Albany (1-1) at (5) Syracuse (2-0)
Tuesday, November 15th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carrier Dome (33,000) -- Syracuse, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Albany 0-0, Syracuse 2-0. Away Record: Albany 0-1, Syracuse 0-0. Neutral Record: Albany 1-0, Syracuse 0-0. Conference Record: Albany 0-0, Syracuse 0-0. Series Record: Syracuse leads, 8-0.
GAME NOTES: The fifth-ranked Syracuse Orange are off to a strong start, and they are heavily favored once again in this evening's NIT Season Tip-Off matchup with the Albany Great Danes.
Albany competes in the America East Conference and was picked fourth in the league's preseason poll. On Friday, the Great Danes took on mighty Pittsburgh in the season opener, and the result was a lopsided 89-56 defeat. To their credit, they bounced back strong yesterday with a 77-68 triumph over Brown at the Carrier Dome.
Like Pittsburgh, Albany's first opponent, the Orange are members of the Big East, college basketball's elite conference. Syracuse is loaded with returning talent from last season and crushed Fordham to open the season by a 78-53 final. Yesterday's opponent was Manhattan, and the Jaspers fell to the Orange in convincing fashion, 92-56.
Syracuse has won all eight previous meetings with Albany.
There are a few obvious reasons that Albany fell short against Pittsburgh in the opener. The Great Danes connected on just 3-of-17 three-pointers in the clash and had four more turnovers than assist. Leading the way in defeat for the club was Gerardo Suero with 17 points, nine of which came from the charity stripe. Suero was even better yesterday against Brown, as he poured in 29 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field. Logan Aronhalt was productive as well on Monday, as he hit 3-of-4 shots from behind the arc en route to 19 points. The guard also ripped down 13 rebounds, impressive to say the least. Albany turned the ball over 17 times in the win, but it managed to hold Brown to 38.6 percent shooting from the field while also earning advantages in rebounding (42-30) and points from the foul line (21-12).
Eleven different players scored for Syracuse in the opener against Fordham, as coach Jim Boeheim's team played extremely well at both ends of the court. In that romp, Kris Joseph scored 16 points in 27 minutes of action, while Dion Waiters added 14 points off the bench. Joseph made headlines last night against Manhattan, netting 15 points en route to becoming the 55th player in program history to reach 1,000 points for his career. Waiters scored 17 points off the bench in that affair, and Brandon Triche added a dozen. The Orange were downright smothering defensively, forcing 28 turnovers while limiting the Jaspers to 31.6 percent shooting from the field. Center Fab Melo put forth a solid effort with 11 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, and he has the talent to put up those numbers on a nightly basis.
Syracuse will continue to roll with another lopsided win. Sure, Albany will put up more of a fight than Manhattan, but the Orange are simply too deep and strong.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Syracuse 86, Albany 67
11/15 10:33:13 ET