Syracuse Basketball: Orange Poised for a Big Week

Sam Stryker@sbstrykerContributor IIIFebruary 18, 2013

Michael Carter-Williams leads the high-octane Syracuse Orange offense.
Michael Carter-Williams leads the high-octane Syracuse Orange offense.Nate Shron/Getty Images

With two games this week at home in the Carrier Dome, the No. 8 Syracuse Orange are slated to bounce back from a week that saw them fall two spots in the AP poll. 

Syracuse is set to take on Providence on Wednesday and then No. 11 Georgetown in a showdown between two of the top-ranked teams in the Big East. 

Last week, the then-No. 6 Orange were upset by the unranked UConn Huskies on the road 66-58 before rebounding against Seton Hall 76-65.

Expect Syracuse to continue to bounce back this week in Big East play. 

Here's a look at this week's opponents:


The Orange should have no problem Wednesday against Providence. Though the Friars gave then-No. 21 fits Saturday when they went for the upset against the Irish, Syracuse will be ready for scrappy Providence. 

The Friars are just 6-7 in league play and 14-11 overall, and struggle on offense. They rank 153rd in the nation at 68.1 points per game and an abysmal 227th with a .421 field-goal percentage. 

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Meanwhile, Syracuse dominates the boards, averaging 40.2 per game which is good for 11th in the nation. Jim Boeheim’s team should easily be able to handle the Friars and cruise to a victory at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday. 


The Hoyas will present more of a challenge for the Orange. Georgetown and Syracuse have matching 9-3 league records, tied for best in the Big East, so a lot could be on the line during Saturday’s contest. 

But senior guard Brandon Triche, sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams and junior forward C.J. Fair form a three-headed monster that Georgetown will have trouble responding to. 

Triche leads the team in scoring with 14.9 points per game and adds 3.7 assists per game to the equation. Carter-Williams is the motor to the Syracuse offense, averaging a team-leading 8.0 assists per game and throws in 12.6 points per game for good measure. 

Meanwhile, Fair adds 14.0 points per game and a team-leading 7.2 boards per game.

Combined, the three players should give the Hoyas defense fits Saturday night. Georgetown is not a high-scoring team and doesn’t rebound well, so the high-octane Syracuse offense should keep things moving at an uncomfortable pace for the Hoyas in the Carrier Dome.

The Orange have a lot to prove against Georgetown and should come out flying. With two such favorable matchups slated for this week, expect Syracuse to surge.

All stats via ESPN