Syracuse men’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about Oakland

first_imgSyracuse (3-0) has just a one-day reprieve between its games, as it prepares to play Oakland (2-1) on Monday night in the Carrier Dome. The Orange beat Texas Southern on Saturday night, while the Golden Grizzlies are coming off a Saturday night loss to Toledo, which SU plays on Wednesday night in the Dome.Here’s what to know about the Golden Grizzlies:All-time series: Syracuse leads, 2-0Last time they played: SU blew out OU on Dec. 22, 2009, winning 92-60. Syracuse was led by Brandon Triche (27 points) and Wesley Johnson (19 points, 11 rebounds).The Oakland Report: Oakland has come out firing with a strong offense, averaging 82 points per game. The team is led by two players who average more than 20 points per game — Kendrick Nunn (28) and Martez Walker (24.3). Nunn has taken 41.1 percent of the Golden Grizzlies shots while he’s on the floor, the seventh-highest mark in the country per Kenpom.com.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDefensively, though, the Golden Grizzlies haven’t been very strong. The team has allowed 75.3 points per game. OU ranks just 325th out of 351 teams in forcing opponent turnovers, per Kenpom. The one thing that Oakland has done well is limit opposing teams from making 3-pointers, although that 3-point shot hasn’t been a huge part of SU’s offense, anyway.How Syracuse beats Oakland: Crash the glass. Syracuse has a distinct size advantage over Oakland, as the Orange ranks first in average height per Kenpom and the Golden Grizzlies ranks 247th. Syracuse also ranks fifth in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. OU’s tallest player, 6-foot-11 Brad Brechting, broke his toe in the preseason. He’s been out all season and won’t play Monday. The next tallest player for OU is 6-foot-9 Julius Palmer.Kenpom odds: Kenpom gives Syracuse a 75 percent chance to win this game.Stat to know: 29.4 percentTyus Battle has accounted for 29.4 percent of Syracuse’s scoring so far this season. The next highest player on the list is Frank Howard, at just 15.8 percent.Player to watch: Kendrick Nunn, guard, No. 1Nunn can light it up for OU, and has been fairly efficient too, scoring his 28 points per game while average 46 percent from the field and 43 percent from deep. The transfer from Illinois averaged 15.5 points in his final season there and made the Big Ten all-Freshman team in 2013. He’s in his first year playing for the Golden Grizzlies and he’s become their go-to scorer so far. Comments Published on November 20, 2017 at 12:01 am Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langer Facebook Twitter Google+last_img