Key storylines heading into the game between No. 11 Syracuse and No. 11 Arizona State

first_imgAlexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerUsing their size?Frank Howard and Tra Holder have very different frames — Howard is 6-foot-5, 205 pounds while Holder is 6-foot-1, 180 pounds.Howard struggled protecting the ball in the ACC Tournament, racking up 12 turnovers during the two games. The junior has a relatively high dribble to begin with, and he’s prone (as are Battle and Brissett) to sometimes over dribbling when the offense stalls.Against guards like Holder and Shannon Evans II — who is 6-foot-1, 172 pounds — over dribbling can be an issue. Smaller guards can be peskier defenders, as assistant coach Adrian Autry said that the only play smaller guards can make is on the ball. Two years ago, 6-foot-7 Syracuse point guard Michael Gbinije had one of his worst-ever games (3-of-14 shooting and eight turnovers) while getting hounded by 5-foot-11 Miami point guard Angel Rodriguez.Howard and Tyus Battle will have the size and strength advantage to shoot right over the top of ASU’s guards and play through contact. The Orange’s guards will need to focus on that, and not allow ASU’s smaller guards to get under their skin.Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerAny help?Syracuse has been limited to a short rotation all season due to scholarship restrictions, players leaving and injuries. That much has been known.Alongside the five starters, SU has Matthew Moyer and Bourama Sidibe as the two main scholarship players off the bench (excluding Braedon Bayer, who earned a scholarship after walking-on to Syracuse). Sidibe has been dogged since the New Year with left-knee tendinitis that’s limited his ability to play. Moyer suffered a sprained ankle that kept him out of several games and has noticeably slowed him down in other games.The week between games is the second-longest break Syracuse has had this season. We’ll have to see if the rest did enough to replenish SU’s depth, or if those nagging injuries simply won’t go away. No. 11 seed Syracuse (20-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) is back in the NCAA Tournament after missing out last year. The Orange’s blazing 11-2 nonconference start, against a strong schedule, and big wins over Miami and Clemson in the ACC were enough to push the team in.Now, the Orange has a first four matchup against No. 11 seed Arizona State (20-11, 8-10 Pacific-12) at 9:10 p.m. on Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio. Here are storylines to watch from that game.Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerWill the real Oshae please stand up?The last five games of the season have shown us two sides of Oshae Brissett. There’s the freshman forward who has excelled in the big role he’s been given. In the last two games of the regular season against Boston College and Clemson, and in the ACC Tournament loss to North Carolina, Brissett averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe scored in a multitude of ways, attacking the basket and drawing fouls in the regular season games. Against UNC, he knocked down a season-high five 3-pointers.But there was also a road game at Duke and the Orange’s ACC opener against Wake Forest. Both those games, at the time, were two of the biggest stages that Syracuse had played on all year. And Brissett disappeared in both those games, averaging eight points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting a combined 4-for-24 from the field. Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerCan Marek keep up?After SU’s loss to Boston College in the penultimate regular-season game, SU head coach Jim Boeheim said, “I think people think that these guys can score, like Matt (Moyer) and Marek (Dolezaj) and Paschal (Chukwu). They can’t. They can pick up a bucket here or there but they cannot score.”Dolezaj seemed to take personal offense to that, at least based on his play. After not getting a point against BC, he registered eight of Syracuse’s 55 points against Clemson and had a team- and career-high 20 points against Wake Forest.Teams focus a lot of their attention on Frank Howard, Tyus Battle and Brissett, who do the bulk of the scoring for the Orange. That left Dolezaj facing softer defense and he took advantage, aggressively attacking the basket in both those games. He’s also shown more confidence in taking, and making, 15-foot jumpers when he’s left with space.Dolezaj figures to continue to get overlooked by defenses. He’ll need to make opponents pay for that. Published on March 12, 2018 at 3:48 pm Contact Tomer: | @tomer_langerlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *