ACC/Big Ten Challenge: Syracuse vs. Indiana Preview

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Coming off their Maui Invitational Championship, the undefeated Orange welcome an Indiana team that is looking to avenge their Sweet 16 lose. However, revenge will not be easy for the Hoosiers as Syracuse, who is making their ACC/Big Ten Challenge debut, come in as heavy favorites for tonights game.

Lead by C.J. Fair, Jerami Grant and Tyler Ennis, Syracuse put together three straight wins to remain undefeated in Maui Invitational play and bringing home their third trophy, first since 1999.

“We are figuring out how to make plays. Three nights in a row against good teams — this was a really good tournament for us,” coach Jim Boeheim said to the team’s official website after the title game. “Unfortunately, right now I’m thinking about Indiana. I never enjoy these things for very long.”

Despite losing their top three scorers from last season, Indiana has started the season off with wins over Washington and Stony Brook while losing to a tough and scrappy Connecticut team. Sophomore Yogi Ferrell leads the team with 18.1 points per game, provides the kind of spark that can shut down Syracuse’s zone in a hurry.

Seth Greenberg talks ACC/Big Ten Challenge on College Game day

Tipoff is set for 7:15 tonight on ESPN/Watch ESPN

Prediction: Syracuse 85, Indiana 75

Syracuse Stats Leaders (through seven game):
PPG: C.J. Fair, 18.0
RPG: Jerami Grant, 6.7
APG: Tyler Ennis, 4.7
SPG: Tyler Ennis, 2.9
BPG: Rakeem Christmas, 1.0
FG %: Rakeem Christmas, .684
3P %: Michael Gbinije, .500
FT%: C.J. Fair, .889


Maui Invitational: Syracuse Orange 75, Minnesota Golden Gophers 67

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

The Syracuse Men’s Basketball team held off the Golden Gophers of Minnesota Monday night in the quarterfinal round of the Maui Invitational by the score of 75-67. Trevor Cooney scored 15 points off of five three-pointers, while Tyler Ennis added 12 points, 10 of which came from the charity stripe.

However, it was senior C.J. Fair that led the way for the Orange as he recorded his first double-double of the season, 16 points and 10 rebounds. Stats aside, it was Fair’s dunk late in the first half that has everybody talking.

With 4:30 left in the first half, Fair cut down the lane and, upon receiving a pass from fellow senior Baye Moussa Keita, took flight.

What do you think…foul or no foul?

Syracuse moves on to play California, Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Syracuse Stats Leaders (through five game):
PPG: C.J. Fair, 17.6
RPG: Jerami Grant, 7.3
APG: Tyler Ennis, 4.0
SPG: Trevor Cooney, 2.8
BPG: Rakeem Christmas, 1.4
FG %: Rakeem Christmas, .692
3P %: Michael Gbinije, .500

ACC Update: Boeheim says Maui Trip is for Basketball not for the Beach

The Syracuse Men’s Basketball Team is headed for Maui to take part in the annual Maui Invitational. However, Rakeem Christmas says that Head Coach Jim Boeheim told the team that it is a ‘basketball only’ trip. The Boeheim part/Syracuse Basketball part of the video starts at 1:31.

Syracuse will take on Minnesota, Monday at 5:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN 2 or Watch ESPN

Syracuse Stats Leaders (through four game):
PPG: C.J. Fair, 18.0
RPG: Jerami Grant, 8.0
APG: Tyler Ennis, 3.8
SPG: Trevor Cooney, 3.0
BPG: Rakeem Christmas, 1.3
FG %: Rakeem Christmas, .667
3P %: Michael Gbinije, .500

Syracuse Basketball Weekend Dunk Fest: Derrick Coleman, Fab Melo and more

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Weekends are for relaxation, family, sports but most importantly fun! Enjoy some of the best dunks in Syracuse Basketball history as we head into the weekend!

In honor of Georgetown losing to North Eastern last night, here is Craig Forth throwing on down on the Hoyas.

