Syracuse Basketball: How to watch the ‘Cuse battle Canisius at the Dome

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball has a quick turnaround for its second game of the 2023-24 season, as the Orange will host Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (“MAAC”) school Canisius on Wednesday night at the JMA Wireless Dome.

Adrian Autry, in his head-coaching debut after taking the reins from Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim, guided the ‘Cuse to an 83-72 home victory against America East Conference member New Hampshire on Monday evening, with numerous former Syracuse basketball stars in attendance.

The Orange (1-0) raced out to a 32-9 lead versus New Hampshire in the first half, but the ‘Cuse struggled shooting the ball in the latter part of the first half and throughout the second half. Ultimately, though, Syracuse basketball would prevail over the Wildcats in the first-ever meeting between those two programs.

Now Autry and his players are set to welcome Canisius to the Hill. The Golden Griffins, based in Buffalo, N.Y., open their 2023-24 stanza at the Dome.

This non-conference contest is scheduled to begin at 7 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 8, with live-streaming coverage on the ACC Network Extra and ESPN+. Coverage is also available from fuboTV.

Syracuse basketball needs to improve its 3-point shooting against Canisius.

In their all-time series together that goes back to the 1944-45 stanza, the Orange leads the Golden Griffins, 46-24, and Syracuse basketball has won 21 games in a row versus Canisius, according to SU Athletics.

Buffalo native Reggie Witherspoon is in his eighth season at the helm of the Golden Griffins, during a tenure in which he has led the squad to 94 triumphs and a share of the MAAC regular-season crown in 2017-18.

A campaign ago, Canisius went 10-20 overall, and that mark included an 8-12 record in conference play. When the MAAC released its preseason coaches’ poll in mid-October, the Golden Griffins were placed at No. 3 in the league’s pecking order, trailing only Rider at No. 1 and Iona at No. 2.

Two Canisius players to monitor are sophomore guard Tahj Staveskie and junior forward Xzavier Long. Staveskie was on the preseason All-MAAC second team, while Long received inclusion on the preseason All-MAAC third squad.

In 2022-23, Staveskie was named to the MAAC’s All-Rookie team. As a freshman, he averaged 12.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, while connecting on 39.6 percent from the field, 30.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 87.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Last season, Long averaged 6.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest, while hitting on 46.4 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from 3-point land, and 71.2 percent from the charity stripe.

According to a press release from the MAAC, in 2022-23, Canisius made and attempted the most 3-point shots per game among league members, and the Golden Griffins were also second within the conference in assists, assists-to-turnover ratio, and turnover margin.

I expect that Autry will continue to primarily utilize a man-to-man defense while sprinkling in some zone against Canisius. Either way, the Orange defense, which didn’t look overly impressive against New Hampshire in allowing 72 points on Monday evening, has to lock down on the perimeter to contain the Golden Griffins’ 3-point shooters.

Additionally, the ‘Cuse has to vastly improve its own shooting numbers, as Syracuse basketball made only 41.8 percent of its attempts from the field and a mere 23.8 percent from beyond the arc versus New Hampshire.

I’ll of course monitor whether junior forward Benny Williams, who was suspended by the ‘Cuse earlier this month “for a violation of team rules,” is back in action on Wednesday night when the Orange goes toe to toe with Canisius.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Top observations from SU’s win in Adrian Autry debut. dark