MBB : No luck on shooting from Flynn, Greene
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The conventional wisdom regarding the Syracuse offense was that Jonny Flynn and Donte Greene would need to do most of the scoring for SU to win.
That proved false for at least one night Wednesday. Syracuse left DePaul with a win despite Flynn and Greene netting a combined 20 points on 7-for-26 shooting, including 1-for-11 from 3-point range.
The duo, whom DePaul head coach Jerry Wainwright coached this summer at the U-19 World Championship in Serbia, came into the game the second-highest freshman scoring tandem in the nation (33.8 points per game) behind Kansas State’s Michael Beasley and Jacob Pullen.
‘When teams don’t shoot the ball well from the 3-point line its going to be a tough night,’ Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. ‘This was just one of those nights where both teams got good looks from the 3 … when you don’t shoot well, it’s tough.’
But besides not scoring, Greene also found himself in foul trouble. He committed his fourth foul leaping for a rebound at the 10:17 mark. Yet with Greene out, Syracuse found its stride, turning a three-point deficit when he left to a three-point lead by the time he reentered with 5:23 left.
His fill-in Rick Jackson did admirably, scoring a basket and tossing two key assists down low to Arinze Onuaku for four of the center’s 22 points. Boeheim said Jackson’s assists were ‘huge plays’ down the stretch for the Orange.
Meanwhile Flynn, who after another full 40 minutes tonight has played every second of SU’s past three contests, seemed less intent on scoring. Instead, he focused on exposing the fact that the Blue Demons preoccupied themselves with guarding SU’s perimeter players and didn’t make efforts to double-team Onuaku down low.
‘When (Arinze) comes out as aggressive and as hungry, you just see the look in his eyes,’ Flynn said. ‘I didn’t even have to shoot it like that unless they’re double-teaming him down there.’
Ongenaet on the spot
Boeheim will admit that Kristof Ongenaet brings a solid rebounding presence to the Orange lineup.
But that’s about it.
‘He looked very uncomfortable trying to figure out what to do,’ Boeheim said, ‘But he’s a good rebounder and he just hasn’t quite figured out what else to do for us yet.’
Despite Boeheim’s critique, the junior college transfer found his way to contribute offensively Wednesday night with a key field goal down the stretch. Ongenaet, starting in his second game since the suspension of Scoop Jardine, tipped in a Greene miss at the 3:01 mark to give SU a slight cushion, 54-49.
Indeed, for long stretches of Wednesday game, Ongenaet appeared lost on the offensive half of the court, scoring just six points in 34 minutes to go along with nine rebounds.
But with one tip-in, he contributed all the offense he needed.
‘He got a big, big, putback there,’ Boeheim said. ‘He’s a rebounder, that’s what he does. And I think he’ll get better as he gets a little more comfortable.’
Not so foul line
Against Georgetown, free throws proved to be a big part of Syracuse’s undoing. The Orange missed 5-of-7 foul shots in overtime and lost to the Hoyas by two, 64-62.
Wednesday proved to be the exact opposite for the Orange, as free throws played a vital role in the win.
Syracuse, which came into the game ranked 14th in the Big East in free-throw shooting, went 15-of-19 from the line, including a few key ones down the stretch.
Four of those clutch free throws came from Paul Harris, who hit 4-of-5 in the last 10 minutes, including a pair with 31.8 seconds left to make it 58-53 and seal the Orange victory.
‘That’s basketball, you live for those types of moments,’ Harris said of his game-clinching shots. ‘I just hit them.’
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