Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday - for Basketball |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Basketball


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to National Freedom Day!

National Freedom Day, which celebrates the freedom that Americans share, takes place on the anniversary of the date in 1865 when Abraham Lincoln signed a joint House and Senate resolution that proposed the 13th Amendment, which would go on to outlaw slavery after being ratified by the states. Not only does the holiday celebrate freedom, but it honors the signing of the resolution. Lincoln did not live to see the resolution ratified, as he died the following spring, but it was ratified on December 6, 1865, and the amendment was adopted on December 18, 1865.

SU News

Opponent Preview: What to know about Wake Forest (DO; O'Brien)

With Syracuse having an inconsistent January, winning out will be what it takes to have a chance to make the NCAA Tournament following a five-point loss against Boston College. Its first challenge on that front is on the road versus Wake Forest.

Head coach Steve Forbes’ Demon Deacons are closer to the bubble than the Orange but have played inconsistent for most of the month. For both teams, Saturday could serve as a jumping-off point for the final month of the season.

Here’s everything you need to know about Wake Forest (13-7, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) before it takes on Syracuse (14-7, 5-5 ACC):

All-time series

Syracuse leads 11-3.

Last time they played…

The Orange fell to WF in the 2023 ACC Tournament 77-74. In what turned out to be Jesse Edwards’ and Joseph Girard III’s final games with Syracuse, the two combined for 21 points and shot 7-of-16 from the field, contributing to the team’s 39% field goal percentage.

The game went down to the wire, but the Demon Deacons’ Daivien Williamson nailed a fast break 3-pointer to knock out Syracuse.

But the game will be more known for what happened after the game rather than the game itself. Along with Girard and Edwards, it was Jim Boeheim’s final game in a 47-year coaching tenure at SU. Boeheim gave a cryptic response about retirement in the postgame presser. Yet by 5 p.m., Adrian Autry was head coach.

KenPom odds

Wake Forest has a 74% chance of winning, with a projected score of 78-71.

The Demon Deacons report

After starting out 2-3, Wake Forest steamrolled to a nine-game win streak, going undefeated all through December. But since Jan. 9, the Demon Deacons have gone 2-4, picking up wins over Virginia and Louisville.

Wake Forest leans heavily on its starters — Hunter Sallis, Kevin Miller, Andrew Carr and Cameron Hildreth — to create the production. It doesn’t rely on its bench, which averages the 331st-most bench minutes in the country per KenPom. But even with this reliance on its starters, the Demon Deacons have the 35th-best adjusted offensive efficiency, the 29th-highest 3-point percentage (37.6%) and the No. 43 effective field goal percentage in the country (54.3%).

Beat writers split on if Syracuse will defeat Wake Forest (DO; Staff)
Despite winning its first meeting with Boston College on Jan. 10, Syracuse slumped to a 80-75 loss at Conte Forum Tuesday. The Orange gave up a 21-0 run — spanning both halves — which built up a 14-point deficit they couldn’t overcome.

Though Judah Mintz and J.J. Starling tallied 18 points each, BC’s Claudell Harris Jr. canned four 3’s down the stretch to seal a home victory. SU forward Maliq Brown totaled 15 and seven rebounds, while holding Eagles’ star Quinten Post to single-digit scoring, but Syracuse couldn’t finish with the win.

SU rounds out its two-game road trip with a visit to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are coming off of a 77-72 loss to Pittsburgh and currently sit at sixth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference rankings.

Here’s how our beat writers think Syracuse (14-7, 5-5 ACC) fares against Wake Forest (13-7, 5-4 ACC) Saturday:

Cole Bambini (17-4)
0-3 in NC
Wake Forest 77, Syracuse 71

Syracuse comes off a loss to Boston College, a team it should’ve beaten for the second time this season. Instead a dominant Eagles run and strong second-half 3-point shooting kept the Orange’s comeback at bay. Entering Wake Forest, a team that’s a perfect 11-0 at home, I find it difficult for the Orange to bounce back in this game.

Sure, Syracuse has found a way to bounce back following conference defeats, but taking on a Wake Forest team that boasts four scorers averaging above 14 points a game, might be a tough task Saturday.

