There would be no repeat of last year when Syracuse lost to Division II Le Moyne. Although, there was a lack of effort from the Orange at the outset. It was as if they forgot what happened last year. It looked like they were waiting to make a highlight play and Le Moyne wasn't allowing that to happen. Luckily, Le Moyne made plenty of mistakes to allow Syracuse to maintain an early lead. In about the first five minutes Le Moyne traveled, had a three-second violation and turned it over on an offensive foul.
The Orange began to break the game open with the weapon they didn't use last year - the 2-3 zone. They started to create turnovers and defense led to offense. The freshmen look to be still learning the zone. CJ Fair wound up matched on a center in the post at one point and Dion Waiters didn't rotate quickly enough and surrendered a wide-open three at the top of the key. It's always a work in progress at the beginning of the season.
On the offensive end they relied on the three-point shot and they were knocking them down. Against Kutztown they hit just five of 29 three-pointers but last night they nailed 11 of 16. The most impressive part though, was six different players hit at least one three-pointer (Jardine, Triche, Waiters, Fair, Jones and Southerland). It just shows the depth of this team and that anyone out on the floor is a threat. Jardine, Waiters and Southerland all had 13 points while Joseph added 12.
They put any doubt to bed at the beginning of the second half with a 14-0 run capped off by an alley-oop from Jardine to Joseph.
I have to give props to Le Moyne's Chris Johnson. That kid is their Gerry McNamara. He brought the intensity and scored 23 of their 48 points. He hit 6 of 10 from three and was the only major threat against the zone. Without Johnson LeMoyne wouldn't be able to win 10 f***ing games this season.
Kris Joseph - Showed his range last night. He's been working on it in the offseason and the stroke looked good. He knocked down a couple early threes.
Fab Melo - I said it after the first exhbition but it bares repeating - he's HUGE. He was grabbing rebounds over guys and just takes up so much space. So far they haven't run many offensive possessions through the post. I'm not sure how many looks he will get. He might have to score most of his points on putbacks.
James Southerland - He is going to turn some heads this year. Joseph was the sixth man last year and it might be Southerland's turn this year. He's got great range and is the most athletic player on the team. That's saying a lot on a team full of top prospects.