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NC State hopes to snap 2-game skid as it readies for Syracuse

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The Orange have had plenty of problems of their own this season.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Boeheim Family Circus is in town, so step right up if you’d like to gaze at the grumpiest man in the world and his incredible trapeze-artist sons!

Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t mind watching some trapeze action instead of this basketball game tonight, but we work with what we got. Syracuse and NC State have had similar seasons, both in terms of their record and how they’ve performed on the court. Not a lot of it has been pleasant.

2021-22 Syracuse Orange

... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% FTR
... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% FTR
Offense 114.8 (16) 52.1 (87) 16.2 (36) 31.2 (99) 31.3 (145)
Defense 105.2 (228) 51.9 (261) 18.6 (181) 32.0 (311) 24.4 (48)

Syracuse’s offense has been better than State’s (16th vs. 39th), but the Orange defense is basically exactly as bad as ours (228th vs. 229th). If you like poor defense, this is the ACC game of the year for you.

Syracuse is struggling like it normally does on the defensive boards, the main difference this year is that the Orange aren’t forcing opponents to miss two-point shots at a good clip. They also haven’t been as disruptive as usual, which is a compounding factor. The zone isn’t a lot of use without at least one of those things to lean on.

The offense has been more than fine, though. All five starters have been solid—which they’d better be, since Syracuse barely plays anyone off the bench.

Buddy Boeheim leads the Orange in scoring at 19.4 points per game, as usual accounting for a large chunk of the team’s shots, but he is shooting a career-low 33.9% from three. That’s not bad, it’s just not up to his normal standard.

Fortunately for Syracuse, point guard Joe Girard has had a breakthrough year shooting the ball from deep: he’s at 41.9% on threes after shooting just 33.3% last year. Girard has never been an effective scorer inside the arc, and is shooting sub-40% on twos for the third straight year.

Up front, center Jesse Edwards has had an excellent season as a secondary contributor. Edwards is shooting 68.3% inside the arc while drawing a lot of fouls. He’s the team’s lone rim protector but an elite one (12th in block rate), and he is an excellent offensive rebounder as well.

Can NC State provide some resistance? I suppose that’s the question most games, isn’t it. KenPom says flip a coin on the outcome tonight.