It’s a new year for the Syracuse Orange and the team is probably willing to leave 2012 behind after a loss to Temple and an awful performance against Alcorn State in which it struggled in almost every aspect of the game. And what better time to start a season fresh than with Big East play? The Orange take on Rutgers tonight as Jim Boeheim goes for win #903.
New season starts wed. #bullySeason
— Michael Carter-Willi (@MJCWilliams) December 31, 2012
So what needs to change for the Orange in 2013? Here are the team’s New Year Resolutions:
1. Make free throws.
Many blame the loss to Temple on the team’s horrid free-throw shooting. The Orange ranks 309th in the country in free-throw percentage, shooting just 63%. I’m going to repeat that… The Orange ranks 309th out of 347 DI schools in free-throw percentage. There’s no reason an elite program should be leaving so many points on the court. It’s something that needs to improve and will be crucial in the close Big East games of 2013.
Syracuse needs to shoot free throws in practice a lot more than they do. Once conference games start it’s going to be their Achilles heel
— Nathan Scholl-Hess (@therealbignate) December 31, 2012
2. Feed the bigs.
Rakeem Christmas has really developed his offensive game. Both he and DaJuan Coleman have an advantage over a lot of bigs the Orange face, but they haven’t been getting the ball. If they don’t get fed in the post, we’ll never know/see how much better they can be. The Orange needs to utilize its bruisers inside.
Rakeem Christmas’s ability to develop into a decent low post scorer will determine how well Syracuse does this year #needstoscore
— Jeff Robben (@JefeRobben) December 31, 2012
3. Work like a team.
A disturbing trend started to develop throughout the first half of the season. The Orange offense wasn’t playing as a team. They’d simply find a player and that player would individually try to get to a hoop or make a jump shot. The loss to Temple was a perfect example. Temple’s offense passed the ball and worked around the 2-3 zone, but each individual player for Syracuse tried to be the entire offense. The Orange offense works best when Carter-Williams is dishing the ball or when the guards work the ball around the arc to find the best shot. If we see more of that in 2013, it’s going to be a good year.
#cuse … run your offense… wait… do we have one??
— Paul Giarrusso (@PaulieG07) December 31, 2012