On Tuesday night at the JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse basketball and first-year head coach Adrian Autry will face their toughest test to date so far in the young 2023-24 season, as the Orange will host Patriot League member Colgate from nearby Hamilton, N.Y.
The ‘Cuse (2-0) and the Raiders (1-0) are scheduled to tip off on November 14 beginning at 7 pm on the Hill, with television coverage on the ACC Network. Coverage will also be available from fuboTV.
To date in 2023-24, Syracuse basketball has registered double-digit home victories over both Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference school Canisius and America East Conference squad New Hampshire.
Colgate, meanwhile, has played just once in the current term. On November 6, playing on its turf, the Raiders squeaked out a 72-70 win over Ivy League team Brown.
Syracuse basketball seeks to exact revenge against Colgate on Tuesday evening.
The Orange and the Raiders have played each other dating back to the 1901-02 stanza. In their all-time series together, Syracuse basketball holds a commanding 127-47 edge over Colgate.
However, the Raiders have defeated the ‘Cuse on two straight occasions, with each victory coming at the Dome. In recent years, Colgate players have torched the Orange from beyond the arc.
Autry has said of late that his team has to vastly improve on the defensive side of the floor, and that includes the squad’s perimeter defense. After missing the first two regular-season games due to a suspension, junior forward Benny Williams is back with Syracuse basketball, and that’s huge for the Colgate encounter as well as other near-term challenging contests that the ‘Cuse is going to endure.
Over the past few terms, the Raiders have proven one of the best “mid-major” programs around the country, and this team is no joke. In 2022-23, Colgate went 26-9 overall, including 17-1 in conference competition.
The Raiders, a stanza ago, captured both the Patriot League regular-season and post-season titles. Colgate, led by tremendous head coach Matt Langel, has also made the NCAA Tournament four times in a row, while Syracuse basketball is on a two-year absence from the Big Dance.
Last month, when the Patriot League released its preseason poll, Colgate was unsurprisingly forecast to finish at No. 1 in the conference.
The Orange defense will have its hands full with two fifth-year forwards on the Raiders’ 2023-24 roster, Keegan Records and Ryan Moffatt.
In the Patriot League’s preseason poll, Records was named the conference’s preseason player of the year and its preseason defensive player of the year. Both Records and Moffatt were also named to the All-Patriot League preseason team.
Last year, Records averaged 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks per game, while shooting a ridiculous 67.5 percent from the field.
Moffatt, meanwhile, in 2022-23 averaged 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 steals per contest, and he hit on 52.3 percent from the field and a stellar 45.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Syracuse basketball hasn’t shown any issues with putting the ball in the basket at this juncture in 2023-24, but the ‘Cuse defense had better be laser-focused if the Orange wants to halt a two-game skid to Colgate.