Syracuse students agree: Most of us probably aren't at this game. Which is sad.
It's finally here. The most important non-conference game on the schedule has arrived.
Arguably one of the top 5 rivalries in college football, Syracuse will again face Georgetown. While it isn't a conference game anymore, and the teams don't play each other twice a year and maybe a 3rd in MSG, this is still an important game for Syracuse and Georgetown fans, as well as college basketball. People born before 1990 might not appreciate it as much, but for long time fans, alumni of any age, and fans of college basketball (especially with an East Coast bias), this game means everything. And it is set to be rekindled in the Carrier Dome. Oddly enough, despite playing last year in DC, Jim Boeheim wasn't at the game due to his NCAA suspension. So this will be Jim Boeheim's first Georgetown game back playing in a non-conference game. And I can only imagine how badly he wants to win this game. And Syracuse can do it. Despite looking like hot garbage against UConn for a good part of the 2nd half, when Syracuse is making shots, they look pretty close to unbeatable. And Syracuse will have to make shots against Georgetown. One thing is for sure. Despite the records, Despite the schedule, and despite the players, these teams play each other tough. Syracuse will have to stop Georgetown's very own grad transfer Rodney Pryor. He is averaging around 20 points a game. If Syracuse wishes to win, they will have to find Pryor and contain him. Additionally, Georgetown is one of the more physical teams in college basketball. They drive to the basket and get to the free throw line. It's their bread and butter. Syracuse will need to be smart about defense and force Georgetown into bad shots and to pull up without driving to try and limit the amount of free baskets the Hoyas attempt. Frank Howard will need to dish the ball smartly in this one. Syracuse is successful when Howard is earning assists. If he is smart with the ball, it will put Syracuse in a good opportunity to score the basket. And sometimes Syracuse needs all the help it can get. But really, the key to this game is how well both DaJuan Coleman and Tyler Lydon play. If Syracuse is able to pound the low post, get Georgetown in some foul trouble of their own, and force Georgetown's defense to pack it in a bit to get shooters more open, Syracuse will have some solid success on the offensive end in this game. Lydon finding his shooting stroke will help, but White and Gillon have that covered for now. Syracuse needs solid low post play from Coleman, but Lydon would also add to the mix of people Georgetown must cover inside, which will create other opportunities, specifically kicking to open shooters. Syracuse really blew it last year in DC, but that was an anomaly. Syracuse was without Boeheim, it's first big non-conference test. It just wasn't in the cards. This year, Syracuse will have Boeheim, they will be honoring the Syracuse Legend Pearl Washington during the game, and Syracuse is coming off some of their best offense of the season against BU (yes I know it was BU, but they started actually playing like a cohesive offense). If Syracuse can stick to the game plan, make some shots, and adjust at the half to anything that isn't working, Syracuse should have a solid day and not ruin any of our weekends. I'll take the Orange at home over the Hoyas by 8. This game is available nationally on ESPN / WatchESPN at 12:00pm. Both John and I will be in the Dome for this one. How could we not be? Say hi and GO ORANGE! YOUR MOTHER'S A HOYA! RIP Pearl Washington.