It had been more than 10 months since Syracuse players lost a basketball game. Not since Michigan eliminated the Orange from national title contention last April had SU players experienced defeat. Orange players greeted reporters in the trauma of Wednesday's Boston College loss with honest observations and pragmatic advice. One loss, they said, does not tarnish a 25-0 start to their season. But it does signal the need to explore deficiencies that unbeaten records can sometimes mask. "I would say we're kind of woken up a little bit," SU point guard Tyler Ennis said. "We know now that we're a team that's beatable. We knew that we weren't going to go undefeated. Now we have to just regroup. We have probably our toughest three games on the road that we've had so far. It's an important time and we have to just stay positive." "I don't think we got guys in here that's going to quit on us," SU forward C.J. Fair said. "Everyone in here has lost a game before. You know you have to bounce back. It's not much to be said. We just want to be ready to play on Saturday." Saturday brings the spectre of Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium, a place where the Blue Devils seldom lose. SU forward Jerami Grant likened the environment to Pittsburgh with its comparable claustrophobic crush of enthusiastic students crowding the court. The Orange will work out in the Melo Center today and tomorrow before departing for Durham. SU players said they will employ a bit of selective amnesia for practice today. "I think it's pretty much just like after our wins. We just gotta come in to practice tomorrow ready to go," Ennis said. "Focus on Duke. And approach our loss the same way we approach our wins. Forget about it, but learn from it." "We won a bunch of games, we beat a bunch of good teams," SU guard Trevor Cooney said, "and we just gotta get back to playing how we know how to play. We haven't really done that the last couple of games. We've been lucky to make some good plays toward the end of the stretch and get away with some Ws. Tonight we didn't do that. We gotta get back on page offensively." The Orange has struggled since its first meeting with Duke on Feb. 1 to match the efficient offensive explosion of that game, when SU scored 91 overtime points on 54 shots. (SU was 20-of-62 Wednesday vs. B.C.) The last three games in particular have offered mostly frustration from an offensive perspective. SU sank just 57-of-158 shots in those contests. That's 36 percent. Boston College, the worst statistical defensive team in the ACC, packed the middle on Wednesday and the Orange reacted by sinking 32 percent of its shots. SU converted just 10-of-33 in the second half and overtime period -- mostly against BC's four-guard lineup.
Syracuse basketball attempts to put BC loss aside and focus on Duke
Syracuse.com | Feb 20