What hurt SU versus Boston College was the Eagles’ 50% mark from deep and 60% overall from the field. Wake Forest is the third-highest 3-point shooting team in the conference, and if the Demon Deacons get going from the perimeter, I think Syracuse might be playing another game of catch-up.

Henry O’Brien (17-4)
Can’t stop the shooting
Wake Forest 81, Syracuse 71

Syracuse has been proficient at stopping the 3-point shot in this past month. But that came to a screeching halt against Boston College. A 21-0 run between the first and second halves doomed the Orange. While I don’t expect them to allow that again, I have a feeling Wake Forest, a team that has one of the best effective field goal percentages in the ACC, will have a solid shooting night.

Gonzaga transfer Hunter Sallis has been the scorer the Demon Deacons need. He shouldn’t have too much trouble against the Orange, but Mintz and a mixture of Brown and Quadir Copeland will certainly be up for the challenge.

Still, the game will come down to how SU’s man defense plays against Wake Forest. The game will be close for the most of it, but I think the Demon Deacons will pull away with a late double-digit lead.

Tyler Schiff (17-4)
Now or never
Syracuse 75, Wake Forest 71

Syracuse’s loss to Boston College hurt its hopes at an NCAA Tournament bid immensely. On Jan. 23, the Orange’s shock loss at home to Florida State marked the first time they lost to a team outside the AP Top 25 poll. The defeat to BC injects severe doubt on whether SU can dance again in March following a three-year absence.

Yet wins against teams like Wake Forest amplifies Syracuse’s postseason chances, despite not forgiving prior losses. The Demon Deacons rank fourth in the ACC in field goal percentage (52.8%) and third in 3-point percentage (38.2%). It’s a tall task but one that’s achievable if the Orange play to the best of their abilities.

If Starling continues to show up — provided he plays after taking a hard fall Tuesday against BC — and Brown persists to be a powerful inside presence, Syracuse stands a chance. It needs to tighten up defensively opposite Sallis and sharpshooter Cameron Hildreth but matches up well with Wake Forest on paper.

Yes, it’s hopeful thinking, but provided SU’s small margin for error throughout the tail end of conference play, I believe the Orange pull off a surprise win in North Carolina.


Syracuse has had mixed success defending the 3-point arc throughout conference play leading to inconsistent performances.

Syracuse's inconsistent 3-point defense has lead to middling ACC slate (DO; O'Brien)

Throughout January, Syracuse was inconsistent in conference play. It went 4-4, without a winning streak of more than two games, but never went on a multi-game losing streak.

One stat defining SU’s inconsistency is its 3-point defense.

Over the past month, Syracuse allowed opponents to shoot 40% from 3 just twice in losses to then-No. 14 Duke and Boston College. The defense hasn’t always been perfect even in wins; UNC’s RJ Davis made 4-of-6 attempts in the blowout loss at Chapel Hill. But the Orange have undoubtedly improved from the start of the season when they allowed 10 3-pointers to Canisius.

Head coach Adrian Autry said the reason his team has defended better around the arc is because the players have improved on staying tight to prolific 3-point shooters.

“I think defensively in the last couple of games our alertness to where shooters are has been a lot better,” Autry said on Monday.

There was no better example of this than on Jan. 16 against Pittsburgh.

Facing the Panthers, Syracuse encountered Blake Hinson, the Atlantic Coast Conference leader in 3-point field goals.

The Orange already contained him once in the JMA Wireless Dome, forcing Hinson to go 1-for-7 from beyond the arc. On the road, they did it again, limiting Hinson to just two makes on 11 shots from deep. On nearly all of Hinson’s 3-pointers, he had an SU defender in his face.

With just over three minutes left and the Orange up 11, Hinson received a pass near the Pitt logo and tried to pull up from deep. But as Hinson received the catch-and-shoot 3, SU’s Quadir Copeland had a hand in his face. In turn, Hinson’s shot barely hit the rim and J.J. Starling got the rebound.

