Syracuse men’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about North Florida

first_imgMired in its first losing streak of the season, No. 22 Syracuse (5-2) will try to turn its fortunes around against North Florida (3-6) in the Carrier Dome on Saturday at 4 p.m. This is the first-ever meeting between the two teams, and the game will be broadcast on both Time Warner Cable and ESPN3.Here’s everything you need to know about the Ospreys ahead of Saturday’s contest.The North Florida Report: Similar to Syracuse, North Florida rolls out a starting lineup of all upperclassmen. Point guard Dallas Moore is the focal point of the offense, averaging 20.4 points per game and totaling 36 more minutes than any of his teammates. Outside of Moore, head coach Matthew Driscoll mixes and matches his rotation freely. Eight players have appeared in all nine games, and all are averaging at least 10 minutes per game.The Ospreys average 74.4 points per game but have only scored 63 points per game in four contests against Power 5 opponents, all losses.How North Florida beats Syracuse: In part, Wisconsin caused the Orange to fold on Tuesday with a diversified attack against SU’s defense. The Badgers leaned heavily on perimeter shooting, causing Syracuse’s zone to stretch out a bit, before turning to the paint and working the ball inside. That might be North Florida’s best bet. The Ospreys are only shooting 31.2 percent from 3, but then again, that’s similar to how Wisconsin had shot from deep until hitting nearly half of their 23 3s against the Orange. North Florida however, doesn’t wield nearly the amount of talented depth that the Badgers do.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStat to know: 28.5 percent — According to Kenpom.com, as of Thursday evening, only two other teams in the country turn the ball over more frequently than North Florida. More than one-fourth of the team’s possessions end in turnovers, while Syracuse has forced an average of 13 per game against its opponents. Expect head coach Jim Boeheim to deploy the press early and often, fully aware of the Ospreys tendency to give up the ball.Player to know: Dallas Moore, point guard, No. 14Moore is clearly the most talented player North Florida will dispatch on Saturday afternoon. He’s taken more than 25 percent of his team’s shots, shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 45.5 from 3. He’s going to have the ball in his hands most of the time. Also keep an eye out for 6-foot-11 center Romelo Banks. He’ll try to give Syracuse’s interior defense some problems — which it’s certainly shown to have at times — and he’s the Osprey’s second most proficient scorer. Comments Published on December 1, 2016 at 9:57 pm Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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