Opponent preview: What to know about Colgate

first_imgAfter a historically poor 34-point showing against Virginia, Syracuse (0-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) starts its nonconference schedule against Colgate on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The last time SU started a season with a loss, it etched out a four-point win over Rhode Island in 2003. In Orange head coach Jim Boeheim’s 44 years at the helm, he’s never started 0-2. Colgate (1-1), meanwhile, enters off its first loss of the season to Clemson.Here’s what to know about the Raiders ahead of the matchup.Gambling Odds: As of Wednesday night, Syracuse is a 10.5-point favorite, with a total of 137, according to Pinnacle.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 126-45Last time they played: The Orange defeated the Raiders, 77-56, on Nov. 21, 2018, as Tyus Battle scored 24. Oshae Brissett and Elijah Hughes posted 17 each and Bourama Sidibe reached double-digit points for the only time in the 2018-19 campaign. SU went into halftime only up three, but a 42-point second half effort, keyed by a 22-3 run, was enough for Syracuse’s 53rd straight-victory against Colgate. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJordan Burns and Will Rayman led the way for the visitors, adding 13 each with six 3s combined. Starter and eventual Patriot League player of the year Rapolas Ivanauskas totaled five points and five rebounds on 2-of-9 shooting. More than half of the Raiders points (36) came via the 3-ball, but they missed 12 of their last 13. The Colgate report: The Raiders cruised through the back-half of their Patriot League schedule in 2018-19, winning eight-straight and then three more for the conference title. In the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, Colgate lost 77-70 to Tennessee. The 15th-seeded Raiders trailed by as few as three with two minutes left but the Volunteers pulled away. Then a sophomore, Burns scored 32 points following eight 3-pointers. In their first game this season, they hosted and beat the New Jersey Institute of Technology by five. On Nov. 10, they lost at Clemson, 81-68. Colgate hasn’t beaten an ACC team since toppling Syracuse on Feb. 24, 1962. Colgate only graduated one senior, center Dana Batt. The Raiders have a seven-to-nine player rotation that relies on mostly Ivanauskas and Rayman. In two games, they’ve averaged 36.5 points per game combined. Burns is still a factor too, now paired with junior transfer Nelly Cummings.How Syracuse beats Colgate: For Syracuse to prevent a second-straight loss, it’ll have to first score more than freshman Cole Anthony individually did in his debut for North Carolina. The Orange won’t be facing another pack line defense, instead hosting one that allowed 75 points to non-power 5 NJIT. Colgate’s opponents are converting 30% of their 3-pointers and 48.8% of all field goals, so Syracuse should be able to create looks. The talent-disparity between the Raiders and the reigning-national champions should make it easier for Hughes, Buddy Boeheim and others to win one-on-one matchups. If the Orange can blow past the Raiders, then more shooters should get open along the perimeter. Defensively, it’ll come down to Syracuse’s guards initially stopping Burns. He does it all, averaging 12.5 points, five assists and four rebounds in two games. He sparks the offense, and like all of Colgate’s starters, he can shoot from three. In its debut, SU held UVA to 48 points with the 2-3 zone limiting shooters. But the Cavaliers turned inside, and the margin ballooned. If SU’s young guards can run Burns, Rayman and others off the arc, the Raiders may look to their frontcourt for an edge. It’ll then be on Syracuse’s forwards to prevent Ivanauskas from taking over. Stat to know: 35.8 — The Raiders team 3-point percentage. Colgate has converted almost many deep balls (14) as free throws (20) through 80 minutes. KenPom odds: Syracuse has been given a 81% chance to win. The projected final score is a 73-63 SU.Player to watch: Rapolas Ivanauskas, Forward No. 25Ivanauskas transferred to Colgate prior to his junior season and was recently named to the Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award watchlist. The Lithuanian forward has had double-digit points in 12 of his last 13 games, the only deviancy in the NCAA Tournament matchup when he sat out the second half with an injury. Comments Published on November 13, 2019 at 3:23 am Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nick_a_alvarez Facebook Twitter Google+last_img