Syracuse hosts Brown amid Rescheduling due to COVID Outbreaks across the Country
With lots of schedule switch-ups in the last few weeks, the Syracuse men's basketball takes on an unfamiliar foe on Monday. WAER's Jackson Holzer previews SU versus Brown.
Like many other sports teams around the nation, Syracuse Men’s Basketball has been hit hard by the latest COVID-19 outbreak. Head Coach Jim Boeheim said about 14 of SU’s players and managers tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few weeks. His son, Buddy, confirmed that four starters were included.
“Guys started testing positive more and more throughout the week. We had 12, 13 guys and said, ‘Alright, we’re going to keep going and if more people end up positive, we’re going to have to cancel the game.’” Buddy said.
As a result, the ‘Cuse postponed its December 18th game against Lehigh and its December 21st contest versus Cornell. However, with the situation starting to clear up for the Orange, they’ll now host Brown on December 27th at 6:00.
“On behalf of our student-athletes and staff, we appreciate and thank our fans for their patience and understanding, as we work through this fluid scheduling situation,” said John Wildhack, Syracuse director of athletics.
Syracuse's last game was a loss to Georgetown a little over two weeks ago. Two weeks may lead some to believe SU could come out rusty, and that might be true, however it shouldn’t be used as an excuse given that Brown also hasn’t played since December 10th.
The two foes also aren’t all that familiar with each other. The Orange haven’t played the Bears since the first round of 1986 NCAA Tournament, and the last time both teams matched up against each other in the regular season was 1955.
In the ACC, Syracuse sits in seventh, courtesy of its 1-0 record within the conference. The Orange are 5-5 overall. Brown on the other hand is 8-5 and fourth in the Ivy League standings.
With those factors out of the way, this particular matchup could be determined from beyond the arc. Syracuse ranks in the upper quarter across the NCAA in three-point field goal percentage (35.93%), while Brown is around the middle-of-the-pack in defense of that same category. The man who might be the difference maker is Buddy Boeheim.
Boeheim came into the year with supremely high expectations. He was named as a Preseason First-Team All ACC Player, and so far his results have been a mixed bag. While the guard leads the Orange in scoring, he’s also shooting 38.0% from the field and 27.5% from deep.
Both are career lows.
Buddy has shot at least 40% from the field in half of SU’s games this season. In those five contests, the ‘Cuse is 4-1 and average 92.2 points-per-game. That would rank as the best offense in the entire country. However, when the senior is cold, the Orange are 1-4 and score just 62.8 points-per-game. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s over a 29 point gap in offensive efficiency.
It may seem like a while ago due to everything going on around the country, but don’t forget Syracuse is on a two-game skid. It may be easy to look past Brown given that this is the last non-conference game of the regular season. However, it’s never a good idea to look past an opponent especially when your team is losing. At this point, there are no excuses for the Orange. It’s time to get back to basketball and handle their business.
Syracuse Men’s Basketball concludes its non-conference schedule on Monday against Brown. Tipoff between the Orange and Bears is at 6:00 P.M. Countdown to Tipoff begins at 5:30 P.M. on the original home of the Orange, WAER.