College Basketball Review (November 16): Syracuse, Ohio State, VCU and more

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

With Jameis Winston and the FSU Football team having their way with the Syracuse Football squad Saturday afternoon, C.J. Fair and company took care of Colgate on their way to a 69-50 win in the Carrier Dome.

Improving to 3-0 on the season, the Orange, lead by the shooting of C.J. Fair, did their damage on the boards as they out rebounded the Raiders 52-34 and 26-7 on the offensive glass.

Fair, who grabbed four offensive rebounds, scored 20 points, on nine of 17 shooting, with14 of them coming in the first half. Able to score inside and outside, Fair opened the court for his teammates, like Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije, to drive, draw fouls and get to the line.

However, the charity stripe was not generous towards either team as Syracuse shot 42.7% from the line while Colgate shot 50%. Gbinije, who shot five for 12 from the foul line, had more foul shots than Colgate did as a team.

Freshman Tyler Ennis scored 12 points on four three-pointers while Gbinije finished with 11. Colgate’s Ethan Jacobs, who stands at six feet 11 inches, lead his team in scoring, with 13 points, on four of six shooting, including three three-pointers.

The Raiders fall to 0-2 on the season and they will travel back home to take on the Cornell Big Red, who lost to the Orange 82-60 in the season opener, Wednesday, November 20th. Syracuse takes on St. Francis Monday November 18th in their final home game before they travel to Hawaii for the Maui invitational where they will play Minnesota on Monday November 25th.

Syracuse Stats Leaders (through three game):
PPG: C.J. Fair, 21.7
RPG: Jerami Grant, 8.0
APG: Tyler Ennis, 4.0
SPG: Trevor Cooney, 3.0
BPG: Rakeem Christmas, 1.0
FG %: Rakeem Christmas, .750
3P %: Michael Gbinije, .500

Ohio State (10) 52, Marquette (17) 35

In what can be described as a sloppy game, Ohio State pulled away from Marquette in the second half as the Golden Eagles shot 18.9% from the field for the game. With both teams tied at 19 going into half time, Shannon Scott and the Buckeyes took the lead and didn’t look back.

Finishing with 13 points, Scott provided the spark that Ohio State needed as Marquette’s poor shooting continued. Aaron Craft finished with a double double, 10 points with 10 assists, while Davante Gardner scored 10 and blocked two shots for Marquette.

Next Game:
Ohio State (3-0): vs. American University, Nov. 20th at 7:30 p.m.
Marquette (2-1): vs. New Hampshire, Nov. 21st at 8 p.m.

(associated press)

(associated press)

Florida (11) 86, Arkansas-Little Rock 56

The Gators were lead by Casey Prather who missed one shot on his way to scoring 27 points while dishing out five assists. However, everyone was focused on Dorian Finney-Smith, who scored 17 points in his return from his suspension.

Finney-Smith, who was battle a virus all day, played only 16 minutes but gave the Gators the spark and energy they had been lacking in previous games. Will Neighbour tallied 21 points for the Trojans, who suffered their second lose of the season.

Next Game:
Florida (2-1): vs. Southern University, Nov. 18th at 7 p.m.
Arkansas-Little Rock (0-2): @ Middle Tennessee, Nov. 18th at 8 p.m.

Virginia Commonwealth (14) 92, Winthrop 71

Winthrop had an upset in sights but let it slip away in the second half as the daunting VCU Havoc defense claimed another victim. Although the Eagles were able to break down their opponent’s defense, thanks in part to Andre Smith (17 points on 4-9 shooting from three), they couldn’t keep up with the Rams offense.

Six players scored in double figures for VCU, who took 48 shots from the foul line and connected on 34 of them. Briante Weber lead the Rams with 16 points and five steals.

Next Game:
VCU (3-0): vs. Florida State, Nov. 21st at 7:30 p.m.
Winthrop (2-1): @ East Tennessee State, Nov. 19th 7 p.m.

Virginia (25) 70, Davidson 57

Another potential upset, the Cavaliers lead the Wildcats by two at the half before they surged to a 13 point victory. Lead by Mike Tobey, 18 points, and Malcolm Brogdon, 17 points, Virginia bounced back from their Tuesday night loss to VCU.

