After suffering their first ACC loss of the season, Notre Dame basketball heads back to South Bend looking for a win against Syracuse.
As strange as it may seem, Syracuse has become a nonfactor in the ACC this season. At 11-8 and 3-3 in the conference, the Orange have shown little resilience to opponents.
After suffering their first conference loss of the season to Florida State, Notre Dame is not looking to take it easy on Syracuse. In a season they had complete control over, the Irish now need to keep winning in order to stay tied first in the ACC.
This game shouldn’t be much of a struggle for the Irish. Syracuse hasn’t been able to even stay competitive against some of the top teams in the country. While the Irish have made it clear they’re no joke this season.
The Irish have two major matchups to worry about. Bonzie Colson guarding Tyler Lydon, and Steve Vasturia squaring off with Andrew White III. Besides that, Matt Farrell can handle freshman, Tyus Battle, and as hyped as Tyler Roberson was coming into the season, he isn’t a threat.
Although Lydon is one of the more talented underclassmen in the country, he won’t be very competitive against Colson. Lydon isn’t used much as a post scorer. For the most part, he scores from the top of the box and focuses on more mid ranged shooting then post moves.
What Colson will be able to do with Lydon is bring him outside. Although Lydon scores primarily from mid-range, he isn’t very athletic. Colson should be able to draw him out near the three-point line and use his quickness to drive by him.
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On the boards, Colson’s 10.7 rebounds per game shouldn’t be hard to maintain against the Orange’s post play.
In the backcourt, Steve Vasturia will be the man in charge of slowing White. Leading Syracuse with 15.8 points per contest, White is one of the only bright spots on this team. The 6’7 senior has made his impact felt during his only season with the Orange. But Vasturia should be able to compete in scoring.
Averaging 15.2 points per game, Vasturia has found his stride as of late. Against a weak defensive team and with the number of shooters Notre Dame has, Vasturia will find open looks all game. If Matt Farrell and V.J. Beachem find their stroke as well, the Irish can run away with this game early.
This isn’t much a contest for the Irish. Notre Dame has Syracuse outmatched in every aspect. They’ll likely spread everyone out and make Syracuse guard their shooting. Which in the Orange’s zone is nearly impossible when everyone is hot.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame runs away with this one, 85-69.
Notre Dame will have no trouble winning. First, this game is in South Bend. Second, the Irish just lost their first ACC game in a close matchup with FSU. And third, Syracuse has two players who can try and make this difficult for the Irish.
Once they begin to find their stride, this game will be over. Notre Dame is going to come into this one angry and looking for redemption. Well, lucky for them, Syracuse is the team to win big against in the ACC.
Don’t expect this to be Virginia Tech or Clemson where the Irish let them hang around. Notre Dame has Syracuse outmatched in everything, and it’ll show right from tip-off.
Notre Dame should be able to end Syracuse’s hoax on them and should give the seniors their first win over the Orange.