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Loyola - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: We should play better at home, right?
 Syracuse managed to only lose one game in the month of November. So far at least. But that being said, the performance in New York City was not impressive for the Orange, a team that is really struggling to run smooth half court offense with a freshman point guard and new players playing at the college level in their first season. The good news is Chris McCullough has some star potential. That was evident in MSG. However, one player does not a team make. Rakeem Christmas has shown flashes of solid low post play, but he becomes overly aggressive on defense or just makes dumb fouls and ends up sitting way too much. Michael Gbinije has come off the bench and looked solid, but he has made dumb plays as well. The good news is that tonight Syracuse plays Loyola. They have struggled to score even more so far this season than Syracuse. And I'm 99% certain that the players haven't seen more than a minute of zone defense here and there in their playing careers. I think they will be confounded early and often in this game. Loyola has one good outside threat in Eric Laster but even when facing a zone I doubt he will see many open looks tonight. Cooney or Joseph will have their hand in his face, and unless the Greyhounds get very good at ball movement and Laster is open in the corner, he shouldn't be too big of a factor in this game. Really, the best way that Syracuse can score in this game is force turnovers and earn transition buckets. And they have a chance to do that a lot this evening on their home court. Look for Syracuse to get a nice lead in the first half, and then coast to a comforatble win. Nice and easy. Syracuse over Loyola by 16. This game is available regionally starting at 7:00pm. Check your local listings here. If it's not on TV, you have it available on WatchESPN (blackout info here).

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