Girard ranks 70th in 3-point shooting percentage.

SU as a team still isn’t taking many 3s. It ranks 336th nationally in the percentage of 3-point shots it takes during games ( Opposing teams, conversely, continue to take an inordinate number of 3-pointers against SU.

A few other stats to ponder:

Jesse Edwards leads the league in blocked shots (2.9 per game) and is second in rebounds (10.9) and field-goal percentage (.609). In ACC games, Edwards does not rank in the Top 20 in field-goal percentage. He’s shooting .500 in league games.

Judah Mintz leads the league in steals (2.2). Girard is second in the league in free-throw shooting (.865).

And here’s an interesting number: Girard has played more minutes than any other Syracuse player. But he ranks just 18th in ACC minutes played at 33.3.

Last season, four of five Syracuse starters were within the Top 13 ACC players in minutes played. In order: Buddy Boeheim (first), Jimmy Boeheim (fifth), Cole Swider (eighth), JG3 (13th).

Syracuse men’s basketball: what can shot charts tell us about the Orange offense (TNIAAM; Wall)

Syracuse Orange fans need to stop living in 2018 and give up the notion that this team will suddenly morph into a defensive stalwart built to win games in the 50s.

If Syracuse is going to put together a strong ACC season, the offense is going to need to do the heavy lifting. After the loss at Virginia, the Orange rank 82nd in offensive efficiency and 116th in defensive efficiency according to KenPom. If you want to take away the fancy metrics, Syracuse is 134th in the country in points scored (74.6 per game) and 201st in points allowed (69.3 per game).

So what can Jim Boeheim do to tap into more offense?

Shooting % by half CBB Analytics - College Basketball Analytics, Stats & Metrics, & Research
Some of it is out of the coach’s control because overall Syracuse is not good when it comes to scoring in the paint-especially the two players with the ball in their hands the most often. Judah Mintz has been able to get into the lane frequently and to his credit he does draw a lot of fouls, but when he’s not fouled he’s not making those pull-up jumpers. Joe Girard would be better off dribbling out of the lane and taking the baseline jumpers on the right side of the court- you can see below how he’s most comfortable on that side.


So what about the rest of the Orange? We know that Jesse Edwards and Maliq Brown are basically dunks/lay-ups or nothing right now, so let’s look at the forwards and some numbers that might surprise you. See all that red on Chris Bell’s chart? Yeah, he might be a better shooter than he was hyped up to be. While I don’t think taking a lot of long 2’s is a great strategy, I was shocked to see how many Bell is knocking down.

On The Block On Demand 1-9-23 (ESPN; radio; Axe)

Brent Axe discusses how it’s been a season of almosts for Syracuse men’s basketball. Later, he addresses the transfers of Duce Chestnut and Ja’Had Carter.

Keeping Up With The 315 1-9-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Brian Higgins gives his main takeaway from Saturday’s Syracuse-Virginia game – it wasn’t as close as the score suggested. Then, Josh joins the show to describe the feel at Sunday’s Bills win over the Patriots and look at the AFC Playoff landscape. Later, a recap of last week’s picks from Mario Sacco and the Man Who Sort of Knows.

‎Locked On Syracuse - Daily Podcast On Syracuse Orange Football & Basketball: A Syracuse Basketball Recruiting Update with Expert Jason Jordan of Sports Illustrated on Apple Podcasts (; podcast; Locked on Syracuse)

Matt Bonaparte speaks with basketball recruiting director Jason Jordan of Sports Illustrated. What does the future hold for Syracuse basketball? Should SU be scared of the portal or excited for it? All that and more on your Tuesday episode!

Syracuse Athletics State of the Union (SI; Crawford)

SU fans! With 2023 only nine days old, this is an excellent time to wipe away all the Christmas and New Year’s eye boogers, prepare yourself for the dearth of college football that’ll be happening after tonight (my money is on the Dawgs, but never rule a football team from Texas) and get back into the swing of things at work. I’ve laid out for you not only a (concise) recap of all (notable) 2022 SU athletic happenings, how I feel about them, and a look ahead to 2023.

