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Syracuse set to host Cornell after early December postponement

Joe Girard III dribbles the ball in a game against Georgetown.
Joe Girard III dribbles the ball in a game against Georgetown.

After finally restarting play against Brown on Monday, Syracuse is set to face off against another Ivy League opponent. WAER'S Braden Reed previews what to expect from Cornell, a last-minute addition to the schedule.

Just three days before Syracuse men’s basketball was scheduled to take on Georgia Tech in the Orange’s second ACC game of the year, it was announced that the game would be postponed due to COVID protocols within the Yellow Jackets program.

It was the third game that had been called off for SU, as matchups against Lehigh and the original game against Cornell had both been postponed due to COVID protocols within the Syracuse program.

Less than 20 minutes after the ACC said that the Syracuse and Georgia Tech game wouldn’t be happening, it was announced that SU would be hosting Cornell instead. So after a whirlwind of a December for Syracuse, the season finally seems to be settling back into place once again.

Cornell’s Darius Ervin (white, 14) attempts a three-pointer against Keuka College.
Cornell Athletics
Cornell’s Darius Ervin (white, 14) attempts a three-pointer against Keuka College.

Despite losing now-Syracuse forward Jimmy Boeheim to the transfer portal, the Big Red haven’t missed a beat. They sit at 8-2 and atop the Ivy League, and lead the conference in scoring, rebounds, field goal percentage, and assists.

Cornell’s 88.1 points per game would suggest that Brian Earl’s squad is an offensive juggernaut, but the team’s schedule is important to consider as well. Both of the Big Red’s losses came against their only Power 5 opponents this season, Virginia Tech and Penn State. 100+ point outings against Division III Wells and Keuka have inflated the scoring numbers, with the latter of the two breaking a handful of school records.

So where does a high-octane offense against less talented teams land Cornell on the national scale? According to, the Big Red are just the 228th ranked team in the country. Their strength of schedule comes in all the way down at 291 out of 358 teams. So they might be scoring a ton of points, but their opponents aren’t good enough for it to mean all that much.

For Syracuse, Wednesday’s game will be the final scheduled non-conference game of the year. With the Lehigh game currently postponed but not officially canceled, there are only ACC opponents left for the Orange following Cornell. According to Sports Illustrated’s Mike McCallister, SU’s athletic department is re-evaluating the schedule to determine if the game can be made up later in the year.

Syracuse and Cornell get underway on Wednesday at 7 p.m., WAER’s coverage begins at 6:30 with Countdown to Tipoff.