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Jimmy gets a little fired up sometimes.
Syracuse initially didn't want to play this game. But when the Big East tells you you're playing in the Big East / SEC Challenge you play. And that's what Syracuse did. While Arkansas was not ranked, this is a major team in a major conference in a hostile arena. And it provided a great gut check for the Orange early in the year. Syracuse, helped by James Southerland, put away the Arkansas Razorbacks 91 to 82.
  • James Southerland was obviously the best player in the game. He earned a career high 35 points on 12-17 shooting and 9-13 from behind the line. He also added six rebounds and a block. His offense was masterful. Honestly, the only shot he can't hit is wide open at the top of the key. For some reason.
  • CJ Fair was solid in his 39 minutes on the floor. He was 5-10 from the floor, good for 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists.
  • Both Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams each finished with 17 points. Triche was ice cold for most of the game, but in the second half when the game got close he hit three big shots in a row to give Syracuse a nice cushion. MCW generally played well, but had some spectacularly dumb moments like taking a really long three when the game got close. He settled down after Boeheim to him to run the offense. MCW also had nine assists.
  • Trevor Cooney is good at defense in the 2-3 zone. Trevor Cooney was not good at anything else in the game. Including free throws.
  • Baye Keita had some productive minutes on the defensive end of the court, and pulled down six rebounds. He also added three points.
  • DaJuan Coleman is also a power defensive presence but you can tell he is raw in the post and on offense. He was 1-5 from the floor, but the good news is he should improve. Additionally, the more in shape he gets the more he can handle games like this that are up and down.
  • Syracuse led the game in rebounds, assists, and blocks. Sadly, they did not in turnovers however. Syracuse had 19 to Arkansas' 14.
  • Syracuse hit 48.5% (33-68) from the floor, and 42.3% (11-26) from behind the arc. This is in start contrast from Arkansas which went 38.7% (24-62) and 20.8% (5-24) respectively.
Syracuse earns their win for the league in the Big East / SEC Challenge. But more than that, despite not being able to put the throat to the neck of Arkansas, they never allowed them to gain the lead even when the game got close. They never panicked in the hostile crowd and maintained their offense. Syracuse now faces old friend Rob Murphy in Eastern Michigan. Despite the fact they will run mostly 2-3 zone, it will be a nice break from this kind of a game.

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