What we learned from Syracuse basketball’s loss at No. 13 Virginia

first_imgEditor’s Note: The Daily Orange decided not to drive to Charlottesville, Virginia for Sunday night’s game between Syracuse and Virginia due to safety concerns stemming from the snowstorm.Syracuse couldn’t become the first team to beat No. 13 Virginia at home this season, falling 73-65 at John Paul Jones Arena on Sunday night.The Orange (13-8, 3-5 Atlantic Coast) pulled within three points of the Cavaliers (15-4, 4-3) with 2:14 left in the game, but a four-point UVA spurt stiff-armed SU’s upset bid. Virginia ultimately bullied SU inside and made the right 3s to pull away in crunch time.Here’s what we learned from the game.1. A well-balanced offense like Virginia’s is the Orange’s worst nightmareAdvertisementThis is placeholder textBasketball logic would say the best offense against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone is one that can shoot the lights out. A glance at SU’s rotation — with no one over 6 feet 9 inches playing meaningful minutes — would say the best offense against this Syracuse 2-3 is one that pounds the ball inside.But ACC play has debunked both of those theories, and Sunday showed us that the best formula to beat the Orange’s quick-sliding zone is a healthy balance of perimeter and post play. The Cavaliers scored 30 points in the paint, 16 of them from Anthony Gill, and made 8-of-18 3s.Syracuse has defended the perimeter well in conference play and, at times, had some success defending proven interior scorers. But a mix of the two was simply too much for the zone to handle. Gill has now scored in double figures in every game this season, and SU head coach Jim Boeheim called clutch shooting by Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes the “difference” in the game.“We cannot play defense inside, I think that’s pretty painfully obvious by now. Guys that average five points a game get 18, 19, 20 against us,” Boeheim said in his postgame press conference, posted by Cuse TV. “Our perimeter defense has been pretty good this year, our inside defense is non-existent.“… You know, we can’t, if the guards have to help that much inside then they’re going to be wide-open on the 3-point line. We have to be able to defend better in there, we’re big enough, we’re strong enough, we should be able to defend better in there.” Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Syracuse teases comeback but ultimately falls short in 73-65 loss at No. 13 Virginia3 things Jim Boeheim said after Syracuse’s loss to No. 13 VirginiaFast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 73-65 loss to VirginiaSyracuse community reacts to loss against No. 13 VirginiaGrade Syracuse’s performance against Virginia and vote for the player of the game 3. One thing is certain in the ACC (or even in the country) this seasonIt’s been a crazy college basketball season, and that hasn’t stopped at the ACC. But if there’s anything college basketball can hang its hat on after close to a month of conference basketball season, it’s that Virginia winning at home is one of the surest bets around the nation.UVA is now 10-0 at John Paul Jones Arena this season, with wins over West Virginia, Villanova, California, Notre Dame, Miami, Clemson and now Syracuse. To go undefeated at home this season, the Cavaliers will have to mow down Boston College, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, North Carolina and Louisville the rest of the way.There was also some built-in home advantage on Sunday, with the Orange having to fly in the day of due to Superstorm Jonas. Boeheim said it was the first time a team of his has ever done that, but deflected that it had any on SU’s play.“They’re very good obviously,” Boeheim said. “And here, I think they’ve lost lost once in three years.”Boeheim was close. Virginia’s home record is 40-3 since the start of the 2013-14 season. Comments Published on January 24, 2016 at 11:17 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse 2. SU’s offense can function without Trevor Cooney, but it can’t do enough to winSyracuse made 13 3s and scored a respectable 65 points against a tough Virginia defense, but Cooney’s eight points stand out on the final box score.Michael Gbinije and Malachi Richardson carried the Orange on offense, scoring 24 and 23 points, respectively, while Cooney shot 3-of-13 from the field and 2-of-8 from 3. Cooney scored 14 points in a win over then-No. 20 Duke on Monday, and led SU in scoring with 25 points in a win at Wake Forest last Saturday.But he’s yet to fully capture consistency this season, as evidenced by his down shooting performance against the Cavaliers. After scoring fewer than 10 points just once in 13 non-conference games, Cooney’s done so three times in eight conference games and it didn’t do his team any favors on Sunday.MORE COVERAGE:Syracuse teases comeback but ultimately falls short in 73-65 loss to VirginiaFast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 73-65 loss to VirginiaThree things Jim Boeheim said after Syracuse’s loss to No. 13 Virginia Katherine Sotelo | Web Designerlast_img

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