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Real basketball is back in the Dome!

Not sure if this was purposeful or not, but Syracuse opened its football and basketball seasons in 2016 in the Dome against the Colgate Red Raiders. Orange Football won its game back in September, and on Friday night there was never any doubt that Orange Basketball would do the same. Head Coach Jim Boeheim used a nine-player rotation to give multiple looks and keep people fresh, and allow us to see returning players, grad transfers, and freshmen. So, in other words, and opportunity for us to see everything this team can do this season. And it was glorious! When all was said and done, the Orange emerged victorious 83-55.

  • Tyler Roberson not surprisingly led the way with 18 points on 9-13 from the floor. Right behind him was grad transfer Andrew White III with 17 points on 7-12 shooting, including 2-7 from three. Also in double digit scoring was grad transfer John Gillon (13 points) and Frank Howard (11 points).
  • Most improved player  from last year (you know, based on one game) has to be Frank Howard. Last year he showed flashes of greatness, but never really got much of a chance to shine with Gbinije and Cooney in the backcourt. Against Colgate, Howard had a confident command of the offense, was assertive, and assisted on nine scores. He's also bigger, stronger, and more athletic than last year.
  • DaJuan Coleman was on track to have a great game -- six points, six rebounds, and active around the basket -- but he got into foul trouble and only played 15 minutes. But unlike in recent years, Syracuse is deep at the center position, so they could afford to have Coleman play aggressive and get what production he can before having to sit him. We'll see how this continues to develop.
  • Some key stats: Syracuse had 48 points in the paint, 12 points off turnovers, and 23 fast break points. On the other side, Colgate mustered 19 offensive rebounds -- something that extended their possessions, most notably in the first half -- but could only cash them in for seven second chance points.
  • Free throws matter, but ended up being a non-factor in this one (Syracuse shot a chilly 8-19).
So, a fine start to the season. It's nice to have basketball back again, and especially to have buzz carry over from last year's Final Four run, get some great grad transfers, a great recruiting class, and core returning players. This team has a lot to look forward to. But, one game at a time. Up this week is Holy Cross on Tuesday, followed by Monmouth on Friday. Go Orange!

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