Syracuse students agree: Postseason bans are never fun.
Syracuse travels to Louisville tonight as the appraiser to Duke-UNC on ESPN. That's all well and good, but it seems that Louisville is a team struggling to deal with the self-imposed posteason ban the University handed down. They've lost 3 of their last 5 games, and the schedule doesn't get easier for them down the stretch. At least for now though, the team is ranked 18 and Syracuse is the underdog coming in. Louisville's offensive threat comes from a pair of transfers in Damion Lee and Trey Lewis. Both shoot around 44% overall and 37% from long range. Stopping these two will go a long way in SU completing another upset. Honestly, I'm not worried that Gbinije will score, or that Richardson or Lydon will as well. I'm not worried that Cooney will get going again and make a bunch of 3s. I am only worrying about defense and turnovers. If Syracuse can stop Lee and Lewis, or at least prevent them from going off, and take care of the ball, they should win this one even if it's close. Louisville likes to pressure the ball, so if having Gbinije or Cooney take charge of getting the ball down the court than SU will need to do that, but preventing easy buckets for Louisville is a must. Additionally, keeping the rebounding close will also help SU. Louisville is missing center Mangok Mathiang, so Lydon, Coleman, and especially Roberson just need to do their job and they should pull some down. If SU defends well, and creates some turnovers of their own, SU should have a fine outing. If they let L'ville score at will, SU will have a hard time getting back into the game, especially of they encounter an offensive drought at any point. Either way, I think Louisville is letting their postseason ban affect them a lot more than SU did last year. I think SU is playing too well right now, and Louisville is trending in the wrong direction. I'll take the Orange in an upset by 5. This game is available nationally on ESPN / WatchESPN at 7:00pm. John will be watching. I'll be out of pocket tonight. So enjoy!