Buddy Boeheim, Elijah Hughes add 3-point dimension to Syracuse in exhibition win

first_img Published on October 25, 2018 at 10:35 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3 With less than five seconds to go in the first half, Tyus Battle pushed the ball up to Buddy Boeheim near midcourt. A couple dribbles later, Buddy pulled up from the right wing for a 3. As the buzzer sounded, the ball dropped through the rim.It was the second 3 of the first half for Buddy, and one of 10 on the game for Syracuse. Buddy finished with three, and Elijah Hughes made three of his own, as the two wings each scored 19 points and stood out in their Syracuse exhibition debuts with one of their calling cards: the 3-point shot. The Orange shot 10-for-26 from behind the arc on Thursday night overall, 38.5 percent. That’s an increase on SU’s 31.8 percent 3-point shooting last year, and it was more than enough to dispatch Division II opponent St. Rose, 80-49, in an exhibition in the Carrier Dome.“I thought overall we did a lot of good things,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “They were a very good team for us to play.”Buddy’s first Carrier Dome shot against a non-Syracuse defender was a 3 from the right wing, but it was long. A few trips later, though, after Hughes dunked to score his first points, Oshae Brissett had a mismatch on the left block. He backed his player down but spotted Hughes at the top of the arc. Hughes, wide open, caught a pass from Brissett and swished the shot.Buddy used the threat of the 3 to get his first basket. He caught in the left corner, pump faked, took two dribbles left and pulled up before swishing a 15-footer. Hughes and he were quiet for a while, although Hughes added a few baskets off the dribble and in transition.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith under two minutes left in the first half, Buddy caught in the right corner, and this time he didn’t pump fake. Instead, he rose and knocked down the 3, his first of the game. Then, less than two minutes later, it was Battle leading Buddy up the floor for the pull-up 3 to head to halftime.“He just got hot in three seconds,” Oshae Brissett said. “I didn’t even know he was going like that. But that’s what we want him to do. We knew he could do that.”Before the second half’s first media timeout, Buddy knocked down his third and final 3, this time from the left wing. It came in the midst of a sequence where he twice attacked overzealous close-outs to get into the lane for easy finishes.Hughes rejoined the 3-point action midway through the second half. Even with a defender closing out hard on the right wing, Hughes fired and swished the shot from distance.“I didn’t see a hand,” Hughes said of the contested shot. “I just shot it.”The next time down the floor, he followed it up with a left-wing 3 for good measure. Last season, as Hughes sat out after transferring, he watched Syracuse struggle to space the floor. The Orange didn’t have a player shoot better than 33.1 percent from 3-point range.At SU’s media day, Boeheim said he thought that Hughes is a good shooter and that the 6-foot-6 guard improved his shot during his year sitting out. On Thursday, while only in an exhibition, it showed.“You don’t play for a year and a half and you play again, it’s like you’re reborn,” Hughes said. “I just felt like I was just playing basketball now. I’ve been doing this my whole life.”The Orange was buoyed by Brissett’s 3-point stroke on Thursday, as well, as he added three 3s of his own. The opposition gets tougher than a Division II team when SU opens up on Nov. 6. The ACC is one of the best conferences in the country.But if the Orange can have Brissett become a weapon from deep with Buddy and Hughes added to the lineup, that’s a weapon SU simply didn’t have last year.“We got guys like Tyus, Frank, Jalen that can all get in the paint, kick out when the defenses collapse on them,” Hughes said. “Just us being here makes their job easier.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img