Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Syracuse at St. John's

by Ray Floriani
NEW YORK CITY- It had the billing of a conference showdown. Fourth ranked and undefeated Syracuse visiting a St. John's team, once again starting to get local attention. In the end the Orange showed why they are a top five team and national contender, posting a 76-59 over St. John's at Madison Square Garden.

Thanks Mother Nature!

Both teams entered in the mid-sixty possession range. Syracuse ignited their transition, found open floor opportunities and especially the latter part of the first half and the entire second, attacked the basket.

Outside MSG on a chilly night

The efficiency numbers:

St. John's7183

The Four Factors:

St. John's39263023

The Garden, media time out

Interestingly both teams entered with a TO rate under 20%. That was not the case tonight. The two clubs struggled with turnovers. The Syracuse number was exceptionally high. But when you limit the opposition to 39% eFG percentage, that is something of a trade off.

Syracuse kept close watch on St. John's guard Dwight Hardy. He scored 12 points but was 4 of 15 from the floor.

St. John's got inside of the patented Syracuse 2-3 early. Eventually adjustments are made and when the Red Storm was forced to take more perimeter looks they had no answer shooting 2 of 12 from beyond the arc.

Brandon Triche and Kris Joseph did the offensive damage for Syracuse. Triche scored 15 and was effective inside or beyond the arc. The sophomore guard was 6 of 11 from the floor including 3 of 6 from three. Joseph netted 18 points on 8 of 11 shooting and added 5 boards.

Rick Jackson had another solid effort that is distinguishing him as one of the conference's better interior players. Jackson enjoyed a double-double with 12 points 10 rebounds.

Syracuse led 36-32 in points in the paint as most of the Red Storm points were produced there or on the line. Orange held a notable 12-4 edge in transition points.

Jim Boeheim of Syracuse praised his club's defensive effort, especially when the offense took time getting in gear.

Steve Lavin of St. John's was pleased with some of the things the Red Storm did, controlling the first 12 minutes and building a seven point lead. 'Sustain', was the key word as Lavin noted you need a 40 minute effort when battling a number four ranked team with the talent of Syracuse.

Syracuse shot 5 of 8 from the line compared to St. John's 15 of 20. You can't foul what you can't catch. Orange had a number of transition opportunities the second half and were able to get great open inside looks even in half court. As a result, fewer trips to the line

Syracuse improved to 17-0 (4-0 Big East). St. John's is still a very respectable 10-5 (3-2). Syracuse had four players in double figures led by Kris Joseph with 18 points. Attendance was 14,440. St. John's was led by Justin Brownlee with 13 points. Dwayne Polee II was the only Storm starter to shoot over 50% from the floor. The freshman forward scored 7 points on 3 of 4 shooting. A good turnout following a storm that dropped 10-15 inches in the tri-state area.

Steve Lavin discusses the game with the media

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