The Syracuse Orange struggled to score the ball last year to say the least, as they relied upon their stifling defense to keep them in games late. Their lack of shooting turned them into an isolation-based offense, and their lack of depth made it relatively easy to prepare for what their offense would show.
The Orange are returning a lot of their impact players from last year, and with a few new additions, the Syracuse offense can return to dominating and helping its defense, rather than getting stagnant late in games.
There will be a lot of dribble penetration from the perimeter
The lack of big men who can score with their back to the basket on the Syracuse roster leaves them relying on their perimeter players to generate the bulk of the offense. Frank Howard, Tyus Battle, and Oshae Brissett have what it takes to get to the rim on their own, but it’ll be their ability to find the open teammate that sets this team apart.
While their ability to get in the lane will be needed to help them score, that perimeter trio will also need to help generate offense for others if they want to see this team take that next step.
Even more pick and rolls
With last year’s lack of impact big men, the Orange used the pick and roll to generate space on offense—a lot. With even more talented wing players next year, you can expect the Orange to use the same high-volume pick and roll offensive system throughout the year.
Howard’s ability to find the open teammate off of the pick and roll will make it even more effective with the increased number of shooters he has playing with him.
Yes, an exclamation mark is needed next to the word shooting due to the lack of it the Orange had last year. The Orange found a way to win some big games with minimal perimeter shooting last year, but with Elijah Hughes and Jalen Carey now in the picture, the penetrating guards will have capable shooters to kick the ball out to.
With an off season to focus on improvement, Howard, Battle, and Brissett should come into next season with improved three-point shots. This team has what it takes to make a deeper run than last year’s in March, but it can become a historic one if they are able to get, and stay, hot from deep.