Men's Basketball

What we learned from Syracuse’s 70-55 win over Miami

Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor

Andrew White had a big game in the win over Miami, scoring 22 points. After the game, he stressed that he wanted his teammates to keep this game in perspective of the larger season goals.

Syracuse (9-6, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) picked up its biggest win of the year so far, a 70-55 victory over Miami (11-3, 1-1) on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome. The Orange picked up the defensive intensity, settled on just five main contributors and used an 18-5 second-half run to secure its first ACC win.

Here’s what we learned from the game.


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Syracuse can actually defend against an ACC opponent

The notion that SU could stop a legit opponent was in doubt after the Orange allowed 96 points to Boston College on Sunday. The Eagles were projected as the worst team in the conference and ranks 226th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, per Kenpom.com. Entering SU’s matchup with Miami on Wednesday, one thing was clear: Syracuse’s 2-3 zone had to tighten up if it wanted to beat even better conference opponents.

“Our defense was just better tonight,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We gave up some open 3s but we did a better job. It wasn’t as good as we need to do but we did a better job and we were more efficient on offense.”

The Orange was quicker on the defensive end against the Hurricanes. Despite giving up 11 3-pointers, Miami was still held to a 38.9 overall field-goal percentage and shot just 10-of-28 on 2-pointers. Only one Hurricanes player scored in double figures, Dejan Vasiljevic, who had 18 points on six 3s. UM’s Ja’Quan Newton (15.8 points per game), Davon Reed (14.6 points per game) and Bruce Brown (11 points per game) were held to eight, six and nine points, respectively.

“Limited guys getting into the paint, limited layups … I think that was the key tonight.”

Tyler Roberson is back as a major contributor

After playing a combined 26 minutes against Connecticut, St. John’s and Georgetown, Tyler Roberson’s spot in SU’s rotation was in doubt. But an effective 22 minutes at BC and a season-high 35 minutes against Miami on Wednesday showed he’s back as a key contributor.

After nonconference play wrapped up, Boeheim was asked if Roberson would be a part of the rotation going forward. He said if he could score effectively and provide a boost on the boards, he’ll play. He’s done that of late and racked up nine points on 4-of-5 shooting and six rebounds against the Hurricanes.

Five players played 35 minutes or more while no one else played more than five. Boeheim said he’ll keep doing it if Syracuse keeps winning.

“Tyler Roberson’s our best defensive forward,” Boeheim said. “So it was just a defensive maneuver.”

Andrew White didn’t want to be a party pooper but was one anyway

As Syracuse walked off the court excited about its first ACC win, Andrew White had a message for his teammates. He needed them to stay focused and recognize that it’s just one win.

And if the Orange wants to climb back into NCAA Tournament contention, it’ll need a lot more than just one.

“I just walked off the court and everybody was excited. I didn’t want to poop the party, I was just saying, ‘one down,’” White said. “You hope get two in a row, three in a row. Keep it rolling. I’m pretty mindful and thoughtful of what’s going on, I keep the big picture in perspective and it felt really good to win that game and you would think let’s keep doing it, let’s not be satisfied with this.”

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