USA Today

Five takeaways from SU's non-conference schedule

With Syracuse beginning ACC play on Wednesday night, CuseNation.com takes a look back at how the Orange fared in their non-conference schedule:

Syracuse wrapped up their non-conference schedule on Sunday with an 80-67 victory over Texas Southern.

The Orange will head into ACC on Wednesday night at Pittsburgh with a 10-3 record. 

Here are five non-conference takeaways:

1. Right on schedule: Even with an embarrassing loss at St. John's in the beginning of December, Syracuse is right where they need to be. With a 10-3 record and two victories over top-25 teams, the loss to the Johnnies doesn't kill the season. The Orange won the Battle 4 Atlantis, a tournament in which nobody picked them to have much success at this season. Ten non-conference wins has them right on schedule. With their many poor shooting performances, it could be a lot worse.

2. Tyler Lydon was a steal: The Orange wrapped up Tyler Lydon early in his recruitment and nobody batted an eye. Now, with his 10.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, Syracuse may have the steal of the 2015 recruiting cycle. Lydon has done it all for the Orange, including 16 points in a November victory over No. 18 Connecticut. The 6-foot-8 forward has played big minutes thus far for Syracuse (32.4 per game), which is first among the three freshman and third overall, behind Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney

3. Kaleb Joseph has hit a wall: After an inconsistent freshman year, Kaleb Joseph was expected to make a big jump into his sophomore season with the Orange. There was even talk he would become Jim Boeheim's starting point guard before the year. His jump shooting has improved, his handle is better and he's visibly stronger and more athletic this season. However, nothing has translated to the court. In just over seven minutes per game, Joseph is averaging 1.2 points and .9 assists per game. Freshman guard Frank Howard has emerged as the No. 3 guard behind Cooney and Gbinije. Despite his low numbers and inconsistent play, Joseph has appeared in all thirteen of SU's games so far this season. 

4. Malachi Richardson's ceiling is high: Malachi Richardson came to Syracuse as their highest rated recruit of the 2015 class, and rightfully so. With his highly decorated high school career, Richardson came to central New York as an elite scorer who can do it all on the offensive end. So far, he's lived up to the hype, averaging over twelve points per game. His shot selection has been suspect at times, but overall very manageable. He's scored in double figures in 10-of-13 games for the Orange, including a season-high seventeen point performance against Colgate on December 8th. Should he stick around for one-to-two more seasons at Syracuse, Malachi Richardson could turn into a superstar. 

5. Tyler Roberson has underachieved: Coming into this season, Tyler Roberson was expected to have a monster season. Roberson, who has potential to be an elite forward in the ACC, has been less than impressive so far this season. He's averaging 8.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, but without a handful on monster games, Roberson's numbers are shaky, at best. His best game came against Elon on November 21st, where the big-man scored 20 points and grabbed 16 boards. He's been held to single digits points in nine games, single digit rebounds in nine and is shooting 52 percent from the free throw line. Consistency will be the key for Roberson moving forward. But so far this season, it's been all or nothing. 


Cuse Nation Top Stories