Brain Sullivan, Tyler Kalinoski and Da’Mon Brooks all scored 13 points for the Wildcats as they fall to 0-3 to start the season.

Next Game:
Virginia (2-1): vs. Navy, Nov. 19th at 7 p.m.
Davidson (0-3): vs. Georgia, Nov. 21st at 5 p.m.

Syracuse Basketball Weekend Dunk Fest: Blake Griffin, Louisville, Detroit and Clemson

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Weekends are for relaxation, family, sports but most importantly fun! Enjoy some of the best dunks, in recent history, by Syracuse opponents as we head into the weekend!

Orange in the NBA: Carmelo Anthony, Michael Carter-Williams, Dion Waiters and Wesley Johnson

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Carmelo Anthony
New York Knicks (2-4)

The New York Knicks are currently in the basement of the Eastern Conference, however the blame cannot be put all on Anthony. Putting together a string of three games where he averaged 25 pints and seven rebounds, Anthony has been a big reason why the Knicks continue to remain in games late into the fourth quarter.

Anthony is averaging 22 shots per game as he looks to be the only one scoring for the sputtering Knickerbockers.

Next Game: @ Atlanta, Nov. 13th at 8 p.m.

PPG                 FG%                APG                 RPG                 BLKPG                       STLPG
24.6                .405                3.6                   9.2                   0.6                            2.0

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Michael Carter-Williams
Philadelphia 76ers (4-3)

Although this week was nothing like his first, Carter-Williams has remained hot while posting a double-double, 21 points and 13 assists, in a loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday.

Settling into hos role as the number two guard, behind Evan Turner, Carter-Williams fits perfectly into the 76ers offensive scheme. Continuing to show his place in the NBA, he has not only stepped up his offensive but he has improved on his weaknesses.

Shooting just .292 in his final season at Syracuse, Carter-Williams was never known for his tremendous outside range. However, he has stepped it up for his first seven games into his rookie season as he is shooting .417 percent from three, including going three for three in the loss on Saturday.

Next Game: vs. San Antonio, tonight at 7 p.m.

PPG                 FG%                APG                 RPG                 BLKPG                        STLPG
18.7                .409                8.1                   5.9                  0.4                                2.6

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Dion Waiters
Cleveland Cavaliers (3-4)

Waiters has been on top of his game as of late, scoring at least 18 points while dishing out at least three assists in the past three games, despite the Cavs dropping two of those three games.

Cleveland played their last two games against Michael Carter-Williams and the 76ers as they split the series 1-1 with Waiters shooting .550 percent from beyond the arc.

Away games against Chicago and Minnesota, this week, will make it hard on Waiters to continue his hot shooting as he will be guarded by the likes of Kirk Hinrich and Ricky Rubio.

Next Game: @ Chicago, tonight at 8 p.m.

PPG                 FG%                APG                 RPG                 BLKPG                        STLPG
14.4                .394                2.3                   3.4                     0.4                            2.0

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Wesley Johnson
Los Angeles Lakers (3-5)

Johnson scored a season high 16 points on Thursday, Nov. 7th in the Lakers dramatic win over Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets. Johnson shot six of 15 (40%) from the field helped propel the Lakers down the stretch, leading to Steven Blake’s game winning three.

Averaging 23 minutes a game, Johnson continues to be an important piece to the Kobe-less Lakers. He is playing defense, grabbing rebounds and in some cases scoring.

After a forgettable season in Phoenix last year, Johnson provides the Lakers with a viable and solid defender off the bench.

Next Game: vs. New Orleans, Nov. 12th at 10:30 p.m.

PPG                 FG%                APG                 RPG                 BLKPG                        STLPG
8.7                   .343                1.3                   4.4                  1.67                          0.9

Syracuse 82, Cornell 60: Take Aways From Syracuse’s First Game as a Member of the ACC

home opener

The Syracuse Men’s Basketball team cruised past Cornell Friday night in the Dome after putting together a 50 point second half en route to an 82-60 victory marking the first win for Syracuse as an official member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Lead by redshirt sophomore Trevor Cooney’s hot shooting and the tenacious 2-3 zone, Syracuse willed itself to victory in front of 25,000 anxious fans.

