Syracuse men’s basketball’s offense has found a groove with better efficiency in past two games

first_imgAgainst power-conference opponents, Syracuse shot above 40 percent just once during nonconference play. But in the last two games, SU has hit 53-of-98 shots, or 54.1 percent.Throughout the whole season, getting everyone on the same page has been one of Syracuse’s biggest problems. A program-worst five nonconference losses reflected the Orange’s struggles, as SU shot 35.4 percent in losses this season. Syracuse entered Saturday with an adjusted offensive efficiency of 110.5, ranking 54th in the country and 12th in the ACC.But the Orange has turned its play around in the past two games. Part of it is John Gillon’s improvement at point guard. Part of it is Boeheim settling on a lineup that he’s used for almost the entirety of the past two games. Another part: SU is moving better off the ball and passing better to open players.“I think just getting penetration to the paint,” White said, “getting to the rim and moving the ball, getting it to multiple guys.”Four Syracuse players — White (21), Gillon (20), Battle (15) and Lydon (13) — scored in double figures against Pittsburgh. With Gillon getting into the lane, he found open players on the perimeter. Lydon often received a mismatch in the post and scored high-percentage shots inside. The combination of players getting into a rhythm has coincided with SU entering the more challenging half of its season.While Boeheim again emphasized that the Orange has more tough games ahead, his team has played well the last two games. And what’s happening before the shots go up is helping them go in.“I thought the key, just being patient, spreading them out,” Boeheim said. “ … We got great ball movement.” Comments Back-to-back 3-pointers from Tyus Battle and John Gillon broke the tie. A pair from Andrew White pushed Syracuse’s lead to 12. Two more 3s from Battle bumped it to 20. Then Tyler Lydon hit one, Gillon another.The Orange’s 30-2 first-half run against Pittsburgh was rooted in effective defense. And when SU got the ball, it capitalized. Syracuse hit 11-of-16 shots in that span and was well on its way to its second consecutive efficient shooting performance.“I thought the key early was some of the switches and mismatches,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We got in some mismatch situations for John and he was trying to drive and get in the lane and find open guys and we hit shots. When you get open shots and you make them.”SU made 28-of-54, or 51.9 percent, from the field in its 77-66 win over Pittsburgh (12-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) on Saturday in the Carrier Dome. As a result of effective ball movement and good spacing, the Orange (10-6, 2-1) improved to 7-1 on the year when it shoots better than 40 percent from the field.MORE COVERAGEAdvertisementThis is placeholder textSuperlatives from Syracuse’s 77-66 victory over PittsburghJohn Gillon plays ‘as good as you can get’ in Syracuse’s 77-66 win over PittsburghWhat we learned from Syracuse’s 77-66 win over PittsburghSyracuse shuts off Jamel Artis in high post to stunt Pittsburgh offense in 77-66 win Published on January 7, 2017 at 5:18 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschwedscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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