Observations, what mattered most from Syracuse basketball vs. Colgate

Syracuse, N.Y. — The Syracuse basketball team downed Colgate, 70-54, Wednesday at the Carrier Dome.

Check out some observations from the Orange’s game against the Raiders.

  • SU went to its big man on Wednesday against a Colgate team that is not particularly equipped to handle big, athletic guys inside. (The Orange held a 34-8 advantage in points in the paint.) After ignoring Bourama Sidibe a couple times in the opening minutes, SU players looked for him, passed him the ball and watched as he worked in the middle. He scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds in the first half and was a significant reason the Orange led by 31-25 at intermission. Sidibe finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds. He made all six of his field-goal attempts.
  • Joe Girard was a difference-maker Wednesday.  The freshman guard started the second half for Jalen Carey and made things happen. One play in particular proved his worth. He made a steal, flicked the ball to Buddy Boeheim in transition. Boeheim passed it back to Girard, who lobbed it toward the rim to Bourama Sidibe. Sidibe dunked it to give SU a 41-28 lead and Colgate called time. On SU’s previous possession, Girard drained a 3-point shot.
  • Marek Dolezaj thrilled the Dome crowd Wednesday, when he corralled a long rebound on the defensive end, pushed the ball toward SU’s basket. When he reached the lane, he spun on a Colgate defender, then dunked. That made Orange fans very happy.
  • Syracuse shot 7-of-17 (41 percent) from the 3-point line. The Orange was more judicious about when it attempted 3s. I can remember SU taking only one contested 3-pointer, and Elijah Hughes drained it. 
  • Free throws are going to be an issue.  Syracuse doesn’t take many and doesn’t make many.  The Orange was 7-for-12 Wednesday. SU is helping itself in this category by not fouling all that much. Colgate went to the line seven times the entire game.
  • How about this stat line for Elijah Hughes? Fourteen points (3-for-6 from 3), eight assists, three rebounds, two steals, one blocked shot.  SU assisted on 20 of its 28 field goals.
  • Colgate struggled — really, really struggled — to make a 3-point shot in the first half.  The Raiders were 6-of-21 to start the game. They got pretty good looks against the Orange zone.  They just could not knock down shots. Colgate coach Matt Langel talks frequently about how hard it is for his guys to shoot the ball against SU’s zone.  Colgate finished the game shooting 13-of-41 from 3. 
  • The Orange did a good job of clearing the backboards in the first half. SU, which was pounded on the glass by Virginia in its first game, outboarded Colgate 24-14 in the opening half.  Buddy Boeheim grabbed six missed shots all by himself. The final tally? SU outrebounded the Raiders 42-31 with Bourama Sidibe’s 14 boards in 27 minutes the difference.
  • Colette Roes, a 10-year-old (whose birthday is Thursday) who attends Thornell Road Elementary School, where she is in fifth grade, performed a spectacular rendition of the national anthem before Wednesday’s game.  She got a rousing ovation from the Carrier Dome crowd when she finished.

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