Despite winning pretty steadily, thanks in part to the second half tear, there are a few lessons to be learned from the home opener. Here are a few takeaways from Friday’s game.

There is No Leader

Although it is widely regarded that the a senior has to be the leader and set examples while propelling his team to victory, Syracuse’s two seniors, C.J. Fair and Baye Moussa Kieta, do not seem to be willing to fill the role.

I know it has only been one game and Fair and Kieta might develop into very successful leaders for the Orange, what they showed on Friday night however, does not indicate such switch.

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Fair, who scored 19 points and grabbed three rebounds, has always been the one to fly under the radar while still putting up big numbers. He could score 25 points in the first half and still go unnoticed by the opposing defense. Fair has the ability to switch from a player who can score at will to a player who knows when to give up the ball.

The way he plays within himself and seems to just simply get the job done makes Fair unable to be a leader. Although, Fair is a great player, ranked the 11th best player in the NCAA by C.J. Moore of Bleacher Report, I do not think he would make a great team leader.

We witnessed this last night as he forced to many shots and turned the ball over seven times while trying to push the team to victory. Fair seems to play better when he finds wholes instead of making his own plays and leading the team.

Baye Moussa Kieta is a different story. The 6’10’’ center from Senegal is not known for his basketball tremendous skills, he only has five double-digit scoring games in his career, as he has anchored the zone for the past three years.

His length and tenacity on defense make Kieta a threat only because he can block (sometimes) and grab rebounds. While being very vocal on defense, because he has to be, Kieta’s is lacking in basketball IQ to be any type of leader for the Orange.

Look for Tyler Ennis or Jerami Grant to lead the team during the stretch when it will be imperative for Syracuse to have a vocal and out spoken player to step up and grab the reigns.

Cooney Can Shoot

Average or below average shooters do not score 27 points on seven of eight shooting from three. Despite starting his Syracuse career off very poorly, Trevor Cooney is starting to come into his own.

What Cooney showed Friday night is confidence. Confidence in himself and confidence in his team. He was able to score off screens, on fast breaks and even showed his jumping ability with his dunk in the second half.

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Despite all of that, the thing that impressed me the most about Cooney’s performance last night was his quick release, something that only showed up a few times last year.

Recruited as a great sharpshooter out of high school, Cooney came into his redshirt freshman with a lot of hype and speculation revolving around his game. Unfortunately he did not live up to all the expectations last year, causing many to doubt his ability to compete at a high level.

However, the start of the 2013-14 season is a new page for Cooney. No longer in the shadows of Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche, he can flourish and make a name for himself. Cooney demonstrated a soft touch and quick release from the outside, reminding many Orange fans of Andy Rautins and others.

The play that showed his true potential was his second three during the first quarter of Friday night’s game. Cooney came off a screen and hoisted a shot, just out of the reach the defender, which arched straight into the bottom of the net.

Cooney’s sharpshooting ability and determination to make a name for himself, will help him lead the Orange throughout the season. Although it was only one game, look for Cooney to continue to develop as a shooter and continue to score at will.

The Big Men Need to Step Up

DaJuan Coleman, Rakeem Christmas and Baye Moussa Kieta are important pieces to the Syracuse puzzle. They provide length, strength and grit in the middle of the zone while Christmas provides a strong offensive option.

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Despite Christmas, who seems to be developing into a strong, self confident power forward, the SU big men need to pick up their game if the Orange want to be successful in the ACC. Although, the ACC may be seen as a league full of guards and small forwards, there are plenty of teams that will exploit a weak frontcourt without any hesitation.

Christmas showed us on Friday his athleticism and scoring ability, 12 points on four of five shooting, while his defense may need some more fine-tuning, he is becoming the forward Syracuse expected to see after recruiting him.

Kieta and Coleman on the other hand look to be pretty similar to what we saw last year. Kieta is lengthy and tall but his athleticism is lacking, making him unable to stay with stronger and more athletic opponents.

