MBB : Syracuse vs. Iona preview

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm After a full week of rest, Syracuse (10-0) will return to the Carrier Dome Saturday to take on a red-hot Iona (7-3) team that has reeled off seven straight victories.‘It’s really nice,’ freshman forward C.J. Fair said of the team’s undefeated start after its win over Colgate last weekend. ‘But we still have a lot of work to do. A lot of good teams are coming up on our schedule, so we just have to continue the good work.’Syracuse is coming off tying its highest margin of victory under head coach Jim Boeheim with a 57-point victory over Colgate last Saturday. With three nonconference games left, the Orange is looking to get off to a perfect start heading into the Big East schedule for the second consecutive season.Here’s a look at how SU matches up with Iona:POINT GUARDScoop JardineAdvertisementThis is placeholder text6-2, 195, JR, 13.2 PPG, 6.2 APGJermel Jenkins5-11, 185, JR, 12.1 PPG, 3.8 APGJenkins is the start of a Gaels starting five which rarely exits the game. All five of the Gaels starters are averaging at least 28 minutes per game. Syracuse, in comparison, has three players averaging more than 28 minutes. One of which is Jardine (30.1) and because of his length he has a huge advantage here over Jenkins.SHOOTING GUARDBrandon Triche6-4, 205, SO, 8.6 PPG, 3.1 APGScott Machado6-1, 180, JR, 13.7 PPG, 8.0 APGDespite struggles throughout the first ten games of the season, Triche has a better shooting percentage than both Joseph and Jardine at 40 percent. Machado has been a better shooter statistically on the year than Triche, but once again, the size of Syracuse will prevail easily as Triche physically towers over Machado.SMALL FORWARDKris Joseph6-7, 210, JR, 13.1 PPG, 4.9 RPGKyle Smyth6-4, 185, SO, 12.8 PPG, 2.2 RPGSmyth is the sharpshooter for the Gaels, shooting at a 45 percent clip from 3. But he is a constant no-show in the physical aspects of the game, evidenced by his 2.2 rebounds per game. The story is getting old, but the Orange has a size advantage here, and Kris Joseph will have a field day around the basket versus a shooting guard inhabiting the small forward position for the Gaels.POWER FORWARDRick Jackson6-9, 240, SR., 14.0 PPG, 12.5 RPGMike Glover6-7, 215, JR., 22.1 PPG, 9.6 RPGThis should be the key matchup in the game, with SU’s best player through 10 games facing Iona’s top player. Glover scores and rebounds but does give up some size to Jackson, who has been dominating opponents in the paint so far this season.CENTERFab Melo7-0, 244, FR., 2.1 PPG, 2.2 RPGAlejo Rodriguez6-8, 235, SR., 6.3 PPG, 7.6 RPGThough Melo has easily been the least productive of SU’s starters, Rodriguez has been very efficient for Iona this season. He’s Iona’s only starter not averaging double figures in points, but he rebounds the ball well and shoots the ball at a 62 percent clip.COACHJim Boeheim839-293, 34 seasonsTime Cluess7-3, 1st seasonBoeheim has the clear advantage here in terms of experience, but Cluess currently has Iona on a seven-game winning streak and appears to have the Gaels on the right path. Boeheim is finally starting to see his squad reach its potential with two big wins in its last two games.FREE THROWSIona will be coming to the Carrier Dome for the first time in 27 years in Saturday’s games.The two teams’ latest matchup was in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament, when No. 5 seed SU took on the No. 12 Gaels. The Orange prevailed, 63-61.STAT TO KNOWSyracuse’s defense is giving up 57.2 points per game, good for 19th in the nation.BIG NUMBER34Minutes per game averaged thus far by Rick Jackson. Through 10 games last season, he was averaging 23.9 minutes per game.FORTUNE COOKIE: Gael-forced winsBEAT WRITER PREDICTIONSAndrew L. JohnSyracuse 95, Iona 56A week off shouldn’t slow down Syracuse in this one.Brett LoGiuratoSyracuse 82, Iona 58Despite seven straight wins, Iona is not worthy.Tony OliveroSyracuse 77, Iona 50This may be the first game where some start to appreciate the depth SU has, due to the lack of depth of the Gaels.— Compiled by The Daily Orange Sports staffcenter_img Commentslast_img

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