Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

As ugly as their blue shorts

I’m not sure what was worse…..Syracuse’s loss to a Boston College team that has won only six games all season or the awful throwback orange jersey with blue shorts? Both looked incredibly bad as Syracuse fell 62-59 in overtime to a bad Boston College team on Wednesday night. How bad? The Eagles have beaten just one Division-1 team since November, and had the fewest wins of any major-conference team. Syracuse had a few chances to win the game but couldn’t pull out the same magic that they have become known for this season. Late in overtime, BC’s Lonnie Jackson (a 56 percent free-throw shooter) stepped to the line and made 4-4 free-throws. Maybe Syracuse was looking ahead to Saturday’s showdown with Duke or maybe they just had an off night. Either way, this loss was inevitable. As I said in my column last week, up until now, the Orange have played well as a team and when one player is having an off night, another player steps up.  Unfortunately, on Wednesday night….no one looked good. The team shot only 32 percent (20 for 62) from the field and 16 percent (2 for 12) from 3-point range. You can have the best defense in the world, but if you shoot like that, you’re not going to win games. I really think this was a necessary and important loss for Syracuse….more so than a loss to Duke or Virginia would be. The loss proves that Syracuse has a lot more work to do to have a chance in the tournament. They did not lose to a good team. If they don’t get back on track over their next six game (five of those games on the road), then they won’t be a lock for the #1 seed in the tournament. The loss also showed that Tyler Ennis, who has been clutch in late game stretches this season, is still a freshman and has a lot more maturing to do. I think they’ll play better against Duke this weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose that game as well. I think as a team they are still figuring out their offense. Once they have some consistency and put all the pieces together at the same time (same night), they’ll surprise the doubters.