On the block: Assessing how Syracuse matches up with Georgetown ahead of last Big East duel in the Dome

first_img Related Stories Otto-matic: Star forward Porter has carried Georgetown on the offensive end this year Facebook Twitter Google+ Point guardMichael Carter-Williams is coming off of one of his best games this season. Against Providence on Wednesday, he scored 15 points and handed out 12 assists in the Orange’s 84-59 win over the Friars. Simply put, Syracuse’s offense runs far more efficiently when he’s able to be a facilitator instead of a scorer. When he does both, the Orange is almost impossible to beat. Georgetown’s Markel Starks is averaging about three assists per game, which pales in comparison to Carter-Williams’ 8.2. Carter-Williams is one of the best point guards in the nation, and continues to steadily orchestrate Syracuse’s offense. Against a competitive defensive team in Georgetown, that’ll be even more important.Advantage: SyracuseShooting guardWhen he’s playing well, Brandon Triche is an absolute scoring machine. Against Seton Hall last week, he scored 29 points and hit four 3-pointers. But his inconsistency has been a point of concern at times. Before his lights-out shooting performance against the Pirates, Triche shot only 3-of-15, and missed all seven of his 3-point attempts at Connecticut. If he’s able to get open looks, Triche can knock them down with ease. His steady demeanor is also something that will help him in front of what will likely be a raucous Carrier Dome crowd. Jabril Trawick is only a sophomore and only averaging 5.6 points per game. It’s clear Syracuse has the better “two” guard in this game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAdvantage: SyracuseSmall forwardOtto Porter is unquestionably a threat on the outside for Georgetown. He’s averaging 15.1 points per game, shooting a staggering 49.8 percent from the field and is hitting 44.6 percent of his shots from the arc. Jerami Grant has been somewhat inconsistent since he became a starter in early February. The transition from the bench to the starting lineup has come with some ups and downs. Against Providence on Wednesday, Grant only scored three points on 1-of-3 shooting in 21 minutes on the floor. But in other games, he’s been unstoppable. Against Notre Dame, he scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, and played all 40 minutes.Advantage: GeorgetownPower forwardC.J. Fair has been one of Syracuse’s best players all season long. It seems like all season he’s put up incredible numbers while playing almost every minute of every game. He’s coming off of a 20-point performance against Providence. And as Fair has shown all season, he’s able to thrive in even the toughest of spots. Nate Lubick is simply not the player Fair is. He’s averaging a respectable 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He’s also the same height as Fair. Still, Fair has been great all year. In one of the biggest games of the season, there’s every reason to expect him to be great again.Advantage: SyracuseCenterRakeem Christmas is not necessarily an offensive threat, but the super athletic center can be a nightmare for opponents in the low post defensively. He’s averaging six points and five rebounds per game for Syracuse, and has racked up 55 blocks this season. The 6-foot-9 Mikael Hopkins is putting up about the same offensive numbers as Christmas with 6.2 points per game, but is only averaging 2.6 rebounds. Hopkins, who was a high school teammate of Syracuse’s Jerami Grant, is up against a tough test in Christmas.Advantage: SyracuseBenchJames Southerland is a force off of the bench for Syracuse. When he’s shooting well, the Orange’s offense can put huge numbers on the board, just as it did Wednesday against Providence. In that game, Southerland was a remarkable 7-of-8 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from the 3-point line, and ended up with a total of 20 points. But Syracuse’s bench is still somewhat thin, especially when it comes to guards. Trevor Cooney is struggling from the arc, and hasn’t hit a 3 in the last three games. Georgetown freshman D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera has been a lightning rod, and is coming off of a 33-point performance against DePaul where he knocked down five of his six 3-point attempts. Still, playing on the road is always tougher, and Southerland has the edge in experience. While Syracuse’s bench is relatively thin, it has performed well when it’s needed to.Advantage: Syracuse Commentscenter_img Published on February 22, 2013 at 2:03 am Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemanlast_img read more


Syracuse rides early attack to 2-0 home win over Duke, advances to ACC tournament semifinals

first_img Published on November 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+ Twenty-five seconds into the game, Duke’s Brody Huitema headed the ball off the crossbar.Syracuse goalkeeper Alex Bono was frozen in place and the Orange was on the back foot before it could even get possession of the ball.“We looked like we were a bit nervy that first five minutes,” head coach Ian McIntyre said.But the nerves subsided and SU responded with two first-half goals, one from forward Alex Halis and one from midfielder Nick Perea, to jump out to a two-goal lead before the break. The early cushion paced No. 1 Syracuse (15-2-1, 5-2-1 Atlantic Coast) to a 2-0 win over seventh-seeded Duke (9-9-1, 4-4) in the ACC tournament quarterfinals in front of a record 2,533 fans at SU Soccer Stadium on Sunday afternoon.“It really forced them to kind of change the way they wanted to play,” McIntyre said of putting the Blue Devils in an early hole. “They had to meet us a little higher up.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe early blitzkrieg may not have been possible, though, if it weren’t for McIntyre inserting Halis into the starting lineup for only the second time this season, and not starting forward Emil Ekblom for the first time in his 36-game career.Halis verified McIntyre’s decision by winning a 50-50 ball off a Julian Buescher cross at the edge of the 6-yard box less than 10 minutes in. The sophomore toed the ball over Duke goalkeeper Wilson Fisher and into the top of the net to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.He threw his hands up in the air and ran to the student section behind the goal, hugging a fan before celebrating with his teammates.“I can’t explain the feeling,” Halis said. “It was good to get that off my back. I know I said that earlier in the season, but postseason, it felt good.”The Orange continued to pepper Fisher throughout the half, as midfielder Liam Callahan, forward Chris Nanco and Halis were all denied chances from point-blank range.The mass of SU students behind the goal repeatedly gasped, but it didn’t materialize into an all-out celebration as the Orange couldn’t break through. McIntyre said that on a different day, it could’ve been a “3” or a “4” on the SU scoreboard with the amount of chances his side had in the first half.But with just less than 13 minutes remaining in the frame, the hosts padded their lead after midfielder Oyvind Alseth curled a high cross from in front of the Duke bench. It met the foot of Callahan beyond the left post on the goal line, and he one-timed a cross to a wide-open Perea, who volleyed it home from the doorstep to give the hosts insurance.“You get a rush,” Perea said of scoring in front of a record crowd.As the Orange has repeatedly done with one- and two-goal leads all year, it buckled down. Bono and the back three were a brick wall throughout the entirety of the second half to secure the team’s first postseason win in almost two years.And while Duke senior Matt Slotnick cried in his teammates’ arms after the buzzer sounded, the Syracuse bench poured onto the field and will get a chance at revenge against sixth-seeded Louisville in Cary, North Carolina next Friday.Said Halis after the game: “I have goosebumps right now.” Commentslast_img read more