Preview: North Florida heads to #22 Syracuse

Joslyn Simmons

Photo by Zachary Walters
Photo by Zachary Walters

The Ospreys (3-6) travel to the Carrier Dome to face #22 Syracuse(4-2) at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Both teams are coming off recent losses as the result of limited shooting abilities from beyond the arc.

A key player who will be absent is senior forward Chris Davenport, who has been suspended until further notice.Davenport last played on Nov. 27 at Wright State, finishing with 5 points and 7 rebounds. His missing presence makes the Ospreys smaller on the court while having to rely on their underclassmen more to fill the void.

Syracuse is looking to bounce back after a 77-60 loss at #17 Wisconsin on Nov. 29. Three graduate students led the squad in double figures. Guard Andrew White III had a team-high 14 points.

Fellow graduates center DaJuan Coleman and guard John Gillon added 12 and 10 points respectively. Coleman is only listed at 6 foot 9, giving redshirt junior Romelo Banks a two inch advantage.

The Orange went 38.2 percent from the field against #17 Wisconsin. From downtown, Syracuse only connected on 6-of-23 shots. Rebounding and second chance points also were issues for them as Wisconsin out-rebounded them 40-25 and had 18 to 8 second chance points.

North Florida has some issues to correct as well if they want to leave New York with a win. Senior guard Dallas Moore carried the offensive load against the #24 Florida Gators with a game-high 31 points. The team went 37.7 percent from the field and had only 6 made from downtown.

Banks took a dinger to his eye which became swollen but will probably play in the matchup. The 6 foot 11 center had 7 points and 2 rebounds against Florida. He will be the second-tallest player on the court behind Syracuse’s 7 foot 2 center Paschal Chukwu, who will likely see limited minutes.

Freshman Wajid Aminu took the starting spot in Davenport’s absence, fouling out with 4 points, 1 block and 2 rebounds. He will probably continue to be the top choice as the starter until Davenport’s return.

North Florida will need to minimize its double digit turnovers and produce consistent offense from more than one player to hang tight on the road with Syracuse.

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