They’ve played many times before and the rivalry continued yesterday with a huge game at the Carrier Dome. Although both teams are in the ACC this year, there was definitely a Big East vibe in the building. Cuse held off a tough Pitt team to remain unbeaten and secure 1st place in the ACC.
I love this year’s team so much. After Carter Williams left for the NBA, I wondered how we would fill the void at point guard. Little did I know that a freshman would come out of nowhere and be even better than Carter-Williams.
Aside from taking great control of the ball and acting like a senior floor general, Ennis comes up huge in big spots. His 16 points led the team (including 6 points in the final 2 minutes) and his drive and bucket with 30 seconds left helped secure the win yesterday. Most importantly, he has gotten better and better each game.
Even with Ennis establishing himself, Fair is still the leader and he’s so comfortable in that role. This is Fair’s team but it doesn’t hurt to have a freshman like Ennis emerging alongside the veteran. When you have consistent play from two starters, guys like Cooney, Christmas and Gbinije feel less pressure and they can do their thing. Cooney and Christmas has improved drastically from last season and Gbinije has been a nice addition. Coleman hasn’t been healthy but he provides a presence down low that compliments Keita.
We’re only about halfway through the season and the Orange still have road games against Pitt and Duke on the schedule but the thought crossed my mind about a perfect regular season. It’s not likely to happen because it’s so difficult to accomplish and the competition is too good. As Syracuse continues to win, the target on its back only grows bigger.
Whether we lose in the coming weeks or not, this team has everything that you look for in a tournament contender and these next couple of months should only make us better leading up to March Madness. Last year’s Final Four run was amazing but this year has the potential to be even more special.