+0 - 0  by

Recon: @ Syracuse Orange (1-0), Tuesday 7:00 PM

SBU travels to SU on Tuesday night in a game all die-hard fans want in the worst way.

By: Mike Morgan 

The Opponent: The Syracuse Orange out of the Atlantic Coast Conference.  Syracuse is coming off a 10-point victory over Lehigh in their season opener on Friday.  Syracuse is ranked by such college basketball websites (using computer projections and models) such as KenPom generally in the 30s. While this is not a vintage SU team, this is still a quality roster that should compete o the ACC and still be heavy favorite against the Bonnies. 

Last Time: It has been six years since these two teams met in the Carrier Dome with the Orange earning a 85-72 victory. The game was a lot closer than the score indicates and may be memorable to both Bonnie and Orange fans as Andrew Nicholson was ejected for punching Andy Rations below the belt. 

The Skinny on Syracuse: The Orange are coming off a rough season where they finished 18-13 and banned themselves from the postseason for NCAA violations.  Cuse were picked to finish 9th in the ACC which is in the bottom half.  Their main “stars” are young freshman and the big man they are relying on, DaJuan Coleman, has been hurt for the vast majority of his college career.  They have been shot a ton of three pointers in their opening game, which is unlike the Orange teams of the past.  34 deep balls were attempted against Lehigh and the ‘Cuse where cold, which allowed the Mountain Hawks to hang around. 

Other players to focus on are Trevor Cooney, Kaleb Joseph and freshman Malachi Richardson.  Cooney is the team’s senior marksman and Joseph is a young guard.  Joseph is talented enough to cause damage but he hasn’t quite broken into Jim Boeheim’s rotation with serious minutes yet to be a big time game changer. Richardson had himself quite a debut on Friday scoring 14 points in 30 minutes of play.  12 of those points were from beyond the arc.

The Stats: From last season…(RED=Bad, Green=Good) Figures inside colors represent nation ranks. These stats are taken from KenPom.com and his Syracuse Page. 

The Roster: (Warning: They have slightly more than eight players….)

The Path to Victory: The last few visits to Syracuse have resulted in the Bonnies firing on all cylinders in the first half and shocking the Orange and their faithful fans.  The games have been a lot closer than the scores indicate.  There’s every chance that that the ‘Cuse players will be taking this game lightly despite any warnings not to do so from the coaching staff.  The Bonnies need to hit from deep if they want to stay in this game.  Denzel Gregg needs to continue his improvement and what better place to do it then in his hometown?  Limit the turnovers and force the Orange into being sloppy and SBU could hang around. But, being able to connect on three pointers will likely be the great equalizer in this game for SBU. With that said, Schmidt’s club is going to need a vastly different game from senior Marcus Posley and a better shooting effort from Jay Adams as well. Clearly, this will also entail  SBU figuring out Syracuse’s famed zone defense; finding the middle and making the zone move with ball movement. Bonas has shown in inability to score vs. a zone defense in recent years so that provides some reason for concern heading into the contest. 

The Known (their best player): Trevor Cooney, 6-4 senior.  Cooney, who plays both point and shooting guard, is crucial to the Orange’s success.  Cooney struggled mightily last year with his shot and Syracuse’s performance suffered with him.  He is one of the most accurate three-point shooters in school history and is still Jim Boeheim’s go-to guy for the last possession. The transition to shooting all these threes this year means that Cooney has an even greater green light and he attempted 9 against Lehigh.  SU used a lot of high ball screens to get him open and SBU will need to fight through those and make it difficult for him. 

The Gut Feeling: I love SBU’s chances in this game.  If there was ever a weak Syracuse team to take advantage of, this would be it.  However, I don’t like the fact that it comes so early in the season with the Bonnies still a bit rusty.  The same could be said for the Orange.  The talent gap may be enough to help Syracuse continue their winning streak against Bonas. SBU will stick around and they will put up a fight.  This team will build up our excitement level for the potential upset before falling in the final minutes.  It is games and opponents like this though that will help the Bonnies for later on down the road.

The Prediction: Bonnies 75- Syracuse 80

+ 0 - 0

A member of the class of 2008, Nolan spent four years as a student assistant with the program. He has written professionally for such outlets as espn.com/insider, Athlon Sports Magazines, Cox Sports Online and Blue Ribbon Previews. Ian was named one of the “140 Personalities to Follow in College Basketball” on twitter by The Sporting News.