Hinson isn’t alone in struggling against the Orange on 3-point shots. Miami’s Wooga Poplar (1-for-5), NC State’s DJ Horne (3-for-10) and Florida State’s Darin Green (3-for-10) all struggled against SU from beyond the arc in January.

Horne, who has the third-most 3-pointers in the ACC, only made one 3-pointer on five attempts in the first half. SU’s stifling defense forced Horne into one of his worst performances of the season.

“I feel like we took away their 3-pointers like we did against Pitt,” Chris Bell said following the 77-65 victory. “…Really (it’s about) staying focused, staying with the shooters, playing defense.”


Syracuse's starting lineup consists of five sophomores, including guards Judah Mintz (3) and JJ Starling (2). No senior or freshman has scored a single point this season for Syracuse. (Dennis Nett |

In SU basketball’s 123-year history this had never happened ... until now (Mike’s Mailbox) (PS; $; Waters)

This week’s Mike’s Mailbox sent me down the rabbit hole of all rabbit holes.

To find an answer to one reader’s question, I had to search through the statistics and sometimes individual box scores for every single season in Syracuse’s 123-year basketball history.

The search finally ended at the turn of the 20th century in the archives of the Post-Standard newspaper. And huge shout-out to’s Johnathan Croyle for providing the last key clues in the search.

(If you have a question; follow-up or otherwise, for the Mailbox, email it to

Q: Syracuse hasn’t had a senior or a true freshman score a single point this season. Has there even been an entire season in which neither a senior or a freshman scored a point?

Jayson S.

Sometimes you’re just too close to something and miss the big picture.

I’ve written many times this season that there is no scholarship senior on Syracuse’s roster this season. The only true freshman is William Patterson, who hasn’t played this season because he is taking a redshirt year.

Thus, Syracuse’s scoring has come entirely from sophomores and juniors. Not a single point has been scored by a senior or freshman. (Note: SU is listing Peter Carey as a sophomore, although he could apply for a medical redshirt after playing in just three games last season).

I went through season statistics and box scores for every year that Syracuse has fielded a basketball team. I thought for sure that in the years when the NCAA didn’t allow freshmen to play varsity ball that there would be a season in which no senior had scored and we’d have our answer.

(ESPN; radio; Orange Nation)

Steve Infanti and Paulie Scibilia kick off the show reacting to Syracuse men's basketball's loss to Boston College explaining why it's not the end of the world for the Orange. Then, the hosts discuss some of the reasons why they believe SUMBB has exceeded expectations this season given some of the injuries they've dealt with before a regular caller vents his frustrations. Later, a caller continues the discourse over how many ACC teams will make the NCAA Tournament.

The Ostrom Avenue Podcast Episode 173: Syracuse Women's Basketball Update with Tim Leonard. Plus, Previewing Syracuse Men's Lacrosse's Season Opener with Vermont Head Coach Chris Feifs (; podcast; Ostrom Podcast)

Ethan Frank, Jordan Leonard, and Hudson Ridley react to a pair of basketball losses over the past couple of days between the men's and women's teams and what they mean for both team's seasons moving forward (1:15). Then, Ethan and Hudson catch up with Tim Leonard to discuss just how successful Felisha Legette-Jack's team has been in just her second year as head coach and what the ceiling is for this year's team (16:40). Finally, the guys close up by giving some quick hitters about Syracuse men's lacrosse's season opener against Vermont on Saturday before Jordan and Hudson spoke with the head coach of the Catamounts, Chris Feifs, ahead of the matchup (51:30).

SU men's basketball is INCONSISTENT (youtube; podcast; Orange Zone)

Tommy Sladek, Samantha Croston, Lawrence Moten and Rachel Culver examine Syracuse men's basketball 80-75 loss to Boston College. How can this team that's painfully inconsistent find a steady course?

Syracuse men’s basketball: one unnecessary risk led to an overly conservative response (TNIAAM; Wall)

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team suffered a disappointing loss to Boston College. It was a game the Orange let get away and I think there was a crucial decision in the first half that was a catalyst for the loss.

