0 Comments Published on 2.21.2013 by John Brennan
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Wednesday night's game in the Carrier Dome between the visiting Providence Friars and the home Syracuse Orange had all the makings of a trap game. Providence is an annual cellar-dweller; Syracuse had already beaten the Friars on their home court; Providence has been playing well lately; all of Orange Nation was focused on the record-breaking crowd for the huge matchup Saturday against long-time rival Georgetown. Well luckily, not all of Orange Nation. You see, Jim Boeheim operates a game at a time, and he instills that in his coaching and the approach his players take. Boeheim I think did a great job coaching his squad for the Providence game, and it showed on the court. The Orange takes this one 84-59.
- For the first ten minutes of this game, neither Syracuse nor Providence looked impressive. And then Syracuse went on a huge offensive run: they were hitting shots -- including threes -- the defense shutting down Providence, and creating turnovers which led to more Orange points. By the time the Friars picked themselves up off the floor, they were losing 43-16 and walking back to the locker room for halftime.
- CJ Fair and James Southerland led the way for Syracuse with 20 points each. CJ was 6-10, 1-1 from three, and 7-8 from the free throw line. He also pulled down ten defensive rebounds for another double-double. James was 7-8, 3-3 from three, and 3-4 from the line. When you get players like CJ & James shooting that well, you know Syracuse will have a great game.
- Michael Carter-Williams also had a fantastic game: 15 points on 5-8 shooting, 5-6 from the line, 12 assists, and only two turnovers.
- Brandon Triche didn't have the monster game he had against Seton Hall the other night, but he still had a solid performance against the Friars: 14 points on 5-11 shooting, 1-3 from three.
- The other scholarship players weren't huge contributors on offense, but don't question their contributions to this win. In particular, Baye Moussa Keita's 19 minutes hardly scratched the box score, but he was active on defense. Keita seems to be the better defensive player over Rakeem Christmas, but each was a presence under the basket and often times left the Providence offense wondering what happened to the ball.
- Jerami Grant & Trevor Cooney both saw decent minutes, but this just wasn't their game. But that's fine, as this was a total team effort and everyone contributed in some way.
- Speaking of everyone, Boeheim was able to insert the walk-ons with just over a minute to go; once Taco Time had been reached, of course.
- That all said, Providence is a good team. They have good players and have won some games over some tough opponents this season. Wednesday night, four Friars scored in double digits. Of note, Vincent Council recorded seven assists and became the Big East's all-time assists leader. Not that Jim Boeheim cares, though...
- This was another game where we heard the whistle more often that anyone ever wanted. It was a very inconsistently called game, varying from half to half. I guess that's what to expect in a Karl Hess game these days. Tim Higgins retires, and someone has to take over I guess.
- The Carrier Dome crowd was rather small and rather quiet. Sure, they got loud and into the game during that first-half surge, and at the end when the walk-ons came in. It is what it is, but you'd like to see more than "23,717" at a Big East game.
- It really wasn't 23,717.
Top to bottom, Syracuse played one of its best games in a while. All aspects of the game were hitting on all cylinders and against a Big East team, you can never let your guard down. Especially with the epic tilt against the Hoyas looming. The Orange::44 staff will be among Saturday's 35,012, and we hope you will be as well.