Syracuse students agree: Seton Hall is the perfect bounce back opponent.
Syracuse has had a rough couple of games. That's not a terribly big surprise in the Big East, the toughest basketball league in the country. After all, tougher teams usually play better defense and shoot better, therefore you have to play better to win the games, and if you don't you usually lose. Syracuse lost against two top ten teams, which is fine in a league that has consistent top 25 matchups. Neither of the losses were bad, so you move on to the next game. This time Seton Hall travels to the Carrier Dome. The Hall was beaten by Syracuse in New Jersey 61 to 56. Conventional logic would dictate that Syracuse being home would play even better and Seton Hall would play worse and this would be an easy game for the Orange. But Seton Hall has one big piece that they were missing before. Jeremy Hazell has returned from a broken wrist and a gunshot wound to play in Seton Hall's last few games. While he has never beaten Syracuse he has dropped a massive amount of points on them, averaging 29.3ppg against the Orange in the last three meetings. However, he is averaging only 28% and 4-26 from behind the arc in the Hall's last three games (all losses). That includes a six point loss on Saturday to "Biggest Rivalry In The League" team Rutgers. The Hall is now 8-12 (2-6) on the season. Syracuse had some scoring issues in NJ against The Hall, but not as much as they did going 0-17 in the first half for three point attempts and 3-26 in the game. The Hall will most likely do the same thing against the Orange this time as well. Syracuse was outrebounded 43-30 in Jersey however, which added to the slim margin of victory. Herb Pope is a rebounding machine and gave Rick Jackson and Syracuse a huge fit in grabbing rebounds. The key to the game for Syracuse is rebounding better. Syracuse will score points and Seton Hall will miss shots, but limiting both second chance opportunities for Seton Hall and earning second looks themselves will ensure a comfortable victory for the Orange. Hazell is the X factor. He could be dreadful taking ridiculous shots or he could keep draining them. Syracuse being patient on offense and feeding Rick Jackson and Kris Joseph first and looking for three point opportunities second will be the smart plays on offense. Far better play from Scoop Jardine is also necessary. He's been terrible shooting as of late and frankly a loose cannon. I do think Syracuse bounces back though. Syracuse has too much talent compared to Seton Hall to lose to them at home after two losses in a row. Syracuse wins this one at home by 11.