Unfortunately for the Orange, the home opener did not go as Jim Boeheim had hoped. Syracuse dropped their first game of the season last night 48-34 to the defending champs, the Virginia Cavaliers.
Syracuse fans that attended the game remained on their feet for a minute and a half until Bourama Sidibe finally broke the even score for an early two-point lead.
That was about it for the Orange for a while as the offense went incredibly cold run as the Cavs eventually went on a 13-0 run. Before the half ended, the Orange were able to find a little life in the offense as they responded with an 8-0 run of their own.
The zone defense looked promising for the Orange, but the offense could not back up the strong outing by the defense.
In preseason, Jim Boeheim hinted that the Orange switch to some man coverage throughout the season, but the Orange stuck to strictly zone coverage last night and it proved to be lethal as the Orange forced 16 turnovers last night against a team that had great ball security just a year ago.
Without the big three of Howard, Battle, and Brissett, this Syracuse offense struggled. Carey got the nod at point guard to start the game, then Hughes got some time, and even Joseph Girard III earned a little time calling plays.
The New York native out of Glen Falls earned his first points in a Syracuse uniform on a three pointer that bounced straight off the rim, went up in the air, and came back down into the net. It was quite a sight to see. Joseph Girard will look to be a key player in this year’s offense after scoring 5,000 career points in his high school career, the most by any high school basketball player in the state of New York.
The 34 points scored by the Orange was the lowest in Jim Boeheim’s 44 years at Syracuse. With a young, unexperienced team, Boeheim has a lot to practice with this team as they prepare to play Colgate at the Dome on Wednesday.
This story has been updated to correct copy.