acuse ranks 68th in scoring defense (63.3 points per game) and is holding opponents to 28.2% on 3-pointers. Offensively, the Orange are averaging 72.1 points, 16.9 assists and 13.4 turnovers.
A glaring weakness has been on the glass — Syracuse has a rebounding margin of minus-0.7 — and that’s limited the preseason goal of scoring more in transition. Starting center Bourama Sidibe, a 6-foot-10 junior who’s been hampered by injuries his entire career at Syracuse, is averaging 6.8 rebounds, 245th nationally. That’s just ahead of 6-10 forward Marek Dolezaj (5.8), who at 185 pounds can’t cope too well inside against players like Penn State’s Mike Watkins, a double-double machine at 6-9 and 257 pounds. Watkins had 15 points and 16 rebounds in an 85-64 victory over the Orange in the NIT Season Tipoff in Brooklyn as the Nittany Lions outrebounded Syracuse 57-28.
“We can’t rebound the ball and get up the court,” Boeheim said. “You can’t run without getting some rebounding or getting some turnover situations.”