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Boston College - Syracuse Postgame Reactions or SOTU

So here's to the outhouse on the hill...

Tuesday night in Washington was dominated by President Obama's State of the Union speech -- SOTU. Tuesday night in Syracuse was dominated by featured Jim Boeheim's Syracuse Orange Tempermental Utilitarian team. Sandwiched in between the first six minutes and the last two minutes of the game was a really great effort by Syracuse. Initially overcoming an eight-point Eagles lead in the first half, the Orange charged back to a 35-17 halftime lead, and dominated for much of the second half. And then the last two minutes. Dragged. On. For. Ever. Between timeouts, fouls, turnovers, Boston College refused to throw in the towel until there were literally like ten seconds left and Syracuse up by eight. And that would be the final margin: Syracuse wins 69-61.

  • All five Syracuse starters were in double-digit scoring. That's awesome. The leading scorer? Not Rakeem Christmas (more on him in a minute). The star Tuesday night was Michael Gbinije. He had 17 points on 7-12 shooting, two threes, eight rebounds, four assists, and all 40 minutes on the floor. I think we can say he has really turned into the player we thought he could be (and knew he needed to be) entering the season.
  • The other starters scored: Trevor Cooney (15pts, 4-11, 2-5 from three), Kaleb Joseph (13pts, 2-7 shooting, 9-11 from the line), Rakeem Christmas (12pts, 5-8 shooting, 2-2 at the line), and Tyler Robersobn (10pts, 3-8 shooting, 4-6 free throws).
  • Kaleb played more aggressively, especially in the second half. But, as Boeheim noted in his presser, he'd make a great play, then an awful play, and back and forth. So, consistency is an issue. Something else I noticed about him running point -- I counted a few times when Boeheim called a play for Cooney to take a shot, and when Cooney would swing out from the paint to the wing and out into the backcourt (and be open), Kaleb often times would fail to get him the ball. Missed opportunities for Cooney to catch and shoot, in my opinion.
  • Rak "only" had twelve points and seven rebounds in just 23 minutes of play. That was 17 minutes of foul trouble, the last 1:51 after his fifth. That allowed Chino Obokoh 16 minutes of game play (a career high) where he had four rebounds and a block. A nice effort for a big kid who doesn't get many minutes. BC's game plan wasn't to exactly attack the basket (just 12 points in the paint all game) so this game didn't give us a great look at Chino on defense. But the time will come, eventually.
  • Maybe the biggest takeaway from this game was Syracuse's ability to succeed without Rakeem Christmas. The team has relied on him, sometimes exclusively, to be that go-to guy, that consistent scorer who will put up big numbers when the rest of the team struggles. So for Rak to go to the bench with Syracuse holding onto a lead, and for the players on the floor to increase that lead and hold it for virtually the rest of the game, was a big growing moment for the Orange.
  • Syracuse had a much better shooting effort than that Clemson game last Saturday -- 22-50 for 44%, and 36.4% from three.
  • Boston College entered this game the best free throw shooting team in ACC play. After only going 3-6 from the line in the first, they improved to 16-21 in the second, which almost put them back in this game. Then again, had Syracuse been better at the line in those final two minutes, this one would have been over much, much sooner.
Syracuse avenges last year's loss to BC on Jim Boeheim Court, so that's good. Syracuse also wore its traditional white jerseys & white shorts, instead of last year's "throwback" orange jerseys & blue shorts for the BC game. While there were some questionable calls from the officials, Syracuse didn't let it effect its game (well, maybe Rak did). At any rate, it's another win in the books before this team faces a tough Miami Hurricanes squad on Saturday afternoon.

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