Syracuse Basketball: NBA champion Draymond Green throws shade at ‘Cuse coaches

Draymond Green had something to say about the lack of shots for Syracuse basketball forward Chris Bell in the second half.
Draymond Green had something to say about the lack of shots for Syracuse basketball forward Chris Bell in the second half. / Lance King/GettyImages

Long-time NBA star Draymond Green, who has won multiple world championships with the Golden State Warriors and is never afraid to speak his mind, called out Syracuse basketball coaches regarding the quiet second half from sophomore forward Chris Bell in Tuesday night’s ‘Cuse win at N.C. State.

You don’t see that every day, I might add.

Bell, the 6-foot-7, 188-pound sharpshooter from Concord, Calif., put forth one of the finest 20-minute performances I’ve ever seen in the history of the Orange program, and I’ve been following this team for decades.

In the first half versus the Wolfpack in Raleigh, N.C., Bell scored 26 points. He made eight shots from long range, one short of tying the ‘Cuse record. That’s remarkable.

However, in the second half, Bell didn’t score. Credit N.C. State defenders for playing him tight, although as they did so, that enabled other Syracuse basketball players, namely sophomore point guard Judah Mintz and sophomore wing Quadir Copeland, to go off.

NBA champion Draymond Green called out Syracuse basketball coaches regarding Chris Bell.

Bell still led the team with 26 points, while Copeland had a career-high 25 points and Mintz chipped in 15 points, all after the intermission.

The Orange (17-10, 8-8 in the ACC) would defeat the Wolfpack (16-10, 8-7 in the ACC) by a final count of 87-83, a pivotal road triumph for the ‘Cuse.

After this Atlantic Coast Conference encounter wrapped up, Green had this to say via his X page:

“I personally think if I ever coached college bball I’d destroy all these guys! I just watched Chris Bell start 8-8 from 3 in the 1st half, And finish 8-10. They didn’t have him set one back screen but only sat in the corner. Didn’t run a pick and roll with him as the back action … And put the defender in a Single side tag position, and he got one shot in the 2nd half. Watching college BBall baffles me. His coach didn’t know how to use him to get other guys shots. Let alone get him another shot… HOWEVER… Boy got a ratchet!”


While Green makes some valid points, I think it’s also important to note here that there’s a big difference between the NBA and the collegiate level.

Do I think that Syracuse basketball coaches could have run more action and sets to free up Bell in the second half? Absolutely. Do I think that Bell could have perhaps been a bit more assertive in hunting down his own shots in the second half? I do.

What’s more, let’s be real here. Bell wasn’t likely to keep shooting at that torrid pace in the second half. Players cool off, at least most of the time.

Furthermore, N.C. State defenders keying in on Bell after the intermission enabled guys such as Copeland and Mintz to carry the load in the second half.

It would have been nice if Bell had a few more good looks in the second half, but the Wolfpack clamped down on him. That, in turn, opened up driving lanes for other Orange players.

In the first half, Syracuse basketball often relied on the pick-and-roll, and it freed up Bell for numerous relatively wide-open looks. N.C. State made a necessary adjustment at the half and didn’t allow Bell to go nuts again (he took two shots in the second half, missing them both).

On Wednesday when I wrote this column, for the entire 2023-24 season, Bell was making an impressive 41.6 percent from beyond the arc, which was No. 5 in the ACC.

While a lot of ‘Cuse fans had a lot of thoughts on Bell’s quiet second half, let’s not forget that he still had a ridiculous 26 points. He still made eight shots from 3-point land.

We can blame the coaches for his zero points in the second half, or we can blame Bell. Or we can blame everyone. Or we can credit N.C. State for not letting him get going after the intermission.

Draymond Green can say what he wants. It’s a free country. It’s easy to criticize others when you’re not the one in the coaching seat.

For me, what matters the most is that Syracuse basketball got an important win. And Chris Bell played a vital role in that transpiring.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: What Jim Boeheim has done is ‘unmatched,’ Carmelo Anthony says. Syracuse Basketball: What Jim Boeheim has done is ‘unmatched,’ Carmelo Anthony says. dark