7:00 PM ET, March 4, 2014
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
While late-season struggles cost Syracuse a chance at the ACC title, the status of the team's top rebounder may be a bigger concern right now.With Jerami Grant ailing from a nagging injury, No. 7 Syracuse will try to bounce back from its most lopsided defeat of the season by sending Georgia Tech to its fifth straight Tuesday night.The Orange (26-3, 13-3) have lost three of four after reeling off 25 straight wins to start the season, rising to the top of the AP poll. They're not even the top team in their conference after falling 75-56 to then-No. 12 Virginia on Saturday, a loss that gave the ACC championship to the Cavaliers."This is the first game all year that we have been out of the game," coach Jim Boeheim said.Part of the problem for Boeheim's team Saturday was a 39-29 rebounding disadvantage. Grant, who has been bothered by injuries throughout the season and is now dealing with an ailing back, was limited to one rebound and no points in 13 minutes against Virginia.The sophomore forward averages 11.8 points and a team-high 6.7 boards."Jerami is a key part of this team. You can't really replace Jerami Grant in the low post," guard Tyler Ennis said.Regardless of Grant's status, Syracuse will likely need to show improvement from the field. The Orange turned in one of their worst performances of the season Saturday, connecting on 35.7 percent from the floor -- 5 for 22 from beyond the arc.They're making just 36.7 percent of their shots and 24.2 from long range over the past four games, a dramatic drop from their 44.1 and 34.0 percentages on the season.Trevor Cooney is averaging 7.5 points over the past four games, while converting on just 10 of 38 field goals, including 6 of 29 3-pointers. The sophomore guard is second on the team with 12.8 points per game after scoring 12 against Virginia.Cooney and the Orange could be poised for an improved effort since Georgia Tech (13-16, 4-12) is allowing an average of 69.6 points and 48.0 percent shooting over the past five games.The Yellow Jackets' struggles continued with poor performances at both ends of the court in Sunday's 81-71 loss at Florida State. Georgia Tech surrendered 52.4 percent from the floor and shot 36.2 percent, including 5 of 27 from 3-point range."We have a couple guys who have to do a better job. We have to guard the triple," coach Brian Gregory said. "I like the way the guys continue to battle."We need to build on some of the positives. Offensive rebounding is going to be big against Syracuse, or transition defense is going to be big."Robert Carter Jr. has been a bright spot of late, scoring 20 points against the Seminoles after getting 19 in a 65-62 loss at Notre Dame on Wednesday in his first start in two months.Georgia Tech and Syracuse have split four all-time meetings, with the Orange winning the most recent 80-76 in the finale of the Legends Classic in Atlantic City, N.J. on Nov. 27, 2010.The Yellow Jackets have lost 15 of 16 against ranked opponents, including all four meetings this season.
|Avg Points Allowed||66.8||59.5|
|» Mar 4, 2014||GT 67, @SYR 62||Recap|
Syracuse has shot 40 percent or worse from the field in each of its last 6 games. Prior to this stretch in the last 15 seasons, the Orange never had a streak longer than 3 straight games shooting 40 percent or worse.
* Syracuse has lost 4 of the last 5, after winning 25 of the first 25.[+]
Syracuse This Season
Syracuse's late-season slide sounds familiar...but at least the end result was good last year[+]
Syracuse Last 2 Seasons
Syracuse loses back-to-back HOME games vs teams that entered the game under .500 for the first time since January 1968 when it lost to 5-7 Connecticut and 7-8 Niagara. Jim Boeheim was NOT on the Syracuse sideline; he was averaging 20.8 PPG with Scranton in the Eastern League (was hired as a graduate assistant by Syracuse in 1969 after graduating in 1966).
Syracuse's last two home games have been head-scratching losses. On Feb. 19, despite having 98.8 percent chance of winning the game according to BPI, the Orange fell in double-overtime to Boston College. Tonight, Syracuse had a 96.1 percent chance of winning but were upset by Georgia Tech.[+]
Syracuse Orange - Last 2 Home Games
After Tuesday's loss vs Georgia Tech, Syracuse has now scored 1.0 points per possession or fewer in six straight games dating back to its comeback win over NC State. In its first 24 games of the season, its offense scored that poorly just twice.
ESPN Stats & Information