Syracuse-NC State Preview
Off-court issues have not caused Syracuse to stumble. A bigger
challenge could be its upcoming first true road test.
Back atop the AP poll for the first time in two seasons, the
Orange look to remain undefeated when they take their initial trip
out of the state of New York on Saturday night to face North
With an 85-50 victory over George Washington last Saturday
coupled with losses by then-No. 1 Kentucky and No.2 Ohio State,
Syracuse (10-0) earned its first No. 1 ranking since a one-week
appearance late in the 2009-10 season.
“We’re proud to be No. 1 in the country,” coach Jim Boeheim
said. “It’s an honor but obviously in today’s world you could only
be there until your next game if you’re not careful.
“We have played well but we have to play better. It’s a great
challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Orange continue to brush aside any potential distraction
stemming from the investigation of former assistant coach Bernie
Fine, alleged to have molested two former ball boys.
“Young kids constantly have different things going in their
lives,” Boeheim said. “They have the ability to focus on things
they have to do and they get it done.”
Boeheim’s squad has averaged 80.1 points while winning its first
10 games by an average margin of 22.8. Seven players are averaging
at least 6.7 points, led by senior forward Kris Joseph’s 13.7 per
“We have really good balance,” Boeheim said. “I think that’s
important to have a great team. Hopefully we’ll get better.”
Key reserve Dion Waiters, averaging 11.9 points per game, had 19
as the Orange starters played limited minutes against George
Washington. Syracuse went 32 of 64 from the field while holding the
Colonials to 30.6 percent shooting and forcing 18 turnovers.
The Orange should have a tougher time Saturday. The only other
occasion Syracuse left campus was last month when it beat Virginia
Tech and Stanford at Madison Square Garden to win the NIT Season
“We know we’ll have a bull’s-eye on our back,” senior guard
Scoop Jardine said. “It’s going to be tough.”
Jardine had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists to help
Syracuse improve to 3-1 all-time against North Carolina State with
a 65-59 home win last December.
Though the Wolfpack (6-3) have dropped six straight games
against ranked opponents, they were victorious the last time the
nation’s No. 1 team visited Raleigh – 78-74 over neighboring ACC
rival Duke on Feb. 15, 2004.
Syracuse is the first top-ranked non-conference opponent to play
at N.C. State since 1979, when Notre Dame beat the Wolfpack
“Definitely excited for the Syracuse game,” junior forward Scott
Wood told N.C. State’s official website. “We need to come out
The Wolfpack avoided a third straight loss and improved to 5-1
at home with a 65-60 win over North Carolina Central on Sunday.
C.J. Williams scored 21 points and Wood added 19 as N.C. State
overcame a season-low 37.0 percent shooting effort and 16
Leading scorer C.J. Leslie (12.8 ppg), who was held to a
season-low three points Sunday, had 13 with 11 rebounds at Syracuse
a year ago. Wood scored 18 in that contest.
The Orange and Wolfpack will be regular opponents when Syracuse
joins the ACC.