2017-2018 Syracuse Orange
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Overall
23-14
NCAA Sweet Sixteen Schedule Results
ACC
8-10
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Coach: Jim Boeheim

Player Cl Pos G GS Min FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% 3PT 3PA 3P% Ast Reb DReb OReb Fls DQ TO ST BS Pts Ppg Apg Rpg
Frank Howard Jr G 37 37 1422 187 497 37.6% 92 128 71.9% 67 205
32.7%
175 129 110 19 96 2 126 68 10 533 14.4 4.7 3.5
Tyus Battle So G 37 37 1443 234 586 39.9% 167 199 83.9% 77 239
32.2%
76 108 91 17 74 2 87 54 7 712 19.2 2.1 2.9
Matthew Moyer Fr F 35 20 587 45 85 52.9% 22 41 53.7% 1 9
11.1%
16 120 82 38 52 1 25 13 11 113 3.2 0.5 3.4
Oshae Brissett Fr F 37 37 1411 162 458 35.4% 174 221 78.7% 55 166
33.1%
34 327 245 82 83 1 69 43 29 553 14.9 0.9 8.8
Paschal Chukwu Jr C 37 37 1008 72 110 65.5% 55 87 63.2% 0 0
-
15 252 149 103 116 7 40 26 91 199 5.4 0.4 6.8
Marek Dolezaj Fr F 37 17 1033 79 147 53.7% 54 76 71.1% 2 9
22.2%
57 179 107 72 102 4 51 30 28 214 5.8 1.5 4.8
Bourama Sidibe Fr C 30 0 373 31 52 59.6% 19 40 47.5% 0 0
-
4 96 59 37 71 3 27 10 20 81 2.7 0.3 3.2
Howard Washington Fr G 18 0 110 5 17
29.4%
7 10
70.0%
2 12
16.7%
10 15 15 0 5 0 7 6 1 19 1.1 0.6 0.8
Geno Thorpe Gr G 6 0 86 14 38 36.8% 4 5 80.0% 4 14
28.6%
6 5 3 2 7 0 7 6 0 36 6.0 1.0 0.8
Braedon Bayer Jr G 9 0 17 1 1 100% 0 0
---
0 0
---
0 4 4 0 4 0 1 1 1 2 0.2 0.0 0.4
Patrick Herlihy Sr F 4 0 4 1 2 50.0% 0 0
---
0 0
---
0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.5 0.0 0.3
Shaun Belbey Jr G 3 0 2 1 1 100% 0 0
---
0 0
---
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0.7 0.3 0.0
Adrian Autry Jr Jr G 3 0 2 0 1 0.0% 0 0
---
0 1
0%
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Ray Featherston Fr G 3 0 2 0 0
---
0 0
---
0 0
---
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.3 0.0
Ky Feldman Jr DNP - - - - -
---
- -
---
- -
---
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Elijah Hughes So DNP - 0 - - -
---
- -
---
- -
---
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Orange would have high turnover from the previous season losing Tyler Lydon to the NBA draft, and John Gillon, Andrew White, Tyler Roberson and DaJuan Coleman all using up their eligibility. The team took a further hit when starter Taurean Thompson abruptly leaving school in August.

Tyus Battle would be the lone Orange returning starter. Veterans Frank Howard and Paschal Chukwu returned from injury plagued seasons, and a large group of incoming freshmen highlighted by Oshae Brissett were going to be depended upon. Syracuse picked up another graduate transfer in Geno Thorpe to help out at guard.

The Orange would open the season with an easy victory over Cornell. The game was noteworthy because Jim Boeheim coached against his son Jimmy Boeheim, a freshman forward for the Big Red.

Syracuse would struggle to score all season, failing to really find offensive rhythm. They would have three players dominate their scoring: Battle, Howard and Brissett. Battle would lead the team in scoring most nights, and Brissett showed he was very adept at rebounding, particularly on the offensive boards. But the team missed a solid fourth and fifth option on the court.

