Syracuse Basketball: 2 big keys to victory vs Virginia Tech

Syracuse basketball is hosting Virginia Tech this Tuesday night, another squad that excels in making shots from 3-point range.

Syracuse basketball will finish its five-affair stretch on the Hill this Tuesday evening, as the Orange welcomes Virginia Tech to town.

The ‘Cuse (8-6, 1-2) scored in droves this past Saturday afternoon against Notre Dame in Central New York, but Syracuse couldn’t contain the Fighting Irish from deep, or in the paint, and the Orange fell in frustrating fashion by one point.

The Hokies (10-4, 1-2), similar to Notre Dame, shoot a lot from beyond the arc, and they connect from 3-point land at an impressive 37.9 percent clip. That is without question something that the ‘Cuse will have to remain laser-focused on if it seeks to succeed.

Besides the 3-point line, Syracuse has to shore up its rebounding efforts. While the Fighting Irish pummeled the Orange on the perimeter, the ‘Cuse held its own in making shots from long range.

What really hurt Syracuse, in all honesty, is that Notre Dame ultimately won the battle of the boards, and the Fighting Irish’s domination as it relates to second-chance points stung the Orange time after time, from that contest’s beginning to its conclusion.

In all fairness, Notre Dame is a superior rebounding group to Virginia Tech, so the ‘Cuse has no excuse not to prevail in this department. Syracuse averages 35.4 boards per encounter, while the Hokies get slightly more, at 35.6 each game.

The Orange possesses an advantage in assists, blocks, steals, free-throw shooting and points scored. Virginia Tech, on the flip side, is stronger in points allowed, turnovers committed and the aforementioned 3-point shooting.

The Hokies don’t have an amazing resume at this juncture in the 2019-20 stanza, but they did best then-No. 3 Michigan State on a neutral court and defeated fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member Clemson on the road. Virginia Tech’s quartet of setbacks is to three top-25 units in Duke, Virginia, and Dayton, as well as to BYU.

Overall in their series together, the ‘Cuse is 9-4 versus the Hokies, although Virginia Tech blasted Syracuse, 78-56, a year ago at the Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. In 2019-20, however, the Hokies have a significantly reshuffled roster and a first-year head coach, former Wofford boss Mike Young.

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Virginia Tech is a solid team, but if the Orange tightens up its 2-3 zone and hits the glass with authority, the ‘Cuse can certainly emerge victorious this go-round.

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