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Two Game Road Trip – Game 2: The Syracuse Orange

After consecutive ACC losses, we find ourselves in a must win game. We can’t afford to lose anymore Q2 or Q3 games.

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Syracuse
Block or charge?
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday January 27 - 7:00 PM ET

Where: Syracuse NY

TV: ACC Network

Opponent: Syracuse Orange (Q2)

Pomeroy Prediction: Syracuse 75-72

Wolfpack Snapshot: 13-6 / 5-3, NET 76, 9th in ACC according to NET rankings

Wolfpack Season So Far:

NC State is coming off it’s first back-to-back losses in ACC play. At the beginning of the week Syracuse was a Q1 opportunity but after losing to FSU they now rank 79th in the NET rankings, dropping them to a Q2. Let’s win it anyway.

Wolfpack Roster Update:

MJ Rice will sit out the remainder of the season and apply for a redshirt.

Opponent Overview:

The Jim Boeheim experiment has drawn to a close after 47 seasons, 1,116 wins, 10 conference championships (none ACC), 20 Sweet 16s, 5 Final Fours, and a national championship. It worked out okay.

Strangely mirroring Duke and UNC, they replaced their HOF head coach with a former Syracuse player, also a guard, also a longtime team assistant coach, and also with no head coaching experience, Adrian ‘Red’ Autry.

Coach Autry DOES NOT RUN THE 2-3 ZONE as his base defense. A high percentage of people watching this game will have never seen a season of Syracuse basketball playing man-to-man defense.

Syracuse (13-6, 4-4) preseason predictions were all over the place, the ACC writers picked them 10th, but other writers have them anywhere from the top third of the league to the bottom due to the coaching change and their youth. They return All ACC Honorable Mention PG Judah Mintz who was joined by Notre Dame transfer JJ Starling on last season’s ACC All freshman team. They are young. Their top 8 players are 6 sophomores, 1 redshirt sophomore, and a junior.

Team Statistical Comparison

Team PPG FG% 3PT% 3PT pg Reb pg Ast pg TO pg ST pg BL pg
Team PPG FG% 3PT% 3PT pg Reb pg Ast pg TO pg ST pg BL pg
NCS 76.1 44.30% 32.80% 6.9 35.8 13 9.8 8.3 3.2
Syracuse 75.3 44.30% 32.30% 6.8 37 13.6 12.4 8.9 4.8

Their ACC Rankings of Note:

  • 4TH In Opponent 3PT FG percentage
  • 15th in Combined Opponent Rebounds
  • 2nd in Blocked shots
  • 2nd in Steals
  • Judah Mintz is 3rd in scoring and in steals
  • Maliq Brown is 2nd in steals

Syracuse Key Wins / Losses

Good Wins Bad Losses ACC - Wins ACC - Losses
Good Wins Bad Losses ACC - Wins ACC - Losses
Oregon (NET 56) Pittsburgh Virginia
Boston College Duke
Pittsburgh North Carolina
Miami Florida State

Player Notes

  • Junior 7’4” center Naheem McCleod injured his achilles five games back against Duke and is expected to miss 6-7 weeks.
  • Judah Mintz scored 28 points versus FSU, without hitting a 3PT shot. He leads the team in scoring and field goals taken and made
  • Chris Bell is their sharpshooter, he leads the team in 3PT% and 3PT attempts, by far.
  • Maliq Brown grabbed 12 rebounds versus FSU. He leads the team in rebounding, and shoots 71.6 FG% and 88.5% FT%.

Syracuse Probable Starters

Player Class Pos Height Weight PPG 3PT% 3PTApg REB ASST STL BLK
Player Class Pos Height Weight PPG 3PT% 3PTApg REB ASST STL BLK
Judah Mintz SO G 6'4" 185 18.4 34.70% 2.6 3.4 4.3 2 0.2
JJ Starling SO G 6'4" 206 11.7 29.20% 3.4 3.5 2.2 1 0.2
Maliq Brown SO F 6'8" 222 9.5 25.00% 0.4 6.5 1.1 2 0.8
Chris Bell SO F 6'7" 188 10.7 37.90% 6.1 1.9 0.7 1 0.5
Justin Taylor SO G 6'6" 218 5.7 31.90% 3.8 5.1 1.3 1 0.3

For The Wolfpack to Win

  • Limit their 3PT shots – In their six losses they have averaged shooting 20.1% and making 3.8 3PT shots per game. On Tuesday, FSU held them to 1-14 and won by 16. Forward Chris Bell (6’7”) shoots 37.9% and averages 6.1 attempts per game.
  • Hit our 3PT shots – They allow opponents, on average, 7.2 made 3PT shots per game. That would be a decent game for us.
  • Rebounding – The Orange has been out rebounded on average for the season. Hopefully the rebounding work Coach Keatts promised post UVA pays off.
  • Protect the ball – ‘Cuse forces 14.6 turnovers per game
  • Avoid fouling – In their most recent three ACC losses, they’ve picked up 18-18-19 fouls.