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Syracuse’s three-game winning streak to open the season came to an end on Tuesday night, with the Orange falling to Rutgers in the Atlantic Coast/Big Ten Challenge. Next up is a struggling Boston College (1-4) team that has defeated only Rhode Island in the 2020-21 season — and that win was by five points.
The Orange (3-1) should return Buddy Boeheim to their lineup, providing more depth at that position heading into conference play. His return will also allow for Kadary Richmond’s minutes to drop back from the 30-plus he averaged during Buddy’s absence due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
Here’s what The Daily Orange’s three beat writers think will happen when Syracuse plays its second straight road game on Saturday:
Andrew Crane (4-0)
Peace of mind
Syracuse 84, Boston College 73
If Syracuse consistently plays like it did against Rutgers, reaching 14 wins in the ACC might not be too far-fetched. Saturday is its chance to secure win No. 1. Syracuse’s offensive output will improve with Buddy back, even if it’s only in a limited capacity at first. That’s good, as the Eagles are also a guard-dependent team that could get hot and force Syracuse to connect from beyond the arc to stay in the game.
Strong guard play will be key for the Orange, and Joe Girard III needs to find his offensive and defensive rhythm soon, or the virtual “Start Richmond” chants will progressively get louder. Expect Syracuse to break the 80-point mark again and pull away late from an inconsistent BC team.
Anthony Dabbundo (4-0)
Shipping up to Chestnut Hill
Syracuse 77, Boston College 70
Syracuse’s last five minutes against Rutgers is likely to overshadow what was an otherwise good performance at The RAC on Tuesday night. BC also tossed away a chance for a road win at Minnesota, and now Syracuse will have Buddy back in the lineup. The most interesting development could be how Boeheim splits minutes between Richmond and Girard, who has struggled thus far.
The Eagles don’t have the rebounding presence like Rutgers did, and Marek Dolezaj should be able to produce more offensively than he did Tuesday. He posts a double-double as the Orange open up an early first-half lead off of good 3-point shooting from Alan Griffin and Girard, and the team’s able to keep the Eagles out of reach throughout most of the second half. Facing their first press, Syracuse struggles late but holds on for its first ACC win.
Danny Emerman (3-1)
Ah, you a stohp
Syracuse 83, Boston College 75
There was a frenetic few minutes of the Rutgers game where it seemed like every play was either a wide-open dunk or a 3. It felt like a pickup game. I imagine Saturday will look a bit like that, too.
Syracuse has the potential to be an elite offense, and BC can fill it up as well. BC guards Wynston Tabbs, Jay Heath and Makai Ashton-Langford are talented enough as a trio to give Syracuse’s zone fits and keep BC in the game. But in the end, the return of Buddy will be enough for SU to put BC away.
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