Syracuse students agree: Last night wasn't pretty.
And just like that, this young team brought expectations crashing back to reality as the Orange got a pretty serious beat down at the hands of California. Turnovers, bad shots, missed shots. You name it, Syracuse did it last night. But with such a short turnaround, Syracuse now plays Iowa, a team that basically looked equally as stunned with the longer, more athletic Texas finally taking it to them in the second half of their game. One thing is for sure, Iowa can box out. They limited Texas to only a handfull of offensive rebounds. And to limit that large Texas team in any rebounding stat is a feat. The same thing happened to Syracuse last night. If Syracuse isn't making shots on first efforts, they will be hard pressed to get second chance buckets. Therefore, Syracuse must force turnovers and convert into transition offense to have a shot in this game. Syracuse does not have a dominant scorer that can carry the offense on it's back. It needs to make smart choices in passing and get quick, easy buckets when they can. Scoring will come at a premium and Rakeem Christmas needs to stay on the floor as long as he can as both a veteran scorer and also on defense. But he has to get smarter about the defensive plays he tries to make. Thankfully, Syracuse is larger than Iowa and should have a ton of blocks like last night. Converting those into meaningful possessions is the key. While last night snapped us all back into reality this is still a decent team right now and they should be able to handle Iowa. Syracuse over Iowa by 9. This game is available tonight on ESPN 2 / WatchESPN at 5:00pm. We'll see you on the internet.