"He's making shots, that's what he's doing," Boeheim said. "He's aggressive offensively. He's looking to score."
--Sophomore center Fab Melo is contributing a lot more to the team this season on both ends of the court. One area that often gets overlooked is his ability to draw charges, and he picked up three in the victory over Marquette.
"They are constantly blocking him out, pushing him and Baye (Keita) around, and he has to get off his guy and he did it. It's a huge play, a huge play -- those kinds of plays. He has to draw charges it's as simple as that because he's less likely to get into foul trouble," Boeheim said.
--Boeheim is closing in on another milestone. Following the Jan. 7 victory over Marquette, he has 873 wins. That leaves him four away from moving past Adolph Rupp and into fourth place on the career victories list.
BY THE NUMBERS: 46 -- The percent of Syracuse points scored by reserves this season, through Sunday.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"Of course you worry about the lead and such. You don't want a part two to happen from the NCAA tournament. We just try and not let it distract us. Once they got it down to two we just tried to take good shots, and not shoot ourselves. Just make good inside plays, and play solid defense." -- Syracuse forward C.J. Fair on his team's allowing its big lead to dwindle against Marquette.
Villanova is struggling as much as anyone in the Big East, looking to blend newcomers and veterans into something resembling a coherent unit on the court. Though the Wildcats are struggling, they do have a formidable veteran backcourt in Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek, and Mouphtaou Yarou can give the Orange big problems in the paint.
Freshman Rakeem Christmas is going to have to come up big for the Orange this season, since Fab Melo and Baye Keita both tend to have games where they pick up fouls. But like many a Syracuse big man, Christmas continues to struggle early in his career. He started against Marquette, but played just five minutes and contributed just a rebound and two fouls to the bottom line.
--Baye Keita was back in the lineup against Marquette after missing the Providence game with an injured hip. His 20 minutes against the Golden Eagles marked a season-high, and he ended the game with four points, five boards and two blocked shots.
--Senior F Kris Joseph had a huge game against Marquette, playing 38 minutes and leading the team with 17 points. He went 4-4 from three-point range, though ironically just 1-4 from inside the arc.
--Senior G Scoop Jardine didn't have one of his better games against Marquette. He turned the ball over six times against the Golden Eagles and made just one of his five shots from the floor.