MBB : 3 ways to defend home court
Get points from Jonny Flynn
Scoring doesn’t normally appear at the top of Jonny Flynn’s job description. Typically, the point guard sets up other players to score.
But with Eric Devendorf and his 17 points per game on the shelf after he tore his ACL Dec. 15, Flynn’s point production will be key for the Orange as it hits the heart of its Big East schedule.
Flynn has averaged 16 points per game in SU’s six wins since Devendorf’s injury, versus just 20 total points on 6-of-25 combined in the Orange’s two losses to Cincinnati and West Virginia last week. On Wednesday, his 24 points jump-started an SU offense.
Flynn should be freed up to score if Scoop Jardine continues to pick up the slack in the assist category. He registered seven in Wednesday’s 81-59 defeat of Rutgers.
In that game, SU head coach Jim Boeheim implored Flynn to forget about looking for assists and score. That same approach could make a difference for Flynn and the Syracuse offense on Saturday.
- John Clayton, Asst. Sports Editor
Before Big East play began, the maturation of Arinze Onuaku was a novelty. The offensive production from the burly center was impressive, sure, but everyone wondered: How could he hold up in the Big East?
After five games, it’s clear Syracuse needs Onuaku’s offense to be successful in the conference. And it’s possible there hasn’t been this much pressure on a Syracuse big man to score in nearby a decade.
In SU’s three wins during conference play, Onuaku has been a factor. He’s averaging 16 points per game on 21-of-28 shooting. That’s right- he’s shooting 75 percent from the field in the Orange’s three wins.
It’s not that Onuaku hasn’t been shooting the ball inefficiently in Syracuse’s losses. He’s 8-for-14 in the two losses, but he’s been dramatically less involved in the offense. Against Cincinnati, Onuaku struggled against a double team. He took only two shots in 26 minutes.
Syracuse needs to keep getting Onuaku open looks down low. He’s become too good a scoring option not to.
– Matt Gelb, Sports Editor
Contain Scottie Reynolds
If there’s one other Big East coach (besides Villanova’s Jay Wright) that knows Scottie Reynolds well, it’s Jim Boeheim.
After all, this summer Reynolds tried out for the USA Pan American Games team. And Boeheim, as the chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Collegiate Committee, was one of the coaches making the cuts.
Boeheim must have liked what he saw. Reynolds, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, made the team over Kansas’ Mario Chalmers, Tennessee’s Chris Lofton and even SU’s Eric Devendorf.
So far this season, Reynolds has proven he belongs among the nation’s top players, averaging 17 points and 4.3 assists per game.
In a loss to Cincinnati on Jan. 12, Reynolds scored 32 points on 11-of-22 shooting. And against DePaul on Wednesday, Reynolds hit a game-clinching 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to finish with 21 points.
Syracuse will need to keep constant watch on the speedy guard. And while Boeheim knows Reynolds’ strengths, he’ll have to figure out his weaknesses.
- Zach Schonbrun, Asst. Sports Editor
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