MEN'S SOCCER: I would be remiss if I didn’t start this article talking about the national championship that the Orangemen brought back to campus. Please put away your Melo and Hakim Warrick throwbacks back; I’m talking about Levonte Johnson, Nathan Opuku, and the SU soccer team. The squad that “Dared to Dream” ended with a 19-2-4 record (19 wins being a school record), and Johnson was named a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, essentially NCAA soccer’s Heisman trophy. Levonte, defenders Abdi Salim and Buster Sjoberg, forward Amferny Sinclair, and GK Russell Shealy were all selected in the 2022 MLS draft, with five draftees being another SU record. The coaching staff didn’t go unnoticed, with Coach McIntyre garnering ACC Coach of the Year honors and his staff collecting being named both USC (United Soccer Coaches, not the Trojans) South Region Staff of the Year and Nional Staff of the Year. While expecting back-to-back national championships would be unrealistic and replacing five starters. Pro players would be a challenge for any program. With the jovial, youthful energy of Coach McIntyre, and his proven ability to get talent to both transfer in and mesh together quickly, nobody should be expecting a significant drop-off next year.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Well, Boeheim is still here, so that’s good (right?). Say what you want (trust me, I have eyes, too), but this is still a 10-6 team with a 3-2 ACC record after the UVA loss, one in which a few good things happened, but a lot of bad did too. SU’s play has them smack dab in the middle of the ACC standings as the calendar turns, which many fans may understandably moan and gripe at, about until you realize that you’re sitting directly behind the UVA/Duke/Unc trio in the standings and 1 or 2 wins could shoot you to the top. Judah Mintz has proven to be everything we thought we would be, but outside of him, there have been few consistently bright spots so far. Jesse Edwards is averaging 13 and 10, but he’s still susceptible to inconsistent effort and will pull a disappearing act every so often. Both Benny Williams and Chris Bell have been maddeningly unpredictable, one game looking like NBA wings and the other times barely coming up with two rebounds between the both of them. If there’s going to be any 2023 resurgence for this SU team, it’s going to be squarely on the backs of those two. Much maligned senior guard Joe Girard has given his haters substantial evidence, with his 39 FG% not real easy on the eyes, but he’s still SU’s leading scorer at almost 17 a game, and he and Mintz take (and make) a lot of tough, clutch shots. If you can believe it, there are no ranked teams currently on SU’s schedule through the rest of the year, so it’ll be interesting to see what this squad can do in an ACC that looks much different than it did at the start of the year. Barely beating Louisville, which legitimately may be the worst Division I team in the country at 2-13 right now, doesn’t spell out great things, but CBB is about guard play, and a Mintz-JG backcourt always has the potential to catch fire. If SU wants a legitimate shot to return to the tourney, they’ll need to steal at least one game from the cream of the ACC crop (UNC and Duke always looks good as a resume win, but [insert] sits atop the standings right now).

FOOTBALL: So, yeah, that could’ve gone better. The slide from ACC top dog and potential CFP dark horse to limping out of the year with a Pinstripe pummeling from Minnesota was swifter than any of us would’ve liked. However, you’re starting QB has already announced he’s coming back (a blessing in this portal age), and this is the highest win total SU has finished since that magical 2018 run. Many people seem willing to give Shrader the starting job going into the next year, but Justin Lamson and Carlos Del-Rio Wilson both have staunch supporters at FanNation, and Shrader’s Pinstripe performance doesn’t exactly slam any doors shut in the QB room. If Dino Babers wants to keep his job, he will have to figure out how to win games in November. Maybe 3-3-5 originator Rocky Long replacing Tony White and Beck’s elevation to OC will help that. A LOT left you in the portal and to the draft, but, as Mike McAlister says, attrition is expected in CFB in 2023. You got some good pieces out of the portal, especially positions of need (DT, CB, OT), and LeQuint Allen looks like a future star in the backfield. With Marlowe announcing his return to SU, he and Caleb O will be the backbone and face of The Mob. There’s one thing for sure: Upstate NY is a COLD place, but it would be in Babers’ best interest to turn around his late-season misgivings before his seat gets hot, really quick.

New AP men’s basketball Top 25 poll continues the tumult up top: Who’s No. 1? (PS; Ditota)

The only thing that seems inevitable each week in the Top 25 is that nothing is inevitable.

Purdue, last week’s No. 1, lost to a pretty good Rutgers team and is no longer No. 1.

Teams were ushered in, teams were sent out. The College of Charleston was ranked for the first time in 20 years.

Here’s what the latest men’s basketball Top 25 looks like, followed by the ballot I turned in last night:

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, and total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking.

Record Points Previous week

1. Houston (34) 16-1 1457 2
2. Kansas (22) 14-1 1440 3
3. Purdue (4) 15-1 1386 1
4. Alabama 13-2 1288 7
5. Tennessee 13-2 1231 8
6. UConn 15-2 1206 4
7. UCLA 14-2 1108 10
8. Gonzaga 14-3 1070 9
9. Arizona 14-2 1049 5
10. Texas 13-2 940 6
11. Kansas St 14-1 818 -
12. Xavier 13-3 793 18
13. Virginia 11-3 712 11

How to Watch Syracuse vs Virginia Tech (SI; McAllister)

: Syracuse (10-6, 3-2) vs Virginia Tech (11-5, 1-4)

Location: JMA Wireless Dome (Syracuse, NY)

Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern - Wednesday, January 11th.

Television: ACC Network Xtra


Radio: TK99,, TuneIn App

Broadcast Team:

Odds: TBD

ESPN Matchup Predictor: Syracuse has a 45.0% chance to win.

Series History: Syracuse leads the all time series 12-5 and has won two of the last three. The Hokies, however, won the most recent meeting 71-59 last season in Blacksburg. The most recent Dome meeting was a 78-60 Orange victory in 2021.

