Deeper Dive: Syracuse vs EMU

Taking a deeper, in-depth look at Syracuse's 105-57 win over Eastern Michigan.

Top Performer: There were several strong performances for Syracuse in this one, but freshman Taurean Thompson did it all. In just 20 minutes of action. Thompson scored 11 points on 5-6 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out five assists, blocked three shots and had two steals. He flat out stuffed the stat sheet. During a dominant first half for the Orange, Thompson came into the game and immediately made his presence felt. Within the first minute, he scored on a driving bucket, hit a corner three, blocked a shot and dished out a pretty pass to Lydon for a dunk. Thompson was fantastic in the high post. Especially when he was distributing. He had a pretty behind the back pass to Lydon for a dunk, set up others for easy shots, scored and was dominant. 

Bottom Feeder: None. Everyone that played for Syracuse in this one played well. It would be unfair to put someone here. 

Stat of the Game: Syracuse's passing was fantastic against the Eagles. They moved the ball well, made the extra pass and torched EMU's 2-3 zone with interior and perimeter passing. On 37 made baskets, Syracuse had 34 assists. This after they had just 10 against Georgetown two days prior. If Syracuse can continue to share the basketball like they did against EMU, they could become a very dangerous team. 

Turning Point: Syracuse jumped out to an eight point lead in the first five minutes of the game. Then Taurean Thompson came in and helped pushed the lead to 16 within just his first four minutes on the floor. During that stretch, Syracuse went on a 10-2 run

He Said It: "I thought (ball movement) was good. We play against zones, we see zones, we should be good against zones, and we were. We moved the ball, we got good looks. We passed the ball well. I thought John (Gillon) and Frank (Howard) both found guys, found people open, and we made shots. That was a big factor." - Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim

Five Takeaways:

  1. Taurean Thompson has tremendous upside. What he did out of the high post was a thing of beauty. He impacted the game in every way possible. Scoring, rebounding, blocking shots and passing. As he gets better throughout the season, he could become a major weapon down the stretch.  
  2. Syracuse needs their point guards to play well. Franklin Howard and John Gillon combined for 24 points, 20 assists and seven steals against Eastern Michigan. Obviously it is difficult to expect that type of production every game, but they should be able to be more efficient offensively, distribute to teammates, get into the lane and make plays, and force turnovers defensively.  
  3. Seeing Syracuse get back on the glass and win that battle was important. Eastern Michigan is not as good as most teams they will face in the ACC, but that is a quality basketball team that took Pitt to double overtime. They need to be respectable against better teams, however. 
  4. Syracuse stepped it up defensively in this one. They forced 20 turnovers, held an Eastern Michigan team that averages over 80 points per game (22nd in the country in scoring) to just 57, held EMU to 19% shooting from beyond the arc and blocked eight shots. It was good to see the defense tighten up, limit open looks and use their length to their advantage.  
  5. Even with all of the positives, Syracuse still turned the ball over 17 times themselves. They have to take care of the basketball better. This remains a concern. 

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