Indiana will get another shot at Syracuse when they visit the Carrier Dome on Tuesday as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The game is rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 matchup in which the Orange defeated the Hoosiers,61-50.
No. 5 ranked Syracuse (7-0) is coming of their trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational in which they won their third tournament championship in three tries for coach Jim Boeheim. The Orange defeated Minnesota, California and No. 18 Baylor to win the title.
Indiana’s only loss is to Connecticut in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic in Madison Square Garden. The Hoosiers (6-1) bounced back from that loss with a 77-46 win over Evansville.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Home Cooking – Syracuse struggled in their first four games at the Carrier Dome against inferior opponents. It took a trip to Hawaii to get them to play their best three games of the season. They need to establish their home presence, especially headed into the ACC regular season. They have quality opponents Indiana and Villanova coming to The Dome before the ACC home opener on January 4th against Miami.
2. Dion Waiters Part II – Is Jerami Grant going to continue to mimic Waiters 2011-12 sixth man performance? It is nice to have that kind of scoring coming off the bench. Grant will offensively get to go against bench players in which he has a physical advantage. We saw the beginning of that process in Hawaii and if it continues, it makes the Orange very dangerous on offense.
3. Indiana is very balanced offensively. However, they have struggled with their three-point shooting. That is going to have to improve Tuesday if they want to solve the SU 2-3 zone.
“I think as far as Syracuse goes, the things that are always going to remain constant with them are their athleticism, their length, they get a lot of steals and blocked shots. Offensively they are doing a great job of getting the ball into the paint and they are getting to the foul line. They have very good players at every position and it seems like they know what they are trying to get out of every position. -Tom Crean, Indiana Head Coach