Syracuse got back to .500 with a win over Clemson inside the Dome tonight, 91-78. The Orange offense was too much for the Tigers, as SU got double-digit points from 4 different players. While tonight was a decent win, Clemson isn’t the strongest opponent, nothing compared to what Syracuse will face this weekend at Cameron Indoor Stadium against Duke. With that being said, let’s break the Orange W with a Fizz Report Card:
Buddy Boeheim – A
Despite plenty of critics and fans claiming he’s having an off-year, Buddy Boeheim continues to deliver on the offensive end. He hit big shots, difficult shots, open shots, and contested shots. Buddy was the man tonight, and Syracuse needed him to be like they do every night. The coach’s youngest son was there every time SU called on him tonight, finishing with an impressive 25 points.
JG3 – A
Against FSU, Joe Girard fell asleep in the second half. The junior guard contributed nothing on either side of the ball down the stretch, and rightfully so, fans were unhappy. Tonight, Joe flipped the script and was a reliable source of offense throughout the contest.
The Joe haters love hating when he has a bad night, but they don’t dare come out of the shadows when he plays like he did tonight. 23 points and only 3 missed shots (3!!!) including a 7/7 day at the charity stripe. Girard was incredible for the Orange, and if he ever finally takes the step to become consistent at all, he could be really, really good.
Jesse Edwards – A-
How about the battle Jesse Edwards had with PJ Hall of Clemson. Sure, he got thrown on a billboard by Hall once, but he was solid in his defensive effort overall. His offense was the real story though, the Flying Dutchman recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds along with 4 blocks. He was rightfully treated to a standing ovation when he walked off the court for the last time tonight after fouling out. Great night from Jesse, but the fouls earn him the minus. He’s fouled out of 7 of the team’s last 8 games. Not good.
Cole Swider – D+
Cole Swider was a zero for Syracuse tonight. Sure, a couple points here and there helped out the Orange but the turnovers and lack of defensive capability vastly overshadowed his offensive contribution. It seemed like every time Swider had the ball in his hands the crowd collectively cringed because the result was almost always a miss or a turnover. Swider can’t find any kind of consistency, when he’s good, he’s really good, but it never seems like he is for more than a game or two at a time. His defense is so bad that the justification for him playing so many minutes dwindling.
Jimmy Boeheim – B
He didn’t play down the stretch last night in favor of Symir Torrence, but he showed why he probably should’ve tonight. A double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Jimmy was solid. He didn’t shoot the ball well from deep, but when he missed he stopped shooting, he didn’t just keep throwing up bricks, he found other ways to score. Fans should be happy that Jimmy will find a way to contribute any way he can, rather than just missing three after three like some others on this team, *cough* *cough* Cole Swider.
The Bench – B+
Well, Symir Torrence was really the only one that got significant minutes. Though we did see Bourama Sidibe for a couple minutes in which he scored, which was a real trip. Benny Williams got back on the court tonight which was good to see:
Back to Symir, he was solid and looks to be carving out a significant role for himself in Boeheim’s rotation. Tonight, Torrence’s box score wasn’t tantalizing, but as we’ve said time and time again, his value comes from his actions that don’t appear on the stat sheet. Things like his ability to speed up the team’s pacing, as well as add a ball-handler to the court. Symir is getting better and better, which is a huge plus for Syracuse.