After 25 games, No.1 Syracuse remains undefeated and in control of the Atlantic Coast Conference in its freshman season as a member.
Syracuse (25-0, 12-0 ACC) has just six games left on its schedule before the ACC tournament begins and will be tested on the road with four of those six games being away from the Carrier Dome.
Whether on the road or at home, the Orange have managed to handle their opponents, albeit a little closer than coach Jim Boeheim would like, especially in the last week.
The Orange needed a desperation three from Tyler Ennis as time expired to overcome the Pittsburgh Panthers, 58-56, and barely came away with a win against North Carolina State after forcing a few turnovers and getting a goaltending call in their favor in the waning seconds to eke out a 56-55 victory.
Luckily for Syracuse, the team has shown an ability to stay calm under pressure. As the clock ticks, the Orange’s defense becomes tighter and tighter and they’ve shown an incredible ability to finish games.
Having a perfect record, however, does not mean the Orange are perfect. At the moment, they are only playing six men, as DaJuan Coleman has been lost for the season due to a knee injury and Baye Keita is nursing a sprained knee. The Orange offense has been efficient, but tends to disappear at times, which forces the team to dig itself out of holes.
Syracuse hasn’t encountered a deficit it couldn’t overcome but road games against Duke and Virginia loom where the basketball gods may not be so charitable.
We do have a clear picture of the makeup of the Orange. They play stifling defense, capitalize on mistakes and have enough skill players that off nights by different players are made up for by strong nights from others.
We will now take a deeper look at the Orange and how their play will look going forward.