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The Sports Daily > Bearcats Blog
Know Your Opponent: Syracuse Orange edition
The Cincinnati Bearcats return home after the disappointing loss to Notre Dame Thursday to a visit from one of the best teams in the country, Syracuse. The Orange are 22-1 and are coming off a dismantling of Providence. Syracuse stud Wesley Johnson took a tough fall against the Friars, but looks like he’s going to go today. Johnson is one of the front runners for national player of the year, and Big East player of the year. The Bearcats really need to put one in the bag after going in the tank against the Irish. Cincinnati has been a much better team at the big fraction, but they haven’t played a team this talented this season. Yesterday, we asked Brian from Orange::44 some questions, and he did the same with me on his site, but let’s take a deeper look inside the numbers between the Big East foes. If you want more views on the Orange, there are lots of good sites, but I recommend Brian’s site, and the great Nunes’ Magician. They are good people, good writers, and have good sites. 



All stats taken from KenPom.com, the Polls, and the school’s sites. RPI from RealTimeRPI.com
For reference, there are 347 teams in the NCAA
Record: 14-8, 5-5
KenPom Rank: 70
RPI: 50
AP/USA Today Rank: NR
Strength of Schedule (KenPom/RealTime): 24/21
Tempo:67 (215)
Offensive Ratings (Rank)
Points Per Game: 71.3
Efficiency:105.7 (104)
Effective FG%: 49.7 (131)
Turnover %: 20 (133)
Off. Rebound %: 37.3 (32)
FTA/FGA: 30.9 (309)
3%: 29.8 (311)
2%: 52.2 (35)
FT%: 63.8 (307)
Point Distribution (% of total points)
3: 25.1 (212)
2: 58.4 (36)
FT: 16.5 (333)
Defensive Ratings (Rank)
Points Per Game: 65.4 
Efficiency: 91.7 (47)
Effective FG%: 45.3 (43)
Turnover %: 17.4 (326)
Off. Rebound %: 27.9 (18)
FTA/FGA: 34.5 (114)
3%: 32.1 (87)
2%: 43.8 (40)
Block %: 9.3 (155)
Steal %: 8.2 (288)
Point Distribution (% of total points)
3: 28.1 (136)
2: 51.3 (197)
FT: 20.6 (185)
Statistical Leaders
Points (top 3): Lance Stephenson 12 Deonta Vaughn 11.9 Yancy Gates 10.5 
Rebounds (top 3): Yancy Gates 6.6 Lance Stephenson 5.1 Rashad Bishop 4.8
Assists (top 2): Deonta Vaughn 3.6 Lance Stephenson 2.6
Blocks: Yancy Gates 1


Record: 22-1, 9-1
KenPom Rank: 3
RPI: 2
AP/USA Today Rank: 3/4
Strength of Schedule (KenPom/RealTime): 45/11
Tempo: 71.5 (31)
Offensive Ratings (Rank)
Points Per Game: 82.5
Efficiency: 116.4 (13)
Effective FG%: 58.9 (1)
Turnover %: 22.1 (246)
Off. Rebound %: 37.5 (30)
FTA/FGA: 37.2 (184)
3%: 38.3 (39)
2%: 59.5 (1)
FT%: 65.4 (268)
Point Distribution (% of total points)
3: 24.2 (236)
2: 58.7 (32)
FT: 17.1 (322)
Defensive Ratings (Rank)
Points Per Game: 64.6
Efficiency: 86.6 (7)
Effective FG%: 44.4 (27)
Turnover %: 23.6 (39)
Off. Rebound %: 34.8 (243)
FTA/FGA: 24.5 (7)
3%: 30.9 (46)
2%: 43.1 (28)
Block %: 19.2 (3)
Steal %: 15.3 (2)
Point Distribution (% of total points)
3: 35.8 (4)
2: 49.2 (267)
FT: 15.1 (343)
Statistical Leaders
Points (top 3): Wesley Johnson 16.7 Kris Joseph 11 Arinze Onuaku 10.3 Andy Rautins 10.3
Rebounds (top 3): Wesley Johnson 9 Rick Jackson 6.7 Kris Joseph 5.3
Assists (top 2): Andy Rautins 5 Scoop Jardine 4.9
Blocks: Rick Jackson 2.3 Wesley Johnson 1.8
Steals: Andy Rautins 2.3

I added steals because that’s one of the many things the Orange do well. Syracuse does what the Bearcats do well, plus 50. The Bearcats are going to have to slow tempo to have a shot at this one, because I don’t think they can run with Syracuse. The key is getting the defense back to where it was around the time of the first Notre Dame game. The Bearcats have gotten very lax with that and rebounding, and it’s really starting to show the cracks in the foundation. Especially since the Bearcats have been losing. The games on get tougher from here. The Orange have many players who can beat you, and it’s going to be important to have great defensive efforts. That means no foul trouble for Yancy, no getting back lazily in transition, no offensive rebounds, and no lay ups every other time down the floor. That also means that the offense needs to get going. The slumps can not happen today. Syracuse plays that excellent zone that encourages 3 point shooting. This Bearcat team loves shooting the 3. They don’t love making the 3, so it’s important to keep the shots down. We need big games from Stephenson and Vaughn for sure, and Yancy needs to show up. There also needs to be another player stepping up, whether it’s Larry Davis again, Rashad Bishop, or my best friend Dion Dixon who has been struggling lately. These are many things the Bearcats can do well, and have done well in the past. I hope they do them today, but I think the punch of Johnson, Andy Rautins, Kris Joseph and Onuaku will be too much.
Prediction: Syracuse 75 Cincinnati 62. I hope it’s much closer than that today, we need it.