High Point Game Preview (3/2/24, 5pm) | Syracusefan.com

High Point Game Preview (3/2/24, 5pm)

Powellfan

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The Orange look to get back to their winning ways by taking on the Panthers of High Point. After the big letdown of Wednesday night, this game has been an after though, especially with a showdown with Hopkins a week from Saturday. How will the Orange respond? I think this game will be a relatively easy win for Syracuse, but with short rest, and two overtime losses in the rearview, High Point could certainly challenge the Orange if they aren't in the right mindset.

High Point is 4-1 this season, but their wins come against Queens, Cleveland State, Mercer and VMI, four of the worst teams in DI (no offense intended). Their one loss comes against Duke, and they lost 21-9. The one thing High Point has going for it is a pretty decent face-off group, they won 16-34 against Duke, one of the better units in the country. On the whole season, they are winning 63%. I think this number is a bit inflated given their level of competition, but it's nothing to sneeze at. I think Mason and Kohn and John Mullen can still rule the day here, but I'm not sure they'll be winning 80%. On offense, High Point has some good players, led by Brayden Mayea (27 pts) and Jack VanOverbeke (20 pts). Each player has missed a game this season. Jack Sawyer is a transfer from Maryland who can also score, he has six points in three games. Overall I think if the Orange can handle the top two scorers, they should be in good shape. Mayea is the finisher and Van Overbeke is the distributor.

On defense, High Point has issues - despite the easy schedule their GK is only at 47% this year and has finished sub 50% in four of the five games they've played. He made 12 saves with 15 goals against vs Duke. I think the Orange offense will be able to score in bunches. The Panthers have used three different goalies this year, but none has separated themselves. Personally I see this one in the 18-8 range of games.

For Syracuse, what is there to say? I don't want to overlook this game (certainly the team shouldn't), but this isn't a game that is going to change our perception of the team. If they won, that's great, but they've been winning games like this all season. We know the team is good, a 10 goal win against High Point isn't going to make me think this team is better or worse than I did. What I am interested in is the fact this team seems to play two different offenses, one against top 10 teams and one against everyone else. What will the focus be?

Personally I'd love to see players outside of Spallina see a lot of the ball - if these are the guys who are going to be the focus against Hopkins/Cornell/ACC teams, then work on getting them more into the flow of things. If they want to get Spallina more involved against bigger teams, it seems they need a different strategy. Again, really not trying to be dismissive, if there are things to work on going forward, this is the time to do it. It doesn't do the team a great deal of good to have Spallina get 10 points and be a decoy against Hopkins next Saturday. Getting other guys some confidence, I think, should be the biggest focus of the game tomorrow (other than you know, winning it).
 
The Orange look to get back to their winning ways by taking on the Panthers of High Point. After the big letdown of Wednesday night, this game has been an after though, especially with a showdown with Hopkins a week from Saturday. How will the Orange respond? I think this game will be a relatively easy win for Syracuse, but with short rest, and two overtime losses in the rearview, High Point could certainly challenge the Orange if they aren't in the right mindset.

High Point is 4-1 this season, but their wins come against Queens, Cleveland State, Mercer and VMI, four of the worst teams in DI (no offense intended). Their one loss comes against Duke, and they lost 21-9. The one thing High Point has going for it is a pretty decent face-off group, they won 16-34 against Duke, one of the better units in the country. On the whole season, they are winning 63%. I think this number is a bit inflated given their level of competition, but it's nothing to sneeze at. I think Mason and Kohn and John Mullen can still rule the day here, but I'm not sure they'll be winning 80%. On offense, High Point has some good players, led by Brayden Mayea (27 pts) and Jack VanOverbeke (20 pts). Each player has missed a game this season. Jack Sawyer is a transfer from Maryland who can also score, he has six points in three games. Overall I think if the Orange can handle the top two scorers, they should be in good shape. Mayea is the finisher and Van Overbeke is the distributor.

On defense, High Point has issues - despite the easy schedule their GK is only at 47% this year and has finished sub 50% in four of the five games they've played. He made 12 saves with 15 goals against vs Duke. I think the Orange offense will be able to score in bunches. The Panthers have used three different goalies this year, but none has separated themselves. Personally I see this one in the 18-8 range of games.

For Syracuse, what is there to say? I don't want to overlook this game (certainly the team shouldn't), but this isn't a game that is going to change our perception of the team. If they won, that's great, but they've been winning games like this all season. We know the team is good, a 10 goal win against High Point isn't going to make me think this team is better or worse than I did. What I am interested in is the fact this team seems to play two different offenses, one against top 10 teams and one against everyone else. What will the focus be?

Personally I'd love to see players outside of Spallina see a lot of the ball - if these are the guys who are going to be the focus against Hopkins/Cornell/ACC teams, then work on getting them more into the flow of things. If they want to get Spallina more involved against bigger teams, it seems they need a different strategy. Again, really not trying to be dismissive, if there are things to work on going forward, this is the time to do it. It doesn't do the team a great deal of good to have Spallina get 10 points and be a decoy against Hopkins next Saturday. Getting other guys some confidence, I think, should be the biggest focus of the game tomorrow (other than you know, winning it).

Didn't have the time to do a big preview for this one but you hit a lot of the big points.

I will say this could be a major trap game. Tough physical game 3 days ago and coming of a gut wrenching loss. Also watch for High Point to throw the kitchen sink defensively at SU including 10 man, zone, man with zone principles like Gate, and other defensive wrinkles SU probably hasn't seen to date.

HP as you noted is also above average at the X, unlikely Kohns winning 70%+.

Not predicting an SU loss here by any stretch but this a tricky game and could end up a lot closer then people might think. First 10 mins will say a lot. If SU comes out throwing the ball around and going through the motions it will get dicey.

Hope the O is sharp early and we see the close D unit and the ssdms especially respond after a rough performance Wed night.
 
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Cuse has to come out hott. Can’t give this team any thought of be able to compete. I also agree with game to get more guys involve maby even play with some diff lines see if anything shows promise. But have to come out with a win no matter what. For how many upsets have been just this weekend or least teams lost prob didn’t think would lose will not be good if cuse falls in line with those. Have to win
 

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