Kellogg: Syracuse Has A Shot Against Duke

Kellogg expects Duke to prevail but said the Orange defense has been "platinum"

Taz and the Moose
March 23, 2018 - 11:26 am

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Syracuse didn’t play well against Duke in the regular season. The Orange lost at Cameron Indoor Stadium, 60-44, on Feb. 24. While they played well defensively, they scored just 16 points in the first half.

It was ugly.

Now, however, the Orange (18-11) have a chance to redeem themselves. They play Duke (24-5) in the Sweet 16 on Friday at 9:37 p.m. ET.

“They got a chance,” CBS Sports college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg said on Taz & The Moose. “Their offense has been so iffy of late, but the defense has been platinum.”

Syracuse has allowed 56, 52, and 53 points, respectively, in tournament wins against Arizona State, TCU and Michigan State.

“They’ve just made it hard for other teams to score in the three tournament games they played,” Kellogg said. “Now they need, I think, to have a little more offense. That means (Tyus) Battle and (Oshae) Brissett have to come up big and even Frank Howard. But defensively, if they can keep it tight early, I think they’ve just got to spurt-proof Duke. Once that lead, if it does get to six, eight, 10, that’s when Syracuse could struggle. But if it’s a two-possession game most of the way early, then Cuse, that’s how they win.”

They’ve also got to rebound. Syracuse was out-rebounded 51-30 against Michigan State, including 29-7 on the offensive glass.

“Michigan State rebounded well but didn’t convert,” Kellogg said. “I think Duke’s guys, if they get offensive rebounds, then it’s going to be conversions. But I like Duke. I like their overall defensive prowess. They’ve gotten better in the zone, and offensively I just think they’ve got enough weapons to get some cushion and separation at some point, and that’ll be the difference in the game."