The Syracuse Orange are 10-0 for the fifth straight season and they are looking to earn their 11th win tonight as they host the High Point Panthers in the Carrier Dome.
The Orange can extend their 48-game home win streak against non-conference opponents with a win against the 3-6 Panthers. Seeing that record might make a lot of fans overlook this team, but the last loss at home to a non-conference foe was when the Orange lost to Cleveland State on a three-quarter court buzzer-beater, so anything can happen. With Christmas and a big matchup against undefeated Villanova coning up, this could be a trap game.
High Point has one key player to lookout for in John Brown, who averages 20.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, and was named the Big South preseason Player of the Year. The Orange will be the first ranked opponent that the Panthers have faced this year and second major-conference team, as they lost to Georgetown 80-45 just over two weeks ago. They are currently on a four game losing streak.
The Orange have many advantages in this matchup, starting with size. The Panthers have one player taller than 6’7″, a 6’9″ freshman Cliff Cornish who only play nine minutes per game. The Orange need to feed their big men and should be able to dominate the glass, something they haven’t done too well all year. The Panthers also turn the ball over 13 times per game, and the Orange force 16.5, so we should expect a lot of turnovers forced and fast break opportunities for the Orange.
The Panthers also shoot only 29 percent from beyond the arc and the Orange have held their opponents to 33% on the season. High Point’s opponents have shot 43.9 percent against them so far this year. This is a good thing for the Orange, who have shot 51 percent from the field in their last five games.
The Pick: I expect the Orange to win this one easily. They have a major size advantage which will allow all of their players to be able to get to the rim. They are also shooting very well of late, and this High Point team probably won’t be able to slow down the Orange offense, especially because they won’t be getting too much going on offense themselves against the 2-3 zone. Expect to see some full court pressure from the Orange as well. Orange win, 90-58.
When and where: 7 p.m. at the Carrier Dome