5 keys for Syracuse to avoid an upset against Miami

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm Contact Trevor: [email protected] | @TrevorHass No. 2 Syracuse faces Miami for the second time this season on Saturday. Here are five keys for the Orange to remain undefeated:1. Get some production from the bench Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant all played 40 minutes in Syracuse’s 59-54 win over Pittsburgh last Saturday. With DaJuan Coleman officially ruled out for the season and Jerami Grant officially moving to the starting lineup, SU’s bench becomes even thinner. The Orange doesn’t need Baye Moussa Keita, Michael Gbinije or Tyler Roberson to score 20; it just needs those three to provide quality minutes and take some of the burden off the starters.2. Find Trevor Cooney for in-rhythm shots early in the game Cooney has hit just 24 percent of his 3s the last three games. Ennis and Co. need to find him early in the game for good looks. If he gets going, that’s one more player Miami will need to worry about. He doesn’t need to shoot lights-out for Syracuse to be effective, but he needs to at least pose a threat from downtown.3. Push the ball This year’s Syracuse team relies on the fast break a lot less than teams in the past. Against Miami, though, the Orange should push the ball as much as possible. The Hurricanes want to slow the pace down, which is exactly what they did when they nearly upset Syracuse back on Jan. 4. The Orange won that game 49-44, but it could have gone either way. SU shouldn’t have a problem beating Miami if Ennis ignites the fast-break offense and looks for Grant and Fair for some high-flying finishes in transition.4. Pressure Manu Lecomte into turnovers The Belgium native is only 18 and has been up and down this season. He’s shown tremendous potential, but has also struggled to keep hold of the ball. Lecomte turned the rock over six times in Miami’s 67-46 loss to Duke on Wednesday. He’s still learning the intricacies of the point guard position. Syracuse steals the ball 9.5 times per game, and needs to make Lecomte’s life miserable Saturday afternoon.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text5. Consistently rebound the ball The Orange is outrebounding its opponents by more than four per game this season, but its production on the glass was shoddy on Saturday against the Panthers. SU was manhandled on the boards. Pitt outrebounded Syracuse 35-24 overall and 16-4 on the offensive glass. Pittsburgh’s a very good rebounding team, and Talib Zanna and Lamar Patterson are relentless, but Syracuse needs to make a concerted effort to limit Miami’s second chances so that the exception against Pitt doesn’t become the norm. Commentslast_img read more