|Posted on November 6, 2018 at 9:05 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The Syracuse Orange began their 2018-19 season and head coach Jim Boeheim's 43rd campaign with the team with a starting lineup that featured true freshman guard Buddy Boeheim, junior shooting guard Tyus Battle, guard/forward Elijah Hughes, sophomore forward Oshae Brissett, and senior center Paschal Chukwu.
It took Syracuse just 43 seconds into the season to get their first points, those coming off of a layup by Battle.
The Orange began the game against the visiting Eastern Washington Eagles 5-for-9, heading out to an early 11-5 advantage.
At the 10:19 mark of the first half, true freshman guard Jalen Carey checked in for his first moment on the court as a collegiate basketball player.
Five of the seven players that had gotten into the game at that mark had scored for the Orange, with Buddy Boeheim and forward/center Bourama Sidibe looking for their first points.
Sophomore forward Marek Dolezaj began his second season with offensive success, showing that his play that improved more and more at the end of last season was continuing into this campaign, as he made both of his first attempts, a jumper in the lane and then a shot from beyond the arc.
Carey's first points of his collegiate career came right by the seven-minute mark, when he grabbed the defensive rebound and pushed the ball up the court, keeping it, and attacking the rim, making a tough, contested layup.
Brissett would connect on back-to-back tries from the field when he stole the ball by his own basket, went underneath the rim, and pulled off the turnaround slam followed by a three that gave him double-figures for the game (10 points) with 4:20 to go before the break.
Carey would steal the ball away from the Eagles and Brissett would feed Sidibe for his first field goal of the game, when Sidibe dunked it home with 1:29 before halftime.
At the end of the first half, nine Syracuse players had seen action, with seven of them scoring. True freshman forward Robert Braswell checked in at the 1:14 mark and did not attempt a shot, while Boeheim was still looking for his first points, starting the game 0-for-5.
The offense on the side of Eastern Washington was non-existent, with the Eagles scoring 10 points in 20 minutes, heading into the locker room, going 4-for-23 from the field (17.4%).
It was 28-10 Syracuse at the break.
Boeheim achieved his first-ever collegiate points at the 17:43 mark of the second half, when Brissett stole the ball yet again this game while in the full-court press. Brissett fed Boeheim underneath the basket, who made the layup and the free throw that went with it, giving the Orange a 37-13 lead.
Shortly after, Battle would feed Brissett for the alley-oop dunk and Hughes followed with a steal, contested lay-in, and make of the subsequent free throw to move Syracuse out to a 42-13 advantage.
Brissett would then get his hands on an offensive rebound try that would end up in the hands of Chukwu at the rim for two, and Brissett would follow with another steal and another uncontested slam at the 16:06 mark.
With 15:42 left to play in the contest, Brissett had 16 points and the entire Eastern Washington team had 13.
At the 12:11 mark of the second half, sophomore point guard Howard Washington, Jr., came out onto the court for the first time since a knee injury shortened his 2017-18 campaign, missing the last 16 games of last season, including the team's run to the nation's Sweet 16 inside the NCAA Tournament, which ended in Omaha, Nebraska, versus the Duke Blue Devils. Washington's last time on the court was on the road against the Pittsburgh Panthers on January 27, 2018, where he scored four points in 10 minutes, adding three rebounds, two assists, and a steal as well.
Sidibe took care of the inside off of a headsy play by Braswell who drove and fed him at the rim, with Sidibe finishing to beat the shot clock. Less than two minutes later, Sidibe tipped the ball in after two tries by Carey at the rim did not fall, giving the Orange a 60-24 lead on the Eagles.
To put the fact that Syracuse has a lot of offense coming from many different angles even more into perspective, Syracuse was ahead by 33, 64-31, with 3:26 to play, and Battle had eight points to his name, the last two coming off of a one-handed throwdown in transition.
Up 66-31 with 1:22 to play, Boeheim put in four walk-ons to join Braswell on the court, as senior guard Ky Feldman, senior forward Antonio Balandi, true freshman guard Brendan Paul, and senior guard Adrian Autry, Jr., came into the contest.
The game would end 66-34 Orange to begin their 2018-19 campaign 1-0.
Brissett and Hughes ended the game each with three steals, and Brissett was just shy of a double-double with 20 points and eight rebounds. He was the lone Syracuse player to accumulate double-figures in scoring in the game.