Beat writers unanimously, though not comfortably, pick Syracuse to beat Oakland

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (3-0) is a team built on defense going against Oakland (2-1), a team built on prolific offense, on Monday night in the Carrier Dome. The two team’s disparate styles worry some beat writers that the offense could get hot and overwhelm Syracuse’s defense, but at least one beat writer stuck with the prediction of a blowout victory. On Saturday night, both teams’ last games, the Orange beat Texas Southern and the Grizzlies lost to Toledo, which SU plays on Wednesday night in the Dome.Here are our three beat writers’ thoughts on the game.Matthew Gutierrez (3-0)CruiserSyracuse 74, Oakland 55The Orange will improve to 4-0 with only Toledo left before SU plays more formidable opposition in Maryland, Kansas and Connecticut consecutively. On Monday night Oakland will be without its best player, forward Jalen Hayes, who is serving a suspension. He averaged 15.9 points and 8.0 rebounds a year ago, but his absence means Oakland has no chance of staying within double-digits on the road against Syracuse.Tomer Langer (3-0)Still GoldenSyracuse 83, Oakland 71AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPer Kenpom.com, Oakland is the toughest team Syracuse has played so far, as it’s the only team ranked inside the Top 100. But, Oakland just lost to a team that SU will play on Wednesday, Toledo, that’s ranked outside the top 150. Both teams are playing Monday night after having played Saturday, except OU had to travel to Syracuse. On top of that, the Orange has a big height advantage, as the Golden Grizzlies’ tallest active player is 6-foot-9. OU can score, but I think there are enough factors here that should tip the scale in SU’s favor.Sam Fortier (3-0)Oakland is in Rochester, MichiganSyracuse 81, Oakland 70This school is in Michigan and not California and that should tell you everything you need to know about this team’s prospects in the Carrier Dome. A lot of things aren’t as they seem with the Grizzlies. Yes, it’s the best team Syracuse will have faced this year, according to Kenpom.com, but it will still be without one of its best players, the suspended Jalen Hayes. Yes, it has two dynamic gunners who can fill up the basket, but those totals have come in three games against teams with no better than the 156th-best defense in the country. The Orange is ranked 70th there, and with its length and discipline it overwhelms the hot-shooting Grizzlies. Comments Published on November 20, 2017 at 12:34 amlast_img

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