Live Stats: LINK

Syracuse enters the 2022-23 season in a situation it has not been in under Jim Boeheim. Coming back from a losing season. The Orange finished the 2021-22 campaign below .500 for the first time in more than 50 years and has completely reshaped the roster in the offseason. While veterans Joe Girard, Jesse Edwards, Benny Williams and Symir Torrence are all back, Syracuse has seven newcomers in freshmen Judah Mintz, Quadir Copeland, Justin Taylor, Chris Bunch, Maliq Brown, Peter Carey and transfer Mounir Hima. Syracuse won both of the two exhibition games for the Orange, against Indiana (PA) and Southern New Hampshire, though neither victory was particularly impressive. The regular season started with a win over Lehigh, loss to Colgate, win over Northeastern and overtime victory over Richmond. The Orange followed that up with an overtime loss to St. John's, home loss to Bryant and blowout loss at Illinois. Syracuse bounced back with an impressive road win at Notre Dame, blowout of Oakland, convincing victory over Georgetown, knocking off Monmouth and beating Cornell. The Orange then suffered a setback against Pitt before bouncing back against Boston College and Louisville. Syracuse then fell at Virginia.

ACC MBB Power Rankings finds a new team on top (TNIAAM; Wall)

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team split their road trip last week. Where will they land in this week’s TNIAAM ACC Power Rankings?

Don’t ask us to explain our ratings system- just be grateful that Fake Nunes Statistical Index staff has steady work in this economy.

Now let’s get to this week’s rankings...

1) Clemson Tigers (13-3, 5-0)

At this point you can’t ignore the one unbeaten team in ACC play. The Tigers host Louisville and Duke this week- can Vice Principal Brownell keep his team focused with the Blue Devils looming? If Clemson gets to 7-0, Dabo’s going to start showing up at games Drake style.

2) Miami Hurricanes (13-2, 4-1)

Nigel Pack got the big NIL deal to come to Coral Gables but Norchad Omier’s the transfer moving the needle for Miami. His presence inside can make Miami a bigger threat this March

3) Pittsburgh Panthers (11-5, 4-1)

Speaking of transfers, Jeff Capel rebuilt his roster and might have saved his job. Despite the hot conference start, the Panthers have a bit of work to do before they start making NCAA Tournament plans.

4) Virginia Cavaliers (11-3, 3-2)

Congratulations to Tony Bennett on becoming Virginia’s all-time wins leader. We are contractually obligated to remind you he’s also the all-time leader in losses to 16 seeds.

5) Duke Blue Devils (12-4, 3-2)

Needed some late free throws to escape Boston College. That’s not great Jon.

6) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-5, 3-2)

We continue the North Carolina portion of the rankings with Wake. This looks like a team that will pull some upsets and drop some puzzling games. They might need an ACCT run and they might be built to go on one of those runs.

7) North Carolina Tar Heels (11-5, 3-2)

When you retire, try and enjoy it as much as Roy seems to be

Roy Williams and his wife Wanda taking part in pregame Swag Surfin' before today's @UNC_Basketball game. @WFMY #wfmysports
— Brian Hall (@bhallwfmy) January 7, 2023

8) NC State Wolfpack (13-4, 3-3)

Well Kevin Keatts pulled The Undertaker sit-up on us after we were burying his NC State career last week. The Wolfpack are 2nd in the ACC in offensive efficiency which you should tuck away for when Syracuse faces them in Greensboro.

9) Syracuse Orange (10-6, 3-2)

Joe Girard is top 10 in the ACC in scoring and he’s trending towards being a 3rd-team All-ACC selection at the end of the year. Before you yell at us about this, we’re just going to refer you to the players in front of him and ask you to note their position.

Open for Business: Syracuse NIL Store Launches - Syracuse University Athletics (

The Syracuse NIL Store powered by Campus Ink is officially open for business, featuring custom and co-licensed merchandise sold for Syracuse Orange student-athletes. The Syracuse NIL Store is every fan's one-stop-shop to score officially licensed Syracuse NIL apparel and directly support their favorite student-athletes. Athletes earn between $8-$15 on every item they sell.

This is just the start. The store, which acts as a hub for student-athletes to partner with designers and make apparel that uses officially licensed Syracuse marks, will continue to onboard student-athletes and create unique core products and custom merch drops, while also adding jerseys at a later date.

Among the current Orange student-athletes signed to the store are basketball forward Benny Williams and lacrosse All-American Emma Tyrrell. Each student-athletes locker room includes a collection of core products which feature personalized names and numbers for applicable student-athletes. Fans will discover merchandise for basketball, football soccer, lacrosse, softball, and more.

The NIL Store handles all the creative, product creation, design, marketing, fulfillment and customer service for its student-athletes. Additionally, the NIL Store works directly with student-athletes to educate them on merchandising, marketing and sales trends to develop strategies for optimal success.


New hotel proposed in eastern Onondaga County (PS; $; Doran)

A new, four-story hotel with 126 rooms is proposed for a vacant piece of land at 6595 Thompson Road in the Carrier Circle area.

The hotel, which would be named the Liv-Away Hotel, is being developed by Bellevue, Washington-based West 77 Partners, said Steve Calocerinos of Calocerinos Engineers. The engineering firm is working on the project.

The site was originally slated for a new La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel back in 2013. It was approved by the town of DeWitt, but was never constructed.

The new hotel proposal is still under concept review by the town of DeWitt. It is still undergoing preliminary review by the town of DeWitt planning board. It would likely need site plan review by planners.

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