Syracuse students agree: Home or away the Orange are here to stay... #1.
Syracuse performed admirably on the road in the hostile environment of NC State's faithful (well the 2/3 of the arena that was for NC State if you believe reports). Now they are back in the comfy Teflon covered confines of the Carrier Dome. Bucknell comes into town to take on the red hot, undefeated Orange.
The Bison come in at 7-4 on the season. A Patriot League member, this team is not going to scare Syracuse or their fans into thinking an upset could be brewing. While Bucknell has a nice pair of shooters in Bryson Johnson and Cameron Ayers. Ayres leads the team in scoring and hits over 50% from long range. Syracuse will have to find these shooters. The good news is that Syracuse is very good at perimeter defense. Actually better than they were last season. Johnson was a starter before an injury and sat out Bucknell's last game. He will play and will be a spark off the bench for the Bison. The person Syracuse really needs to watch is forward Mike Muscala. He averages 13 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Syracuse has struggled this season with easy passes to the baseline behind the back row of the zone. Muscala has good post moves and Fab Melo and Baye Moussa Kieta could find themselves in foul trouble if they are too aggressive in defending the paint. He could also provide a problem for the Orange in rebounding. However, Syracuse leads the nation in steals and turnover margin. Syracuse should run this team out of the building, especially if this game turns into a track meet with their depth. Syracuse should earn a big win in this one. Syracuse over Bucknell by 24.
This game will be nationally televised on ESPN U at 7:00pm. John will be back tonight with a big recap of the NC State and Bucknell games. There are only two chances to see Syracuse before the heart of the Big East starts. Enjoy the blowouts and low pressure games while you can.