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Bremer: Opening win & first 2017 commitment headline weekend for Orange basketball

Even by his standards, Jim Boeheim has to be happy with the way the weekend turned out for his basketball program.

Syracuse men’s basketball kicked off the 2016-2017 season by notching an 83-55 win over Colgate on Friday night. It was an impressive outing for the #19 Orange, with the continuing story of the early season being their new faces and immense depth. Even with poor offensive performances from Tyler Lydon and Tyus Battle, the rest of the rotation more than picked up the slack. In perhaps the brightest spot of the game, the point guard tandem of Frank Howard and John Gillon combined for 24 points, 15 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 turnovers. The two-headed attack paced the offense with their steady play all night.

In both their regular season SU debuts, Graduate transfer Andrew White III’s 17 points made up for fellow shooting guard Tyus Battle’s meager 6 points in 23 minutes. As mentioned above, Tyler Lydon had a shaky start to the season with 2 points on 1-6 shooting.

Down low, Tyler Roberson, DaJuan Coleman, Paschal Chukwu, and Taurean Thompson all battled for significant minutes in the paint. Roberson lead the team in scoring with 18 points at power forward, and the true freshman Thompson impressed once again, particularly with a strong defensive presence in his 18 minutes on the floor. Between the two centers expected to split time, DaJuan Coleman and Paschal Chukwu combined for just 32 minutes, still finding their place on this new look squad. Even with their early season adjustments, the Orange were sharp enough to cruise to victory against the Raiders. They will take on Holy Cross this Tuesday, 11/15 in the Dome for a 7:00 tipoff.

Less than 24 hours after the win, class of 2017 target Oshae Brissett announced his college destination during halftime of the Knicks vs. Raptors game Saturday night. Brissett chose the Orange while seated next to Raptors broadcaster and former SU great Leo Rautins. The 6’8” forward from Toronto also had offers from Oregon, Oklahoma, and UCLA.

In other recruiting news, Quade Green, perhaps Syracuse’s top priority target for the class of 2017, will announce his college decision on Saturday, 11/19. Syracuse was among the first to start recruiting the five star point guard from Philadelphia a few years back. He was on hand for the Orange Madness event in October, and was also at the Colgate game on an unofficial visit. Green hails from Neumann-Goretti High School, the same as former Orange stars Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson. Jardine, who was also at the Colgate game, found Green in the stands took a seat next to him.

With the 2016-2017 season officially underway, expectations are through the roof. While much remains to be seen about how the season will play out, there’s one thing we know holds true: Jim Boeheim still thinks his team has room for improvement.

Keith Bremer is a 2015 graduate of Newark High School and is currently attending Syracuse University and is a contributor to FingerLakes1.com. Comments and feedback on this article can be posted below or directed to Keith at kbremer@syr.edu.

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