Syracuse, N.Y. ― Syracuse (3-1) will enter Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday as the Orange takes on Boston College (1-4) at the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Both teams are coming off losses in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Syracuse dropped a 79-69 decision at Rutgers on Tuesday, while Boston College fell in overtime at Minnesota.
Syracuse has played the last three games without two starters — senior center Bourama Sidibe and junior guard Buddy Boeheim — but the Orange should get Boeheim back for the game against Boston College.
This will be the 77th meeting between the schools. Both were members of the Big East before moving to the ACC. Syracuse has won four straight against the Eagles.
Saturday’s game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.
Here are five things to know about the matchup:
Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim had to sit out the Orange’s last three games. He was placed in quarantine due to contact tracing protocol after a walk-on player tested positive for the coronavirus.
Syracuse went 2-1 without Boeheim with easy wins over Niagara and Rider and Tuesday’s 10-point loss at No. 21 Rutgers.
Provided the week-long hiatus hasn’t dulled Boeheim’s shooting stroke, his return to the lineup should help the Orange’s offense. Syracuse went 7-for-26 on 3-pointers in the loss to Rutgers.
Boeheim was SU’s leading returning scorer and the Orange’s leading scorer in the only game that he played in this season. He scored 21 points on 4-for-11 3-point shooting in an 85-84 win over Bryant.
Boeheim’s return will also restore SU’s backcourt rotation of him, Joe Girard and Kadary Richmond, and also allow Alan Griffin to remain at small forward.
Boston College’s Wynston Tabbs (5) shoots a 3-pointer during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame won 69-66. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)AP
When Boston College guard Wynston Tabbs started the Eagles’ season-opener, it ended a run of 676 days since he had last played in a game. Tabbs missed the last half of the 2018-19 season and all of last year due to injuries.
Tabbs’ return to the lineup gives Boston College a huge boost going into this season.
As a freshman in 2018-19, Tabbs was averaging 14.0 points, four rebounds and three assists through 15 games before an injury ended his season. Boston College was 10-5 at the time. In his last game, Tabbs had 12 points and the game-clinching 3-pointer in a win over No. 11 Florida State.
Despite the long layoff, Tabbs has shown no signs of rust this year. He scored 11 points in BC’s loss to Villanova. He then recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Rhode Island. He scored 23 in a loss to St. John’s and led a near-upset of Minnesota on Tuesday with 24 points in an overtime loss.
Quincy Guerrier is having a breakout year for Syracuse.
The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in a sixth man role as a freshman. In four games this season, Guerrier has put up 16.8 points and 9.5 rebounds on average.
Guerrier recorded double-doubles in SU’s first two games of the year. He scored a career-high 23 points against Niagara.
But in Tuesday’s game at Rutgers, Guerrier showed a new and improved facet of his game. Guerrier took five shots from 3-point range and made three of them.
Rutgers vs. Syracuse men’s basketball
Syracuse forward Quincy Guerrier (1) had 18 points and five rebounds in the Orange’s loss to Rutgers on Tuesday. Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.comAndrew Mills | NJ Advance Media
Guerrier’s three 3-pointers matched his total for all of the 2019-20 season when he went 3-for-24 from outside the arc.
No one is comparing Guerrier to Buddy Boeheim as a 3-point shooter. Not yet anyway. But this added element to his repertoire will make Guerrier much tougher to stop on the offensive end of the court.
Syracuse was mediocre, at best, when it came to rebounding last season. In ACC play, the Orange ranked 10th in rebounding margin.