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

first_imgForty-eight hours after beating up on Oakland, Syracuse (4-0) will look to improve to a perfect 5-0 with a home contest against Toledo (3-0). The Rockets have won each of their games by at least 10 points, including an 87-74 win over Oakland on Saturday. The Orange beat Oakland, 74-50, Monday night.“Toledo coming in Wednesday, they’re very good,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Very, very good basketball team.”Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s matchup, which begins at 7 p.m. inside the Carrier Dome.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 2-0Last time they played: Twenty-seven years ago, on Nov. 23, 1990, Syracuse rolled over Toledo, 84-68. It was the opening round of the Maui Invitational in Hawaii, where the Orange commanded the game in the teams’ second all-time meeting. (The first was in the 1950-51 season.) Former SU assistant coach Mike Hopkins hit a 3-pointer in the game, while David Johnson led SU with 16 points. Adrian Autry, current Syracuse assistant coach, scored 11.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Toledo report: The Rockets finished last season 17-17 overall and 9-9 in the Mid-American Conference. Three starters are gone from that team, including Jonathan Williams, the leading scorer, and Steve Taylor Jr., who was second in points and led the team in rebounds and assists.Among those picking up the production: Junior guard Jaelan Sanford and Colorado transfer Tre’Shaun Fletcher, a 6-foot-7 guard/forward who shot 40 percent from deep in the Pac-12 two seasons ago. Junior Nate Navigato is effective spreading the court as a 6-foot-8 forward who can shoot it. He knocked down 40.8 percent of his 3-point attempts a year ago.Head coach Todd Kowalczyk’s offense is based on tall, long players shooting 3-pointers. So far this year, Toledo is shooting the ball effectively (33rd in the country, per Kenpom) and not turning over the ball much. About one-third of the Rockets’ points come via the 3.How Syracuse beats Toledo: Syracuse’s toughest game this year came against Iona, which plays a similar style to Toledo. Both are fairly long. Both play fast. And both can score quickly with the 3. Syracuse defended the interior well Monday night, not allowing Oakland to get any inside-out action. A key to beating the 2-3 zone is working the ball inside to set up open 3s. Should the Orange hold Toledo inside like it did Oakland, it will be difficult for Toledo to generate uncontested 3-pointers and stay within striking distance.Kenpom odds: Kenpom gives Syracuse an 85 percent chance to win the game.Stat to know: 56Through four games, Syracuse has allowed only 56 points per game, good for 14th in the country. The Orange held Cornell to fewer than 50 points in the opener, then held Iona and Texas Southern to fewer than 70, and Oakland on Monday night to only 50.Player to watch: Jaelan Sanford, guard, No. 13The 6-foot-4 junior guard leads Toledo with 23.3 points per game through three games. He begins his third year as a starter, bringing both height and an ability to stretch the floor with his 3-point shot abilities. He averages nearly 38 minutes per game, 4.3 rebounds and rarely turns over the ball. He was recently named Mid-American Conference West Player of the Week and leads the Toledo offensive attack. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 22, 2017 at 12:07 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img

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