0 Comments Published on 1.16.2016 by John Brennan
|"People in Syracuse don't realize Trevor Cooney is a good shooter. People in other cities seem to."|
Consistency from the starting five: that's what we knew would be key going into this three-game road trip for Syracuse. If Saturday's game against Wake Forest was any indication of that, then maybe this team can turn around its otherwise bad fortunes on the season. The Orange built a sizable lead in the first half and never looked back. The team got great production from its starters -- most notably Trevor Cooney, dealt with an overcame foul trouble, and successfully limited Wake's Devin Thomas. Put it all together and Syracuse gets a major road victory at Wake Forest, 83-55.
- The aforementioned Cooney scored a game-high 25 points on 7-14 shooting, 6-11 from three, and 5-6 from the line. Most of that was in the first half, allowing Syracuse to build a comfortable lead they would never relinquish.
- Tyler Roberson continued to be plugged in, notching another double double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. After picking up his third foul with 3:50 to go in the first half, Tyler played smart the rest of the way and had no fouls the rest of the game. This was crucial, given the "foul trouble" talk centered around Syracuse at the end of the half.
- Michael Gbinije not only played another consistent game, but had a series of impressive slam dunks to really show people he was playing with confidence again. G was 6-11 for 15 points, had eight rebounds, and three steals -- I believe all of them leading to fast-break dunks.
- Tyler Lydon was the other Orangeman in double digit scoring with eleven on 4-9 shooting, including 3-4 from three. It's nice when DaJuan Coleman is playing well and Lydon can get minutes in at forward -- offense is much better in that configuration.
- Speaking of Coleman, while he didn't match or exceed Wednesday's 11-point effort, he had a nice six-point game. His stat line isn't impressive, but he was a great presence out on the court.
- Wake big man Devin Thomas needed to be ineffective for Syracuse to have any chance here, and the fact Syracuse limited him to nine points is a chief reason this game was so out of reach for the Demon Deacons. Oddly enough, Wake's only double digit scorer was Doral Moore, who had ten points in ten minutes.
- Chinoso Obokoh got 13 minutes in relief of foul-striken Coleman and, though he didn't score, he grabbed three rebounds and played with some much needed physicality. Which ultimately led to him reaching the five fouls for disqualification. But hey, he did his job. With Coleman playing better, he'll get in foul trouble, and it's that much more important that Chino can enter the game and be effective. He'll never be the offensive threat like Lydon is, but holding down the 5 spot in the zone is vital as we go forward.
- Syracuse with 32 points in the paint, 30 points off turnovers, and 20 second chance points. They also won the battle of the boards 43-35, and shot 44.4% from the field. You will take that effort any day or night of the week against any team, and expect to win.
No conference game is easy, and no conference game on the road is easy. So, despite Wake not being at the top of the ACC, this was an impressive win for Syracuse. Wake entered with a number of wins over great competition, so it's not like they're a push-over. If building momentum means anything, then Syracuse is well-positioned heading into a Big Monday showdown at Cameron Indoor Stadium against Duke. With the Saturday-Monday turnaround, the team is staying in North Carolina, so thankfully they won't be travel-fatigued. It'll be a good one!