SU opens at home vs. Col­gate

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS -

Two ex­hi­bi­tion wins are in the books for No. 19 Syra­cuse. Now, the games count.

The Or­ange be­gin the new sea­son on Fri­day night in the Car­rier Dome against fa­mil­iar up­state New York foe Col­gate. This will be the 169th meet­ing be­tween the teams, and the Raiders are look­ing for their first vic­tory in the se­ries since a 72-60 win at home in Jan­uary 1962. Syra­cuse fin­ished 2-22 that sea­son un­der coach Marc Gu­ley.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to it a lot,” said Syra­cuse new­comer Andrew White, a trans­fer from Ne­braska. “Look­ing across the locker room, we’ve got a lot of guys that can help this team. We can make it some­thing spe­cial if we do what we’re sup­posed to do. It all starts Fri­day.”

Col­gate has four starters and 13 let­ter-win­ners back from last year’s team, which fin­ished 13-17 over­all and 9-9 in Pa­triot League play. The Raiders re­turn 68.3 per­cent of their point pro­duc­tion, led by ju­niors Jor­dan Swop­shire and Tom Ri­vard, who av­er­aged 10.6 and 10.5 points per game, re­spec­tively. Swop­shire shot 43.8 per­cent from be­yond the arc and cor­ralled a team-high 140 re­bounds.

“The re­turn­ing play­ers are all a year older,” said Col­gate coach Matt Lan­gel, who en­ters his sixth sea­son. “With that comes more ap­pre­ci­a­tion for and un­der­stand­ing of the op­por­tu­ni­ties ahead. I have been im­pressed with the to­geth­er­ness and com­pet­i­tive na­ture of the group.”

White led the Or­ange with 24 points in a 97-64 ex­hi­bi­tion win over crosstown foe Le Moyne on Tues­day night. Fresh­man Tyus Bat­tle added 17 points, two steals, two re­bounds and two as­sists off the bench against the Di­vi­sion II Dol­phins, while John Gil­lon, a trans­fer from Colorado State, had 14 points and Frank Howard 11. Tyler Ly­don pulled down 10 re­bounds, five of­fen­sive and five de­fen­sive.

Syra­cuse de­feated In­di­ana (Pa.) Univer­sity 83-65 last week in its first ex­hi­bi­tion game. Bat­tle led the Or­ange with 16 points and Ly­don had 12 points and 10 re­bounds.

“Over­all, you want to get some­thing out of these ex­hi­bi­tion games,” Or­ange coach Jim Boe­heim said. “I thought we got a lot out of it. We’ve had two re­ally good games that I think will help us. You can learn from these games.”

Last sea­son, Syra­cuse strug­gled while deal­ing with a nine-game sus­pen­sion im­posed on Boe­heim for NCAA vi­o­la­tions but turned it up in the post­sea­son, ad­vanc­ing to the Fi­nal Four for the sec­ond time in four sea­sons. The Or­ange lost in the na­tional semi­fi­nals to North Carolina, fin­ish­ing the sea­son 23-14 and 9-9 in At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence play.

Syra­cuse re­turns two starters, se­nior for­ward Tyler Rober­son (8.8 points per game, 8.5 re­bounds per game) and red­shirt se­nior cen­ter DaJuan Cole­man (4.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg). Miss­ing from the lineup are the top three scor­ers from last year, in­clud­ing a pair of NBA draft picks in Michael Gbinije (17.5 ppg) and Malachi Richard­son (13.4). Trevor Cooney (12.9) also grad­u­ated.

“We lost three guys who could re­ally shoot,” Boe­heim said. “We were for­tu­nate to get Andrew. I think we’ve got more than enough shoot­ing.”

Boe­heim opted to red­shirt 6-foot-8, 220-pound fresh­man Matthew Moyer, who has the phys­i­cal length to fit nicely into the Or­ange’s trade­mark 2-3 zone de­fense. Moyer missed sub­stan­tial time dur­ing the sum­mer suf­fer­ing from a toe in­jury and played nine min­utes in the first ex­hi­bi­tion game, miss­ing his only shot and snar­ing two re­bounds.

“He missed so much time. He got out of shape and he’s still not in shape,” Boe­heim said.

“It would take him an­other month to get in shape, and by that time we’re go­ing to have four or five games. He wouldn’t be ready to play. He’d waste all that time.”

CHAR­LIE RIEDEL — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

In this file photo, Kansas’ Andrew White III grabs a re­bound dur­ing the first half of an NCAA col­lege bas­ket­ball game against Tow­son in Lawrence, Kan. White be­gan his col­lege bas­ket­ball ca­reer at Kansas, played a sea­son at Ne­braska and will wrap it up at Syra­cuse.

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