Syracuse men’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about South Carolina State

first_imgAs the Brooklyn Holiday Hoops Invitational pushes on, Syracuse enters the third game of the tournament still unbeaten. No. 18 SU (3-0) is set to take on South Carolina State (1-2) in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday at 7 p.m.Here’s everything you need to know about the Bulldogs.All-time series: The Orange and South Carolina State have never playedThe South Carolina State report: The Bulldogs are by far the worst of Syracuse’s four opponents thus far, ranking 320th out of 351 teams on Kenpom.com. They return four starters, and senior guard Eric Eaves paces his team with 15.3 points per game this season. Six-foot-three guard Greg Mortimer is the only other starter averaging double-digit points (12.4). Both players typically look inside for their scoring opportunities. The team as a whole is averaging only four made 3-pointers per game.How South Carolina State beats Syracuse: A good start for the Bulldogs would be SU head coach Jim Boeheim starting his walk-ons. Otherwise, there’s not many avenues toward a win for the visitors. The Bulldogs could go against the scouting report and start shooting 3s, but even then, SU’s opponents have shot only 19 percent from behind the arc. South Carolina State would do well to get the ball out of Frank Howard and John Gillon’s hands. The Orange’s point guards are ranked second and fourth, respectively, among Atlantic Coast Conference players in assists.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhat’s more, according to Kenpom, Howard is assisting 45.2 percent of the field goals made while he’s on the court (ranked 20th in the country), and Gillon is assisting 48.5 percent of made field goals while he’s on the court (ranked 12th in the country).Stat to know: 36.5 percent — James Richardson hasn’t been South Carolina State’s top scoring option, but he’s had the ball in his hand more than almost every player in the country. According to Kenpom, Richardson’s percentage of possessions used is 36.5 percent, 13th highest in the country. This means that more than one-third of the Bulldogs’ possessions are ending in Richardson’s hands, either with a missed shot recovered by the opponent, made shot or turnover. Look for the ball to funnel through the junior guard one way or another.Player to watch: Eric Eaves, point guard, No. 22The senior point guard is coming off an 18-point performance against South Carolina on Friday, a team-high in the Bulldogs’ 42-point loss. He’s attempted only 10 3-pointers all year. He’ll need a heroic performance to give South Carolina State a chance in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 22, 2016 at 12:39 am Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossmanlast_img

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