Rushed Reaction: #1 Syracuse 75, #8 Kansas State 59Posted by JPriz on March 17th, 2012
Three Key Takeaways.
- Don’t leave the bench at home. K-State had challenges with only four players scoring in its win over Southern Miss, and Syracuse exploited their lack of depth by shutting out the Wildcats’ bench 33-0. Nobody stepped up after Jordan Henriquez was forced out of the game with three fouls midway through the second half. K-State needed one more guy. Syracuse, meanwhile, had Dion Waiters lead all scorers with 18, and he came off the bench.
- Balance is better than a one man show. Syracuse found the answer for Fab Melo today, and that was team defense. The guards up top were tenacious, and continued to drop down on the high post, whether it was Jordan Henriquez or Thomas Gipson. Syracuse had eight blocks as a team to none for K-State. They also put four players in double figures, with Kris Joseph stepping up big with 11 points and a very efficient 7-8 from the line.
- You need to adjust. Kansas State had a great plan to start the game, and was executing very well in being only down one point at half. Syracuse adjusted to the zone, penetrated the seams, and found open shots in the form of Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph, and James Southerland. Kansas State didn’t adjust in its zone offense, and instead had their leading scorer in the first half, Henriquez, up on the high post passing the ball, and Gipson, their undersized post, down low, trying to battle the likes of Christmas and Joseph. That led to foul trouble for Henriquez, only three more points, and a K-State defeat.
Star of the Game. Scoop Jardine, Syracuse. Scoop really turned it on for Syracuse. During the first half he played well but had several turnovers. He really stepped up in the second half to put the game out of reach for the Wildcats. He ended the game with a stat sheet stuffer in terms of 16 points, eight assists, and a steal. The stat he will want to forget are the six turnovers he committed today, with most coming in the first half.
Sights & Sounds. Being St. Patricks Day, I was seeing a lot of green in the crowd, but it just goes to show that orange and green go very well together, especially today.
What’s Next? #1 Syracuse will advance to take on the winner of the #4 Wisconsin/#5 Vanderbilt winner in Boston next week. Syracuse looked a lot better today, and should match up very well with either Wisconsin or Vanderbilt. They might have to watch being lulled into a slow tempo game against Wisconsin or the long range shooting of Vanderbilt if they take on the Commodores.