December 3, 2013 / 2:37 pm

Hoosiers Seek Revenge At Syracuse

Indiana has not beaten Syracuse since the 1987 NCAA National Championship game.

The two schools have only faced each other five times in history, and Tuesday night will be the second matchup in the 2013 calendar year.  Although this time, it’ll be the unranked Hoosiers playing against the now No. 4 Orange.

The Hoosiers look for revenge after losing to the Orange 61-50 in the Sweet Sixteen round back in March.  A game that featured a disappointing performance by the Hoosiers front line back in March now features an almost entirely different Hoosier team.  Only 9 out of the 50 points that the Hoosiers scored against the Orange last season were scored by players that are on this year’s Hoosier team.  The only returning scorer from that game is forward Will Sheehey with all of those 9 points.  This of course, means that point guard Yogi Ferrell was held scoreless.

But it was more than just Jim Boeheim’s aggressive 2-3 zone that could account for his scoreless effort.  Ferrell was a completely different player last year than the one we’ve seen this year.  He scored just under 8 points per game and hit 23 three pointers all season.  This year he already has 17 threes and averages 18 points per game.  So expect a much different performance from the team’s leader this time around.

For Syracuse, Coach Boeheim will look to attack Indiana’s bigs, or lack there of.  I expect Boeheim to attack Indiana’s defense inside by giving the ball to forward Jerami Grant and center DaJuan Coleman.  Grant is averaging over 14 points per game.  From top to bottom, Syracuse is a bigger team than Indiana is.

Trevor Cooney will be an interesting matchup for the Hoosiers.  The 6’4 guard scored 23 against Cal and went 5-8 from three point range.  The small backcourt of Indiana will be tested and we’ll see if they are capable of shutting down guards Tyler Ennis and Cooney.  The guards average a combined 26 points a game.

But who will probably be the deciding factor for Syracuse, is the 6-foot-8 senior C.J Fair.  His team-high 18 points per game will be a huge test for Indiana’s freshman sensation Noah Vonleh.

Noah Vonleh had another double-double last game against Evansville after coming off the worst game of his season against UConn.  Two early fouls limited him to just 10 minutes of total playing time and finished that game without a point and just two rebounds.  He is going to be absolutely crucial for the Hoosiers both offensively and defensively.  He scores a 13 points per game and is going to be called up to try and stop Syracuse’s CJ Fair.

The Orange look to stay undefeated and improve to 8-0.  The Hoosiers look to improve to 7-1 and take down the nation’s fourth ranked team.

-Eric Feldman