The Carleton Ravens were as advertised as Canada's best and gave the Orange a lot of trouble Friday night. In fact, Syracuse had to battle back from a fifteen point second half deficit to send it into overtime. The Orange prevailed 69-65 in the extra frame to improve to 3-0 on their exhibition tour north of the border.
Tyler Ennis: The freshman continues to be a stabilizing force that is poised beyond his years. As the Ravens pulled out to double-digit leads on multiple occasions, Ennis stayed calm, cool and collected. At times he became aggressive, trying to take over with his scoring. Other times he stayed patient and waited to find the open man. Showing savvy spin moves, the ability to finish around the rim, and precision passing, Ennis already has a strong grasp of the Syracuse offense. Enjoy Ennis while you can, Orange fans.
C.J. Fair: Fair looked tentative while returning from injury. As the game moved on, he started to get back to his old self. That was until he hurt his leg again in the second half. He came out and didn't play the rest of the game. He is diagnosed with a bruised leg and will not play against Ottawa on Saturday.
Jerami Grant: The super-soph is growing up before our eyes. He has improved his jumper, free-throw shooting and still has that freakish athleticism. Grant attacks the rim with ease and has a knack for finishing in traffic. His play down the stretch was a big key for the Orange. Grant is in for a big year.
Trevor Cooney: While he didn't shoot as well as he did in the previous game, he made a key three-pointer in overtime that helped propel the Orange to victory. Still, Cooney played well running the point and was active defensively. The best sign for Cooney was he stayed confident despite missing a few shots early.
Rakeem Christmas: While Christmas struggled offensively, he was solid in the zone. He moved well, blocked shots, and caused havoc. Christmas has to continue to develop his offensive game. He hasn't really developed any post moves, and doesn't have a strong jumper.
DaJuan Coleman: Coleman shows signs of improving defensively, but still is learning how to maneuver in the post. He lowers his head and plows into defenders making it easy for the opposition to draw offensive fouls. He appears to have improved on the glass, but has to work on his post game.
Baye Keita: Playing the important minutes down the stretch, Keita remains the center that Jim Boeheim trusts in crunch time. He had some key buckets in regulation and overtime, and was his usual aggressive self on defense. Keita is what he is, and that's just fine for the Orange.
Michael Gbinije: Showing his versatility once again, Gbinije moved from the front court to the back court without a problem. He doesn't force things offensively, and has the ability to run the offense when needed. His length defensively contributed to some turnovers, and he showed an ability to be a factor on the glass.
B.J. Johnson: He played well in limited minutes, but Boeheim went away from the freshman in critical minutes. Still, Johnson shows a lot of promise with his ability to shoot and run the floor.
Ron Patterson: Another true freshman who got very limited minutes. He missed an open three and came out shortly after. Patterson has really struggled with his shot during the Canadian tour.
Overall: Syracuse got a big test from Carleton Friday night. Trailing by double digits throughout most of the first half, and fifteen in the second, the Orange turned up the defensive intensity and got back in the game. Despite not shooting well for stretches, they were able to beat a team that had defeated three division one squads by double digits. That includes a 13-point victory over Wisconsin just a few days prior. The experience will be great for Syracuse as they look towards the start of the 2013-14 season.