Syracuse lost a heartbreaker to Miami yesterday, 64-51. The Orange took the floor with a losing conference record for the first time since 2008, and are now two games below .500 for the first time since 2005-06.
Here are four takeaways from the loss:
1. For once, rebounding wasn't an issue: The Orange and the Hurricanes each finished the game with 41 rebounds (12 offensive, 29 defensive). Beginning at the opening tip, Syracuse made it apparent they weren't going to be outworked on the glass. It paid off for the Orange, and for once, rebounding wasn't a reason why SU lost.
2. Malachi Richardson's coming out party: Richardson was SU's best player on Saturday, scoring twenty points on 7-of-15 shooting. The freshman forward hit five-of-six 3-pointers en route to his new career-high. Malachi hit big shots all game for the Orange, and also grabbed six rebounds in the process. It was by far his best game in a Syracuse uniform, and we're beginning to see how special he can be.
3. Turnovers: SU's eighteen turnovers was the main reason they fell short on Saturday afternoon. Michael Gbinije committed eight turnovers in his worst performance of the season. Richardson, Tyler Roberson and Dajuan Coleman each finished the game with two turnovers, as well. Part of SU's deadly 2-3 zone is forcing turnovers, but on Saturday, the Orange were turning it over, rather than forcing turnovers. Miami, who struggled immensely in the first half, finished the game with twelve turnovers - with only four coming in the second half.
4. Howard/Joseph saga: Before the game, freshman guard Frank Howard was ruled out due to illness. After the game, Syracuse.com reported Howard is awaiting blood work and is listed as day-to-day. Kaleb Joseph played six minutes of Saturday, going 0-for-3 from the field and committed a turnover, which led to a 3-point play for the Hurricanes. KJ hasn't made the jump as most expected, leading some to believe he won't return to Syracuse next season - although that's only speculation. When healthy, Howard is SU's third guard. Joseph had an opportunity to prove he's ready to play big minutes for the Orange, but failed in the process, only proving the doubters right.