The team did play very well defensively, and that kept the team in most games. Chukwu and freshman Bourama Sidibe provided a strong defensive rotation at center, and the Orange had the tallest team in the country, with a starting five of Howard (6’4”), Battle (6’5”), Matthew Moyer (6’8”), Brissett (6’8”), and Chukwu (7’2”). The team was very adept at playing Boeheim’s trademark zone defense.

The team would win its first six games, despite their offensive shortcomings. This included a 72-70 victory over Maryland in the ACC/Big 10 challenge. Gene Thorpe would leave the team after the Maryland game for personal reasons.

The Orange would suffer its first loss in a 76-60 game against #2 Kansas at the Miami Invitational. The Orange would shoot only 32% from the field, and Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham would shoot the lights out from the perimeter on a 35 point night.

The Orange would win their next four games including a pair of wins against former Big East foes UConn and Georgetown. Syracuse came from 13 points down in the second half to tie the Hoyas and send the game into overtime. Brissett scored 24 points in the second half of the game, and Battle scored eight in overtime to get the win. Sidibe would injure his ankle early in December, and that would help lead to tendinitis in his knees, a problem that would hamper him the remainder of the year.

Syracuse would be upset by St. Bonaventure in a 60-57 overtime loss. The Orange were terrible shooting making only 30% of their field goals and 64% of their free throws (18 for 28).

The team would enter the ACC season with a record of 11-2. They would beat Virginia Tech to start conference play, before the team would go on a four game losing streak. This included a double overtime loss to #23 Florida State, despite a 37 point effort from Battle. Moyer would hurt his ankle during this stretch, and it hampered him for the remainder of the year.

The Orange would win its next three games, which included a big night from the injured Sidibe. He would spark the Orange to a win over Pitt in Pittsburgh, a place Syracuse often struggled. Sidibe had 18 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots. Unfortunately, because of his chronic injuries it would be his last significant contribution for the year.

More bad news would hit the Orange the next day as freshman guard Howard Washington tore his ACL and was out for the remainder of the year. This left the Orange with five healthy scholarship players for the rest of the year: Howard, Battle, Brissett, Chukwu and freshman Marek Dolezaj. The big three for Syracuse would be among the nation’s leaders in minutes played per game, with Battle leading the nation.

Syracuse, which already had offensive problems, really started to struggle to score with no bench depth. They lost to Georgia Tech and Virginia, scoring only 51 and 44 points in the two losses. This would be part of a streak where the team lost six of nine games.

The team finished the regular season 19-12. They would beat Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC tournament behind Dolezaj’s best game of the year; he made six of seven shots for 20 points to lead the team. They would lose to #12 ranked North Carolina in the next round of the ACC tournament.

The Orange would be the last team selected for the NCAA tournament, and had to participate in the ‘play-in’ round against Arizona State. Syracuse would win that game 60-56 behind a big game from Brissett with 23 points and 12 rebounds, and held the high scoring ASU team to a season low points.

Syracuse faced another high scoring team in the next round with Texas Christian. The Orange defense came through again as the Orange won 57-52 behind Dolezaj’s 17 points, and Chukwu’s 10 rebounds. Dolezaj shot 8 of 13 from the floor; the rest of the team was only 13 for 44.

Syracuse faced #4 ranked Michigan State next, and again the Orange defense came through as they won 55-53. Syracuse trailed most of the game and took its first lead with 4:22 left in the game; they forced the Spartans to miss their last 13 shots of the game as the Orange held on to win. The Orange didn’t shoot well, but they did better than MSU which made only 26% of its field goal attempts. SU’s Franklin Howard fouled out with six minutes left in the game, and walk-on Braedon Bayer had to play the remainder of the game. Bayer played admirably getting a block and a steal during his playing time.

The Orange would face a familiar foe with #5 Duke next. They were able to hang with the Blue Devils, but there would be no dramatic second half comeback this time, as Duke held on to win 69-65.

Syracuse finished 23-14, but left fans with smiles on their faces as the team had returned to the NCAA tournament, and pulled of a series of dramatic upsets. The NCAA sanctions were almost done, and the team had hopes for the next season.

© RLYoung 2017, 2018