Syracuse students agree: A home game in the Big East? I'll take it.
Syracuse must take advantage of every home game in the league, like every other team needs to. The road in the Big East is always tough, so when Syracuse can play at home they need to play well. Especially against a team that by all measurements is not as good talent wise. Cincinnati comes in with only one loss on the year (to a good Villanova team), and Cincinnati is a team Syracuse struggled with last season on the road before absolutely smashing them with defense. This Cincinnati team has lost the bulk of their talent from last season however. Gone is Lance Stephenson and Deonta Vaughn. Junior guard Dion Dixon is leading the Bearcats in scoring with 12.5ppg and shooting 43% from the floor. Yancy Gates is still a rebounding machine, leading their team with 6.9 on average, and also adding 1.5 blocks. This team is tough on the interior, but they sadly cannot match up with Rick Jackson. Cincinnati lacks a pure shooting presence that could really help them overcome this tough Syracuse zone defense. Syracuse is holding Big East opponents to 22.5% from three. Cincinnati has shot 20 long balls in each of their past 2 games. Unless someone becomes absolutely unconscious on the Bearcats they have no hope of scoring from long range at a clip that would matter in the game. Cincinnati has to get it done from the paint. With Rick Jackson and Baye Moussa Keita inside, those prospects become slimmer. I think this game could be tight in the first half, but the second half should open up nicely for the Orange. Look for Syracuse to earn another nice Big East victory in the Carrier Dome by 15.