All-time series: Syracuse leads 28-18
Date: Thursday January 28, 2016
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
Location: Carrier Dome (Syracuse, NY)
It was a close game between Syracuse and No. 13 Virginia on Sunday night as the Cavaliers edged out the Orange 73-65. Syracuse graduate guard Michael Gbinije led all scorers with 24 points in thirty-eight minutes of action. Freshman guard Malachi Richardson had a career-high 23 points and played all forty minutes of the contest. Tyler Roberson had seven rebounds and six points.
Syracuse kept it tight the entire night, but the game was decided in the last 30 seconds when UVA hit five free throws to secure the victory.
Roberson has proven his ability to rebound and is nearly averaging a double-double on the season with 10.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. It may sound like a given, but Roberson’s rebounding efforts will be instrumental for Orange success Thursday night.
Notre Dame lost to Virginia, 77-66, on January 2. Starting point guard Demetrius Jackson was in the line-up that night, scoring 18 points for the Fighting Irish. He will miss tomorrow’s game with a hamstring injury.
ND is sophisticated at navigating a zone defense, and if the Orange lose focus or are a step too late on the close-out the Fighting Irish will make them pay. Notre Dame can be streaky shooters, similar to the Orange, but the Fighting Irish cannot be given the chance to get on a scoring roll.
Fighting Irish senior forward Zach Auguste is a skilled 6-foot-10 in the post who has great play-making abilities. He sees the floor, making him a dual-theat on the interior in the zone. Auguste can make the extra pass that can deteriorate the 2-3 zone. Notre Dame’s success will be based on how well they can knock down shots against SU's suffocating zone.
Sophomore forward Bonzie Colson averages 16.1 points per game and junior guard Steve Vasturia is averaging 14 points per game. Colson and Vasturia move well without the ball and can both shoot and put it on the floor. Losing either of these two along the baseline below the Syracuse zone will be futile to SU's success.