What we learned from Syracuse’s 101-59 victory over South Carolina State

first_imgSyracuse has won its first four games by an average of almost 34 points, and the No. 18 Orange (4-0) has yet to hit a road bump following its 101-59 thrashing of South Carolina State (1-3) Tuesday night in the Carrier Dome.Six different players finished in double figures, a feat last year’s team never accomplished. Twelve different players scored, including all 10 active scholarship players and two walk-ons, putting the exclamation point on a fourth-straight convincing win ahead of the season’s supposed first real test on Saturday against South Carolina in Brooklyn at Barclays Center.Here are three things we learned from Tuesday night’s game.Why the press wasn’t as effective early onSyracuse’s press barely forced any miscues on Tuesday, instead giving way to seamless cross-court passes that threaded the holes of Syracuse’s pressure and allowed South Carolina State to set up in the half court or attack in transition.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange forced its fewest turnovers of the season (10), compared to totals of 14, 13 and 15 in the first three games, respectively.“Off the weak side of the ball, we just have to do a little bit better jumping to the ball and kind of eliminating guys’ first options to pass out of a trap,” fifth-year guard Andrew White said of the struggles in the press. “That’s something we’ve worked on a lot in practice. It takes a lot of time to make sure everybody is on the stream and in tune with one another.”Syracuse will be hard to beat if it’s this efficient from deepThe Orange shot 54.2 percent from beyond the arc Tuesday night, eclipsing its mark from deep in each of the season’s first three games. Six different players hit 3-pointers, including walk-on Ray Featherston, accounting for over a third of SU’s 101 points.Yes, it was a far inferior South Carolina State team, but any time the Orange hits 13-of-24 from deep, Jim Boeheim’s team will be hard to beat.“We got that many options on the court hitting 3s at that rate … at any level, junior high school, middle school, whatever,” sophomore guard Frank Howard said, “You hit that many 3s, it’s definitely a factor.”Offensive flaws aside, Paschal Chukwu makes a big differenceThe bad will remain for the time being with Chukwu, the Orange’s mammoth project in the middle. The perfect alley-oops that zip right through his hands. Getting the ball ripped away by opponents far smaller. His lanky arms standing no chance at dribbling the ball in traffic.But Chukwu is 7 feet, 2 inches after all, and his four blocks and seven rebounds (five on the offensive glass) are areas where his presence is needed most, and will be felt in the highest capacity. He flashed areas of legitimate promise on Tuesday, and Boeheim’s tone regarding the big man was more positive after the game than it was in the past.“He’s a factor. He blocks shots and he’s not an accomplished offensive player. He’s got a long way to go there,” Boeheim said. “He affects the game. He changes people’s ideas out there. But it’s gonna take time. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 22, 2016 at 11:40 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidmanlast_img