SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- DaJuan Coleman is a big, strong, physical presence on the inside. But too often as a true freshman last season, he would see the ball stolen when trying to make a move at the basket. Despite his brute strength, Coleman was falling victim to one of the cardinal sins for a big man.
He brought the ball down over and over again. Coleman would crash the offensive board, then lower the ball within easy reach of the defenders and watch as the opponent sprinted the other way in transition.
Tuesday night, however, he showed significant signs of improving that habit. Coleman, again, hit the offensive glass. Instead of bringing the ball down, he kept it high, hit the floor, and immediately rose back up for an easy layup.
As Syracuse looks to develop a true low post threat this season, that improvement is key for both Coleman and the Orange. He might be the best rebounder on the team, but learning how to remain consistent after snatching the ball would be huge for a team with dreams of another Final Four run.
Coleman is also playing within himself offensively. Last season, he tried to use his strength to plow through defenders. Early on this season, Coleman uses positioning and footwork to gain an advantage. His strength then allows him to attack the basket even when he draws contact.
Two key facets of Coleman's development were on display Tuesday night, which led to a double-double on the stat sheet. Going forward, he has to remain consistent in order to truly become a force down low.