Three Thoughts From Syracuse vs. Pace
The new Syracuse squad opened the season tonight with a 99-63 win over Pace. Here’s my quick reaction and analysis to the game.
James Southerland Looks Much More Comfortable As A Wing Than A 4 – Many times last season, we saw Southerland playing power forward but it’s just not a great fit for him defensively. He’s better as a 3/2, creating chaos with his long arms. He’s not a good rebounder and doesn’t have a tough mentality to be expected to clean the glass. However, he may be the best shooting big man in the Big East. He’ll be used as a trailer on fast breaks and extensively in the double pick n’ pop play that Boeheim runs for him.
That’s Not The Same Baye - It doesn’t take a genius to see or realize Keita’s improvement. He was often in the right place on the floor and seemed to be active. He displayed some post moves that Cuse fans have never seen before. Good for him for really improving this offseason. Keita’s the veteran of the SU frontcourt and although Coleman and Christmas will start, Keita brings some experience to the table, which can’t be overvalued.
Don’t Read Into The First Game Too Much – Exhibition games are meant for scrambling lineups, giving players opportunities and seeing how players react in in-game situations. Keita won’t score double-digits every night, Jerami Grant won’t play that much and Michael Carter-Williams will not experiment with passes that have no chance of being completed (unless he wants to get a stern yelling to). The rotation come actual games will not look anything like it did today. Once Trevor Cooney returns to the lineup, we’ll start to see more realistic rotations.