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Deeper Dive: Syracuse Falls at Louisville

Breaking down Syracuse's 88-68 loss at Louisville.

Top Performer: Guard Tyus Battle had a strong performance with a team-high 20 points. Battle carried the Orange offense in the first half as others could not get into rhythm. Battle hit the outside shot, attacked the basket and played solid defense. He continues to come into his own. 

Bottom Feeder: In 19 minutes of action, Tyler Roberson scored zero points, only grabbed three rebounds, gave up inside position defensively routinely and had a couple of errant passes. It was a poor performance from the senior forward. 

Stat of the Game: Three-point shooting. Syracuse was just 8-29 from beyond the arc while the Cardinals made nine of their 20 attempts. Put in another way, Louisville made one more three-pointer on nine fewer attempts. Andrew White and Tyler Lydon both missed several wide open looks. 

Turning Point: After a 15-0 run in the first half gave Syracuse a four point lead, Louisville responded with a 23-4 run that put them up by 15. The Orange would never get closer than 11 the rest of the game. 

He Said It: "The second half we drove and we got 43 points in the second half. Same defense. We just didn't convert. Too passive and we didn't attack the defense. Tyus [Battle] is the only one in the first half, and the second really, that tried to attack. John [Gillon] didn't. John started to in the second half and it was a little different offensive game. First half, if John Gillon and Andrew White don't score, we're not going to do much." - Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.

Five Takeaways:

  1. Tyler Lydon is still passing up too many shots. He made some plays and did miss open shots, but a few he passed on, which were open looks. He has to be more aggressive offensively. That does not mean force the issue. He is a player who lets the game come to him. But when he gets an open look, too often he pump fakes and passes. 
  2. Tyus Battle may now be Syracuse's best player. His offensive game is the most well rounded of anyone on the roster. There is nothing he cannot do. With his length and quickness, he is also superb at the top of the zone. With his versatility, Battle even spent time playing forward in the zone against Louisville. 
  3. After the win over Duke, Boeheim said that as Gillon goes, so goes Syracuse. That was evident against Duke on the positive side and evident against Louisville on the negative side. Gillon was just 2-6 shooting against the Cardinals, scoring 10 points, dishing out three assists while also turning it over three times. He really struggled in the first half offensively. 
  4. Andrew White is now going on two straight subpar games. He was taken out of the Duke game by a strong defensive game plan and execution. Against Louisville, he simply missed open look after open look. That's three of the last four games in which he has not shot well. This is becoming an issue as the Orange need him to play well. White is just 8-36 (22%) from beyond the arc in his last four games. 
  5. Do not overreact to this result. Yes a 20 point loss is not ideal. Yes a better performance would have been preferred. But ultimately, Syracuse is in the spot after the game as they were before. Beat Georgia Tech on senior night this Saturday and Syracuse is likely in the NCAA Tournament. The same Georgia Tech team that the Orange should have beaten on the road. 

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