James touched on this in his takeaways but I think it’s worth expanding upon because it’s not the first time we’ve seen it this season. With 4:43 to go in the first half and the Orange up 28-23, Judah Mintz went for a steal in the backcourt and was whistled for his second foul. Adrian Autry pulled him from the game and with Maliq Brown already sitting with two fouls, Syracuse tried to go with JJ Starling, Kyle Cuffe, Chris Bell, Benny Williams and Mounir Hima.

After a Starling jumper made it 30-23, Syracuse was out-scored 8-0 in the next two minutes. By the time Autry went back to Mintz and Quadir Copeland, the Orange were trailing 31-30 and had gone from putting BC away to injecting some life in a team that needed a win desperately.

James mentioned Autry’s propensity for playing it cautious when players have two first half fouls, which by itself isn’t a major concern. What is a little concerning is the first half substitution pattern seems to follow a similar theme of getting all the rotation players in no matter the situation. In last night’s game, the offense had just gotten going with players driving the ball and forcing BC to help leaving open players. When Autry removed Mintz, he should have gone with Copeland on the floor to facilitate.

JJ Starling’s shooting has improved, but neither he nor Kyle Cuffe are used to facilitate. Mounir Hima’s got four points on the season. Chris Bell missed all four of his shots last night. It just wasn’t the right situation to go with a group lacking on the offensive end and really Copeland should have been in for Bell at that point.

Is There Still Hope For March Madness? (; Griffin)

Of all the adjectives you could use to describe Syracuse’s loss to Boston College Tuesday night, disheartening is probably the one that fits best. The Orange had not lost to the Eagles since 2018 (God’s Plan by Drake was topping the charts), and it felt like a game you couldn’t afford to lose in the grand scheme of things. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened. It brought SU’s chances to make March Madness after missing it the last two years slim at best.

When you analyze Syracuse’s first five losses of the season based on the opponent/location alone, none of them were any that would make you lose your mind. SU lost two ranked games to Tennessee and Gonzaga in Hawaii, then fell to three ACC titans on the road in Virginia, Duke, and North Carolina. That is nothing to be ashamed of.

The last week-plus has been a different story. Florida State is a good team but the game was played in Central New York, yet the Seminoles still outworked and outhustled the Orange en route to a convincing victory. And then you have last night. An extremely demoralizing defeat.

Social media has been asking how Syracuse keeps getting disrespected in the NET/KenPom rankings this season compared to other ACC teams this year. The answer is pretty simple. Whether you like it or not, the lingering effects from preseason rankings have carried into the latter stages of the season. Sure there was plenty of talent, but based on what we saw on the court was there any reason besides blind faith to think that SU was going to make the Big Dance? Even if the Orange’s resume is similar to that of other conference foes, that’s why they’re lingering behind.

Syracuse Basketball Drops the Ball Against Boston College: 3 Takeaways (; Tucker)

Despite the efforts of Maliq Brown and Quadir Copeland, Syracuse basketball failed to move past the Eagles on the road.

There were points where it seemed that Syracuse basketball might just make a comeback, but the hole they dug themselves into was just too much for them to handle. At the end of the competition, Syracuse lost 80-75 against BC.

The Orange were no match for the intense defense of Boston College, who outrebounded them by 10. The Eagles were also able to take advantage of some confidence-altering runs that left Syracuse stunned.

This counts as a Quad 2 loss for the Orange, not helping their tournament resume by any means. The Eagles, however, should be celebrating an impressive victory over their ACC rivals; one that hasn’t happened since 2018.

Takeaway #1: Boston College had 21 turnovers

It’s shocking how any team could win after turning the ball over 21 times, but the Eagles found a way to do just that. At times their play looked sloppy, including bad passes and mishandling of the ball.

The fact that they shot so well is what helped them. They went 60% from field goal range, 50% from three-point range, and knocked down 59% of their foul shots.

This was their best shooting performance of the season, but it was no surprise that Claudell Harris was the one who led them there. Syracuse head coach Adrian Autry said postgame that Harris’s shooting was the difference between this game and their last game against the Eagles.

Forcing 21 turnovers could be a real win for the Syracuse defense, but allowing a team to beat you after that is more defeating by itself.

