SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse has had sluggish offensive stretches in each of their first three wins. The goal coming into a matchup with a St. Francis squad the Orange were expected to blow out was to put together 40 minutes of solid offensive basketball. Then, the opposite happened.
The Orange were sloppy right from the start, lacking movement and flow on the offensive end. They were taking a lot of time off of the shot clock, seemed to lack a clear plan and were forcing shots.
The result was a subpar 35.3% shooting from the floor, including 26.3% in the second half. The offensive issues are no longer a slow start issue, but a concerning trend. C.J. Fair has stepped up in previous games when the Orange have needed a go-to scorer, but seem to lack consistent offensive threats outside of the senior leader.
Jerami Grant shows flashes, but teams are playing off of him early. He has to hit that mid-range jumper if he is going to be able to get back to attacking the basket. Tyler Ennis has struggled with shot from the outside, and Trevor Cooney has been inconsistent. Michael Gbinije has fallen victim to the inconsistency bug as well, though he has taken care of the ball.
The low post game for Syracuse has struggled, with Rakeem Christmas offering little offensively. Coleman has shown flashes, but if he cannot step up defensively, head coach Jim Boeheim will not leave him on the floor long enough to make a significant offensive impact.
As Syracuse looks forward and faces better competition, the Orange have to find themselves on the offensive end of the floor. The talent is there. Cooney can shoot, Grant can score, Ennis can do a bit of everything and Gbinije has a solid skill set. But as a team, the Orange are shooting a pedestrian 42.5% from the floor, including 31.8% from beyond the arc.
Patience is needed for this team to gel and hit the ceiling of what they can become. But for now, the offensive struggles are a problem that need fixing before it bites them with some early season losses.