Syra­cuse

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS -

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.”

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