Coleman is on the smaller side, standing at 6’9’’, but has more strength than Kieta. Coleman has yet to showcase any real skillset for the Orange, as he remains the patented Boeheim starter who ‘gets pulled after five minutes of play’. His productivity on offense and defense need to improve in order to stay in the game for longer periods of time.

With Christmas bringing his game to a higher level, it is time for Kieta or Coleman to step up and fill in the center position of the zone because with out them, the zone falls to pieces.

Kieta Can Dunk

During Syracuse’s rally early in the second half; Michael Gbinije stole a pass intended for Cornell’s Devin Cherry then drove towards the basket. Releasing a shot that rebounded off the top of the backboard, Gbinije could only look back as the unthinkable happened.

That’s when Baye Moussa Kieta (shocking I know) stepped in and cleaned up the freshmen’s miss. Throwing down a dunk that landed him on Sports Center, Kieta pounded his chest and screamed with enthusiasm. Hopefully the season is filled with Kieta dunks like this.

Next Game: vs. Fordham, Tuesday, Nov. 12th at 7:30 p.m.

Syracuse Stats Leaders (through one game):
PPG: Trevor Cooney, 27.0
RPG: Tyler Ennis, 8.0
APG: Tyler Ennis, 7.0
SPG: Trevor Cooney, 4.0
BPG: B.J. Johnson, 2.0
FG %: Trevor Cooney, .883
3P %: Michael Gbinije, 1.000

Syracuse Basketball Weekend Dunk Fest: Michael Carter-Williams, Carmelo Anthony, Hakim Warrick, Rakeem Christmas and Paul Harris

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Weekends are for relaxation, family, sports but most importantly fun! Enjoy some of the best dunks in Syracuse Basketball history as we head into the weekend!

Hakim Warrick

Carmelo Anthony

Paul Harris

Rakeem Chirstmas

Michael Carter-Williams

ACC Opponents Weekly: Boston College Eagles

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Having not made the NCAA Tournament in four years, the young Boston College squad looks to build off their .500 season last year. Lead by sophomore Oliver Hanlan, the Eagles boost a plethora of young talent with only representative for the senior class.

Danny Rubin, the lone senior, may not play a factor into the Eagles season but two sophomores, Hanlan and Joe Rahon will. Both Hanlan and Rahon averaged at least 10 points, three rebounds and two assists per game for BC last year.

The Eagles return all five of their tops scorers from last year as well as bringing in transfer Alex Dragicevich , who previously played two years at Notre Dame. The arrival of Dragicevich will help BC from beyond the arc as he is shooting .331 percent from three-point range in his career.

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)

Although Rahon and Dragicevich will contribute to a young team that looks to prove what they are made of, Hanlan will be the star. After dropping 41 points last year against Georgia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament, Hanlan won ACC freshman of the year and received three votes for ACC player of the year.

Hanlan provides swift guard play and can control the flow of the game with his shooting and pure athleticism. With support from forward Ryan Anderson, who averaged 14.9 PPG and eight rebounds last year, Hanlan will continue his tear through the ACC, proving his national dominance.

With a late second half surge last year, the Eagles seem to be finding their place in the ACC conference.

“I think that there is more of a sense that we belong here this year,” Anderson said. “I think we gained a lot of respect from what we almost accomplished last season. But you can’t hang your hat on what you’ve almost accomplished. We’ve got to go out and be better this year because we want to do it. The main thing for us will be to keep on having the mentality that we’re the hunter, even when somebody else may be hunting for us.”

Aside from their talents on the court Anderson and Hanlan demonstrate a knack for language that is very impressive as they both speak Spanish, French and Japanese.

With the addition of the three new members of the ACC, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, Boston College welcomes back old rivalries that haven’t been seen since the Eagles left the Big East after the 2004-05 season.

Boston College may be a surprise team to watch this year after being predicted to finish eighth in the ACC this year. Their season kicks off Friday against longtime rival Providence in Rhode Island, with tip-off at 6 p.m.

For all things Boston College check out:

(photo by associated press)

(photo by associated press)