College basketball has a problem it has never figured out: things start to get a bit interesting and then the exam period and Christmas force a huge level of disruption. Getting started up again, or at least getting back in a good groove, is not easy.
And that’s at least partly why we see games like Monmouth at Syracuse.
Monmouth, which competes in the Colonial, came in at 1-9 and leaves at 1-10. They’re just not very good.
Coached by former UNC star King Rice (who is assisted by fellow former Heel Brian Reese), the Hawks hung around for about 25 minutes before the Orange began to squeeze them out.
Freshman Judah Mintz, who is averaging 14.1 ppg and 3.9 apg, led the way in this one with 24 points, including hitting 11-12 from the free thrown line. Too early to be sure, but he looks like a solid bet for the ACC All-Rookie team.
Jesse Edwards, who Patrick Ewing somewhat ludicrously compared to himself after the Georgetown-Syracuse game (he’s good but not that good), had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Orange won their fourth straight.
Syracuse is clearly near the end of the Jim Boeheim era, which has lasted for an astonishing 48 years, since the Carter Administration, and things have not gone well the last few years.
Nonetheless, more than 19,000 Orange fans showed up.
As most older coaches tend to do, Boeheim is fading at the end. But the passion for Syracuse basketball endures. And when he finally does call it a career, the infrastructure for a powerful program will remain and will be reinvented by someone else.
A bit more action on Tuesday as Florida State gets a shot at win #3 as South Carolina Upstate visits, Furman, usually a dangerous team out of the Southern Conference buses up to Raleigh to take on the Pack, the Citadel also departs the Palmetto State for the Triangle, in their case to play UNC and Stonehill makes the relatively short trek to play at Boston College.
Honestly, we don’t know the first thing about Stonehill, but it turns out Providence coach Ed Cooley went there.
Tuesday’s ACC Action
- Furman @ NC State || 6:30 PM || ACCN
- The Citadel @ UNC || 7:00 PM ||
- South Carolina Upstate @ Florida State || 8:30 PM || ACCN
- Stonehill @ Boston College || 7:00 || ESPN+/ACCNX
- Syracuse basketball overcomes sluggish start, pulls away from Monmouth
- Syracuse basketball pulls away from Monmouth for 4th-straight win
- Despite 86-71 win, Syracuse’s poor defensive effort allows Monmouth to hang in
- Syracuse extends win streak, but it’s a struggle
- Fizz Report Card: Syracuse Evades Early Trouble, Eases Past Monmouth 86-71