When Brown and Syracuse meet Monday night at Syracuse, N.Y., there will be plenty of rust to consider.
Both teams will be coming off long layoffs due to COVID-19 concerns when they meet in the non-conference game. The Bears (8-5) will have gone 17 days between games, and the Orange (5-5) will have gone 16.
As far as Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is concerned, one positive is that even though his team had to miss a couple of games before Christmas due to COVID-19, the Orange are in better shape to deal with the situation than they were last season.
“We had many guys really sick last year and this year we don’t,” Boeheim said, according to Syracuse.com. “We’re going to do the best we can. Get everybody back healthy. That’s my main concern … play the best we can when we get on the court the next time.”
The Orange’s last time on the court was Dec. 11, when they dropped a 79-75 road decision against former Big East Conference rival Georgetown, blowing a 44-34 halftime lead. Buddy Boeheim had 17 points against the Hoyas and leads five players in double figures at 17.6 points per game but is making only 38 percent of his shots.
Since the game against Georgetown, the Orange saw contests against Lehigh and Cornell get postponed.
Brown hasn’t played since Dec. 10, when its four-game winning streak ended against Vermont 70-65 at home. The Bears were scheduled to visit Rhode Island last week, but the Rams had to cancel due to COVID-19 concerns.
Kino Lilly Jr. is the leading scorer for Brown in a balanced attack at 12.1 points per game and also leads the team in assists (35) and steals (20). Five other players average between 7 and 10.8 ppg for Brown, which has forced an average of 16.5 turnovers per game from the opposition.
This will be the eighth meeting between the programs, but the first since Syracuse prevailed 101-52 in the first round of the 1986 NCAA Tournament. The Orange lead the series 4-3, with the first meeting taking place in 1905.
–Field Level Media