Takeaway #2: Maliq Brown and Quadir Copeland made a major difference

In the first half, we saw Brown play pretty well, but after picking up two fouls early, he was forced to the bench. This is where Syracuse started to struggle and Boston College went on a 21-0 run.

Trends In Syracuse's Losses In January (; Gotkin)

Sometimes in sports, it can be hard to find exact trends in losses. However, that’s not the case with Syracuse since the start of 2024. Two massive trends jump out. Both of them are on the offensive end. The first is one that usually you can associate with playing good defenses. In each of SU’s four wins this year, they’ve turned the ball over less than 10 times. In the four losses, they’ve turned the ball over more than 10 times.

This trend of turnovers correlating with wins or losses is a new one for the Orange. Going back to the beginning of the season, the ‘Cuse turned it over double-digit times in a number of wins. But, as the Orange played better teams, those squads have made them pay for giving the ball up. Turnovers aren’t something new for Syracuse led by Judah Mintz. Last year, the Orange lost a number of tight games because of turnovers. You can’t put all the blame on Mintz though. While he has struggled at times under pressure, there isn’t a trustable secondary ball handler which makes things close to impossible for the young guard.

The other big trend in Syracuse’s losses in 2024 is Chris Bell’s offensive output. Outside of the North Carolina game, Bell has averaged just three points a game in the Orange’s three other losses in the month of January. In each of Syracuse’s wins this month, Bell scored more than 10 points. The explanation for this is pretty simple. When Bell is effectively scoring, the Orange have a dangerous wing on the floor. Without Bell scoring, the Orange just don’t have that. In the losses, the offensive is left to two guards and a center. Almost every single great college basketball team has a dangerous wing.

Holliday: UNC and Duke are back atop the ACC ahead of Saturday showdown :: (; Holliday)

Damon Stoudamire’s Georgia Tech team is arguably the most mercurial club in recent ACC history. I mean the Yellow Jackets have a record of 3-7 in the ACC and 10-11 overall. And yet GT has beaten nationally ranked Mississippi State, Penn State, Duke, nearly Duke again, Clemson at Clemson, and now UNC. If Stoudamire could get his young guys to play against Boston College and Notre Dame as well as they do against ranked teams he would be coach of the year.

UNC did not play well in Atlanta – that seems to happen in both football and basketball. Yet R.J. Davis, 28 points, gave the Tar Heels a chance to keep their unbeaten streak going. Davis scored on a great drive to give his team the lead 73-72. Then after 6’6 freshman sensation Naithan George drove to put the Jackets back on top, Davis again attacked the basket for the win. Analyst Jay Williams thought Georgia Tech committed a foul but there was no whistle.

So UNC’s long winning streak comes to an end. Still, this GT upset should not remove any of the luster of Saturday’s meeting between UNC and Duke.

North Carolina established itself as the ACC frontrunner in early January with a decisive takedown of highly regarded Clemson. Meanwhile, Duke’s pursuit of the Tar Heels encountered a couple of detours. The Blue Devils as mentioned, lost in December at Georgia Tech, then took a defeat at home against Pitt, a Panthers team that the Devils had destroyed 11 days prior.

Result: Duke has been in and out of second place, scrapping for position in the league standings with the likes of NC State, Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.

But on Monday night, Duke followed its narrow home win against Clemson, with a decisive 77-67 victory at Virginia Tech. And so now Duke is 7-2, to UNC’s 9-1, with sole possession of second place. Both teams are ranked in the AP top 10. The UNC-Duke game always means a little more when they rank 1 & 2 in the ACC.

Glens Falls loses bid to host boys basketball state championships from 2025-2027 (PS; Lacy Jr)
The boys basketball state championships are leaving Glens Falls and are headed for Binghamton.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Executive Committee voted 12-10 to approve Visions Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton as the site for 2025-2027 at its executive committee meeting on Wednesday.

Glens Falls, which will be the host in 2024 and has hosted the tournament from 1981-2016 and from 2022-2023, lost the bid for the next contract.

The tournament was held in Binghamton from 2017 to 2019, and there was no state tournament in 2020 or 2021 due to Covid.

