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

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 13, 2017 at 9:40 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Syracuse (1-0) faces one of its more difficult nonconference opponents of the season Tuesday night, when Iona (0-1) visits the Carrier Dome for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Orange is coming off a season-opening victory over Jimmy Boeheim and Cornell, while the Gaels lost at Albany by two points last week. Iona won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title last season and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Oregon.Here’s what you need to know about Iona before Tuesday night’s matchup.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 4-0Last time they played: On Dec. 18, 2010 in the Carrier Dome, SU snuck out an 83-77 victory that bumped the Orange to a perfect 11-0 record. Kris Joseph scored 21 points, Brandon Triche had 14 and Scoop Jardine added 11.The Iona Report: The Gaels are an up-tempo, 3-point heavy team that finished 22-13 overall and 12-8 in conference a year ago. They earned a No. 14 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Tim Cluess enters his eighth season at the helm of the New Rochelle, New York, school, which led the country in points per game in both the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons. His offense thrives on the 3-point shot — Iona led the country in 3s made (344) in 2014-15.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIona has lost its top three scorers and top two rebounders from last season. Tulsa graduate transfer and 6-foot-8 forward TK Edogi led Iona with 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting and had nine rebounds last week at Albany. He could prove difficult for an inexperienced SU frontcourt. Edogi appears to be one of Iona’s potent offensive threats, along with Deyshonee Much, who scored 15 in the opener.Roland Griffin also brings experience to the frontcourt. He played at Illinois State and Midland College before arriving at Iona this season. At 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, he brings size off the bench. Meanwhile, in the backcourt, Massachussetts transfer Zach Lewis comes as an All-MAAC honoree at Canisius, his previous stop. He averaged 8.8 points per game with the Minutemen.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorHow Syracuse beats Iona: Avoiding a slow first few minutes is key, because the Gaels can run up and down the court and shoot it from deep to get a lead. Iona has historically struggled on the glass, but it can stay in games when it gets hot from 3. The Gaels’ success Tuesday likely hinges on how consistent it shoots. If it can shoot well, Iona can keep the game in single-digits.Iona will try to push the basketball and beat the 2-3 zone up the floor with transition buckets and quick 3s. As long as SU’s shot selection is consistently smart and at least two players get back on defense to stop the fast break, the Orange should have control of this game.Stat to know: 22The No. 5 seed Orange beat No. 12 Iona in the 1998 NCAA Tournament on a 22-foot buzzer-beater to win, 63-61. Syracuse ran a play for senior forward Todd Burgan. Burgan drove into the lane but had his shot blocked by Iona’s center. Burgan found the basketball, passed to Marius Janulis, who was alone at the top of the key to hit the game-winner.Player to watch: TK Edogi, forward, No. 13Edogi, a 6-foot-8 graduate transfer from Tulsa, scored 17 points in the opener last week to lead the Gaels. He averaged only 4.2 points per game last season and only played about eight minutes per game before that, but he’s experienced and brings size that SU’s bigs will have to defend. Commentslast_img

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