FACTS & STATS: Site: Carrier Dome (33,000) -- Syracuse, New York.
Television: Time Warner. Home Record: Wagner 0-0, Syracuse 0-0. Away Record:
Wagner 0-1, Syracuse 0-0. Neutral Record: Wagner 0-0, Syracuse 1-0. Conference
Record: Wagner 0-0, Syracuse 0-0. Series Record: Syracuse leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The eighth-ranked Syracuse Orange begin a three-game homestand
with their home-opener on Sunday against the Wagner Seahawks at the Carrier
Jim Boeheim's Orange put themselves in harm's way to begin the 2012-13 season,
going up against nationally-ranked San Diego State on the USS Midway. The
result was an impressive 62-49 victory. Syracuse is once again one of the
favorites in the Big East this season, with a cupboard full of top-shelf
Wagner is under the leadership of first-year head coach Bashir Mason, who at
28 years old, is the youngest head coach in Division I. The Seahawks went an
impressive 25-6 a year ago under Dan Hurley (now at Rhode Island), but failed
in their season-opener, dropping a 73-69 overtime decision at Delaware State.
This is the third meeting between these two teams. Syracuse has won both prior
matchups, although these teams haven't met since the 1992-93 season.
Senior Jonathan Williams finished with a strong stat line of 19 points and
eight rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the Seahawks lost in Mason's debut on
the bench. Kenneth Ortiz and Latif Rivers added 12 points apiece, while
Naofall Folahan finished with 11, but Wagner went ice-cold in the extra
session, converting just 1-of-10 shots from the floor in the loss. Wagner is
no stranger to upsetting a ranked team, as the Seahawks shocked another Big
East power a year ago, knocking off Pittsburgh at the Peterson Events Center
The Orange didn't exactly light up the scoreboard against the Aztecs in the
opener, but then again, they didn't have to, holding San Diego State to a mere
49 points, on a mere 27.0 percent shooting. Syracuse challenged just about
every shot and it paid off, with SDSU converting just 1-of-18 from behind the
arc. Forward C.J. Fair led the way in the win with a double-double consisting
of 17 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Michael Carter-Williams matched that
scoring output with 17 points of his own, while fellow guard Brandon Triche
poured in 15. The Orange should enjoy great depth both inside this year. Fair
should get plenty of help up front by fellow forwards Rakeem Christmas (6-9,
242) and James Southerland (6-8, 215), while youngsters like freshman center
DaJuan Coleman (6-9, 288) and freshman forward Jerami Grant (6-8, 203) are
eased into their roles.
The Seahawks are severely out-matched in this one. Mason will need to continue
to wait to get his first victory at Wagner, as the Orange will get up early
and cruise to victory in the front of the hometown faithful.