According to reports, NYSPHSAA would pay no rent to either arena, but Dr. Robert Zayas, Executive Director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, told the Glens Falls Chronicle that with the Binghamton bid, NYSPHSAA would receive $20,000, access to free athletic trainers and the state could use its own ticketing platform.

Organizers behind the Glens Falls bid told The Post Star that they believe Zayas misinterpreted their bid because the Glens Falls bid would have been given a portion of the bed tax money to NYSPHSAA and used the other portion to market the tournament.

Glens Falls organizer Chip Corlew also told The Post Star that the state boys basketball committee voted in favor of Glens Falls, 8-3.

Zayas told the Glens Falls Chronicle: “For the State Football Championships, we’re paying north of $65,000 for the Carrier Dome. We pay $82,000 for MVP Arena for the Wrestling State Championships. So when we can save money, that is something we are certainly interested in doing.”



Caroline Portner plays Amber Van Tussle in "Hairspray." (Photo by CNY Central)

Syracuse alum snags 'ultra clutch' role in 'Hairspray,' coming to the Landmark Theatre (; La Fiandra)

"Hairspray" returned to Syracuse this week as performances at the Landmark Theatre began Tuesday night.

For one of the show's actors, Caroline Portner, it's a homecoming of sorts.

Good morning Syracuse! Downtown businesses offer 'Hairspray'-themed treats all week-long

Portner plays Amber Von Tussle, a spoiled high school girl who appears on "The Corny Collins Show," which her mother produces and schemes to make her the star of.

Neither Amber nor her mother, Velma Von Tussle, are characters who are meant to be likable.

"If I walk away and the audience hates me, I will have done my job correctly," Portner said.

Portner got her BFA from Syracuse University and previously appeared in performances of "Amadeus" and Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" at Syracuse Stage.

She said Syracuse University pride runs deep in her family, "Not only was I an SU alum, so was my older sister. Family ties are very strong. I mean my dog is named after Otto the Orange! I wish I was kidding!"

After this relentlessly gloomy January, when will Syracuse finally see sun again? (PS; $; Coin)

The sun hasn’t poked through the clouds in Syracuse for more than a week, and only for a few hours the entire gloomy month of January.

The last time the clouds parted enough above Syracuse to allow in a little sunshine was Jan. 22, and then it was brief and right about sunrise on a weekday.

The rest of the work week looks to be more of the same, but there will soon be, literally, light on the horizon.

Saturday and Sunday will be sunny, with clear skies at night, the National Weather Service said. Afternoon temperatures should rise into the mid 30s, a few degrees warmer than normal.

“Unusually quiet weather (especially for this time of the year) is expected,” the weather service said.

We shouldn’t be surprised that Syracuse has been socked in by clouds in January. Our perch just downwind of the Great Lakes renders Upstate New York one of the cloudiest places in America, especially during the winter. Syracuse is Upstate’s cloudiest city, and the eighth-cloudiest place in the U.S.

Even by Syracuse standards, though, January 2024 has felt especially gloomy. Since 8 a.m. Jan. 22, the weather service has deemed the skies impenetrable to sunlight every single hour at Hancock International Airport, the official climate site for Syracuse.

In those 200-plus hours, here are some of the conditions the weather service recorded: overcast, cloudy, mostly cloudy, light snow, fog, mist, fog and mist, light rain, heavy rain, light drizzle and wintry mix.

Conditions the weather service did not record: sunny, partly sunny, clear.

The best we got was a single hour of “fair,” defined as less than 3/8ths of the sky covered by clouds. That was at 6:54 a.m. Jan. 22.

Before that ephemeral hour of fair skies, you’d have to go back to Jan. 16 to find less than half the sky covered by clouds at any point in the day. The day before, Jan. 15, the nicest day of the entire month, was mostly fair or partly cloudy.

But the first two weeks of the year had not a single hourly observation that even hinted at sun.

The good news is that not only are days getting longer and warmer, but the percentage of possible sunshine will rise, too. By summer, Upstate cities the skies are clear 60 percent or more during daylight hours. That’s more then double the average available sunshine we get during the winter.

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