Syracuse - IUP Recap
The Syracuse University men's basketball team won its second and final exhibition game over Indiana University Pennsylvania by a 73-63 score. But that's just it. The Orange only won by ten points.
Syracuse looked sluggish in the early part of the first half, as it again tried to play man-to-man defense. Head coach Jim Boeheim can't be too pleased with what he's seeing out their when his team is on defense. The energy seems to be there, but there is a lack of execution. The Orange defense has major problems switching on screens. It could just be a lack of communication, which can be worked on. But there were way too many open shooters in the early goings.
But one thing that will help remedy a poor defense is a good offensive attack. The ‘Cuse started to pull away with a nice sequence of events with just under seven minutes left in the first half. Kristof Ongenaet hit a three pointer to make the score 34-17. Then forward Paul Harris intercepted a pass and laid it in. On Indiana's (PA) next possession, they turned it over again because of Ongenaet's active hands. He missed the layup, but Harris was right there to clean the mess and made the score 38-21. IPU called a timeout and the 8,000 or so fans that showed up gave the loudest cheer of the afternoon.
The Orange went into the locker room with a 21 point lead after it shot above 59 percent from the field. But just when Syracuse looked like they were on a roll, they reverted back to their early first half struggles. The offense was dreadful, sloppy, and poorly run as the Orange were outscored 38-27 in the second stanza. The ‘Cuse turned the ball over ten times while IPU only had three in the half. Even though it's just the second game, Syracuse's free throw woes could become a problem. The Orange were 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) from the charity stripe. In the game against Cal State – Los Angeles, Syracuse shot even worse, 10-of-26 (38.6 percent).
Some other observations from the win over IPU…Throughout the first half, Boeheim did not hesitate to substitute. There were so many lineup combinations that it was hard to keep track. Even before the game started there was a change in the rotation. Sophomore Rick Jackson got the start in place of senior Kristof Ongenaet. While Jackson may still be developing offensively, he's a good shot blocker and an excellent rebounder. Ongenaet coming off the bench gives the team an instant boost of energy. That all-out hustle needs to be controlled a little better as the senior fouled after logging only 17 minutes of action.
Guard Eric Devendorf looked like his old self again, scoring 15 points. Jonny Flynn once again is the steady rock for this team, no question about it. He dropped in 14 points with 6 dimes, but he did have four turnovers today. Don't expect to see that though, he's the man on this team. And how about the play of Kris Joseph? The freshman looked very comfortable on the court today and it helped him score 14 points and earned him 28 minutes of playing time.
Fans that saw the game were treated to a familiar sight of Andy Rautins in street clothes. The redshirt junior who recovered from an ACL tear last year, sprained his ankle in practice on Saturday which required two stitches. He should be ready to go when the Orange open the regular season against the LeMoyne Dolphins on Sunday.
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