Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Detroit Titans Travel to Carrier Dome

The Syracuse Orangemen will play their third game in five days tonight when the Detroit Titans enter the Carrier Dome. Tip-off is at 7PM and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Detroit comes to Syracuse from the Horizon League, and lost their season opener to New Mexico 63-54. Both teams combined for 40 turnovers and Detroit shot 4-22 from 3-point range.

Detroit lost 8 players from last year's squad that went 20-14. Head coach Ray McCallum's teams generally play strong team basketball, and usually lead the Horizon League in most defensive categories, including steals, blocks, rebounds, 3-point defense and field goal percentage allowed.

Detroit center Eli Holman lead the Titans with 15 points 13 rebounds in the losing effort. Holman, a 6'10" 255 pound junior, will be the first big center Fab Melo will match up against in college, and it will be interesting to see how he handles playing the big man. In his first two college games, Fab Melo fouled out and was held to just 6 total points. Last season Holman averaged 11.8 points and 8.9 boards.

Ray McCallum, (6'1" 185 pounds) a McDonald's All-American and head coach Ray McCallum's son, turned down scholarship offers from Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and UCLA to play at Detroit for his father. "Little Ray" averaged 22.5 points 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in his senior year of high school last season, and took his team to the state finals where he dropped 32 points with 8 rebounds and 7 steals.

Other players the Orangemen will want to keep an eye on are Chase Simon (6'6" 210 pound junior) who can shoot and penetrate, and Nick Minnerath (6'8" 220 pound junior) who is also a shooter and a very good athlete. Minnerath was a third-team JUCO All-American last season.

For the Orangemen, they are coming off a 86-67 victory over Canisius on Sunday. A game that was followed by a post-game rant from head coach Jim Boeheim, where he called this Syracuse team the "most overrated team he's ever had." Syracuse has been plagued by two slow starts against two weak opponents (Northern Iowa and Canisius), which saw them with just 3-point half time leads in both contests.

Rick Jackson has been leading the Orangemen in the low post this season, averaging 15.5 points per game and 10 rebounds per game. Kris Joseph is second on the team in scoring so far this season, averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds per game. Brandon Triche, who Boeheim said wasn't being aggressive enough after the season opener, scored 16 points on Sunday after a 5 point effort against Northern Iowa.

Fab Melo has struggled adjusting to basketball at the college level, having fouled out of both games so far this season. Off the bench, Baye Moussa Keita has been a real nice surprise. On Sunday against Canisius, Keita grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Orangemen and chipped in 6 points on 3 of 5 shooting.

Also coming off the bench has been freshman C.J. Fair. He is averaging 8.5 points over his first two games of his college career and scored 11 points with 4 rebounds on Sunday.

With a win tonight, Syracuse will improve to 3-0, however most Syracuse fans will be looking for a strong start from the team. After Boeheim's comments on Sunday, one would expect Syracuse to come flying out of the gates and get all over Detroit.

Check back with The Cuse Connection for a complete post game report and analysis.

photo courtesy of syracuse.com

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