Syracuse students agree: There's no easier ending to a conference slate.
It's no mystery. I think DePaul is the dregs of the Big East. And the standings prove it. They have finished dead last in the league the last three seasons, including this year, and have won a grand total of one conference game each of the last three seasons. They are a joke that only win a game if the other team is just as terrible, and DePaul is having an above the rails night. While they may get better next season and the years to come, they are absolutely terrible now. Syracuse leads them in every statistical category. This is no surprise. Their leading scorer is Cleveland Melvin, who averages 14.3ppg. However, the interesting is that all of those points come from inside the arc at close range. None of those shots are from behind the arc. This means that Syracuse will have to defend a leading scorer that doesn't take shots over the 2-3 Zone. Advantage? Yes, that would be Syracuse. And for once Syracuse will not only finish tops in the league in blocks, but will lead the nation as well. The last time that happened in Syracuse they won a little thing called the National Championship. I'm not making anything other than it's a good statistic for Syracuse, considering they are now playing a team that relies more on inside scoring than shooting over the zone. Guard Brandon Young is the outside scoring threat, however even he is only shooting 33.3% from behind the arc, though he does average 12.7ppg. Another interesting statistic is that Rick Jackson, with 10.8rpg, is earning double the rebounds on average to DePaul's leading rebounder Krys Faber with 5.4rpg. Either way, Syracuse has the tools and they have the talent. Scoop is coming off yet another monster game, and I think he will use that momentum to play well in this game to gain even more for the Big East Tournament. Additionally, Rich Jackson and Baye Keita should have big rebounding games. Additionally, Kris Joseph and CJ Fair should bounce back from their lackluster scoring outings as of late, and really everyone should get some playing time for Syracuse in this one. Look for Syracuse to have a big game to finish out the regular season at home. Syracuse beats DePaul by 17.
UPDATE: Yeah Melvin is out. See how much I value scouting DePaul? We're gonna win. Deal with it.