Dolezaj shines, constant turnovers and more takeaways from Syracuse’s win over Clemson

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (11-4, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) led almost wire-to-wire to beat Clemson (10-5, 0-2), 61-53, on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome. The Orange were sparked by Marek Dolezaj’s playmaking and scoring from their guards. The win brings the Orange to 2-0 in conference play ahead of a Saturday meeting with Georgia Tech.Here are some takeaways from the SU win.Magic MarekMarek Dolezaj seemed to be everywhere in Wednesday’s first half. On the game’s opening possession, he slid toward the left block to take a charge from Clemson’s best big man, Elijah Thomas. Soon after, Dolezaj knocked down a 3 from the top of the key. He followed that up with a runner off the glass from the right side after driving strong with his right hand.His best play of the first half came later. He jumped a passing lane in the center of the zone to steal an entry pass. Then, he led the Syracuse fastbreak as Oshae Brissett cut along the left side. Dolezaj led Brissett perfectly with a bounce pass, leading to a two-handed slam for the Canadian sophomore.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDolezaj began the second half with another backdoor bounce pass that led Elijah Hughes to the rim and the foul line. Dolezaj then handed off and boxed out a defender a minute later to set up an open Frank Howard jumper.Howard set Dolezaj up a few minutes later, as the Slovakian sophomore drained his second 3, this time from the right wing, midway through the second half. He continued to be active at center on defense, too. Despite listed as 65 pounds lighter than Thomas, Dolezaj slipped around him in the post on multiple occasions to tip away entry passes.Dolezaj finished with 10 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.Loose handlesSyracuse struggled all game long when it put the ball on the floor and tried to drive against Clemson. Again and again, the Tigers reached in and took the ball away from the Orange.It started on Oshae Brissett drives. Thrice, his drives ended with a Clemson reach in and takeaway. It continued with Elijah Hughes, who had similar episodes of turning the ball over while driving.Clemson didn’t protect it much better, though, with the length of Frank Howard, Tyus Battle, Brissett and Marek Dolezaj combining on numerous occasions to record their own steals.The final turnover totals: Syracuse 15, Clemson 17Mr. ConsistencyElijah Hughes has made a positive impact since he became eligible following a year sat out due to transfer. On Wednesday, he scored just 14 points, snapping his streak of 15-plus at seven-straight games. But he led the Orange in scoring, anyways. He found success on the break attacking the basket, finishing through contact with his left hand early in the game. As usual, he also found it from deep, making three 3s. One came off a handoff from Oshae Brissett on the right wing where Hughes faded away and knocked it down.The consistency didn’t stop there for Hughes. He broke out an air-guitar celebration after a 3 at Notre Dame, and he did it multiple times on Wednesday night after shots from deep.Balanced attackLast game, Syracuse relied on its top three scorers to lead the Orange to a win over Notre Dame. On Wednesday, SU added a fourth to the double-digit attack.Frank Howard joined Tyus Battle, Elijah Hughes and the new to double digits Marek Dolezaj with at least 10 points. That’s in addition to nine points from Oshae Brissett. Syracuse confidently shared the ball with one another and showed a more fluid offense than it has for much of the season. It led to multiple attacks of the rim off backdoor cuts, effective handoff plays and open looks for SU.The shots didn’t always fall, as the Orange didn’t carry over their hot 3-point shooting from South Bend back to the Dome. But the balanced attack was enough to win another low-scoring contest with Clemson in the Dome for the second year in a row. Comments Published on January 9, 2019 at 10:12 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3last_img

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