Open game thread: St. John's vs Syracuse in the Garden

Mike Stobe
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Sunday, December 15, 2013
When: 12:00 PM Eastern
Syracuse Orange (9-0) vs St. John's (6-2)
Pomeroy Rank: St. John's: 53 | Syracuse: 9
Madison Square Garden (Capacity: 19,763)
Where: Manhattan, NY
TV: Fox Sports 1 | Fox Sports Go online
Radio: Bloomberg 1130
Line: -5, Syracuse

Syracuse Tech=

Syracuse's Trevor Cooney was likened to Syracuse assistant coach Gerry McNamara in the NY Times today; while I would say he's more like JJ Redick or a short Rip Hamilton (athletic, crafty, and quicker at using screens), there are similarities. From Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim:

"They’re both hard-nosed, tough guys that can shoot," Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim said. "There are some similarities there, I think."

A turbulent freshman season for Cooney has given way to torrid shooting and a starting spot in Boeheim’s backcourt in 2013-14. Through nine games — all Syracuse victories — Cooney ranks second on the team in scoring at 15.3 points a game, a product of his skill from 3-point range, which is strengthening the comparisons to McNamara, who holds the team records for 3-pointers made and attempted: 400 of 1,131, a 35.4 percent success rate.

C.J. Fair draws attention but Cooney's activity will be key for the Orange. The defensive matchups for St. John's won't be individual; it's the team's attentiveness to cutters and action against the Red Storm zone that will indicate whether St. John's defends well enough to give themselves a chance for the upset.

Sir`Dominic Pointer and Orlando Sanchez' ability to facilitate against the zone - and the shooting of Phil Greene IV, D`Angelo Harrison and JaKarr Sampson - will be a factor on the other side.

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