November 2, 2013
SYRACUSE (Newhouse Sports Media Center) — The Syracuse men’s basketball team came out strong against Holy Family in the first half and never looked back. The Orange scored a 79-41 victory in the first of two exhibition games to open the 2013-2014 season. Less than three minutes into the game, the Orange had grabbed a 10-0 lead. […]
SYRACUSE (Newhouse Sports Media Center) — The Syracuse men’s basketball team came out strong against Holy Family in the first half and never looked back. The Orange scored a 79-41 victory in the first of two exhibition games to open the 2013-2014 season.
Less than three minutes into the game, the Orange had grabbed a 10-0 lead. Holy Family, a Division II team out of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, could not recover from the initial blow. The Tigers shot 20 percent in the first half with nearly more turnovers (10) than points (13).
Coach Jim Boeheim noticed his team’s defensive effort, which caused Holy Family to settle for difficult outside shots the entire game.
“Our defense was pretty good for a while tonight,” Boeheim said. “I thought we did a pretty good job with our movement defensively. It was a good outing. A lot of things that we can improve on as we go forward.”
Senior C.J. Fair showed why he was chosen as the Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Player of the Year by tallying 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Two Fair assists on consecutive possessions in the first half led to a Rakeem Christmas dunk and a Tyler Ennis three pointer. These two plays brought the Carrier Dome crowd to its feet and captured all the momentum the Orange would need.
Boeheim credited Fair’s play to the effort he has made in the offseason.
“I think he’s gotten better,” Boeheim said “I thought he showed that he’s improved his playmaking,” .
Fair said the team can still improve on playing a complete game moving forward.
“We got going a little bit in the first half, a little bit in the second half,” Fair said. “We need to learn how to keep our rhythm throughout the game.”
A concern coming into the season was how the Orange would replace star point guard Michael Carter-Williams. Freshman Tyler Ennis filled the void well tonight with 12 points and a few pinpoint passes that led to scores. When asked about Ennis, Boeheim showed complete confidence in his floor general.
“Yeah, he was fine,” Boeheim said. “I don’t even think about him.”
Ennis said the team has a few things to improve on before the official games begin next Tuesday.
“Get the kinks out, get everybody comfortable, myself included,” Ennis said. “Coach has a lot of things. He says we have a long way to go, so we’ll continue to work.”
The Orange did what was expected and dominated its first exhibition game from start to finish. Boeheim says the team will look to improve going into next week’s games against Ryerson and the season opener against Cornell.
“We learned some things. Hopefully, we’ll be able to work on them for a couple days and come back Tuesday and see what we can do.”
Syracuse plays Ryerson on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.