Preseason scrimmage highlights both strengths, weaknesses

SU hoops scrimmage highlights strengths, weaknesses

Syracuse failed to display intensity, but the team's youth could become the biggest concern when the season begins.
Published: October 16, 2019 | Updated: October 23rd, 2019 at 9:41 am
Jesse Edwards (14) goes up for a layup while Bourama Sidibe (34) defends.
Jesse Edwards (14) goes up for a layup while Bourama Sidibe (34) defends.

At the beginning of each basketball season, the Syracuse Orange host a fun-filled night for fans and a special look at the team before the season. The Orange vs. White event featured a 3-point shooting contest, a skills competition and of course, a five-on-five scrimmage.

The team looked smooth in both the three-point shooting contest and the skills competition, as the guards finished victorious behind Jalen Carey and Brycen Goodine. This spectacle of impressive shooting and players pushing their physical limits began a promising night.

Alternative Text
John Bol Ajak (2) prepares to go up for a shot as Bourama Sidibe (34) defends

Even the big men participated in both events, showcasing their arsenal of moves they hope to employ this season. Most of all, the team’s loss of Oshae Brissett currently appears inconsequential. Freshman Quincy Guerrier’s game mirrors Brissett’s, featuring an arguably better jumper and more defensive versatility.

The scrimmage was slightly underwhelming in terms of exciting plays. SU split into two, then a couple of sloppy passes, coupled with errant shots, left fans concerned entering the season. The white team won the scrimmage, 60-53. 

Robert Braswell (20) and Elijah Hughes (33) during the Orange and White scrimmage at the Carrier Dome on Oct. 11.
Robert Braswell (20) and Elijah Hughes (33) during the Orange vs. White scrimmage at the Carrier Dome on Oct. 11.

The guard play was average at best. Goodine and Carey facilitated the offense for each side, with Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard knocking down shots from the perimeter. The guard play lacked on the defensive end, as they failed to secure loose balls. There was also a slight level of noticeable confusion within the 2-3 zone defense. 

Elsewhere, the bigs from both teams appeared confused offensively, as Bourama Sidibe shot several ill-advised threes and Marek Dolezaj struggled to set an effective screen. All of this is correctable, but the season opener against Virginia is three weeks away. 

As for the rest of the team: Sophomore Robert Braswell will hopefully be able to offer a sixth-man mentality. Additionally, I think the team is at its best when the defense sets up the offense, hence the importance of Guerrier and Goodine. If the defense plays at a high level, it bolsters the offense. 

 

Alternative Text
Head coach Jim Boeheim (right) and associate head coach Adrian Autry (left) watch the skills challenge during the Orange vs. White scrimmage at the Carrier Dome on Oct. 11.

Shots fell consistently and the team looked well-rested and fit. While a scrimmage does not prove much, one can gauge a team’s overall fitness. They certainly excelled in that category. Additionally, SU played a cohesive ballgame.

Overall, the team’s lack of intensity could become concerning. But the lack of experience is more notable once the season begins against Virginia on Nov. 6. 

Avatar for Micah Pruyn Goldstein

is a contributor to The NewsHouse.

Co Authors :

Avatar for Micah Pruyn Goldstein

is a photographer for The NewsHouse.