NEW YORK, N.Y. – In what Malachi Richardson called his worst game of his life, the freshman forward was held scoreless from the 3-point arc in eleven attempts, and finished the game 4-for-20 from the field.
When asked if St. John’s did anything special to throw his shooting off, Malachi responded, “It was just one of those nights. Again, shots aren’t always going to fall. I was hoping they would fall today, but they didn’t.”
In the second half, Richardson started to take a different approach, a much more affective approach. He scored SU’s first four points of the half, which doubled his first-half total. He finished with the game with 15 points, largely due to his changed approach.
“I just tried in the second half to be more aggressive and get to the basket to make some plays for our team. It’s definitely frustrating not shooting the ball well,” he said. “But, it happens and I was a little pressed about it in the first half. But in the second half I knew I had to do something positive to help our team try to get the W.”
“I thought he was more aggressive taking the ball to the basket (in the second half),” Mike Hopkins said after the game. “That’s a positive sign.”
One alarming stat from Sunday’s loss to St. John’s was Malachi took nine more shots than leading scorer Michael Gbinije. In fact, Gbinije was held to four second-half shots, while Richardson put up thirteen.
It was clear the Johnnies wanted someone other than Michael Gbinije to beat them, which, obviously, didn’t happen.
Despite going 4-for-20, confidence will never be an issue, “I’ve always felt like I was going to make the next shot. The shots felt good; there was just a lid on the basket from the 3-point line today. We didn’t shoot the ball well as a team, and I think that’s going to happen. We just have to be a little bit more consistent with that.”
Now with six days off before the Orange face Cornell, what can SU do to improve?
“We’re just going to get after it in practice and work on the things we need to work on. We’ll watch film, get back in the gym and get ready for the next one,” Richardson said.
“It’s just how you respond to those bad games that shows everybody who you are,” Michael Gbinije said when asked about Richardson’s poor performance.
He also finished 7-for-10 from the free throw line, while the rest of the team went 12-for-21 from the line.
Instead of waiting until the second half to change his approach, an overall more aggressive Malachi Richardson will benefit Syracuse in every aspect of their offensive approach from here on out.