This past week is all about tradition, with families celebrating Thanksgiving, eating turkey feasts and watching the Lions lose. What a better time for the Orange to celebrate their annual tradition of beating Colgate? The Colgate University Raiders had lost to the Syracuse Orange 46 times in a row coming into Sunday’s game. This time would be no different, as the Orange crushed Colgate 87-51 for an expected #47.
Leading the Orange with 18 points was James Southerland, who appears to have some newfound confidence. Coming off a career night on Wednesday against Princeton, the senior 6th man continued his shooting streak finishing 7 of 12 from the field and 4 of 9 from behind the arc. The points came early for Southerland as he put of 16 in the first half before cooling off. His only second-half bucket was an incredibly athletic ally-oop from Michael Carter Williams.
SPEAKING of MCW, the sophomore guard had a career-high 13 assists. He has had 33 assists in the past 3 games, and is now averaging over 9.2 per game—which means he is leading the country. Oh, and he also only had 1 turnover. Carter-Williams has established himself as not just a competent point guard, but an extremely savvy one. The Orange don’t need him to score—though he can, with 17 points against San Diego St.—they just need him to facilitate. Only good things can come of MCW growing more comfortable in his new role as point guard.
Freshman DaJuan Coleman had his best showing so far Sunday, finishing with 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting and 7 boards. Coleman is a vital rebounding asset, but still seems a little too green offensively; he has a dubious habit of bringing the ball low while in the post. If he can consistently keep the ball chin high and use his shoulders and elbows to his advantage, it will be very hard to stop him from scoring—but it should be interesting to see how many offensive fouls he commits.
Red-shirt freshman Trevor Cooney once again clocked some serious minutes despite a dismal shooting performance. Cooney was 0 for 7 from 3. Touted as the second-coming of Gerry McNamara, mechanics are most likely not the issue for Cooney. He is most likely suffering from some James Southerland-syndrome and has some serious nerves to overcome. Cooney is clearly a fan favorite, the crowd oohing with every miss from 3. They so desperately want him to be a lights-out 3 point threat; people yell for him to shoot every time he touches the ball. I can’t imagine this helps Cooney’s psyche, as this is the treatment of a glorified walk-on. One thing that cannot be denied is Cooney’s heart and hustle. He is scrappy defensively and does not hesitate to hit the floor. One can only wonder how patient Boeheim will be with his shooting troubles once conference play comes around.
The Orange broke out the press early and kept the pressure up for most of the first half. The turned Colgate over 16 times, which comes as no surprise since the Orange are leading the country in steals. They also rank 3rd in blocks, which is further evidence that the Cuse’s zone is going to be tough to beat.
But of course, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt because IT’S FREAKING COLGATE. The Orange will have more of a test on Friday as the head south to take on Arkansas as a part of the SEC – Big East Challenge.
Contributed by Alex Cartini